Flash Friday #13

Prompt: http://flashfriday.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/flash-friday-13/comment-page-1/

She twirled on the oak floor, gliding effortlessly over the polished wood as if nothing as simple as gravity or friction could ever affect her. Satin and lace glowed in the candlelight, leaving trails of white fire in the eyes of all those who watched.

Through a crack in the floor it came. At first, just a tiny rivulet, and then a stream, and then a torrent, the water covered the aged oak and began to rise.

She tripped, the current catching her unawares, and then tripped again, but the dance did not stop. The water reached her knees. And then her hips. She slowed, and darkness crept in as the candles were doused by the flood.

But the dance did not stop.

She fought on through the rising water, roiling and frothing as it enveloped her. She ached now, her chest pounding as she tried to force her body to live without air. She fell more often now, her feet numbed and unsure.

But the dance did not stop.

In the darkness she could not see the beast. Never more than a shadow on the brightest day, it crept into the safest of places, the warmest of hearths, the gentlest of embraces, the most endless of loves, and it always took its prize.

She felt its teeth sink into her calf, biting, ripping, tearing at the flesh. The pain took her, and for a time she was beyond telling. When she came to, she knew the beast for what it was, and in that knowing, she brought it to a stalemate. Its jaws did not unclench, but it would not have its prize. Not yet.

And the dance did not stop.

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