Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 27

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 27

  • Travis jerks Mary awake, and she sees that he's wrapped her legs in shreds of the clothes from the trunks. He can't tell if she was bitten.
  • Neither can she at first, but then she realizes that her gut just knows that she's not infected. Thank you, gut.
  • Travis is digging through the trunks, looking for anything they might use for escape.
  • Mary can hear the zombie horde gathering downstairs, piling higher and higher; they don't have much time.
  • Travis tosses the photo albums out of the way, and Mary has a little freak-out moment. Then she notices another album with yellow papers inside. One says USA Today, whatever that means.
  • Travis reminds her that they actually have to hurry, unless they want to be eaten alive by flesh-eating dead people.
  • Mary goes outside to look for messages from the rest of the gang and finds arrows and notes all over the porch.
  • An arrow whooshes past her head and scratches Travis in the arm. He's not a happy camper, and says he wishes Argos were the bowman rather than his klutzy brother.
  • All the note says is "What now?" which nobody knows, so Mary gets on the floor to help her man (27.23).
  • Mary can tell that the Travster is struggling with, you know, terror of death and physical pain. He also asks her if she's infected. She says she's not, but she also tells him that she wouldn't tell him if she were. Now that's comforting.
  • The Unconsecrated are going at the trapdoor like there's no tomorrow (which, in their world, there might as well not be).
  • Travis and Mary get to work tying together scraps of clothes into a rope. Travis heads to the remains of the rope bridge and starts working that end of the plan.
  • When Mary finishes the clothes rope, she gets up to try to give the Travster a hand. While she's standing there, an old piece of paper catches at her legs, so she gives it a onceover.
  • It says The┬áNew York Times, and there's a headline about the zombie infection taking over the "Central States," so that "Citizens Urged North" (27.44) plus an overhead shot of masses of zombies.
  • Mary can't help herself. She starts gathering up more papers from the floor. There are headlines about everything from the CDC's failure to find out the cause of the infection to worldwide reports of zombiehood. She even finds an article titled "New York City Under Siege" with photos of massive buildings. She's blown away by the size of the buildings.
  • The photos prove one thing to her: her mom's stories have got to be true, and that means there is a ginormous ocean somewhere.
  • Mary tries to show Travis, but he's a bit distracted by, oh, the cracking wood beneath their feet as the zombies get closer and closer. Go figure.
  • The photo crumbles when she tries to show him, and she tries to find another one, but they all turn into dust as she touches them.
  • Mary starts angry crying until she finds a sturdy little postcard with a pic of the New York City buildings.
  • She shoves the pic into a little book she finds and stuffs it down her shirt.
  • Travis ties their rope to the original rope bridge ropes and shoots it across the gap with an arrow.
  • Harry yanks it up and ties it around a tree, and then Travis ties off on their end.
  • The attic floor trembles with the force of the zombies below.

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