Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies!, p.4Patrick Carman
“Let me guess,” Loopy Len said. “It’s top secret.”
“Yes!” I agreed.
“It usually is with your dad,” Len said as he put the rubber chicken back in his pocket. He put a fake nose and glasses on and Sammy snorted with laughter. “When I left last night there was a 1956 AMC Rambler parked right there. Now it’s gone.”
Len was staring at an empty spot on the lot.
“And I found this gloppy stuff on the pavement.”
Loopy Len held up a small glass jar. It was filled with Floozombie sludge.
“This is very interesting information, Len,” I said. “Would you mind if we took that sample with us so my dad can do some experiments on it?”
“Be my guest,” Len said. He handed me the little jar and put a fake arrow through his head. “You two are old enough to drive, aren’t you? I’ll make you a heck of a deal on that car if you can locate it.”
“I’m only ten,” Sammy said. “But we’ll try to find your missing car all the same.”
Sammy had Loopy Len sign her arm before we left and he reminded us to watch his new car ads that would start airing on Pflugerville public television.
“I’ll be wearing a pink bunny suit,” he said.
“Classic.” Sammy beamed.
As we rode away the day started turning to night and Floyd crawled out onto my shoulder. He had taken the hazmat helmet off.
“It was getting stuffy in there,” he said. “And crowded in that bag. I keep ending up under the bowling ball.”
“Sorry, little buddy,” I said. “If we weren’t in such a rush I’d take that darn bowling ball to Dr. Fuzzwonker right now.”
“Harold,” Sammy said. “It’s officially dark outside.”
“Turn on your bike headlight,” I said. “We have to keep searching. Who knows how much trouble these Floozombies will cause if they roam around all night.”
Off in the distance we could see the Snood Candy Factory at the very edge of town. The towering smokestack was billowing candy-flavored steam. And that’s when it hit me. How could I have been so mind-numbingly dense?
“Of course! The Floozombies were created when Grabstack threw Snood’s Flooze into the Fizzomatic machine!”
Sammy started nodding and we both pedaled faster. “So there’s only one thing they want to eat. Snood’s Flooze!”
“They must have followed the smell from the smokestack for miles and miles,” I said.
If we were going to find the missing Floozombies, we’d find them at the Snood Candy Factory.
It was dark as we made our way down the private Snood driveway. It was even darker inside the covered bridge, which is probably why we almost ran right into a 1956 AMC Rambler. When we came to the bridge we were hauling donuts (this means going really, really fast). It was a good thing we had our headlights on or we’d have slammed right into the Rambler. Instead, Sammy and I hit the brakes and stopped just short of the trunk.
“Rambler,” Sammy said. “Looks like we found Loopy Len’s missing car.”
“And all the doors are open,” I added as I dropped my bike and walked around the driver’s side. The bowling ball in my backpack made it feel like I was carrying the anchor for an aircraft carrier.
“There’s a ton of Floozombie gunk over here,” Sammy said as she went around the other side of the car.
“Same thing on this side,” I said. “Those Floozombies totally stole this car.”
We got back on our bikes and hightailed it for the Snood Candy Factory.
Floyd got right up in my ear and started yammering.
“What did he say?” asked Sammy.
“He wants some Snood’s Flooze,” I said. “As much as we can carry.” I could hardly blame him, since it was already an hour past dinnertime.
Floyd made a lot of yum yum sounds as the Snood Candy Factory came into view. It loomed dark and scary against the night sky, and I wondered if maybe we were in over our heads.
“Let’s get a little closer and see if we can hear anything,” Sammy said. She got off the Green Pickle and started walking without her headlight.
I felt Floyd move off my shoulder and return to the backpack and figured he was too scared to watch whatever happened next. But I couldn’t let Sammy go it alone, so I got off my bike and caught up to her.
“Hey! What are you nitwits doing here?”
We both knew the annoying voice coming from behind us. It was Garvin Snood.
“And who parked their car on our private driveway? I barely got my bike past that old junker.”
