Friday, July 25, 2008

The Monster's Ball

Jeremy 7-leg had been practising all year for the ball, but never with a live partner. He had been too shy, so he made a figure about his height and danced with her to the tango and the rhumba. The last two months, after he had caught enough giant flies to feed on, he had been spending most of the time in an underground barrow, listening to an old tape recorder play Astor Piazzola and watching the dance instruction tapes over and over again. Soon he knew he could be good at it. Previous years he had just watched, but this year he was determined not to be a spectator. He would ask Rosalind 2-heads to dance, and he hoped at least one of them would consent.

The night of the dance came under a full moon. The Bug Orchestra came together and tuned their strings, while the Borg Flea had harnessed fresh spider silk for the strings. When they started to play, Jeremy couldn't stop tapping his feet (all seven of them), but he did not move from his perch. Young bugs in love started flooding the dance hall, and as he listened to the joy in their cries, he wished he was down there as well, showing off his moves. He knew he could do it. But where was Rosalind 2-head? Maybe she was still doing her hair; the blond curled tresses of her left head and the deep red hair of the right. Jeremy tapped his feet.

The moon hid behind clouds and the berry liquor was passed around. Jeremy still had not hit the floor and Rosalind had not emerged. He became to worry.

Then he felt a breeze behind him. He turned and saw it was Sahila broad-wing, the butterfly with glass-like wings. He had known her before she had gone into a chrysalis. The moonlight passing through her wings threw out strange bizarre images, like staring into a kaleidoscope.

"Care to dance Jeremy?" She asked.

Jeremy nodded, and Sahlia grabbed him up. And they danced; and Jeremy showed off his moves and they burnt up the dance floor.

His legs moved vigorously and swiftly. She let herself be led. Soon people were noticing them. They stopped and let them have the floor, clapping along.

And Jeremy smiled as he danced. This was his time; what he had been waiting for. At the end of the night, he was exhausted. He sat in a corner and let Sahlia drape her colours around him, content. She would eat him up by the morning, but he didn't mind. Bugs never lived long anyway, not even the giant dancing ones.