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  You could have a big dipper   

Ringside by Peter Gardiner

Arthur slumps over my left shoulder and I feel drool run down my dress, guffaws from the gallery.

We spin ungainly round, if we keep moving we keep playing.

The jazz record skips. The smell of sweat and popcorn. Ten Days now.

A skinny girl falls to her knees, her partner too weak to catch her. The judge’s whistle cracks the air.

Three couples left. Blisters and bunions, calf muscles wound tight as cat-gut.

The air-horn goes and I pinch Arthur hard in the underarm. He walks dazed to his cot, I to mine.

I sleep dreamlessly, deeply till the tang of smelling salts and a slap drags me back.

The dance hall looms before me, faces in the shadows, cheering.

But at the end is $500. And, these days, that is a new life.


Peter Gardiner has produced two plays at Brighton Fringe and was shortlisted by New Writing South and won Best Theatre from IYAF festival. He has a Sci-FI podcast 'Whisper Through The Static' and has been published in Popshot Quarterly, Capsule and Cake magazine. Twitter: @twobitfilms

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