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His slender fingers trailed down the face of Claire Saleenʼs poster, which hung strictly in the center of his wall. It was surrounded by a profuse forest of Claire related things; posters, pictures, autographs, quotes, song lyrics, everything. But this particular picture, this one single work of art caught at just the right time, it seemed to do wicked things to him. Claireʼs usual small gentle eyes were narrowed seductively, her mouth curled into a somewhat grin. Her electric blonde hair was a mess of thin curls that defied the laws of gravity with itʼs irrepressible volume. All and all she just looked lustful. Sexy.

He set his teeth hard into his bottom lip, his tongue dancing feverishly behind a closed mouth. Her latest single ʻʻWe are Sinners, we are Saintsʼʼ was blaring loudly from his retro stereo which was tucked away in the corner of the room. Just the sound of her angelic voice sent chills racing through him. Every nerve was pulsating in beat to the music.

All he had of Claire were the numerous posters and lyrics and songs. He had never seen her eye to eye or even conversed with her. He had the souvenirs, those and the imagines of her with him. The fantasies. But that wasnʼt enough. He wanted more.

He needed more.

He crushed his body against the wall, an unconscious sigh dripping from him. Her lips were just so perfect and plump. They were painted a vibrant crimson, his favorite shade of lipstick that she wore. He had wanted to feel and touch them with his own for quite some time. He slowly let out his tongue and dragged it slowly against his lip. He then brought it against the paper and steadily slid it all the way up her posterized face.

ʻʻYou will be mine,ʼʼ he whispered and softly touched his lips to hers.

ANOTHER

cloudsy

The crowd roared as I pushed my vocals to the maximum limit, throwing my head back and squeezing my eyes shut. The vibration of the note rolled off my tongue like a bloody painful hallelujah, the crowdʼs screams blending together into one tranquilizing symphony.

ʻʻAs the clouds broke,

Your light invaded,

The sweet poison that crushed me.

You are the sinner

But I am one,

Of the saints that burned you free.

Because we are sinners,

born to kill, the love that kept the human race alive.

But we are saints,

Bread to know, the potion that protects us from our cries.

Now we are fallen beneath burning skylines.ʼʼ

Louder and louder the crowd roared, the heat gagging in the back of my throat, pain exploding inside me. But I sang on, the guitar shrill and electrifying in my ears. The words I poured into the mic were what I believed. They meant something, other than drinking and partying and having excessive amounts of testosterone, like all the pop music I heard on the radio did. These lyrics were just fragments of myself blended together and blessed by the gods to make something beautiful.

And as I sang, I too felt beautiful.

 ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄

ʻʻClaire, that show was great!ʼʼ Mandy exclaimed, throwing her arms about my neck in an embrace filled with warmth.

ʻʻThe show was over three hours ago and you congratulate me now?ʼʼ I scoffed lovingly, accepting her hug and returning it.

ʻʻThanks again for getting me in for free.ʼʼ She drew back and offered a gentle smile. ʻʻAnd...for driving me home.ʼʼ She added meekly. I teasingly circled my irises, letting a quick brief laugh escape my mouth.

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