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By Cullen Bunn

For Charlie and his brother Alex, an unforeseen journey to go to their Aunt Mary within the haunted city of Crooked Hills becomes a life-changing event, forcing them to confront neighborhood bullies, hell hounds, lifeless witches, and ladies with slingshots! A throwback to vintage adventures like that of the Hardy Boys, combined with the creepiness of GOOSEBUMPS and CIRQUE DU FREAK, Cullen Bunn's CROOKED HILLS blends secret and event to weave a enjoyable and unforgettable tale of will, friendship and family members bonds.

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She held one in all her clawed palms out in entrance of Alex’s face. i assumed she used to be able to use these curling fingernails of hers to peel my little brother like a grape. She had me among a rock and a difficult position. I stepped out of the shadows. Alex whined and cried, tears rolling down his cheeks. “Come right here, child,” the outdated lady stated. I shook my head. “Let him move first. ” She pinched his ear a bit tougher. “Owww! ” Alex cried. I took a step nearer. She seemed into the woods. “Where are the others? ” she acknowledged. “I’m all alone,” I lied. I raised my voice so Marty and Lisa might pay attention. in the event that they may possibly escape, they can deliver again help... if the witch didn’t kill me and Alex either instantaneous. Mrs. Brewster gave Alex’s ear a troublesome twist. His legs began to buckle. Tears leapt from his eyes. “Okay! ok! ” I cried. “Just don’t harm him. ” I seemed into the bushes. “Come on out, Lisa. ” She stepped out of the comb, slingshot on the prepared and pointed without delay on the previous lady. “Drop it! ” the lady cackled. Her fingernails flashed in entrance of Alex’s reddened face. Reluctantly, Lisa tossed the slingshot to the floor. “Where’s the opposite one? ” she requested. “Where’s Marty Widows? ” She knew his identify! That couldn’t be solid! “He’s now not here,” I bluffed. “Don’t misinform me, baby. I observed him with you simply days in the past. ” remain the place you're, Marty, i presumed. She hasn’t noticeable you. She doesn’t comprehend needless to say you’re the following. “I’m now not mendacity. He didn’t pop out with us this night. He—” i assumed for a cut up moment. “—He received beat up by means of one of many Crewes boys. ” The previous girl made a tsk-tsk-tsk sound in her throat and smiled. “That’s what nosy little boys get once they stick their noses the place they don’t belong. ” She believed me! “Come nearer, child,” Mrs. Brewster stated. “You’re going to pay dearly for what you’ve performed! ” For what we had performed? before everything, i presumed she intended releasing Alex from the cellar. Then i realized the fetch. The puppy lay nonetheless at the floor. i feel we had killed it! bankruptcy TWENTY-FOUR nonetheless PINCHING MY LITTLE BROTHER’S EAR among her spindly hands, Mrs. Brewster hobbled over to the unmoving kind of the fetch. She nudged it along with her toe. without doubt approximately it, the puppy used to be lifeless. quite a few toes clear of its physique used to be the stone—Lisa’s fortunate stone—that had killed it. I questioned how the previous lady could react to the dying of her liked puppy. “You kids have prompted me loads of trouble,” she stated. With one speedy tug, she may well rip Alex’s ear correct off. “Do you will have any suggestion how lengthy it takes to elevate and educate a fetch? ” She didn’t fairly care concerning the puppy as a puppy, i noticed. She wasn’t unhappy approximately its dying in any respect. She used to be in simple terms offended that we’d killed it. perhaps the one factor left in her middle was once rage. Her witching eyes flashed. “Lucky for you,” she persisted, “the fetch’s paintings was once already performed. ” “But you don’t have all of the pieces,” I blurted. “Aren’t you a wise baby? ” Mrs. Brewster cackled dryly. “Seems you recognize extra approximately my paintings than you should. ” I clamped my the teeth down on my tongue to maintain it from wagging. “That’s good,” Mrs.

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