This is the first 250 words of my YA novel, a retelling of The Red Shoes with a paranormal twist. It is #own voices with a dyspraxic protagonist. This is from the opening (a prologue of sorts) which is actually a "flash forward", and the first chapter starts about a week earlier. The timeline catches up by the first quarter of the book, after the inciting incident, and proceeds in a linear fashion from that point. I want to know if this is engaging, making the reader want to continue, as well as any other advice that could make it shine. Thank you in advance.:
Walking in heels is never advisable for a dyspraxic. Walking down a dark, deserted street was a gold-plated invitation to trouble. Doing both after seeing a ghost in my bedroom mirror—an all-around bad idea.
Not a ghost. A stress-induced nightmare.
I cringed at the memory of the gory phantom. Thin to start with, my rationalizations crumbled in the pressing shadows. I focused on the steady clicks my new shoes made against the pavement and shuttered my mind. She wasn’t real.
My mom would’ve driven me, but she had to work. Before leaving, she’d given me money to take a cab both ways, but enough things could—and probably would—go wrong at the dance without showing up in a canary yellow car, reeking of stale cigars. Now I had second thoughts about walking alone at night. Not to mention third thoughts. And fourth. Perhaps there were worse ways to die than from sheer embarrassment.
Streetlamps cast wide, empty rings of light at even spaces along the sidewalk. Bright pockets in the darkness. The September nights grew cool, and goosebumps quaked along my skin in waves. I rubbed my arms and walked faster, wishing I’d taken Mom’s advice about bringing a cardigan. I rounded the last corner from school, the rooftop visible over a line of trees, and . . .
The next light ring wasn’t empty.
I froze and did a double take at the scruffy man hunched against a lamp pole on the sidewalk. The way his body slumped suggested he might be sleeping, but I couldn’t be sure.