TITLE: JANUARY IN SHADOW
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy
For all I knew, I could be anywhere: a goat pen, a ski gondola, backstage at the San Francisco Ballet. This is how all my days begin. Once I even woke up the men’s room of a nightclub, which is several kinds of unfortunate when you’re a fifteen-year-old girl.
This time, my first clue to my location was the smell of mildew — and a girl’s voice, close by.
I opened my eyes. I lay curled on the floor of a garden shed, between a dusty leaf blower and a barrel of cobwebby rakes. The girl’s trembling voice drifted in through the half-open window. Was she… swearing?
Yes. Yes, she was. At first experimentally, then with more confidence and passion.
This could be awkward.
I stood to peek outside. All at once, wings exploded into a wild, breathy flutter. A bird knocked a flowerpot off a shelf, buzzed my head, and swooped out the window. The cursing outside broke off. I held my breath.
The door flew open. Framed in it stood a girl about my age, with flyaway brown hair and freckles across her nose.
Her eyebrows lifted. “What are you doing in my shed?”
I’m used to lying, after three years of it. But this one was tough. Every excuse I could think of was stupid.
Oh, is this your shed? I thought it was my uncle’s shed. Weak.
I’m doing a research project for school... on sheds... Even worse. And besides, it was summer.