Confetti started to fall from the rafters.

“Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah” the emcee barked over the loud speaker.

Four couples remained. A Dance Marathon deem to torture the participants and entertain the masses. Whoever lasted the longest won the loving cup.

Arturo and Stella was one of the four pairs of dancers. Stella was usually light on her feet, but after twenty-seven hours she was getting hard to handle. Arturo by now was also worn and felt as if he had been dragging Stella around for the last hour. She was a tiny thing, graceful and demure. It was a sure bet that WHEN they won the prize she would become his wife.

Three now. The tempo picked up. Arturo remembered that this number made people jump, but he could only shuffle his feet. Stella leaned on his chest and slip along with him.

Down to two. The excitement was building. The band caught its second wind and was playing with a new drive. Confetti started to fall from the rafters. Arturo pulled his beauty along into a waltz. The crowd cheered.

The other couple stopped moving. He had fallen asleep on his partner and she couldn’t wake him. He mumbled something that the judges took as “I’m done!” Arturo and Stella had won!

The judge came to stand between them clasping their hands to raise them in the air. Arturo’s arm went up as tears streamed down his cheeks. Stella went down in an ungraceful heap. Arturo knew she had been dead for the past sixty minutes.


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