- Pages: 512 Pages
- Series: Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children
- Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
- Imprint: Dutton Books for Young Readers
- ISBN: 9780735231559
An Excerpt From
The Desolations of Devil's Acre
It won’t be long now.
I’ve lost my soul, I’m afraid, but I can’t remember how. All I can recall are slow, churning cracks of thunder, and within them the syllables of my name, whatever it used to be, drawn out until unrecognizable. That and the dark are all there is, for a long time, until another sound joins the thunder: wind. Then rain, too. There is wind, and thunder, and rain, and falling.
Something is coming into being, one sensation at a time. I am rising from the trench, escaping the void. My single photon becomes a flashing cluster.
I feel something rough against my face. I hear the creaking of ropes. The flap of something caught in the wind. Perhaps I am on a boat. Trapped in the lightless belly of some storm-tossed ship.
One eye blinks open. Forms thrash dimly above me. A row of swinging pendulums. Overwound clocks all out of sync, groaning, gears about to break.
I blink and the pendulums become bodies dropped from a gallows, kicking and twisting.
I find I can turn my head. Blurred shapes begin to resolve. Rough green fabric against my face. Above me, the tick-tocking bodies have become a row of storm-blown plants swinging from the rafters in creaky wicker baskets. Behind them, a wall of insect screens shudders and flaps.
I am lying on a porch. On the rough green floor of a porch.
I know this porch
I know this floor
Farther away, a rain-whipped lawn terminates at a dark wall of genuflecting palms.
I know that lawn
I know those palms
How long have I been here? How many years?
time is playing tricks again
I try to move my body, but can only rotate my head. My eyes flick to a card table and two folding chairs.
I’m suddenly certain that, if I could persuade my body to rise, I would find a pair of reading glasses on the table. A half-finished game of Monopoly. A mug of steaming, still-hot coffee.
Someone has just been here. Words have just been spoken. They hang in the air still, returning to me in echoes.