Chapter Three – Which World is Real?
Uh…the one you’re living in?
It’s stormy out.
It was not a surprise for the psychic community that the mighty principalities Sutornia and Cassandra had visited Oceanside in person for a special meeting. The news of their arrival had spread like wildfire, especially after they had performed one of their famous illusion shows at the beach (pages 20-21).
Okay. Let me see if I understand this. These magical creatures travel back and forth between Maradonia and the United States all the time. They’re friends with the ‘psychic community’, and famous for their illusion shows where they carry their heads in their hands. Sounds good.
Sutornia and Cassandra invite the psychic community to a secret midnight meeting at the Panorama Ravine. We learn that back in the day, the psychic groups used to sacrifice animals there and it’s all very secretive and hush hush, which is why Sutornia and Cassandra appeared in broad daylight and let themselves be seen which would basically put the entire world on high alert. But essentially, they sound like some kind of secret cultlike society. They’re probably Evil, too.
Maya and Joey go to school and Maya drifts away in her head, thinking about Maradonia. They have a substitute in her math class and she’s daydreaming and not paying attention:
Suddenly a harsh voice startled Maya, “What do you think you are doing?! Are you sleeping? I will make a report to your teacher. What is your name?”
Maya opened her eyes, jumped up from her seat and answered with the voice of a commander, “I am Maya, the Princess of Maradonia! How dare you talk to me? Don’t you know that I belong to the royal family, and that the airships over Oceanside are looking for me…?” (pages 22-23)
I already spent way too much time in the last chapter going over why this is stupid. She was royalty for TWO WEEKS.
More importantly, even in the context of the scene it doesn’t make sense. How dare you talk to me? What, Maya’s become such a bitch that commoners aren’t allowed to speak to her? What difference do the airships make? How are they even related to this line of conversation?
Anyway. It’s quiet enough to hear a pin drop, the substitute teacher goggles at her, and then everyone bursts out laughing.
A compelling thought hit Maya’s mind at that moment, “Which world is real?” (page 23)
That’s compelling, all right.
The teacher yells at them all to shut up and writes Maya up. But Alana Terrence looks over at her best friends, Tanya and Dorothy, and says it’s time for their revenge.
The two girls nodded, grinned and giggled, “Yes…sweet revenge!” (page 24)
I hope that line makes it into the movie.
Chapter Four – One Finger for Each of Us…
After lunch Alana grabbed the hands of Dorothy and Tanya and said “You heard with your own ears what Maya said in the classroom. She thinks that she’s better than us!”
“Yes,” said Dorothy, “she told the whole class that she is ‘The Princess of Maradonia and that she belongs to a royal family’. At the end she expects us to serve her.”
Tanya got really pissed off and said “We will show that piece of crap what she really is!” (pages 25-26)
There are only two ways any high schooler would take that situation:
1. Maya is completely insane
2. Maya is screwing around and making fun of the substitute teacher
And unless Maya was literally retarded or had a history of being bipolar, I’m guessing 90% of the time the class is going to go with #2. Which it sounds like they did, considering they all burst out laughing. The one conclusion people would not draw is that Maya is being serious, and think she’s better than them. And where would Dorothy get the notion that Maya expects them to serve her?
We cut over to Maya who is hanging out with her friend Rachel. Rachel is telling her about this boy Patrick. Apparently they went out to the Fun-day Arcade (yes, that’s what it’s called) and they kissed behind the roller coaster! But Maya has been daydreaming about the mermaids and hasn’t paid any attention to her. Rachel is pissed off and runs off. Maya follows slowly, heading towards the bus stop, but she’s intercepted by Alana and her friends, who slide their hands into studded gloves [?].
They then proceed to beat the shit out of her.
Maya, who as we know is a ‘black belt’ in karate, goes down immediately without a fight. They beat her until she’s unconscious and then continue to kick her with their boots [!]
I can’t help but think Gloria was drawing on her own experiences here.
Tanya realizes Maya is bleeding profusely and says they need to stop.
bq.But Alana said, “No Tanya, we want to finish this job.”
“Are you crazy?! Do you wanna kill her!?”
Alana’s smile grew wide, “Yes!” (page 28)
Holy shit! This kid is a psychopath.
Dorothy and Tanya drag Alana back, but she decides to get the last word in. She sees Maya’s hand lying on the ground so she stomps on until three of Maya’s fingers are broken [!!!] and yells “One finger for each of us!”
