Mating Dance

Debra Fran Baker

They stood in the empty warehouse. Two men stepped forward, guns aimed and ready. The one was in designer suits, the armor of government dress codes and corporate uniforms. He moved with a clumsy grace, an athlete unsure of his body. The other wore the colors of the streets, black denim and leather, and his moves were awkward, one arm holding his weapon on the other man, the other hanging stiff and artificially by his side. They circled each other as their companions stood guard.

One companion, a woman in a feminine version of her partner's uniform, watched both men, one with trust and loyalty, one with loathing for what he'd done to them. At first she saw their movements as a challenge, two stags meeting in a forest clearing, posturing to see who would win the territory and the does.

Then she saw their eyes meet, and knew with a sick certainty what it meant,what they were doing. She watched as their movements changed, slowed, became rythmic as they spiraled towards each other as if they were in a decaying orbit around a black hole - unable to move away or even to stop. She and her counterpart across the warehouse could only stare at this turn of the battle.

Both combatants were breathing hard, eyes locked upon the other. Now they were just out of reach, their weapons, still held high and straight, just avoiding contact. If they fired at the same time, they couldn't miss. Both guns would explode together and leave their bodies empty on the warehouse door.

She held her breath and waited for the conclusion. The guns were aimed...but not a shot was fired as both guns were flung across the room and both men fell to the floor and collapsed in each other's arms, passionately embracing as their partners stared.

Copyright 1998 Debra Fran Baker and NightRoads Associates

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