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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: Dance Night
By Donna Carrico
09/09/08


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It was "dance night" and the cellblock filled with anticipation. The tradition of this dance had developed over several years. The warden thought it was more humane and peaceful to have the dance. As the correctional officers herded the women prisoners into the recreation hall the Ann Murray song echoed down the long hallway. The song was meant for lovers, but somehow seemed appropriate for what was about to take place.

"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?
Would you be my partner every night?
When we're together it feels so right.
Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?"

Many friendships had developed over the years of incarceration. Lonely days and nights forced the women look to each other for comfort, conversation, and hope. The friendships did not always lead to lesbian relationships. Many of these women had no families and no one who cared whether they lived or died.

Joan was a tall woman; her red hair mingled with gray pulled back with escaping strands wafting around her cheekbones. Her ruddy complexion was intensified since she knew what she had to accomplish. Her dance partner, Shelley, was small in stature with short dishwater blond hair, a ghostly pale face rutted with deep wrinkles, and a slight limp.

Most of the women in the cellblock danced, occasionally changing partners. The music numbed them. The music mesmerized them. The music taught them toleration. Slowly, very slowly they waltzed around the room.

When the small red light over the door flashed "ON" Joan knew it was time. Twirling Shelly round and round Joan propelled her through the doorway to the LETHAL INJECTION ROOM with the door softly closing behind Shelly. Another woman Prisoner from the row around outer edge of the room became Joan's new dance partner.

It was done very smoothly perchance no one would notice. They all knew, although they pretended not to know. It seemed the song would never end. Finally the music stopped and they were herded back to their own tiny cells.

The dance was not humane. It did not bring peace to the women who were left. The screams in their nightmares after "dance night" exposed the unspeakable truth of the tradition.


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Member Comments
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Sunny Loomis 09/11/08
Well written story, but bizarre. Wasn't ready for the ending. Keep writing.