I. Karen is young. One day she decides to herself: “I will dance the Perfect Dance, and in doing so end all things.”
To do this she must train.
II. Mundane teachers are not enough; their dance styles are weak and constrained by their mortality, so Karen visits studio after studio and ball after ball in search for a teacher. Her mother grows ill as she searches- she has come to disregard her family in her quest. Soon after, she meets the Soldier.
"I can craft what you seek- a tool with which to perfect yourself, tempering your skill in the crucible of your suffering. I can bestow upon you a curse, that you may transcend all earthly styles at dear cost to yourself."
Karen smiles and accepts. Later that night, they pour all her pride into her red dance shoes, and the Soldier bestows his curse. Her shoes begin their demonic dance, imparting skill beyond mortals at the price of suffering.
III. Karen sojourns in the wilderness for a year and a day. In this time her mother dies, and an angel comes to visit her.
"Stop this madness. Your quest will surely destroy you; your adoptive mother has died and you have shed nary a tear."
Karen laughs and dances away on the winds of the wilds before the angel can hear her response.
IV. After a year and a day, Karen leaves the wilderness and enters a town. Her dancing is powerful without a doubt, but it is not yet Perfect. Several villagers faint at the strength of her moves; an old man dies from them. She finds the Executioner and tells him:
"I have learnt all I can from this curse. Cut off my feet and these shoes, and give me a pair of wooden feet. To be truly perfect my dance must not rely on body alone, but on spirit, and there is no other way to remove this curse. In retrospect, it was rather shortsighted of me."
"Such is life."
Hearing this, the Executioner agreed, and did as she asked.
With her new feet, Karen travels to the church. “I shall have God as my witness when I dance the Perfect Dance.”
As she approaches the church door, she is stopped by her severed feet.
"You are a very persistent curse, aren’t you? Very well, I shall do my dance here."
So she dances, and the earth shakes and the wind howls and lightning strikes the church steeple, but it is not the Perfect Dance. Despairing, she flees to her old home. There, she finds the angel again.
V. “I cannot let you live, for you have come too close- to dance the Perfect Dance is to bring about the end of all things. It is not in the nature of this world to bear perfection.”
"I fled here in despair, but your words bring me hope again- I am close. How do you propose to stop me?"
The angel strikes Karen but once- this is all that’s needed.
"The five-point palm exploding heart technique?", she asks.
"Yes. It is the ultimate expression of God’s love through kung-fu- after five steps, your heart will explode from His infinite love and joy. No one can survive this ultimate technique."
Karen smiles, and kisses the angel on the forehead- she bears them no ill will. She then takes five steps.
With five steps, she dies.
With five steps, her story ends.
And with five steps, she dances the Perfect Dance.