“Oh, hey, Garvin,” I said. “How are you? We’re fine. We’re just hanging around is all. Nothing happening here. Just a lot of standing around.”
“Yeah, right,” Garvin said. He was wearing his football uniform, which was way too big for him. The shoulder pads stuck out so far it made his head look like the size of an orange. He must have been coming home from Pee Wee football practice.
“Stay right where you are,” Garvin sneered. “I’m getting my dad.”
Garvin took off for the main door of the candy factory and we yelled for him to stop. He wouldn’t listen though, so we ran after him. I’m fast, but Sammy is even faster. She’s like lightning. Plus, I was carrying a bowling ball on my back. Anyway, Sammy caught up to Garvin and tackled him like a pro bowl linebacker. Garvin did a belly flop right into the dirt.
“Don’t go in there, Garvin!” I shouted, but Garvin Snood was very bullheaded. If he wanted to go into the Snood Candy Factory, then he was going to do it. He bolted upright and started running again, and this time Sammy held back.
“He’s not going to listen,” she said. “What are we going to do?”
Garvin reached the gigantic wooden door of the factory and pulled out his special key to get inside. When he had the door open, he looked back at us and laughed.
“Get ready for trouble, losers!”
Garvin kept on laughing, but then an arm that looked like melted green cheese reached through the opening and pulled him inside.
“This is crazy!” I yelled. Floyd came out of the backpack and stood on my shoulder while we crept closer to the door. It was still open a little bit so we could peek inside.
“Let’s take a quick look and see what we’re dealing with,” Sammy said.
We got right up next to the opening and we couldn’t see anything, so we opened the door a little bit more. It made a terrible squeak, but at least we could all see inside the factory. Floyd jumped off my shoulder and stood by my feet.
“Looks like we found what we were looking for,” Sammy said.
“No kidding,” I agreed.
The Floozombies were definitely in there. They’d completely taken over the place. Tanks full of Flooze had been tipped over, and Mr. Snood was stuck to one of the walls.
It looked like he’d been thrown against a thousand bottles of Elmer’s glue and all he could do was flail around like an insect stuck in honey. Garvin wasn’t faring much better. He was running around the factory screaming his head off. It looked like he might have peed his pants, but it was hard to tell through all that football equipment.
But then one of the Floozombies started coming toward us. His globby arms were reaching in our direction and he was getting way too close, way too fast. This was getting totally bonkers in a hurry!
I should have slammed the door shut, but instead I was distracted by a noise I knew all too well from the ground by my feet. Floyd was standing there with a bottle of Fuzzwonker Fizz. The sound I’d heard was him popping the top and starting to guzzle it in big whopping gulps. “NoOOOooOOOoooOOOoOOOoOoooOoO!” I screamed.
Floyd was acting like he was watching one of our favorite monster movies back at the house.
“Give me that bottle, you nitwit!” I said. Sammy and I both tried to grab the bottle, but I got there first and pulled as hard as I could. Floyd had already downed half of it, so once I got it free from his mouth he let loose a huge burp right in my face.
It was an
“You guys,” Sammy said. “Look!”
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
All this time the antidote for Floozombies was right in front of us. Of course! Floozombie Kryptonite had to be Fuzzwonker Fizz. It was too perfect.
“He’s melting,” Sammy said.
The Floozombie stepped right into the puddle of fizz and looked down as smoke started rising into the air. One of his cheesy toes melted into the pool, but then he kept walking.
“He’s still coming this way—with only nine toes!” I said. “Run!”
I slammed the door shut and locked it with the key Garvin Snood left behind. Then I kneeled down and picked up my best good buddy.
“Floyd, you’re a genius,” I said.
“Why, thank you,” he replied. “And you owe me one half bottle of Fuzzwonker Fizz.”
I ran to my bike and wished for the tenth time that day that I was not carrying a bowling ball on my back.
“Come on, you guys,” I said. “I know exactly what we need to do.”
I had an idea. A BIG idea. But we’d have to move fast before the Floozombies destroyed the Snood Candy Factory and more than likely exposed the biggest secret in the world in the process. Fizzopolis!
