Epic Tales from Adventure Time: the Lonesome Outlaw

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9780843183108: Epic Tales from Adventure Time: the Lonesome Outlaw

The #1 hit show heads out West!
 
The third novel in the Epic Tales from Adventure Time series takes the adventure to the Wild West and stars Marceline as a notorious outlaw on the run. The series, based on an idea from Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward, features the show's beloved characters in stories inspired by classic pulp novels (with a touch of romance) in a fan-fiction version of Ooo.

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About the Author:

T.T. MacDangereuse is one of the most popular—and elusive—authors in the Land of Ooo. She claims that all her story ideas are inspired hallucinations caused by eating too many apple pies.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

“What are you gonna spend your money on?” Marceline asked Bonnibel as they crawled through the chest-high grass. Her foster sister paused and scratched the side of her nose, her brow crinkling in concentration.

“Parts for the unipolar generator I’m building,” she said. “Or a microscope. I haven’t decided.”

Marceline rolled her eyes. “Why can’t you ever want something normal?”

Pfft. You’re one to talk.” Cautiously, Bonnie sat up and pulled a wooden spyglass out of her duster’s left-hand pocket. “You’re happy with any ol’ thing as long as it’s red.”

Marceline scowled and socked Bonnie lightly on the arm.

“Hey now,” Bonnie murmured. “Careful.” She steadied the spyglass.

Marceline tipped back her wide-brimmed straw hat. The hot noon sun beat down on them out of a cloudless sky, and the steady thrum of insects filled her ears. Wind swept across the prairie, passing through the tall grass stalks in waves.

“Do you see it?” Marceline asked. Her heart beat in her throat.

“Yeah,” Bonnie said. “This is a perfect vantage point. They’ll never see us coming.”

And then, over the sound of the insects, over the rush of wind, they heard the train whistle. Both girls held their breath. Soon they’d know if their plan would work.

The train came around the curve of a hill. It was only four cars long, not counting the coal car.

“Well?” Marceline asked.

“They’re stopping!” As the girls watched, the train shuddered to a halt, steam pouring from its smokestack, and two engineers hopped down from the engine. They moved forward, inspecting the tracks: the fallen tree, the damaged switch.

“Okay.” Bonnie collapsed the spyglass and slipped it back into her coat. She pulled a pale blue bandanna out of her pocket. “Your turn.”

Marceline squinted at the small pile of tinder she had placed at the base of the hill, a few yards from the tracks. For one terrible, sinking moment, she thought her unpredictable powers would fail her. Then a bright orange spark flared to life, and the tinder caught. The engineers started and turned as thick plumes of gray smoke rose from her fire. Marceline’s fingers dug into dry soil knotted with grass roots as she channeled the smoke with her mind. It rolled toward the engineers, surrounding them like fog, turning their figures into flat silhouettes. Even up on the hill they could hear the men coughing. Suddenly, the men dropped to their bellies and began yelling and rolling across the ground.

Bonnie stood, fastening the bandanna tightly around her mouth and nose. Her eyes betrayed none of the frenetic excitement Marceline felt. When it came down to it, Bonnie was always deadly serious during a job. It was only afterward, when they were safe at home, that she allowed herself to joke and laugh.

Marceline tied her own bandanna, a triangle of scarlet fabric, around her face, and tightened her hat’s stampede strings under her chin. “Just like we practiced. In and out, super fast!”

“Yep! Let’s go.”

They ran through the grass, slapping it aside impatiently, making a beeline for the last train car, their dusters flying out behind them. It was much easier this time for Marceline to keep one corner of her mind focused on the smoke, to hold it around the engineers. She felt a quick flush of pride. She was getting better, stronger.

