Excerpt from HAVEN

Something inside me felt weird, slightly off. Please, oh please, don’t let me have a vision. Not now. Not in front of all these people. My legs felt wobbly as I zipped up my coat and stepped out onto the platform, following the herd of people toward the exit.
For fifteen minutes I tried to catch a cab, with no luck. So I started walking, instead. It was that gut instinct again, pulling me somewhere, toward…something. My heart began to race in anticipation while a nervous buzz in my ears reduced the city’s noises to a faint hum. Ten minutes passed, then twenty. I realized I had walked south instead of north, and too far east. And yet I kept walking, on and on, as if I were in a trance. A light fog had rolled in, giving the night an almost surreal feel to it, and still I walked on, entirely in the wrong direction.
On purpose.
A quarter hour or so later, I blinked hard, as if waking up from a dream, and looked around. This was an unfamiliar part of the city—an area I’d never been to before. The lower east side, maybe? Somewhere near Battery Park? I wasn’t sure. Wherever I was, there wasn’t much besides some run-down looking storefronts, everything-for-a-dollar stores and stuff like that, mostly barred up for the night. Probably not safe, I told myself.
And then my vision began to tunnel, as if I were about to have one of my episodes. I swallowed hard, fully expecting the onslaught of strange feelings that accompanied my visions. But they never came. Instead I simply began to walk, focused on a spot in the distance, maybe four or five blocks over.
My heart was pounding, keeping rhythm to the sound of my boot’s heels against the sidewalk. Faster, faster…
I was entirely aware of the fact that I was being drawn somewhere, against my will, and yet I made no move to stop, to shake it off. I was supposed to go wherever I was headed—I was sure of it. I began to jog, my overnight bag jostling against my hip. I heard footsteps, saw the barest hint of a figure up ahead. I was following them, the footsteps. Keeping pace.
Looking around, I noticed a flyer taped to a post beside me: Learn to Write a Novel in A Week, it promised. So familiar. Everything seemed so familiar, as if I’d been here and done this before. And yet I was sure I’d never been on this particular street in this particular part of the city before.
Except in the vision, I realized. The one I’d had when I first came to Winterhaven. Of course—I was following Aidan. I stopped, midway down a deserted block. To my right was an alley of some sort. He’d turned down the alley, and I was supposed to follow him.
Cupping my hands to my mouth, I called out his name.
“All alone, pretty girl?”
Startled, I spun toward the voice. There was a man standing beside the curb, leering at me in the moonlight, his clothing shabby and torn and reeking of smoke and beer and something sharp that I couldn’t identify.
No, this was wrong. In the vision I’d been following Aidan, not some junkie.
“I got some good stuff, if you wanna share,” he said, holding up a baggie. I saw the glint of steel in his hand—a knife, maybe.
I was breathing way too fast to respond—short puffs through parted lips making clouds of smoke in the cool night air.
“Nah? Maybe you just want to have some fun, then?”
I swallowed convulsively, terrified. I knew I should run—scream and run, as loud and as fast as I could. But I was frozen, unable to move a single muscle.
He reached toward me, dirty fingers clutching at my coat’s sleeve. And that’s when the world turned upside down.