Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 25

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 25

  • Inside, Travis has some rotten news: the zombies are slowly breaking down the door.
  • Mary feels a little bit like Travis has betrayed her—"I thought you said it would hold" (25.2), she whines.
  • Nope—both she and the Travster can hear the door slowly straining and splintering, and Travis tells her that's all he hears all day since he's always downstairs by his lonesome.
  • Ouch. Mary feels kind of bad about that.
  • She tells him she's trying to think of a way to escape, but it's a doozy what with Travis's leg and the dog.
  • She tells Travis that she won't leave him; he says he believes her, but she's not so sure.
  • Travis asks her what will happen when they do fly the coop. She says they'll hit the path again and find the glorious outside world, like they'd always said, but Travis is all "like you always said," and then there's some pretty awkward silence.
  • Mary is flabbergasted. She tells him she thought that was what he wanted, after their cozy nights in the Cathedral, on the hill, you name it.
  • He tells her he believed it because he thought it would make the Marymeister happy. He says he wanted to throw away everything for her on the hill, and that he still is willing to toss away everything if it will make her a happy camper.
  • She asks why he didn't come for her then. Looks like someone's wearing her angry pants again…
  • He doesn't tell her. Instead, he tells her how he broke his leg.
  • The Travster tells her that he climbed the tower all the time to look out on the Forest. He wondered what in the world was out there, and he couldn't believe they were the only people left in the universe, so he'd think of escape plans up there.
  • He tells Mary that Cass told him Mary's stories way back in the day when they were kids. He never asked Mary to share them, because she was Harry's girl; or at least, he says, that's what Harry always thought.
  • Mary doesn't get what her stories have to do with Travis's crazy fall.
  • Travis tells her that he climbed the tower the last time to bid a fond farewell to his dreams, to wave Mary off into the sunset and cast it all off forever. He was done with hoping for stuff that wasn't gonna happen.
  • But it was cold, he slipped, and well, the rest is history.
  • He says he first thought the pain was God's punishment for dreaming, but then he got all twisted up when Mary started whispering her stories to him again.
  • He reminds her that Harry's had a thing for her for eons, but Mary says she doesn't think that will cut it for her.
  • Travis says he doesn't think he'll cut it for her either. Awk-ward.
  • Mary doesn't tell him he's wrong. Also awk-ward.
  • At first she can only think about the fact that Travis didn't come for her, but then she thinks of her mom and realizes that her mom never left the village to go on a massive search for the ocean because she loved Mary's dad too much. He was enough for her.
  • Until, of course, he became a zombie, and then she left the village to be a zombie, too.
  • Mary asks Travis if he thinks the outside world knows about them in the inside world, but he's got no clue.
  • She says she dreamed of escaping the village and finding Gabby's village and practically having a parade welcome her into it and then usher her out to the ocean. Then she realized that Gabby had only run away because of the zombie attack, not because she wanted to. So she thinks that maybe she, too, would have stayed in the village pining for Travis forever.
  • And then the zombies break through the door.

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