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U3A Writing: The Dance

…The moon rose, full, silver, majestic, dimming the stars with her brilliance. A moon fit for magical happenings…

In poetic prose, Cassandra Bicker tells of the dance to end all dances.

It was the kind of night one only expected to exist in fairytales or dreams, when the breeze was light, the kiss of gossamer wings against a cheek, the stroke of ethereal fingers through soft hair. Everything else was still, not a creature moved, nothing hunted or fled. The Earth was frozen in breathless anticipation.

The moon rose, full, silver, majestic, dimming the stars with her brilliance. A moon fit for magical happenings.

A wolf howled, then cut itself off abruptly as though embarrassed at breaking the silence.

As the moon continued her celestial journey, she painted the waters of a forgotten lake to glittering silver pathways, ever shifting. Upon the edge of the gently undulating waters appeared a stunning silver maiden, clad only in her own shining, never-ending hair. She stepped onto a moon path laid out before her and the Earth took a breath and let it out with a sigh of her name.

"Titania..."

She began to dance along the moving, changing moon paths, arms flung to the sky and feet light on the water. There was barely a ripple to mark her passage.

When she reached the centre of the silvered water, she remained there, though she did not cease her dance.

Upon the other edge appeared a man, as dark as she was bright, but with all the stars of Heaven in the depths of his eyes. His black-velvet hair was bound in a braid into which was woven golden sunbeams. He smiled at the moon-maiden and she stilled when she saw him.

"Oberon...."

Her mouth formed the word but the sky spoke it. She laughed with delight and he came across the water to her.

They danced a dance no mortal would ever bear witness to, a dance that would make the soul shudder and the heart sing to see it. They danced Love. Laughter. Joy. Passion. And, also, they danced hate. Tears. Sorrow. Spite.

When they had danced for all of eternity, yet no more than a heartbeat, he spoke a word, and all fairy-kind joined them. All danced the moon paths, pale and dark fae beings with laughter like that of the newest baby-laugh bound up with the gurgle of a mountain stream, the cry of an eagle on the wing and the squeak of the tiniest mouse. They sang with voices like the crash of waves on the shore or the patter of summer rain or the fall of a tear down a widow's cheek.

The dancers faded into time beyond time, and a boat puttered across the smooth surface of the lake, a man and his son fishing in the early-morning hush. The little boy shivered, though the morning wasn't cold at all and he looked around, believing he saw the flash of pale skin and dark hair in the fading moonlight.

His father chuckled and shook his head a little when the boy spoke of fairies. We adults know better than to believe in something so frivolous and magical. Reality is truth. Truth is reality. Imagination beyond a certain degree is a liability.

Only children believe in fairies.

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