‘Yer gonna be late,’ his ma shouted at him from the kitchen.

‘Ahm jist tryin’ tae get masel’ lookin’ right, ma,’ he called back.

‘It’s too late fer that, son,’ she replied, ‘about fifteen years too late.’

She didn’t understand, this was the night he would ask Justine. He should have done it before now. He’d had five years of school together. He’d wasted two of them plucking up the courage to even talk to her.

After the summer she was leaving for university in the city. He would stay behind and start down the pit alongside his father and older brother. The chances of him ever escaping to the city were slim, so he had to ask her tonight.

He took a last look in the mirror, adjusting the stray bit of hair on his crown that always misbehaved. It would have to do.

‘You’ve nae chance,’ his brother said from the bed where he was lying reading the newspaper.

‘How wud you know?’ he asked angrily.

‘Ah’ve bin there. They wans that are aff tae the city wi’ big ambitions have got nae time fer the likes a’ us.’


As the sun went down behind the mist, he sat alone in the field and wiped away a tear.

He hated his brother for being right.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Dance curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.


My new novel, ‘State Of War’, the final part of The State Trilogy, is out now, in paperback and available to pre-order in eBook.

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34 responses to “THE DANCE”

  1. Oh, this is a heartbreaker, and so real. I’ve been under the weather for a week and haven’t even tried to read anything, let alone write. But I’m glad I caught this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eugenia, glad you caught it too. Hope you feel better soon.


  2. Ah, what a sad tale…but then, perhpas he is better off in the long run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We shall see! Thanks Sue


  3. Unrequited love is sad. But perhaps she wasn’t the right one for him. Hoping he will meet someone that appreciates who he is. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heartbreaking…
    On a different note, just wanted to tell you that I really admire you for being so consistent with your writing.Your passion for writing shines through. Lots to learn from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Meha, that’s a lovely comment to receive 🙂


  5. That’s too bad. She probably wasn’t the right one for him anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Let’s hope so. Thanks Janet

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is life! Good story

    Liked by 1 person

  7. She would have broken his heart anyway. Better for him to find out now. Nice short!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. He’s better off without her. x Well done x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. oh and aren’t brothers little shits at times, especially when they’re right…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lol -What a great answer to the prompt. Unique, but very heartbreaking. Thank you Iain, have a beautiful week ahead, and stay save. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you too, Iain! Have a beautiful day.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautifully written, captures the sad truth that his heart’s desire will happen, he’s fixed in a society that will not let it. Love the last line : ‘he hated his brother for being right’. Well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great story, they were obviously star crossed from the beginning!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s always a pleasure 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Life can be cruel can’t it. Excellent story Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael – it certainly can.


  14. Oh that is so sad! Tugs at the heart for him. You have such a way of putting such emotion into your writing that grabs the heart, and writing about things that aren’t so far fetched, even if we wish they were.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So kind, thank you so much 🙂


      1. You are very welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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