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To Be A Swan

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March, 2010 Gold Medal for short stories.


Carroll arrived at the theatre her chest tightened in anticipation. She had come to see a Ballet which was written and to be preformed by a childhood friend she had once danced beside.

In the eyes in front of her was the reflection of fresh love opening the door for his Lady friend. Carroll sighed and wheeled in behind her. She finds a place at the end of an aisle and locks her brakes.

She is just in time as the lights go out and acoustical cricket sounds fills the air.

A Narrator speaks. “It is a November morning where the air hints at briskness. We are witness to a Sun rising over a Pond which was bed for a multitude of Water Birds.”

A dim light starts to brighten over the stage where figures are seen seeming to be asleep.

“Off to the corner a Swan is seen with head on outstretched wing.”

Angelle lay with her head pointing towards the floor with eyes closed.

Carroll sighs, once the instructors had said they had equal talent and could both go far in dance.

The fact that she could no longer dance was one of life’s cruelties with which Carroll had been lashed with. Her lack of bitterness surprised most but it was not her way.

As she looks to Angelle the dancer she sees a body toned by a lifetime of figure skating and Ballet. Her poise from the school of classical music, Chopin, Mozart bore her teething marks.

Carroll looks to the body below her eyes and these same eyes well up in tears.” I was once in shape “She whispers. “No bad thoughts here where I can be free of this cumbersome device. I am who I wish to be in my daydreams.

So her thoughts wander and in her minds eye she becomes the dancer who is a Swan.

As the light over the stage brightens its image reflecting from the water beneath awakens Swan Carroll. She let its glorious warmth surround her and took the takes the time to enjoy the beauty of life.

As she looks up to see the clouds go by she giggles seeing her friend Crane with his picture in the clouds.

The sound of little waves against the shore caught her attention. She had watched them since she was a hatchling. A set went by different than the rest clustered then became wind.

Carroll stretches her wings and thinks I am wind if I wish to be.

The narrator mentions the Swans friends as the other birds awaken. The lead dancer greets good mornings to all. The orchestras in perfect harmony and all is well at the ballet.

The narriator said the Swan took a flight, Angelle stands and starts to skip and spin across the stage in an exuberant way the music sounded in happy keys and all was well at the ballet.

Angelles fluidity evokes a tinge of envy in Carroll which is quickly dismissed. It’s out of place here where she still dances in her mind.

On one of Angelles passes across the stage she stepped on a pencil dropped by one of the Stage hands where she twists her ankle and falls to the floor.

Hand on mouth the audience gasps the orchestra diminishes and with a saddened Angelle sitting on the floor rubbing her ankle knowing she could not continue.

Carroll winced as a bolt of pain shot through her. “How silly.” She thought. “I cannot feel my legs.”

But the mind is powerful and in Carrols and in her mind she had escaped to dance and feel the pain.

\After a moment Angelle stood on one leg.

The Audience gave a standing ovation which Angelle gleefully accepted.

The little girl in Carroll who still longs to dance shed tears. She cried for Angelles pain and for her own because she could not be a apart of the ovation.


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