Friday, October 17, 2008

Dancing with Ghosts; Rough Draft

This is a short story that I wrote for an English class. It is still in the draft phase. Constructive comments are welcome.

All rights are reserved. No publishing, reproducing, altering, or distributing any portion of this without the author's permission.



Dancing with Ghosts


His name was George Green and his daughter was a ghost, or so she kept telling him. "Daddy! Look at me! I'm flying!" said Katrina.

She was dressed in a white, semi-transparent robe and wore her white leotard underneath. The robe was her mother's.

    Cute, 8-year-olds are so cute, thought George.

    "Yes honey. I see that. And a beautiful ghost you are!" said George.

It was a year ago today, and Katrina's lively personality spoke volumes of the half that was her mom. Things were never the same since her mother Tina, his wife, died. He was just now coming to grips with that night. After all, it was all his fault. It was going to just be him at the play.

That night, they had all gone to see Faustus at the Geoffrey Theater. Tina argued that at 7, Katrina was too young to see such a gruesome tale. A man being torn apart by devils was too much for a child.

"She probably won't even understand it," Tina said.

George argued back.

"It is important for our daughter to be cultured. I want her to get a real education. The garbage that public schools are spewing out these hardly even counts as teaching," said George.

"Well, not everyone can go to a private, preppy school like you did George," said Tina.

"That is exactly my point Tina. Faustus is a classic, a wonderful play that will teach our young Katrina what good entertainment is all about, not like this anime crap," said George.

"Fine George. She'll probably be scared out of her wits and won't go to bed for days, but if this is what you want then she can go, but I'm coming too."

They got in the car and went to the play. It was a beautiful production. Perfect lighting. Wonderful acting. The final act of the evening was a tragedy.

While on their way home, some Coca-Cola truck driver dropped a cassette tape onto the passenger floor. One grab, one swerve, wrong lane, one life gone.

Oh how he missed Tina!

"Daddy! Were you even watching me?!"

George snapped back from his thoughts. Katrina stood in front of him, her brown eyes cross squinted in anger.

"Wha-, Wha' was that honey? Do it again. Sorry, daddy was distracted."

"I was trying to show you how I was dancing with mommy. See?" She smiled and her feet moved.

He looked at her. She held her left hand high. Her feet moved forward, then backward. One, two,three. One,two,three. One,two,three. The white robe flew through the air and Katrina was a blur. It looked so natural. He wondered how his daughter had dealt with Tina's death so remarkably.

The first few weeks were difficult. Lots of crying. A body in the grave and no one but dad was home. Just dad. Then, one morning, Katrina was all smiles. She told him how she had a dream the night before that mommy was in heaven, but sometimes God allowed her to visit Katrina.

Dreams, kids live on dreams, he thought at the time. Now he knew it. Katrina was alive but he was still dead. Katrina was dancing and he was standing still.

His daughter looked over at him, all smiles and twirls, and then came to a sudden halt.

"Daddy. Why are you crying?"

George quickly rubbed his wet eyes with his right hand, but the tears wouldn't stop flowing. George sank to his feet for the thousandth time in a year. He promised himself he would never let Katrina see him like this, but he couldn't take it anymore. Sometimes, the right combination of scenes and sights opens up the heart. He could only cry.

The smile on Katrina's face disappeared. She ran over to her father, her barefoot feet pitter-pattering on the wood floor. She put her arms around him.

"Daddy, are you crying because of mommy?"

Mommy. More tears.

"But daddy, mommy is right here!" said Katrina, pointing to the empty space on her right.

Katrina and her wild imagination. Reality check! But her couldn't tell her that. She was too happy.

"Daddy. Come on. Just try to dance with her and you'll see. Mommy isn't dead!"

He almost blew up at her, at this beautiful 8-year-old daughter of his, but her brown eyes stopped him. They looked just like hers. He decided to take his daughter's advice.

    He wiped the final tears from his eyes and stood up. He looked down at his daughter. She was smiling again. He held his left arm high, then did his best to bring his right arm in a curve behind the imaginary character.

    "No daddy, you're doing it wrong. Bring the right hand a little higher. Didn't they teach you anything at your school?" said Katrina.

    He did as she said, then Katrina began to clap the beat. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three.

    George tired of this exercise, but Katrina was enjoying it.

    "Lose yourself in the music daddy. Look into mom's eyes."

    He imagined those eyes, right in front of him, her pink-lipped smile curved with joy. And there she was. He was dancing with his Tina.

    He heard laughter and looked over his shoulder at his daughter.

    "Daddy, you're smiling!"


All rights are reserved. No publishing, reproducing, altering, or distributing any portion of this without the author's permission.

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