Study Guide

Doll Bones Chapter 12

By Holly Black

Chapter 12

  • Without a second thought, Zach dives into the water to rescue the Queen. He's maybe a teensy bit melodramatic about it.
  • The water is cold. The barge sends waves toward the boat that plunge Zach under the water and the boat toward the shore.
  • Alice and Poppy are fighting, but Zach doesn't care—he's just trying to make it to shore. It's a tough slog.
  • All three kids are finally on shore. They're cold and cranky, and they lost their backpacks when the boat capsized.
  • The Queen is not exactly in peak Antiques Roadshow condition at this point, and one of her arms is hanging by a thread.
  • Zach considers the possibility that he inhaled some of the Queen's cremains from the ash bag that's stuffed in her chest and idly wonders if she's possessed him. You know, normal thoughts.
  • Alice's phone is dead, so she asks for the time. This girl is bound and determined to make the bus home—yes, even though she knows in her heart that they'll never make it in time.
  • The kids walk through the woods, and eventually they come to an empty road. They are wet and miserable and not talking.
  • Alice keeps asking for an update on the time. She quickly cycles through a range of emotions, from determined to despondent to furious. Then she starts yelling at Poppy about how this is all her fault.
  • Guess what? Poppy doesn't care. She's still mad that Alice threw the Queen in the water.
  • Alice says she did it because she wants Poppy to admit this whole trip is a farce.
  • So Poppy tells Zach that Alice likes him—you know, likes-likes. Zach is floored.
  • Alice strikes back with a revelation of her own: Zach answered the Questions, she says. Oh, and there's a twist: He never gave them to back to Poppy because he hates her.
  • Alice runs away, and Zach tells Poppy he doesn't hate her before running after Alice. As he runs, he realizes that he may have done permanent damage to his friendships with Alice and Poppy, as well as the girls' friendship with each other.
  • He finds Alice propped against a tree; her eyes are puffy and she seems really bummed.
  • Oblivious as ever, Zach has no idea why Alice wanted to keep her crush a secret. He thinks it's a compliment.
  • Does he like her back? Well, he's never thought about going out with a girl in a concrete way. But he vaguely likes her, for sure, probably. Maybe?
  • Alice confesses that she's not just mad that she's going to get in trouble with her grandmother—there's something else. Zach feels a confession coming.
  • Alice asks if Zach thinks the Queen/Eleanor is really a ghost. He says he does, and then he tells her about the dream he had back at the park.
  • Alice confesses she doesn't want to believe in ghosts because that would mean her dead parents didn't care enough about her to haunt her. It's super sad.
  • Zach feels like a jerk. It hadn't occurred to him that all this stuff about dead people might upset her. He tells Alice he doesn't think dead people get choices like that.
  • Poppy intrudes on this moment, telling them she's found a way into town.

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