January By the Numbers Seventeen: Stylish scalloped skirts swish shockingly (ficlet)

January by the numbers continues (still three days off, meeps~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt “Stylish scalloped skirts swish shockingly;” a ficlet.

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There’s the faux-history that the sight of an ankle was once considered shocking. There’s the myth about limbs and their ability to raise heart rates, and maybe those myths and faux-histories are true. Certainly, in many places in the Empire, the ladies go bundled up tightly, covered discreetly from head to toe, and then men are thrilled at the sight of a wrist. In other places, it is the men who wear long-vests over scalloped tunics over loose pants, and women peer surreptitiously to see the curve of a man’s buttock or the line of his hip.

In Urhallo, where the summers are warm and the winters are chill but not freezing, the women wear trousers made of muslin and calico and dress-like vests made of starched linen; the women smoke the fellna-weed that gives them visions, and play cards all night under the moon.

The men dance for them, young and single men, their vests and jackets coverings their shoulder blades and sternums, their arms to the wrist, and hardly more than that. The man sway their hips and thrust them, hum their songs and shout them, whisper endearments and sing them.

The men in Urhallo — all of them, not just the dancers — wear skirts, swishy ones that flow with their movement or straighter, businesslike ones that don’t get in the way and still conceal their lines from prying eyes. The dancers wear skirts, short ones, with scalloped hems cut just so. And the viewers — male and female — all lean forward, hoping the skirt will give them a little view of what the swishy skirts hide.
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