Welcome to my A to Z Blogging Challenge Posts.
This month I’ve challenged myself to not only do 26 blog posts in 30 days based on One Word Writing Prompts, but also to try to link them together into some kind of cohesive whole. I’d love to hear how you think I’m doing. If you want to start the story from the beginning, check out the Angel post from April 1.
Today’s One Word Writing Prompt:
The definitions are from the Oxford English Dictionary via their on-line access (which I have through my University employer). Feel free to skip down to the story segment if you don’t share my fascination with words, definitions, and shades of meaning.
1. A rhythmical skipping and stepping, with regular turnings and movements of the limbs and body, usually to the accompaniment of music; either as an expression of joy, exultation, and the like, or as an amusement or entertainment; the action or an act or round of dancing.
2. a. A definite succession or arrangement of steps and rhythmical movements constituting one particular form or method of dancing.
b. A tune or musical composition for regulating the movements of a dance, or composed in a dance rhythm.
3. A social gathering for the purpose of dancing; a dancing party.
4. transf. and fig.
†5. fig. Course of action; mode of procedure, play, game. to know the old dance: cf. French ‘elle sçait assez de la vieille danse, she knowes well enough what belongs to the Game’ (Cotgrave).
1. a. intr. To leap, skip, hop, or glide with measured steps and rhythmical movements of the body, usually to the accompaniment of music, either by oneself, or with a partner or in a set.
†b. to dance barefoot: said of an elder sister when a younger one was married before her. Obs.
c. Of animals taught to perform certain regular movements.
d. transf. and fig.
e. to dance to or after (a person’s) pipe, whistle, etc.: fig. to follow his lead, act after his desire or instigation.
2. a. To leap, skip, spring, or move up and down, with continuously recurring movement, from excitement or strong emotion. Said also of the lively skipping or prancing of animals, and of the heart, the blood in the veins, etc.
b. To run, go, or move on with dancing or tripping motion.
3. a. Of things inanimate: To bob up and down on the ground, on the surface of water, in the air, etc. Often with personification or figurative reference to gay and sprightly motion.
b. Grimly applied to the movements of the body in or after death by hanging; to dance upon nothing, to be hanged.
4. a. trans. with the name or description of a dance or measure as cognate object.
†b. to dance Barnaby: to dance to a quick movement, move expeditiously. to dance the Tyburn jig: to be hanged: cf. 3b. Obs.
5. to dance attendance: to wait (upon a person) with assiduous attention and ready obsequiousness; orig. to stand waiting or ‘kicking one’s heels’ in an antechamber. See also attendance n. 5.
a. To lead in a dance, cause to dance.
b. To move or toss up and down with a dancing jerky motion; to dandle.
7. With compl.: To remove, put, bring, impel, etc., off, away, out, in, etc., by dancing.
8. U.S. (now hist.). In former North American Indian tradition: to rejoice over by dancing round (a trophy, esp. a captured scalp).
Today’s Story Segment:
Rosario studied Uriel as they moved into the entryway. He was a large, solidly build man with the kind of muscles that came from hard labor rather than a gym. The mysterious blond, Michael, had said he wasn’t a normal human. Rosario had felt something when he caught the man, but he’d been too worried about the gunshot wound to pay much attention. Uriel looked normal enough in khaki cargo shorts and a t-shirt, but he held himself tall and proud in a way that made Rosario think of the military men he’d known.
“Evander will meet us in his suite,” Savino said as he stepped past Uriel and motioned toward the elevator.
“Who is Evander?” Uriel asked, glancing between Savino and Rosario.
“Evander is our creator,” Rosario replied. “Michael said that there was a contract between my creator and his, and your being here is part of that.”
“I only know of two contracts made by my Lord,” Uriel said.
Rosario wanted to smile at the speculative look Savino was giving Uriel, but tried to keep his expression serious. Now was not the time for mirth, but Rosario wondered about Uriel’s use of “lord” in that sentence as well.
The elevator arrived and Savino stepped in, using the button to hold the door open for them.
“If you’d accompany us,” Rosario said, motioning into the elevator.
Uriel nodded, but his head was never still as he stepped in. He was looking at everything, and Rosario had the strange impression he was seeing things for the very first time. Michael had said there would be a lot to explain to Uriel.
Rosario followed him in. There was definitely something unique about Uriel. His presence didn’t have the same feel as a normal human, nor did he feel quite like a vampire either. There was an energy to him that was unlike anything Rosario had felt before. In the confines of the elevator it was more obvious.
Uriel jumped when the elevator chimed to let them know they had arrived at their destination.
Rosario reached out and placed a hand on his arm.
Uriel gave him a small smile before turning to look as the doors opened.
“After you,” Rosario said as he let his hand fall.
Uriel walked out of the elevator, but only took a few steps before stopping.
Rosario and Savino followed him out.
“You should not still be alive,” Uriel said.
Rosario glanced sharply at him before looking to Evander for direction.
Evander laughed. Not the reaction Rosario had expected.
“I do not see the mirth in this situation,” Uriel said.
“Of course you do not,” Evander replied, still chuckling softly. “Because no one explained, yes? They sent you down without any idea of what you would be doing.”
Uriel didn’t answer, but Rosario could see the tension radiating through his shoulders.
“Come, sit,” Evander invited, waving them toward the comfortable chairs in his parlor. “There is much we need to discuss.”
Uriel didn’t move right away, so Rosario stepped past him to join his creator. He could feel Uriel following him into the room and wondered why he’d hesitated before.
Rosario sat in the chair to Evander’s right, as he always did. He was curious to learn about the contract Michael had mentioned, but what he really wanted to know was why it seemed that Uriel knew Evander.
Uriel followed Rosario when he moved into the next room. Michael had told him to guard and assist Rosario, so he would remain close to the man even if it meant being uncomfortably close to a man he knew should have died millennia ago. He could feel something unnatural about Evander. Now that he was paying proper attention, there was a hint of it to Rosario and Savino as well, but it was much stronger from Evander.
“I don’t remember your kind being so suspicious before,” Evander said. His dark brown eyes glittered with mirth as he smiled at Uriel.
“My kind?” Uriel asked. He had to resist the urge to spread his wings. They were not visible, and Uriel wasn’t at all sure this man would be intimidated by them. If he were still a man that is. Uriel was not entirely sure. He did not have the same feel to him as the humans Uriel had encountered before.
“Yes,” Evander said. “We will get to that,” he added. “But tell me, why have you been sent here? I was not aware things had become so dire as to invoke any part of my contract with our creator.”
“I was instructed to guard and assist Rosario,” Uriel replied. Michael had said so in front of Rosario, so there was no reason to keep it a secret.
“Interesting,” Evander said, his eyes moving to Rosario. “Something must have happened tonight.”
“Angelo and his ilk where here when I was leaving,” Rosario replied. “Angelo intended to kill me.”
“Angelo always intends to kill you,” Evander replied, waving his hand dismissively.
“He shot at me, but Uriel was in the way.”
“That does explain his shirt,” Evander said. “Did he heal it himself?”
“A man who called himself Michael arrived shortly after,” Rosario said. “He healed the wound.”
“Ah,” Evander said. “And he is the one who instructed you, Uriel?”
“Well, I expect he knows what he’s doing,” Evander said. “You have my gratitude for saving Rosario tonight, and for assisting him in future. I will not forget it, nor will I forget what is due your Lord for sending you in our hour of need.”
“What is it you are dancing around?” Rosario asked. “What aren’t you saying?”
Evander laughed. “You always were the smartest of my sons,” he said with a smile. “However, it is not my place to reveal this particular fact to you. Perhaps you should ask our guest.”