A Dark Dance

Francina wants to be a ballerina. Her dream comes true when she is accepted into New York Ballet Academy.

But what will happen when Francina meets strange and mysterious Ty, who is 19? Will her dreams turn to nightmares?


Based on/Inspired by 'Dance of Shadows' by Yelena Black

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1. My Life

"Catch me, Fran, catch me!" My little sister, Madeline, screamed with delight as I swung her down from the kitchen table - who knows why she was up there - and spun around with her in my arms.

 

Suddenly, I was weaving an intricate dance across the kitchen floor as my baby brother crawled under my feet. I tread blindly, shouting,

"Oliver! Get out of the way! I don't want to stand on you!" Finally, I reached the side, plopped Maddy down on the work surface and turned around to pick up my brother who was, by that time, trying to climb up my leg. "Ollie, Ollie, Ollie," I cooed, "What am I going to do with you?"

 

By this time, Madeline, who was surprisingly agile and controlled in her motions for a nearly-7 year old, had clambered round the side so I wasn't not blocking her path, and leaped onto Oliver's blankie. Immediately, he started wailing in my ear and pulling my hair; he hated Maddy touching his blankie.

"Madeline! Give your brother his blankie back and say sorry!" I said as I rocked Oliver back and forth, hugging him close.

"Fine," Maddy says huffily, "Here you go, Ollie, sorry." Then she grinned cheekily and ran off giggling.

"She's a cheeky girl isn't she? Yes she is! Yes she is! You're a cheeky boy, too, aren't you? Yes you are! Ticka, ticka, ticka, ticka, ticka! Ticka, ticka, ticka, ticka, ticka!" I tickled his tummy until he laughed out loud, and whirled him round in my arms, which I knew he loved. Whilst he's laughing, I felt my right hip grow warm, then my leg. Brilliant. He's filled his nappy and it's leaked. With a sigh, I traipsed up the stairs and put Oliver on his changing table. I then got all his baby stuff out and went and washed my hands.

 

When I'd changed Oliver, I put him on the floor and got some of his toys out. Then, I cleared away the wipes, nappies and baby powder onto the shelf beneath the table itself. It's really cool, the changing table, because it's a changing table and chest of drawers all in one. It was bought for me, originally, but then was passed onto Maddy, and was now Ollie's. Finally, I ran and grabbed a clean pair of jeans, to take back to Oliver's room to change: you couldn't leave him alone for a second without him getting into trouble.

 

Next, I scooped up Oliver and his favourite toy, to take him down to see our mum, who had just pulled into the drive after shopping. I said hi to mum, as she was dumping the bags in the kitchen, then attempted to prevent Ollie from bashing his teething toy on my head.Thankfully, my mother relieved me of him and I started putting the shopping away.

"Have you been alright?" my mum said, worrying over nothing, as usual. I weighed up a sarcastic comment, sighed inwardly, and answer,

"We've been fine. Although Oliver wee'd all down my leg about 5 minutes before you got back. And I don't know where Maddy is, but I think she's in her room."

"I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have you." Uh oh. My mum was stroking my hair. She's not a soppy person, so it's always a warning sign when she goes like this. "You keep the family together, you do. Especially since your dad left." My dad left just after he got mum pregnant with Oliver, and I said good riddance. He was never a good father, and always hit mum anyway. We were glad to see him go. Well, Madeline was a bit confused, but didn't really take much notice of the change.

 

"Um, mum, is everything alright?"

"Just... just... I don't know how I'm going to cope when you go to New York Ballet Academy. I know it's silly, but I don't want you to go."

"Oh mum. We've had this conversation before. I've always wanted to go to NYBA and you'll be fine and-"

"I know, I know, it's just going to be such a big change."

"Don't tell me that, then I'll start worrying! And I might not even get in. I haven't even entered yet. I'm not old enough."

"Of course you'll get in." Mum looked a little bit odd, but the look was gone before I could properly register it. "And you'll do amazing. I know you will. Just like you do at everything. You're the best one in your class." Then she added as an afterthought, "When you enter next year of course." She kissed my head, then Oliver, who wanted to be a part of everything, started screaming. Next we heard,

"Mum? Are you home? Come here! I want to show you..."

 

Ahh. My life.

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