Alien in My Pocket #4 (3 page)

BOOK: Alien in My Pocket #4
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On Being Lazy

h my gosh, Olivia, get him off me!” I yelped. “He's gonna poop.”

I'm not sure if I had drifted off to sleep for a moment or not, but Olivia had apparently taken Mike out and let him roam free.

“Chill, dude. They're just teeny-tiny hamster poops,” Olivia said.

“They're still gross,” I said. “I eat in this bed!”

Amp was about to finish off the last of the SweeTarts Olivia had brought him. Candy crumbs covered the crossword puzzle worksheet that was at the top of my stack of homework.

Amp wasn't just a sloppy eater; he was a lazy eater, too. His diet consisted mostly of SweeTarts and Ritz crackers. Just one of his many charms.

“While you were sleeping, I was thinking: you could have slowed your bike down with a parachute,” Amp said.

I shot him a look. “Oh, you think I carry a parachute in my school backpack?”

“You should have had a backup system,” Amp informed me. “It's called redundancy. If the first system fails, you have a backup at the ready to employ.”

“Listen to this guy,” I said to Olivia. “The alien who drilled the front of his spaceship into my bedroom wall is giving me a lecture about how to stop.”

“You could have crashed your bike onto a bed,” Amp added. “The kinetic energy of you and your bike would have been absorbed by the mattress.”

“Good idea,” Olivia said, high-threeing Amp.

“Really helpful, guys,” I said. “I'll be sure to ask Principal Luntz to install a cozy set of bedroom furniture for the next time Amp steals my brakes.”

“I didn't steal them,” Amp said. “I borrowed them. Without asking.”

Olivia laughed. “I like the way you think, Ampy.”

“You guys are making my head hurt worse than my shoulder.” I sighed.

“Council Note—”

“Oh, please stop!” I growled.

He ignored me and continued speaking into his wristband device.

“Council Note: Boy Earthling seems completely unaware of the existence of kinetic energy, which is merely the energy created as a result of something moving. He does, however, seem very familiar with inertia, which is the tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged. You should see him just lying here!”

“I have a headache,” I said, staring at the ceiling.

“Do you want me to put Mikey on your head?” Olivia asked, dangling her pet above my head. “His little feet can massage your scalp.”

“Yuck, no!” I said, pushing away her arm. “He'll poop in my hair.”

Olivia was officially annoying me.

Amp was now walking in circles, enjoying the conversation. “Much of the energy from your crash could have been absorbed by something other than a bed. A pile of leaves. Soft dirt. Even bushes or ivy.”

“Or I could have landed on Max Myers,” I said. “He's kinda big and gooey.”

“Exactly,” Amp said, snapping his tiny fingers.

“I'm just joking,” I said, rolling my eyes at his enthusiasm.

“We're just saying you can be a little slow in these situations,” Olivia said.

“Yes, perhaps if you spent more time on your studies—”

“GET OUT!” I shouted. “BOTH OF YOU!” I yelled. “With friends like you, I should consider upgrading to enemies!”

“Zacky, I was just—” Olivia started, but I didn't let her finish.

“Just get away from me and leave me alone. The both of you!”

Just then, Mom knocked and opened the door.

I peeked out under my forearm in Amp's direction, but he had already made himself invisible.

“Sorry, Olivia, Zack needs to get some rest,” Mom said sweetly. I was pretty sure she had heard me raise my voice.

“Okay,” Olivia said awkwardly. The room was filled with uncomfortable silence. She left quietly without saying good-bye or “I'm sorry.”

Egg on My Face?

woke up feeling like I'd been beaten on the shoulder with an iron skillet.

It also felt like a dirty gopher had crawled into my mouth and died on my tongue.

My hair felt greasy and my T-shirt clung to my sweaty skin.

I seriously needed to stretch my muscles, take a hot bath, and brush my teeth for about an hour—and not necessarily in that order.

I turned my head to check if it was day or night, and that's when I saw my little brother's face inches from mine.

“AAAGH!” I gasped. “You never sneak up on a sleeping person like that, Taylor! I could have karate chopped you or something!”

“All you do is sleep,” he said, waving his hand in front of my face. “And oh my gosh, your breath . . .”

“What are you doing in here?” I said, suddenly realizing that he could have been poking around for the last hour, looking for Amp.

Despite being a total science nerd, Taylor had been unable to blow the lid off my little secret. He knew Olivia and I were up to something, but hadn't figured out that I was playing host to an intergalactic houseguest.

“Mom asked me to wake you up for dinner,” he said. “She also said you're going to help me with my new Club Edison experiment.”

“No way,” I groaned. “I almost lost my arm! I don't want to do nerd experiments with my little brother. Why should I be punished?”

Taylor shrugged. “Don't blame me. It was Mom's idea. She said you're not playing baseball this weekend and that your sling will give you a chance to slow down and spend some quality time with a genius.”

“Good grief,” I said.

Just thinking of doing science experiments for fun gave me a brain cramp.

Taylor now held an egg up for me to see. “We'll be experimenting with these.”

“Or we could make French toast,” I said.

“We'll be doing an experiment about kinetic energy.” Before I could stop him, Taylor held the egg above me as high as he could and dropped it. It hit my stomach and rolled off.

“Are you crazy?” I hollered, grabbing the egg.

“See, your belly is soft enough to absorb the energy in the falling egg. The impact didn't crack the shell.”

“My belly isn't soft,” I said, but I was reminded of what Amp had been saying earlier about a bed absorbing my energy. “Oh, I know all about Connecticut energy, smarty-pants.”

Taylor stared at me. “Don't worry, Zack, I just need you to film the experiment for my YouTube channel,” he said, patting my leg. “You don't actually have to think. Leave that up to your little bro. You'll just be, like . . . the assistant.”

“I'm smarter than you think, twerp,” I said, faking that I was throwing the egg at him. He ducked. I smiled. “Made you flinch.”

He crossed to the door of my room, scanning his eyes around the room as he did.

“Don't be so nosy,” I said.

“Mom and Dad are down there waiting to eat, so hurry up . . . assistant.”

I couldn't resist. I threw the egg for real this time—just as he closed the door behind him. It hit my bathrobe, which was hanging on the back and muffled the impact enough that it didn't break. That didn't happen until it hit the floor.


fter dinner, we sat there stuffed, staring at the mess on the table, too fat and satisfied to start cleaning up.

We had waffles. Weird, I know, but every two weeks or so, Dad cooks, and all he knows how to make are waffles, pancakes, or French toast. We're supposed to pretend like it's fun, but really it's just sticky.

“So, I hear you two have big plans for a new experiment on Taylor's YouTube channel?” Mom asked.

I rolled my eyes. I was using my napkin to wipe off the maple syrup I had accidentally dripped all over my sling. “I'm thinking of starting my own YouTube video channel.”

“For what?” Taylor asked. “How-to-crash-your-bike videos?”

BOOK: Alien in My Pocket #4
13.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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