A big bonfire is lit and burning brightly in the village square. People milling about the whole place. Talking, laughing out loudly.
A drummer sets up a rhythm and a dance begins. Young men come out to dance. Maidens join them.
The music picks up in pace and intensity. The dancing becoming more and more frenzied. Hoops, twists and turns, jumping with shouts of merriment, gyrations to and off beat. Sweat pouring off the bodies of the dancers.
With reckless abandon they danced. All decorum and control abandoned as they gave heed to the beat of the drums.
Other musicians joined the fray and as the melody blossomed, so did the dance.
She stood out among all the females.
Light skinned and lithe footed, she pranced around like an angry tigress, even though almost at the same time she appeared as graceful as a deer in her footing.
He watched her from across the fire.
His mind was too consumed with weighty matters to join in the dance. But watch her he did.
Something about the way she moved seemed to interfere with his thought patterns and break his moody reflections.
Watch her he did.
Oblivious to his intent gaze, she gave herself to the dance.
From across the fires, she held the fullness of his concentration. Every other thought was now gone. There he stood as though bewitched by some magical force exuding from her dance.
And dance she did.
He felt himself moving, drawing closer and closer to the fire. Trying not to lose any view of her. Closer and closer he came.
It was as though she sensed his coming. For with every step he took, the intensity of her dancing increased.
The closer, the fiercer.
He walked slowly as though in a trance.
She danced even more with reckless abandon.
The closer he came, the more aggressively she danced.
The heat was the first warning as he nearly stepped into the fire under the spell she had cast with her dance.
And as he cried out in pain, she suddenly stopped dancing and crouched on the ground on all fours.
Their gazes locked across the fire for time too slow to be counted.
She got up very slowly, still holding his gaze.
She turned and walked slowly into the village.
From across the fire he watched her go. His heart beating as though he was the one in the dance.
Inexplicably, He couldn’t move his feet to follow her.
Something he would regret till his dying breath.