The Mad Dancer

Preface: Like many of my stories, this stemmed from a dream I had recently. I couldn’t wait to write it out while I was at work the next day. It could use some more editing for sure, but I was excited to share it. One of my stranger dreams I guess.


It’s not every day you get to sit on a toilet decorated with gold filigree, so I took my time urinating and eyeballing my surroundings. I had to hand it to her – Elisa had exquisite taste. I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of America’s most prestigious ballerinas. She’d been dancing since she could walk. When I met her in high school we hit it off. I can’t ever remember getting bored with Elisa. A witty girl with a wild, bohemian streak. Gorgeous, too. Tanned Colombian skin, dark hair spiraling into tiny ringlets, and of course, a disciplined dancer’s body. Ballerinas are beautiful, graceful athletes, but it’s such a shock under all the glitter, tulle, and satin to see their hideous, tortured feet. Bloody toenails, bruised and bandaged. With a dancing career in mind, Elisa began to spend less and less time doing normal teenage things and more time obsessed with her training. So, as friendships often go, it eventually dissolved and I lost her to blinding stage lights, dazzling costumes, and eager audiences. She eventually moved to San Francisco to dance with their company and rose to stardom with ease. She married another ballerina and, using their profits, bought a lovely home in the Bay area.

Upon seeing a Facebook post inviting anyone visiting in the area to stay at her house, I sent her a note saying I’d be there soon on business and it’d be lovely to stay there a night and catch up. She enthusiastically agreed. So here I was, sitting on her toilet in the fanciest bathroom I’d ever peed in. I had no idea ballerinas could make this much money. The size of this bathroom alone was larger than the biggest bedroom I’d ever had. Bigger even, than any master bedroom I’d ever seen.

When I had entered her home a couple hours earlier, she greeted me with a hard squeeze and a squeal. “Come! Put your things down. Let’s go to the study and I’ll get you some tea.” I sat on a sky-blue velvet couch and stared at the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves surrounding me. One shelf was full of the same book, a book I had been anticipating for a long time. I didn’t understand how she had over 20 copies when it wasn’t even supposed to come out yet. I walked over and begin flipping through one of them. That girl is so light on her feet I didn’t hear her behind me. “Do you want one of those? Take one! I’m friends with the author and she gave me some in advance.” Delighted, I nodded super hard and thanked her. I couldn’t believe my luck. And damn this tea was good.

We chatted for some time about our lives, our men, and our goals. She seemed different, aside from being more grown up. Edgy and a little distracted. That tea finally gave me the familiar urge and I asked where the restroom was. She pondered for few seconds probably trying to decide which of the 15 or whatever bathrooms she should send me to. “Go up that spiral staircase by the door, turn left at the top and it’s the first door on the right.”

I felt the coolness of the gold bannister in my hand as I wound my way upstairs. After admiring the wonderful bathroom in all its glory, I paused as I left the room. I glanced to the right where a long hallway stretched ahead. I could see the doorway at the very end of the hall cracked open ever so slightly. A small bit of brilliant green light seeped out, as if there were some huge stained glass masterpiece inside. The carpet was so soft and thick, I figured I wouldn’t make a sound if I wanted to walk over and take a little peek. As I got closer I couldn’t help but grow excited. Just what could this room be all about? The air grew much warmer as I approached, and a small bit of mist escaped from the opening. I pushed open the door and stepped through, expecting to see a spaceship and little green men scampering around. My jaw dropped, but not because of aliens. I had entered a glass dome – a greenhouse that jutted off the side of her house. The green light came from a green glass sculpture hanging from one of the giant palm trees looming over me. There were many spherical sculptures, some hanging, some bursting through the ground. And the ground I tread upon was all grass. A statue of a ballerina emerging from a fountain graced the middle of this domed wonderland. Beams of light from the setting sun pierced through lush foliage. Orchids, ferns, bromeliads, masses of vines, and other tropical beauties grew in clusters, cascaded down trees, and basked in the sunshine patches underneath the giant palm fronds. The humidity felt wonderful and the scent of sweet blossoms tickled my nostrils. I walked to the edge of the dome and surveyed Elisa’s kingdom. Her sprawling back yard, with gardens upon gardens, a swimming pool…the golden gate bridge in the distance. The Pacific Ocean.

“Enjoying the view?” Elisa asked from the doorway, and I jumped.

“This is insane! Sorry to sneak in but the pretty light attracted me.”

“I knew after 15 minutes you’d probably discovered my little slice of paradise. My husband built it for me as his wedding anniversary gift this year.”

“Wow. What did you get him?”

“I didn’t sign the divorce papers I had drawn up some time ago.”

“Whoa, what?!”

“Yup! There were some issues with another rival ballerina. He was going to help her sabotage my chances of getting the lead role this season and then they’d be together. I saw the text messages. I turned the tables a little bit and caught him violating some company rules. I threatened to turn him in.”

“Holy shit. So he decided to act in his best interest…”

“Oh yeah. He had a big change of heart, and now that other ballerina girl is out of the picture. They’ll never find her body in here.”

