- Published: 4 February 2020
- ISBN: 9781760891770
- Imprint: Puffin
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 240
- RRP: $14.99
Edie's Experiments 1: How to Make Friends
‘I also won the geography competition last year, and the Spelling Bee.’ Emily James twisted a coil of hair around her finger as she waited beside me in the handball queue at recess that day. ‘I’m pretty good at competitions, I guess.’
Samirah, a small girl with straight black hair, rolled her eyes. Annie B said ‘hmm’ with a stiff smile, but I was thoroughly impressed.
‘Really? That’s amazing!’ The handball flew past, and the girl who missed it hung her head and plodded to the back of the queue. We all shuffled up the line.
‘I hope there’s another Science Fair soon,’ I said. My old school never had a Science Fair. I couldn’t wait to be part of one.
‘I’m sure there will be,’ Emily James said vaguely, just as the boy on the court double- bounced the ball. He sighed, then ran to the back of the queue. ‘Oh, it’s my turn!’ Emily James skipped to the centre of the court. ‘I’m going to beat you!’ she taunted the other player. The boy in the King square glared back.
‘Emily James is a bit competitive,’ Annie B whispered to me.
I grinned. ‘I can tell!’
‘Maybe you’ll win the next Science Fair, though,’ Samirah said. ‘It sounds like you know lots about science.’ She blinked up at me.
‘Yeah, maybe,’ I said. ‘I do love experiments.’ As Emily James took control of the handball court (she was pretty good, I had to admit), an idea started to build up in my brain. It began as a small snowball at the top of a cliff, then started rolling downhill, gathering momentum and getting bigger and bigger as it went.
It was a good one. Possibly my best idea yet.
My classmates seemed pretty interested in my science kit and my experiments. They clearly loved science as much as I did.
Maybe I could demonstrate a special science experiment for them, to show them how excited I was to be joining their class . . .
Better yet . . . why not surprise them with an experiment?
At lunchtime, I waited patiently until my classmates were engrossed in handball again (and the teacher on playground duty was occupied with tying Prep kids’ shoelaces), then I snuck back inside.
After two wrong turns and almost bumping into a librarian carrying a stack of books, I managed to make it back to Room 13B. (Note to self: when conducting first-day-of-school experiments in the future, make sure to bring a map.)
Once I’d successfully found my classroom, I grabbed the materials from my science kit and got straight to work.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a bowl or container in my science kit to mix up the slime, but a keen scientist will always come up with a solution. I managed to dig up a bowl in the craft cupboard (any kid can sniff out a craft cupboard, after all), then I mixed up the slime in a flash.
‘Perfect!’ I skipped around the classroom, popping a handful of slime on each desk. It was one of my best batches yet – perfectly squelchy, sufficiently goopy and an ideal shade of green.
As I rinsed out the bowl and returned it to the craft cupboard, my heart felt as light and fluffy as fairy floss. Surprise Slime was the perfect present for my new classmates. They were going to love it.
Once the lunch bell rang, I sprinted over to our classroom with Annie B.
‘I wonder which book Mr Zhu will read today,’ Annie B whispered to her partner in line. I smiled to myself. I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any reading going on once everyone saw my special surprise. More like a whole lot of whooping with joy, and squeezing and poking balls of slime. It was going to be awesome.
As we headed into the classroom, Mr Zhu stopped suddenly, his forehead creasing.
The queue jolted to a stop. A chorus of voices started up.
‘What is it, Mr Zhu?’
‘Quit standing on my heels!’
‘It’s nothing, kids.’ Mr Zhu mopped his brow with a chequered handkerchief. ‘Let me see . . . Perhaps just stay out here in the corridor for a second?’ He tried to usher us to stand by the bag racks, but elbows jostled and heads bobbed up and down to see through the windows. ‘Ew!’
‘Can you see that?’ ‘Yuck, that’s disgusting!’
