Ballgowns and chandeliers,
and brooding stares
Take me to
the ball tonight,
Claire stood as if glued to the marble tiled floor, and as she hesitantly lifted her gaze from the ground, she realised she wasn't alone; she was surrounded by dancing people, people who looked and acted as if they were born in an entirely different era. They didn't seem to notice her, though – as if she was invisible to them. Still, she couldn't help but feel like a sore thumb standing there in her oversized tee-shirt, bare legs, hair unsightly. The extravagant allure of the room had her in a trance; her mouth had dropped open, forming a perfect little circle. She merely stood there for a moment, listening to the soothing music, their silvery voices, laughter dipped in sickly sweet honey. All of a sudden, she was struck by a strange and unsettling feeling of familiarity. She blinked several times, stepping out of her trance.
Had she been here before?
This was no place for her, she thought to herself, especially not in the middle of the night. She had to get back to her bed before someone noticed her disappearance, before the dancing people noticed the strange girl standing – feet rooted to the floor – in the center of the ballroom. She closed her eyes for a long moment, willing her feet to move. No luck; her body refused to listen. Panic flooded through her entire being, and as she tried to appease herself by taking a couple of deep breaths, the setting shifted.
Cold-hot shivers ran down her spine and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up; in less than a second, the temperature had dropped considerably. She was now standing on a newly mowed lawn, the cloudy midnight sky above her. In the distance, she could still hear the music from the ball. She didn't feel as out of place out here, but still, it didn't feel quite right.