Peer Review by clos (United States of America)()

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The Girl in the Music Box

By: tojosiewithlove

PROMPT: Freedom

My freedom begins when my feet are bound. Wood, glue, cloth, ribbon. From the tips of my toes, aching to be released from the tight box, to the soft pink ribbons, wrapping my ankles and holding them in place like the choke-tight thread that binds a promise. My legs protest my every move, my stomach tells me what in doing is wrong, to please come down, it hurts. My feet suffocate against the soft pink. My already bandaged, bruised, battered body watches in horror as I test every limit I have, as I stand on the brink of a painful, returneless place. I know never to cross it. The beginning of my freedom means the protest of my body. I stretch and bend, the taste of the internal wilderness of being boundless beckoning me closer. I pull myself to my feet, which cry with one last objection. The music begins, and I am free. Overcome with euphoria. Every single part of me feels as if I will break at any moment. My body works to hold me, my ankles feel the forces of myself and gravity, near shaking under it. But I am weightless. Scores of notes break every worldly bond in my mind and turn after turn pulls me closer to breathless laughter. There is magic in my fingertips as they reach for an imaginary partner. My mind fills the room with colors and the ache of my bones turns to lemon yellow, powder blue, stormy grey as the music moves. My feet aren't touching the ground, I have never been more alive. Gravity cannot lay a hand on me while the music and the pink ribbons hold me. I live blind to anything but the world of the story bound in my shoes. I am an open book. I am a vehicle for the world, it puts itself on display through the movements of my arms and the way I throw myself into the air, fearless of landing. I am the girl in the music box, the fairy of Christmas and spring, the movements of music you have heard throughout your life. I am the little girl who grew up with dreams full of music box music and pointed toes. I am the girl who knows her limits, but moves as if she has none. There is freedom in the structured movements, if you listen to the music, you will know. I am set free by the ties of a perfect imperfection, by the prim and proper and reckless abandon of a story told through movement. When I am bound by the ropes of tight shoes and pulled hair and lacy pink pain, when I am bent until I feel like I have to break, I am free. In the binds of a music box, a sugar plum, a sleeping beauty, a picturesque ballerina, I am unlimited. 

Peer Review

I really like the freedom of this piece, pretty ironic I guess. What I'm saying is your flexibility and writing techniques. Using metaphors, expressive imagery and pulling all that together in a coherent story structure. You describe exactly how your experience as a ballerina in a music box feels and how that would look like. I feel like you amped up the creativity of this piece and wrote about her really well. Capturing the smallest details and expanding that to the fullest. It's line after line that keeps on drawing you in with each new pushing words used to express that feeling of freedom.

It's kinda ironic how you capture the freedom of a ballerina in a music box who is confined to her feet on the ground, then turn to how she experiences that freedom when she dances gracefully. Where nothing binds her both physically and mentally when she dances. It's really quite a metaphor for life and such. How sometimes we are binded to things that prevent us from experiencing freedom and flexibility, and we yearn for those things to happen, to let us free. And once it happens, once we experience freedom, we feel completely free from the world and its confinements. How once we start, we can never back down, not even for a second. For me,the story of the ballerina in the music box represents the short, but liberating times of freedom we have and how much that changes us and calls us.

Reviewer Comments

I really liked this story. It's very human and combines a lot of good techniques and strategies together. I think it would be fun to see an audience for the ballerina. I guess it depends on the type of music box but usually they are activated by someone. I think it would be interesting to explore the aspects of how the ballerina's freedom in dancing makes another person wonder or left in awe. Great job with this piece!