Read Into the Wild Online

Authors: Sarah Beth Durst

Into the Wild

Table of Contents
 
 
 
 
 
Into the Wild
 
RAZORBILL
 
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Young Readers Group
345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 2Y3 (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books
Ltd)
Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)
Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110
017, India
Penguin Group (NZ), Cnr Airborne and Rosedale Roads, Albany, Auckland 1310, New
Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)
Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg
2196, South Africa 
Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England 
 
Copyright © 2007 Sarah Beth Durst
eISBN : 978-1-595-14185-9
All rights reserved
 
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available
 
 
The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.
 
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

http://us.penguingroup.com

For my mother and my daughter
You are holding in your hands my wish in the wishing well. Thank you to everyone who made my dream come true: Andrea Somberg (my agent/hero), Ben Schrank, Jessica Rothenberg, Andy Ball, Liesa Abrams, Tamora Pierce, my family and friends, and all the other fantastic people who helped make this book a reality. And most of all, thank you to my husband/prince Adam. You are my magic. This book is as much yours as it is mine.
Part One
The Woods
Chapter One
The Monster Under the Bed
In the darkness, the heart of the fairy tale waited . . .
 
Julie picked up a scrap of shoelace. Once upon a time, it had been an entire sneaker. “Look what you did,” she said, wiggling it under her bed.
Snapping out a green vine, the Wild snatched the lace.
“Hey!” She dropped to her knees and peered under the bed. It’s not fair, she grumbled to herself. Worst most people had under their beds was dust bunnies. The Wild, a tangled mass of green, tried to tuck itself back into the shadows under her bed, but one vine—the newest—couldn’t fit. “Oh, great,” Julie said. “Not again.” She flattened onto her stomach to see it better. The new growth was pale green with tuliplike leaves that cradled a half-laced, tan-colored boot—the fate of her poor sneaker.
The Wild had swallowed and transformed it.
Note to self, Julie thought, throwing things at the Wild was not the brightest move. In her defense, though, when she threw the shoe, it was 2 a.m. and the vines were snoring. “Mom!” she called, getting up. “It happened again!”
“Be there in a minute!” her mom called back.
This was her third pair this month. Julie scrounged through her closet. She was pretty sure that all she had now were left shoes. And a pair of flip-flops—bright sunflower yellow flip-flops. Perfect footwear for October in Massachusetts. She put them on and grimaced. Her naked toes looked like plump breakfast sausages. Maybe no one will notice, she thought hopefully.
Mom came into the room with a kitchen knife. Her eyes swept expertly over the room and settled on Julie’s feet. So much for no one noticing. Julie wiggled her toes.
“I’m sorry,” Mom said. “I could try putting it back in the basement.” Leaves rustled as the Wild pressed itself farther under the bed. The vine with the boot quivered and began to slide back into the green. “Quick, catch it!”
Julie scrambled forward and grabbed the boot. The vines squirmed. She leaned back, pulling against the vines with her full weight. “Why do we always have to guard it?” she complained. “Can’t one of your friends take a turn?” She shot a look at Mom. Julie hadn’t meant to ask that. The words had slipped out before she’d thought about them.
“Julie, watch the vine.”
She turned back as the Wild struggled, leaves flapping against the underside of the mattress. Julie stepped on the new vine with her flip-flopped foot, holding it steady. Businesslike, Mom sawed off the boot. Green ooze stained the carpet and spattered Julie’s toes.
Mom eyed the boot critically. “Unfinished Seven League Boot. I’d say it’s about a three-mile boot.” She tucked the boot under her arm, then fetched her special key from her bedroom and unlocked the linen closet. Rubbing the excess ooze off her foot, Julie trailed after her.
She peeked over Mom’s shoulder into the closet. All the shelves were stuffed with the Wild’s creations: cloaks, purses, wands, hats, picnic baskets. The Wild had made a
