This is a follow-up to the story which mutated from the original idea in many ways. Here is a version that is closer to what I’d originally envisioned. Think of it as my own version of 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.
A crowd had started to gather near the mall’s stage where an unscheduled event had begun. It was a mere thirty minutes before the Beliston* Studio dancers were to take the spotlight for a holiday recital at the shopping mall.
The drama had been building for several minutes when one of the school’s instructors started conversing with a gentleman who had identified himself as a talent scout. The dance instructor was becoming increasingly agitated, and, what the gathered crowd had noticed, but which had bypassed the scout, was that the dance instructor, weakened from starvation, stress and exertion, was five seconds away from finding a weapon to beat the man to death.
The obvious threat, was excellent and compelling drama in any small town and the crowd was enjoying the treat. It was even better knowing that the scout was completely unaware of his own peril.
“Who are you to think you have the cachet to pronounce judgment on my students?!”
“Lady, you’re nuts. I’ve got as much right to have an opinion as any audience member.”
“An audience member! An audience member! Ha! You are a career wrecker, you! You monster! Shattering a child’s dreams!”
“I think you’re mistaken. I work for the Baltimore Ravens…”
“Shhhh, you! I don’t care about your obsessions! Nevermore, I say!”
“Now it becomes clear! I’m involved in a pointless conversation with a bird-brained nut job!”
“This conversation is more pointed than your head. Clearly, with your attention span, you have forgotten that you are here to shatter dreams, and I am here to stop you!”
“The only thing you’ve been able to stop is my ability to follow your hallucinatory rantings. Why don’t you just shove a bagel in your mouth and dial the craziness down to eleven. I’m going to take a seat.”
This was the last straw.
The starving, half-mad dance instructor ran straight at him, pushed him down and ripped a plastic chair out of the permanent fixture in the concrete floor, and ran after the poor man, who had finally realized his danger. He also had learned that you, never, ever, tell a starved, crazy dance instructor she’s crazy.
cachet / ca – SHAY / an indication of approval carrying great prestige. 2. a characteristic feature or quality conferring prestige
*An homage, perhaps, but, not a direct reference to a local studio with which some of my readers are well acquainted.