Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies!, p.5Patrick Carman
“Floyd!” I yelled as loud as I could. “I need help!”
Floyd was on my shoulder in a flash. I knew the play was important to him, but when I really needed help, I could always count on my best good buddy.
Floyd jumped on top of my head and put his paws in his mouth. Then he let out the loudest whistle I’d ever heard. Fizzies came running from every corner of Fizzopolis. Small ones, round ones, tall ones, skinny ones— there were more Fizzies than I could count, and they all grabbed a section of hose behind me and started heaving us forward.
“Great job, little buddy!” I said, pointing straight ahead. “To the elevator, everyone!”
Floyd jumped back on my shoulder and pointed the way so every Fizzy in Fizzopolis knew where to go. And before I knew it, I was standing in the elevator.
“Someone hold the doors open. I’m going up,” I said. “When I yell GO, send the Fuzzwonker Fizz!”
George rolled forward. As a furry yellow Fizzy shaped like a sofa, he jammed his entire girth into the opening of the elevator and held it open. That only left about a foot at the top for me to fit through, and two more Fizzies picked me up and threw me as hard as they could. I sailed through the air and held the hose tight.
“WooooooHooOOooOOoOoOooooOoooo!” I yelled as I sailed over George and through the gap. Floyd jumped off my shoulder and karate kicked the button for the top floor and the elevator started up. He bounced off the walls, took the hose in his paws, and tied it to the elevator rail in a grand total of four seconds.
“Floyd, you are amazing,” I said as the elevator went into high gear. We hit top speed a few seconds later and then the elevator started slowing down.
“We’re running out of hose!” I said.
The elevator came to a complete stop, but we’d arrived where I could see about half the door to the kitchen. “We’re not going to make it!”
But Floyd looked determined. He wasn’t going to give up on my amazing plan. He untied the hose and wrapped it around himself five times, which made him look like some kind of hose mummy.
I stood back while Floyd started shaking and spinning like the Tasmanian Devil. And he bounced off the walls again. Then he shot through the gap into the kitchen like he was being blown out of a cannon. The hose stretched and stretched and stretched like an old ladies’ pair of nylons.
“I should probably get out of this elevator,” I said.
I climbed up to the kitchen and followed the hose. It was as tight as a slingshot pulled all the way back and ready to fire, and I couldn’t imagine how Floyd was holding it in place. When I arrived at the front door, he had stretched his puny legs as wide as they would go. One leg was on each side of the doorjamb and the rest of Floyd was a ball of green in the middle.
“Hold on, Floyd!” I said. “You can do it!”
He was shaking like a leaf in a windstorm as I peered outside and saw that Sammy had the end of the hose inside Franny’s mouth.
I picked up the phone in the front room and dialed a secret number for the laboratory.
“GOoooOooOOoooOOoooooOOOOOOooo!” I cried when my dad picked up.
“Proceeding with release,” Dr. Fuzzwonker said.
I heard him slap his palm down on a button.
Then I heard a sound like a tidal wave of water somewhere far away.
And finally I felt the hose burst to life. It went from flat as a pancake to wide as a watermelon and Fuzzwonker Fizz blasted into Franny’s mouth at twenty gallons per second.
“It’s working!” Sammy said.
“Backfilling underway,” my dad said. “Four hundred additional gallons going into production.”
I ran outside with the phone still on my ear so I could see what was happening. Poor Floyd was barely holding on and Franny—wow, she was blowing up like a balloon.
“Five hundred gallons released,” Dr. Fuzzwonker said.
Franny was already bigger than a Volkswagen Bug. She expanded like a blowfish.
“You can do this, Franny,” Sammy said, and she pet Franny’s fur.
“Eight hundred gallons deployed,” Dr. Fuzzwonker said. “Nine hundred. One thousand!”
“Only four hundred more gallons, Franny,” I said. “You’re practically full.”
I didn’t want to say anything that might alarm Franny, but she was getting really big. Her arms and legs were like toothpicks stuck in a head of lettuce. She was taller than the house.
