Once upon a time, Jack knew better than to do certain things. You didn’t waste time trying to find the perfect temperature of porridge in a bear’s house. You didn’t point out to your suddenly extremely furry grandmother how big her fangs were. And you definitely didn’t walk through a creepy fog while music from magical pipes drifted in eerily. These weren’t even questions, you just didn’t do them—not if you wanted to stay uneaten by three bears, disguised wolves, or scary old musicians.
Except here he was—fog, magical pipe music and all, and he just wanted to find the stupid Piper and get on with things.
Unfortunately, not everyone was so goal oriented.
“Does anyone else want to follow him?” May asked, shivering in her oversize blue cloak as her head bobbed to the music. She shifted a backpack full of food—a gift from Phillip’s mother—higher on her shoulder as she moved with the melody.
“I hope you are joking, Princess,” Phillip said, shooting her a worried glance. “Remember, we are not to go into his cave. That is where the children from the village went, and they never returned.”
As if to reinforce the creepiness, a blackbird crowed loudly, then took to the air from some tree hidden in the fog. Jack shivered, thinking the bird almost sounded like it was calling his name.
“I know, I know, no cave,” May said, rolling her eyes before swaying to the music again.
Jack sighed and stopped her. “Maybe you should wait a little distance away. . . . You don’t seem to be handling this all that well.”
“The rhythm isn’t going to get me,” May said absently. “Besides, what’s the worst it could do? Tell me my grandmother is a horrible tyrant who tried to take over half the world? ’Cause, too late.”
Jack and Phillip glanced at each other, and Jack could see his own concern reflected in the prince’s eyes. May caught their look, and shoved them apart. “What did I say about doing that!” she shouted a bit too loudly for Jack’s taste. “I’m fine! It’s been three months. I’m over it!” She glared at Jack. “Either that or I’m quietly going crazy and I’ll hand you both over to the next giant we come across. Care to bet on which way it’s gonna go if you keep giving Phillip those stupid emo worry looks?!”
“Seems like crazy’s taking the early lead,” Jack said, then quickly turned and continued on ahead, trying to ignore the glare she had just thrown at him.
“If this is too much for you, we could find another way—,” Phillip began, but May shushed him. “It took us this long just to find the Piper,” she said. “I want to know who I am already! And besides, I for one am tired of rescuing you from various invisible gnomes.”
Phillip smiled. “I thought you said that we would never speak of that again.”
“Yet someone keeps bringing it up,” May said, her face expressionless.
“Can we concentrate?” Jack said, dragging May forward and away from Phillip.
Copyright line for Twice Upon a Time text © 2012 by James Riley
Little mermaids and normal-sized pirates always create the biggest of problems, don’t they? After the surprise revelations of Half Upon a Time, Jack, May and Phillip could use the help of a fairy godmother or two on their search for May’s true identity. Only, there might be a snag: The entire Fairy Homelands have been put to sleep by an evil curse, and waking them could be hard. That’s only if by hard, you mean escaping from the Land of Never, braving a merman-infested ocean to find a Sea Witch, then fighting alongside the pirate Bluebeard against an army of land-invading sharks with legs. But what fun would an easy fairy tale be? Twice Upon a Time is the second book in James Riley’s Half Upon a Time series. (Ages 9-12)
Hardcover Book : pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster ( April 24, 2012 )
Item #: 13-536753
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 13.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
I enjoyed the action.