Brayla took a deep breath and opened the car door for her mom. She clicked it shut and went back into their new mansion. The ceilings were high and the grand staircase was glamorous, yet Brayla thought it felt more elegant then massive.
She glanced in the mirror and was surprised at how old she looked. The sixteen-year-old girl tucked a stray lock of strawberry-blond hair behind her ear and smiled at her reflection.
Brayla rifled through her bag, mentally checking off anything she might need. Her tight stomach only hinted at the worried thoughts swirling through her mind. She’d never tried something as big as this and even though she’d been training for the last year, she couldn’t push out the thoughts of what could go wrong.
The car horn honked and Brayla grabbed her car keys. She bolted into her seat and shakily fit the key into the ignition.
“Do you want me to drive?” Brayla’s mom asked, putting a hand on Brayla’s shoulder.
“No,” Brayla said as the car hummed to life, “I’ll be fine.” She pulled out of the driveway and they made the quick drive to Brayla’s deserted high school. Brayla felt odd coming to her school in the middle of summer vacation.
She slammed the car door and Brayla and her mom walked up the glass doors. Brayla inched them open and they clicked down the halls to a door with a sign that read, Mr. Richards’s Class – Come on In! Brayla rapped her knuckles on it and it was immediately thrown open by their friend Kolton Menagerie, his moon-like eyes sparkling with nervous excitement.
“Come in,” he said, not bothering with greetings, “Ms. Winters is already here.” He stepped to the side to reveal a beautiful older woman with long, flowing black hair and shining violet eyes.
“Ray!” Brayla exclaimed, throwing her arms around her.
“Hello Brayla,” Ray answered, laughing, “Hi Sam.”
“What a way to celebrate your 70th birthday,” Brayla’s mom replied, grinning.
“I only wish I could come with you,” Ray said, looking at Brayla.
Brayla smiled at Kolton’s husband, Martin Richards, her science teacher who was sitting tensely at his desk. However nervous he was, he flashed her his signature grin.
“Now,” Kolton said, clapping his hands together, “are you sure you’re ready to do this?”
Brayla nodded. Although she was nervous, she knew her training had prepared her for this. “As ready as I’ll ever be,” she told him, her nerves decorating her voice.
“Remember the risks,” Mr. Richards reminded her grimly, “Last time we tried this, you almost died.” Brayla gulped as she remembered her mother’s heart-wrenching cries. She promised herself she wouldn’t hear them again.
“Yeah,” Brayla replied, “I’ll be careful.” Her mom hugged her.
“You can do this,” she whispered fiercely, “Bring that big idiot back here so I can give him a proper beating.” Brayla giggled. Ray walked up to her nervously.
“When you see David,” Brayla told her, “Tell him… tell him that I love him.” Brayla cracked a sideways smile.
“You can tell him yourself,” Brayla told her, hoping she sounded confident. Ray smiled softly.
“Ok,” Brayla said, taking a deep breath, “Do it.” Mr. Richards tentatively flicked open his cellphone.
“Good luck,” he said quietly and showed her the picture. Brayla fell into David Bowie’s peaceful face, images flashing as, suddenly, she felt like a black hole, sucking in light towards her. She reached out but fell into the endless pit of nothing…