“Fourteen hundred gallons released,” Dr. Fuzzwonker said. “We’ve done it.”
“Okay, Floyd, you can let go now,” I said. I was about to go hang up the phone when Floyd let the hose loose and it ricocheted off the walls as it was pulled at lightning speed back down the elevator. On the way out the hose hit a lamp, the coffeemaker, and a vase. They all exploded on impact.
“Floyd? Sammy?” I asked. “Where is everybody?”
I hung up the phone and walked outside. Wow. Franny was gigantic.
“Up here,” Sammy said. I looked up and saw Sammy and Floyd sitting on top of Franny.
“Come on down, guys. We need to get Franny to the Snood Candy Factory. Pronto.”
Floyd bounced off the roof and landed on my shoulder and Sammy slid down the side of Franny. We all stared at Franny’s face. Her eyes were big and round, and it looked like she was holding her breath.
“You okay?” I asked.
Franny nodded very slowly, but I could tell we had to move fast. It was the dead of night in Pflugerville. The entire town was asleep, so at least we could move without being seen.
If we didn’t get Franny to the Snoods quick, she was going to unleash one thousand four hundred gallons of Fuzzwonker Fizz in the middle of town.
Pflugerville has wide streets. So we got on our bikes and pushed Franny from behind. All we had to do was nudge her with our front tires, and she rolled like a champ. And if she went off course and rolled over a parked car, it didn’t seem to matter. She just kept on going. She rolled right over cars like a giant water balloon and didn’t even put a scratch on them.
When we were going downhill, we picked up speed and rolled Franny into the uphill sections. Toward the end it was mostly uphill and that meant pushing Franny from behind with our bikes.
“I’m really glad we brought these specially designed Franny Movers,” Sammy said as we gave it all we had. Franny Movers were just metal garbage can lids, but they helped a lot. We each lined up behind Franny on a different side of her and held the lids with one hand, pushing her up the hills. Her smooth fur crackled and popped as we went.
We rolled and rolled and rolled. Right past Sammy’s house and on toward the bowling alley. It was so late no one was out driving around, and before we knew it, we’d pushed Franny all the way to Loopy Len’s used car lot. When we got within a hundred feet of the covered bridge on the Snood property, we sped up and pushed her even harder. Then we veered off the driveway and gave her one last good shove. Franny rolled into the ravine and back up the other side, and then went airborne.
“Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea,” I said.
We dodged the Rambler and came out on the other side of the covered bridge, where Franny was bouncing like a basketball.
“She’s heading for the Snood Candy Factory!” Sammy yelled.
Franny was spinning around and bouncing ten feet off the ground every time she landed, and I didn’t know how we’d get her under control. But as usual, Floyd came to my rescue.
“Leave this to me,” he said calmly into my ear. “You two get this door open.”
Floyd jumped into the air, landed on the grass, and bounced all the way on top of Franny.
Sammy and I raced ahead on our bikes and dismounted at the door. When we looked back, Floyd was wrangling Franny like a cowboy, guiding her in our direction.
“She’s coming in fast!” I said. “Throw open the door!”
Sammy and I both took hold of the big heavy door and opened it as wide as it would go. It was still Floozombie madness inside. They’d dump
“Um, Harold?” Sammy said.
“I think we better get out of the way.”
When I looked back outside I realized it was too late to do anything but enter the Snood Candy Factory. Franny was headed right for us, face-first.
We dove through the door and landed on slippery Flooze, sliding and rolling and getting completely covered from head to toe in Snood’s disgusting candy. When we sat up, two Floozombies were standing right over us. They reached down with their green cheesy arms.
Franny hit the doorway and stuck like a cork. Her eyes darted back and forth until she saw me, and I nodded.
“She’s gonna blow!” I said.
Sammy and I covered our heads and braced ourselves. Floyd leaped into my backpack. And then it happened.
