September 26, 2008
By Paige E. Anders, Morgan City, LA

The words he had left implanted in my brain burned and sizzled at the memories that I had already created with him, threatening to send them upwards in fiery embers only to watch them slowly fall back down to earth in an incomprehensible pile of ash.

It was what he blamed for the things he had said to me, the things he said he would do in the future. 'I don't want you involved...' 'It's not your sin to atone for...' 'It would be a shame to watch a face as beautiful as yours wither in agony...'Try as I might to stop the chills from returning, I was still unable to keep them at bay. They started at the small of my back, rooting themselves securely into the tender flesh, before slowly crawling up my spine and finally into my cerebellum where they planted gruesome images that I knew he spoke truth of. If I were to stay by his side, to hold his hands and walk with him towards his glorifying light, I would only get burned in the end. But I couldn't help but chase him into the abyss. Knowing that he would be suffering alone in a world that was so uncertain was more painful than any physical brutality that I was able to imagine.

My steady pace down the icy pavement soon escalated into a slight jog as I searched for him, my breath materializing into large clouds of steam with each exhaled spout of adrenaline I formed. I was determined to find him, rather it consisted of me walking only a few blocks or half way around the world. If his heart was still beating, then my arms would hunger for his warmth. Simple as that.After a few minutes of blindly running nowhere (as well as a few occasional slips), I found myself in the broken part of the city; Dead Town. Though it had once prospered with festivals and tourists, it was now nothing more than a forgotten memory of a time that was, and never would be again. That's when the sensation came to me. Though the icy wind threatened to freeze away my entire being in this already shattered existence, I could still feel a small tingling of warmth begin to stir deep inside of my chest, slowly growing to the point of total combustion. There was only once in my entire life that I had felt such a sensation, and it had been the first time that I had ever laid eyes on the beautiful being I wanted so desperately to call my own; Vance.

Inhaling the scents of mold and dust, the chilling air scraping against my dried lungs, I allowed my feet to carry me through the wreckage as I followed the heat slowly growing in my chest. It would lead my feet to him, where I could once again be warm in his strong arms and hold him to myself, calling him my own for only a few moments more. Turning down a small alley, I felt the heat surge into something of a small fire being lit from the inside. Running now, I followed the small labyrinth of debris, avoiding protruding boards and broken glass, the flame now licking at the inside of my throat. He was so close. I could already feel him in my arms, hear his laugh, see his smile. That's when I found the dead end. Willow's Avenue. His safe haven.

The author's comments:
This idea had been stewing away for a while, but the drive to actualy right it down came from a familiar song 'Whispers in the Dark' from Skillet. I just hope my characters are abe to touch someone in a special way.

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