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Mad World, Book Three
by Erin Callahan & Troy H. Gardner
Genre Young Adult Urban Fantasy
Tags Living museum, turn of the century, paranormal, magic, alternate history, fantasy, series
Release July 11, 2014
Content Editor Christine Speakman
Line Editor Sarah Champoux
Cover Designer Charlotte Volnek
Following months living on the streets of Boston, the Wakefield escapees have found a temporary shelter to recoup in after barely escaping from Arlington Station with their lives—but time is running out.
As the troubled teens grow closer and rely on each other for survival, they know the inexhaustible Dr. Lycen is on the hunt. When he shows up on their doorstep with his crimson army, they are forced into action. With limited options, some of them flee to Perfection, a turn of the century living museum that holds more than its fair share of secrets.
Those who travel to Perfection find a new home that promises safety and stability. But is a dangerous adversary pulling the strings behind the scenes?
I sprawled on the couch, staring at the ceiling fan. I didn’t feel like watching any of the DVDs by the TV. I’d watched a few already, and the rest were mostly cheesy romances. I never really got the appeal. Real romance isn’t flowery, it’s ironic and anti-climactic, but that probably makes it even better.
Astrid and I were supposed to go out that night for food and meager supplies at the nearest convenience store, but Lawrence offered to go for me. I figured he didn’t want to be stuck here while Laura and Simon gushed over each other and Teddy brooded over his book of spells. I didn’t mind it much though; it comforted me. I really knew these people and their routines. It was nice.
Teddy finally put down the Almanac and joined Laura and Simon in the kitchen to play board games. I was still wary of pissing Laura off, so I gave them some space, lazing around the living room to the sound of dice clattering against the kitchen table.
I lost track of time until the floor squeaked nearby, and Teddy was suddenly towering over me, hands on his hips. He blocked the ceiling light, casting his shadow over my entire body.
“Hi, Teddy. What’s up?”
“It’s couples time, apparently.” He pointed to the closed bedroom door.
“Gotcha. So what do you want to do until Astrid and Lawrence get back?” I sat up and scooted to one end of the couch to give Teddy plenty of room for his long limbs to sit next to me.
“I got a DVD when I went out last night. And some popcorn,” Teddy said.
“That’s cool, but they won’t like that you spent our money on nonessentials.”
“Five finger discount,” he said in a conspiratorial whisper.
“Stealing is wrong, Teddy,” I told him mechanically.
“It wasn’t my plan. I went into the movie place to get out of the rain while Lawrence finished up next door, and the dude behind the register eyed me like I was some dirty, homeless thief.”
“So you proved him wrong by stealing?”
“I lived up to his expectations. My parents would be really proud.”
“Good job, Sport.” I rubbed his head in a mock parental manner. I didn’t like that he stole, but at the same time, I was sure any movie he got would be better than a romance, and it was nice seeing him in such a good mood. He’d been sulking for a day and a half and now appeared to be at the opposite end of the bipolar spectrum.
“Been thinking ’bout something,” he said quickly as he leapt to his feet. The fingers on his right hand tapped his palm with nervous energy. “Wanted to talk before the others get back. Now is good. Everything smells tingly, like when you smear glue on your hand, then it hardens and you rip it off. That’s what I smell right now. And red. There’s a spell in the book. I want to try it with you.”
“Oh, cool. What is it?” My interest was definitely piqued.
“It’s a bonding spell. It says two people can have, like, a mental or spiritual connection or whatever for the rest of their lives. Both have to have powers like us and want the connection, you know? The connection means we can always find each other, and we’ll know what each other is feeling sometimes, or if one of us is hurt. And you can’t have this same bond with anyone else. Ever. It’s like twins, but different. Do you want to bond with me, Max?”
This was a lot of information, coming at me a mile a minute, but I didn’t really have to think about it.
“Yeah, of course. What do we have to do?” When it came to friends who I’d want to have a magical connection with, I could only think of three—Astrid, Teddy, and Timothy, my subway friend who I couldn’t risk spending more time with. And that was an easy choice, since only Teddy had powers. I’d want to know if Teddy was hurt, so I could help him, or to have him be able to find me if I got lost or something.
“Sweet. Awesome, Max! This will be great. So great. I need to read more and prepare some stuff first. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.” He almost tripped over his own large feet, he was so excited, as he leaned over and hugged me.
“I’m excited too, Teddy.” I hugged him back.
He stood up, his shoulders dropping.
“You’ll have a couple days to back out if you want.”
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