Queen Anne’s lace lends her elegance to this field,
abandoned first by the lumbermen who cleared it,
then by the farmer who once grew a family here.
The foundation of the house is still visible
beneath a heritage of lilac and forsythia,
things a farm wife would want outside her back door.
Claire was a beautiful girl. In her twenties she looked much younger then she was. Her still childish big green eyes perfectly looked with her honey brown wavy hair. Lips reminded of heart shape but she didn‘t really like her lips. Because they were too big as she thought. She was slim and she was happy having such a body.
Claire was studying photography in London. She loved seeing people walking all around and photographing her new Polaroid photo camera them. She enjoyed developing all those photos she took with another photo camera as she was in her bathroom. Claire loved seeing all photos as they were turning into colourful pictures. She had a special photo album in which she put all those photographs she did.
It was an ordinary day as she went inside her tiny flat back from the college. She put down her bag with books in that room where should have been a living room. First thing she did – she went to her radio which was on the stand and turned it on hoping to hear some song she loved. But everything the radio could suggest were Madonnas, Micheal Jacksons and such. Claire shook her head in disbelief and went to the kitchen.
She didn‘t have any bite of food that day because she overslept her first class of chemistry. She just woke up that morning, looked at the old clock and as she saw it was already 9:03 AM, she jumped from her bed and dressed in past day‘s clothes – white blouse with buttons and leather pants. She couldn‘t think much of her haircut, so she just quickly brushed her hair, took her bag with books and ran out to the college.
All day to Claire seemed to be a whole nightmare. She had friends in her photography group but that day no one of them has showed; probably because there was a hard test of math. She knew her day would be bad; while she was going home from the college, some unresponsible driver almost hit her with the car, but luckily enough she stepped back.
While she was doing a dinner for herself – pasta with minst meat, she was thinking about the next day. What will she do that day, because it was Saturday. And Claire knew she didn‘t want to stay at home at this May 1st. It was the 80s. 1987 year. When the perfect bands had existed. When everything was so cool and great. She wanted to go out. Pretend she was just a stranger in the city. Pretend she was just like the other people she passed by, but at the same time she wanted to be different than them.
Sudenly she heard a phone ringing, so she left the pasta she was cooking and went to answer. She hoped the call was from her friend Anna. She picked up the phone and sighed closing her eyes. “Yeah?” She said. Her voice was so tired, she really needed to relax and go out somewhere.
“Hey, what‘s up?“ Caroline asked. Another Claire‘s friend, but not as good as Anna was.
“Oh, hello. Well, just doing some dinner. Why didn‘t you were in classes?” Claire asked first question she could think of.
“Oh, my car couldn‘t start so I couldn‘t do anything. You know, it was really late, I don‘t have any money, so no buses or taxis, and it‘s really too…”
“Oh, okay, I understand,” Claire said sympathetically. She knew Caroline wasn‘t living in good conditions.
“Yeah,“ Caroline said. Claire wanted to help Caroline, but she knew Caroline wouldn‘t let do that. “So, you were writing test, eh?”
“Yeah, we did,” Claire sighed remembering she couldn‘t understand any tasks, so she just started to draw random circles and eyes to her test paper. Claire shook her head knowing she‘ll get the worst grade.
“And you sound like it was really bad,” Caroline said in helpless voice.
“I just hate math, you know it,” Claire said turning on the light in the hall.”Have some plans for tomorrow?” Claire asked hoping she could meet at least Caroline.
“Yeah, I have to drive my grandma to the hospital for some analysis, I have no idea what‘s wrong with her now, and right after that I‘ll go to my village.”
“Oh, I thought we could meet tomorrow,” Claire was disappointed. For a moment she thought no one wanted to spend their time with her.
“No, I‘m really sorry, if I co-“
“Don‘t worry, it‘s just me. I‘m having this weird mood again,” Claire sighed and Caroline chuckled.
“Yeah, I know your moods like this one. Just go to some pub, look beautiful with your loose hair and give some sexy stares to some guy you like,” Caroline laughed a bit louder now.
“I won‘t do like that, just you can do this shit,” Claire laughed a bit as well. “Anyway. Got to go, my pasta may overcook, have a good trip tomorrow,” Claire smiled to the phone.
“Thank you, Claire. See you on Monday,” Caroline said still wanting to talk with Claire.
“Yeah, see you,” Claire said and hung up the phone.
