Authors: David Ward
My thanks to my editor Maggie Lehrman for making this a better story, and to my agent Scott Treimel who understands so well the journey of every book.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Ward, David, 1967â
Between two ends / by David Ward.
Summary: Trying to help his father deal with his longstanding depression, Yeats and his parents visit his grandmother's old and eerie house, where he discovers a pair of pirate bookends that unlock a thirty-year-old secret that Yeats must try to resolve by entering the exotic world of
The Arabian Nights
ISBN 978-0-8109-9714-1 (alk. paper)
[1. Books and readingâFiction. 2. Characters in literatureâFiction. 3. PiratesâFiction. 4. Adventure and adventurersâFiction. 5. Arabian nightsâFiction.] I. Title.
Text copyright Â© 2011 David Ward
Illustrations copyright Â© 2011 Yuta Onoda
Book design by Melissa Arnst
Published in 2011 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
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For my sisters, Colleen and Sharon.
May this story bring back fond memories and
perhaps a little of the magic of Gran's house
ust rose in stifling clouds into the Arabian sky. Struggling frantically to reach his companion, the boy shouted, “I won't let them take you!” The girl stared, confused, standing in between the black-robed men who held her. Her wide brown eyes shifted feverishly. Fruit sellers and villagers at the nearest stalls stopped their business to watch the drama unfold.
Breaking free from his captors, the boy lunged, but he was knocked to the ground before he could reach the girl. “Listen to me!” he pleaded. “You're bewitched. We don't belong here.”
The girl tugged at her long black curls. She made to kneel, to reach out to the boy, but strong
hands kept her on her feet. The boy's fair hair and pale complexion contrasted sharply with the people in the market, but she couldn't remember why that was important. Hardly distinguishable from the overwhelming odor of cattle dung and fruit, a spicy, pungent smell hung in the air. The girl's heart raced with excitement now at the wonders around her. Her feet wanted to dance. Wherever the black-robed men wanted to take her, she felt no danger in going with them. After all, they knew her name.
“Please,” she murmured. “Do not harm him.”
“My lady Shaharazad,” said a tall man beside her. “Your father will be mad with worry. How you left the garden without escort is beyond my knowledge.” He cast a dark glance at his men. “Take the lady back to the palace. At once!” The black-robed men forced a path through the throngs of people, opening the way to a grand palace in the distance.
The girl's eyes grew wider at the splendor of the whitewashed fortress with its golden turrets. The boy shook his head to clear the fog spreading over
his mind. “We've got to get back to the library,” he stammered sluggishly.
A powerful foot pinned the boy to the dust. Uttering a final plea he shouted, “Shari! Please! Let's go home!”
Before the girl could answer, the men closed around her and she disappeared in a mass of swirling black robes and glinting scimitars. The tall man turned back. He waited for the crowd to envelop the girl and her guards. Then, hands on his hips, he regarded the boy with forbidding eyes. Tapping his sword, he ordered the remaining guards, “Chop off his head!”