TITLE: One Thousand Stars That Bind
GENRE: YA Historical Fiction / Fairytale Retelling
A YA gender-bent and steampunk'd ALADDIN set during the 1989 fall of the infamous dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, and with him, communism in Romania. Street-rat Alina finds a rusty (but magical) oil lamp and crosses paths with the runaway Prince Iulian, igniting a love greater than social class and oppression.
Sometimes I have to catch myself, as if I haven't been breathing for who knows how long. Now’s one of those moments. I fill my lungs as if they’ve been deprived of oxygen all day.
It’s between each breath it’s easy to do the things I’m least proud of. Or most proud of. I guess it depends on your perspective, with your perspective molded by how many years you’ve spent on the streets.
And I’ve lost count.
I look down. It’s in my hands, swaddled in muslin and still warm, like a baby. I’m holding onto it as if it were one, too. Precious. Delicate. The cozonac loaf, sweet and filled with poppy seeds, should keep me alive and full for the remainder of the day. But that’s just today. That’s if I don’t share, which I always do.
And that’s all if I don’t get caught.
The loud and harsh tongues screaming from behind tell me it’s not my lucky day. I suck in as much air as my lungs can manage, and then a little more after that. With my wild mane of brown, unpredictable curls corralled to one side, I pull the large cowl hood up and over my head, cloaking my figure, becoming a silhouette. A shadow. My skin is dark enough alone to disguise me and I melt into the growing darkness as the day’s eve approaches.
Unfortunately, this time I’m not sure it’ll be enough. They’re still on my tail. And gaining.