The Shibboleth (Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy)
John Hornor Jacobs
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"""There are certain shibboleths to our condition.""
At the end of the first book of The Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy, Jack and Shreve are incarcerado—physically locked up. Shreve's back in the custody of the state of Arkansas, and Jack's somewhere in the clutches of Mr. Quincrux—both problems Shreve aims to rectify.
Cages might hold Shreve's body, but the power that's been growing since his encounter with Quincrux has reached a pinnacle. Nothing can prevent his mind from scaling the etheric heights. Freed from his body, Shreve discovers the magnitude of the evil that's stirring in the east. The wave of insomnia that's paralyzed the nation is only the beginning.
To save Jack—and maybe all of the humanity he no longer feels part of—Shreve has no choice but to join Quincrux and the Society of Extranaturals."
know what sleeps there. And it will wake if you do this!” “Tase that man! Subdue him!” Ruark yells. Negata stands still, locked in indecision or isolation, I can’t tell. “Lucius?” Quincrux asks. “Is that you?” “Murder, Hiram? Harvesting these poor children’s talents?” Booth inclines his head in a far more regal aspect than I would have thought possible. His expression is stern, but kind and infinitely sad. “I am so ashamed of you, my pupil—” He seems to be lost in thought. The crowd remains
imagine what the “capture team” might be holding—guns? Brainiacs? Knuckleheads? A bunch of explodey people? The Witch? Oh no. It’ll be the Witch. I run back to the kitchen, where Jerry looks surprised to see me again so soon. Some guests just never take a hint, I figure. Miriam’s face is contorted in pain, and she’s cradling her mangled hand. “Jerry, where’s your car?” “In the building garage.” His mouth stays open. Stupefied, really. I can see this whole morning has been too much for him.
anyone’s. I’m just sixteen but have lived whole lives in other people’s heads. But I still must sit in class and listen to Mr. Allenby –so live that when thy summons comes to pass that innumerable caravan– lecture on the three-point enumeration. Say what you’re gonna say, say it in three points, and say what you said. Big fun. He drones on, and I watch the kids and think about the video. There’s thirty frames a second, every second. And it was right there, in front of me, that Ox gave me the
makes me very nervous. As much as we’ve shared,” he says meaningfully, “you are in a unique position to understand how seriously I take this threat. But it is only a matter of days before it will be resolved.” “Tell me.” “Suffice it to say, I am dispatching our Orange Team to deploy a new technology that will eliminate the threat.” “What technology?” “A bioelectrical technology.” “That doesn’t make any sense.” He obviously doesn’t like being questioned. I wonder why he allows me to continue
smell like a tree husked by lightning strike. “This is unfortunate,” Quincrux says. Ruark dips her head in deference. “The talent itself has incredible potential. The boy, though, was—” “Imperfect, yes. I know.” He lights a burning stick and breathes in the fumes. “The hard ones, the hurt ones, always fare better. The orphans, the degenerates. Those of us who can live in a morally ambiguous reality—” He stops, looks about. His gaze passing over me and moving on. “It’s a terrible thing we do,