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Hello Neighbor: Buried Secrets by Carly Anne West

Hello Neighbor: Buried Secrets by Carly Anne West

Author:Carly Anne West
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Publisher: Scholastic
Published: 2019-06-14T17:00:00+00:00


“Fine, Dad,” Enzo says, still looking at the ground.

“Oh yeah. Better than fine. Fantastic,” I say, my voice oozing with sarcasm.

“Nicky, tone!” Dad admonishes, and I know it must be bad when Dad’s the one calling out my behavior.

I look straight at Enzo. “Sorry, Dad. It’s just that I’m a little busy sucking all the fun out of things,” I say, gritting my teeth. “It’s what I’m best at.”

“Nicky—”

“That’s me, the fun devourer!” I wave my hands around wildly enough for people to have to step back. If we didn’t have a full audience before, we have one now.

“I gobble up fun and spit it out. Tasty, tasty fun! Nom nom nom!”

I feel hands press into my shoulders and hear Mom’s voice in my ear whispering something about calming down, and I can see Dad moving quickly through the crowd, but I can’t seem to stop myself. The entire town of Raven Brooks is playing spectator to my unhinging, and I’m so angry—so ridiculously over-the-top delirious with rage—that all I can do is insist on giving them the show they’ve all been waiting for.

“Or maybe, just maybe, you quit EMU because despite everything you’ve seen—that WE’VE ALL SEEN”—I flail, casting my ire onto Trinity and Maritza, too—“you think I’m the one who’s CRAZY! That’s what you all want me to be, right? Crazy new kid Nicky here!”

It’s like I’m speaking in tongues now. My dad is hustling toward me like he’s trying to put out a fire, and Mom’s pinching my shoulders so hard, I can hear a ringing in my ears, but I’m not finished yet. I haven’t completely burned this ceremony down, and if there’s one thing this park knows, it’s how to catch fire.

“You’re all so happy to finally hear me say it. That I’m as out of my mind as my bubbe! Now you can all go home feeling so much better.”

“What’s a bubbe?” I hear someone say.

“Maybe a donut or something?” someone else guesses.

“Or maybe I’m off my rocker like Mr. Peterson!” I rant.

Gasps all around.

“That’s right. Now don’t you feel so much better having someone to blame for all the messed-up things that happen in this messed-up town?”

“Nicky, stop!”

That was my mom. Hers was the last voice I heard before the white-hot anger consumed me completely.

Next thing I know, I’m running through the forest. I don’t remember how I made it this far into the woods with no one following me. Maybe I managed to outrun my parents. Maybe nobody bothered to come after me. Maybe they were all so relieved that I left, I could have strolled away whistling, and they would have been fine with it. Whatever the case, I’m now in the wild in-between of the temporary EarthPro headquarters and the old park.

Just before the turn in the path, I look for the usual sign that I’m nearing the ruins of the park: The burned-out entrance should be visible just over the tree line. When I don’t see it, I round the corner a little faster.



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