The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 55

Salles looked up at the night and noticed for the first time since he’d arrived at Lamosa that the stars were dimmer than they appeared from the cloisters. As he looked around at the streets of Lamosa, that he was now walking through, he noted the many sources of light: torches and lamps burned in front of the many late night venues that bustled with customers even at an hour that Salles would usually be beginning his bedtime preparations. Darma had taken him to the so-called Park District, which was notorious for its youthful inhabitants and late hours. It was also the ideal place to find a respectable and fashionable dance hall.

Darma stepped up to the door of one of the best of such dance halls, where an imposing doorman gave her a quick look over and then let her through. She dragged Salles behind her, handing a coin to the doorman who accepted it with a bow. Darma looked like a person dressed for the evening, wearing a long, elegant dress that hugged and shaped her body into the picture of female beauty. Salles, though, still wore the habit of his order and looked as out of place as a man could be. The young men there wore tall boots with tight, dark-colored trousers and matching jackets over brightly colored shirts that, altogether, exuded youthful prosperity.

In the center of the dance hall a whole crowd of partners danced in what appeared to be a formalized dance. They moved in coordinated lines, which approached each other and moved away and then folded into each other, before breaking off into partners, who scattered through the room in spinning patterns, before rejoining into lines. At the front of the dance hall was a group of musicians, a man who strummed a large, handheld harp, another who pounded a set of drums, besides several flute-players blowing hard into their wooden instruments. Leading the band was a vocalist, whose loud, sonorous voice guided the dance by singing a set of embellished instructions.

On the walls, several torches hung, filling the room with light, and below these, around the edges of the dance floor, crowds of youngsters mulled about, some talking, some flirting, some embarrassedly shying away from the dance floor, some hiding in the shadows.

“It’s so crowded tonight! This is wonderful!” Darma observed with pleasure, “We’ll definitely have to get in on this next dance!”

“And how exactly does one perform this dance?” Salles asked.

“It’s no different than the exercises you taught me this morning,” Darma replied with a somewhat crowing smile, “It’s just a set of steps you have to learn. Don’t worry you can just follow me”

When the music came to a stop, and some of the dancers wandered off the dance floor, Darma immediately grabbed Salles and dragged him forward.

The vocalist announced to the crowd, “The next dance we have for this evening is ‘Twirl Around the Fencepost.’ Partners in position.”

“I love this dance!” Darma declared. She grabbed Salles, pulling his body against hers and wrapping one of his arms around her waist. She kicked his feet into position, then looked up at him, saying, “You just follow what I do, and you’ll be fine.”

The dance started, and the two of them began to move in circles around the floor.

“I lost my girl; Now walking home ashamed. Twirl around a fencepost; and roam where’er I’m aimed,” the vocalist sang, as Darma pulled away and twirled around, before returning to him.

Salles struggled to keep the proper footwork, and at almost every stop found his two feet in the wrong position, frequently tripping over and stepping on hers. But Darma still smiled at him and held his body close to hers. He could feel her breasts against his torso, and her hips against his hips.

“Travelling in the valleys, following the streams. Twirl around a fencepost, and take th’ first girl I see,” the vocalist continued.

The couples formed a line, which split into two, kicking their feet while they walked. Then each couple ran down the corridor between these two lines, hand in hand, and reformed the line down at the end, until the two lines rejoined and were paired up, in new random pairs. Salles was placed with a young girl he didn’t know. The girl was transparently frustrated by his clumsiness, and they had to endure each other until the next cycle brought him back to Darma.

Despite Salles’ struggles, Darma looked up fondly into his eyes as the dance continued, laughing, smiling, throwing her hair about and dancing with abandon into the night.

<-- Go to Part 54         Go to Part 56 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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