by Cecil Brooks

Rita. Rita, her hair thick and beautiful, slightly touching the perfect curve in her lower back. Her black dress was decorated with flowers, and they trailed off her as she leapt and twirled. One could catch small glimpses of glittering brown eyes if one looked close. The passion of her dance was to cry for, and that's just what her audience did. They stood in their crowds and raised their candles for Rita, and the light illuminated her perfectly. There were no whistles from the men, and no jealous words from the women. The only noises heard were the sounds of claps, and silent moans and cries. "She is beautiful," they whispered. "Bless her!" Someone yelled. But Rita did not pay attention to these things. Her mind was on one thing, and that was dancing. The echo of drums vibrated beneath her feet, and the sweet, slow sound of the flutes surrounded her, and she flowed with the rhythm. She became the music, and nothing could stop her from dancing at this moment. She moved down the street, and following her were her parents. Her mother and father rode horses of the finest breed. The weather was chilly, and the sun was blanketed in gray so they wore their finest coats. Thick furs from beasts of foreign places. Staring at their daughter Rita, they wept quietly, keeping the grace that nobles of their stature carried. Behind them were eight identical men. Soldiers, adorned in beautiful armor, and carrying weapons. Their heads were down, and their helmets off, in honor of the event, but a few peeking eyes could be seen, watching Rita dance. Their horses' hooves clicked off down the road, and behind them came two servants, carrying a heavy looking box, and behind them two more carrying the other end. The box was carved with amazing skill. Gold was inlaid in the wood, and in it glittering diamonds that would cost most families a fortune. The top of the box was open, and one could view inside of it. And the sight of the box made the people weep even more. A young face could be seen, too young to be in a box such as this one. He lay in it, face up, and hands crossed across his chest. One could see the similarities and knew it to be Rita's brother. She danced for him, his parents wept at their loss, and the soldiers gave honor to the man that had lead them. Just hearing the story brings pools of tears. But there was not just sorrow at this place. Rita brought with her beauty. And the sadness of the boy's death left the peoples' minds as they relished in the stunning moments life can bring. And Rita danced, no tears from her eyes because dancing was her tears. The memories of her brother drove her movements, and through the streets of the city Rita danced until she could cry no more.

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