Claire looked at the clock which showed it was almost 8 PM. It was all evening left and she couldn‘t imagine what she was going to do. Probably will go to sleep soon. Again. “Damn, I hate it,” she whispered silently and went back to the kitchen.
Claire did dinner for herself and waited a bit till pasta got chilly. She put some tomato cream on it and ate everything slowly, trying to chew everything carefully. The real reason she was doing it – she wanted to do something as long as it was possible.
Suddenly she jumped from her chair just in time she heard Def Leppard’s song she loved. It was Foolin’ from the Pyromania album which was released four years ago. Claire loved Def Leppard and she knew they were rehearsing new album which should be released in summer. She just couldn’t wait that moment when she’ll get a copy of that new record. Claire knew she will go to the concert in London if there would be any chances. She would do anything about it, even skip her classes. What were classes when loves of her life were performing live where she was living? Right, classes were nothing compared to Def Leppard.
Claire sang every line of the song, she pretended to be Joe Elliott, Steve Clark or Phil Collen, even Rick Allen or Rick Savage. She imagined she was watching a music video of Foolin’ and then sighed thinking of that opportunity to meet someday all of them and tell them how she loved Def Leppard.
When the song has ended, Claire smiled and went back to the kitchen to clean everything she left after herself. She was thinking about going out to the city, but she didn’t really want to go alone. But she didn’t want to call anyone either. “Claire.” She told to herself thinking she’s a bit stupid she didn’t know what to do. “ Just change your clothes and go to that bloody city! You’re twenty-one, not eleven,” she said and as soon as she ended up with plate, Claire went to her bedroom and dressed in black tight jeans, cowboy boots, blue shirt she had and took leather jacket because she knew the weather may become colder or rainy. It was London, England, where rain could start anytime.
Claire turned off the radio where was playing another song she loved. This time by Poison and it was Talk Dirty To Me. Claire smiled thinking of what could happen later. She won’t get any attention by guys, she was sure, but some part of her tried to prepare her for something. Or it was only she who thought she’ll do something she couldn’t expect of herself. But it was only imagination.
Claire left her place and went down the street to the park which she had loved since the time she was fifteen. She walked slowly still thinking about the random things and after half an hour went to the pub which was full. She found an empty table and went to sit there. She didn’t know what she did there but something inside her told her to stay here.
“Can I help you?” Asked good looking waiter with small notebook and blue pen in his hand.
“Yeah, I’d like to get… umm, glass of red wine?” She asked unsure. She didn’t really drink alcohol so it was a bit weird to make an order with wine included.
“Okay, I’ll get it to you,” waiter nodded his head and turned around to the bar.
Claire looked around the pub, there were so many people. Some of them were talking, but mostly drinking beer, whiskey or something like that. She was so happy with her eyes at that moment because she was a myopic and she had put contact lenses.
And there was it.
Claire thought it was only a hallucination, but it wasn’t. Could it be true Def Leppard weren’t in Holland that time? Or these guys just were looking exactly like Joe Elliott and Rick Savage? Claire’s heart just stopped when she understood that something in her told that she’ll see Joe and Sav in that pub. Bloody hell!
Claire tried not to look at them but it was too late when Rick Savage has noticed her stare at them. Claire quickly looked down hiding her face in hands. She was breathing so quickly she couldn’t understand what was happening at the time. When she secretly looked up again to Joe and Sav’s table, she frozen like ice. One seat was empty. There was no Rick Savage anymore. Where was he? It couldn’t be that he… “Hello, beautiful girl,” said deep voice in front of her.
It’s not him. God, please, it’s not Rick Savage, Claire was begging but when she looked up at voice owner, she was shocked. Rick Savage was standing in front of her with a smile in his face.
“Won’t say even simple ‘hi’?” He asked; Claire nodded her head.
“Hi,” she said silently. She couldn’t say anything. She even couldn’t breathe.
“Can I sit next to you? You look so lonely in this place,” without any Claire’s answer he took a seat and put his hands on the table. “ You look a bit shocked.”
“Yeah.” Finally she said. What was she going to talk about with Rick Savage?
Claire was dreaming about situation like that about five years and when she got this fortune to meet Rick Savage, she didn’t know what to do. She didn’t think it will be hard talk or even breathe that hard as she was thinking. Claire was looking at Sav and thinking what she should say at the moment, because Sav was looking at her with some strange curiosity she couldn’t understand.