Something wasn’t right. By now, my classmates should’ve been running to their desks and squealing with glee as they played with their balls of slime.
I snuck to the front of the queue. ‘Oh no.’
My stomach dropped down to my toes.
There was green everywhere.
Puddles of green liquid had seeped all over the kids’ desks, and strings of green dripped onto the floor. There was even green gunk on the books and pencil cases everyone had stacked beside their desks.
It was like the time Max vomited after eating broccoli.
Green. All. Over. The. Place.
‘What is it?’ The girl standing next to me looked like she’d seen a ghost. A boy with spiky black hair shrieked.
‘I – I’m not sure.’ Mr Zhu patted his brow once more.
But I knew what it was: melted slime. I’d once accidentally left slime on the back deck at our old house, and it had ended up as a sticky, drippy mess by the afternoon.
I ran to my desk to inspect the pool of slime. How could it possibly have melted when it was inside the classroom? There was no sun inside . . . it wasn’t like the time on the deck at all.
Unless . . . I quickly scanned the room. Of course! The air conditioner – it had been off all lunchtime.
The hot room had turned my Surprise Slime into a sticky slime-tastrophe.
My classmates spilled into the classroom, gaping as they discovered their green-stained belongings.
‘It’s everywhere,’ said Annie B, her lower lip trembling as she picked up her slime-spotted maths book.
‘It’s disgusting!’ The boy with spiky black hair was on the verge of tears.
An ear-piercing squeal hit the air. ‘My trophy!’ Emily James stood at her desk, her jaw practically on the floor. She gingerly held the corner of her Science Fair trophy, which was dripping with green liquid.
My stomach twisted.
That wasn’t good. Not one bit.But things got worse when I saw Mr Zhu’s desk.
His big pile of slime, which I’d emptied onto the centre of his desk, had spread out, oozing all over his laptop.
‘Oh dear,’ he said, frowning and scratching his head. ‘How did this happen?’
‘Don’t worry, everyone!’ I sprang into action and grabbed a handful of paper towels from the sink. ‘I’ll fix it!’
As Mr Zhu comforted a girl in the front row, whose soccer ball had been an unfortunate victim of the slime, I hopped around the desks as quickly as I could.
‘Won’t take a minute,’ I said determinedly, swiping and wiping at the green goop.
The slime on the books and desks was wiping off okay, but the bits on the pencil cases, library bags and carpet wasn’t as easy to dislodge. In fact, as I scrubbed at a pool of slime on the carpet, I realised I was probably making it worse. Every time I tried to wipe it up, it would spread even further.
‘Who would do this?’ Emily James clutched her trophy to her chest, her brow furrowed and her mouth in a straight line. She didn’t look much like a physics buddy any more. More like a professional kickboxer, ready to unleash on whoever had slimed her precious trophy.
I ducked my head and concentrated on a stubborn piece of slime on the windowsill. (How it got there, I really had no idea.) I hoped nobody would notice the new kid casually cleaning up in the corner.
No such luck.
‘Do you know anything about this, Edie?’ Mr Zhu’s smile had completely disappeared. He no longer reminded me of a teddy bear; more like a mother bear woken up from hibernation.
The whole class looked at me. I gulped. How did he know?
Then he pointed to my lab coat, which was covered in green splotches.
‘I can explain . . .’
Mr Zhu marched me straight to the principal’s office.
To find out what happens next, pick up a copy of Edie's Experiments 1: How to Make Friends from your local book store.
‘The full moon rose over us,’ Layla sang, while she carefully joined two pieces of metal together in the broiling, cramped welding bay.
Mary Lawson was the first to die. Leaving Euston station shortly before 6.45 a.m, she made straight for her favourite breakfast stall.
The sun set at six minutes to four. Kay lay stretched out on the floor, reading the very small print on the back of the newspaper.
Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood. If you’re reading this because you think you might be one, my advice is: close this book right now.
My father built the house on Langely Lake for my mother, in the town she grew up in.