The whole situation was surreal at the moment.  Just yesterday it seemed she was at home in the arms of her carefree lover; that warm embrace she longed for in the coldest days of the North Carolina winter.  Toni was always her security blanket; much like Linus in the Peanuts strips she would read as an innocent young girl in the local Sunday newspaper.  

Perhaps it was the familiarity which bred contempt in their spirited romance.  As the Olympic torch stayed aflame on the altar of the goddess Hestia, so did the fire which kept their chamber burning.  She was on a relay for the long journey ahead, to the sanctuary of Toni-where their romantic games took center stage.  The fire of passion was a divine element in their final performance; a culmination of years sacrificing oneself for the benefit of another. 

The golden chalice they both shared after the great Coronation in the ceremony of love.  Claire savored Toni’s pure stream of artesian water as it turned into red wine across her ruby lips.  

She needed a miracle more than ever now, to heal her soul from this pain within.  That dark desperation which kept her awake at night in the arms of a stranger; a substitute for what she once had but lost on her personal journey to the Land of the Rainbow.  She would seek out redemption on the road less traveled; much like a naive runaway girl hitching her way down Route 66.  Searching for her soul which she sold to the highest bidder in some seedy Santa Fe motel in the Land of Disenchantment.  

Claire’s recurring dreams would beckon her to the abyss; dancing precariously on the edge as she invoked the desire within to release her deepset pain.  She found her mind rewinding back to a better time; as if she could go back to her carefree high school days where anything was fair game. 

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