by Sutton Strother
On the album cover the Rock Star reaches out, so you take his hand and pull him free, out of the picture and into the rose glow of your bedroom. He coaxes you into a sloppy slow dance as he sings along to his own music in an off-key slur. His hair is dyed two shades too dark, which makes him look a little sleazy. His gold chains are sleazy, too, and his open shirt, and his spindly arms and legs, and the sagging pot belly, and the cigarette smell that overlays him like dust in a forgotten tomb. It’s all the wrong thing to want, but you’ve never felt heat like his voice buzzing through the wickedest parts of you. The room shimmers when the song ends. He crooks a finger under your chin and speaks right into your brain: Come along, little darlin. You follow, of course you do, out into the street where his Cadillac waits, climb in on the passenger’s side, slide across the seat to cozy up. If you happen to notice that the car’s black body gleams too brightly under the moonless sky, or if nothing beats beneath the Rock Star’s chest when you lay your head against it, or if for just a moment you think I have loosed a devil on the world and who can say what happens now, the road stretches out into a yawning dark that whispers a new song. You don’t have to wonder whether it’s for you.
Sutton Strother (she/her|they/them) is a writer and English composition instructor living in Queens, NY. Sutton’s work has been featured in various publications and nominated for Best Small Fictions and Best of the Net, and was a Wigleaf Top 50 longlist selection.