The short story theme this time was “a life changing decision”. I didn’t get any votes this time, ah well.
The first was the One, and he taught the dance. The Ancients learnt their steps patiently, dancing at first the dance of light. Solo they moved, spreading to the furthest reaches, pushing light into the darkness, following the rhythm of the One. His guidance led them to one other, teaching them the ways to move their bodies to create beauty and harmony, building the dance in complexity. They grew in knowledge and love of one another, memorising each move, forging unity in a dazzling swirl which shall never fade from memory. Their bodies moved with increasing intensity as they filled the darkness with light and colour. But the One had never the intention to be the sole leader of the dance. All that is would use his steps, yet would repeat them to their own desires.
He displayed to the Ancients a beautiful dance, full of splendour and harmony, with bodies moving in ways which they had never thought possible, yet he did not teach them these ways. They saw a world take form, with bodies seeming to collide yet keeping their grace. They met one another and each transformed the dance of their partners, guiding them into a dizzying spin, full of power and intensity. More entered the dance, and the Ancients saw oceans form, moving to the most incredible rhythms. They witnessed continents join the routine, rising and falling, moving with the water and against it. They pushed each other to new heights, the air blew over the lands and waters, and they took the dance in new directions, building and building with unceasing beauty.
The One said, “This is what may become, but you must dance your own dance and create in my name, for I shall be sending others when the stage is set.” And with that message he sent forth the Ancients to dance their own dance, but for one of their number. He chose for himself a favoured one; the most beautiful of all the Ancients, for the stage was not set. The favoured one was not able to understand, and so kept a partner, refusing to let go, not wishing to dance alone. The other Ancients were astonished and feared the wrath of the One, for disobedience leads to chaos in the Great Dance. They were not of the knowledge that this was all in keeping with the One’s will.
They were clumsy in beginning, striving desperately to do as they had seen. They danced and they danced, day and night, and times came when it was almost as beautiful as that which they had been shown. But they faltered, not often, but enough to cause them dismay, for the perfection of the dance of the One was always beyond reach. Some of the Ancients tried to learn new steps, and the Earth shook and cracked, the seas roared and clashed, the air blew violently over the land and seas, where even fire did spew forth. The dance continued, yet not the dance of their desires. The Ancients feared that the One would end their dance without sending the favoured one, but he showed no such displeasure. He waited, for the right moment drew near, and commanded the favoured one. “You shall be life,” he said, “And you shall dance with unparalleled elegance, filling the world with new dancers, and they will learn your dance.”
And so it was that life entered the world, spreading far and wide. Life’s partner followed and they began their dance slowly and steadily. The Ancients were in awe of Life and rejoiced in her every move. The dance of Life changed the ways of the waters, where her dance had begun. It transformed the air and moved steadily over the land. Her partner followed, obsequious in her shadow, constantly in line, constantly guided. He grew jealous of Life. He wanted for himself the ability to change the dance and win praise from the other Ancients. It built inside him as his partner grew in confidence, adding new dimensions to the dance. As he followed Life he learnt from her the ways of creation, of how to move in new ways.
The tension and envy built, dwelling close to the surface of his heart. All of the other Ancients were creating, yet he only followed, and eventually he found the courage to try something new. At first these steps confused Life, but she recovered gracefully, moving with them and adapting to the changes. Her partner started to try to lead the dance, but she would allow no such thing. The tension they created transformed all, pushing Life to her limits, which she always surpassed. The dance of the Ancients would never be the same, as Life and her partner exploded in confidence and courage. Their dance swarmed the seas from the depths to the shores. They caressed the land and transformed its face. They took to the skies and grew in the confidence that there were no limits, seeing their future in the stars. The One had willed it all. They performed, thinking for themselves, and the One smiled.
Occasions arose when Life and her partner would lose control and the dance would come close to a halt. But Life was learned in the ways of the One and she kept the rhythm flowing, taking the lead over her reckless partner. She led many dancers and they were blessed with their own abilities, each one as precious as the next. They danced in the seas and on the lands, in the air and looking to the stars. From them came new dancers, some of which were able to lead their own dances. The One saw this and chose to complete the dance, for his will to be done in fullness. He came down into the dance and he was Love. He filled the new dancers and danced with Life, sharing in the dance with her partner and all of the Ancients, to a rhythm which will be without end.