He wiped a moist, red hand along his forehead. His fingers fumbled for the tie-dye handkerchief that he constantly kept in his pocket.

Daniel, supreme violinist of contradances, smiled encouragingly.

"Hey man, having fun?"

"No, not really."

"What's the problem?"

"I don't understand this thing at all."

Richard sighed. "I don't have an effing clue what a ladies' chain is, what "hay for four" means, what..."

"Dude, it's not your fault. They have a rotten caller tonight. Even our best dancers get muddled with Henry Vanenka."

"Not the greatest night for a beginner then, huh?"

"Didn't you go to the orientation?"

"Um... what orientation?"

Daniel slapped his face with surprising force. "Okay man, you sit out and nosh. I've gotta go back with the other musicians."

Richard surveyed the dance hall drearily. The long, swishing, glorious skirts, the laughing, grinning faces as the guys decided to perform fancy moves, artfully executing any number of spins to their partner without missing a beat. Everybody in the room, except Richard, was completely into this folk thing, was clearly having the time of their lives. Contradancing.

A young flutist waved to him suddenly, stars whirling across her crimson cheeks. Wait- was that Jenny?

The End

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