Danse Macabre

Plucked strings – she bends her knee. Whole orchestra – she whips her leg around, turns once and clatters to the floor. Not trace of legendary grace. Even the music’s mocking her.

She can’t manage two, never mind thirty-two.

She remembers the long nights in the studio practicing both sides. At fifteen, she though herself indestructible. Mastering thirty-two fouettés en tournant on both legs would give her an edge over the competition.

Who is she without that edge?

‘Again, Emily? You’re supposed to rest. No more dancing.’

The nurse helps her into the bed.

‘Turn the music off, please?’

No more dancing.


This week, the Literary Lion wants us to dance.