I laughed hard. Elisa always had a morbid sense of humor which I appreciated. But the tone in which she said that gave me goosebumps. Her dead brown eyes and expression of cold apathy were so sincere they made me wonder if…no. No way.

“Well!” She exclaimed brightly. Let’s go find you a room, I’m sure you have a busy day ahead tomorrow with your job.

“So where’s that husband of yours tonight, anyway?”

“He’s just working on some personal growth this weekend,” she answered absentmindedly. Her eyes glanced down quickly and then she smiled in a weird little way. An unsettling way.

We reached one of several guest rooms and she made sure I had everything I needed. “I’ll just be doing a little yoga before bed, and then I’ll see you in the morning! I’ll make some breakfast.” She smiled, wiggled her fingers in a goodnight gesture, and left, closing the door behind her.  I heard her go downstairs where the master bedroom was.

I felt uneasy and had trouble sleeping, but I finally did get a little shut-eye until I woke up in the darkness. I rolled over to look at the digital clock on the nightstand. It read 3:48am. That tea must have dehydrated me. I was parched. I got out of bed to use the bathroom – the same luxurious bathroom I had used earlier.

I thought while I was up it might be nice to see that jungle room again and enjoy it in the moonlight. The door was still open a crack, and this time a soft green light bled from the doorway. I entered the jungle room. How wonderful the heat felt on my skin since the temperature in the rest of the house had dropped quite a bit overnight. My bare feet brushed through the grass as I strolled along the perimeter, touching leaves here, bending down to smell blossoms there. I continued to walk until I nearly stumbled over a mound in front of me. I was too busy looking up at the tropical trees to notice. The plants grew thick here, and a small pile of tools lay nearby. A spade, a shovel, and several bushes in pots waiting to be planted. All was silent except for the trickle of the fountain in the middle of the dome. I surveyed the mound below me. The lump of earth spanned maybe 6 feet or so. Something odd poked out of the ground at one end of the mound. I frowned and dug away some dirt from the thing, which turned out to be a toe. My stomach turned to ice and I felt sick, so sick. Sirens went off in my head. They sounded like those tornado or air raid sirens. But I couldn’t stop – I took a mini spade from the pile and began scraping away more and more dirt, until a body slowly appeared. I expected a ballerina’s corpse but instead I saw Andreas, Elisa’s husband.

He looked extra pale in the moonlight. Clumps of dirt matted to his lips, nose, and everywhere else. His feet were badly mangled, like someone had taken an axe to them prior to sinking it deep in his skull. A large chunk of skin was missing from his head. A deep gash revealed some missing skull and I could see part of his brain through the little window. It was so horrifying and yet I couldn’t look away. I almost didn’t notice that the door to the jungle room creaked. I couldn’t see it from where I was, but I quietly slipped away from Andreas, and, like a jungle cat, I found a hiding spot. Now I could see the entrance. The stunning silhouette of a ballerina stood stock still by the door. Her right hand held an axe. I was being stalked by another jungle predator. I could tell her eyes and ears were waiting to pick up the faintest signal.

“Someone’s not in bed,” came a sinister voice.




19 thoughts on “The Mad Dancer

  1. Enjoyed this! I have been thinking of watching Black Swan again, don’t they have horrid damaged feet in that one? Ugh, and ha,ha, I love that sort of thing, ballerinas, they’re all maniacs!!! Something about damaged feet gives me the heebie-jeebies, almost more so than murderers! I’m not worried for you tho, I think you’ll just be out the bed for a little longer while you outwit her! 😀 Xx

    • I think Black Swan is partly to blame for this since I watched it again recently. Yes, they show her bloody feet in that one (and fingernails!). I know what you mean. I cringe a lot when I see it. You know how it is, sometimes the worst pain can come from tiny little rips around your digits. Or stubbing your toe. Oh boy, that’ll get me to curse faster than anything else. I’m still waiting for part 2 of this dream, when I pounce on her like a jungle panther and tear her to shreds. Then I can enjoy the house all to myself.

      • Hey Dracu, I was reading one of your old posts thru a link (somewhere I can’t find at the mo) about how you used to work with kids and couldn’t decide wether to have one or just pursue the career etc – I replied there just some of my usual claptrap, but I was thinking about it today in a bit more depth, and so now I’m thinking yeah, have kids! Have a career as well, in fact, have better kids and a better career too! Lot of people put kids on hold, to have a better career, but really, lot of really talented people have kids, then go on to do great things, perhaps even because of having had kids! What the hell, you just can’t stop some people!

        NB. Let me know if you need any help with all this (chortles excessively!) XX

      • Sorry about that out of context-ness there DL, I found the original thread now, I think I was on another page and assumed your older posts weren’t accessible after the re-vamp . . . “Vamp” see what I did there? 😉 xx

    • Oh, I see what you did there. 😉 Thank you for the advice and offer to help, ha ha! My womb is still empty and at the moment I try not to think about that too much. I’m just going with the flow. There’s still time left, no pressure. No doubt you can still have a fabulous career AND kids. At the moment there’s no way I can afford kids. I can hardly afford my little fur baby and he’s getting older and needs more medical care these days.

