Monday, February 18, 2013

Trapped Dancer



image courtesy of dalbera (via Flickr Creative Commons)


"It takes dedication and sacrifice to be one of the greats, Suzy."

Suzy looked up at her mom from where she sat on the bench, working out a cramp in one of her feet as the other girls spun and twirled on without her. She didn't feel great...all she felt was trapped.

"I don't want to be one of the greats!" she said, frowning fiercely.

Her mother sat down next to her and fussed with her hair. "Of course you do, dear. It's always been your dream, and I'm here to make sure it comes true."

And she had been. Everything in Suzy's life revolved around dancing and ballet - whether she wanted it or not. Somewhere along the way, her delight had turned to drudgery, but no matter what she said or did, her mother seemed blind to it.

Suzy had exhausted every possible way of getting out of this 'dream' she'd supposedly had since she was five... almost. As the arms of her mother encircled her like a cage to take her foot out of her hand and massage it herself, Suzy had a thought.

"Some dreams aren't meant to come true, mama..." she said, her voice far away as she eyed the dancers and the ladders the stage hands had left dangerously close to the dance floor. She couldn't dance if she couldn't walk.

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This was written for the Trifecta Challenge of the week AND the Write on Edge challenge of the week :) 

Trifecta's Prompt:

EXHAUST (transitive verb)
1a : to consume entirely : use up 
  b : to tire extremely or completely
  c : to deprive of a valuable quality or constituent
2a : to draw off or let out completely
  b : to empty by drawing off the contents; specifically : to create a vacuum in
3a : to consider or discuss (a subject) thoroughly or completely  
Please remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above. 
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone.  Please join us.


Write on Edge's Prompt(s):

We’re looking forward to seeing what you think, as this week’s prompt combines an Ayn Rand quote with an image of one of Edgar Degas’ famous ballerinas.

Remember, you can use either — or both — portions of the prompt in your response and your word limit is 500. Once you link up, check back Thursday to see what other members of the community submitted.
The link is now live and will be open until 11:59 p.m., PST on Thursday. Happy writing!

It stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there’s someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice, speaks of slaves and masters. And intends to be the master.
—Ayn Rand
Edgar Degas painting
image courtesy of dalbera (via Flickr Creative Commons)

46 comments:

  1. How sad she would have to contemplate injury to get her freedom. As a parent, I have a fear of this very thing. So far, my kids have tried many things and not settled on one - which is okay with me. We have a responsibility to let our kids have their own dreams...and to realize dreams can change.

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    1. Yes - and I dare say we have the same responsibility to ourselves!

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  2. Oh, no! The line "of course you do, dear" is so awful -- so like what virtually every parent says about something at some point in their kids' lives, and so clear that she's not really listening. I'm sure it's hard to know where to draw the line between a genuine change of mind and momentary petulance.

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    1. Lol, yes - my hubby and I don't have kids, but we have an unwritten agreement with each other to never descend into 'Yes, dear...' land.

      Yeah, you make a good point regarding petulance and how sometimes throwing a fit is momentary crakiness, and sometimes it's for real.

      In this case the point I was trying to get across was that the dream had become more the mother's, than the daughter's.

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  3. Oh God! What a horrible decision!

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  4. how extremely disturbing! it's very sad. i know how it feels to for parents to force dreams upon me. i love this line "As the arms of her mother encircled her like a cage" great work.

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    1. Yeah... I do too. The inspiration came loosely from my own life.

      Thanks :)

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  5. "the arms of her mother encircled her like a cage" I love this line! A very good piece.

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  6. She must be very desperate indeed! There have to be other options, I'd think. Hope she makes the wise choice!

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    1. Unfortunately wisdom often takes time to cultivate...the world looks very small to a child.

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  7. stage parents are the worst. Poor girl

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    1. Yeah, they can be. I think there's even a movie out there about how it can get!

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  8. Whoa! That poor girl. I can totally relate with the piano lessons I supposedly wanted. I never did smash my fingers though. lol Great way to use both prompts!

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  9. Oh Dawn. I can't look at that sketch now without seeing Suzy and all the other girls and boys in that fix. Seems Suzy has found a way out for now, maybe forever... that would be too bad.

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    1. Aw, no worries - just think of Suzy in the stripey red and black leotard she was wearing, the one consolation her mother allowed her ;)

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  10. Oh, that mother. I like the image of her arms encircling her...trapping her...to care for her feet.

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    1. Hehe, yeah, nothing like taking someone's feet (life) out of their own hands!

      Thanks! :)

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  11. True sense of desperation. Poor girl. Well done.

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  12. I hope she can find a way to extract herself from her mother's dream without being seriously injured. How awful to be trapped into something she's grown out of but isn't being heard.

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  13. Ooohhhhhh Suzy is hatching an evil plan.
    Hope I'm keeping out of my kids' dreams, but you never see yourself as clearly as others do...

    And, Degas... *sigh*

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    1. I'm sure you are - you're aware of the potential at all...puts you way ahead of the game! :)

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  14. We see alot of this in our cheerleading world. Sometimes the parents make the kids miserable. Its really so sad.

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    1. Oh! I guess cheerleading can be pretty competitive too - I know zip about it, but can imagine...

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  15. Brilliant use of the prompts! I think you nailed the despair. Very well done!

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  16. Don't do it! Wait! Do it! Free yourself. So conflicted. Really, really great writing.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, conflict like that for a child is huge.

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  17. The lengths one will go to when trapped... Very well written piece Dawn!

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  18. Such desperation! Moms sometimes have their own agenda. Great job with the prompt!

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  19. What an option which is not really an option at all-poor girl-driven to such desperate measure just to get away from a over ambitious mother's dreams!Only if [parents realise what folly lies in this kind of behaviour,many lives could be different-sigh!Wonderful piece of writing Kymm:-)

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    1. Yeah... some parents do, some parents don't. Flattered at the accidental comparison, but I'm not Kymm - I'm Dawn :) The one and only me.

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  20. your piece and SAM's are so similar with the theme: the dancer pushed beyond her limits, ultimately following a path of destruction to escape.

    Hope my own kids never feel this way!

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    1. Mm, mm hm, guess that's what you get when you mix Ann Rand quotes about sacrifice serving a master with a pic of a ballerina and the word Exhausted all together!

      Makes me wonder who this SAM person is! Looked for an exact SAM entry...didn't find.

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  21. Dawn all I could think of was those terrible Pageants that young children are forced into by over zealous parents. My girls did gymnastics, callisthenics ....when they wanted to stop I let them. Thought provoking Post on what a child wants to what a parent wants.

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  22. You had me with this line, "As the arms of her mother encircled her like a cage..." Wow. This is a fiction piece, but it could be pulled from the headlines. So many parents today want their own dreams to be lived out through their children. Well done!

    Sara from A Sharing Connection


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