TITLE: The Princess of Panchala
GENRE: YA SFF
Demie knew she wasn’t dead, at least she didn’t think so. Not that she was any expert at the age of thirteen, but she figured being dead was like being crazy. If you can ask whether you are, then you probably aren’t.
With death ruled out, that meant she must be dreaming. Except she felt far too awake. Maybe some idiot slipped her something, like what happened to Jenny last summer. If so, it messed her up pretty bad because Demie was having an out-of-body experience, with no sense of time, no idea of how she came to be there. And, gnawing at the back of her mind like a pet gerbil in a cage, was the hunch that her sister Kori was in some kind of trouble.
Floating in stone-cold darkness, Demie was alone and confused.
Then she noticed them, suspended in the dark, staring at her. Glowing, but fuzzy and nebulous. Creepy eyes. Cheshire Cat in Wonderland eyes. They didn’t move toward her, but Demie perceived this thing looking over her, groping within her. It was reading through every secret thought and emotion, as if reading through her diary.
She wanted to run. But when she tried to move her arms she felt nothing. No sensation of any sort. As if she didn’t have limbs at all. That thought set off a wave of panic which almost overwhelmed her. Whatever the hell this thing was, Demie realized it tried to take her and had taken Kori.