Bruno is a typical fifteen-year-old boy who wants to be popular. He has a crush on a new girl named Summer, who mysteriously disappears from his life. One very ordinary day while on his way to school, he does not reach his destination. Instead, Bruno is forced into extraordinary circumstances that test his mental and physical strength. He experiences what no one has ever had to face before and has to make important decisions that, at times, are painful. It is not only his life that depends on this but the lives of a whole planet. With the help of a handful of trustworthy and faithful companions, he must face his fiercest battle-and win. It is his destiny to fight. Will he be victorious, or will fate deal him a losing hand?
Chapter One The Bus Unfortunately, it was an ordinary Monday morning. Bruno rushed out of the house, jumped over the gate like a bolt of lightning and skipped onto the waiting yellow bus. Panting, he sunk down into the black leather seat. The torn side panel by his side spewed yellow foam like a dry tongue. Above the tongue, two crossed eyes were drawn in. Bruno smiled to himself; he had drawn those eyes to impress the new girl that started at his school. Sitting in his favourite seat, he thought back to that day and a smile began to play on his lips. He remembered every detail with such clarity and ran them through his mind. That day, the sun was shining a brilliant white and the first buds of spring were opening on the trees that lined the road. The breeze was a gentle caress that stroked everything in its path. The bus pulled to a stop, the engine vibrated ready to continue on its voyage. And there she was; a radiant angel, a goddess from an unknown world, a graceful nymph that seemed so out of place on the grubby bus. The sun’s beams that followed her made glitter of her flowing blonde hair. Her eyes were ocean blue pools of mysteries yet to be told. Her movements were a contrast of strength and vulnerability. When she turned to find a seat her eyes settled on Bruno and she smiled. That smile caused time to stop and all noise ceased at once. Bruno felt his heart drum uncontrollably within the confines of his rib cage that served as its prison. She gravitated towards him. Bruno was paralysed to his seat, unable to say a word. Her beauty had numbed him to the core. She sat in the vacant seat opposite his side. Only the pathway kept them apart. It took him a good ten minutes to compose himself and find the courage to engage in some conversation with her. Her name was Summer which Bruno felt was so apt. He remembered searching for his pen which was at the bottom of his bag, drawing the eyes on his seat and sheepishly giving her a cheeky grin. Her laughter was music to his ears and filled him with pride to see that she found his antics amusing. The sun shone as brightly inside his heart as it did outside. The bus jogged along, hopping over the lumps and bumps in the road, causing Bruno to snap back to reality. Rubbing his eyes he stared at the ghostly reflection of himself in the dirty window. His ginger hair was tussled and he could see the tiny sprinkle of freckles that looked carelessly tossed across his small, straight nose. His eyes were his best feature, everyone told him so. They were kind eyes and expressed emotions vividly. Was it not Summer who told him that it was easy to see what he was thinking? ‘All I have to do is stare into your eyes’. He could almost hear those words now and feel her touch as she gently placed her hand under his chin. His lips were puckered in thought. He wondered where Summer was now. Just when they had started to get to know each other, she disappeared. It was as if she never went to his school at all. The bus jolted once more. This time Bruno felt his stomach lurch. The bus did seem to be going faster than usual and the engine roared angrily, choking on the fumes it blew out. Bruno began to notice other differences from the usual bus journey. It smelled clinical, like a dentist’s reception. It felt cold inside even though there was no air conditioning. It was very silent; odd for a bus full of fourteen year old kids on a Monday morning. It also felt cold, and clinical. Bruno felt a shiver crawl up his spine. A tight cramp gripped his throat and he found it hard to swallow. Something was definitely wrong. Reluctantly, he turned around to see the other passengers around him and faced the boy behind. His eyes widened, his face became a marble statue, and his lips trembled. As he stared at the boy, the boy stared straight back. ‘We look the same,’ whispered Bruno and then gave a nervous laugh that sounded close to a whimper. The boy replied in monotone. ‘Yes, we look the same,’ and smiled back eerily. As if this was a trigger, right on beat, everyone on the bus voiced in unison, ‘Yes, we all look the same,’ and stared at Bruno.
Tanya Bourton was born on March17, 1973, in Swindon, England, where she was educated in Catholic schools. She went on to gain a combined honours degree at the University of North London in English and theatre arts. After studying a PGSE course at Warwick University, Tanya became a teacher of English at secondary level in September 1997. Whilst preparing worksheets for her year seven and eight classes, her ideas for this book sprang into existence. In trying to give examples of descriptive techniques, she introduced a character, a young boy who finds himself in a very strange situation. However, whilst presenting the example to the class, she found they all wanted to know what happens next. The pupils’ enthusiasm motivated her to turn this small idea into a complete story. Tanya is an avid reader and truly believes in the power of books. She’d like to share her creative story with children and adults alike.