Dancing in the Moonlight…Friday Fictioneers.

David was joking when he’d asked ballerina, Vanessa Rossi, away camping for the weekend. Never thought she’d agree. Moreover, when she arrived flagrantly overdressed, he was relieved he’d also booked into a hotel.

“You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl,” he laughed.

Vanessa smiled, sipping champagne while David wrestled unsuccessfully with the tent. Once a Scout, always a Scout, Vanessa could pitch a tent blindfolded. However, she said nothing. He was her Prince, and she was his swan. Enthralled, they danced around the crumpled tent in the moonlight.


100 words

I was fiddling around with this one for quite awhile tonight and feel it has good potential as a short story. It was actually inspired by a story my husband tells of a school camp trip when this group of trendy girls had an expensive, upmarket tent but didn’t set it up properly and it fell over during the night and the boys had to come to the rescue. I haven’t had much camping experience myself. However, I was driving across the Nullarbor Plain on the way from Sydney to Perth and we camped by the road for the night. I always thought it was hot in the desert and was almost paralyzed by the cold. To compound my discomfort, I’d worn this fancy jumper with decorative holes and the wind howled through them. I was told “You can take the girl out of the North Shore but you can’t take the North Shore out of the girl.” That’s the part of Sydney I grew up and let’s just say it wasn’t rough and tumble. Meanwhile, the girl in this story is loosely inspired by our daughter who at 13 is still yet to step out in the world but is currently rehearsing to appear in Swan Lake in a local youth production and has been a scout until the start of this year. She got into scouts through her brother, and while she enjoyed it, I was also keen for her to do it as a counter-point to her dancing. Felt it was good for her to get out into the bush hiking and camping and stepping beyond the studio.

I hope you enjoy it and that it hasn’t suffered too much trying to cut it back to 100 words. It’s been heavily edited.

This is another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields where we write 100 words to a photo prompt. PHOTO PROMPT © Jan Wayne Fields

Best wishes,


35 thoughts on “Dancing in the Moonlight…Friday Fictioneers.

  1. pensitivity101

    Loved it Rowena. I have many happy, frustrating and amusing camping memories (did a short series called The Camping Chronicles if you fancy a laugh when you’ve got some time.

  2. trentpmcd

    Ah, she should have said, “I don’t have any ideas about what I am doing, but…,” and put the tent up correctly 😉 Help save ego and have a more comfortable night….

  3. Rowena Post author

    I had a few different goes with this,Trent. At first, she was putting it up but I was trying to weave in twists and turns.It would’ve been very easy to have her march in and save the day and been the strong woman.However,as you picked up, she didn’t want to rub in his difficulties. I also like that although she’s a ballerina and inherently perfectionistic and could be the demanding prima donna, but she’s down to earth instead. I had difficulty bringing it to a close.I like a good twist on these flash fiction pieces and that’s how they ended up dancing by the moonlight. I think they’ll be off to the hotel for the night but I can see the cat getting out of the bag down the track when he finds out she was a scout but said nothing. I’m thinking this would make a good longer piece. What are your thoughts?

  4. trentpmcd

    I usually try a twist in these 100 word stories – it tends to wrap them up a little better. I can see turning it into something longer. Perhaps a couple of scenes with another camping experience…

  5. Rowena Post author

    A friend of mine had done up an old ambulance and uses that. Campers seems like a good idea to me. Our son recently slept outside under the stars in a hammock at a scout camp. He loved it.

  6. Rowena Post author

    Yes, I’ll have to give it a whirl as writing short stories around the 1000 word mark have been a bit of a goal. I also wanted to write something which captured contemporary life and especially our way of life for future generations. Camping seems like a great topic.

  7. Brenda's Thoughts

    A lovely story, Rowena! I was a girl scout growing up and it was a wonderful experience in preparing me for “life” in many ways. It’s a great idea, providing your daughter with a balance of experiences. =)

  8. Rowena Post author

    That’s been my thinking too, but balance has been hard to maintain and now she’s right into the dance and needs to be to pursue it as a career. I still try to get her outdoors though. It good for you on so many levels. Do you have any camping stories from your scouting days?

  9. msjadeli

    I very much enjoyed your story and the background information, Rowena. You’re helping your daughter to become well-rounded, which can’t hurt.

  10. Tannille

    This is great! The games we play with each other. You’ve done a great job culling words. I think there is enough meat for something larger. Smooth read. Great couple! Want more…

  11. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Tannille. Need to get myself back into their head space. Had a busy couple of days and hope I haven’t lost the inspiration.
    Best wishes,

  12. Rowena Post author

    “Accommodating is a great word to describe her response. Thank you for that and I think they’re off to a great start.

  13. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Rochelle. That was my thinking. I hope to write a longer version where the truth will probably come out at some point down the track.

  14. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I’m always cutting back adding cutting back on these 100 flash pieces. They usually take me a few hours but it’s worth the effort.

  15. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I’ve seen quite a few creatives in a range of fields end up with all sorts of problems through an intense, obsessive mono-focus and hope to just stretch her thinking and experiences beyond that while recognizing that’s what it takes to succeed.

  16. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Linda. Yes, I can see them making it through for the long haul. Makes marriage sound like a long haul trucking business, but in some ways it is.

  17. Brenda's Thoughts

    I enjoyed the friendships, learned to sew which I didn’t like doing but has come in handy, enjoyed community projects that had an impact on me for my older life, learned how to and loved building fires, and a lot more. Best to you and yours!

  18. Nan Falkner

    “Dancing in the Moonlight” are lyrics from a really neat song – from my youth. She has a great look on life dancing and not telling him SHE COULD DO IT! Really, she is better than me! Nice story!

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