Flash Friday Fiction: Swan Song

Dancing at the Red Cross Fund, Brisbane, 1942. Public domain photo.
Dancing at the Red Cross Fund, Brisbane, 1942. Public domain photo.

Swan Song (152 words)

“Dance for the fun of it,” they said.

Our baleful stares betrayed our thoughts. We donned the dresses anyway.

“It’s a blood drive, to help patients like you,” they explained.

We know better. There is no help for us. The cancer that is ravaging our bodies leaves no survivors. We’ve seen too many children come and go to believe anything other than the truth.

Not their truth. Our truth. This is our last dance, our swan song.

They gave us balloons to distract you, so that you might not notice the frailty of our frames, the bruises and puncture wounds that dot our skin.

As if.

Ignore the hollows in our cheeks, the way our tutus hang on us like loose skin.

We dance in anger. We dance in rage. We dance in defiance of pain and death and life cut short.

“Dance like there’s no tomorrow,” they said.

That’s easy enough.

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I know, I know. I’m sorry. But I couldn’t write a happy, chipper story after seeing those faces.

Maybe you can? Hop on over to Flash Friday Fiction and share your interpretation of this pic (note: rules say you must include a dancer!).

And as always, I’d love your feedback.

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