Study Guide

Doll Bones Chapter 16

By Holly Black

Chapter 16

  • Alice is hiding in the bushes like a creep. Zach and the Queen join her, and Poppy runs toward them. They need to move—Miss Katherine is right behind her.
  • After a few blocks, they pause to catch their breath. There's no sign of Miss Katherine, so it looks like they lost her. Hope she has fun eating all those lunches.
  • Now it's Poppy's turn to suggest something illegal. See those bikes? She thinks the gang should steal them. They'll return them later, so no harm, no foul (says Poppy).
  • They steal the bikes. Poppy is riding on Alice's handlebars, and Zach is riding with the Queen, who he has stuffed in his shirt.
  • Zach thinks he feels the Queen moving, so he tells her to settle down. Totally normal.
  • They arrive at the cemetery without incident, and Poppy suggests they look for a willow tree.
  • Zach hands the Queen back over to Poppy. As they're walking deeper into the cemetery, he has a serious case of the creeps.
  • The gang searches for the willow tree in vain. Poppy begins to doubt herself—maybe she's been wrong about everything, maybe she made it all up.
  • Zach is furious for a minute, but it passes. He still thinks the ghost is real, and he makes his case. Remember the guy on the bus and the donut man? They could see Eleanor. So could the lady in the diner, perhaps.
  • Poppy shoots down his reasoning, though: The first two people were crazy and kidding, respectively; the thing in the diner was a coincidence.
  • Alice brings up the camp getting trashed, and this time Poppy doesn't have an answer. It wasn't her.
  • Zach explains what he found at the library, and he finally tells Poppy about his dream. She seems pretty annoyed.
  • Alice hugs Poppy and tells her it's going to be okay—this was their last game. This makes Zach super sad.
  • So sad, in fact, that he finally confesses what happened with his dad and his toys. He cries and he feels pathetic about it, so he staggers off to cry some more.
  • Poppy and Alice catch up with him. Zach apologizes for being a jerk and Poppy accepts his apology, while Alice… well, Alice has found the Kerchner grave. Zach's been weeping on it for the last fifteen minutes; the headstone has a willow tree on it and everything.
  • Zach decides they should hold a funeral. He digs the grave, Alice finds flowers, and Poppy cleans up the Queen. Each kid says a few words, then they cover the "body" and Zach gets chills; he thinks he hears the distant sound of a girl laughing.
  • Poppy's still worried about everyone growing up, but Zach points out that quests are supposed to change you.
  • Then Zach spots two cars—his parents' and Alice's aunt's. Miss Katherine must have tipped them off about the graveyard.
  • Poppy says that this was their last game, but Zach says that with the Queen gone, the kingdom will be in disarray. So, like, their next game will be A Game of Thrones.
  • Alice and Poppy are totally on board with that plan. The end.