585. Cadence

In a poorly lit and heated basement
Cadence trains hard for her big break
an opportunity that can change her life
and a chance to escape her abusive parents

Her pink catsuit is soaked with tears and sweat
barely covering the fresh bruises
the sequins hardly show up in the dim light
in the stage of her head they glow brightly

She brushes her long dark hair
away from a day old black eye
and concentrates on the music in her mind
determined to earn the respect of her peers
and the possibility of freedom

Attempting to leap as high as possible
trying to stay off the ground on which her mother walks
twirling as fast and tight as she can
as if she can turn back time to her early childhood

She can hear her drunken parents arguing again
their raised voices can be heard through the ceiling
she quickly gets in to bed trembling with fear
dreading what may happen
if the cellar door should creak open tonight

by Jaden Knight

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