The final step in the exercise, a nine sentence story (an extension of a three sentence story) was given to me and I was assigned to extend it to 27 sentences. The original story is below, with my revision below that.
I remember the first time I saw him, a dark shape dancing against the even darker backdrop of a rainy Paris night. His body gyrated in a jerky, spastic dance and his hands and feet cut through the black. I couldn’t hear what he was dancing to over the ebb and flow of the Parisian streets, where some walked home in a stupor while others hopped form one bar to the next.
We dubbed him circle him circle man as he spun and flailed as if secured by invisible strings and controlled by a puppeteer with Parkinson’s. Each sway of the hip, each turn of the head, caused the bangles adorning his body to secrete their own hypnotic song. His feet, too, made noise as they crunched over broken glass that reflected the neon lights above.
I don’t know how long I stood there, watching him dance, but at some point he noticed me. He leaned over, bangles rattling, to whisper in my ear. Never drop acid, he told me.
The nights had grown colder as time progressed past the long summer days and into the colorful season of autumn. The first night I saw him I found especially dismal. I stumbled drunkenly from the club, swaying as I moved down the Parisian streets. I remember the flash of headlights in my face and horns surrounding me. I found my way to a secluded alley just as police car sirens blared past me. His dark figure surprised me as I turned to face the alley, his outline contrasting against the brick walls. I could not distinguish his features aside for his shape and that his back faced me. He began to dance to some beat I could not hear over the mixture of the city and the thumping inside my own head. It began slowly, his heel bouncing on the ground and transitioned quickly to whole body gyrations.
He spun and flailed through the air. His hands and feet slashed through the black. He leapt from his feet at one point and amongst the flurry of movements they never seemed to touch the ground again. He seemed to defy the laws of physics as he virtually hovered in the air. His spastic movements mirrored that of a puppet controlled by a puppeteer with Parkinson’s. Every change in his posture made brought about a response of music. Each sway of the hip, every turn of the head caused bangles and jewelry adorning his body and clothing to jingle, forming their own hypnotic song. The new sound clashed in my head and combined with those already present only to further my confusion. I dubbed him circle man to attribute his odd movements.
How long I stood there watching his spectacle I cannot remember. His odd dance seemed to slow, but the movements remained hectic and I still could not keep up. I could swear, though, that our eyes met. It quickly became apparent after I thought of this that the chaos of his dance indeed began to simmer. Eventually he stopped and came to stillness. He took a step towards me, and I grew terrified of his next actions. But instead, he simply walked briskly to my side. Never drop acid, he told me. He slapped his hand on my shoulder briefly and continued walking into the night.