M. P. Kozlowsky
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Be careful what you wish for.
Young Juniper Berry knows her mother and father aren't the same people they used to be. Of course, they're no longer struggling actors—they're now the most famous movie stars in the world. But it's more than that. She can't shake the feeling that something isn't quite right with them. And one rainy night, in the shadowy and sinister woods behind their mansion, she discovers she's right.
Now, it's up to Juniper to overcome her own demons in order to save the ones who couldn't.
voice they had ever heard. “You have found me.” Chapter 8 APART FROM A LONG TABLE at which sat the shrouded figure with the wicked voice, the room was a barren chamber lit by two torches. The ceiling dripped what Juniper assumed to be rainwater, and shadows upon the walls shifted and danced in the flickering primal glow. Every now and then she could swear they formed images—dark, disturbing images that lasted just long enough for her to question if she even saw them at all. She couldn’t
fired a musket.) The program portrayed everybody in town as cheerful drones, and the children brought home shining coins from their jobs and lived in huge, lively houses and the country grew at an astounding rate, covering the land with its newfound technology, bringing peace and love everywhere it spread. Everything on-screen was all so clean and simple and perfect. Toward the end, her animated guide said the Industrial Revolution was what made the country great, but she never really figured out
how. Something, Juniper believed, was missing, and she wanted to know what. She let the program run its course, taking in what she thought was interesting or important, and, as usual, she decided that when Mrs. Maybelline left for the day she would run down to her father’s study, grab a few books on the subject, and educate herself—as well as keep her mind busy and away from her parents, Giles, the tree, and those balloons. She could lose herself in her books, her spyglasses. But was this
alone.” His eyes never left the crowd. Still, she tried to convince Giles. “I am a part of the world. Just a different part than you. Maybe everyone else was supposed to join us. Ever think of that?” But the words sounded hollow, as if she were trying to convince herself and failed miserably. Juniper wanted to cry. She never thought there was a problem with herself, but maybe there was. Maybe she had it wrong all this time. Giles started to look annoyed, anxious to get back. Juniper reached out
inside. The moment she stepped into the room, thousands of sparks flew past her, into the hall and toward the noises of the beasts. At the table, dressed in the same suit with his hat still sitting and randomly jumping beneath the table on the floor, Theodore looked up from his work. “Juniper. What’s going on?” He saw the balloons filling the room in two big bursts. “Are those . . . ? Did you . . . ?” Juniper nodded. “No, no, no. This is foolish. You must get to safety.” “I’ve come for you.”