Exclusive! Read a Bonus Scene from A Place Called Perfect

Exclusive! Read a Bonus Scene from A Place Called Perfect

Violet and Boy return to the Room of Imaginations to retrieve as many jars of imagination as they can. But they find the door to the room locked! There is nothing to do but wait in the dark for one of the mysterious Watchers to return to the secret tunnels and unlock the door…

Fists didn’t appear to be coming back anytime soon and as the minutes ticked by Violet got more and more anxious.

The cold of the stone landing slowly seeped into Violet’s body as they waited.

Fists didn’t appear to be coming back anytime soon and as the minutes ticked by Violet got more and more anxious. Boy sat beside her, saying nothing.

Sometimes boys were terrible company. If she’d been sitting beside a girl they’d have talked about so many things that the time would have flown by and she probably wouldn’t be very anxious at all really. Silence made everything so much scarier.

“Thanks!” she huffed sarcastically. She was sick of saying nothing.

“For what?” Boy asked, turning to look at her.

“For nothing!”

“What? What’s wrong with you now?” He looked confused.

“Nothing!”

“Okay then,” Boy said, and fell silent again.

Violet wriggled restlessly on the cold stone floor. Her legs were beginning to tingle and go numb.

“Shush Violet!” Boy hissed. “If Fists or any of the Watchers are in the Imagination Room they’ll hear you. We can’t get caught! We have to be quiet.”

“Well you’re the expert at that!” Violet sniped.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Boy whispered.

“Nothing.”

“What do boys think about anyway?” Violet asked. The question had been itching to jump out.

Her friend furrowed his brow, then looked away again. The landing filled with even more silence.

“What do boys think about anyway?” Violet asked. The question had been itching to jump out.

“Erm… I don’t know. What kind of a question is that?”

“Well, you’re a boy, aren’t you?”

“What has gotten into you, Violet? I haven’t a clue what you’re on about.”

“Well, we’ve been sitting here for ages and you’ve said nothing, so I thought you must have something really interesting in your head that’s stopping you from speaking to me.”

“No, erm…not really,” Boy said, furrowing his brow once more.

“So you just sit there thinking about nothing?”

“Well…yeah…kind of,” Boy replied slowly, as if unsure he’d given the right answer.

The pair fell into another silence.

“What do girls think about?” Boy asked a few minutes later.

“Well,” Violet said, sitting upright. “When I first sat down I thought about the imaginations and how we’re going to get them out without breaking any. Then I thought about the orphans and I hoped that nobody would catch them downstairs. Then about the stick in your hand and how I don’t think it’ll knock out the Watcher and how we’ll be in trouble if it doesn’t. Then about Mam and Dad and how I hope that Mam won’t have forgotten me already, and that Dad is okay… Then for a while I thought about my shoes. I think I need a new pair as I’ve had these for ages and I think I’ve gone up a size. Then I wondered if there’s a shoe shop in Perfect, ’cause I don’t remember seeing one. Then I thought maybe I wouldn’t like the shoes in Perfect ’cause they’d probably be dull and boring and I wouldn’t want to wear them anyway, so I decided I’m happy with this pair for a bit longer. Then…”

She stopped for a minute to catch her breath and wonder what she had thought about next… “Oh yes, then I thought about you and how you don’t have parents and what that must be like. Then I thought about what you were thinking about and how it must be very interesting ’cause you hadn’t said anything to me for ages and I wished that I was thinking about whatever you were thinking about!”

She stopped and looked at Boy. His eyes had almost popped right out of his head.

“How does all that fit in up there?” he asked, looking at her in amazement.

“I don’t know,” she shrugged. “It just does.”

Boy sighed. “I think my head would explode if it had all that in it.”

“Do you really not think about anything?” Violet said, still a little disbelieving.

“Well…” Boy stopped for a minute to consider her question properly. “Sometimes I do think about stuff I suppose.”

“Like what?” she asked, feeling excited.

“Like food. Sometimes I think about food,” Boy said. He smiled and settled back into his silence.