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Dame Lune Eclairait: Boite a Musique de Jeune Fille
It was dark outside. It had been for about six hours. “Why are we seeing the show now?” asked Coron. “Why so late at night?”
“This is the only time she performs.” responded Adrian. “But, I suppose you wouldn’t know. Where are you from again?” He inquired coolly.
“North England. Who is it that we are seeing? I don’t think you told me her name.” Coron murmured.
“She is known as ‘Dame Lune Eclairait.’ She is well known in France.”
“And what makes her so-” but he was cut off by his companion.
“Hush! Here she comes.”
The candle lit room dimmed and the man at the entrance of the tent closed the front flap. The dark blue velvet tablecloth and walls shone, twinkling in the soft glow of small, dancing flames. Coron shifted in his seat, making the dark wooded chair slide ever so slightly to the right. The black wood floor creaked and he cringed. ‘How does a tent even have wood flooring?’ he thought. He looked around, for the millionth time that evening.
There were about twenty tables in the room, each seating up to four. Every single one was full. There was an ebony granite stage, which seemed to suck all of the light into it, not so much as reflecting a single flame. Suddenly the candles guttered and went out as one, leaving the room dark as the air outside.
The part of the tent that hung over the stage lifted ever so slightly, leaving a perfect circle of moonlight shining on to the ebony. A girl stood in the circle, her head down and eyes closed, with her arms curving down making a kind of ‘O’. She was like a porcelain doll. Raven black hair spilled down her back, and her lashes made shadows on her cheeks.. Her lips were a soft rose and her face was flushed with a healthy glow. She wore a solid cream frock, very simple and elegant, with lace spilling off of the sleeves and bodice. Delicate cream ballet slippers covered her feet, ribbons running up her legs. She stood on the tips of her toes, balancing.
A soft sound of metal winding up, almost like a crank, was heard. It cut through the silence harshly, however small the sound was.
And then the most haunting melody. It clicked along, like the song of a music box. No…it was a music box.
The girl began to dance, seeming to come alive to the music. She moved slowly, never moving away from the circle of moonlight, as if trapped in its boundaries. Her movements were choppy at first, and then slowly and minutely smoothed out, as the moonlight on brightened. The beauty of the thing washed over Coron, pulling at his heart as the tide pulls the sand.
The girl’s hair became an extension of the night. She herself was a moon beam gliding softly through any boundary that could hold mankind. She began to move faster and faster, blurring with the night and stage.
Suddenly she froze, standing in a perfect arabesque. A collective gasp was heard from the audience. She was no longer wearing the cream frock! Instead, a tutu clung to her slight form. Black feathers adorned the top and embellished the skirt. A thick, silk ribbon the color of a moonless night was wound about her waist. The breast piece was a pure white, and it shone with moonlight. Black ribbons, connected to the same colored shoes, wound their way up her legs, tying themselves; they came to stop only after forming bows.
Again she began to dance. Slowly, she started to spin. She leapt and balanced, twirled and flew. The pace of the music box, where ever it was, picked up and her legs matched the tempo. She was a whirl wind, a blur, a moonlit lady, a music box maiden.
The music reached its peak, now sounding like more than one box playing. Faster and faster and faster, it played and the girl matched its pace. It became hard to watch her, and she seemed to be everywhere in the circle at once. Everything began to blur and twirl. Coron began to feel slightly dizzy as the walls of the tent and the tables began to spin. He closed his eyes tightly, trying to push the nausea away so he could watch the show properly.
When he opened them again, she was gone.
The stage, the chairs, the tent, the table, and the floor had all disappeared. He, and the rest of the audience, now sat on hay bales in the middle of an empty field. Only one thing had not changed.
A perfect circle of moonlight lit up a single white rose as it lay on the ground. A soft giggle echoed through the air. “Welcome,” it said, “to the wonders of Dame Lune Eclairait.”