A global pandemic locked humanity for years. Killed many. Impacted all.
Now, people are allowed out. Parties rage on. A new found freedom roared throughout the streets of a young United States. People frolicked about weightlessly. All the traumas of the past shed, a new skin emerged.
Young Standoline Chase marveled in the sight of Broadway lit up. Streetlights illuminated her own personal runway. Sounds of jazz emanating all around. She was a star. Her own personal theater standing before her. . . with little to no crowd.
"Ma'am, you comin' in or what?" A voice called from her left in front of a blank door off the side of the road in amongst a crowded community block.
Standoline shook off her fantasy, strutting down the block in her heels towards the stocky, tall man in a dark shirt and slacks. His head shaved to near nothing. Bugling biceps crossed over his thick chest. A cigar situated between his thin lips. "Don't be so obvious, ma'am. Or you'll be payin' all these patrons back for spoilin' their night."
The young woman rolled her eyes, digging into her mini, handmade wallet she constructed out of an old velvet fabric she had lying around the house. Digging out a few bills, she slid them into his hand before he allowed her inside.
As the door peeped open, the sweet scent of liquor enveloped her like a warm hug. It swung her around, danced a beautiful waltz before dipping her off onto the first man she saw. All around her were eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Some leading double lives. Others curious. But all were dressed dashingly. Some more debonair than others.
Didn't deter Standoline one bit.
She dipped onto the dance floor where all the partygoers resided. Smooth jazz music floated through the air, lifting up the liquor for a power move destined to win any dance competition. A small smile followed the rhythm, dancing across her lips until both sides twirled around like little ballerinas.
Her body craved a decadent glass of the band substance, but her mind willed her to continue dancing. For, she wanted to remember her first illicit party. She wanted to soak it all in like a sponge. Whoever she met to be fresh in her mind.
A finger tapped against her shoulder. The young woman spun around, arriving face to face with an attractive stranger. Perfectly styled dark chocolate hair, skin glistening under the low lights. A caramel liquor swirling in his glass. His eyes the color of two emeralds under the pale moonlight. A pair of glasses sitting comfortably on his bridge. Lips the perfect dusting of nude pink. It sent her heart fluttering.
"Care for a drink, madam?" He asked, tipping his glass towards her. Eyes watching his every move.
She nodded. "I would love one."
Holding out a hand to her, he led her down away from the swaying bodies towards the bar. Arm twisted down into the undercarriage of the wooden structure, swiping a nice looking, tall bottle. A mini glass appeared out of thin air, gliding across the table until it landed in his outstretched palm, allowing him to fill it with the warm liquor.
In his hand, he outstretched his arm towards her, tiping his hat. "For you, m'lady."
Her reflectioned smiled back at her through the banded substance, causing all her nerves to be replaced with a giddy sensation. She felt so free despite a time filled with rules and expectations. "Why thank you. You're too kind."
One sip and all she felt was a warmth. An uplifiting, freeing sensation. Like frolicking through a flower patch on a warm, sunny day. A smile stretched for miles as she locked eyes with her suitor. Her handsome suitor.
"Now tell me, what's your name?" Standoline asked, eyes dancing about his body to the beat of the soft jazz.
"My name?" His voice near a laugh. "Alan Federline. And yours, beautiful?"
"St-" she paused just as quickly as she started, unsure of whether her name was enticing enough. Nope, she said to herself. "It's Katie."
"Katie." His lips purred her name as if it were fine wine, the sweetest delicacy he ever laid himself upon. His hand rested itself on the base of her spine, at the curve of her back. "A beautiful name for a gorgeous woman."
"Cheesy, but cute. You're too kind Alan."
Alan set his glasses down on a random table, taking hers as well before he led her back out to the dance floor. "Would you care to dance?"
Katie wanted so badly to say 'yes'. Her mind screamed for such. But, this was her night of fun. A night for her to step outside of her comfort zone. Though dancing with a stranger was definitely it. But she could do that any night of the year.
"How about you run away with me?" She said, dancing her fingers up and down his arms as her soft, blue eyes laid upon his. A daring smile crossing the threshold as her whole body lifted away. Finally free from the restraints that once held her back.
He gulped, tugging at the once loose collar of his button up. "I beg your pardon?"
"You know, just jump in the car and never look back. Travel with me." Her voice dropped a few octaves. "Make memories with me."
He thought about it for a split second, then his expression lightened up. "I have a gig in Jersey tomorrow. Is that enough adventure for you, beautiful?"
She nodded. "It could be as long as you show me a good time."
"Oh honey," he dipped her down low, a small grin finding its way to face, "I wouldn't have it any other way."
And then, he leaned down, planting a soft kiss upon her lips.
They danced the night away. Danced and danced until the sun came up. Both on and off the dance floor.
--- won second place in the 1920s category of the Radio City Awards ---