Sky Bound by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 8. Five years after Anne and Andrew marry, a crisis in the making forces them t... [3,501 words]
The Way We Actually Were by Jeffrey (George) Winter Recollections from a veteran of the Third Reich. [1,337 words]
Wisdom Dug Out Of Dirt by Jeffrey (George) Winter The wealth possessed by a poor, old farmer. [1,032 words]
You've Got Mail by David B Doc Byron A parody of the secret lives of movie critics. [358 words]
The Spirit Tree by Paul Leighland MacLaine A small boy was living with his Aunt and Uncle on their farm discovers a magic tree, and a mira... [4,197 words]
The Secret Of Pimples by David B Doc Byron You'll never see this one coming.... [362 words]
The Caged Introvert by Michael Harris A shy, unattached man's journey for love... [3,644 words]
Sleep Tight. Nighty Night. by Alessandra Mace This story I wrote before 'Big things come in small packages' see how is has matured... [1,282 words]
Nothing Fits, Anyway by Daniel Taylor A short story. [1,610 words]
Night Bite! by Frank Dunsmore Some believe in vampires and some wannabe vampires but Lieutenant Schmidt and his detectives are un... [3,812 words]
Cutting Critics by Frank Dunsmore We've all heard the debate: what is the responsibility of a reviewer? Is it primarily to tell t... [5,146 words]
As Told By Me by Parker Short Story about a kid that gets caught up in the wrong stuff. [6,534 words]
A Poignant Goodbye by Anne Stewart A very short story about internet relationships. [597 words]
A Pocket Full Of Stones by Paul Leighland MacLaine As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the b... [929 words]
The Legacy by Paul Leighland MacLaine Abandonment is a terrible way to end a relationship, especially when it is in favour of your best fr... [3,561 words]
The Cool Clique by Pearl S I actually did some reasearch for this, interviewed a few older friends... they don't understan... [837 words]
Sweetchild by Paul Leighland MacLaine Sweetchild is the story of interracial love, a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet. [2,387 words]
Story Of A Ghost by Matthew Mercieca A short story, about a man who goes through life being consumed by hate. [1,130 words]
Special by Pearl S - [1,338 words]
Space Walk by Sue (Sooz) Simpson May Cause offense. [1,290 words]
So This Is My Life Then by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [517 words]
Renting by Paul Leighland MacLaine Sometimes letting go can be harder than holding on. [390 words]
Remington, Underwood & Royal by Paul Leighland MacLaine Will Kingsway has just purchased the solution to his writer’s block – a black, Rem... [4,378 words]
Pulp-Affliction by David B Doc Byron You figure it out. [568 words]
Podunk by David B Doc Byron A small group of rednecks find out what it's like not to get the last laugh on a minority. [763 words]
On The Singularity Cusp by Matt Tracy Learn the lengths to which humans will go to reach immortality. They reach for the star... [2,287 words]
Newsworthy by Vyacheslav Yampolsky A short story. [1,459 words]
Just A Bloody Card Game by Jerry Vilhotti A strorella. [979 words]
Involution Melancholia by Paul Leighland MacLaine Mead wakes to find he has been sleeping on a bar. The room is filled with people and smo... [1,859 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [991 words]
Four Minute Warning by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [476 words]
Everything's Falling Into Place by Paul Leighland MacLaine As his girlfriend throws all his possessions from a balcony, the man realises t... [957 words]
Close? Only When We Danced
Cherry Blossom by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [435 words]
Big Things Come In Small Packages by Alessandra Mace This story is about a boy who loves playing the piano and wishes to be a pian... [2,075 words]
Anything Has To Be Better Than This by Paul Leighland MacLaine Nixon lives a quiet life, he minds his own business, keeps to himself...it’... [952 words]
Grounded by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 10. Seven years into their marriage, life presents the Crance's with a few welco... [2,957 words]
Fatal Flight by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 9. Reacting to Eric's death, Andrew, Eric's first flight instructor, and pro... [3,852 words]
Instrument Meteorological Conditions by Shelley Alongi Aviation Series story 6. Built on friendship and common interest, Andrew ... [2,464 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [114 words]
Watch Out, Henry! There's A Hole In That There Bucket! by Pearl S The English Essay I Had Way Too Much Fun Writing. [4,772 words]
Warring Faiths by Ami Another dream... [1,503 words]
Volunteer by Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred The Empire Falls into civil war. Hard decesions must be made. [2,654 words]
Violet Glowing by Jason Richard Mercer The prelude to a story about an emotionally drained nymphomaniac with the soul of an angel. (I g... [594 words]
Twenty-First Century Mankind by Eric A Hofmann I chose to write a modern day myth which tackled subjects that I thought should be... [1,273 words]
Torn Over Ben by Tracy N Van Brocklin This story is an overview of a young woman's feelings about how she must give up what has been ma... [3,667 words]
The Wrong Love by Samuel James Chase When is love wrong? A story told from the point of view of a person who feels he is the victim i... [2,425 words]
The Music Of Zetaph by Rachael E Bills An intriguing outlook on a futuristic world where aliens from the planet Zetaph have interg... [3,218 words]
The Dinosaur by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,523 words]
Rebecca by Tammi Goyns A short story about supposed insanity...read into the mind of a madman and how he finds society to be c... [1,034 words]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [552 words]
