Name: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Title: RIP HER TO SHREDS
Genre: YA contemporary
Word count: 80,000
Singer Charlie escapes a summer of trying to get her crush to realize all her songs are about him when her all-girl band the Wretched Gretchens goes on tour. But the rush of shows and parties also isolate Charlie from her bandmates as she struggles with what binds them beyond catchy hand-clap choruses — and what happens when they get home.
He held her while the crows barked a song in the sky above them, while the wind whispered against their bare arms, while she cried.
Four cracks of the drumsticks, and Charlie was wired. Bass shook her feet and pounded up her body until it forced her heart to thump with it. The microphone waited.
With a sweet smile, Charlie opened her mouth, belting the pages of her diary to total strangers. The silk of her voice teased them into a zombie-like choreography: eyes hungry, arms up, begging for high fives. But instead of brains, they wanted beats. They wanted her, and they danced together in the heat of sweat and beer and way too many different types of cologne that might have smelled awful if they hadn’t smelled so perfect.
And then—there was only one more song. One more chorus. One more note. Thank you, thank you. Thank you for coming out tonight.
The house lights came up. The applause faded. And all her lyrics became secrets again.
She had to get off the stage before her stomach did something she desperately hoped it wouldn’t. If she could get to the green room, she’d be okay.
Deep breaths, six/eight time. Charlie clamped the mic onto the stand and hurried into the darkness. Hands trembling, she sank onto the green room couch, careful to avoid the stain that was once dirt or vomit or something more sinister. Safety. Finally.
She tried to smile at her best friend, who followed her inside with her guitar slung over her shoulder.
“Well, we were freaking awful,” Roxanne said, claiming the cushion next to Charlie. “Weren’t we?”
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