(895 words) Juliette's eyes spring open in a panic. The vein along her neck throbs, pumping the blood hard and fast. A firework of pain explodes inside of her mind and her spine wrenches, thrusting her chest towards the sky.
(470 words) Ellie sits still, engulfed in blackness. She breathes in slowly through her nose and exhales heavily through her lips, until she becomes rather weightless. She's ready.
"You have to keep up with the times," his father's voice whispered uninvitedly in his ear.