A Free Read

Life is a Champagne Bubble

Christopher E. Howard

Author’s note:
This is one of those little pieces of writing that has gone on through the years – not exactly earning me loads of money but on the other hand keeping my enthusiasm up when other rejections loom, and generally greeting me like an old friend whenever another editor decides to air it.

It has been reprinted so many times I’ve virtually lost count but at one stage it was being reprinted in various magazines, pamphlets and collections almost every year!

This piece is indicative of what has become known in the world of literature as the ‘Short-short’ – the fabled ‘ten-minute-read’. Popular years ago, with the ‘fanzine and pamphlet era’ it died out for some time as the ‘trade-paperback’ took centre stage.

With the introduction of Indie-publishing and the e-book revolution, the shorter written stories have been making quite a comeback – our lives becoming that much more hectic; coupled with the versatility of the phone, tablet, or Kindle means one can access almost any media at any time… and so the ‘ten-minute-read’ has once again graced our lives – and long may it live!

So here it is yet again for your enjoyment.

Life is a Champagne Bubble

Their eyes met across the translucent floor, and as if by gravity they were drawn together. He was rotund and handsome, she petite and demure. They circled slowly, each appraising the other’s curves. Around them the party was in full fizz, couples rising in ascendance, singles bobbing to the beat, all locked in a heady fanfare of gaiety and emotions; for in this frenzied free-for-all, lovers were destined to meet, fall in love and procreate, ensuring the survival of their creed.

Time was short but not so short as to divest of etiquette and forget one’s manners. No. The clan of Moet and Chandon reached far back into history and were cultured and proud: Inherent instincts to these two champions of the effervescent world. Already they had attracted the attention of some of the onlookers. In suave fashion he reached out to her, employing reverent deference, genuflecting before proffering the engagement to twirl.

Twittering coyly, she acquiesced, slipping delicately and nimbly into his airstream. At first, he was too dazzled by her beauty, to do more than a light eddying quickstep. The way the light gleamed off her, irradiated her, shone from her to almost blind him.

She was truly a bubble to behold!

She too found his stature alluring. He was so big and strong, he had his own centre of gravity, a nebulous cluster of sparkling liquid and gas that gleamed at her from inside with a thousand twinkling suns. So thick and hard was his skin, the light imbued him with a magnificent matt finish.

By Cork! She was the envy of all here.

He saluted her again, dipping around her in the currents, seemingly reading the compliments in her countenance, accepting them with courtesy. She let herself be taken, releasing her energies as they slipped into a glissading waltz. The floor began to descend as they rose in the panoply of dancers. Yet they held the centre of the party, finding their own vacuum, having room for nobody but each other. Those around began to applaud, to fizzle out, watch the show and make room for these two rising stars.

He took them into a breath-taking spin, holding her close, enjoying the exhilaration of the move, then smoothed out to execute the tango. She surrendered to him, accompanying his every move, spinning here, pivoting there, receiving commendations with every innovation.

She was the belle of the ball.

The atmosphere intensified, pressures built upon pressure as they swirled around their own nucleus, jiving, rock n’ rolling, doing the twist. He was lost to the moment. The samba and rumba followed; the crowd cheering them on, daring them to meld. And touch they must, for they were made for each other, a match made in the glittering heavens.

Far above the dance floor now a new fervency gripped them, driven by the potent ambience. Others fell away, the light dimming, concentrating on their central space. Their rolling slowed, the tension between them mounting, knowing no bounds. She capitulated, pervading his skin, welcoming him. The magic surged, crescendoing. He surrendered, exploding.

Their atoms mingled, energies fusing, hearts expanding, skin bursting in a scintillating shower of bejewelled droplets, each tiny protoplasm of new-born energy. The shower rained down on the party, on the couples, singles, and dancers alike!

Comment by one editor that I really liked

I was exhausted after reading this – a sort of, ‘out of the dictionary and onto the dance floor episode’. Quite exhilarating really, with images of Torville and Dean dancing to Ravel’s ‘Bolero, or something like that! Thanks Chris!

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