Out of Bounds

Out of Bounds by Annie Bryant

Book: Out of Bounds by Annie Bryant Read Free Book Online
Authors: Annie Bryant
uncool.” She was trying to make Maeve smile, but it wasn’t working.
    â€œMaybe she’s allergic to Dillon,” Avery whispered to Maeve.
    â€œI wish he were allergic to her,” Maeve sighed.
    Kiki, Anna, and Joline took their seats in the front row and waited to see the next entrant.
    Ms. Ciara read from the list. “Our next act is the Beacon Street Girls Magic Show.”
    Isabel didn’t go sit with the Hip-Hop Honeys, but stayed on stage to help Charlotte set up.
    The stage did smell kind of funny, Charlotte thought as she set up her props. It didn’t smell like a wet animal, but it smelled kind of musty. Charlotte pulled a stool from behind the curtain. On it, she set up the magician’s hat, the magic wand, and a cardboard mockup of the box they were planning to use for the guillotine trick.
    Avery had surprised everyone. In the half hour between the time school ended and the auditions began, Avery sprinted over to Charlotte’s house, and abracadabra! Marty’s little head was poking out of Avery’s sports bag. “Shh,” Avery said to him. He leaned forward and nipped her nose. Avery giggled. It was something they did. In her early training sessions with Marty, Avery had tried to get him to give kisses to the Beacon Street Girls. But Marty was too macho for kisses. The closest he had come to kisses was the nose nip, and he only did that to Avery. There were no teeth involved, and in that way it seemed more like a human kiss than a doggy kiss (although Marty didn’t really have any lips). Anyway, it was as close to a kiss as Marty would ever offer.
    â€œQuiet,” Avery whispered into the sports bag. As if understanding her perfectly, Marty pulled his head back inside the bag. Marty’s presence was meant to be a surprise. Not even Charlotte knew he was here.
    â€œWe’re doing a magic show,” Charlotte said, coming to the edge of the stage. “Here is the list of tricks.” She handed the list to Ms. Ciara. “Isabel is doing the sets and Katani is making the costumes. Maeve is the assistant and I am the magician.”
    As Charlotte spoke, Katani began to pull the endless scarf out of her sleeve. It was already almost thirty feet long, and quite elegant. It flowed across the set as Katani backed up first to center stage then to stage right. The look on Katani’s face was one of surprise…as if it were really magic and she had no idea the scarf was that long.
    Everyone clapped enthusiastically.
    â€œVery impressive,” Ms. Ciara said.
    â€œAnd it’s not even finished yet,” Katani admitted.
    The bewildered expression on her face made everybody laugh. Everyone, that is, except the Hip-Hop Honeys, who didn’t like being upstaged at all. They scowled like the wicked stepsisters when they found out that Cinderella had gone to the ball and met the handsome prince.
    Ms. Ciara looked down the list. “Good, good,” she said. “This all looks very entertaining…but what is this guillotine trick?” Ms. Ciara looked concerned as she stared at Charlotte’s list of tricks.
    Charlotte always chose descriptive words; it was the writer in her. She regretted using the word “guillotine” as soon as she heard Ms. Ciara say it out loud.
    â€œIt’s not really a guillotine,” Charlotte said. “I mean, there are no real blades or anything. It’s all done with mirrors,” shesaid, hoping to convince Ms. Ciara the same way she convinced Maeve earlier.
    But from a distance, the trick looked a little freaky. As Charlotte demonstrated with Maeve, it really did look as if Maeve’s hands were gone. Even when you knew how the trick was done, it still looked real.
    The boys in the back, who included the Trentini twins, shouted “Awesome!”
    But Kiki Underwood said loudly, “I hate scary things like that!”
    Everyone knew that was untrue. Kiki always went to Frankenstein

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