I saw him staring down at my world. I shouldn’t have been able to see him. He shouldn’t have been there watching. I knew he appeared differently to everyone in a world; it was like a chameleon mechanism. Here I could see a giant figure looming over, a metallic face lit up with strobe lights. Rainbows cascading all over his figure that was clad in a sharp black suit.
I lifted my right hand and beckoned him in.
‘Come duet with me.’ He balked at my invitation, jerking backwards in surprise. I shouldn’t have been able to see him. I carried on dancing, the music flowing through me feeling more natural than my pulse. I’d long ago stopped thinking about my movements and just allowed myself to be free. Tiredness made my limbs heavy but I would not be slowed. Just an hour in here had cost me a fortune but it was worth it.
People spun on the floor, moving across the space instinctively. Bodies jostled but no-one took offence. It helped none of them were real. I turned and there he was. The silvered face reflecting my own grin.
‘This is most unusual.’ He spoke not that I could see his mouth move. He stood in front of me, his body hanging awkwardly.
‘You being in here?’ I didn’t need to shout over the music, I knew he would hear.
‘That. And your choice.’ His head turned, surveying the party around him. ‘I have seen many scenarios but this, this is a first.’
‘When was the last time you saw such freedom? Everyone’s having fun. People are together.’ I carried on dancing, moving around him, causing him to track my movements.
‘It’s a lot of money for a dance.’
‘But it’s cheap for a taste of freedom.’
He remained silent for a while, soaking up the atmosphere. I could see his shoulders relax. ‘Your time is nearly up.’ My step faltered. It had taken years to save for this, to hear the music again, to see other humans again, to pretend the universe wasn’t a terrifying place to be now. I took a deep breath and steeled myself. I still had to the end of the song.
‘Perhaps,’ he cocked his head. ‘Perhaps next time we could duet. On the house.’ His foot had slowly begun tapping to music. No-one was immune to the beat.
Written in response to Mid-Week Flash Challenge week 235. Visit Finding Clarity for the amazing picture prompt that inspired this tale. https://purplequeennl.blogspot.com/2022/01/mid-week-flash-challenge-week-235.html