Déjà Vu and a Do-Si-Do

For years, it has been like a dance, back and forth, and a do-si-do.  She's been whirled around the floor until she was dizzy. Each partner grabbed her arm to set her a-spin and then moved on before she could really focus and get a good look at him.  Bow to your partner and allemande left, into the arms of the next one.

The dance went on and on. Even here, she feels like she’s been endlessly riding the music, up and down, around and around the dance floor, her emotions rising and falling with each new appeal. But now the music has stopped.  In a few hours, she will make her final curtsy to the audience that has come to watch her last performance.

As she waits to take the floor for the last time, she is surprised at how silent it is.  She has become accustomed to the sounds of this place, the murmurs and echoes that seem to never stop.  But tonight it is deathly quiet, the ticking of the clock in her head the only sound she can hear.

The minister came this afternoon, and asked if she wanted to pray.  She declined, knowing that praying was fruitless. How many prayers had she said while flat on her back, and how many were answered?  That told her all she needed to know about prayer.

About an hour ago, she was served the dinner of her dreams.  Oh, yes, she’d dreamt about this dinner many times since that first time. As soon as she took the first morsel of lobster, dripping in warm melted butter, into her mouth, she was carried back to the dinner that brought her here.

He was her salvation, her way out of the life.  He talked of love and care and slow waltzes alone under the moonlight.  And she believed.  What he hadn’t talked about was his resentment of all the partners who’d whirled her around the floor in the past.  He never spoke of the jealousy he felt every time another man so much as glanced at her.  He never told her of his lightning quick temper and even faster fist.  She didn’t learn of those things until it was too late.   

She waited until their first anniversary, and then fed him the dinner of his dreams.  She prepared all his favorite foods: succulent lobster stuffed with her pain and perfectly seasoned with arsenic. She served it with a side of potatoes au gratin, delicately sauced with her feelings of hopelessness and just another light touch of arsenic.  And for dessert, he enjoyed homemade strawberry shortcake, topped with a pillow of whipped retribution sweetened with a sprinkle of arsenic.  After gorging himself on her misery, washed down with a bottle of Pouilly Fuissé, he slumped in the recliner in front of the TV, fell asleep, and died.  She did the dishes, finished cleaning up, and called the police.  Through every step that  followed, she found it hard to keep the smile off her face.  She never expressed a bit of remorse, because she felt none.  She felt nothing but satisfaction, and no reluctance to show it.

Now, as she wipes the last of the whipped cream from her lips, she reflects that it had been worth it.  And then she waits, listening to the ticking clock.

Soon enough, they come.  Taking her arm, they escort her down the long corridor, and into the room where she will perform her last do-see-do.  After they strap her to the table, and insert the needle into her arm, they open the curtain to the audience.  She closes her eyes, and a feeling of déjà vu washes over her for the second time tonight.  How many times has she danced like this, on her back while the partner of the moment took his turn with her?  Well, this is the last time.

The audience wonders why she died with a smile on her face.


This was written for The Inferno, where the prompt was "déjà vu."


  1. haha. excellent...i kinda caught it early on, probably due to the priest but it was still a selight to read...and some probably did not blame her...smiles.

  2. I wonder how many times this is the true story? You've captured the inner experience so well. I loved this piece.

  3. Brian: Yeah, I didn't really make much of an attempt to keep the ending in suspense. I was more into capturing her experience of it. I'm glad you liked it.

    Mary: Thank you! I'm so glad.

  4. fun one,
    you have the skill to do it and make it a hit.
    lovely details.

  5. http://jinglepoetry.blogspot.com/2010/09/poetry-potluck-bedazzled.html

    our poetry potluck is open, if you have poems (old or new) to share, link in NOW,
    you can link up to 3 poems, the more you share, the happier we are.
    Thanks for the participation!
    Happy Monday!


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