PULSE

He sweated. Jumped. Grinning, laughing faces bounced back at him. Green flashed. Smoke rose. White dashed around gloriously inside him.

Smacking his lips with another hefty swig of water, he panted and wiped them dry. His hand was now wet. Beautifully wet. He chewed. Lips dripped. He wiped them dry.

A barman laughed.

Returning to the throng, his legs were numb and ached. He hadn’t sat for hours. Lights flashed. Yellow. Warm. Sitting was the last thing he wanted.

Where had they gone?

He couldn’t remember their faces, but knew he ought to. He thought again. They had come with him. Jenna. David. Close friends, but they weren’t here now.

He looked again. So many shapes. So many faces. All moving and shifting – constant. It was enough drive anyone crazy. Crazy happy. It was all beautiful, all more effortlessly beautiful than life itself. And this was life itself. Life in pure. Life at its best.

A stranger was close now, tugging at him. Clammy fingers clawed at his wrists. Her hair, damped with sweat, danced around her.

She looked. Looked at him and inside him, as he too saw her very soul.

Intertwined, mind and body embraced.

Hearts beat together, he knew. He said it to her, kissing her face and seeing her smile. He loved it; welcomed her as she welcomed him. It was mutual and effortless connection. He thought he knew her name.

Shapes pushed in again, a shadow passed, and she was gone.

Where were they?

He smiled at the faces which no longer smiled back. Dark holes for cheeks. White noses. Black eyes.

More light hit him, sending a chill and a warmth together. He shuddered now. He still felt great. In love – with everything. His teeth gnawed at chapped lips.

Then he was walking. Walking with three figures, then four, then none. Call City Cathedral loomed above him and his arched neck. His eyes, wide, drew in the glistening spires and age-worn red-brick, the eerie reflection of a stark moon. A wolf howled. An engine spluttered.

Why was he alone?

David and Jenna had gone without him, and he was coming down. The rush had gone, leaving him with his thoughts again. Walls rose up over love, blocking his sight. Misery beckoned.

His tears would not roll for hours.

He chewed and chewed. Thought and chewed. Chewed until his lip bled. Thought until his head ached. Chewed some more.

Curling into bed, into real warmth, brought him nothing. But he craved nothing. He wanted nothing, depleted as he was from having everything. He felt his shudders now and knew they were impossible to calm.

He shrugged, as if to tempt off the burden of a thousand fears, and waited, in vain, for sleep.

He sweated. Jumped. Grinning, laughing faces bounced back at him. Green flashed. Smoke rose. White dashed around gloriously inside him.

Smacking his lips with another hefty swig of water, he panted and wiped them dry. His hand was now wet. Beautifully wet. He chewed. Lips dripped. He wiped them dry.

A barman laughed.

Returning to the throng, his legs were numb and ached. He hadn’t sat for hours. Lights flashed. Yellow. Warm. Sitting was the last thing he wanted.

Where had they gone?

He couldn’t remember their faces, but knew he ought to. He thought again. They had come with him. Jenna. David. Close friends, but they weren’t here now.

He looked again. So many shapes. So many faces. All moving and shifting – constant. It was enough drive anyone crazy. Crazy happy. It was all beautiful, all more effortlessly beautiful than life itself. And this was life itself. Life in pure. Life at its best.

A stranger was close now, tugging at him. Clammy fingers clawed at his wrists. Her hair, damped with sweat, danced around her.

She looked. Looked at him and inside him, as he too saw her very soul.

Intertwined, mind and body embraced.

Hearts beat together, he knew. He said it to her, kissing her face and seeing her smile. He loved it, welcomed her as she welcomed him. It was mutual and effortless connection. He thought he knew her name.

Shapes pushed in again, a shadow passed, and she was gone.

Where were they?

He smiled at the faces which no longer smiled back. Dark holes for cheeks. White noses. Black eyes.

More light hit him, sending a chill and a warmth together. He shuddered now. He still felt great. In love – with everything. His teeth gnawed at chapped lips.

Then he was walking. Walking with three figures, then four, then none. Call City Cathedral loomed above him and his arched neck. His eyes, wide, drew in the glistening spires and age-worn red-brick, the eerie reflection of a stark moon. A wolf howled. An engine spluttered.

Why was he alone?

David and Jenna had gone without him, and he was coming down alone. The rush had gone, leaving him with his thoughts again. Walls rose up over love, blocking his sight. Misery beckoned.

His tears would not roll for hours.

He chewed and chewed. Thought and chewed. Chewed until his lip bled. Thought until his head ached. Chewed some more.

Curling into bed, into real warmth, brought him nothing. But he craved nothing. He wanted nothing, depleted as he was from having everything. He felt his shudders now and knew they were impossible to calm.

He shrugged, as if to tempt off the burden of a thousand fears, and waited, in vain, for sleep.

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