lot
of items. It desperately wanted to grow again.
She looked again at Mom. Was she just going to ignore the question? “You didn’t answer me,” Julie said.
“Oh, pumpkin, not now, please,” Mom said. “We could put it back in the basement. But that’s the best we can do.”
Ugh, that wasn’t a solution. Last time they had kept it in the basement, it had pried all the plumbing out of the walls and transformed half of the hot water heater. Julie had had to take cold showers for two weeks after that. “Never mind,” Julie said. The Wild was calmest under Julie’s bed, and it was weak enough that Mom was willing to allow it to stay there. Maybe the Wild thought Julie would help it grow. Fat chance of that.
Mom locked the closet door and handed Julie her special works-on-any-door key. She kissed Julie on the forehead. “Don’t be blue. It’s only a shoe.” And then she smiled. “How’s that for a rhyme?”
“Very rhyme-y,” Julie said.
As her mother went downstairs, Julie locked her bedroom door with the special key and then returned the key to her mother’s jewelry box. Mom
never
answered her straight-out. Why did they have to have this permanent houseguest? Why couldn’t she just once have a normal morning without lost shoes or locked doors or any of it? As she trudged down to the kitchen, she tried to imagine what a normal morning would be like. She pictured her mother wearing an apron and a ’50s-mom smile and handing Julie a paper bag lunch. And of course, Julie’s father would be there, sitting at the kitchen table and reading the newspaper. He’d put it down when Julie came into the kitchen, and he’d say . . .
Her mother handed her a Cheerios box. “Did you lock the door?”
For a second, Julie blinked at her. She had almost pictured him there, maybe in a bathrobe and slippers or in a suit and tie, ready for work, whatever that would be. He’d have an office job, be home in time for dinner, and he’d complain about the commute, like other dads . . . She could almost see his face, smiling at her . . .
“Did you hear me?” Mom asked. “Did you lock the door?”
Julie sighed as the daydream vanished. “Mom, please.”
“Julie, it’s important.”
“Yeah, I know,” she said. “I’m not a baby.”
Her mom cooed. “My wittle baby-waby.” She sounded so exactly like a cartoon mouse that Julie laughed in spite of herself. Her mom made a fish face. “Oobe snooby uppy wuppy.”
Julie made a fish face back at her. “Uppy snuppy wuppy puppy.”
Her mom smiled, and Julie grinned back. And for an instant, everything was okay. Julie started on her cereal as her mom fixed her age makeup in the reflection in the microwave door. She wore just enough to look the appropriate age for a mother of a twelve-year-old. Julie watched as her mom wet the tip of a brown eyeliner and darkened a wrinkle on her forehead. Skillfully, she blended in the new shadow. With makeup, she almost looked ordinary, Julie thought. Of course, all the makeup in the world couldn’t hide her mother’s most recognizable feature: she had amazing hair, the color of wheat and the texture of silk, which she kept bobbed short, up above her ears.
Julie wondered what her father would have thought of Mom’s short hair. Suddenly, her cereal was hard to swallow. Why was she thinking about him so much this morning? She should be worrying about how to blend in at school despite her bright yellow flip-flops. Of course, if no one guessed who her mother was from the hair, then no one would guess their family secret from Julie’s feet. It wasn’t like her footwear was the biggest tip-off around.
Finishing the age makeup, her mother lifted the cloth over the kitchen mirror. “Well?” she asked.
“Eh, you look terrible,”
the mirror said.
“How many times have I told you that pink is not your color, and what are those? Slacks? You’re wearing slacks?”
Her mom dropped the cloth back down.
Compared to a talking mirror, what was a pair of sandals? Today was going to be fine. Or at least it would be if she wasn’t late. Glancing at the clock, Julie said, “Gotta go.” Grabbing her jacket and backpack, she headed for the door.

Other books

The Dark Path by James M. Bowers, Stacy Larae Bowers
Blood Legacy by Redmoon, Vanessa
Promises to Keep by Rose Marie Ferris
Protecting Justice (The Justice Series Book 4) by Adrienne Giordano, Misty Evans
ODDILY by Pohring, Linda


readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2022