Description: This is a piece I wrote for a creative writing class my senior year of high school. I loved that class, and this was by far the favorite thing I wrote for it. This piece was a practice in describing scenery. We were to pick a time period and location, do research on it (including clothing, games of the time, etc.), and describe an accurate “scene” from that time period using the elements we researched. So, while it lacks much of a plot, remember: the point of it was to depict an accurate, vivid atmosphere of the time period/location. It’s something you might see at the beginning of a chapter. It must have made an impression on me, as I would go to join swing club my sophomore year in college and become an avid swing dancer.. and next year I’ll be the president of the swing club!
It seemed appropriate to post it today: the day of my university’s spring swing dance!
This piece had the privilege of being published in the 2010 Spring Edition of Anderson University’s Literary Arts Magazine.
Shadowed by the high walls of the alley they waited, huddled around the door as if to fight off the night’s wintry chill. For many tense minutes they spoke only in muted whispers, but soon an excited murmur rippled through the dense crowd as the guard finally permitted entrance. Both music and light leaked out through the crack of the open door, and, jittery with excitement, each guest shouldered and squeezed his way to the front.
The wooden dance floor teemed with young men and women. Had it not been for the vibrant pinks and blues of the ladies’ dresses, however, all would have faded into the darkness behind veils of gray smoke. Light burst forth, yet, from the stage, where a dribble of sweat sparkled briefly before slipping down the deep brown skin of a trumpet player’s brow. The saxophonist, drummer, and pianist too suffered from the heat of bright lights and a snug stage; though, they continued to pierce the air with the clear, high riffs and syncopated beats thousands had come to love due to the popularity of the radio.
Below the stage, mini rainbows formed as the ladies spun in their colorful skirts. Their parents would have shunned their exposed knees and collarbones, but the young women only laughed as their partners joined them in the Charleston or swung them up into the air in the more daring Lindy hop. The way their bodies smoothly flowed from one position to the other gave one the impression of flying and inspired daydreams of Charles Lindbergh’s recent solo flight over the Atlantic Ocean. Continue reading