Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies!, p.6Patrick Carman
“If that’s all the questions,” my dad said, “let’s get back to work so we can finish for the day. Then there’ll be more time to practice for the contest!”
My dad pulled me aside as all the Fizzies hustled back to their jobs.
“You and Floyd should take the next week off. Consider it your paid summer vacation. Every kid needs a break.”
I was thankful for the offer, but I knew my dad was giving us time off for a very different reason.
“You’d like to keep Floyd out of Fizzopolis for a week, wouldn’t you?” I asked.
Floyd was high maintenance. He was always getting into mischief in Fizzopolis and making a lot of messes.
My dad tried to cover. “Who, him?” He pointed at Floyd. “Why would you say such a thing? We all love having Floyd around as much as possible.”
My dad winked about nine times at me, so I got the idea. It wasn’t me that needed a break from working in Fizzopolis. It was my dad who needed a break from Floyd!
“And just think, you could use this time to practice for FIZZIES VS. FOOD. You might even win!”
All that fame and our very own flavor of Fuzzwonker Fizz.
“You got a deal, Dad,” I said. “We’ll take the vacation.”
As we headed for the elevator, I heard my dad sigh happily, like he was about to enter a day spa and have his toes manicured. I had it all figured out.
I would cook and flip, Floyd would eat and eat and eat. We’d have to be in perfect sync if we’re going to win, and that meant practice, practice, practice.
“Number one sixteen, coming up!” I yelled. I flipped the pancake over my head and it bounced off the ceiling, took a nosedive, and landed in Floyd’s open mouth. It was his 116th pancake in fourteen minutes.
Floyd made a bunch of munch munch munch sounds and pounded his chest with his tiny fists. “Hit me again!” he yelled. When Floyd yells and he’s not sitting on my shoulder with his head right next to my ear, it’s hard to hear him. He has a very small voice, like what you might imagine a mouse would sound like if it could yell at you. Floyd made some more munch munch munch sounds, and I poured six more flapjacks onto the griddle. Fizzies vs. Food was only a week away, and Floyd would be going up against stiff competition. There would be tons of other Fizzies competing, and they were all a lot bigger than Floyd.
I turned around and looked at my best good buddy.
“How are you holding up?” I asked. We were hoping to get Floyd up to 150 in ten minutes. We were way short.
Floyd wobbled back and forth like he was going to pass out, then he pulled his tongue out of his head with his paw. It was dry as a bone.
“You must be parched,” I said. “Let’s call it a day and go work on the landing area for my jump over the house.”
Floyd’s tongue was lying on the counter like a piece of dried leather. The poor little dude was thirsty. Seriously, 116 pancakes will do that to a guy. I went to the refrigerator and searched for a bottle of Fuzzwonker Fizz. I looked behind a head of cabbage, but there was none there. I peeked behind the eggs and the cheese and inside the fruit crisper. No Fuzzwonker Fizz.
“That’s weird,” I said, scratching my head. “We’ve never, ever, in the history of ever, run out of Fuzzwonker Fizz.”
Floyd waddled over with his gut sticking out and his tongue dragging behind him. He jumped on my shoulder and his tongue slapped me in the back of the head.
“Could you put that thing back in your mouth?” I said. “It’s gross. And dangerous.”
Floyd pointed to a gallon of milk in the fridge and practically broke my eardrum. “MIIIIIIILLLLLLLLK!”
“I wish I could give you a Fuzzwonker Fizz,” I said. “In a pinch, milk will have to do.”
I uncorked the milk jug and leaned the opening toward Floyd. He opened his mouth about as wide as a manhole cover and I poured the entire gallon in there. I don’t know where he puts this stuff.
He burped. Milk burps are generally lame compared to Fuzzwonker Fizz burps, and this one was no exception.
Floyd asked if he could use the bathroom.
“By all means, please do,” I said.
While Floyd was gone I turned off the griddle and stacked up the six pancakes he hadn’t eaten. I held them like a sandwich and started munching while I took one last look inside the refrigerator for a bottle of Fuzzwonker Fizz.
Not a single bottle in there.
By the time Floyd got back I was as thirsty as he was, but he’d guzzled down all the milk. I slurped a warm glass of water from the tap and nearly barfed all over the kitchen floor.
“We need Fuzzwonker Fizz in the worst way,” I said. I thought that if we went down into Fizzopolis, my dad might put us to work and cut our vacation short. “Let’s go see if Sammy has any we can borrow.”