Lake Of The Woods by Stephanie Black A story about man vs. nature. A young boy must face a bear in the middle of nowhere during ... [2,492 words]
Insideout by David B Doc Byron A woman born deformed longs to be beautiful. [791 words]
His Prospects by Caitlin Conaway Repressed Victorians! Plus Antarctic Explorers, a pretty Oxford reject, and a little morphine. [3,535 words]
Four Months by Hopii Canterfield This is not meant to be a trite romance, although I know that it can come off that way. It's just ... [666 words]
Experience As In Dostojewski by Stefanie Aschmann The narrator is a rich, middle aged woman living in Germany. Her outlook on life t... [2,023 words]
Dropping The Red Doll by Paul Leighland MacLaine He hasn’t seen his ex-wife in three years but suddenly she is back in his head and back i... [822 words]
Don't Be So Quick To Pull The Plug! by Ami Imagine yourself in her position and SHIVER! It's kind of creepy, a trigger... [1,658 words]
Cat's Chorus by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [1,332 words]
Cancer Of The Circumstance by Paul Leighland MacLaine When a man meets a friend in the street, a long lost friend, he sees that he is dyin... [1,424 words]
Blue Pill by Scott Turnit Red Scottturnitred Deep Space Romance. [4,499 words]
Anne by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [707 words]
After She Left by Paul Leighland MacLaine When a relationship ends and partners go their separate ways, the memory of the lost love begins... [708 words]
A Twist In The Tail by Sue (Sooz) Simpson - [963 words]
Go to page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33  35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49
Close? Only When We Danced
Secrets and promises are often the hardest things to keep. They have a habit of slipping out in conversation. Phillip, a boy on the verge of manhood, tells all his secrets to a man he’s just met in the park, a sympathetic ear that cools his frustrations with growing up. Phillip wants to be just like the man when he grows up, but something changes all that and alters Phillip’s life forever.
Everyone has secrets.
Everyone makes promises.
Everyone has the right to take their own life.
Paul Leighland MacLaine
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (15)
A Pocket Full Of Stones (Short Stories) As he walked through the darkest part of his town, he allowed his thoughts to get the better of him. They stepped in time with his feet, and slowly covered his face with a gentle regret. [929 words] [Relationships]
After She Left (Short Stories) When a relationship ends and partners go their separate ways, the memory of the lost love begins to fade. The half of the brain they once occupied is gradually reclaimed so a person returns to being a... [708 words] [Suspense]
Anything Has To Be Better Than This (Short Stories) Nixon lives a quiet life, he minds his own business, keeps to himself...it’s his neighbours who are warring. The paper-thin walls of this hotel reveal everything and one night, as the battle rages nex... [952 words] [Relationships]
Ash Bester - The Devil May Care (Novels) Here are the first two chapters of my crime novel. I am looking for feedback and motivation to get on with it. Ash Bester, war hero, boxer and Melbourne private detective in 1953, is about to fall vi... [5,188 words] [Crime]
Cancer Of The Circumstance (Short Stories) When a man meets a friend in the street, a long lost friend, he sees that he is dying of cancer. The signs are all there, he is thin, his eyes have dimmed from their once brilliant blue and his hands ... [1,424 words] [Mystery]
Dropping The Red Doll (Short Stories) He hasn’t seen his ex-wife in three years but suddenly she is back in his head and back in his life. As he sits next to her, while she is dying from injuries sustained in a car wreck, he sees the red ... [822 words] [Mystery]
Especially Brilliance (Short Stories) A little bit of heaven has just come back to earth [2,340 words] [Spiritual]
Everything's Falling Into Place (Short Stories) As his girlfriend throws all his possessions from a balcony, the man realises the order in which they are discarded reflects their story relationship. [957 words] [Relationships]
Involution Melancholia (Short Stories) Mead wakes to find he has been sleeping on a bar. The room is filled with people and smoke..just another night on the tiles? Only this time things are happening that don’t make sense: the barman takes... [1,859 words] [Horror]
Remington, Underwood & Royal (Short Stories) Will Kingsway has just purchased the solution to his writer’s block – a black, Remington typewriter. The only problem comes when it asks him to guess its name in exchange for fame and literary success... [4,378 words] [Horror]
Renting (Short Stories) Sometimes letting go can be harder than holding on. [390 words] [Relationships]
Sweetchild (Short Stories) Sweetchild is the story of interracial love, a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet. [2,387 words] [Romance]
The Legacy (Short Stories) Abandonment is a terrible way to end a relationship, especially when it is in favour of your best friend. But John, a hack, horror writer, has just found the solution to his woes in the pages of an ol... [3,561 words] [Horror]
The Man Who Turns The World With His Feet (Short Stories) An ancient pendant, a Gypsy curse and a small child all combine to release The Man Who Turns the World with his Feet. [1,884 words] [Fantasy]
The Spirit Tree (Short Stories) A small boy was living with his Aunt and Uncle on their farm discovers a magic tree, and a miracle of nature. [4,197 words] [Spiritual]
Close? Only When We Danced
Paul Leighland MacLaine
Close? Only when we danced.
a short story from the collection:
the tales of socrates dancing
paul leighland maclaine
I want to tell you something.