“Where are we going?” Sammy asked as our headlights cut through the darkness.
“Back to Fizzopolis,” I said. “I’ve got a plan, but we need to make a few stops along the way.”
When we passed Loopy Len’s used car lot, we zigzagged between all the cars for sale and parked in front of Len’s office. He was working late, and Sammy did the honors.
“We found the missing Rambler,” she said when he answered the door. “There’s still some cleanup work, but we should have it back to you by tomorrow morning.”
“That’s excellent news!” Loopy Len said. He squirted water in Sammy’s face with a gag pen, and then handed it to her and told her she could keep it. “Use it wisely. Not everyone likes that joke.”
“Will do, sir,” Sammy said. “And thanks!”
We got back on our bikes and rode like maniacs until we reached the bowling alley. I had Sammy ride ahead and open the door.
“I’ve removed all the Floozombie sludge,” Floyd told me as he handed me the bowling ball. “It’s safe for knocking down pins again.”
“Good job, buddy,” I said. “Let’s test it out.”
I rode right through the open door and past the arcade machines. When I passed Mo at the front desk, I yelled, “Bowling ball is all fixed up. She’s ready to roll.”
I rode my bike down two steps onto lane number three and bowled that ball for a strike. But my bike got caught in the gutter and I had to do some fast thinking to bunny hop into the next lane and hightail it for home.
“Nice throw,” Sammy said when I rode out the door into the night.
“Thanks,” I said. “I’m glad I don’t have to carry that thing around anymore.”
“Me, too,” Floyd said. He was back on my shoulder. “It was getting really crowded in there.”
Another ten minutes and we were back at the house, down the elevator, and standing in my dad’s laboratory. Grabstack was still in the time-out tube, glumly licking the Fabulayerous. I felt bad for him, but there was no time for dealing with that now.
“I’ve figured out the antidote!” Dr. Fuzzwonker yelled at the top of his lungs. “It took all day, but I’ve finally got it!”
“Uh, Dad?” I said.
“First, I had to break Snood’s Flooze down to its elemental parts,” Dr. Fuzzwonker said. “Did you know there was broccoli in this stuff? And radishes. Also, a lot of sugar.”
“Dad, listen—” I said.
“Then I had to reorganize all the ingredients in rank order, add two parts condensed milk, and liquefy them with a blender.”
“And what you figured out was—” I said.
“And you’ll never believe what the antidote is,” Dr. Fuzzwonker said. “It’s astounding! It’s miraculous! It’s Fuzzwonker Fizz!”
“You don’t say?” I tried to act surprised because my dad had put in all that work.
“We have to expose these undead Floozombie thingamabobs to a large amount of Fuzzwonker Fizz, and it will turn them back into plain old Snood’s Flooze.”
“Wait a second here,” Sammy said. “How much Fuzzwonker Fizz are we talking about?”
Dr. Fuzzwonker did a whole bunch of calculations on his computer.
“Two hundred gallons of Fuzzwonker Fizz per Floozombie should do it.”
“Two hundred gallons!” Sammy screamed. “That means we need one thousand four hundred gallons of Fuzzwonker Fizz.”
“That’s a lot of Fizz,” Floyd said in my ear.
“I was afraid of that,” I added. But I had already thought of this. Seeing the damage half a bottle of Fuzzwonker Fizz had done back at the Snood Candy Factory had gotten me thinking. “I know exactly what we need to do. Follow me, everyone.”
I stopped short when I arrived at the time-out tube. Poor little Grabstack had the saddest look on his face. His tiny chin was bobbing up and down like he was about to cry.
“You know,” I said to Floyd. “We don’t have school at night. Maybe you could take a travel buddy along with us. But only if you want.”
Floyd mumbled like he was trying to decide, then he talked into my ear. “Can I bring the Fabulayerous, too?”
“You can,” I said. Floyd jumped onto the table where the time-out tube was, and I took the lid off so he could get inside. He and Grabstack had a conversation I couldn’t hear and then they hugged.
