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Vladimir's Opus This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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The room was an explosion of visual stimuli, lights and strobes blinding the dancers as they convulsed in a sea of vibrant hues, colds and hots, they were distracting, disorienting and intoxicating. But none of that affected Vladimir, he stood at the bar, his sleek silk shirt hugging his skinny form as his visionless eyes stood motionless shaded by his round black shades and his tight snake skin slacks falling down into his rubber boots bolstering him 3 inches off of his own height. He wasn’t distracted by the lights, the women staring at him from across the bar or their muscled dates staring in a different way, he was focused on one thing and one thing only. The music, he let it flow through his brain soaking up the rhythms, the beats, the tones, the lyrics, all flowed fluently through his trained ears, all amplified by his acute hearing, heightened more so by his visual disability. He’d been at the bar for 45 minutes now, he hadn’t spoken, he hadn’t ordered a drink or socialized, he had to remain focused if his plan was to succeed. He’d been in San Francisco for only 3 days, but in that time he had learned the inside and outside of the underground dance scene, and if there was one thing he’d learned it was that you didn’t just stroll in from Russia with new ideas and moves and start dancing, the disco lords didn’t like new comers dancing on their turfs unless they brought something impressive. He’d been at clubs where men had their legs ripped off by bouncers just for boogieing slightly, not even boogieing excessively, we’re talking only moderate levels of funk, and yet the disco lords still felt it necessary to rip the legs right off of the skinny b*****s who had invaded their floors. So in order to impress these Disco lords Vlad had been reading brail disco books and practicing, if he was going to impress where others had their legs ripped off he was going to have to do something clever, something beyond groovy. Tonight was the night to reveal that something, tonight he would prove to the damn dance overseer that he was more than a blind Russian who had dropped out of the mime academy and tried to dance, he would prove that he was more than anyone could expect. All his life he’d been either pitied or harassed, and he was tired of it, he might not be able to fight for his respect but he could sure as hell try to dance for it. as the 50 minute marker approached Vlad stepped away from the bar, his cane in hand he prodded the dancers clearing a circle in the middle of the flashing dance floor. The dancers and the patrons all looked with confusion as the scrawny blind man stepped out from the bar, the disco lord tony sat at the front of the bar in his gold throne, guards on both sides, he moved to the edge of his chair in disbelief, voices erupted in puzzlement “what the hell is this” they said “some blind a**hole” they said “somebody help him!”
Vlad ignored them, they were all voices he’d heard before, voices of pity, voices of cruelty, but all he heard was music. The track changed as he began to move his fluent motions astonishing the dancers, a triple back flip landed in a courter half boogie extreme triple spin, a move he’d practiced for years but only now perfected. The moves continued: the funk meister boogle finster, the spanky tank, yogo picnic spin, crown of barbed wire and of course the shrieking monkey all were present in his unstoppable repetuar of dance. The crowds erupted into cheer in awe as he completed his majestically breathtaking routine.
“silence!” a rapturous voice cried out over the cheers. Tony was on the floor, his large muscled from and ebony skin brought out in the light of the disco orb, and his red shades blaring with intensity. “You!” he barked “a blind communist freak come to my dance dungeon and throw down your boogie like it’s the cats meow, like it’s the best ice cream on the block, your arrogance disgusts me!” letting his fur coat fall to the floor tony stepped forward, he stood only inches from Vlad, his eyes bludgeoning holes into Vlad’s tiny blind Russian face. Tony stared out at Vlad for a whole minute, Vlad couldn’t see him but he could feel his rage as if his sunglasses gave of an intense heat. In a whisper Tony said “I challenge you to a disco duel” The crowd infatuated with shock gasped, for all in the dance dungeon of disco lord tony knew that from that moment it was on.





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