Something about a man.
Something about someone I thought I knew, but only now realise that I didn't know him at all – he knew me.
Something about pain and about buried secrets.
Something about a friend.
My best friend.
I don't know where we met. One day he was just there. One day he was there and it seemed that he had been there all my life. But he hadn’t, it just seemed that way.
One day I had felt sad and alone and he had been there. Listening to me talk.
He stayed for what became an hour, smoking his pipe, blowing large, full, white clouds to the ceiling as he listened. My problem seemed small and trivial, but he listened. I guess that's why he knew me so well, and not the other way round, and as I think of it now – that first day – things become clearer in my mind why he did do such a terrible thing.
We were neighbours, and I would walk through the park and to his house nearly every day. I’d never invited him to my house. Not that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. It just didn’t seem right to ask. Perhaps I was a little jealous. Maybe I didn’t want him to solve anyone else’s problems except mine. Perhaps I thought that no one else had problems like mine. He didn’t seem to.
One day I stopped in the park. I couldn’t go further. I sat on the grass and wept. I was sure he wouldn’t have understood. The pain in my body was afire with memories and guilt. It felt like my flesh would melt from its frame. My father’s razor in my pocket was to be the extinguisher. As hot tears rolled down my face, the cutthroat lay cool against my leg.
Then he was there, sitting beside me, smoking his pipe.
Covering the top with his fingers and signaling white clouds up to the sky - listening.
He smiled and I gushed.
We walked to his place and talked. He told me about a time that he had tried to extinguish the pain.
He even used the same word: extinguished. I was shocked that he would even contemplate such a thing. Perhaps I was selfish to think that. Why should I have the patent on pain? He explained that he made an oath to his mother never to try and kill himself again.
A promise, can you believe that? To his mother of all people.
I could not ever imagine my mother caring enough to extract such a pledge. He didn’t say why he had tried, and I never asked.
Perhaps I should have.
We talked some more until I felt better, and then he did something strange. He asked if I could dance.
I said no.
He stood and placed a record on the player, and beckoned me to join him.
He held me round the waist, pulling me to his own, raising me to tiptoes. He took my hand in his.
As the time passed us, I became better, less nervous. He pulled me a little closer. At first I felt awkward.
I relaxed, and we danced round and round the large mat in the room. Around and around we circled, faster and faster and faster until – suddenly the record stopped.
It clicked back to the ready position, but we did not.
We were still swinging round and round in ever increasing and then smaller circles. My legs gave and buckled under but, instead of me falling, he held me upright and pulled me a closer to his body. He looked into my eyes.
My face flushed crimson.
It was, as if he could see something I couldn’t. Something buried deep...
He let me go, the thought evaporated, and I returned to reality.
I walked home, and returned the razor to the bathroom.
I was the one who found him.
I called the police, but not till I had spent half an hour holding his head in my lap and talking to him like we had before. I did not move anything except his head, raising it gently up off the mat and setting it on my lap. I could smell the stale, sour mash scent. I looked at the ocean of pain that had spread its way from his wrist across the mat. I never thought he had problems. Perhaps it was an old one that wouldn’t go away.
When the police arrived, I heard one say that he must have meant it. He had cut only once. Most suicides hack away half-hearted till they see blood then stop. He had cut, just once, deep into the pain. They showed me the torn piece of the newspaper he’d held in his hand.
It was from the obituary column. The last name of the woman in newsprint was the same as that of my friends. It was his mother, and their pact had been broken.
They asked me questions after they had removed his body. One policeman asked if we were good friends.
He repeated the question thinking that I had not heard.
‘Were you close?’ he said.
I looked at the drying, red stain on the rug.
A tear ran down my cheek.
‘Only when we danced,’ I replied.
‘Only when we danced.’
|READER'S REVIEWS (2)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.
"ohhhhhhhhh! my how touching. but the way it was portrayed is true. if someone close to you dies you remeber what was. if you make a pack to someone then that someone is gone what packt is there left? a really heart renting story that you could imagine that they where strangers that could touch each other in a way only true true people belive can happen. a really sad but great story. I LOVED IT> DUNNO BOUT YOU BUT I LOVED IT> " -- rachel williams, west melbourne, vic.
"Love this story. Simple yet full of possibilities. Fluid, easy to read. One grammatical error- he held me upright and pulled me A? closer to his body. Guess you need a good proof reader. Been a long time! Nicole" -- Nicole Radford, Melbourne.
TO DELETE UNWANTED REVIEWS CLICK HERE! (SELECT "MANAGE TITLE REVIEWS" ACTION)
Submit Your Review for Close? Only When We Danced
Required fields are marked with (*).
Your e-mail address will not be displayed.
Submit Your Rating for Close? Only When We Danced
© 1991 Paul Leighland MacLaine
|STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
|NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED