NEW YEARS EVE - 1946
Dorothy looked at her reflection in the long mirror. The dress, made by her mother for her Christmas present, fit perfectly, hugging the proud, young bosom and skimming gracefully over the slim waist and gently swelling hips. The soft, woodland-pond green brought a glow to her pale amber skin and the deep gold trim reflected the sparkle in her golden-grey eyes. Her auburn hair, done in a pompadour in front, lay softly on the backs of her shoulders. She felt like a princess, dressed for an enchanted New Year’s evening. How could she not find her prince tonight?
Clarence stood in the shadows at the end of the large room, not so sure he wanted to be here. His friends had their eyes on various favorite young ladies and the musicians were starting to hit their stride. He glanced at the girls occupying the chairs along one long wall and shrugged. He knew his sister would make life uncomfortable if he didn't dance with half a dozen of the wall-flowers, but he had no special girl and didn't really mind. Starting to push away from the wall, he froze as his eyes touched the figure coming through the door. She could only be an angel.
Her eyes met his and slowly, the room dissolved, music faded, the dancers disappeared. She turned away, as a hand touched her shoulder, and the moment snapped to a close, leaving Clarence standing in the middle of the dance floor with no idea how he'd gotten there. Quickly, he made his way to the row of chairs, reaching out an inviting hand to the first girl he saw. He led her onto the floor, with a tiny pang of guilt at her obvious pleasure, while he turned her about until he again spotted the angel. She glowed, flames flickered in her hair, and gold lights gleamed in her eyes. He never noticed that his own partner was a very good dancer, but another did and the tap on his back was a request to cut in and release him.
Quickly he made his way to where the vision, in a green dress, danced with another. His tap, on her partner's shoulder, was a bit brusque, but the man courteously gave way and Clarence was finally where he needed to be - holding a shining angel in his arms. Her grey-gold eyes met his dark blue ones, and they danced. The music ended and they danced. The floor emptied and they danced. Now, partyers ringed the floor, watching the pair. The musicians waited, silent. Still, they danced and finally someone started to applaud. The crowd took it up and suddenly, everyone was applauding.
Clarence and Dorothy looked around. He twirled her slowly out to arm's length, smiled and bowed. She, taking his lead, gathered her flowing skirt with her free hand and sank into an elegant curtsy. Then, together, they turned and ran out of the room. He snatched a random coat for her, barely letting go her hand for an instant, tossed it around her shoulders and led her outside. Down the Town Hall steps, around the building and finally, stopping under the bare branches of the crab apple trees, he turned to her and said,
"I'm Clarence and I believe I love you."
"I'm Dorothy," she replied, "and we'll see."
The Town Hall bell started to chime and shouts of "Happy New Year" rang out from the Hall. Clarence looked into her eyes, slowly leaned down and gently kissed her lips. Dorothy softly kissed him back.
"Happy New Year." they said, together.
Challenge: Write us a holiday romance. A Christmas romance, Hannukah romance or any romance involving a holiday you're celebrating this time of year or any other time of year.