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Mad Flo

A slow bemused crowd gathered, sharing uneasy glances, unsure if laughter was acceptable in the circumstances. The man in the suit did his best, trying to be gracious, but he clearly did not wish to be dancing with mad Flo in the middle of the high street. She gave no sign of being aware of his discomfort, nor of the growing embarrassment of the crowd. She whirled and twisted, a scarlet smile revealing ageing teeth, beneath impressively bouffant hair.

Passers-by plotted a wide-berth, hoping to avoid the indignity of being pulled into the spectacle. Shopkeepers stood at the their windows, shaking their heads complacently, relieved that she wasn't inside their establishments, frightening away their customers.

A man in his fifties, dressed in a smart suit and carrying an expensive briefcase, hovered fleetingly at the edge of the crowd. His expression was dark, uncomfortable. He bounced the handle of his briefcase in his hand, then strode away, vanishing down a dark alley between the Poundshop and Moreton's Bakery.

Flo, catching a fleeting glimpse of the man, stopped dancing, her hand slowly falling from the shoulder of her shanghaied partner. The scarlet smile melted away with the sun, the swirl of her skirts belatedly coming to a rather surprised halt. Her partner, at first confused, then relieved, gave a small bow and hurried away, his face flushing with humiliation.

Flo stared at the alleyway for a few seconds, then turned and ran, tottering in her high heeled strappy sandals, towards the park.


© 2011 Kay Lawrence.


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