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Lights are flashing, flashing, flashing,
nebulous sparks of colour blurring over darkness;
thumping of blood and bass speakers in the drums of your ears.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
Waves of nausea and synth chords crash and swell, crash and swell.
They leave a salty taste on your tongue.

Buy you a drink? Sure, why not.
Can't hear him.
Can't hear anyone over the sound of everyone.
But you can read the question on his face:
the sweeping glance that checks the price, eyes the product.
Might even fidget with the label -
hand on your lower back, steering you towards the cash desk.

Simple little transaction and now sweet, cloying liquid coats your tongue, coats your neurons.
Cerebral cortex covered in a film of lime green and neon pink.
The coating is slippery, sliding the world sideways,
but you're bought and paid for now -
not so much a you as a faceless frame, a place-holder for identity -
and he doesn't let you slide far.

Hands, down and up your body,
skidding under the heavy music and over the sweat of strangers.
Words, spilling too, sweet like the liquid caught at the back of your throat.
He follows the words, quick stab and jab of tongue, and it's nothing personal, nothing at all.
Meaningless and thoughtless
and his hand slips up and under the edge of your skirt
and your heart is loud, booming in the emptiness inside your head,
echoing.
And the echoes sound like nothing.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing at all.





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