Beneath a waxing moon I wander paths bathed in pale light. Guided by the thread of a soft, distant sound, I navigate never-ending mazes of green hedges and grand gardens.
Tall hedgerows give way to a murmuring fountain opalescent in the moonlight. The surrounding manicured lawns lead to shimmering trees that shadow a majestic old mansion. As I approach the manor, I can see the home’s grandeur, but it now appears long-abandoned, uninhabited.
Starkly beautiful music softly begins emanating from within the structure. I peer through a window and see a glittering, ghost-filled ballroom where a dance is about to begin. Among the dancers there is one woman who is a particularly alluring apparition. I am mesmerized by her lithe, flowing movements that reveal at once brilliance and a disquieting madness. Weaving her way through the tangle of costumed dancers, she seeks out one young man she seems to know. They begin to move together, turning and swirling, and suddenly I am witnessing her ethereal beauty through his eyes. She is my partner now, a blur of bright motion in my arms as we spin together.
Robbed of my own senses, I am hypnotized by the luminous soul that dances with me. I gaze into her eyes, and in that moment I see not love there, but dark beguiling amusement. Without warning, I’m pulled back to the place where I am watching the dance from outside the window. I can see the inevitable conclusion playing out. He knows who she is, but he can’t help himself, and doesn’t want to. As the dance ends, I know he is trapped, and there is no escape.