Dance With Me

Psychological Fantasy [Interactive]

Dance With Me

Interactive Fiction. A dark, psychological coming-of-age fantasy for adult readers following a ceramic ballerina that awakens to life by the power of elven magic. About 40.1k words. Published in Unearthed Stories. Warnings: Depression, Emotional Abuse. Artwork by José Arturo Bustamante Valdez.

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In a world of beauty, a ceramic-made ballerina awakens atop her music box. She must dance for her elven owners, and so her ballet goes on and on. They praise her elegance, her poise and balance, until one day she falls and her ceramic fractures—but the ballerina stands and dances again, ignoring her ever-increasing cracks. The music plays, captivating and demanding… but should she dance? Even when what she once loved becomes a trap?

This is a dark, coming-of-age fantasy exploring the confines of depression and emotional abuse. Content warnings are available further down the page.

Review: Read author Josh Walker’s review on SFF Insiders

“Because life isn’t gentle, Lyra. Life is an amalgam of people’s stories, each struggling to accomplish something, to thrive or simply survive.” – Sougo, the singer.

To describe Dance With Me with a song, you could look at Queen’s The Show Must Go On (The linked video are the official lyrics).

Content Warnings & Spoiler Alert: This is a story about depression, told through a number of allegories. Dance With Me discusses sadness, apathy, mourning, resilience, undeserved abuse, self-worth and hiding in loneliness; it touches on the difficulties of trusting a good, honest partner. However, whatever path you take through the story, you will reach a happy ending. Depression lurks near all of us. Seek help if you need it, and whatever you do, stay safe.

“Somedays, I could spin all the clocks in the world, but others, I can barely keep this clock ticking on time. It’s natural. It’s life.” – Margot, the clockmaster.

"Dance with Me is a thoughtful exploration of many important themes like identity, depression and abuse."

"Dance With Me is a haunting, beautiful, and redemptive tale about the fragility of the mind in the shadow of an abuser."