Out of the ball

Head and eyes still whirling around, hands still curved in memory of her frame, heart and lungs still fighting for room in my chest. Legs functioning. Trusty legs!

I duck under the arm of a sharp-nosed waiter and barrel into a barrel of a woman, all ruffles and ruffs. “Oh, oh,” she cries and up-flies her stockinged legs and down falls her powdered wig – empty head still inside.

A guard grabs at me but I’m long gone. Another flings his halberd at my feet to foul me, but trusty legs skip and I’m up the stairs, out the door, across the corridor, out the door, down the stairs, out the gate, across the drawbridge …

In the drink. They took the drawbridge up. Trusty legs kick me across, but they’ve scooped me up and chained me down and now it’s in the clink for professional ragamuffin Orphan Joe.

But I’ll not soon forget dancing with the Princess, nor her powder-blue eyes.

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