Tegil paused in mid-key stroke as he typed his blog entry, sniffed apprehensively at the acrid smell seeping into the study. What could be burning this time of night, he wondered. After posting his comments under the alias of Traven, Tegil pulled on a faded leather jacket and a pair of worn hiking boots and stepped outside through the study’s side door. A gloaming silence rose to greet him as he scurried along the several hundred foot stone path, his crepitate footsteps keening the still night air. The pungent odor intensified as he neared a natural outcrop of boulders he had incorporated into an observation post overlooking the wooded valley surrounding his cabin. As he stood on the massive rocks, Tegil surveyed the abandoned structures looming on the hills either side of him, sweeping his eyes across the derelict structures for obvious signs of mischievous or illicit activity. At times, hikers and pranksters made their way into the valley and occasionally built fires inside the structures for warmth or wanton destruction. There were even rumors circulating amongst the villagers of a prophet-like figure roaming the hills, appearing inexplicably in their midst foretelling of plagues, death and destruction before disappearing again just as mysteriously. Any unexplained phenomena, crisis or disturbance of the peace was attributed to this latter day Elijah, laying blame at his feet as the source of all ills. Abandoned eons ago, the derelict structures were supposedly haunted and thus perfect cover as one of his many hideouts. Tegil himself had extensively explored the crumbling ruins ringing the valley, mapping the underground network of labyrinth like tunnels linking one to another, and had yet to encounter this nomad. The village constabulary had persuaded the Inspecker for the local Security Services that this prophet was a political threat to their established order. To that end, Security patrols had scoured the valley in vain attempts to find and detain the man, but always failed to turn up the elusive firebrand. Tegil paid scant attention to the villager’s idle talk; in the three years he had lived there, he had never glimpsed any nomadic figure wandering the hills or the tunnels, only an occasional curiosity seeker or bands of carousing young punks. No doubt, these same superstitious people with their gypsy like mentalities would have one believe in Vampires and Were Wolves. Besides, the villagers still considered Tegil an outlander, regarding him warily when he came down into town to purchase supplies.
Tonight though, as he glimpsed the ancient dwellings bathed in flickering swaths of moonlight, the structures were void of sound or activity, their crumbling interiors dark and lifeless. Tegil turned his gaze from the derelict buildings and peered into the depths of the murky valley spread below, its interior equally dark and absent any telltale signs of hikers or their campfires. Out of that gloom from the valley floor, a solitary cry of a Whip-poor-will pierced the evening silence as if in acknowledgement of Tegil’s presence. Tegil stood riveted as the sound of the mysterious bird reverberated, believing the onomatopoeic creature near extinction. As he listened to the haunting cry, his attention wandered to a wavering light on the horizon, an eerie cerise glow flaring periodically above the valley’s ragged tree line in the direction of the old munitions plant. The pungent odor intensified as the distant flames danced above the hilltop on the valley’s far side. Raising his binoculars, he focused in on the glowing cloud, ‘What the devil’s happening there; that area’s been abandoned for years?’
A second Whip-poor-will called from the woods behind Tegil, then a third distinct vocal responded from a derelict structure and another and another until the night resounded with the cries of hundreds of the secretive creatures. As if cued, the crepuscular birds erupted en masse from their hidden roosts, their wings frantically beating the night air above Tegil’s head. The birds hooted wildly in the darkness as they swirled around Tegil, their oscillating wings cleaving the night air, creating a pressure wave tearing at his senses. He clasped his hands to his ears and hunched over against their maddening cacophony, struggling to keep his feet as the creatures buffeted against him. He heard himself scream aloud at the height of the maelstrom, a strange alien cry rising from his throat above the amplitude of the vibrating wings. The pressure diminished then along with the bird’s raucous attack. Dropping his hands to his side, he straightened up and beheld the creatures fleeing toward the horizon, their massed silhouette nearly blocking the intense cerise glow. A white-hot spasm streaked through his abdomen as if synchronized with the reddish flares and the bird’s departure. Tegil gasped at the sudden intense pain, lurched toward the lip of the rocky ledge before catching himself. He moved away from the precipice and sat down in his battered camping chair. As he drifted off, he listened to his own labored breathing and the fading cries of the Whip-poor-wills ululating across the valley.
