Dance Yourself To Death


s_angelina_icon.gif nightmare_icon.gif

Scene Title Dance Yourself To Death
Synopsis The Nightmare Man visits Angie's dreams, and trusting results in pain.
Date December 21, 2009

Empty building

It’s colder tonight for some reason. Maybe it’s the wind. Maybe it’s just that Angelina is tired of sleeping on the streets during the winter. Whatever the reason, she’s found an old metal barrel, started a fire in it, and curled up on her side nearby, basking in the slight lessening of the New York chill. Warmer than she’s been in several nights she drifts off quickly.

She slips into a dream almost immediately, though she doesn’t realize it. As far as she can tell, she’s still laying on the floor of the old apartment building, listening to the wind and the soft, almost soothing crackling of the fire. It lulls her, relaxes her. A man walks in, dressed in an expensive suit, his handsome face bathed in orange light. His footsteps sound loudly in the building, and have her sitting up. A hand is offered, and she takes it, moving to her feet. For some reason, here in this dream, it’s not odd, and the instinctive rush of caution doesn’t come.

Angelina lets him lead her out of the building and immediately into a swank penthouse. It makes sense, in the way of dreams, as does the fact that her clothing changes from the old, stained clothes she was wearing into a tailored, elegant evening gown. She wears jewelry now, the real thing, no costume jewelry. She’s standing in the middle of a party. Dozens of people dressed in their finest clothes, wearing their most expensive jewelry, eating food that costs more than all the food she’s eaten in the past six months combined. She smiles, unable to do otherwise.

The joy that began to blossom when she saw the party only swells when all these people know her. When they’re laughing and talking with her, flocking to her, all because of the man on her arm. The rich, influential man. He was a VIP, and she was accepted through him, because he’d saved her from the streets.

The party continued for what seemed like hours, then it began to change, subtle changes at first. The music ended, unnoticed at first with the din of conversation, then that too began to die off. The bright lights that had illuminated all of the beautiful people started to dim, until lights shined only on a handful of people, highlighting them in a way that made those faces seem like masks or something out of a horror movie.

Angelina begins to feel uneasy, but no one else seems to notice anything unusual. The sound of a bright laugh makes her flinch, though she can’t put a finger on why. Claustrophobia settles in next, though enclosed spaces had never bothered her before. There were too many people, all crowded in around her. She had to get away, she had to get out, away from the living, smiling cage around her. She started to try to push through the crowd, but the people were packed in too closely. Hands pulled at her, grabbing an arm, her dress, her hair, anything that could be grabbed was, making her gasp and jump, upping her anxiety until she was ready to scream.

She couldn’t explain why she was so scared, terrified really. She liked people, liked parties. But this one felt wrong, it felt like a prison rather than the wonderful event it should’ve been. Had she trusted wrongly? Was she being used by her gorgeous lover rather than adored and pampered? What was hiding under the glitter and polish?

Arms wrapped around Angelina from behind and she screamed and started fighting viciously, using nails and the sharp heels of her shoes, but it did her no good. Words were whispered into her ear from her captor, somehow familiar to the part of her mind that remembered dreams. “Why are you running, Angie? Isn’t this what you wanted? To be kept and wanted by the rich? To rub shoulders with the influential? You’re here. Stay! Dance!” She’s released suddenly, spun out, just to be grabbed again, this time face to face, by a man whose face could only be described as handsome and evil. Tall, dark and handsome was, for now, overrated.

He started to dance with her, a frenzied waltz while the music started up again, intense, elegant and beautiful, but it touched something within her that sent a chill up her spine. Despite the press of people, there seemed to always be a hole for them to move into, always space for the dance. She tries to pull away, but his grip was firm and she barely budges him. “Stop, no. This isn’t right. You have to let me go,” she begs, hating the fear she heard in her own voice.

He laughs and the sound turns her blood cold. “Oh no, my dear. You are ours now. You are here to entertain until we tire of you. Didn’t your boyfriend tell you?” he asks, before she’s spun away again, twirling fast enough to make her dizzy, nauseous. Once more she’s caught, and her new partner doesn’t miss a beat.

“Don’t you know, Angelina, that nothing comes for free?” Another wild spin, another terrifying, smiling partner.

“You cannot trust anyone who wishes to help without asking for something in return.” Spin. Catch. Smirk.

“Because in the end, we’ll always ask for something, and we won’t always accept no for an answer.”

This time she can’t stop the spin, it seems to go on forever, until she thinks she’ll pass out from the frenzied motion. Finally, her original date catches her, holds her. He’s still, the music suddenly quiet, the partiers pressed in tightly and silent, staring at them. At her. The man looks at her coldly, then speaks softly, clearly. “And now that you have entertained us, we will take our pound of flesh in payment for all you’ve received.”

There’s a pause, like the deep breath before going under, where everything is quiet, still, and time seems to slow. Then, they attack. She feels the sting of nails and things much sharper, much more deadly, tearing at her flesh. There’s a chill of cold as her dress is torn, but she doesn’t have time to be cold. Her head is thrown back and she screams in pain and fear, though the mob doesn’t pause.

Just as she feels her heart beginning to slow, she wakes, the scream echoing in her mind. It goes on until she realizing that the scream is not just in her mind, but echoing in the building, and both hands are clamped over her mouth to muffle the sound.

Her heart racing, Angelina tries to take deep breaths, to calm herself. What was with these dreams lately? First they emphasize how she can’t trust herself, and now how she can’t trust others. Was there no end?

It suddenly occurred to her that light was streaming in the windows, the pale glow of dawn. The fire was now little more than warm coals, but she tugged her coat tighter, hugged herself tightly. If there was thing she would think about from the dream, it was to be careful what you wish for.

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