Well. That was a nice graphic scene for the book’s young readers.
Turns out a kid named Freddy was sitting in a tree and sees the whole thing. He pisses himself in terror and falls out. Alana grabs him and says if he tells anyone, they’ll do the exact same thing to him. Freddy runs for his life, and the three members of the Gothic Movement waltz off.
So yeah. That pool Maya bathed in that made her indestructible? Doesn’t work.
Chapter Five – Two men In the Water
Maya doesn’t meet Joey at the bus stop. He gets a Feeling that something is wrong. So he looks around for a bit and happens to run into Freddy, who looks like he just had the piss scared out of him. Joey asks him if he’s seen Maya and Freddy says she’s out in the park. Joey heads outside and finds Maya’s body lying there, covered in blood. Fortunately, Mr. Hazelnut, the science teacher, happens by and calls an ambulance. Joey rides to the hospital with her.
We jump over to Maya’s mind and she’s having a vision where she’s on the ocean shore and sees some men in the water hanging on to some planks. They’re screaming desperately for help and saying that everyone else had been killed.
Finally the vision ends but it’s burned into Maya’s unconscious mind.
File that one under ‘obvious foreshadowing’, I guess.
Chapter Six – Never Again…
They reach the hospital and a nurse and an overweight administrator start asking Joey questions he doesn’t know the answer to. I don’t know why Maya specifically noted that he was overweight, but I suspect it’s because her father’s a doctor and she’s probably basing the character on someone she knows, which amuses me.
On the other hand, you’d think that Maya’s father being a doctor would prevent ridiculous errors like this one: without treating Maya at all, they just stick her in a private room by herself. Uh, no. They keep you in the emergency room for at least a little while, and by ‘little while’, I mean a good four to five hours. Minimum. Anyway, this entire scene is only to highlight that Maya was put in room 333.
When Joey saw that they brought his sister to room 333, he smiled and he thought about the golden City Hall of Selinka, the capital of the Land of Maradonia with its 333 steps…(page 36)
Your sister was just beaten within an inch of her life…and you’re smiling and thinking about Maradonia?
The doctor shows up eventually and Joey has to wait outside. He drifts off and starts thinking about the time he was in Hell and people were screaming for water and he didn’t do jack shit, except without any guilt.
Meanwhile, a chap called Dr. Harrison shows up and he and a nurse take care of Maya and do x-rays. Turns out Maya is in Bethesda Hospital, which is a real place in Florida. Later, Maya’s family shows up, and the doctor confers with them and explains there was no internal bleeding, the bruises and cuts will heal, and they’ve put her left hand into a cast. The problem is her hand is pretty bad and she’ll probably never be able to make a fist again.
Maya’s mom cries and her dad and Joey want to know who did it to her. Maya can’t remember.
“Whatever it takes, I will find out who beat up my sister Maya,” Joey whispered to himself. “I will surely find these individuals…and then, I will perform for them an illusion show they will never forget.” (page 40)
Uh…okay. An illusion show. Scary!
Her family leaves to give Maya some rest and Maya thinks about how she needs to take some self-defense lessons from the warrior spirits of Maradonia because her karate isn’t cutting it. I would agree.
Suddenly Libertine shows up and smiles at Maya through the window, which is weird because birds can’t smile. Libertine flies away and finds Joey and launches into a long explanation. The Land of Maradonia needs their help!
Joey is annoyed and yells that he has bigger fish to fry, since Maya is hurt. Libertine has the perfect answer:
“I understand you Joey…healing is a process!” (page 42)
Libertine continues. Turns out Plouton has arrived and is searching for Maya and Joey. Tomorrow is the secret meeting at Panorama Ravine, which Libertine knows because she knows everything. Apparently the psychics are preparing a Dance Fest with animal sacrifices to honor Plouton, and this is also where they’ll get the final clue to track down Maya and Joey. Libertine warns him that he needs to start using his Tarnkappe. Joey agrees and then his parents holler at him because they need to leave. Um…okay, where was the part about Maradonia needing their help?
When Joey stepped into the car his mother gave him a peculiar look and uttered “I had the feeling that you were talking to a bird.” (page 43)
Which, fair enough, but uttered?
Joey, of course, takes it a step further:
“Yes Mom, I did! I talk all the time to birds, grasshoppers, snakes and many other different animals and believe it or not…they talk to me!” (page 44).
Smooth. Although his parents don’t believe him, so maybe Joey was just being sarcastic.