Shattering Romeo

Dancing masks: the lies we move. Image via Pinterest

Sweat beads on her brow.

She dabs it away with a scrap of towel, tight chest heaving beneath the shining white leotard. Her feet flex, bringing her to her toes, then back to the ground.

Green eyes are forest moss in the dimness, but no tears glint at me although I feel them in my own, pushing at the corners of my eyes, jostling to fall.

Her makeup is as garish as mine. Deep red cheeks, white, white skin, fresh pink lips parted as she catches her breath. Beneath the macabre mask is something that stretches her skin tight.

We’re silent except for the long, slow inhales. Her fingers seek out the hem of her skirt, following it around. She looks down, waiting for me to speak.

When I don’t, she does.

“Mikhail, try to understand. I have to go.”

I feel the countdown begin, each ebb of the orchestra tugs this moment toward memory and away from the present.

“But you do not have to leave.” My emphasis on the final word shatters the tightness of her face, and I see it now. Pity pulls her eyes downcast.

Heat surges in my chest with each measured breath.

A stage hand shuffles over. “Act two, scene two. Fifteen.”

With a rustle, she’s gone to meet her cue, leaving me standing stage right with the crackle of the stage hand’s headset in my ears.

She’s high on her perch as red velvet parts to the swelling hum of strings, and the silent, famed words tumble from her movements. Her hands clasp at her breast, a smile flitting across her lips.

She raises her fingertips to brush her cheek, running them from corner to corner of her mouth. One short leap, and she spins to the collective catch of breath from the crowd.

I miss my cue.

She looks down, eyes searching, seeking me among the columns. A smile parts her lips, a sharp breath elates her chest, a sigh escapes.

A tiny sigh I’ve heard a thousand times. My feet unfreeze. Drawn to her far above. Our eyes meet, and one hand flies to her chest.

She runs into my arms, and together we soar through the dance.

I drink in her beauty, the curves of her body against my hands. The floodlights mute her garish makeup into the dew of new love.

They turn my tears to diamonds and lies.



About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on October 12, 2012, in Contest Entries, Contests and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Your blog ate my first two posting attempts, so you don’t get whatever scintillating comment I tried to make a minute ago. Grrr.

    Anyway, I like the flow, and the untold back story.

    I think the zombie is watching slack-jawed from the 3rd row.


  2. Damn, that was lovely.

  3. I’m drawn right in with your wonderful imagery and I’m bewitched by the scene, just as he is…

    • Thanks, Lisa! Oddly enough, a scene from Center Stage sort of inspired this one. My erm…guilty pleasure movie. I’m going to replenish my street cred by saying that gang members graffiti’d our stairwell today. (For realsies.)

  4. Amazing Emmie! πŸ™‚

  5. Beautiful – and powerful. Your writing had me completely gripped – the details are so sharp and the emotions so visceral!

  6. Thoughtful – liked the imagery. Civil – liked it. Fun – would like to read more, this is an embryonic short story. Thank you for telling me how to write my comment;

  7. Beautiful piece. Surface tension, and then that powerful subcurrent of emotion pulling at them both. All hidden in plain view before the audience. Brilliant.

  8. Awwwe. You captured the sadness to a tee. Well done Emmie!

  9. Evocative of the offstage/onstage dilemma. Thanks for entering, Emmie!

  10. Yes, I enjoyed the mystery of their backstory as well. I’m glad you didn’t spell it out! Now I get to think about it. πŸ™‚

  11. That last line is a real winner! Your use of the present tense is also very, very effective. Excellent.

  12. Beautiful and bittersweet! Absolutely well written and I LOVED the last line – “They turn my tears to diamonds and lies.”

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