-in response to “Mandy Shupe” from Flash Fiction.
I feel rather than see the presence of another one, no two humans as they enter my shaded glen of woodworked perfection. One of them is liquored to the gills and the smell of morning whisky stains against my paneling not unlike the lacquer of years past when first I was blessed in methanol fumes. It is the bigger of the two, the other is waif-like and barely disturbs the air around her in the passing. The smaller flits across the greenery pooled around me as though she were afraid that lighting too long in any one spot would leave an indelible and unforgivable impression.
I have heard the clangs of bells all morning, their reverberations, their metallic dance of proud beasts struck with reverence. It must be a Sunday and soon all will be making their way to my embrace to share the welcome capturing of wood on ass and food in gut. Before the end of today I will grow mountains of items hot and cold to be plucked at by the scuttling people who traipse around my body in their semi-drunken wobble of tipsy delight, a special salsa to a beat that only they can hear.
Now, now it is too early for people to be joining me and I wonder at the carefree interlopers to my beachside glen….thunk.
Melted and reformed glass slams down on me, fizzy bubbles escape to run down the side and douse my groin in a champagne vignette of merriment.
The small one places a foot on my leg and presses itself up, and up again so that their feet stand stably on my strapped belly. Firm and confident, they still feel loose and comfortable, butterfly toes and bumblebee bellies hold more weight.
A shuffle above and some shimmying results in linen dropping loose and falling down across my arms, a double whump as harder hoof pieces trip off a shoulder to settle thump thump into the grass pond. I can sense the delight mounting as several more pieces come unraveled from around the tiny beast zip, zoots, zot and finish raining down around us.
Atop my chest now the hooves begin to tap out a rhythmic pattern, like the wasps who dance to each other instead of speaking. The toes slide, tap…tap, slide…slide tap and the body begins to whirlwind around itself faster compelled by something far beyond my understanding.
The human beast wears nothing but their skin. Just skin and sunlight and the dancing partner of shadowed leaves racing to keep the pace. Skin changes colors and arrangement, from light pink at the points of her hillside chest to cream spotted with kisses from the sun in freckled patterns haloed in healthy Earth toned brown silhouetted by the great azure ocean above.
I am enthralled. It does not hurt, I have never been a dancefloor before now. Though once a man did tie a throat rope up to the thicker of branches overhead and do a soundless jig in mid-air, his shadowy feet casting wildly about until they moved no more.
Today I am something new.
The champagne runs between fingers and the larger beast laughs, guffaws, others are stopping to stare. I don’t mind them. They can’t yet see but come next Sunday there will be new secrets painted across me, applied one freedom filled dirty footstep at a time.