Posted in English, Stories

Dance Encounter

Cavan switched the music on, and soft sounds filled the empty dancehall. He unzipped his sweat jacket, let it slide to the floor, and kicked it into the corner.

He stretched and bent and soon danced. He tapped, swayed, pirouetted. A balloonné here, a jump there. Cavan was in his element, forgetting about the world. Only he, the dance floor and the rhythm existed. The music had reached its peak. He jumped, flew, twisted, and skidded across the ground on his knees. The second the melody ceased, he came to a stop in front of the mirror.

Silence. A silence pregnant with anticipation. A calm before a twister. Only Cavan’s panting hissed through the air. Admiring his sweaty reflection, black curls clinging to his flawless forehead, he smirked and rose to his feet. Ready. Ready for the grand performance tomorrow. And the audience would love him. Of course.

With a heel on the barre, Cavan’s body folded gracefully as he laid his nose on his knee and closed his eye-lids. Somewhere something hit metal. Not loud, but crisp. He opened his eyes. The room was dark.

“Damn!” Cavan felt his way through the blackness until he found the light switch.

Click — nothing.

Click, click, click — the darkness remained stubborn.


Another bang echoed through the dancehall, as if someone was hitting an oil-barrel with a hammer. The sound brought light, although not much.

At the opposite end of the room, a spotlight cut through the shadows and illuminated the silhouette standing there. It stood slightly hunched in the sharp light, facing the ground.

A second spot lit up, blinding Cavan. He shielded his face with one hand to better see the strange figure.

The alien abruptly straightened up. It shimmered yellowish gray and bluish green. Large emerald eyes focused on him, staring. Motion crept into the being. First jerky and choppy, then increasingly smooth. Its yellow jumpsuit crackled quietly. The aviator’s helmet on the little head glittered in the light. As if floating, the visitor approached Cavan. Cavan swallowed and looked down at the strange figure. They were now face to face. Or rather face to chest.

“What are you?” He whispered.

The alien blinked, placed one foot forward, and tapped the tip noiselessly on the parquet. It looked down and tried anew. It shook its foot. Cavan observed. It tipped the floor once more. A click cut the silence. It waited a second and clicked again. Clack, clack, next it dragged the toes across the parquet with a tearing sound and clacked the other foot. Cavan watched the alien with confusion. It repeated the procedure. He imitated it, prompting the visitor to step-dance a more complex routine.

“Ah, okay, I get it,” Cavan said, copying that one too. The next sequence of taps and clacks looked even more advanced, but Cavan danced it without any problems. He even added his own steps, which the alien repeated. Cavan laughed and applauded. He communicated with a being from outer space — through dance! The two clattered across the floor in sync, letting hands and feet fly.

Suddenly the alien stopped and stared at Cavan.


It hesitated, blinked, then bowed deeply and held out one hand. Without a second thought, Cavan reached for it. The skin was neither cold nor warm and soft like velvet. It clutched Cavan’s and the alien pulled him in.

The disco-ball above them began to spin. Colored light reflected in it and chased through the room. A tango commenced.

The alien placed its free hand on Cavan’s shoulder blade and pushed.

“Oh… Okay… You lead,” Cavan chuckled.

The visitor forced him into a promenade, made him spin. Until the music changed.

They seamlessly transitioned into a waltz. During the shift, Cavan stumbled, but the alien caught him and continued unperturbed. The rhythm sped up. The waltz took on Austrian characteristics. They spun, flew across the dance floor, kept spinning. Quicker. Faster and faster.

“Stop…” Cavan gasped. “I can’t take it anymore. I’m dizzy.”

The alien halted on a dime, pulled him even closer, and leaned far forward. Cavan was bent back into its arms, held just above the ground at its mercy. Their eyes met. Cavan swallowed. The alien blinked, brought its face closer still, and hesitated. A scent of cinnamon wafted from it. Its mouth opened ever so slightly. The visitor shut its eyes and advanced further. Their lips had almost touched when someone in the room cleared their throat.

The two dancers spun around. A second alien had materialized at the edge of the dance floor. Clothed in a white coat and holding a clipboard. It tapped its wrist with a long finger, its gaze stern on its companion.

This one turned to Cavan, tilting its head. The music changed again. The alien raised Cavan’s hand and gave him a nudge. Cavan rotated politely but kept being spun. Further and further.

With each new turn the alien propelled him faster under its arm. Again. Even faster. And faster still. Cavan felt the world blur around him. He tripped, tried to break free, but his hand was held with mechanical strength. Losing his balance, his feet lifted off the ground, carried outward by centrifugal forces.

“Stop it, why are you doing this?!” Cavan pleaded in his dance partner’s eyes for help. It looked back silently and continued to spin him around. He felt the increasing pressure on his cheeks. A ringing in his ears drowned the music. Gray spots jumped in front of his eyes and his wrist throbbed in pain. Desperate to scream for help, but as soon as he opened his mouth the air was ripped from his lungs. His vision plunged into darkness, but he could still clearly hear the cracking and tearing in his arm. Only the pain kept him from fainting. He felt his arm elongating imperceptibly. A slight hollow formed on the wrist, then the skin tore. Cavan shot through the air and slammed into the wall at crushing speed.

Cavan crumpled, his body folding like a bag of loose screws. Every breath rustling agony, yet his vision cleared. The alien loomed above him, gaze piercing. It glanced at the severed hand, tossing it over its shoulder with a shrug. It pressed a button on its bracelet and spoke into it: “Subject failed centrifugal test.” The other alien jotted something on the clipboard.

A metal bang. The visitors vanished with the light. Cavan’s world turned black.

Understand German? Read the German version here.

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