“Awwww. They’re too cute,” Sammy said.
“Come on, you guys,” I said. “We need to move fast.”
I put Grabstack, Floyd, and the Fabulayerous into my backpack and started for the rope.
“Dad, you stay here and rev up the Fizzomatic machine—I need one thousand four hundred gallons pronto!”
“I’m on it!” Dr. Fuzzwonker said. He went immediately to work on a lot of dials and levers that I didn’t understand and lowered us to the ground using one of his feet for the rope controls.
“Your dad is very talented,” Sammy said. “But that’s a lot of Fuzzwonker Fizz. And how are we ever going to carry that much?”
“I have that figured out,” I said as we raced through Fizzopolis and arrived at the lagoon.
“Hey, Franny!” I yelled into the swampy water. “I need a favor.”
Franny was already full of swamp water, and she blew it out with a loud honking noise. Her job was to keep the lagoon clean, and she did that by sucking in yucky water and blowing out clean water. It was her special talent.
She arrived next to us and made some honking and wheezing noises.
“Franny, do you think you could hold one thousand four hundred gallons of Fuzzwonker Fizz?”
Franny’s eyes got about as big as dinner plates. She started shaking like a scared Chihuahua.
“It’s super important,” I added. “Fizzopolis is depending on you!”
Franny got a determined look on her face and rubbed her belly.
“Froobaglaglablaglablagob,” Franny said.
“Floyd,” I said. “Translation, please.”
Grabstack’s head popped out of my backpack. “We’re in rehearsals, you buffoon! My actors need their space. And Franny says she can do it.”
“Excellent!” Sammy said. “Thanks, Grabstack. How’s the play coming along?”
“It’s riddled with problems. We’ll never make the premiere!”
“Better get back to it then,” I said, mostly because I wanted to get rid of him as fast as I could.
“Come on, Franny. Let’s get this show on the road.”
And then I put part two of my plan to rid the world of
I sent Sammy and Franny up the elevator and outside to the front lawn, then I checked in with Dr. Fuzzwonker using a telephone booth near the Ping-Pong table. Two yellow Fizzies named Lulu and Leroy were in a serious game when I walked up. They each had four arms and four paddles, and they used four balls.
“Hi, Lulu. Hi, Leroy,” I said. They were super competitive twin Fizzies and it was a big point, so they ignored me. “Okay, then. I’m going to use the phone if you don’t mind.”
I stepped into the phone booth and dialed up the laboratory.
“How’s it going up there?” I asked. I could see the Fizzomatic machine about fifty yards away and, man, it was really chugging.
“I’m up to one thousand gallons, but it’s pushing everything we’ve got!” Dr. Fuzzwonker said. “You’ll need to start pumping so I can backfill. We’ve reached capacity!”
I ran to the Fizzomatic machine and found about a dozen Fizzy creatures working feverishly to keep my dad’s contraption from blowing up. Some of them were replacing rivets as they exploded off the hull. Other Fizzies were using duct tape to patch up seams where the metal had expanded from so much Fuzzwonker Fizz. Another Fizzy was using a blowtorch to weld a part back on that had fallen off. It was chaos!
The Fizzomatic machine was equipped with a very long hose for distributing Fuzzwonker Fizz to different places inside Fizzopolis. It was rolled up on a giant wheel, and two more blue Fizzies were standing there waiting for me.
“We better hurry!” I said. “You guys unroll, I’ll run to the elevator.”
I grabbed the hose and started running while the blue Fizzies rolled more and more hose out. I’d already determined that Franny full of one thousand four hundred gallons of Fuzzwonker Fizz was not going to fit in the elevator. We were going to have to fill her up on the street in front of my house. Good thing it was dark out there or we’d never keep Fizzopolis a secret.
The hose was getting really heavy and I slowed down. Then I came to a complete stop. I looked back and saw the Fizzomatic machine expanding and leaking and smoking. The Fizzies were doing everything they could, but we were running out of time.
Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies! by Patrick Carman / Young Adult / Fantasy have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes