Written by Krezz Karavan / English version by Leonid
DISCLAIMER: All characters and situations appearing in this work are fictitious, and are intended for mature audiences only. If you are not a legal adult, or it is illegal for you to read about adult situations, then you may not read futher. All characters belong to their respective owners. This story is not to be reproduced, copied, or otherwise published anywhere, in any way shape or form, without the express permission of the author.
It was a week before Christmas at St. Lovejoy, and everyone was head over heels talking about the party that preceded the much-looked-forward-to school holidays.
– “School’s out until next year!” – shouted an exultant Pokeinfo.
– “BUT, that’s no valid ground not to do your homework”- Cynthia sternly called him down to Earth by pulling his ear.
– “Aw, stop that!” – squeaked the lion cub. “You know well that I’ll pay my visits to you those days”.
– “You’d better do, if you know what’s good fer ya”- replied the little bunny, playfully licking his ear. “You’d better not leave me all bored, cold and alone at home…”
They kissed passionately and went their separate ways, agreeing to meet that very night at the door to the school’s theatre hall. As it had become custom, some students will be playing The Nutcracker, whose main attraction was to see Edna as Clara. A lot of students would be there, some to be enthralled, others just to have some fun, and others… to heap scorn at the play. At St. Lovejoy’s, being popular had always been more of a handicap than an advantage, and Edna knew it all too well. Thus, she’d been walking with eyes on the back of her head, keeping safe as best as she could, during the whole day- so no one could ruin her performance. Only last year, someone had splashed all the cast with green paint hours before the event, and it had had to be called off.
Edward was a bit concerned, too. Being the prima ballerina’s big brother made him ripe pickings for the major bullies at school. Rodriguez had, more than once, cast venomous sideward glances in his direction, and at the end of the school day had said to him “This will be a night to remember, you big dork”. Some, especially the younger ones and some wee cubs, giggled as he passed by, because someone had unadvertedly taped a “kick me” sign on his tail. Many a naughty boy felt tempted to give Edward’s backside a really big kick. When school was over, Edward simply scurried back home as fast as he could.
He found Edna on his bedroom, trying the dress for the night’s performance on.
– “Hiya, big bro! How do you like my dress?”
Edward didn’t even turn to look- so pissed off he was.
– “Ah… very pretty”.
– “You haven’t even looked at it!” replied her, reproachfully.
“May something awful happen to that dress”. Edward was just thinking aloud, but Edna managed to make out the words he’d said.
– “Hey! What did you just say?”
– “Uh, no, nothing…” came Edward’s prompt reply. Way too prompt.
– “Uhhhh… does it bother you? Me dancing tonight, I mean? Are you jealous? Is it because I’m popular and you aren’t?”
– “No, it’s not that, it’s just… complicated”
– “You’re envious of me, that’s all!”- said Edna, ready to burst into tears.
– “Hey! I… ah, never mind. I won’t say another single word. I’d better take a nap”. With those words, Edward closed himself up in his room until the time to tidy up and head off came.
The fox cub brothers didn’t say a single word all the way to the school building. Edna was still a bit mad at Edward, and Edward was way more concerned about what could happen to him during the show. When the bus arrived at school and they went down, the nearby students clapped as if they were film stars. Immediately, they headed for the school theatre.
The place was packed a solid full. The only remaining seats were the teacher’s ones, on the first and second rows, and those for the performer’s families in the third and fourth ones. There was a mighty ruckus going on, and from time to time, balls of crumpled paper or paper planes flied by, always landing on someone’s head. The moment the teachers got in, it got bigger- since that meant the show was about to begin- and gradually died off as everyone got comfortable in their seats. The main lights went off and a tenuous light fell over the stage. The room was perfectly silent.
The first chords from The Nutcracker were struck, and with them, the first dancers went on stage. Everyone clapped enthusiastically, waiting for Edna to appear. On the backstage, the little vixen was so sure of herself that she didn’t even notice that one of the bunnies, instead of the bottle of water they all carried for the fake toast, was carrying an olive oil one. Of course, with all the movement going on there, part of it fell to the floor just seconds before it was Edna’s turn to come in.
Edward was on the third row, still turning Rodriguez’s words inside his head, and he felt goose bumps running all over him. A bad feeling swept over him, like a premonition. Beside him, Laura followed the dance steps, as though as it was her the one dancing. Edward hugged her- a quite uncommon gesture that made the squirrel’s whiskers tremble with joy. That very instant, Edna stepped in. She saw some familiar faces looking intently at her in the dim light, and gave them a cocky glare. She then started to dance in precise, skilful motions, the crowd becoming increasingly more pleased as she turned and turned.
Edna danced with such grace that even Rodriguez himself, on one of the side aisles, and sheltered by the dark, shed a lone tear out of pure emotion. “She… she is so sweet and lovely… she’s…”- “everything that complete doofus of a brother she has isn’t”- he disdainfully finished the thought, maybe to hide his real emotions, or maybe because Edward, at his seat, kept casting timid glances at him from time to time.
And then, the unthinkable, what no one had expected, happened. Edna stepped in the oil puddle as she was spinning on one foot. He went down heavily and stayed sprawled on the ground, in a position which was way more comical than alarming, and the audience roared with laughter. Edna stood up on wobbly legs, not knowing what had happened, just to slip and fall again, only in a less spectacular way. Still dizzy from the fall, the realisation of her misfortune came to her… the same ones that had cheered for her and flattered her just hours before, they were know poking loads of fun at her. She wanted to stand, stop and repeat the scene, looking for a dignified way out, but she couldn’t. Her left leg wouldn’t react.
On the third row, someone else was feeling anguish. Edward was looking at his little sister. She barely moved and she seemed to be suffering. Without a second thought, he leaped forward and, stepping on some heads, he climbed to the stage. He slipped through it until he came to where Edna was. He straightened himself up and helped Edna, small and light as a feather, to her feet, where she stood with her head leaning against Edward’s shoulder. She was sobbing. Edward wanted to yell at everyone to shut the hell up, but he couldn’t find the voice to do it. He quickly led the little vixen away from the stage, until they arrived at the dressing rooms.
– “Edna! What happened there? Come on, speak to me!”
But Edna was silent. Her gaze was fixed up in front on her, and she sobbed weakly from time to time. She looked… upset, more than saddened. Some minutes later, the cub that had carried the oil bottle to the stage popped in.
– “Edna… I… please, forgive me, I didn’t mean to… I didn’t realise this was…”
– “Stop laying, you damn whelp!” .Edward sprang and grabbed hold of him by the neck. “Rodriguez told you to do this! Didn’t he? DIDN’T HE?”
The bunny had gone pale in the face. He knew Edward from long before, and he’d never seen him so out of himself. He went limp and closed his eyes, waiting for Edward to punch him. Only, the blow never came. Edna had stood up, and held Edward’s clenched fist between her small hands.
“Leave him be… I believe him. It was an accident”
Edward remembered that violence fosters more violence. For an instant, he saw himself, a big bully, like the huge crocodile boy, and felt an intense loathing. He let go of the bunny, who rushed off in an instant. The fox cub sat by Edna’s side and just stood there, thinking. From far away, the hum of the crowd could be heard as the play resumed without Edna. In such events, an emergency solution was always thought of on the run, and some other cub had taken Clara’s role. It wasn’t the same… but it worked.
Edna seemed to snap out of the trance.
– “Let’s get out of here”- she told Edward.
– “As you wish”.
They left the building through the back door, a defeated look about them. As they neared the parking, he saw Rodriguez leaning against a car, looking as though as he’d been waiting for them.
– “Hey, you. Don’t play dumb with me. You’ve got to take better care of your sister”.
– “You don’t need to tell me…”
Rodriguez calmly walked away. “Why would he say something like that… maybe those two are…?” He looked at Edna, with puzzled eyes, but finally shook his head and got to the car, where his father had been waiting for them for some time. No one said a word. The car started off, down the street towards the hospital. It was bitingly cold.
