The wind howled, a steady onslaught of noise and chaos.
Layla shielded her face, blue eyes narrowed in concentration. Beneath her, the tightrope shuddered as the boat hit another cresting wave. For the first time in a long time, she felt faint and unsure of herself. Could she do this? Could she succeed where everyone else had failed? Her temple throbbed, black pulsing around the edge of her vision.
Knees bent, she braced herself once again as the ship hit an oncoming surge of water.
The beads around her wrist, her arm relaxed at her side, hung low. They threatened to come undone, a promise of a cold grave waiting, patiently, underneath her and her unconventional practice platform. A grim smile spread across her face.
Rolling her shoulders back, Layla lifted her chin and stared out at the sea. For too long she had suffered, empty within the core of her soul. She longed for the warmth of a thousand warm suns, longed to hear the happiest applause and cries from an audience who came to see her perform. She was tired of being a disappointment.
No matter what happened, Layla was determined to rise.
She was determined to be reborn a star.