Tegil awoke sometime later, disoriented in the still cold blackness. He had to think a moment before he realized where he was. Reaching down, he felt the rocky ground beneath him, his hands sensitive to the familiar stone markings he had carved there years ago. Glancing at the luminous dial of his watch, Tegil realized over three hours had elapsed. As his mind reeled, he recalled the birds rending the night air above his head before escaping toward a glow on the horizon, and then something striking him down. What? His breath came easier now and he inhaled deeply, letting the cold air fill his lungs. Still, he was bothered by his apparent blackout, but more curious about what had drawn him outside in the first place: the pungent smell and fire from the far side of the valley. Tegil stood and drew the jacket collar tighter around his neck, stuffed his frozen hands deep into his jacket pockets and gradually made his way back along the stone path. As he walked, he considered the bird’s inexplicable mass gathering and flight a trigger that had set off a hysterical physical reaction on his part. As he entered the warmth of his study, he debated whether what he had experienced was a hallucination, real, and if so, should he report the bizarre incident or investigate for himself. Lying in bed, he heard the solitary cry of a whip-poor-will and felt a twinge in his abdomen.
Tegil made casual inquiries regarding the previous evening’s events as he filled his basket with fruit and dry goods at the village market. The grocer, a robust middle-aged man with heavy forearms, a muscular neck and a voluminous set of white muttonchops sprouting from his round cheeks, regarded Tegil skeptically when he mentioned a fire at the munitions plant. The local patrons, hunched over their hot cider and strudel, eavesdropped as Tegil spoke, darted glances at the grocer standing stock still on the raised floorboards behind the register. “No one knows the going’s on that side of the valley,” he replied gruffly, jutting his mutton-chopped face toward the distant peaks. Tegil snickered, a rictus of a smile playing across his face as he turned his gaze toward the nosy group of men within earshot. “I see.” The men resumed talking among themselves while the butcher wiped his huge hands repeatedly against his stained apron. Tegil gazed up at this miscast giant, noting how his corpulent girth strained to break free of the soiled garment. “Anything else,” he asked abruptly, bulbous eyes rolling downward until they disappeared within a sea of white; “fresh veal or sausage?”
Tegil smiled wanly and nodded at the sausage strands hanging docilely behind the large man’s head. “Two pounds of sausage, Herr Butcher, Danke.” The grocer grunted as he shuffled to the meat counter and weighed the sausage, wrapping the fragrant contents quickly in slick white paper before packing the bundle away with the rest of Tegil’s food. Tegil paid the bill in silence, feeling the grocer’s eyes at his back as he stepped outside and placed the bags on the Horch’s floorboard. Tegil’s dog, having kept vigil with her small, flat nose pressed against the passenger window, sniffed intently at the groceries. As he closed the car door, Tegil glanced through the frosted store windows at the distorted faces gazing out, a multiplication of skewed eyes and mouths pulling at cider mugs and ornate pipes. Tegil saluted the smoke wreathed group unabashedly, the quirky rictus grin playing across his face as he pulled away in his powerful car.
His curiosity fully whetted, Tegil decided his course of action as he exited the main highway and skirted the southern edge of the valley toward the peaks beyond which lay the old munitions factory. His little Shih Tzu, Roxy, content to sit in his lap as he zigzagged up the cornice under a dull winter pall, sniffed the scented air periodically, still dreaming of the wrapped delicacies. Tegil reached over to the passenger seat and turned on his portable shortwave radio, the shriek of a rebel propaganda broadcast jolting him from his private reverie of the nosy villagers. Announcing their latest victory against the regime’s Security forces, the rebels declared death to any jack-booted soldier, their superiors and political collaborators standing against ‘the Liberation’.
‘They must be close by Roxie,’ Tegil said to his dog as the strong signal rode roughshod over the local chitchat. Roxy cocked her head sideways and stared at the ethereal voice emanating from the passenger’s seat. Tegil had heard another of these broadcasts some months ago but had paid scant attention; besides, he was completing the final galley edits to his latest novel and hadn’t the time. Now, according to the rebel announcer, the once sporadic fighting against the Security forces had blossomed into a low-grade war, with the rebels declaring an upper hand in their yearlong struggle. The regime publicly denied the existence of the insurgency, blaming local conflicts on hooliganism. However, it seemed odd to Tegil that their broadcasts grew increasingly sharp in tone even as they beefed up the presence of their forces. Yet, as Tegil sat comfortably in his cabin’s study, he continued to chastise fellow bloggers mentioning the ‘war’. ‘Where’s the evidence,’ he wanted to know, their flimsy replies amounted to little more than ‘phantom radio dispatches from an unseen foe’. Only a few, especially the blogger known as ‘S’ offered insightful commentary; ‘S’ sited very dark tales of brutality, even torture of citizens at the hands of the regimes Security apparatus, especially those who spoke out publicly against the regime. His stories went far beyond discussions of occasional incidents, detailing societal wide repression. Still, Tegil was loathe to believe the fantasies spun by ‘S’, and chided him for his Orwellian imagination.
