Story a day: Pantomime

This is my response to today’s story a day prompt. This is probably not as good as it would have been if I could have spent longer on the project. However, I only have one day so this is the best that I could come up with.

The Prompt

Write a story based on Gabriel Fauré’s “Pavane.”

This made me think of Regency England, and their debutante balls that used to take place annually. The music reminded me of all the formal dancing that took place, and that is the story that I came up with to suit that.

– –

The room was flooded with people all in their fancy regalia, and each one looking forward to the evening ahead. It was a very special night tonight within the court room, and the atmosphere was pretty electric. Tonight it was the debutant ball which happened every year, but this year was special because the Prince had reached the correct age that he was going to choose a bride.

All of the suitable candidates were being lined up ready for their dance with the Prince. He had yet to arrive, but the girls were just about giddy with anticipation. Each one was hoping that he was going to pick her above the others.

As soon as he arrived the dancing began. Each dance had its own movements that made everyone seem to slide gracefully over the floor. The girls had all memorised everything expected of them, even down to the things that they needed to say.

The Prince remained pretty silent throughout the dancing process, but was always polite to everybody that he danced with. He listened to everybody attentively, and was always the one leading the dance and the women that he had been paired with. Even though the music went through all the crescendos, his mind seemed to be elsewhere. Nobody knew exactly what was bothering the Prince, but given the choice that he had to make, nobody decided to ask him.

That was until he was paired with a young girl called Rebecca. Rebecca was respectfully dressed in white, which meant that she was being presented that night. It also meant that she was one of his suitors. He smiled, nodded, then commenced the dance to follow the music. Following only a moment of silence, her fingers fluttered within his light grip. “My Lord, are you all right?”

He looked at her, stunned for a moment. “To be completely honest with you, no, I am not.”

“I mean no disrespect to you, so, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but is there anything that I can do to help you out?”

The Prince Regent shook his head, the curls of his wig moving against his silk clothing. “Not unless you get me out of this silly pantomime. I don’t consider myself to be ready to pick a bride, but because of my age, I have no choice in the matter. I hope that this is not discouraging to you, because you have as much chance as anybody else in this room.”

“As we are being honest, I have to tell you that I am not ready for this either.”

They turned the corner in the dance. “I think everybody here has pretty much been forced by what society deems right.”

As the dance peeked before the very end she gave him a small smile. “You are probably right, my Lord, but, maybe we all need to learn to enjoy what we are dealt.”

The bow signified the end of the dance, and then the two parted company as was the tradition. The Prince Regent looked after her briefly, and realised that he had probably made his decision by finding someone similar to himself. Excusing himself he went to go and find his man in waiting to find out who this Rebecca was.

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