Unseen

Lydia dreamed of performing on stage.  It took years of training and much sacrifice.  Now, she stands center-stage, wondering why she continues, until the graceful notes of the piano break the silence.  The silkiness of the violin wakes.  Embraced by the music, her body moves as the curtain lifts.  Amidst the rise and fall of the orchestra, she cuts the air with her grand jetés.  She bourrées across the stage as if floating. When the music fades, the audience stands.  Lydia steps forward and bows, soaking in their praise. She exits stage-left, cringing in pain with each step she takes.

 

gaelle-marcel-QQ90SWD06F0-unsplash
Photo taken by Gaelle Marcel

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This piece of flash fiction is my contribution to “Friday Fictioneers,” a weekly challenge hosted by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields.  With the help of a photo prompt to inspire, we’re to write a 100-word story.  The photo this week was taken by Ted Strutz.

If you would like to join in with this encouraging group of writers or read their stories from this week, visit HERE.

 

62 Comments Add yours

  1. Sandra says:

    I can only begin to imagine what they suffer for their art. Not only then, but later on in life. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ballet is so elegant and beautiful to watch. Indeed, it is sad that dancers often suffer for their art. Thanks, Sandra, for your encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. She has what she needs at the instant she needs it. Is it really worth it.?

    Like

    1. A question for the artist I suppose. Thank you for commenting, Larry.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. neilmacdon says:

    Makes me glad I’m a writer. There’s no pain and little deformity that comes with my art. Apart from the threat of carpal tunnell syndrome of course

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, Neil, don’t much like pain. Thanks so much for commenting! =)

      Like

  4. Violet Lentz says:

    So much of being a dancer is not glamorous. You made me feel her pain..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s a lot of hard work, for sure. I’m glad you could commiserate with her. Thank you for commenting, Violet! =)

      Like

  5. Dear Brenda,

    Ballet dancers sacrifice a lot for their art. Beautifully told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Rochelle, for your encouragement. =)

      Like

  6. draliman says:

    Sooner or later she’s going to have to call time, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, her time is soon. It’s difficult to give up what we love, even if there’s pain involved. Thank you for commenting, Ali! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. granonine says:

    I believe most ballet dancers would say that the performance is worth the pain. Otherwise, why do it? It stretches the body into positions never meant for the human skeleton, but the beauty of the music and the grace of the performance are rather remarkable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Remarkable indeed! Thank you so much for commenting, Linda. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dale says:

    It is no wonder a dancer’s professional life is so short – as a dancer. The pain they suffer is terrible. One wonders why they are attracted to it in the first place? Of course, we the viewers love to watch them.
    Well done, Brenda. I could feel her push-pull!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It used to be most every little girl’s dream, to become a ballerina. Ballet is most certainly a beautiful art form. So happy you enjoyed the story! =)

      Like

  9. Iain Kelly says:

    The sacrifice it takes to make it to that top level. I hope she still thinks it was worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once it’s all said and done, I’m sure she will. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  10. plaridel says:

    in pursuit of our dream, there’s always a price to pay. still, we continue until we can’t bear it anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s certainly true! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Abhijit Ray says:

    Success in a show business has its price.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A good story, Brenda with a realistic ending. Ballet has to hurt worse than high heels and they do enough damage. That is really suffering for your art. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know how women walk on high heels. (haha) Both, too much time on your toes. =) I’m glad you liked the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. DB McNicol says:

    I had a good friend who was a top level ballerina – I know the reality of their pain. Well cone!!

    https://dbmcnicol.com/friday-fictioneers-freshly-boxed/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! That’s great about your friend, that she was able to rise to the top of her career or art form. I hope the sacrifice was not too much for her.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DB McNicol says:

        Unfortunately she had a severe auto accident and had to leave that field. But she then excelled in writing, editing & magazine publishing. We became friends when hubby & I lived in Ecuador. Her husband is the gentleman who coined the phrase “steampunk”, K.W. Jeter. They moved back to the states after we did and she became quite ill in the next year and passed. I miss them both (K.W. lives in the western half of the US, I’m in the eastern). Great folks.

