Miss Dark Fairy herself – Anna Meade – is hosting yet another flash fiction contest and readers, I am proud to announce I managed to get my <enter explicit here> together to enter! In fact it closes October 13th so I am WAY ahead of the game. *happy dance of a dark fairy nature*
The premise is simple: Write a flash fiction piece (up to 400 words) that captures the darkness that lingers behind the curtain. Photo inspiration can be found on Pinterest and though it wasn’t a strict requirement, I found one that suited my darkness just perfectly. For more information on the contest, visit Anna’s blog. And now for my submission, enjoy!
The San Domingo Burlesque (383 words)
The crowd loves her. They soak up every twist and flex she makes as she moves across the stage amidst the colored lights. Her thin and sleek body is the definition of perfection in their craving eyes. They’re just far enough away not to see the sharpness of her bones beneath the sheerness of her flowing rags.
She dances for them with unfocused eyes; they’d complain that her disinterest was a killjoy – that is if they ever stopped to look at her eyes, which few ever did. They come for her body, not her eyes. It’s not all that hard for her to stay unfocused; she spends most of her moments in a dense fog these days.
The music is deafening, though it’s her body that feels it. The suffocating bass vibrates across her skin, seeping into her veins. She resists the urge to rip at her flesh to be rid of the poison that courses through her. Yet she knows the minute she’s released from her penance she’ll find Cain and beg for more sugar. It was Cain that first gave her wings; taught her how to fly with such grace that even dancing became something of beauty for her. She loves them both with blindness.
The music stops and her body jerks to a halt; she’s just an automation of her former self. The lights go out and for a moment she pretends they were never really there, ignoring their catcalls and whistles.
On her bench backstage she lets her rag dress slip off her shoulders, lets her stringy damp hair hang across her cheek and stretches out her tired legs. The cream-colored makeup she uses to cover her skin has already begun to smear revealing a mixture of fresh angry purple marks and fading brown spots across her arms and legs. They trace her veins like the road maps she used to spend hours reviewing as a child. Maps that held secrets to a better life or so she hoped.
She runs her sweaty finger along the length of her calf, unmasking more marks as the makeup wipes away. A series of prick-points trace out her journey and no matter how many different tracks she attempts to follow, each one leads her to Cain and The San Domingo Burlesque.