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A Toothfully Twisted Summer

Overview

Magnolia Bloomgarden is not excited about spending her summer vacation in Tooth Kingdom working as a fairy for the family business. She couldn't care less about getting wings, learning to fly, or sprinkling magic dust, especially because she has to leave her best friend, Sun, behind. But all of that is about to change when she realizes Sun's family is being pursued by dark fairies who need just one thing to survive: teeth.

Magnolia is worried about what will happen to Sun and ...

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A Toothfully Twisted Summer

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Overview

Magnolia Bloomgarden is not excited about spending her summer vacation in Tooth Kingdom working as a fairy for the family business. She couldn't care less about getting wings, learning to fly, or sprinkling magic dust, especially because she has to leave her best friend, Sun, behind. But all of that is about to change when she realizes Sun's family is being pursued by dark fairies who need just one thing to survive: teeth.

Magnolia is worried about what will happen to Sun and her family if she does not warn them that the evil fairies are loose in the mortal world. But before she can caution them that the fairies have potentially found a way to open their portal, Magnolia is led to the Tooth Kingdom by her uncle. There she soon discovers a perfect, happy world overshadowed by the threat of dark fairies who want nothing more than to destroy the peaceful kingdom. As the fairies make their presence known, Magnolia embarks on a dangerous journey to save both her kingdom and Sun's family from their sinister clutches.

In this children's fantasy tale, a tooth fairy-in-training must summon the courage to battle dark forces as a portal slowly opens and frees what everyone in Tooth Kingdom has always feared.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475991888
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/17/2013
  • Pages: 132
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Read an Excerpt

A Toot fully Twisted Summer


By Ellen Cappello

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Ellen Cappello
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4759-9188-8



CHAPTER 1

Bad Morning


I would be going into middle school in September. It meant bigger responsibilities besides middle school. And for the next four summers I would be traveling to a far-off place with relatives who work for a billion-year-old tooth-collecting business.

My little brother, Kai, came into the kitchen and took his place across the table. It was going to be his last day of third grade. He was grinning and chattering about what he planned to do all summer.

Kai's hair was unevenly chopped into a cut he did on his own. It got me laughing. Mom took one look at it and rolled her eyes. She took a baseball hat off the counter and covered his head.

"Now that's better," Mom said.

Mom was hustling back and forth, talking to us as she went about the kitchen. She was putting things on the table, getting things out of the fridge, scrambling eggs, turning bacon, and burning toast. This was a morning ritual with Mom.

I knew she was trying to cheer me up with her endless chatter. She was obviously hoping to get me interested in the tooth-collecting business. But it wasn't going to work. I was determined about that.

Kai finished his breakfast and hurried away. I munched down the last bit of scrambled eggs and left Mom to do the cleanup chores. But she followed me to the door.

"Are you upset today is the last day of school, Magnolia?" she asked. I didn't answer, and she looked concerned.

I knew I had to say something. I had to speak for myself; the time was now or never. So I said, "Mom, I don't want to spend the summer in Tooth Kingdom. I don't care about it. I want to stay here with my friends."

There was a knowing look on her face. And her eyelids seemed to be weighed down more than normal. I thought she might not have slept well. I wondered if my summer trip to Tooth Kingdom was bugging her too. Or was it Dad's snoring again?

"It's silly to worry about your friends," she said. "They will be here when you come home. Tooth Kingdom is a beautiful place. It's filled with tooth fairies and magic. You're going to have a wonderful time. I'm sure you'll even forget about your friends while you're there."

I opened the door and saw my best friend, Sun, walking up the driveway. I couldn't help wondering what would happen if she found a new best friend over the summer. Tears welled up in my eyes. I told Mom, "I won't forget my friends, but they might forget me."

I didn't bother to wait for her reaction before running out the door. She was still calling after me when I caught up with Sun.

"Is everything okay?" Sun asked.

"Yes," I answered. I didn't want to lie to my best friend. But I had to, because I remembered Dad's warning about keeping Tooth Kingdom and its tooth fairy counterparts secret. He said it's a law that must never be broken. The punishment is instant death. And that scared me.

Sun hugged her notebook and folder to her chest. She was so studious; who else would have those things on the last day of school?

I gave up on being studious when spring started. What kind of kid wouldn't get excited over spring? Oh, that's right, a kid like Sun. She already has her whole future planned out. I thought I'd start planning mine in about ten years.

