Dancing Around the Issue (Literary Lion Challenge – Week 1)

Welcome to my first attempt at the #LiteraryLion Challenge, hosted by Laura Gabrielle Feasey.

This week’s prompt was “Dance” and I attempted to write a slightly different take on it – focusing on the dance of life instead.

The challenge, as always, is to tell a prompt-inspired tale in 400 words or less, in seven days.


Dancing Around the Issue 

By Donna-Louise Bishop

Put on your dancing shoes.

Put on your dancing shoes.

It was the eyes that did it.

Laura had just about mustered up the strength to turn the key in the door but then she felt his eyes on her back, pleading with her not to go.

She made up as many excuses as she could; some new, some old, all of them not true. Now it was time to leave.

Although she had loved her time at home over the past few months, their time together had run out and like all good things, it had to come to an end. She wasn’t going to lie, some days had been harder than others, but they had learnt to love each other in a way which was special to them.

Laura turned around to look at him. It was a mistake. He grabbed her hand tightly and looked into her eyes to see if she felt the same heartache he did. Kneeling down, she put her arms around him and said “you’ll be okay, I promise”.

This would become the dance the two of them would perform each morning now; Him begging her to stay, and Laura pleading with him to let her go. That’s how some relationships are.

She thought of happier times when they had danced with each other during their short time together; jiving in the living room to the radio, swaying together at a tiny tots disco, rocking him to sleep in her arms.

They had spent nearly a whole year together growing accustomed to their new roles – Laura as a mother, Jamie her son. As the one-year-old made a string of incomprehensible “first words” to protest his disappointment, Laura swallowed back the tears before walking out the door to her first day back at work.

She knew as soon as she left that Jamie would forget all about her until she arrived back home in time to put him to bed. What she hadn’t known was how cruel the dance of motherhood could be.

(327 words)

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About Donna-Louise Bishop

I'm a freelance reporter and creative writing tutor living in the beautiful county of Norfolk UK. I blog. Wife to Ben, mummy of two young boys. Cake rocks.
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9 Responses to Dancing Around the Issue (Literary Lion Challenge – Week 1)

  1. Tara says:

    Aww this made my heart hurt. I hate leaving Freya. You’ve captured that feeling so well. The only bit that confused was the keys in the door because in my head she was letting herself in somewhere not out but that could be because we have a different door. I soon worked it out.

    • Donna-Louise Bishop says:

      I’m glad you’ve said that as I thought it was confusing too but I kept it as it was as my husband said he didn’t have a problem with it. I will edit it for any future use I think. The phrase to put “a key in the door” didn’t sit right with me because you don’t put it in the door, but instead the keyhole… Thanks for flagging up Tara 😊 I did a Keeping In Touch (KIT) day at work on Friday so this story was inspired by me leaving for work then. It was worse for me leaving my two-and-a-half-year-old than the baby mind you!

  2. I’m not a mother myself but you conveyed the situation so well, it describes exactly what my friends and relatives that are mothers have gone through. I also love that it sounded like a break up scene to start with, I do like it when a writer surprises me as a reader 🙂

    • Donna-Louise Bishop says:

      Thank you. It was based on a scenario I found myself in on Friday with my two-year-old. I haven’t done flash fiction since university so I’m excited to be getting back into it.

  3. Deeksha says:

    This story is heart- touching..! Captures the emotions of a mother so well! Loved it..

    • Donna-Louise Bishop says:

      It’s so hard juggling that mum/work role, as well as the emotions that go with it. Thanks for your feedback 😊

  4. Sonya says:

    Really enjoyed your take on the prompt and how you played with the reader’s expectations. I’ve no idea what it’s like to return to work after maternity leave – I didn’t go back – but I suspect this is what it’d have been like.

    • Donna-Louise Bishop says:

      Thank you. It was the first thing that sprang to mind when I saw the prompt. I thought the situation played out almost like a relationship ending, which in a way, it does. I returned to work on Friday leaving my nine-month-old. However it was the two-year-old who broke my heart! “Mummy not go to work, Daddy go to work!” was screamed until all he could do was cry. Within seconds of me walking out the door my husband gives me a thumbs up at the window 😂 kids!

  5. Pingback: Dance Of Death | It's Mayur Remember?

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