As Tegil and Roxy traversed deeper into the mountains, the clandestine broadcast faded sporadically, sputtering in indecipherable static gaps as they passed under thick stands of towering spruce and fir trees rising sharply each side of the pass. They passed through a series of narrow gorges onto a flattened out area leading to the summit and the descending pass road. From there, Tegil would take the seldom-used mountain roads leading to the old plant and examine the source of the mysterious cerise cloud. Here, near the summit, the signal seemed to burst from the radio, so much so that Tegil turned down the clear voice of a young woman broadcasting victory.
A crude roadblock of fallen trees and rock barred his way as he rounded the final sharp bend. Tegil pulled up short of the obstruction, warily regarding the hastily erected barrier and the foaming onyx cloud drifting toward him. He silenced the woman’s voice and stepped from his Horch, Roxy sniffing at the air apprehensively. Leaving the dog to gaze through the windshield, Tegil began walking the hundred feet to investigate, turning up his collar and digging his hands into his windbreaker against an icy drizzle. A stench of burning rubber mixed with a sickly sweet odor nearly overwhelmed him as he drew even with the hastily cut conifers. Covering his mouth and nose, he picked his way forward through the maze, glimpsing the smoking remains of burned out personnel carriers lining the lee side of the curving mountain road as he emerged. He stopped short, eyeing the rune like ‘SD’ of the Security Services emblazoned on half-open doors. As he stepped around the strewn logs, he saw the dead men, some half-splayed from their burning vehicles, others scattered face down along the roadway near the scarred and blackened convoy. As he took in the desolate scene, a warning shot whizzed over his head followed by a sharp command echoing from the hill above. “Stay still with your hands up if you want to live!”
Tegil stood motionless in the cold drizzle as a band of camouflaged and heavily armed insurgents materialized out of the wood line above and to his right, their weapons trained on him as they descended the slope to the killing zone. Several of the fighters shouldered RPG’s; others clutched sleek and hardy machine pistols, their fingers tapping nervously at the triggers as they scrutinized Tegil behind dark eyes. As the lead man approached Tegil, he gestured for two men in the group to investigate the parked Horch. Shouldering his own weapon, he searched Tegil, patting him down methodically as other grizzled warriors with dark almost jet-black hair jutting beneath their military style berets formed a loose half circle around the two of them. Tegil noted the white deaths head insignia, a skull and cross-bones emblazoned across the front of their caps. Extracting Tegil’s wallet, Tegil’s searcher tossed it to a man behind him who passed it in a chain up the slope to a hooded figure and a young woman, both surrounded by a retinue of black clad guards. As the hooded figure rifled through the wallet, Tegil noticed the woman staring him down, her eyes flashing beneath wisps of dark hair as she coolly trained her machine pistol on him.
“He’s clean.” The hooded figure motioned silently to his followers to finish collecting weapons and material from the still smoking vehicles and dead men. The two guerillas returned to the main group by the roadblock, whooping loudly as they clutched Tegil’s chirping short wave radio and bags of groceries. Tegil’s searcher wiped a sleeve across his face, his mouth turning down as he regarded Tegil.
“You came well prepared stranger; a fine day for a picnic in this weather.” Then, nodding at the dead men, “or maybe you’re Sicherung scum, directing those pigs to find us eh?” His eyes blazed fiercely as he unslung his weapon, pointing it menacingly at Tegil. A shrill whistle sounded from the hooded figure above them as he flashed hand signals to his men. Tegil reconsidered the village rumors of the wild prophet living in the hills; but this figure on the slope seemed more a warrior than a man of Faith.
Clearly irritated by the silent communication, Tegil’s inquisitor spat in the roadway, “What are you doing out here wanderer?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
He squared off to within a few feet of Tegil so that Tegil smelled the scent of herbs and campfire smoke saw the flash of anger again flare in the man’s eye; two other guards moved in closer. Replying subtly he said, “It would seem you are in no position to ask questions, only to answer them.” He brought the weapon to bear on Tegil, leveling it at his belly.
“Now, I ask you again.”
Tegil, unnerved at the transformation retorted, “I was headed to the old munitions plant.”
“I wanted to see for myself what happened there last night.”