Franny let out the biggest, longest, loudest burp in the history of biggest, longest, loudest burps. It was earth-shattering. The walls in the Snood Candy Factory shook. Fuzzwonker Fizz blew out of Franny’s mouth like water from a giant fire hose. The Floozombies were completely drenched. The whole place was! They slowly melted and fizzed and popped. Until finally they were just like the other Snood’s Flooze that had poured out all over the factory.
Franny looked like someone who had just lost about ten thousand pounds. Her furry shell was stretched out, hanging in layers all around her.
“You did it, Franny!” I said.
“We should probably get out of here as fast as we can,” Sammy said.
“Oh, right,” I agreed. The Snoods had slid down off the wall, and they were looking around like they had no idea what had just happened.
We made a break for it, covered in Snood’s Flooze and Fuzzwonker Fizz.
“Come back here!” Mr. Snood yelled, but he was clearly confused. “Fuzzwonkeeeeeeeeeeeer!”
We were on our bikes and racing for home. Franny was all folded up into rolls so she could ride on Sammy’s handlebars, and her furry coat was shrinking back to its normal size.
“You guys, that was the most amazing adventure we’ve ever had,” Sammy said.
“And we saved Pflugerville from an invasion of Floozombies,” I said.
“And Fizzopolis is still safely hidden from the Snoods,” Sammy said.
There was only one thing left to do before the night was over. I called Floyd and Grabstack out of my backpack, and they both peeked out.
“You guys ready to put on a play or what?” I asked.
Every Fizzy in Fizzopolis helped build a puppet theater stage at the edge of the lagoon. It was about ten feet wide and stood on four stilts. A red curtain covered the small stage where the show would come to life. The lights were dimmed to a twinkling purple hue as everyone settled in for the show. There were a hundred or more Fizzies eating popcorn and drinking Fuzzwonker Fizz. I sat in the front row with Sammy on one side and Franny on the other as a chorus of burping and laughter swept over the assembled crowd.
“I bet Grabstack and Floyd are nervous,” Sammy said. “I hope they aren’t back there throwing up.”
I looked around Fizzopolis and thought about what a weird and wonderful place it was as the lights went down on the stage and a hush fell over the world of Fizzopolis. A single light illuminated a round spot in front of the puppet theater, and I stood up. When I was standing alone in the circle of light, I opened my arms as wide as they would go.
“Tonight was a really impressive team effort. Every Fizzy in Fizzopolis helped save the world from Floozombies. Give yourselves a fizzy round of applause!”
All the Fizzies started popping and fizzing. It sounded like a million pieces of bacon frying on a pan the size of a football field.
I quieted everyone down and called Franny and Sammy to stand with me. “And let’s hear it for the big heroes of the day, Sammy, Franny, Floyd, and Dr. Fuzzwonker!”
Floyd peeked out from behind the red curtain and smiled like a goofball, and the crowd went wild. My dad waved from the back row in his white lab coat and nodded at everyone.
“And Harold Fuzzwonker!” Sammy yelled over the cheers.
The crowd fizzed even louder and threw popcorn at the stage until it felt like I was in a winter snowstorm.
“If everyone would please silence their cell phones and stop drinking Fuzzwonker Fizz, I know the actors will appreciate it. No more burping until the show is over.”
There were a few more random burps and then all was a hush as I left the spotlight and the curtain was drawn. Only Grabstack was there, all alone. He stared at his three feet for a moment and cleared his throat.
“Thank you all for being here tonight for the first ever showing of an original play entitled The Mysterious Adventures of Mr. Pencil. I will be assisted by Floyd.”
All the Fizzies fizzed and popped with excitement. Grabstack looked right at me and mouthed two words that told me he had probably learned his lesson: thank you.
I smiled. If I could teach Grabstack to be a better Fizzy, anything was possible.
“On with the show!” Grabstack yelled, and then he was gone in a flash at stage left.
