The Prize

by JediAmara

Author's Note: I was bored, so I decided to try to prove that a one-shot doesn't have to be 1400 words. :P Frosty again XD. If this turns out really weird, blame it on the fact that I was listening to Australian punk music while writing it. Something With Numbers is pure brilliance. Oh yeah, and the fact that I wrote it in half an hour while waiting for my little brother to log on. Uh, if you even think of reviewing please do, I'd like reviews other than people from PC as well

Whirling, swishing, turning, wishing; dryad, nymph, spirit, wisp; everything is here tonight, and it all suddenly feels right...

The dancer pirouettes, skirt swirling around her, a form shrouded in grace. There is an audience, but she does not see it; her mind blocks out all ambient sound. For her, there is only the music, and herself.

Here an arabesque, there a twirl; no longer does she dance to the music - instead, the music plays her...

Here she turns, closes her eyes; she leans into the stage, allows the music to take her, lets it swallow her. Soft harmonies intertwine, the sounds of woodwind mixing with strings. She feels, more than hears, what is next to come.

A sudden discord sounds. The dancer is not jolted; instead, a faint smile touches her lips, and she moves quickly into a grand jeté, almost floating from one side to the other. Perhaps she does float - it's hard to tell.

No one knows what passes through the mind of a dancer at the height of a leap - a prayer? Elation? Does the dancer reach out through her mind and lift herself from the ground, using only the power of thought? This dancer could - but there is no telltale blue glow; no way to know.

And now it winds down; she still turns, but there is a difference now. No loss of concentration, but a lessening of pressure, maybe. A reduction of something intangible, impalpable, imaginary.

She slows, and finally stops, lifting her head to look out - not at the audience, but at something beyond it. There is a sense of power, of something too great to envisage. The feeling passes as quickly as it came.

The final curtsy; she turns gently and walks - no, glides - into the wings, to meet the other who stands there, watching, entranced.

The master of ceremonies stands at the lectern.

"And that was Entrant No. 17, Ashara's Kirlia, in the 14th Annual Pokémon Talent Quest," he says, but she does not hear him, still lost in the emotions of the dance.

The softest whisper cuts the unrecognised applause, dancing on the breeze: let's go. The dancer follows the other out; it's no longer the prize that matters, but the dance.