The Dead Dance (Day 11, flash fiction)

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The Dead Dance

Millie got ready. She applied makeup to make her skin look pallid, and then darkened her eyes. Tonight she was going to The Dead Dance, and she was going as a corpse.

She had received the invitation in the mail. The invitation was on black card with crimson writing that shimmered when you moved the card. Apparently the Dance was very prestigious and was invite only. How she got invited she had no idea, but she was thrilled to be going.

The Dead Dance was held in an old mansion on the edge of town every Halloween. She had no transport of her own, so she traveled by bus part of the way and walked the rest while getting the occasional odd look from passers by, despite it being Halloween. When she arrived at the mansion, there stood a single man by the entrance wearing a dark suit, as she approached he looked down on her.

“Invitation?” He asked as she walked up to him. He held his right hand out before her. Millie handed him the black card, though she was sorry to let it go.

“There you are.” She said. The man smiled at her. It was a cold smile that made her shiver.

“Excellent!” He replied. “You may go through, my lady.”  He swept his hands towards the entrance rather theatrically. Millie walked through.

Millie thought the place was incredible. The mansion was full of wood paneling and rather ancient looking artifacts. The dance itself, was held in a huge ballroom. A string quartet was playing waltzes and almost the entire floor was full of people dancing. Millie thought their costumes were spectacular.  It seemed as though a lot of people had decided to come as vampires, and Millie marveled at how well their costumes had been done. It made her own look silly and childish.

“Care to dance miss?” Asked a man dressed as a vampire, holding his hand out to her.

“Sure.” She replied, and the next thing she knew she was swept up and suddenly in the midst of it all. She didn’t really know how dance a waltz, though she did her best to fake it, it must have been painfully obvious to her partner she didn’t know how, but still he skillfully guided among the throng. His hands were so cold. Millie wondered if he had problems with his circulation.

After what seemed like hours of dancing, Millie managed to free herself and took a break. She felt tired and thirsty. She went to the bar and asked for a drink.

“How about a Bloody Mary?” The bartender suggested.

“Okay.” She replied. She took the drink and took a sip, and almost immediately spat it back out. It tasted atrocious! It was as if they had made it with actual blood… Then she found herself dancing again. Her head was spinning.

At midnight the dancing abruptly stopped. A tall blonde pale woman wearing a long red dress stood on the dais at the end of the room.

“It is now midnight! It’s time for the Big Reveal!” She called out among the revelers. They replied with clapping and cheering. Behind her the cloth covering the back wall came down revealing a mirror that covered the entire wall. To Millie’s shock, she could only see herself and handful of others in the mirror, though in reality she was surrounded by people. She looked at them and found many were now in a circle around her, all looking at her hungrily with their fangs out.

“And now it’s time for the End of Dance Feeding!” the woman on the dais exclaimed.

Joanne Fisher

The ending of this is sort of stolen from the film The Fearless Vampire Killers (aka The Dance of the Dead) where at the end of the film there is a dance in which the protagonists are disguised as vampires only to be undone by the mirror on the wall, in which the actual vampires become aware the protagonists can be seen in it… It’s a bit of an uneven film, but I remember seeing in on TV when I was 11 and really loving it.

This was written with the prompt Day 11 – The Dead Dance provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain.

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©2020 Joanne Fisher