Phew. We’re feeling a bit dizzy. Giddy, really. Like we’ve been dancing through all your imaginations all day, kinda.
Well, that’s because we have. In a non-intrusive way obviously — and thanks for inviting us. You introduced us to sisters, to friends, to enemies; to women who like dancing and to women who don’t. And it was jolly good fun.
Shall we have a look at the winners?
RUNNER-UP: Ruth Mason
Step, Turn, Step
I had fallen in love with the wildest girls. They had a big band running in their veins. Each heartbeat another stop on the hi-top, every breath a quaver. When they laughed, trumpets rang out — and boy did those girls laugh.
Most Saturday nights the Maydon sisters could be found at Arthur Clarvion’s Dance Club. It was a dingy place, discarded on one of the back streets of Clapham like a stubbed-out cigarette. Yet on the evenings when live music played, the embers of its former glory burned up bright, drawing in the moth-youth of the city. Inside, bodies brushed against each other, skin damp with sweat in the heat. There were newcomers who doped about with their just-off-the-train glaze, young starlets primped up with their red lips and mottled coal eyes, gamblers and dealers who had sticky fingers, politicians with powdered noses, lost Las Vegas dancers still with feathers in their hair. All found their lips wet with liquor, already heady with a cocktail of chaos and sound.
When the Maydon sisters danced, the jamboree just faded away. Their movements were wildfire. The whole world burned, no bodies, no empty chatter, no nothing. All that was left were those two pretty girls and the muffled sounds of music, played from a further room.
My universe was just a step, turn, step.
WINNER: Judith Kahl
What They Do Do
They have never been unkind to each other. Not really. Not without reason. Not in a way that would exploit their respective unique positions of power, by, say, referencing an uncomfortable truth they both know. Such as, for example, telling Sue that her perm had been a mistake.
They wouldn’t do that.
What they would do: each other’s eyebrows. Listen to the radio. Rate men on a scale from one to ten. Go canoeing on the lake without Mary’s uncle Jeff’s (3) permission. Get caught and listen to a health and safety lecture, including the aesthetic threats of biceps on females. Tell each other repeatedly (Sue) and without exaggeration (Mary) that you are beautiful. Look at magazines. Discuss sex on a theoretical level. Rate women on a scale from one to one hundred. Chew gum. Tell Mary’s little sister (55, but not without potential, on a good day) to go away. Secretly sip Sue’s mum’s (solid 90, except for the smoking) Goldschlager. Dance in bright daylight until their shadows are dizzy. Sit down, panting. See themselves through the eyes of the Taylor boys (8, 6, 5, 6, 4) whose gaze is wedged in the gap of their thighs, whose dry lips are egging them on to twirl faster, whose knuckles are always scabbed. Look at each other. Laugh.
Congratulations, Ruth and Judith! And thanks to everyone who entered.
See you again next week, we hope — there’ll be a new prompt and everything.
Happy writing all.