Floyd is my best good buddy, and Sammy is my super-duper palomino. It’s good to have both if you can get them, just in case one is out of town or has the flu or falls into a hole or something.
“Let’s go set up my next world-famous Pflugerville bike jump. We can do some practice jumps on the way,” I said as I mounted my red bike. I didn’t need to carry my books around in the summer, so instead I used this nifty fanny pack I found at a garage sale. Floyd fit in there perfectly, and it was a lot lighter to carry him around. Plus, he could be right up front and open the zipper so he could see what was going on.
On the way to Sammy’s I jumped over seven different things, in the following order:
An oscillating sprinkler.
A yard gnome.
A paper bag (we went back and picked it up and put it in a trash can).
A trash can (the one we put the bag in!).
An anthill (no ants were harmed in the making of that jump).
And a pinecone.
We tried to jump over a cat sleeping on the sidewalk, but it woke up and ran away before we could get there. Cats are hard to jump over because they’re so skittish.
By the time we got to Sammy’s front door, I was even thirstier than I’d been back at the house. We walked up to the front door, but before I could knock, Sammy jumped out from behind a bush and pushed me into the yard. I landed on my butt.
“Gotcha!” she yelled, and then she ran away.
I stood up and Floyd jumped up on my shoulder. There was no one around, so I didn’t make him get back in the fanny pack. We waited about ten seconds and Sammy came running around the other side of her house. She was really moving, but we hadn’t chased her, so she basically ran right into us.
I tagged her on the shoulder.
“Good strategy you got there,” she said. “But after you tag me you’re supposed to run away. That’s how the game works.”
“Actually, if we could play this later, we’re searching for a bottle of Fuzzwonker Fizz,” I said. “We might die of thirst right here on your lawn if we don’t get one soon.”
“Come to think of it, I’m thirsty, too,” Sammy said. She was out of breath from all that running. “Let’s see what flavors I have. Come on.”
Floyd got back inside the fanny pack, just in case Sammy’s mom or dad or the little bundle of baby they had in there was awake.
“How’s your little brother doing?” I asked. Her brother, Owen, wasn’t even a year old.
“He tried to eat a paper cup yesterday,” she said. “I don’t think he’s all that bright. But I like him. He cracks me up.”
We arrived at the fridge and she pulled the door open. There was a bowl of potato salad in there and Floyd jumped out of my fanny pack and started attacking it.
“He just ate one hundred and sixteen pancakes,” I said. “He’s like a garbage disposal.”
Sammy and I rummaged through her refrigerator. We explored behind the leftovers and the orange juice and the ham.
“Looks like we’re out,” she said, peering inside one more time. “Come to think of it, I haven’t had a Fuzzwonker Fizz in days.”
I just knew something was fishy. A
“Come on, you guys,” I said. “Let’s go check the Pflugermart. There’s got to be some Fuzzwonker Fizz there.”
We took off on our bikes and headed for the supermarket in Pflugerville. I hardly spoke at all while we pedaled as fast as we could.
Why wasn’t there any Fuzzwonker Fizz at my house or Sammy’s?
Something was definitely, positively, for sure fishy!
About the Author and Artist
PATRICK CARMAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the acclaimed series Land of Elyon and Atherton and the teen superhero novel Thirteen Days to Midnight. A multimedia pioneer, Patrick authored The Black Circle, the fifth title in the 39 Clues series, and the groundbreaking Dark Eden, Skeleton Creek, and Trackers series. An enthusiastic reading advocate, Patrick has visited more than a thousand schools, developed village library projects in Central America, and created author outreach programs for communities. He lives in Walla Walla, Washington, with his family. You can visit him online at www.patrickcarman.com.
BRIAN SHEESLEY is a five-time Emmy Award–winning director, animator, and designer of some of the most popular animated cartoon shows ever, including Futurama; Camp Lazlo!; King of the Hill; Fanboy and Chum Chum; Regular Show; and The Simpsons. He lives in Los Angeles, California, with his family.
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Cover art © 2016 by Brian Sheesley
Cover design by Joel Tippie
Katherine Tegen Books is an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
FIZZOPOLIS: FLOOZOMBIES! Text copyright © 2016 by Patrick Carman. Illustrations copyright © 2016 by Brian Sheesley. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books.
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Library of Congress Control Number: 2015952416
EPub Edition © September 2016 ISBN 9780062393937
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Patrick Carman, Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies!
Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies! by Patrick Carman / Young Adult / Fantasy have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes