A Night At the Ballet

A Night At the Ballet

A Story by ggephart

As the velvety red curtain rose over the polished black stage, I clasped my wife's gloved hand in excitement. She in her finest gown and silk shawl, and I in my best suit and top hat. Our eyes met as we shared this happy moment of anticipation. The ballet! I had been looking forward to this most beautiful of evenings since I had purchased the tickets weeks ago. Oh, these tickets. Just two small slips of ordinary paper - now the keys to a night of elegance and beauty. The lights came up on an empty stage and gradually the music began. I closed my eyes as the soft surge of the stings caressed my ears - Bach. My wife tapped my arm and I opened my eyes.

A slender, lovely ballerina dressed in white stood at the center of the stage, stalk still, arms held gracefully aloft. As the music swelled she began to turn, slowly at first, then faster and faster, twisting her body with a grace I had never before known. I was overwhelmed by her elegance and fluidity. What talent in such a young woman! Slowly, she began to dance across the stage, her gossamer garments trailing behind, movement in perfect time with the orchestra, until she came to rest at the far side of the stage. The music slowed and quieted until the only sound to be heard was the sorrowful melody of a single violin. The audience held their breath. Then, from the opposite side of the stage emerged a young man, shining in the spotlight, his unitard hugging the taut muscles of his thighs. The two lovers held their arms out toward one another in deep longing that mere words could never convey so clearly. A tear sprung to my eye as as the music crescendoed. And then, they were running, dancing, flying toward each other - nothing in this world so important as to be in each other's arms at this very moment. They reached center stage and the woman leaped, her slight, shimmering figure sailing through the air. The man braced himself, his powerful arms preparing to receive his love. But they never did.

The small ballerina crashed into the young man, slipping through his arms, her head smashing into his face, before bouncing off and hitting the stage, skin screeching as she rolled across the hardwood.

“God d****t, Derek!” she screamed from a heap on the floor, “Are you kidding me? How many times have we practiced this lift? Huh? You are the most useless person I know!”

The young man's nose was now bleeding steadily as he retorted, “Oh, really? You're gonna blame this on me, fatty? I'm just one man, I can only lift so much. I'm not a God damn crane!” He tried futilely to staunch his dripping nose. “You broke my nose, you cow.”

The young woman had now gotten up from the floor and was limping toward her bloodied partner. “Do not even try to pin this on me, you piece of s**t. I weigh 98 pounds! I'm sorry your sticky little arms can't handle the weight of a load of laundry,” she screamed as she stabbed her finger into his chest, “How did you even get this part? You've got chorus line written all over you.”

“How did you get this job, Helen? All that momentum after your starring role in B***h Lake? Or maybe that 'close friendship' you share with Jules is a little less than professional, hmm?”

By this point the orchestra had completely stopped and the maestro was looking side to side helplessly for direction. The audience sat motionless in their seats, expressions of discomfort frozen on their faces. I looked over to my wife, who was sobbing softly into her hands.

“We're gonna go there, Derek? We all saw you backstage with Barb. And might I add,” screamed the ballerina viciously, “we were not impressed. Although, I do give you some credit. You must have really been determined to make company. How old is she, anyways? Fifty five? Sixty?”

“You only wish you could have something even half as meaningful as what Barbara and I share, you pompous wench!” the man screeched between gritted teeth.

“Well, I hope you and Barbara are ready for a long distance relationship because you are so fired. You've ruined everything. You're absolutely pathetic. I pity you, I really do,” the woman scoffed.

“Oh, yeah? Pity this!” the man yelled as he grabbed his polyester covered crotch.

I gasped in horror and tried to shield my tender wife from this vulgarity. A dark, mustached man came running out onto the stage, screaming in Italian as the curtain finally dropped, the couple still cursing wildly at each other. We sat in shock for several moments before the lights came up and we were ushered from the theater. I joined my wife in quiet tears as we shuffled into the lobby, the twinkling chandelier and cheerful plaster cherubs adorning the walls mocking us. As I started the car in a stunned daze I wondered to myself, what had ever become of this most beautiful of evenings, of our night at the ballet? 

© 2012 ggephart

Author's Note

This is my favorite short story that I've written so far. Not that I've written that many...

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Is it written on a personal experience? But I admit you made the ballet dancers look so earthly, like any of us, keep on fighting, cribbing and complaining. A nice story to read in which started with a dream but finally landed into the harsh reality.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Oh now this is a masterpiece! You captured me so beautifully in the moment at the beginning. I was there, I mean I was totally there feeling the glove, the eyes closing, the beautiful sounds, I man you drew me in softening me entirely to feel every moment and the passion as it flowed. ANd I swear my heart stopped and dropped when that happened. It shattered the most beautiful moment in the world all over the ground and I was like... it was like I was at the ballet and I was frustrated even, I was like... this is ridiculous! And I read it through, I love how in dance we put all things aside, and there are a lot of personality differences between different ones always but you nailed it. I mean entirely, I love how everything unwraveled. Well done!

Posted 9 Years Ago

nice short storie i liked it great and wonderful job keep up the good work thanks for sharing your lovely and amazing work with me

Posted 9 Years Ago

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3 Reviews
Added on April 27, 2012
Last Updated on April 30, 2012
Tags: ballet, fight, beauty, cheese




I'm a Communication Arts major at UW Madison and I like to write. more..

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