      • Oh yeah, I know the feeling – I thought I couldn’t afford to have kids, but then so many people I know went ahead, many of them even more penniless and less suited (I imagine)

        These little fur balls can be costly! At least with kids you can send them out to work and cream off the profits! (Or at least i assume thats ok still these days? Or has the world gone mad?) 😉

      • I saw White Oleander on TV tonight! Pretty good story, I enjoyed that, bit emotional for my taste, I worked in a max security prison for a bit, so could identify with the idea of manipulative scumbags, but also some in there who would (sporadically) try to reform, lost souls and all that, very moving, but ultimately very unpredictable and weird to be around! Anyho, I’m sure the book is better, you probably said that right?

        I was gona mention, the book “The World According to Garp” Bloody hell, funny book, weird story, much more of a man book than Oleander, better in some ways, but not in others, satire is less real, and less emotional, but not necessarily better, does it try to save anyone, or is it just a stand to one side and observe using wit and intellect, or does it go deeper, by taking on the whole system, while the more emotional stuff tries to jerk the heart strings, and move a person while not really trying to change existing notions of right and wrong – thats what I’m thinking, but anyway, it was good, I haven’t processed it fully yet, so yah, good film! Thanks for the tip I wouldn’t have watched it if you hadn’t told me to! 🙂 Good on yer 🙂

      • Oh, good deal! You’re welcome. Yes it does have a lot of emotional moments for sure. I like to remember some of the mother’s lines, like “We are the Vikings.” Whoa, keeping those people in line, were you?! Yes I am actually still getting through the book and enjoying it more than the movie, though the movie visuals line up perfectly. Astrid and her mother are gorgeous.

        “Much more of a man book,” well that sounds like you’d be drinking whisky while flipping the pages for sure. It sounds worth looking into. 🙂

  2. Yeeeeoooow! Now that was a hell of a dream. This was so good, Lauren. I was completely immersed in the story. I love the little hints and scenes that unfold into epic views. Your wit shines through in just the right spots. The gold filigreed pee scene is rich. Your muse is on it. Great writing. Please keep on dreaming. Your head elves are totally cool. (P.S. I got some Tat pictures and they are out of focus. I laughed at the Pegasus. He looked a bit worried about his blurry equine attribute. I’ll try again and try to focus next time.)

    • Dammit Dan, why can’t you get a good Pegasus photo?! If you didn’t drink so much coffee you might have a steady hand. Mr. Pegasus would appreciate it, too. See, I knew starting off with a fancy toilet would keep everyone interested. Potty humor goes a long way. Wish I could say I peed gold, too. I guess they already call it a “golden shower” so there you go. Thank you very much for the comment. It’s always worrisome posting something this long since people have such short attention spans these days – but you made it, congrats! I may take a little break from posting so I can get super focused on submitting my work to the big dawgs.

      • Bwaaa haa haaaa! You nailed me good. Yes, I think I need to time the Pegasus selfie session after the morning coffee infusion has settled down a little. I was a bit disappointed but then had all kinds of wild Photoshop ideas. It’s a good thing I don’t have a clue how to use Photoshop or I might end up on google images in the wrong search category. You certainly know your male bi-pedal hominid psychology. Potty humor turns me into a giggling idiot. I’m not sure if that is different from my regular personality but how you weaved it into the main story line was masterful and entertaining. And, I found myself hoping there was a part II at least. I think an epic battle with a ballerina in a glass tropical garden and a dead husband with a toe sticking out of the ground had such potential for action, adventure, drama, and true irony. So true about length. I range from controlled word count to out of control word count. I don’t know how anyone makes it to the end of my long bloviations. Surely, there is some power napping between paragraphs going on. I think that is awesome you are looking to publish your work. I will admit a tinge of abandonment anxiety grips me but it’s for a very worthy cause. I do wish you stunning success. Although I realize it will come with a lot of hard work, you are just the right person to do it.

      • Oohh yes, you + photoshop could be extremely dangerous. Potty humor just runs in my family. We all turn into giggling idiots! 😀

        People make it to the end of your posts because you’re a master at your craft! Sex scenes keep people awake, too. Heh.

        Thanks so much! It will be easier to focus on my goal without feeling the pressure of making a regular blog post.

  3. Oh damn O_O I must admitt I often do have strange dreams and if I ever would dream something like that about a person I know I would be horrified to ever meet again (especially since my mind often does that stupid ‘oh, lets take a short peak into what will happen!’-thing O_O) but this was really well written, I could even feel the change of temperatures when reading!

    • I doubt I’ll ever see her again, but her posts have been coming up more frequently on my Facebook feed and I’m sure that’s what prompted it all. That and this ridiculous summer heat and humidity we’ve been experiencing here. Thanks for reading. 🙂

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