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As Inky Mess gains power and amasses goblin followers, he sets his sights on the Forgetting Book. With the book, Inky will become master of every goblin, hobgoblin, and fairy in Make-Believe. Clemency's hobgoblin friends desperately need her help to defeat the power-hungry changeling, but Clem has problems of her own: Her dad has unknowingly ...
As Inky Mess gains power and amasses goblin followers, he sets his sights on the Forgetting Book. With the book, Inky will become master of every goblin, hobgoblin, and fairy in Make-Believe. Clemency's hobgoblin friends desperately need her help to defeat the power-hungry changeling, but Clem has problems of her own: Her dad has unknowingly angered the Scrivener Bees and they want to exact painful revenge. Will Clem be able to save her father -- and Make-Believe?
Clemency Pogue realized that the closest her parents came to each other was kissing her opposite cheeks at the same time. She kept trying to duck out of the way at the last moment and trick them into a little affection.
"Clem dear, do you want a kiss good night or not?" her mother asked, eyes ringed with fatigue after a full day of work.
"Yes, please," Clemency said. Mr. and Mrs. Pogue leaned down to the bed with puckered lips. Clemency feinted forward and then dodged back, leaving a head-sized gap of empty space between her parents' kissers. Mr. and Mrs. Pogue stopped in midair, lips unpuckering.
"Rascal," her father said, tousling Clem's hair. "Sleep well. I love you."
"I love you," her mother said to Clemency.
Then Mr. and Mrs. Pogue looked at each other and sighed. It was less the kind of sigh you would expect from turtledoves and more the kind of sigh you'd expect from leaky tires.
"I love you," Clemency said to them both, hoping it was catching.
Clemency had stayed up most of the night before, madly scheming ways to make her parents fall back in love. She had come up with a plan involving two mop-heads, rubber cement, a bag of chowder, some string, and a hobgoblin. But she knew that it was not her right to call on the hobgoblin Chaphesmeeso unless a truly earth-shattering catastrophe was at hand, especially with the fugitive changeling still at large.
But it frustrated her enormously to be faced with a problem she could not smash. She was Clemency Pogue! She had traveled the world! Twice! In pants of her own design! Vanquished dangers most could not imagine! And invented rootbeer in her spare time!
Yet she could not make her parents be nice to each other. Sleep would not be denied a second night and was pressing hard on Clemency's eyelids with dry, cottony fingers.
But as she drifted off, Clemency's thoughts took a working vacation to Brazil. She remembered a hopeless and love-struck boy she had helped there. Clem had returned to life the Fairy of Love and Tenderness, by the discovery of the dead sprite's name.
"Twittamore," she whispered. The fairy could help her; she would have to, because Clemency knew her name. Just before sleep enveloped her, Clemency said, "Twittamore, come away to me."
Clemency woke at dawn to the muted whirr of fairy wings.
Near the window, the Fairy of Love and Tenderness used her wand to touch a fat, grundy housefly, and then pointed at a spider's web in the corner of the room.
The fly's segmented vision became a collage of interlocking hearts, and giddy with affection, he charged the web. In the eyes of the fly, the spider was suddenly gorgeous, playful, each of those eight legs going all the way up.
"My dearest! My immortal beloved!" buzzed the fly as he tangled himself in the spider's web.
The spider loved the fly, much like the author loves pancakes. In a matter of moments, the fly was cocooned and several hours early for a lunch date.
Clemency watched the fairy swiftly send two more houseflies to rose-colored doom before she heard her parents' muffled voices from the kitchen.
"Twittamore," Clem said. The fairy's attention snapped to her like a sticky stone.
Clemency crept to her door and eased it open a mite. Through the narrow gap, she watched her dad pour batter into a waffle iron as her mom gathered her things for work.
"Not this year, we can't afford it," her mom said.
"It's only once that you'll turn forty," her father said. "We should celebrate it."
"Fine, celebrate! Celebrate all you want, I'll be at work. One of us has to make a living."
"Honey your waffles. Don't 'honey' me."
Clemency grimaced at the fairy, who was hovering by her head.
"That's my mom and dad," she said softly. "I want them to be nice to each other."
"Don't yell, you'll wake Clemency," her father said, throttling his wooden waffle-mixing spoon.
"I'm going to work," her mother said.
"We should do something nice for your birthday," her father muttered sullenly.
"Twittamore," Clemency whispered solemnly, "make my mom and dad love each other again."
The fairy nodded and buzzed into the kitchen.
"You want to get me something nice, get yourself a job." Mrs. Pogue threw her satchel over her shoulder and headed for the door. Twittamore hovered midway between Mr. and Mrs. Pogue, looking from one to the other. Clemency's mom slammed out the door while her dad snarled and attacked the waffle batter with his spoon.
The fairy turned and darted back into Clemency's room. Clemency eased the door shut.
"So?" she said.
The fairy flew to Clem's ear.
"It's too late," the fairy whispered.
"What?" Clemency exclaimed.
"They already love each other."
The Journal of Inky Mess, Excerpt 1
Day and night means nothing down here, so I won't even try to guess the date. But I've been with the goblins for months now at least. I'm learning what I can from them, but it's not easy. They talk in idiotic circles, riddles that aren't. If I could find the Scrivener Bees, I could get my answers.
They've taken me as one of their own, or, even more, they've taken me as their leader even though they're hard to control and utterly stupid but they
love... respect... admire...follow me, they follow me around like a row of ducks. None of them have names, which is important down here and may be the biggest difference between goblins and hobgoblins (other than those ridiculous hats and the fact that hobgoblins tend to be fat as hogs), but anything in the Make-Believe with a name can be controlled. Hobgoblins have names, and fairies have names, and all of them are recorded in The Forgetting Book. The Forgetting Book is key; I must get my hands on it.
Hobgoblins would be harmless, if it wasn't for fairies. Hobgoblins seem to be the "brains" of the Make-Believe, but the brains in headcheese don't necessarily make it smart. Hobgoblins and fairies are the authority down here, and the hobgoblins take their orders from a creature called the Tallygob. He's the oldest of the hobgoblins, and keeper of the Forgetting Book.
The goblins hate hobgoblins and fear fairies. It was the hobgoblins and fairies that were trying to kill me. The fairies are still coming after me. I've had to stay vigilant not to end up dead at the end of a wand.
I am a changeling. I've watched the goblins make changelings out of clay that smells like salt and is faintly fishy. I am made of clay and Leviathan Ink. The goblins won't say much about Leviathan Ink except that it comes from Leviathans (duh). I am made of clay. I am made of clay.
SHARON RIVER MENTAL HOSPITAL
The place they took my mother when she went mad. I shouldn't call her my mother -- she is not -- and she did not go mad, she only recognized me for what I was. But Sharon River is where they took my mother. The goblins helped me steal a phone book and I found the address for the hospital, and when I was reading, it made the goblins tremble before me like frightened mice, like they thought reading it was magic, dangerous magic. Is that what Human Magic is? It makes sense...the goblins say the Scrivener Bees use "human magic," and a scrivener is somebody who writes....
Copyright © 2007 JT Petty