There was no lock on the train car’s door, which surprised her. The stagecoach they’d robbed three weeks ago had been locked down tighter than a gin-maker’s cellar in teetotaler country. Still, why question good fortune? Marceline gripped the door handle and yanked it hard to the right. The heavy steel door slid smoothly on its tracks, revealing several large piles of wooden crates stamped with the logo of the National Treasury of Ooo. Bonnie hopped up into the car, pried the lid off the closest crate, and dug through the pale tangles of packing straw. She pulled free a small cloth bag, opened the drawstrings, and upended it. Perfect white pearls spilled into Bonnie’s cupped hand. Marceline stared at them, enraptured. Just the thought of the amount of money they’d be able to get for even one of the pearls—it would pay for new farm equipment, the likes of which her foster dad had only ever dreamed of. It would buy cloth for her foster mom to make into new clothes. It would mean something besides sitting with an aching, empty belly during the dark, endless winter after a meager harvest.

“Here.” Bonnie poured the pearls back into the pouch and shoved it into Marceline’s hand. She dug out two more pouches and slipped them into her coat pockets. “All right, let’s get out of here!”

They hopped down from the car, landing on their hands and knees, gravel crunching under their boots.

“You two, stop!”

Marceline whirled. A man, his face cast in deep shadow by his wide-brimmed hat, stood less than a dozen yards away. He held an object that looked suspiciously like a gun crossed with a croissant.

“Run!” Bonnie shouted, bolting toward the thick grass at the base of the hill. Cold fear shot through Marceline as she dashed after her.

WHUMP.

Marceline’s mind registered the sound as a physical sensation, a percussive slap that knocked her off her feet. She sprawled across the ground, pebbles tearing at her palms, her hat tumbling off her head. She tried to call out to Bonnie, to tell her to wait, to help her, but she couldn’t draw enough breath to shout. She tried to scramble to her feet, but her legs were limp and useless. To her horror, she realized she couldn’t remember how to run. Her thoughts raced. What could she do? Gritting her teeth, she reached outward with her mind, grasping at the smoke rising from her now-blazing fire. If she could just drag it in between herself and the man, it might offer enough cover to allow her to escape.

But now, when she needed it the most, her power failed her. The smoke wouldn’t obey her will. The wind caught it and swept it away harmlessly to the south.

“Roll over. Slowly.”

Her mouth dry, Marceline did as she was told. The man stood over her, his strange weapon pointed at her face. Even this close, the only facial feature she could make out was his mouth. It twisted as he spit a thin brown stream of tobacco juice into the grass. “Those engineers,” he said, jerking a thumb over his shoulder, where the two men were shouting about aliens with candy clothes and mind-controlling ants. “They gonna be okay?”

She nodded, adopting as much false bravado as she could muster. “It’s just panic-grass smoke. They’ll be back to normal in a few minutes.”

“Well, that’s good. You’re in enough trouble as it is.” Holstering his weapon, the man reached up with a gloved hand and pushed his hat back on his head.

Marceline’s stomach flipped. Ezra Sterling, the sheriff assigned to her hometown of Dustbowl City, population 600, glared down at her. She automatically reached for her bandanna to make sure it was still in place, hoping beyond hope that he wouldn’t recognize her, that she might still have a chance to get away—

“I know it’s you, Marceline. Ain’t nobody else in ten counties got hair like yours. You wanna pick up your hat? Forehead’s looking a wee bit pink.”

She hadn’t even noticed the unpleasant heat on the top of her head until he mentioned it. With trembling fingers, she snatched up her hat and put it on.

“All right. Let’s get up now.” Ezra grabbed her wrist and hauled her to her feet. Her legs wobbled. It took all her concentration to remain standing.

“Wh-what did you do to me?” she stammered.

“Nothing worse than what you did to them engineers.” He patted his holster and smiled. “Just knocks the knowin’ of how to run out of your head for a little while. Nothing permanent, so don’t worry. That Bonnie with you?”

Marceline clamped her mouth shut, her heart pounding wildly. She wouldn’t say anything. If there was even the slightest chance Bonnie could get away from here, get home, and claim ignorance of the whole hideous misadventure—

“Jasper!” Ezra shouted. “You got the other one?”

“Yes, sir.”

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T. T. MacDangereuse
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ISBN 10: 0843183101 ISBN 13: 9780843183108
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Macdangereuse, T. T.
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MacDangereuse, T. T.
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