Edna didn’t come down for breakfast the next morning. Her leg still hurt, and it made walking bothersome. The night before, the doctor told them that she’d be good as new in a couple of days, but her spirits were still hurting more than her leg did. And so, days went by, until Christmas Eve came. Edna was in such a melancholy state that the sunny morning looked to her greyer than ever. Every time that day came, Edna would somersault off her bed out of pure joy. Today, however, she didn’t want to get out of bed. She just looked out of the window as the morning wind shook the leaves.
Suddenly, a gust of wind came in and blew some papers that had been standing over an auxiliary table, as well as an old photography on a wooden frame. It was the photo that caught Edna’s eye, and made her get up and pick the fallen memento. It was a portrait of her late grandmother during a ballet festival. She had been a legendary ballerina, and everyone said Edna had inherited her ballet skills from her. The frame was broken, and thanks to it, Edna could see, on the hidden side of the photo, a handwritten note.
“To my dearest granddaughter, who has recently been born: By the time you read these lines, I will have gone to my resting place a long time ago, and maybe you will have all but forgotten me. You look so much like me, that I am sure that, by now, you already are a ballerina, just as I was…so, if there’s a time where sorrow comes into your life, just close your eyes and remember that, sometimes, you need to dance just for yourself and your own sake.”
Finally, the weeping that Edna had been repressing for so many days could burst out.
At about seven o’clock, a small, lithe figure entered St. Lovejoy’s grounds. It quickly crossed the gardens and went straight for the theatre hall. Under the fading light of a faraway lamp, Edna looked in all directions and silently scampered up to the rear door. Quickly, he got out a key and opened the door. She quickly felt her way through the long, dark corridor to the stage- she knew it by heart. Once there, she headed for the main control panel and lit the spotlight, which fell from above like an enormous cone, illuminating the dark-coloured woodwork. She sighed, like she had doubts about what she was going to do, then wiped a pair of lone tears that had gotten to her eyes and slowly undressed, until she stood stark naked under the light.
Edna got an USB flash stick from her backpack and put it into the sound panel. The soft, faraway notes from a piano started to wave through the air… Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concert Number 2, Second Movement, wafted in the dark, and the scenario was soon enveloped and contained within them. And, in the middle of the circle of light, Edna, coiled around herself like a tiny orange bud, slowly spread her arms, like a flower trembling open under the pale moonlight. He straightened her arms and spun around. Her little feet, now bare, slid over the floor in precise motions to the ebb and flow of the music, which began to shift along with Edna steps as, eyes tightly shut, cast herself wide open to that air of passion that can only be felt through dance not as dance, but as a rite of claiming back what was always ours by right.
The feverish notes of the adagio shifted now again, the rhythm slowly fading out. Edna’s figure, so beautifully female, the curves of her breasts, her hips, her privates, arms and legs softly bathing in the light from above, seemed enough to melt away the soreness of every wounded heart. For ten minutes straight, night itself stood still and listened to the talk between the piano and Edna’s moving body, through endless multicoloured cadenzas. And in the end, drifting amidst ecstasy, defying gravity, Edna stood on one foot, stretching out until she wished to touch the heavens…
That instant, the stars in the sky themselves stood still.
Edna fell on her knees as she hugged herself, panting, sweaty all over, wracked by the orgasm she’d just experienced, deep and bursting like a volcano. Upon seeing herself alone in the stage again, she felt fear. Still, she cast her eyes up and noticed someone standing in front of her. She wasn’t surprised in the least.
It was Edward, who followed her all the time. His cheeks wet with tears seemed to point that he’d just seen beauty in its purest expression. Without a single word, he got down on his knees and hugged her sister. Not long afterwards, they were heading home holding hands, and even though the cold was bitter and biting, her hearts were warm inside.
– “Say, I would have loved everyone in the school seeing you dance like you did tonight”- said Edward.
– “It’s fine as it is…”- replied Edna. “Besides, I’m pretty sure someone else was watching” he added, smiling, as she thought about the old photograph in her backpack…
*End of Story*