Into His Soul – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 13 April 2016, these three words were chosen:

  • Dance
  • Pipes
  • Demand

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



As he sat in his seat watching the dance in front of him he was moved. He closed his eyes and felt the music flow through his body and into his soul. He felt the sound of the drums beat with his own heart. He felt the pipes of the organ play to the time of his thoughts.

He loved this moment more than anything else in his life. In this one moment he felt more at peace than he could imagine. The noise and emotions of the world washed away in this one beautiful act.  This was the one time he could demand that something be done as only he wanted.

Then in the middle of the beauty, in the crescendo of the music he heard a slip and then a tumble. There was a a muffled scream. He opened his eyes to see one of the dancers crumbled on the floor.

His gaze met hers as she shook her head, tears flowing down her face. He shook his head slightly and shrugged raising his hand, he aimed and fired one shot.

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The pipes came to high peak and Sorna closed her eyes, swaying with the tune. The dance was nearing the end and the demand of the magic in the air vibrated against her skin. As the last drum beat faded away, she stilled and slowly opened her eyes. She focused on the man before her. His eyes widened and she knew he had noticed that her dark eyes were a bright violet, glowing in the moon’s low lights.

“You have betrayed my coven, young demon. What shall we do with you?” she asked and glided over the grass, the magic licked and caressed her skin with power.

“Sorna,” he spoke, his voice deep and resonant, “I did not intentionally betray your coven. They…got in the way.”

“In the way?” Sorna stopped, eyes narrowed. “How?”

The man sighed and dropped his hands. The steel cuffs clanked rudely against an old antique rail.

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Sam listened from the balcony as the bagpipes kicked up into a frenzy. Below, the hall was covered in intricate tapestries whose gold thread glowed in the candlelight. From his vantage point, he could see the women dancing and laughing with the men who were, not yet, completely inebriated, but well on their way. He was pleased that the celebration was going so well, but something in the shadows caught his eye. In the far corner, there was a woman who seemed distraught as a man was trying to pull her through the doorway. “Stop,” he yelled out. His demand penetrated the sounds filling the hall instantly casting the room into silence.

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Halley didn’t know how much longer she could keep up the pace of the dance. Her muscles burned and sweat poured from her skin, but still the pipes demanded more. Her feet flicked and swept in the steps, her arms waved, her head dipped and bowed, and just as she thought her heart was going to give out, silence descended over the forest.

Halley collapsed, chest heaving as she tried to catch her breath. She brushed the fiery hair from her forehead, and stood, lifting her chin in defiance. The pipes may call her to dance, but she would not remain on the floor in a position of propitiation for one moment longer than necessary. Her legs were unsteady, threatening to give out under her, but she gritted her teeth, and remained upright.

The prince looked down at her from his high throne, his green eyes cool. She waited for him to speak, unwilling to ask if he was pleased. The silence stretched on and would have gone on until Halley died, for as a mere human, she could not compete with the life span of the fae, but a figure rushed into the starlit clearing. Halley had time to see he was dressed in black, and wielded a silver blade before a bag was thrown over her head and she was borne away over a broad shoulder.

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Dani walked slowly and deliberately across the stage. Her nerves were acting up, and she didn’t want to tremble. Singing required a calm throat, a , larynx, and she really needed to show her pipes for this audition. Dancing she could do nervous, but singing, not so much.

“Name?”  A bored woman with severe white-blond hair spoke without looking up.

“Danielle Patterfield,” the voice seemed distant, and it surprised her to realize it was her own.

All three judges looked up, surprised. “As in Roxanne Patterfield?”

“Yes, she’s my sister.”

The man sitting next to the severe blond squinted at her, studied her legs. Roxi was famous for her legs, powerful, strong, the first black woman to hold on to prima in the New York Ballet for three years straight now. The other man, bald at the end, said nothing, but looked at her hair, so different from Roxi’s – down, relaxed.

“Don’t expect special treatment, young lady.”

“I won’t,” She spoke meekly, too meekly. This wasn’t going to impress them.

“Allright, show us what you got, then,” the blond said.  Here’s where I shine, she thought.

She started dancing first, a slow rhythmic modern dance, completely disrelated to the ballet that made her sister famous. She poured the last two weeks of emotion into it, arched, swayed, pulled and dragged herself across the stage, and then started singing. She sang a simple lyric song she’d only heard last night, minor, full of sevenths and black key blues.

Breathless, she upped the ante, gave it just that last bit of energy. If she didn’t get this job, her one and only dream died. She’d stay homeless rather than go back to her uncle’s, back to his too grasping hands.

When she was done, no clapping. She turned to see what they thought.

The man on the end, who’d not spoken yet, tapped a piece of paper, and stared at her for what felt like forever. “If you can do that on demand, you’re hired, girl. Show up tomorrow at five am.”

She smiled. “Will do.”


“I don’t think you understand how this works,” Mary told the Baron. “This is my dance. You don’t get to demand anything from me.” She scanned the crowd, the sound of the pipes growing louder as the crowd quieted, the attendees starting to notice that something was happening between the lady of the evening and the would-be prince.

“Fine,” the Baron growled. He bowed low, hand extended. “May I request the honor of this dance, milady?”

Mary looked down her nose at him, every fiber in her wanting to spit on his outstretched hand. But she was growing more aware of the eyes on them, eyes that looked to her for leadership, for guidance, and she needed their support. How could she get out of this one?

She looked back to the crowd, eyes flitting passed the courtiers in their finery, the gentlemen and soldiers and ladies in their best dresses, eyes skating across to find anyone, anyone else who would be appropriate to dance with at this moment.

Movement stopped her frantic search, and her eyes landed on the stunning form of Jerem in full military dress, dark hair a stark contrast to the white of his officer’s uniform as he stepped forward, and she turned to him, wondering what to say. He saved her the trouble.

“I believe this dance is already taken,” he said, reaching forward to take her hand.

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1 Comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

One response to “Into His Soul – an ISG Writing Exercise

  1. Pingback: Writing Exercise: Something in the shadows… – Alanna Cormier

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