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the dance

She’s a puppet in his arms, spinning out, then back again, as if bound by evanescent elastic to his coaxing, twisting fingers. My chest rises and falls with hers. My body sways, lifts, pushes forwards, then settles back, grounding to the floor as he spins her past, his dark, compelling eyes trapping mine. Breathless, my heart hammers in rhythm with each fall of their gleaming heels. My dress sticks to my back, sweat trickling whisper-soft down the curve of my spine.

“Ebba,” a man’s voice says in my ear. He’s repeating some question, but the dance holds me fast.

(Written for The Prediction. Challenge words: elastic, question, puppet)

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