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FlashNano Day 14: 4:00 am Dance

November 14, 2017

Day 14: Write a story that takes place during sunrise

4:00 a.m. Dance (755 words)

“Turn it down, will ‘ya”, Ray?

“What’s that, hun?”

“The music, turn it down some.”

“What’s wrong, you like Miles.”

“I do, but I don’t need him blowing in my damn ear in the middle of the night. Just turn it down.”

“Sweet, it’s not my fault you’ve got that sonar hearing thing! You’re just more sensitive than…”


“C’mon, babe, look at me. Now how about a smile? Better yet, put down your drink and let’s dance.” I stood up from the couch and walked over to stand in front of her where she sat, ankles crossed, in the worn, dark yellow vinyl armchair and offered a dignified bow fit for a queen. I held my right hand out, looked up and said, “Let me spin my girl around the floor like Ginger Rogers. What do ‘ya say?”

“Turn it down, Ray.”

“Aw, sweetheart, dance with me. Let me sweep you away. You know I’ll do anything for you. Anything and everything, Mel.”

“Anything for me?” more mumbled than spoken.

I bowed and swept my left arm behind me while reaching for her with my right. “Yes, for you. For your enjoyment. For your pleasure. For your, what’s the word -  your delectation – milady!”

She uncrossed her ankles and leaned forward, a light in her eye. “For my delec…?”

“Yeah, that.” I laughed. “Because I love you.”

“Ray, stop.” She leaned back.

“You know I’d do anything to make you happy, right, babe?”

She wasn’t smiling which was a bit of a worry. She usually smiles when I try to be charming. She just looked at me now, pursed her lips and closed her eyes tight. Her cheeks clenched and her eyebrows grew together to look like a chunky, brown caterpillar. She only makes scrunchy eyebrows when she’s getting ready to cry.

She crossed her legs and put her hands over her eyes. “Just turn it down, okay, Ray?”

I walked over to the stereo and turned the volume down. “What’s wrong, Melanie?”

“Dammit, Ray, just stop already!”

She put her drink down, got up from the chair and walked to the window. She pulled the cord, let the blind down and stared out at the empty 4:00 a.m. street. Sunlight was just starting to drown out the streetlights. I walked up behind her, put my hands on her hips and leaned in to brush my lips along the back of her neck. Her hair brushed my cheek. I opened my eyes and looked out the window to see what she was seeing and saw the flicker of the streetlight outside our window tossing random dancing shadows on the sidewalk. It had begun to snow.

“I’m  sorry, Mel. I didn’t mean to…”

I felt her stiffen.

She didn’t so much drop the blind cord as slam it down against the sill. It bounced twice and then settled into a slow pendulum motion, a counterpoint to Paul Chambers’ hypnotic bass line floating under Blue in Green.

She turned to the side and slid away from me and walked to the closet. Shocked, I turned my head to follow her, the rest of my body, not having time to catch up, remained frozen like a pale, t-shirt clad mannequin. She pulled out her coat and shrugged into the oversized red wool and headed toward the door.


She stopped but didn’t turn around. “Don’t make me do this, not now, Ray.”

“Melanie. What’s… Where are you going, it’s four in the morning for crying out loud.”

She turned around and there was no trace of scrunchy eyebrows on her face anymore. Hers was a face of cold determination that looked me in the eye. “There’s nothing going on, Ray. I don’t know how to… Shit… I don’t love you anymore. There.”

“Mel, what’s…”

“Stop, Ray. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say right now, but I can’t stay here. I’m leaving.”

I backed up a few steps and sat down in the chair she was in just a minute ago. Her warmth was still in the vinyl and that made me uncomfortable. She watched me sit and held my eyes with the same conviction that I thought I held her heart with. I grabbed the arms of the chair and squeezed and she turned back to the door. I looked at her drink on the end table, the condensation rolling down the outside of the glass reflected my face in a thousand fractured images.

“I’ll call you, Ray. I’ll call you tomorrow or something.”


What is FlashNano: “Created by Nancy Stohlman in 2012 in solidarity with NaNoWriMo. FlashNano is in its 6th year!” Click HERE to learn more.

(Please pardon any typos or grammatical errors. My goal at this point is to just get the story down. I can worry about fine-tuning and editing later if I want. Thanks for reading!)






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