The Dance

It was a dance, always has been. A dance people had learned to step along to, in a place so crowded one wrong step could harm a toe. A dance to a music that was not quite harmonious, though it sounded like it was — banging were frequent, high-pitched screeches that seem like laughter or screams (it was hard to tell), and the soft melody under it all, tying the sounds together (calm, almost inaudible).

The people dancing hear the music, unknown to them whether they had desired to dance along or simply were compelled to, by a force — the music, maybe? Whatever the reason was, the dance continued without fail.

Toes kept being stepped on, stumbles a recurring phenomenon. If you stumble, trip, and don’t get up as fast as you can, the dance can trample you on.

Millions of feet, millions of souls soles, waiting for a feeble pair to stumble, so they could rest their exhausted appendages on something other than the cold, unpolished stone floor.

People dance, some perfectly to every single beat, some barely coping, some already crushed and trampled upon.

There, another one trips. There, another one steps on the fallen — he makes a high-pitched scream, which along with the music could be mistaken for laughter.

From a distance, I watch the dance. I watch the dance and knew I had to learn it. Not because I wanted to, but because I needed to. 

But even before the thought had sank in, I felt something soft, a little slippery, like something covered in a coat of thick liquid. A high-pitched scream/laughter followed, I couldn’t tell if it had come from the music, but it didn’t matter anyway.

I looked down at my feet, perplexed, to realize I had been dancing all along, all this time.

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