What followed was an epic tale of good versus evil that had the crowd on pins and needles. Dime and Penny were spun and rolled into our imaginations. Miss Ball of Rubber Bands and Mr. Pencil stole our hearts. The evil Floozemeister was replaced by the duo of Wrinkles, who used to be a grape, and the evil Mr. Lint Ball, and they were great villains.
When it was over, all the Fizzies in Fizzopolis gave Floyd and Grabstack a standing ovation full of burps and fizz and flying popcorn.
“We can never let the Snoods find out about Fizzopolis,” Sammy said as she beamed from ear to ear.
And she was right. Fizzopolis really was the best place ever. After everything that had happened with the Floozombies, the Snoods would be more curious than ever. They’d stop at nothing to discover the secret of Fuzzwonker Fizz. But I had my best good buddy Floyd and my super-duper palamino Sammy to help me. The Floozombie outbreak taught me one thing for sure: Together, we could save Fizzopolis from anyone. Even a little blowhard like Grabstack!
Excerpt from Fizzopolis: Snoodles!
Hi, I’m Harold Fuzzwonker, and today I’m visiting Fizzopolis at ten o’clock on a Monday morning. Why, you might ask, am I not at school on this fine Monday morning? Why am I walking past the Fizzopolis lagoon instead of working on some math problems for my teacher, Miss Yoobler?
Because it’s SUMMER VACATION! No classes! No homework! No Miss Yoobler! And most important, no Garvin Snood watching my every move in class. Let me repeat, IT’S SUMMER VACATION! Okay, so obviously I’m excited, and when I get VERY excited, I use ALL CAPS.
“Why is everybody meeting over there?” I asked. Floyd, my best good buddy, was sitting on my shoulder munching on a hunk of cheddar cheese. He cheese-mouth-mumbled something in my ear, but I understood him.
“I agree,” I said as we passed the Ping-Pong table. “Let’s go check it out. Whatever it is, it must be important. And if it’s important, we need to know about it.”
Floyd told me I was right, and added that we practically ran the whole place, so why weren’t we invited to this important gathering of Fizzies?
To say that we run the whole place might be a slight exaggeration. My dad, Dr. Fuzzwonker, actually runs Fizzopolis. Most of the time Floyd and I go to school and help out in the afternoons with Fizzy chores.
“Hey, everybody!” I yelled as I approached the gaggle of Fizzies. Nobody turned around. Velma, a Fizzy with a big round nose and green fur and arms that hung all the way to the ground, let out an A+ burp that lasted about twelve seconds. “Good one, Velma,” I said. “What’s going on here? Shouldn’t we all be working?”
Floyd grumbled on my shoulder. He wanted a Fuzzwonker Fizz in the worst way, but I ignored him.
What I figure
“Stop laughing at my weird hair,” I said to Floyd.
I stared up at that sign and as I read it, the big fat grin on my face got bigger and bigger. This is what it said:
FIZZIES VS. FOOD COMPETITION!
10 MINUTES TO COOK, FLIP,
AND EAT PANCAKES
Each team will be comprised of
one cooker/flipper and one eater
THE TEAM THAT EATS
THE MOST PANCAKES WINS!
SIGN UP YOUR TEAM NOW
FIZZY VS. FOOD WILL TAKE PLACE
IN ONE WEEK
2. A full stomach!
3. A custom Fuzzwonker Fizz flavor of your choice!
“Floyd!” I yelled. “We could totally win this thing. Look at all that fame we’d get! And we could come up with our own flavor!”
Floyd was nodding like a lunatic. My best good eating buddy was on board.
“Are there any more questions?” Dr. Fuzzwonker asked. He was standing in a white lab coat holding a clipboard and a pen.
That little blowhard Grabstack raised his paw and stepped forward like he owned the place. “Could you offer a tad more fame?”
“I’m glad you asked, Grabstack,” my dad said. “I’m afraid I cannot offer any more fame. There’s no more room on the poster.”
Grabstack looked at the poster and nodded as if he understood.
Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies! by Patrick Carman / Young Adult / Fantasy have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes