Sunday, August 24, 2014

Barbie's Dream Boat

Fine. I'll admit it. I have some pretty strong perfectionist tendencies. Because of that, having a variety of projects going at the same time keeps me from fixating on any one, deciding it's complete rubbish, and bagging it. Sam James is one of several stories I wrote early on and decided to rework when my writing skills improved. As I fiddle with it in between my main projects, I'll continue to post chapter excerpts for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Chapter Three:
Barbie's Dream Boat

Samantha emerged butterfly-like out of her cocoon of drab clothing and footwear and drew the attention of eligible bachelors like moths to a flame. Perhaps a wealthy oil tycoon searching for true love and adventure, or a sexy bad boy bent on ruining every woman in his path would succumb to her charms. After a mad, passionate rumble, the selected swain would abandon his wicked ways and beg her to be his.
At least, that was the plan. 
However, with all the changes she had undergone, one thing remained constant: next to Vanessa Sumers, Sam was invisible. Sam propped her cheek on her palm and sighed inwardly as the attractive-looking businessman seated beside her at the table leaned over her to vie for Vanessa’s attentions. The athletic-looking fellow seated beside Vanessa was fighting equally hard. 
Well, Sam thought, caught in a flirting maelstrom in which she played no part, this is what I get for letting myself daydream.
As always, Vanessa had secured one of the best tables in the ballroom for the evening’s entertainment, set alongside the stage itself.Tonight’s program boasted a ballroom dance review. Sam knew little about dancing, but she admired the skill and grace required and wished she had any type of coordination. As group after group took the stage, she continued to be impressed by the talent and poise of the on-ship entertainers. Finally, one duet remained. The Paso Doble.
The lights dimmed and the audience hushed as one dancer stepped onto the stage.  Illuminated by a spotlight, he stood tall, erect, motionless. As the music began, his feet tapped out a complicated rhythm so quickly Sam could hardly keep track of them. He sauntered, spun, and slid across the stage, performing the intricate movements that reminded Sam of a bull fight. Only when he paused, arm outstretched, waiting for his partner to join him did Sam realize she had been holding her breath. As soon as their hands met, they were off again, twirling across the stage until the music reached its finale. The room fell silent, the dancers frozen in a passionate embrace. Before she realized what she was doing, Sam was on her feet, clapping wildly, her eyes still riveted on the dancers.  A gentle touch on her arm pulled her from the magic of the moment.  She looked down to see an uncommonly soft smile lighting Vanessa’s face. With a wave of the hand, Vanessa reminded her to take her seat. 
As she did so, Vanessa leaned forward to speak furtively in her ear, “You know, I used to be a dancer.” Sam lifted her eyebrows in surprise. “I was quite good too, but as usual a man got in the way.” Vanessa sighed half-regretfully. Sam imagined her buxom boss as a dancer, but found it impossible to visualize anything that didn’t include a pole. 
Vanessa continued, oblivious of Sam’s train of thought. “That doesn’t mean you can’t live your dream,” she said. Before Sam could reply, Vanessa raised a hand and motioned to the nearest waiter. He scuttled to her side, an inquisitive look on his brow. “My friend,” she said, gesturing toward Samantha, “would like to learn to dance like that,” she gestured toward the now empty stage. 
Sam envisioned herself as a young and awkward Frances (A.K.A Baby from Dirty Dancing) paired with the male from the last number as the hunky bad boy Johnny.  Coincidentally, his partner would be incapacitated for the rest of the cruise and he’d be forced to train her instead.  (What was unclear was why he wouldn’t select a partner from the 50-some-odd other well-trained dancers on hand, but why mess with a tried and true plotline?)  Through many clandestine training sessions he would transform her ungainly movements, and finally during the formal ball on the last evening of the cruise they would flout convention and display her new found dancing prowess and their undying devotion for one another.  She could hear the words, spoken in a husky tone, “Nobody puts Sam in the corner.”  
“I’m sorry ma’am,” the waiter replied politely, interrupting Sam’s reverie, “those services aren’t offered on this cruise.  But I’d be pleased to give your compliments to the dancers.”

* * *

Thanks for dropping by!  For more on the adventures of Samantha and Vanessa, Finding Myself in LiteratureHostile Makeover, Dealing With Divas, and Diva Depressed. And the one where Samantha comes face to face with her dreamboat: The Meet-Cute.

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