This story was written as part of a flash fiction, 300-word-max competition for Brilliant Flash Fiction.
“You know something, actually? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you dance.”
The kettle clicked off and Sadie poured the coffee. She raised an eyebrow at Battie, who rolled her eyes, saying, “I don’t dance.”
“Really? Why not?”
“I just don’t.”
It was nearing one a.m. The kitchen was scattered with more mugs, half-eaten toast, and pizza boxes; the end of a muted, forgotten movie was playing in the next room.
“I think you should at least try.”
“Here.” Sadie dug around in her bra, produced her phone and selected a song. Battie listened sceptically, but she smiled when Sadie sashayed across the kitchen, flicking her hair and almost spilling her coffee.
“C’mon, Bats, just try it…”
Battie tried. She made an awkward half-move, stubbed her toe and cursed very loudly. Sadie slapped a hand over her friend’s mouth.
“SHH! Parents! Neighbours!”
“Okay. Whatever. Sorry. But I’m not doing it, Sadie.”
Sadie was about to joke, but she saw Battie’s expression.
“Hey…” reaching out slowly, she took Battie’s hand. “What’s up?”
“I used to. Dance. Nasty disco. When I was, like, twelve. All the bitchy cool kids hung in a group, laughing…” she broke off, sniffed hard, glared at the ceiling. “I don’t dance.”
It was silent in the kitchen for a moment; they could hear the drip from the leaky tap. Then Sadie took Battie gently by the hip. Battie’s fingers clutched her shoulder.
“Sure you do,” Sadie said gently. “You’re not letting the bitches win. You’re dancing, right here, right now. No one’s gonna see you except me. Okay?”
Sadie raised their clasped hands. They swayed softly as the song came to an end.
“There,” Sadie beamed. “That was beautiful.”
Battie smiled. Sort of.
“Life’s too good,” Sadie said softly, “not to dance.”
Carol McGill lives in Dublin, where she makes to-do lists and then avoids doing things. However, she does occasionally have productive periods which result in things being written. She has found writing is an excellent way to procrastinate from schoolwork, which has increased drastically in recent times.
Read her blog here.