Episode #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1
This week, I start work on a new ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from this passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship (The Thirteenth Hour is occasionally told from multiple perspectives; bolded black portions of the text below indicate a perspective change from Aurora to Logan):
I hadn’t seen much of Logan the whole dance; he’d been whisked away by an overzealous female flamingo as soon as the dance had started. The last I saw, he was listening to the animated hoots and squawks of the backflipping chimpanzee after they’d had a backflip contest which ended in a tie.
The more I looked for him, the harder he was to find. I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of jealousy. After all, we’d come here together. We should have at least once dance. For some reason, that seemed important … I couldn’t explain, but I hoped he would understand.
The animal band suddenly announced that this would the last song, and when the crowd protested, they promised to make it extra–long and slow. Great. These were the kind of songs that required a partner. And if you were a girl and didn’t have one, like me, you either stood marooned on the floor, awkwardly waiting for someone to ask you to dance or retreated to the sidelines. I looked around for awhile but could not find Logan. As I sighed and turned to walk to the side, suddenly he was right there, alone. Among all the faces swimming around my eyes, I saw only his. He didn’t ask if I wanted to dance; he just took my hand, and we joined in the crowd.
“There’s something …” we both said at precisely the same instant. And then we both laughed. “… that I wanted to tell you,” we both finished.
There were a few seconds of silence. I felt like there was an invisible wall that my words had to get over … if I could get them over that barrier, everything would be fine. But I couldn’t do it, at least not yet. Finally I gave a sheepish grin and a sideways nod that said “maybe you better go first.”
“Well, back when I was talking to the unicorn – you know, the Lord of the Earth, he offered to see into my future. And the fortune said in the very near future I’d be married. Can you believe it? Can you imagine me, married?”
I thought for a second. There were a couple of places I could go from there, but I chose the semi–safe route. “I think I can, but … what made you think of that just now?”
“Well, I really wanted to tell you at the baths. But then we got interrupted. And then, at dinner, there was so much going on, and I kinda forgot. And then I saw you just now and, I dunno, that’s what I thought of. I don’t know why, I guess.”
“Did the Lord say to whom?”
“No, he didn’t say.”
“Didn’t or wouldn’t?”
“Wouldn’t. I did try asking.”
“You must have been surprised. You sound surprised.”
“I was. I just never really thought about it before. Maybe it would be nice, if you found the right person, but finding that person … I dunno, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”
He wasn’t taking the bait, and I couldn’t really blame him. It was kind of a long shot. Guys weren’t great with these kinds of things, anyway. Still, it never hurt to try. “You really think it would be so hard to find the right person?”
“Well, how many girls have I really known?” I shrugged and laughed, looking down at Aurora’s feet. “I mean, who would I marry, you?”
I regretted it the moment I said it. I’d been joking, but hadn’t meant it to come out like that. If there was any girl I did have feelings for, Aurora certainly would’ve been the one, but to marry someone, you had to love them, didn’t you? I still didn’t really know what that was. There was an awkward silence. I laughed a little and felt like an idiot. Aurora laughed, too, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have just kept my mouth shut.
It was alright, and I said so. Like I said, it was a long shot, and even I didn’t understand the weird mess of feelings inside. But I was forced at that moment to admit that they were there. Things were changing, and I was falling.
“ … but you said that you had something to say, too?” Logan asked.
I just shook my head and looked down at the spinning dance floor. It made me dizzy, and I looked back up at Logan. He was just tall enough so I had to look up a little to meet his gaze but not so tall that I couldn’t rest my head on his shoulder, if the time were right for that. I didn’t, though. Instead, I looked into his eyes but could not tell what he was thinking. I did my best to smile, and we danced that way until the song ended.
There are now Thirteenth Hour toys! If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.
If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!
You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.
Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.
Stay tuned. Follow along on Spotify! There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.
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