Flash Fiction: Danse Macabre

Written for Microcosms (for which you have a maximum of 300 words), the prompts for this piece was “isolated teen”, “ball”, “sci-fi”.

Danse Macabre

Lights flickered on in the empty hall. Old Classical music started playing as couples entered through the large doors. Long dresses swished and swayed as a waltz played and the dancers started moving across the polished floor simultaneously.

Marian watched from the side of the room, her eyes following the dancers. She smoothed a frail hand over the fabric of the now too heavy dress and felt her eyes burn as she watched the dancers turn and sway. With a push of a button the orchestra appeared at the end of the hall – she knew she’d forgotten something. She placed the controller down and slowly walked to the centre of the room as the hologram couples danced around her.

This had always been her favourite piece of music – one of the old classical pieces from the home planet that was now so far away. It was only fitting she relived her favourite memory on board the ship.

The taste of the last food ration coated her mouth – some sweet concoction she had kept exactly for this day if help did not come. She wiped at her eyes, leaving behind smeared makeup. Her final entry in the ship’s log had been in her own, shaky voice. Words she had thought about for weeks had evaporated as she spoke and cried into the microphone.

“Marian Smith, 16,” she said. “I am the last survivor of Eden.”  She still wondered if anyone would find the message – if it would maybe reach back even to Earth. It had been too late when they found the carrier of the illness. “They call me Typhoid Mary in the files.” Her voice broke.

A new song started playing. The couples paused for a second before continuing their dance. Marian closed her eyes and swayed to the music.

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.


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