Night of The Dancing Dame

Originally written: November 28th, 2018

Faces by Picturepest

Starting off with a very short piece, here’s something I wrote in Intro to Creative Writing last term. For this exercise, the teacher instructed us to make the familiar feel strange, or make the strange feel familiar. I went with the former. Can you guess what’s being described?

She dances in the flickering light, growing larger in the break between blinks and breaths. Encroaching. Filling. Taking over until the light is smothered in her darkness. 

A blink, a breath; she’s shrunk, and the taunting cycle begins anew. 

To see her in action is a privilege. A private showing—terrible, unwanted, captivating—and repeated night after night. Sleep never comes easy in her presence. When it does, her long, plastic limbs reach through the barriers of consciousness and dream. An easy transfer, a new stage for her dance. 

There’s never any music. She never speaks. Ever polite, her eyes never stray from the audience. To see her in action was a privilege, one that not even the others who’ve bought her received. 

The light flickers back to life, and something in her painted smile has shifted.

Answer: This was inspired by an old Barbie doll I had. The nightlight made her tiny plastic shadow scary as all heck for ~8 year old me.

One Comment on “Night of The Dancing Dame

  1. I enjoyed reading this piece. I could visualize the dancing lady. I had to smile when I saw it was your Barbie doll.


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