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Behind the Red Bow: A Fictional Story. Prologue

Updated on June 23, 2014


He didn't know my name the first time he saw me, though I suppose he knew what I was. He was a fine young man. Hair the color of buttered corn, lips the color of cherry blossom, eyes the colors of sea. When he danced, I thought of a ribbon of silk tossed into the wind. He flowed across the summer grass toward his partner, the sun above causing his brow to glisten. His white, long-sleeved shirt was puffed with air, his chest puffed with confidence.

The girl he advanced toward was a frail thing, cautiously stepping forward and thinly veiling her nerves with a smile. His masculinity commanded all attention as he guided her through the Viennese Waltz. I could sense her relief as she followed his every movement. He filled the circle of grass that was his stage with big sweeping steps, concealing his partner's mistakes. Even the children in the audience were mesmerized; a boy no older than four held a five cent ice pop in his open mouth, forgetting to suck. Fathers stared and young boys glowered, women smiled and whispered to their friends. All the while he moved about the circle like a ribbon of silk.

He continued to dance, chest open and arms lengthened away from his torso, but something changed in his expression. He leaned into his partner and whispered softly in her ear and her smile faded away. He paused in his movement to open the girl to the audience. She almost curtsied, thinking the dance to be over, but with a slight flick of his hand she twirled into his arm. The crowd clapped appreciatively as the couple continued their waltz. He grinned at her as if to say, of course you could do it, but she managed only a weak smile in return. Suddenly his grin turned mischievous. Before the girl could react, he was holding her by the waist and lifting her into the air, spinning her around. Oos and aahs reached the center of the circle where his partner was raised above our heads, her face masked by the bleach of sunlight. He finally lowered her to the ground ever so gently--you could barely hear her feet touch the grass--and this time their dance did come to an end. He bowed deeply and the girl followed suit with a stiff curtsy. The crowd applauded and called for encores, but the young man shook his head, smiling.

He kissed the girl's hand as a thank you for being his partner. A few boys in the crowd whistled. As he raised his head, the BowKeeper stumbled into the circle. This man was short and balding, with a brown mustache and a belly. He waved something long and red in front of the dancer. "The ribbon! The ribbon!" people whispered to one another, and the crowd became hushed. It was custom for the dancer to present a red ribbon to his girl once the dance was finished. As soon as he tied it round her thin wrist, he would be given her kiss on his cheek and promise of their marriage. The balding man pressed the ribbon into the dancer's palm, and the dancer looked on it as though it were burning his hand. The blood colored ends drooped from his outstretched fingers. He looked at his partner, whose face was still slightly green from being whirled around, and suddenly his eyes flicked to me.

Me, a small girl with strong arms and calloused palms. Me, with a bonnet shading my eyes and my hands clasped politely in front of my white cotton dress. My hair was still damp from the swim in the river this morning and dirt was scuffed over my right knee, yet he did not seem to notice. I raised my head so he could see my full face. Slowly, he turned toward me. The girl he danced with shifted herself to the side, confused, to see what had caught his attention. The crowd was silent.

After that I don't remember anything other than him. His feet seemed to pull him away from the center of the circle. I could hear his shoes, brushing the grass, and his breathing, still heavy from the waltz. He never stopped looking at me. I could scarcely believe it. I was a farmer's girl in less than proper dress, watching the engagement dance of a girl from a very proper house. My chest became tighter and tighter with his every step. My heart rose in my throat. The heat on my cheeks flamed more than the sun.

And then he was there, barely two inches away from me. I could see things in his sea-colored eyes, and that was when I knew he was mine. The red bow in his hand no longer looked as though it were dipped in blood, but dipped in the juice of sweet berries. He raised it, a token of red love.

And there, on the grass, he presented his bow to me.

Thanks for Reading!

I'll be reviewing comments to see what you guys think. If you like the story so far, I'll continue to publish more of this novel, and make it a weekly or bi-weekly publishing.

In the meantime, at least one hub a week will be posted with various themes (entertainment, blog-posts, advice, etc.)

Thank you so much for visiting my first Hub Page!

The work on this HubPage is entirely my own creation and was not copied from anyone else's work. It is purely a fictional story.

Feel free to read other stories on The Prompt literary magazine or explore their website! They are really cool.

More About Me

A college student currently on summer break! Below is a link to The Prompt online literary Magazine--my short story is on page 38.


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