Foot Stompin’ Music

Contributor: John Laneri

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Last night, my wife and I competed in a dance contest at the Grey Horse Pavilion. The event was one of those happy affairs in which we danced our hearts out before a panel of judges. The grand prize – now listen to this – was a whopping expense paid weekend to San Antonio along the River Walk.

Jane was eager, her manner alive with energy as the sound of music greeted our arrival. We hurried inside, knowing that Jake the fiddle man was already performing his magic – the strings of his violin vibrating the best foot stomping music in all of West Texas.

Once registered, we slid onto the dance floor and turned a couple of circles before settling into a slow waltz to draw us into harmony.

“Your cologne smells great,” I said, as I pulled her close and nuzzled her neck.

She chuckled softly, her face blushing a shade. “I wore it especially for you.”

“That's why I love you so much,” I said, as we executed a perfect quick step.

As we slid past the bandstand, I shouted, “Hey Jake, give us something lively. This little lady’s in the mood for some real foot stompin’ music.”

He replied with a nod and directed his band to step up the tempo.

From there, we started into a spirited routine, a two-step that took us around the dance floor – our feet moving as if they were tuned to the strings of his fiddle.

“You’ve always been a lively dancing man,” she said happily, her steps moving in rhythm with mine.

“Dancing just comes natural. I can almost feel the music fly from my feet.”

We started a spin and followed it with a skip step. The crowd applauded. Then we were into our favorite, a routine that featured a series of sensual bumps meant to show the love we have for each other.

Another applause. By then, the crowd was going wild.

Following a twirl with an emphasis on form, I felt her miss a step then smoothly right herself with a double to maintain the rhythm then we continued without a hitch, executing a series of perfect jump steps, as our bodies again became one.

“Your feet may be musical,” she whispered, as her eyes swept the dance floor. “But, they feel like lead weights when they land on my toes. Be careful, you’re embarrassing me.”

“Most women consider me the best dancing man in the county. So please consider my boots innocent of any mischief.” I gave her a another smile and started spin – a lively one that sent her skirt flowing to the side.

We circled the floor, but as we came out of a second spin she stumbled again, her eyes turning to mine in surprise.

“My feet are beginning to wonder about your boots – that really hurt. Are you trying to make me look bad?”

“Tell your feet to pay attention. My boots are wired to the music. And, they’re still planning to dance us straight to San Antonio.”

She followed me into a final series of crossovers then we finished with a twirl and a bow to the judges, our routine complete.

Afterward, we remained on the dance floor mingling with the other contestants while we discussed our mistakes. Once the judges made their decision, we were selected for the next stage of the competition.

Soon, I saw Jake reach for his fiddle. “Are you ready? We can win this thing if we give it our best shot.”

“I’ll try,” she said, as she held on to my arm took a cautious step.

We labored through another dance. By then, she could barely walk, and I knew we were finished.

The next day, I kept my distance because she was wearing a cast and hobbling on crutches, claiming of all things that I was to blame.

I tried to lift her spirits by saying something sweet. That's when she indicated I could go straight to hell.

When she settles down and her foot heals, I'm confident that we'll make it to San Antonio – that is, if she doesn’t break another bone, trying to keep up with the musical feet of the best dancing man in all of West Texas.

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John is a native born Texan living near Houston. His writing focuses on short stories and flash. Publications to his credit have appeared in several professional journals as well as a number of internet sites and short story periodicals.
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