TITLE: The Dream Thief
GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Cassandra’s heart is a bird inside her chest. Its wings beat in time with her running feet on the concrete path. She knows what’s going on – just as surely as you don’t, not yet – and she’s trying to run away from that knowledge.
But she can’t run away from it. She turns around the corner of a dorm and takes a breath but she can still feel it behind her, a presence like a thickening in the air. Cassandra is in the shadows cast by gatherings of trees, but she doesn’t want to be in the darkness. There is no hiding in the dark, not from this thing, this whatever it is, this appearance of a man.
She walks quickly to stand beneath a lamppost. The light ruins her night vision so that she can barely see beyond where the light stops and the way she came is an inhabited darkness. Still, she feels better, and her breathing deepens, her thoughts calm.
This is not how Cassandra acts, she tells herself. This is not how a girl raised in New York behaves, and this is not how a city girl is going to die. In fact, she assures herself, she is not going to die at all. She’s taken years of aikido and has thrown down men many times her own weight. Once, walking home from a friend’s house on her own, strictly against her mother’s orders, she had been assaulted by a man.