Sun had a thick, golden bracelet on her wrist. It was set with rubies that seemed to twinkle in the morning sun. She didn't usually wear jewelry; she was more the athletic type. And her figure was filling out. My figure was boring next to hers. Mom was always telling me I'd fill out as I got older.

"I like your bracelet," I said. "Where did you get it?"

Her almond-shaped eyes lit up. "Thank you, Magnolia. My grandpa gave it to me. It belonged to my mother."

Everybody knew Sun's parents died years ago. She said it was an accident, but she never went into detail about it. Part of me thought there was a lot more to her story, but another part of me figured it was just too hard for her to tell it.

I gave her my best smile. "It's beautiful, Sun. Take good care of it."

We reached the bus stop, and I heard footsteps behind us. For a moment I thought it was Mom, but then I heard Kai say in a sarcastic tone, "Thanks for waiting for me, Sis."

"Sorry, Kai. Mom was about to make me crazy," I replied. I hugged his shoulder.

"I don't understand," he replied.

I expected him to be confused. After all, who wouldn't want to visit Tooth Kingdom? From what Mom and Dad had told us, it was the most magical place in the world. And surely I would want to go—if my friends could come along.

"I wish I was going to Tooth Kingdom," Kai said.

My heart sank as soon as I heard "Tooth Kingdom."

"What's Tooth Kingdom?" Sun asked.

My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets, and my heart felt like it was about to. I squeezed Kai's shoulder tightly, hoping it would be enough to keep him quiet. Otherwise there was no telling what might happen to him.

"It's some story Kai made up," I blurted out.

"I'd like to hear more about it sometime," Sun said to him.

Sun was waiting for a response, and it appeared Kai had choked up. I gave him a light nudge, and he spit out one word: "Sure."

An awkward silence fell over us. The bus came around the corner. And I was nervous this conversation would come up again later. For now, a blast of the horn put a stop to my worries. The doors opened, and I climbed the short stack of stairs.

CHAPTER 2

The Monarch


Kai sat with the other third-graders. I wasn't sure which seat he fell into, but I knew it was somewhere in the middle of the bus. That was where all the third-graders sat. But the fifth-grade graduates got the good seats, the ones in the back.

As Sun and I walked the aisle, my eyes zoned in on the second-to-last seat. That was where Sun and I sat every day together. Mallory always sat across from us, and she enjoyed sitting alone. But she didn't mind sharing if someone was bringing along a friend.

We were close enough to our seat to hear Zayne and Scotty chuckling. They always sat behind us and were always doing something to make our bus ride irritating. Like the time they shot spitballs over the seat. Sun and I were pulling germ-infested, tiny balls of loose leaf from our hair the entire bus ride. Or the time they snuck the cell phone from my backpack and prank-called the most popular girl in our grade. That was hard to explain.

I wondered what they had planned for our last day of school.

We sat down. Sun and Mallory got into a conversation about the fun they had planned for the summer—trips to the beach, amusement parks, and pool parties, all sounding exciting. Of course I was included in those plans. The only thing was, they didn't know I wouldn't be able to come along.

"Sun, are we still coming to your house after school?" I asked.

"Yes, of course."

"Yay!" Mallory and I cheered.

That was when I felt the first kick hit the back of the seat. "Cut it out!" I demanded.

The kicks came harder and faster. They were loud enough to attract the attention of the bus driver. His beady eyes were watching us from the rearview mirror.

"Ouch!" Sun cried.

The boys ignored her and continued to drive hard kicks into the back of our seat. Sun leaned forward and put her hands over her face.

Really? I thought. She's not going to stick up for herself? She's just going to allow those boys to irritate her entire trip to school. No way am I going to allow that. Yup, this is war!

I started punching the seat and yelling for the boys to stop, but they continued to kick the back of the seat. Sun thrust her elbow into the seat; she hit her funny bone. "That hurt," she said as she grabbed her elbow and squeezed her eyes shut.

The boys laughed harder. They were really making me on edge.

"Girls are so weak," Scotty said.

Mallory threw her feet into the aisle. "Did he just call girls weak?" she asked.

"Yup, he sure did," I replied.

As hard as I could, I threw my fist into the back of the seat. "Take that!"

"Is that all you got?" Zayne called out.

I let out a long squeal. And before I knew it, I was punching the seat as fast and as hard as I could. It wasn't long before Sun joined me. Punching the back of a leathery seat wasn't nearly as comfortable as letting frustration out on a pillow. I had a lot of experience with that.

