Genre: MG Sci-fi/Adventure
Word Count: 44,000
Candies from an Alien Pez Dispenser give eleven-year-old Mike temporary superpowers, but only his inner superhero can save himself and his friends from a four-armed, snout-faced alien wielding the Interstellar Remote Control of Everything.
Mike stuffed his Space Camp application into his Tweety Bird backpack. Tweety would never be as cool as The Avenger’s Hawkeye, no matter what Mom said. He scowled at his crumpled “C-” history quiz. History sucked almost as bad as Thursdays.
Ignoring Mr. Jenkins’ final words, Mike flung the half-closed pack over his shoulder and sprinted from the classroom before the bell finished ringing. He burst through the front doors and dashed toward the community park.
Chest heaving, Mike slipped into the woods. He skidded down a bank covered with last year’s leaves and plunked onto a half-rotted log behind a massive oak tree. Little stones followed him and splashed into a puddle. Even the ripples laughed at him for running away.
Hiding like a wimp sucked, but it was safer than being found by Brutus and his gang. The fart-face sixth-grader kept The List of Chumps to Be Pounded After School and today was hang-Mike-like-a-piñata Thursday.
If his application was accepted, he’d be on his way to Space Camp in two months. The only place safer would be outer space.
After the science-fair judge labeled his zero-gravity omelet-maker as brilliant and called Mike the next Einstein, Brutus chanted Afro-Einstein for weeks. Which made no sense since his close-cropped hair looked nothing like Einstein’s I-stuck-my-finger-in-a-socket look.
The pool stilled into a mirror. A shadow loomed over Mike’s watery reflection. He leapt to his feet—right into the puddle—ready to block Brutus with his backpack.
Except it wasn’t Brutus.