Round 1 – crimson kiss of twilight / a state of mind

He waited under a streetlight as dusk fell. She was late.

Suddenly, she appeared and gave him the kind of kiss you dream of.

He knew it would be a good night.

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Round 2 – a half full bottle / a long empty night

Head in hands, seated at the end of the bed. The vicious words hang in the air like a cesium cloud. A half-full bottle of whiskey is at his feet.

Why is every Friday a long empty night for me?

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Round 3 – the bite & the burn / drowning one glass at a time

He never thought he would end up like this, with a nightly seat at Number 1 at the end of the bar. But, the bite & the burn were familiar to him now.

One wayward night, one awful decision, and you’re drowning one glass at a time…

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Round 4 – slow dancing with shadows / flicker & fade

The bright lights of the rave flicker & fade as the music slows. The partiers have left to their oblivion. The lovers left on the dance floor move seductively.

They all are dancing with shadows, and they would not have it any other way.

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Round 5 – a little shaken, a little stirred

You never knew what you’d get when you woke Lucy up. Sometimes she’d be a little shaken, eyes like saucers. Other times, she’d be a little stirred, rolling over in the covers.

I don’t know what I’d do without her.

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Round 6 – that raw ache / fumbling toward numbness

He woke up to that raw ache again. Every day was a greater struggle to rise. He eventually staggered down the hallway, fumbling toward numbness from the inevitable collision with the kitchen table.

What a drag it is getting old…

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Round 7 – the first mistake / the last regret

Every time Dana thinks she’s in love, it ends in fiery tragedy. The elation of amour is fleeting, and she always ends up broken-hearted.

For her, the first mistake and the last regret are the same thing.

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Round 8 – a reckless craving / bourbon & bullets

Sammy was determined. His heart bore a reckless craving for excitement. He hit the town on his Harley in search of adventure.

He found it at a roadhouse with an equal supply of bourbon & bullets.

The service is next Thursday.

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Round 9 – raining tears in a whiskey glass / soul soaked

She felt like her soul was soaked in kerosene. Any spark would set her off. She could not believe that he would cheat on her, much less at her wedding reception.

Finally, the strain was too much – conflagration, raining tears into a whiskey glass.

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Round 10 – barstool confessions / here’s a tip

Tamara grew weary of the barstool confessions she heard that evening. She finally reached her breaking point.

“Hey Whiskey Sour! Here’s a tip – if you want any attention from a woman like me, your AmEx had better be black.”

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Encore Round 1 – heartbreak hangover / sour aftertaste

I have cried all the tears I can cry. All that is left is the sour aftertaste of another heartbreak hangover.

I look at my shopping list. Gonna need more lotion for the extra scar tissue.

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Encore Round 2 – blurred recollection / splintered light

Awakened in a strange room. Only a mattress on the floor, with empty pill bottles and beer cans. Nary a blurred recollection of what happened.

The splintered light of the sun shone through the cracked window. The only hint of normality.

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Encore Round 3 – carelessly strewn / tripping over pieces

I rose, tripping over pieces of broken glass, moving toward the door. In my stupor, I could not find a handle.

Trapped…

I sat among the carelessly strewn evidence, facing the window. What now…?

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Encore 4 – it’s ok to cry / complicated feelings

As my mind clears and I assess my situation, I realize I have complicated feelings. Should I be rational? Strong? Fearful? A little of all three, and more?

I have to keep reminding myself – it’s OK to cry…

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Encore 5 – a little lost / reaching for

I resume examining the walls and windows, reaching for any tool of egress. Alas, there are none.

I take to pacing the room in circles, proving that I’m more than a little lost.

Who will save me?

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Encore 6 – some days are better / some nights are lonelier

I am lost in my thoughts. I broke up with Ken six months ago…All things considered, I am better off without him. Some days are better, and some nights are lonelier.

Wait…This sort of looks like the old shed on the back of his property…

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Encore 7 – in the process of / the weight of memory

The weight of memory is especially great this morning. Thankfully, I’m in the process of piecing things together.

I look out of the window…that’s Ken’s ATV…and is that Toby the T-Rex riding it?!?

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Encore 8 – a moment’s grace / the way a smile felt

The T-rex was a mirage. Toby is a German shepherd. I shook my head again to clear the cobwebs.

I remembered Ken…the way a smile felt from him…a moment’s grace in a sea of turbulence…

Get me out of here…

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Encore 9 – new scars / old wounds

Suddenly the door slammed open. It was Ken – I knew it.

“Are you ready to come back now?!?” he bellowed.

He wanted to inflict new scars on top of old wounds. I was determined not to let him.

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Encore 10 – maybe some day / until then

I hauled off and nailed him in the kniggets with my pointed cowboy boots as I ran for the door. He was in no shape to follow me.

Maybe some day I will regret my actions – until then…

FREEDOM!!!

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