Mallory stood up and yelled, "Stop, guys!"

The bus driver took notice. "Sit down!" he yelled.

She plopped onto the seat, rolled her eyes, and muttered, "I tried."

I'd had enough of the troublesome two behind me. I turned around in my seat, sat up on my knees, and said, "Why are you two so annoying?"

"Oh, calm down, Magnolia. We're just having fun," Zayne answered.

"Well, I don't like your type of fun."

He stopped to take a cupcake from the tin on his lap. He held a cupcake out in front of me and asked, "Want one?" The sweet smell of chocolate rushed through my nose.

Is this his peace offering?

I asked, "Aren't those for class?"

"Mom made extra." He bit into the frosting. "You want one or not?"

Duh, of course I want one! What kind of twelve-year-old wouldn't? But if I take one that means I forgive him for messing around ... and I don't. "No, I don't want a cupcake." I crossed my arms and watched as he took another bite. He shrugged and took a third bite. With the fourth bite, it was gone.

He's like an eating machine. It would take me double time to do that. Is he really reaching for another cupcake? Doesn't he know he could really afford to lose a few pounds?

"I want one! I want one! I want one! I want one!" Scotty called out. Zayne didn't answer, so Scotty started to wave his arms and kick his feet.

Why can't he ever keep still? Does he always have to remind me of Mom and a pot of coffee?

Zayne pulled out a cupcake. "Here you go, butthead," he said as he pushed the cupcake right onto a big cluster of freckles on Scotty's face. Scotty wiped the palm of his hand across his cheek. "Now I have chocolate on my face," he whined.

We all started laughing. Even Sun joined in. Mallory was really into it. Her laughter overpowered all of ours, and I expected that. If she were a type of music, she'd be a classical opera.

"I bet you're going to miss him when he's gone this summer," Mallory said.

Suddenly everyone was still, even Scotty. Zayne glared at Mallory.

There she goes again. Zayne should have known better. Asking Mallory to keep a secret is like asking a dog not to bark.

"Are you going to go see your father this summer, Zayne?" Sun asked.

"Yup." Zayne's dad wasn't around a lot. He was an architect and spent lots of time working in another country. When he was home, it never lasted long.

"Are your sisters going?" I asked.

"No way, butthead! My dad wants me to start learning the business. The girls would be in the way."

How is he ever going to run a business with a mouth like that? Besides that, he can't even get his homework done. Zayne Lombardy Enterprise? I'd have to wait and see.

My thoughts were interrupted by a gigantic butterfly fluttering outside the window. I tried to get a better look. Its wings were the size of my hand. Its coloring was the brightest I had ever seen. The orange reminded me of the sun setting.

It caught Zayne's attention too. He glanced at the others before moving in closer to me. "It's a monarch, and that one is a male," he whispered.

"How do you tell?" I asked.

"See that black spot? Only males have that."

The rest of the group didn't acknowledge the butterfly. They were busy helping Scotty get the chocolate frosting off his face.

"Is it gone?" Scotty asked.

"Not yet," Sun replied. She pointed to his nose, and Scotty wiped it with his palm. Then Mallory directed him to his chin. Sun giggled. And I let out a short chuckle when I realized that they were playing tricks on him.

I tugged on Sun's T-shirt, once, twice, then three times. She turned my way, and I pointed to the window, but the monarch was gone.

"There was a butterfly with wings the size of my hands," I said.

"Sure there was," Sun replied.

"It's true. Zayne saw it too."

"Sure he did," Scotty said.

Sun, Scotty, and Zayne laughed.

Is Zayne really pretending he didn't see what I saw? I was just starting to think he wasn't all that bad. Now he pulls a trick on me. Are all boys like this?

"I'm sure it was there, Magnolia," Mallory said. "It flew away, is all."

Yup, it flew away.

The bus pulled to a stop in front of the school. Everyone piled out of their seats, making as quick an exit as they could. There was shouting and laughing all the way. The last morning bus trip I was to ever take to elementary school was about to become a memory. None of the other fifth-graders seemed to be upset over it.

Maybe I'm just weird.


* * *

The day progressed normally. Mom and Tooth Kingdom were temporarily out of my mind. In class Mrs. Girgis was handing out our science exam. As she walked the rows of desks, she gave one of her usual lectures on the wrongs of cheating.