        Like

      2. So sad to hear of her accident, but glad she was able to recover and excel in another art form. She sounds like a very creative person. Sorry to hear of her passing. And her husband, author of Infernal Devices (etc.) sounds like an intriguing person as well. Traveling the world is a wonderful way to meet interesting people. Did you enjoy living in Ecuador?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. DB McNicol says:

        We loved it – were high up in the Andes Mountains in Cuenca (http://retiredincuenca.com). Made a lot of friends, both expats & locals. Cost of living was amazing, flowering everywhere all year round, UNESCO city…so much to appreciate.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I just looked at some photos and it’s gorgeous!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. They force their bodies to do what they’re not meant to do. I ache after attempting a waltz!

    My tale – An audience with Rosey!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and me both. Dancing in older life is not a good idea for me. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. James McEwan says:

    Ouch the pain of a performer. So true.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is beautiful to watch and appreciate it for the sacrifice as well. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  16. pennygadd51 says:

    You make Lydia’s pain tangible, in a very believable story. All great achievement is costly in one way or another, don’t you think?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly do! Thanks, Penny, for your thoughtful comments.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ann Coleman says:

    It is amazing the sacrifices dancers make for their art, as beautiful as it is. Well done, Brenda! That last line really jolted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Ann, for your kind comment. I took dance for many years but didn’t have the drive or level of talent to pursue it (plus I’m too short – haha). I have friends from the group I performed with who went on to dance professionally. I certainly applaud their hard work and sacrifice. Take care! =)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Well told story, Brenda. You captured the emotion. Now we know why, we just don’t know for how long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment, Russell, on the writing of the story. She’ll retire soon, don’t worry. =)

      Like

  19. msjadeli says:

    Ballet and what torture of their feet for the beauty reminds me of foot-binding practices to look “beautiful” to suitors in China and possibly other places. There is/was a lot of cultural pressure for these “objects” of beauty. Your poem brought these parallels to me, so thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What torture was endured for the sake of a notion of “beauty.” It’s horrific to think that there are women (though very elderly) who are alive today that are crippled from this practice and suffer terribly. It was only outlawed in 1912, but it continued on for far too long a time in secret. Thank you for commenting and making the connection.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. msjadeli says:

        You are welcome, Brenda, and I wish it wasn’t so.

        Like

  20. gahlearner says:

    These poor feet… you described the dance and the joy and pain of it perfectly. Maybe she can switch to more modern ballet where they don’t dance on pointe.

    Like

    1. Yes, a good idea. My dance teacher (a very long time ago) performed until she could no longer and moved on to teaching. Thank you so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. jillyfunnell says:

    The dedication and sacrifice of the dancer beautifully captured, Brenda.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, Jilly! =)

      Like

  22. Margaret says:

    It must be torture, yet they seem to love it. And to see the really good ones in full flight is really something. Well pictured in this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Margaret, for commenting. They do possess a passion and it shows as they gracefully and beautifully glide across the stage. =)

      Liked by 1 person

  23. This is a great analogy for dreams and goals of all kinds. We sacrifice much to achieve them, and when we get there it is not all it’s cracked up to be. Perhaps she needs to breathe new life into her ballet. Maybe not dance anymore herself, but open an academy and teach ballet perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a wonderfully astute analogy. Maybe she will as she won’t be able to leave dance behind. It’s her way of expressing herself. Thank you for commenting, Fatima! =)

      Like

  24. Tannille says:

    It shocked me years ago to learn dancer feet are unattractive and sort of deformed. The ballet dancer is so beautiful and graceful. Seems wrong the pain they suffer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really does. I’ve a friend whose feet are scarred from surgeries and mis-shapened from years of dance. She’s been a teacher for years now but still has a lot of pain.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. A beautifully evoked scene, of the magic of the ballet dancer, and that twist at the end- the actual experience of crippling pain. Nicely done.

    Like

    1. I just saw this today as your comment went to my Spam box. Thanks so much for your kind comments! 🙂

      Like

  26. Her dedication was so well described! 🙂
    Nice story! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comment! =)

      Like

      1. Most welcome, Brenda! 😀

        Like

  27. notestowomen says:

    When I used to watch ballerinas, I never occurred to me that they suffered for their art. I only saw the beauty and the grace, never the pain and suffering behind it. Wonderfully written story, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! It does change our perspective, but not the appreciation for their hard work and dedication. =)

      Like

  28. tedstrutz says:

    This was a lovely piece, Brenda.

    Liked by 1 person

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