The Putin Two-Step

Ukrania knew Vlad Putin would be at the big dance

Ukrania had been waiting for her turn to go to the big dance.  It was a huge gala event.  She looked so beautiful; flowing long, blonde hair, lovely curves, breathless.

putin two-stepDrama.  It figures that she would come too.  Crimlana.  Step-sister.  Go figure!  She was more petite; dark hair; of late, fiercely loyal to her mother.   In past years, she was a bit of a follower.  She was always impressionable; runts often are.

First, she crushed on the boys on the next block over, Greco and Romanicus.  Closer to home, Otto and Russ had been sniffing around Crimlana for some time.  It’s not that she was prettier, but she inherited some nice beachfront property that Russ had been ogling for years.

The dance was shaping up to be quite the big event.  Everyone in the district had been invited, whether they wanted to be or not.  Like usual, Officer ‘Merica had been hired, overtime of course, to provide a bit of chaperoning muscle to the event.  He showed up in one of his boats instead of driving, but he ran it aground by accident.

The dance started on time, and Viktor was immediately escorted from the building by students who didn’t like the playlist.  Ukrania was going to have to find another ride home since she’d come to the dance with Viktor.  But from what she could see the pickings were shaping up to be quite favorable.

For a while, Crimlana hovered close to Ukrania.  It was like she was nervous or something.  Then she got argumentative for no good reason, suddenly bringing up old issues about their mother.  Good grief!  At a time like this?

Ukrania had her dance card filled by western pretty boys in no time.  They danced extremely well, had impeccable manners, and plenty of money.  Her head was swimming with delight as she waltzed across the floor, jitterbugged around the perimeters, and free-stepped her debutante self from one hunk to another.  She laughed and smiled so much, her cheeks were starting to hurt.

While taking a breather and sampling the punch at the refreshment table, Ukrania had one of those ‘across-the-room’ experiences.  Late to the dance was Vlad.  He wasn’t the most handsome and definitely lacked some of the social graces that came so naturally to her previous dance partners.  But there was something magnetic in his personality.  She imagined him swimming lengthy distances across icy lakes in Ireland or riding shirtless on horseback.

Part of her felt drawn to him, wanted to be with him, wanted to dance.  The more sensible half of her knew he was trouble; and, it was rumored around that he had quite the Oedipus complex.  Creepy.  Oh no, he was looking in her direction.  She flushed and felt nauseous at the same time.  She was so conflicted.

Vlad broke ranks from his friends that were hovering around him and strode to the edge of the dance floor, as if he were going to approach her and sweep her, literally, off of her feet.  But he stopped.  He and his buddies just sort of waited along the fringes, whispering to each other, leering longingly at her.  But he hesitated.  Out of the corner of her eye, Ukrania saw Officer ‘Merica slowly making his security walk around the floor; and, Vlad saw him too.  He looked at the middle-aged man condescendingly.

This dance was quickly starting to lose its appeal for Ukrania.  She just wanted to dance; no stress, no fighting over her.  Crimlana sauntered up next to her and pressed a note into Ukrania’s hand.  It read: ‘Your Mother wants you to come home.  Let Vlad give you a ride.’

In the background, the DJ’s voice broke through the tension on the floor.  ‘All right now, boys and girls.  It’s lady’s choice.’

Ukrania looked around the room.  All the cute boys were looking back at her, hoping she would choose them.  Ukrania was really hating the evening.  She just…wanted…to dance.

Michael Larson
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