September 1 at 12:00 PM
Cover Art courtesy of DepositPhotos.com
Tyra Vera was on top of the world. Her new single, Into the Night, just hit #1 on the American Billboard Hot 100, and her scintillating new video ensured that it would stay there for weeks to come. The media had already crowned her as the next Whitney Houston. But fame and fortune were the last things on Tyra's mind as she watched Sampson clutch his neck, and then fall to the floor.
Like a statue she stood over him, gazing at the blood spurting from his neck. No words were exchanged; they just stared into each other's eyes until his body went limp.
As she leaned forward, a second shot rang out, shattering the bay window and clipping her shoulder. Tyra collapsed, blood streaking down her arm. "My God," she thought to herself. "That's my blood. MY BLOOD!"
Tyra knew she had to do something and fast.
Someone had just assassinated her bodyguard.
And was coming for her.
The next few moments happened so fast she doubted any of it was real. Tyra sprang to her feet and sprinted towards the kitchen. Bullets tore through the living room. Glass and china rained down on her as she dove behind the kitchen island. Once the gunfire subsided, she looked around, and then froze.
Her younger brother Michael, all of 10 years old, had just emerged from the basement. "No," she screamed, but nothing came out. As she lunged towards him, something slammed into the island behind her. Tyra was thrown into Michael as the kitchen exploded.
For a moment everything went blank.
I'll just fade
I'll just walk away
The music ran through her.
Far away from here
I'll just disappear
Tyra shook the song from her head. Behind her the mansion smoldered, orange flames licking the midnight air. She did not remember crawling through the basement window nor dragging her brother across the front lawn. She just knew that she had to keep moving. Keep running.
Into the night
Suddenly she found herself in a group of trees at the edge of her property. "Michael." She held her brother close, but he did not respond. What had she done? Jungabe warned her that the truth would kill her, but not like this. "Michael," she pleaded.
In the distance the mansion erupted, the high arching rooftops collapsing inwards. A dark figure stepped out of the shadows and scanned over the inferno. Tyra held her breath as the man set his rifle on his shoulder and then blended back into the darkness.
There was no escaping Tyra Vera. And if she were not careful, the persona would destroy everything she held dear. What she needed was a hero, a savior.