In Asteria’s dream, she is one in a thumping line of chorus girls. In Asteria’s dream, there is one from every curve of the globe, from every spectrum, one of black eye, one of green, one of pointed tooth, rounded tooth, snaggletooth, claw. In Asteria’s dream, she is one supple joint in a long row of marrow.
In Asteria’s dream, blood pumps, hips swivel, and the crimson tendrils of their costumes breathe and bounce between them. Chests heave, muscles burn. The rush of breath, the thrum of body. In Asteria’s dream, all their legs are blades made for cutting.
In Asteria’s dream, the dancing girls are arm-in-arm and nothing else exists. The orchestra, drowned. The audience floating up into space. Businessmen, bosses, bankers ascending to the empty reaches of the theatre, past its velvet stretches, towards the chandeliers and painted skies, sucked into the dark air of its lungs. Up they throw the money and down the money falls. It catches between the soft wood and hard strings of the first violinist’s bow. It is sucked into the many tubes of the tuba player, into the creases at the back of every flautist’s knee.
In Asteria’s dream, the chorus girls are chopping the money into confetti. A swirling fluttering green and grey between their legs. She looks out to the darkness and sees only stars. In Asteria’s dream they are tumbling, the chorus line, they are head over heels for the mystery before them. A combine harvester, bladed and bright, they dismount the stage in unison, catching their costumes on the stage lights, so with smouldering fires at skirt and bodice and stocking, with haloes of hairspray wavering and garter elastic snapping in the heat, they bump over the orchestra and careen unbridled into the vacant rows of the theatre.
In Asteria’s dream, there is a deep calm darkness, full of confetti and women and chance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoë Meager’s short stories have been commended and published at home and abroad. She is fiction editor at takahē magazine, and is a fiction reader for Overland. There’s more about her work at zoemeager.com, and she tweets @ZoeMeager.