A Dance with the Plague

Lachlan Griffiths

Across the room, I saw him.

A tall man with a standoffish posture rested his back against the wall of the eccentric ballroom, arms crossed and gaze on the delicate design carved into the ceiling. His many siblings danced with other guests, talking with words most endearing and moving with grace most regal, yet he remained distant from the rest. A crooked crimson crown found itself entangled in his shaggy, porcelain hair to where the presence of the extravagant headdress held permanence without the introduction of something sharp to cut it out. Such hair that was able to reach the nape of his neck at its longest was able to perfectly frame his handsome face, the softness contrasting the sharper angles of his face. A set of frosted red lips both stuck out and blended in with his pearl white skin, which would lead a person’s eyes up his slim nose to be greeted with a narrow pair of pale, pinkish eyes. The mysterious bachelor complemented his albinism with a formal, monarch-like outfit in various shades of vibrant reds that was partnered with hints of gold and saffron; his beauty matched the enchanting design of an osiria rose, with its stark differences in hue and shade.

Our eyes locked, and the cold aura that the man projected into the warm room immediately disappeared. Charmed by a smirk most fitting of his features and a look of malice sheathed beneath captivating confidence, I found myself sauntering over to him to match the air that he gave off. When close, he had found his partner - myself - and no longer was the sibling that stood aside. Little did I know he had wits unmatched and was merely waiting for somebody else to make the mistake that would propel the prominence of his family, along with making the name they share, a stain on the lips of the public.

Gripping my hands firmly, we began our dance. It felt so natural and the presence of the other dancers in the room soon faded from my mind, as my focus settled on the Adonis that taught me the dance that was to become my first and only nature. He spun me round and round; every time our eyes would meet as we returned to a foxtrot or we glided around the room, I found my body heat up to a discomforting warmth. When he dipped me, I felt an itch in my chest that became a cough upon being raised. If not for his charismatic words, then the dance would have stopped right there, yet his voice had cast a spell on me and such an enchantment caused me to continue with such a persistent annoyance birthed from my lungs. Around the room again, several spins and another dip - back up and around again. Thumps against the laminated wood of the floor echoed throughout the gigantic ballroom, becoming the metronome to the music that played before turning into the only heard sound, but I remained entranced with the man I danced with.

Another dip and our lips connected. His taste was phenomenally foul at first and my nose scrunched up at the disgusting scent that came from him. Swiftly, such revolting sensations dissipated and was replaced by a taste more delicious than any dessert and a smell sweeter than any flower. My body felt drained of energy and he released me with little care when I was too limp to move myself - another thump to the chaotic symphony that many chose to ignore.