Prince of Air

Prince of Air by Ann Hood

Book: Prince of Air by Ann Hood Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ann Hood
in the ceiling as if they might give her some clues. One looked vaguely like a rooster. But mostly they were just cracks in a ceiling that needed painting. Maisie sighed and began a mental list of all the problems she and Felix had.
    Number one: They had time traveled three months later than when they left.
    Number two: They had time traveled from the school auditorium instead of The Treasure Chest, something she hadn’t realized they could do.
    Here she added a note to herself to explore this further when—if!—they got back home.
    Number three: They had possibly lost Great-Aunt Maisie and Great-Uncle Thorne.
    Only three items on her list, but to Maisie they seemed huge. Just when she thought she might be figuring out how this time travel thing worked, everything got turned upside down.
    Maisie realized that Felix was awake, too, staring up at her from the mound of blankets on the floor where he’d slept. His cowlick was standing at attention, and he had crease marks on his face.
    â€œMaisie,” he whispered, his cabbagey morning breath hitting her in the face, “I just realized something.”
    She waited.
    â€œWe left from
school
,” Felix said, looking worried. “I thought we had to be in The Treasure Chest. But we were just standing in the auditorium and—”
    â€œNo kidding,” Maisie said, rolling her eyes. “I figured that out a long time ago.”
    â€œI mean, we could take an object with us and just go, any time we want,” he continued.
    â€œIrrelevant,” Maisie muttered. “What we need to figure out now is how to get back.”
    â€œWell, we gave him the handcuffs,” Felix said.
    â€œObviously,” Maisie said.
    Felix yawned.
    â€œYou need to brush your teeth,” Maisie said crabbily.
    â€œThat cabbage was disgusting,” Felix said. He opened his mouth and blew a blast of bad breath at Maisie.
    â€œUgh!” she groaned, pulling the blanket up over her mouth and nose.
    Felix suppressed a giggle.
    â€œYou are
so
not funny,” Maisie told him.
    â€œMaisie?” he said. “Actually, I’m not in such a hurry to get back. I mean, his magic tricks are so great. Can you imagine if I could learn that needle and thread one?”
    â€œMom is not going to let you swallow needles,” Maisie said. “No way.”
    â€œI don’t think he really swallows them,” Felix said, growing thoughtful. “He just makes us
think
he swallowed them. Magic is all about perception, you know. So he made us think he swallowed those needles, but how did he thread them like that?”
    â€œI don’t care how he did it,” Maisie said. “Can you stop trying to figure out how he did that stupid trick and use your brainpower to figure out how to get home?”
    â€œDo you know what he told me?” Felix asked, ignoring her question. “He told me that he can hang upside down from a trapeze and pick up needles with his eyelids.”
    â€œThat,” Maisie said, “is ridiculous.”
    â€œWith his eyelids!” Felix said again as if she hadn’t heard it the first time.
    Maisie rolled her eyes again.
What an idiot Harry Houdini is,
she thought.
    No sooner did she have that thought than Harry himself strode into the living room, mumbling to himself. He was carrying a bunch of ropes and frowning at them.
    Excited, Felix sat up.
    â€œMorning, Harry!” he said.
    Harry either didn’t hear him or pretended not to hear him. He just kept mumbling and playing with those ropes.
    â€œWorking on a rope trick?” Felix asked.
    He sounds like an eager puppy
, Maisie thought.
    Finally, Harry glanced up.
    Felix grinned at him.
    â€œMebbe,” Harry said.
    â€œMay. Be,”
Maisie said. “Maybe. Not mebbe. Your English is atrocious.”
    She thought this would make him angry, but instead he nodded.
    â€œI’m working on sounding better,” he said.

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