I began to write my name at the top of the page. As I wrote the n in Bloomgarden, the tip of my pencil broke off. I went to the back of the room, where the pencil sharpener was attached to a windowsill. The window blinds were open to let in the sunshine. I stared out the window while turning the handle of the sharpener. Off in the distance was something I couldn't make out. As it moved closer, it looked like a beam of colors. Like a flying rainbow. I wished I could reach out and touch it.

It moved toward me fast. I thought the prism of colors was going to crash into the window and spill over everywhere. As it got close enough, I could see it taking form. Hundreds of butterflies flew in an intense array. I looked around the room for help. Everyone was working on their tests. Not one of them gazed out the window. Was I the only one who saw the swarm?

"Miss Bloomgarden, I think that pencil is ready," Mrs. Girgis said.

I dragged my feet back to my seat and looked out the window once more. The butterflies were gone ... just like that.

I started working on my test. Earth Science had been my favorite topic that year. The planets made me wonder what else was out there. How could Earth be the only planet that supported life? It seemed logical to me that there had to be more to it. Alien butterflies from Mars, maybe.

I glanced out the window. Blue skies and green grass covered all I could see. I hoped to see the butterflies again. I wanted everybody to see them.

Scotty was sitting next to me, tapping his pencil rapidly on the desk. I hated when he did that. Couldn't he control himself at all? Somehow I grabbed his attention. I eyeballed the pencil, and he moved it faster.

Mrs. Girgis was at her desk doing whatever teachers do. She glanced up and peered through her old-fashioned glasses. "Mr. Woe, perhaps you'd like to finish your exam in the hallway," she said.

Scotty's pencil froze in his hand. He instantly went back to work on his exam. I did the same.

Smallest plant,

Mercury

Largest planet,

Jupiter

Mallory slapped her palm on the desk and flipped her paper over.

"I'm done," she announced.

Of course she's the first one done, again. And of course the other kids are praising her for it like they always do. Look at her enjoying every second of it.

"No need to announce it to the class, Miss Midvale," Mrs. Girgis said.

I was looking at Mallory when it happened. Behind her, a flash of color surged past the window. I was thinking it was my imagination, but half a minute later it happened again. I couldn't turn my head away. There it went, a third time and then a fourth. I swore I heard it buzzing this time. I turned to Sun, who was sitting behind me. She turned her head to where I was pointing.

"I don't see anything," she whispered.

I turned back to my test, confused. How could she have not seen it? I saw it pass before her eyes. Surely she wouldn't play the same trick on me that Zayne had.

I was trying to focus on the test, but the distraction made it very hard. I kept checking on the butterflies. I wanted to make sure they were still there. They were moving faster. Only seconds separated the circling. I found it hard to believe no one else seemed to notice.

Sun pushed my shoulder. "Hand in your test. School is over."

I must have been lost in a daze. I took the paper in my hand and stood up. "You did see it, didn't you?"

"I don't understand what you're talking about."

I pulled Sun to the window. "I'm talking about butterflies, Sun. There are hundreds of them out there."

She rolled her eyes.

Zayne walked by with leftover cupcakes in hand. He laughed and said, "Are you talking butterflies again?"

"Go away, Zayne!" I yelled.

Zayne shrugged, flapped his arms, and zigzagged out the door.

Is he seriously pretending to be a butterfly?

We waited for the flash of color. Where was it? I wanted Sun to see it. I wanted her to believe me.

"Come on," she said. "We're going to miss the bus."

"But it was here. I swear it."

"Well, now it's gone, and we really do have to go."

I sighed. Sun was right. We really did have to go. The rest of the class was already gone. If I held us up any longer, we would miss the bus. If we missed the bus, we wouldn't get to spend the rest of the day with Mallory. And Sun's grandfather or my mother would have to pick us up. It felt like there were a million reasons not to miss the bus and only one reason to risk missing it: to prove I wasn't crazy.
(Continues...)


Excerpted from A Toot fully Twisted Summer by Ellen Cappello. Copyright © 2013 Ellen Cappello. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

1. Bad Morning....................     1     

2. The Monarch....................     5     

3. Jewel Thief....................     13     

4. The Black Wall....................     20     

5. Uncle Ashton....................     28     

6. The Portal....................     38     

7. The Other Bloomgardens....................     44     

8. Wings....................     52     

9. Collecting in All Weather Types....................     63     

10. The Baba Yaga....................     73     

11. First Flight....................     84     

12. Fairy Fourth Festival....................     97     

13. Sun....................     106     

14. Mount Maguxion....................     113     

15. Back to Being Mortal....................     119     


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