Cory Booker could easily be classified as Shadyside High’s best athlete. He’s certainly the most skilled gymnast. But apart from that, Cory’s a pretty average 16-year-old. He’s more than willing to do goofy things and take on dumb dares. In fact, he is in the middle of the lunchroom performing one of those dumb dares—namely, standing on his head while balancing a tray full of food—when he first sees Anna.
Anna is a transfer student who floats into the cafeteria and immediately strikes Cory as the most incredible looking girl he’s ever seen. She’s blond and pale, almost ghost-like as she floats across the room in her light blue dress. And even though he’s currently upside down, Cory is instantly smitten. So much so, in fact, that he quickly loses his balance, drops his food and lands face-first in his plate of spaghetti.
After facing the laughs and howls of the students and mopping up most of the tomatoey goop all over him, Cory quickly asks his friends about that vision of a girl. But none of them saw her, or even remember anybody in the hallways that meets her description—something Cory’s girl-crazy friends would surely have taken note of.
Cory, however, had definitely seen her. And he can’t get her off his mind. It isn’t until much later that he speaks with Lisa, his neighbor and longtime best friend, that he’s even able to verify that this pale beauty goes to Shadyside. Lisa had been in a Physics class with her. In fact, it was through Lisa that Cory finally finds out that the girl he saw is named Anna—though, in truth, Lisa didn’t seem all that happy that Cory was so interested her. Not that Cory noticed.
All that afternoon, all that evening, and a good part of that night, all Cory can think about, obsess about, is this strangely appealing and completely mysterious girl named Anna. Finally he can’t take it anymore: He calls directory assistance to find Anna’s phone number.
Cory soon learns that Anna Corwin and her family are new residents on Fear Street. And even the mention of that place instantly brings back creepy memories for Cory. But if Anna lives there, he might actually start seeing that usually fog-shrouded road, its spooky cemetery, and that burnt-out old mansion, in a new light. Her presence alone makes things better.
Cory screws up his courage and decides to call the girl of his dreams. But through repeated calls, the people who answer refuse to give the phone to Anna. They refuse to admit she even lives there. Could Cory have been given the wrong number. Finally, he reaches someone who sounds angry and answers Cory’s request bluntly.
“Anna is dead!” that person says, and slams down the phone.