Moonlight was streaming through the open window and the hoary gramophone's horn was howling at it. The record was wobbling on the misbalanced turntable and made the pin jump, skip a beat and screech when landing on the disk again.

Somehow the melody was not flowing around the room, but spreading down like a heavy fog. It's muffled mutter was not touching the eardrums but was getting through the feet as a vibration from the old herringbone parqueted floor. The screech of the gramophone needle was merging with the screech from the steps on the undone wooden flooring. It must've been a dancing room. Long ago... But not for a while in any use or good shape.

With small steps, still with a spring in them, the old man was following the hollow melody from the old music machine. His name used to be Hugo, but he forgot about it. Most of the people forgot about his name. It was easier to remember him as the lover of Sylvie Fanfan.

He was a good dancer. Undeniably – a great dancer. With his floating moves he was seducing the senses of everybody that was watching him. It was hard to resist the hypnotic feel his moves had on everybody. They felt in trans and admittingly, every new musical hit was receiving an elevated new gist when was performed with his dancing.

He had many partners – for dancing or bedding. He wasn't interested in remembering their names or faces, as long as they had a good sense of rhythm and sinuous movement. He used to leave them for the next town and the next dance floor when the new music hit was out, but not before he had the best out of them and pretty much full of all he can get…

The first thing these women saw were his shiny dancing shoes. The grand thing that enthralled these women were his fast effortless steps in his shiny dancing shoes. The last thing they remembered before he walked away and closed the door were his shiny dancing shoes.

He couldn't be bothered to remember their names; they were too many of them. He just called them "Bunny". But it wouldn't take longer before he started treating them as caught rabbits.

The Rabbit Catcher he was. And he had scattered traps, chased and hunted down every weak and gullible woman that can walk into his cage. He left carcasses of broken hearts and ruined young lives.

He never cared. He never got tired.

It was one of his cages that Sylvie Fanfan went into. She was the dearest of the small town and all were hoping for her great future. No one could foresee that the newcomer was a bad news. Sylvie was mesmerized, trapped and not long after squashed under the dancing shoes of this charmer, just as he did in many other towns to many other young women. Hugo was just about to walk on her when the leaking gas that she left on from the kitchen stove reached the gas lamp in the living room. The big blast threw him across the other side of the small street. She was minced from the explosion and nothing really was left to salvage to bury her. The blast melted Hugo's face, his legs never recovered from hitting hard the ground. He practically wasn't able to walk away, leave or chase. And he couldn't dance as he used to.

He only got older. And older. And older…

Now he lived in the small town's old dancing ballroom. The people from this small town were calling him the rabbit catcher of Sylvie Fanfan and forgot him as Hugo. Every person he had to face was reminding him of what he caused to Sylvie. And he couldn't escape them as going away became impossible.

Tonight he felt even more haunted by the spirit of Sylvie. The fact that after the explosion they never managed to scoop her out and put her down in a grave, made him feel even more as she was around, watching over his shoulder. He turned the music on in hope the melody will disburse the bubble of unpleasant and empty thoughts. But the old song only made him awkwardly shuffle his crippled old legs. He then thought of maybe turning the gas on. But he didn't know how to hurt himself. All his life he was the hunter, he knew to prey, lure and catch others. He was now trapped in his own cage.

In a moment of gloom, he lifted his head as if looking for an answer and all he could see was the smoky-dark ceiling and the big load bearing ceiling beam. Actually, at first he couldn't see it; it was too dim. But as his eyes were getting used to the blackness, the solid timber piece of bearing beam started to develop clearer shape.

It suddenly all became so crystal clear. His answer was hanging up there.

© 2016 copyright | an ode to… sophia terra~ziva | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



OCCASIONAL ANGEL (monologue of a dilapidated writer) – project “IT'S PERSONAL”

OCCASIONAL ANGEL (monologue of a dilapidated writer) – project “IT'S PERSONAL”