Scott Manley Hadley

Rasputin in the Disco

Rasputin feels the madeira flow through his veins and the sweetness and the liquor make him feel fucking alive. The room is dark and it flickers and flashes in bright colours, there is dyed or painted paper fixed to the lanterns, the mirrors on the walls, one of them shattered, send out scraps of multi-coloured light in a thousand directions as the movement of the dancers shakes the wall its chains are attached to.

Rasputin stamps his feet and swings his head, his arms raised (one, holding a glass, tentatively) and his face shows a bliss he only ever feels when his body is engaged in these bestial, essential, human pleasures.

Like dancing, like drinking, like fucking, like prayer.

The room is full of beauty, beauties, beautiful women, beautiful young women. They aren’t beautiful because they’re young, he thinks as he stares, his body shaking and sweet wine splashing from his large right hand. They’re beautiful, he believes, because they’re women. Because woman is beautiful, because woman is life. Femininity is divine, he muses, his eyes focused on the bouncing tits of a blonde actress renowned as a hedonist. Femininity is fertility, Rasputin thinks, his head nodding to the bass and his shoulders twisting to the melody. We must love the beautiful, divine, female, he thinks, and to prove this to God we must make love to as many women as will have us.

Rasputin is taller by a foot than everyone else in the room. His beard is five times bigger than every other man’s, and the gold crucifix that swings from his neck beneath it looks like a broken pendulum as his jerky movements keep it in motion.

The dance has him gripped, his feet, his knees, his chest, his arms (he drains the last of his madeira and flings the glass towards a wall; there is a gentle twinkle of smashing glass and a booming laugh from one of the smarmy fucking aristocrats who follow him around trying to lick his bootstraps or his balls), his whole body seems to roll and shake and shudder. Sweat drips from his eyebrows, his heels tear into the wooden floor, almost splintering it beneath him, his robes float, his eyes light up and he doesn’t stop. 

The band finishes a song and in the moment of silence before the next he doesn’t stop moving, just shouts ‘Bol’she! Bol’she!’ and continues dancing to silence.

The musicians on the low stage share a look and start to play again, but Rasputin is demanding ‘Bystreye!’ over and over again. He wants the music faster, he wants more of it, he wants it constantly.

Deep breaths, pumping feet, plucking strings, fingers and arms moving with the speed and an intensity that Rasputin wants, and he floats, drunk, licking his lips and looking at the bodies of the women around him, listening to the music that fills the air, blinking into the lights that surround him from a thousand directions, the shattered mirrors, the coloured lanterns, the glow that seems to emanate from his own eyes. Rasputin dances, and Rasputin dances hard.

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