After her father disappeared, her mother took in a boarder, a dancer who occupied the basement suite with ghost-like mystique, seemingly to appear and disappear without rhyme or reason. Leah, a plump child of ten, could not take her eyes of the will-o’-the-wisp woman who moved through the young girl’s world with unexplained grace.
One Saturday afternoon, she crept down the basement stairs, only to discover the dancer, a curved crescent moon, hands poised above her head, her arced body almost motionless save for her fingers playing castanets. The staccato beats produced by wood and flesh were the most heavenly sounds Leah had ever heard.
The Castanets – Fragment #19