365 WP #2: Practice Makes Perfect!


Today’s prompt from 365 Days of Writing Prompts is: Practice makes perfect! Tell us about a talent you’d love to have…but don’t. Again, I think I’ll tackle this by telling a story rather than answering it directly.

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The aging glass muffled the bouncy, symphonic melody inside the dance studio. Maude cupped her hands around her face, pressed her nose against the window and tried her best to follow the routine being danced before her. The make-shift studio was a last minute solution for a ballet troupe addicted to practice and starved for perfection. Their usual place took up the entire fifth floor of a high-rise a few blocks away. A fire on the sixth had crammed them into a dingy, single floor office and into Maude’s line of sight. The less than five-star accommodations hadn’t dampened the dancers’ spirits.

Fluid movements from lithe women in black leotard  jete’d the breath from her lungs. Maude gaped as they rose up on silk-wrapped toes. Even at the distance, she could see how the muscles in their legs and back ebbed and flowed with precision. Not a single movement was wasted as they formed a circle. Their bodies dipped from side to side like delicate spring flowers following the sun. Maude stretched her hands along the glass, fingers wiping through the condensation left from her eager breaths. These women were nimble swans who could skim the surface of a pond and sink into the cool water without leaving a single ripple. Maude was a gangly goose capable of little more than a belly flop into the depths, who would take down any other birdy caught in her wake.

With a pained whimper, she turned away from the window, pressed her back to the studio wall and sagged into a lump on the ground. What she wouldn’t give to molt her gray feathers and become a swan! As she ground her toes into the concrete sidewalk, something crinkled. She hadn’t noticed the beaten flyer under foot. The advertisement stole her breath as readily as the dancers. INTRODUCTORY BALLET LESSONS $100, FIRST LESSON FREE.

Maude smiled, a lop-sided, goosey grin that she would soon trade for the regal bearing of a swan.

Swan Lake by the English National Ballet at the London Coliseum. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

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I definitely rushed the ending, but Monday’s a long day for me… I think this will be another story I revisit for an editing adventure

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