top of page

The Shadow Dance

You sit there and stare blankly at the shadow figures dancing the waltz in your room. Slouched against your bedroom wall, you don’t bury behind the blankets and pillows that surround you, instead you compress your breath to shield away any form of noise that might distract them. You listen closely for hints of the song they are dancing to; what magical song has brought them into your room, into your consciousness, into life although there are no heartbeats, no vibrating sounds, no faces besides your own. You sit there in awe as these phantoms morph into bodies and into beautiful sways causing them to blend together like watercolor greys against different shades of black background backdrop for a play or a painting or a playnting where the paintings figures come to life and performs life again for the viewer.

Eventually you stare long enough that the music forms around them, engulfing them and you and me together into their world. I cradle you but you’re already too lost by their movement to feel my touch. The hauntingly aged piano keys howl as they try to sing now in their constant hour of death, whining like the sounds of warped seas of time it has crossed to come through at this moment. The figures leap in and out of each others grasp around the room, into the walls and back in, out the window and back in, onto the ceiling and upside down and floating upside right. I move slightly to open the door while your transfixed onto the figures. As it opens you don’t acknowledge the strangeness of non-phantom noises floating into the room, the apparitions see their new ballroom floor and float towards the rest of the house - the music following.

You slowly crawl out of blanket fort and tiptoe to follow them down the hall. I follow close behind trying to reach for your hand. You turn back towards me suddenly, confused and angry as to why I would try to bother you now when something so unbelievable was in your sights. You turn back to see the shadows morph into full figures, their faces coming into your perspective slowly as they bring the pace faster. The one distinction you can make of the figures is their eyes - they are watching each other. The next is their mouth, forming slowly into a blissful smile. Soon all of the small details finally form their face and they become life-like. I stand next to you in awe, watching you sink to the floor in confusion. You continue to stare at them as they dance in front of you, not breaking contact and not contacting me.

I wave my hand in front of your face - no reaction. I kick your leg a little too hard - no reaction. I’ve had enough. I tilt my head back and produce a banshee scream. You jolt, waving your head back and forth in confusion and fear you would lose your drug induced dream too quickly. The music screeches to a halt. The figures stop, the one facing you stares directly into your eyes, the seconds eyes pop out backwards into what would be hair. You grasp the wall and finally turn towards me. You see my familiar face scarred and bloodied like you left it that night you had enough of me. My right leg, broken in the wrong direction points to the ghost as my limp left arm snapped at the elbow dangles too low in comparison to what remains of my body.

The music comes back to life, a different tune, from when this house was built, a fight song from the western period of America, the gunslingers would be proud. I move my hip and slap you with my slightly severed arm. You shake and scream and try to crawl up the wall like a bug. The phantom figures that have haunted your house before you turned it into a trap den spin one final run of their previous choreograph and run into you and into the wall, knocking you backwards, missing their wall, causing you to tumble and fumble and stumble down the grand staircase following my same choreography, now our choreography, because you thought I was going to leave you and instead you made me leave you. So I’m taking you back now, taking you back into my new world, making you live my new life watching this beautiful couple dance through the night, making you become my forever dance partner so we can start creating a ball.

bottom of page