When Elenor had turned eighteen years old, she walked home from school the same way she had for the past four years, but somehow ended up horribly lost in a forest she didn’t recognize where the trees always seemed to have just been interrupted in a conversation they were having. She checked her phone, but her phone was fritzing, flickering from no service to full and not able to make calls. Worried, she continued down the trail to a clearing with a waterfall and an old woman sitting on a log beside.
“Hello Elenor,” said the old woman, turning towards her with a beatific grin, “I am your fairy godmother, and I’ve been waiting for this day for many years.”
“Where am I?” asked Elenor.
“That’s not an interesting question,” said the old woman. “Let me ask you a better one – what does your heart desire?”
“My heart?” said Elenor, “I want to go home!”
“And you will,” said the woman, “but first I need to help you pick your destiny.”
“Pick your destiny?” said Elenor, “Isn’t that an oxymoron?”
“Another uninteresting question,” said the woman, “Answer mine first.”
“If I pick something, will you tell me how to get home?” said Elenor.
“I’ll do better – I’ll take you there,” said the old woman.
“Fine,” said Elenor, “I want to be better at swing dancing,” she said.
The old woman nodded solemnly.
The next morning, the queen of the land of dance awoke in her room of ten thousand dancing skirts. Her ladies in waiting Lindy-hopped as they dressed her, and she tapped her foot to the beat as she ate her breakfast. When her hair was done and her shoes were comfortably laced, she walked out to the balcony, where the people of her kingdom waited for her. They watched, breathless, and as they watched the music began and Elenor began a dance so beautiful that there was not a dry eye in the whole crowd.
Written on 4/8/17 at the University of Rochester’s ArtAwake Festival for a woman who was several times presumed to be a swing dancer (she was not a swing dancer)