The man dismissed the idea with a shake of his head, “Impossible; only death and destruction await you there.” Glancing at the burning vehicles, “As you see, these roads are no longer safe for Security forces let alone solitary travelers, especially ones as curious as yourself; better collect your things and go.”
“Who are you?” Tegil asked.
He turned and handed Tegil back his wallet, “This is neither the time nor place for introductions – when the SD find their dead they will be in a foul mood.” Tegil noticed the intricate tattoos on his outstretched arm, the sinewy forearm knotted with muscle.
“We know who you are now, Tegil.”
The hooded figure on the hill whistled again, circled his hand twice in the air above his head. “You’re lucky this time, wanderer.” The insurgents left Tegil and jogged nimbly up the tree-covered slope, rejoining the mysterious man and young woman still clutching a machine pistol pointed at Tegil. “Leave now!” he shouted down to Tegil as the group melted back into the shadow of the tree line.
It occurred to Tegil these insurgents were like the elusive Whip-poor-wills, blending invisibly in their forest canopy, appearing and disappearing at will.
I would argue that you should never begin with a description of the main character and their interests/hobbies. Readers lose interest; why should they care what she looks like and enjoys doing if they don’t know her yet? Also, too much detail can get dull when all at once. Try to sprinkle in your description around to spice up the story.
I think you have a nice grasp of imagery and of the actions going on. However, your grammar is a little spotty in places. For example, in your third sentence I think you meant ”Her still-childish big, green eyes looked perfect with her honey brown wavy hair.”
Again, it’s clear that you have a great sense of the settings, but I think you’re trying to get too much into each sentence. Some thoughts don’t make quite as much sense together in a sentence and could be split up into two complete ideas. Other sentences would benefit from less details. For example, knowing that her radio is on a stand or knowing that her clock is old does not seem particularly important to the action at this stage in the story, and details like this could knock your reader out of the flow of action. I think cutting out some unnecessary adjectives will really make your story more natural-sounding; try saying everything out loud. If it sounds awkward when you describe it, it sounds awkward to the reader.
Establishing the timeframe and setting of your story is also important. Maybe that could be the opening paragraph; a story that immediately says it’s in the eighties in London is different and unique - more compelling than an opening paragraph describing a protagonist.
I like the detail about her wanting to pretend to be the same but also wanting to stand out - i think things like that bring life to your character and make her really relatable and neat.
“Suddenly” doesn’t make sense in the context of the phone ringing or her jumping out of the chair. If you mean that it startled her, I think you should put that - something about her dropping something or being shocked out of a daze. Also, instead of saying her voice was tired, maybe try talking about how she feels, or how she sounds. That opens up opportunities for descriptive things like exhausted and drained or rough and cracked.
In dialogue, I think I’d try to keep the descriptions of Claire’s thoughts in the paragraphs with her talking. Otherwise it can get a little confusing to read. And instead of being vague (“getting the worst grade”) get specific and dramatic (“failing the test/assignment/class”). Drama draws readers in.
Maybe try to make sure your modifiers work with your characters’ words and actions. I don’t understand why Caroline would sound helpless - maybe more despondent or hopeless. Also, if you’re going to have your characters interact with things, I think you should make sure to show them moving around, so readers can get a sense of the space and environment.
I think altering your sentence structure so they don’t all have similar construction would really help you. A lot of the things going on are interesting, but the sentences all sound the same, so the story drags at points.
OKAY. Claire loves Def Leppard. That is a cool and unique personality trait, and it sets up the story; tell the reader that earlier! Give them weird things to know and like about Claire. I’ve found it can establish a more human connection.
Clothes description is tricky. Maybe try describing one piece - a favorite top or shoe - and leave the rest vague.
Whenever you find yourself using the word “which” or “that”, you can usually cut it out without losing any meaning. I would try to check for that. You could also stand to use some commas. I don’t think I saw a single one, and they’re great for splitting up ideas while keeping the sentence together.
If your character has a gut instinct about something, emphasize it for several paragraphs so it doesn’t seem like a deus ex machina to get to the plot.
I like her referring to him as Sav in her head; it really brings home that sense of familiarity that fans have with bands. Ending with a bit of a cliffhanger was also a good choice, in my opinion.
Overall, I liked the idea and plot; I think it’s unique and a little risky to do something set in the past. Obviously, you’re familiar with Def Leppard and its members, so you’ve got all the knowledge you need. Just a little more attention to word choice and grammar and I think your flow will be even better.