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Sidnye Dupree was going on thirteen years old when she broke the Bishop's nose with a dodgeball and dreamed the dream of the shooting star. But even if she'd known then what was happening to her, it would have been far too late to stop it...
* * *
Life is complicated enough when you live full-time at boarding school because your parents are dead, and when the other students around you are mostly idiots, and when you're doomed to spend the rest of your existence in cafeteria detention because you just can't stop annoying the people in charge of your life.
But that's when you discover the headaches you've been having aren't just a part of being thirteen and feeling the weight of the world hammering down on you.
That's when you realize the dreams you've been having are more than dreams, and the people you thought you were closest to are less concerned with caring about you than with keeping you from knowing the things they don't want you to know...
* * *
Even as she closed her eyes to try to escape the screaming, Sidnye remembered the dream.
Sidnye rarely remembered her dreams, which made them unique enough that she recognized this memory at once for what it was. The image split the fractured darkness of her sight, unfolding in her memory the way ice crystals spread across winter windows. In the dream, she was scared and she was moving. Darkness rose around her as she ran. Image fragments shuffled past her like the fast video cuts Emmet liked to use, no scene held onto long enough to figure out what it was. Then around her, a flare like dawn erupted from the shadows, brighter than anything she'd ever seen before. Pillars of light pulsed fast, heat and cold crashing in.
Rising slowly above her, Sidnye saw a thing that couldn't possibly exist. This was the thing she'd been dreaming of when she woke, and which had frozen her voice in her throat. As it uncurled from shadow, its six legs gleamed like black steel. Its eyeless head jutted out from no neck, looming over her as she fell back, arms up as if she might protect herself that way. The thing's insect shape was steam and darkness, a haze clinging to it as it slammed toward her, too fast for her to escape...