I’M STANDING AT THE TOP of a cliff. Well, according to the hand-lettered sign at the edge, it’s technically a ski slope. But it looks pretty darn cliff-like to me. I have a snowboard attached to my feet, about a hundred pounds of hot, sweaty clothing on my body, and a pair of goggles strapped on over my glasses so I can’t really see where the heck I’m going.
And there’s a hyperactive blue chimp standing next to me. Despite the cold, he’s sporting nothing but a pair of bright orange surf shorts and a black eye patch. And he’s pretty excited. “Dude,” he exclaims, “you OWN this slope! This is going to be so great!
Just remember, you’ve gotta BE the board. That’s all you need to know—just BE the board. Oh, and don’t fall and die. Because that would, like, totally ruin the plan.”
I smile weakly at him. “The plan?” I ask.
“You know, bud. The plan. Step One: Totally carve up the top part of this slope. Step Two: Conquer the giant slalom course in the middle of the slope. Step Three . . . um . . . I told you about Step Three, right?”
“Is that the part where I get carried away on a stretcher?”
“No, Willie, that’s Step Four. Just kiddin’! Actually, Step Three is the ski jump.”
“SKI JUMP??? Dodger, you never told me there would be a ski jump! Are you crazy? I’ve never even tried snowboarding before, and now you expect me to go off of some gigantic ramp?”
“Dude, calm down. It’s no biggie, okay? Everything’s taken care of. See, we, um, .xed your board.”
“What do you mean, you . xed my board? And who’s ‘we’?”
“The board is just a regular, ordinary snowboard, except the bottom has been painted with some—well, some special stuff. And never mind the
“Special stuff? What kind of special stuff?”
Dodger gave me one of his patented one-eyed winks and said, “I came up with the formula myself . . . mostly. It’s the same stuff that’s on the bottom of the Magic Carpet of Khartoum. It should give you a little extra lift. At least, I’m pretty sure.”
Oh, boy. The Magic Carpet of Khartoum is an actual, real-life .ying carpet. And it’s not very easy to control—trust me. So I can only imagine the kind of massive damage I can do when I try to combine .ying with snowboarding. “Dodger,” I say, “this is insane! Can you tell me again why I’m doing it?”
Dodger puts his hands on his hips and glares at me in exasperation. “Dude, do you want to save your little sister from the leprechauns or don’t you?”
My life gets really complicated sometimes. This is one of those times. “Of course I want to save Amy! I just don’t understand why we can’t walk over to their . eld and ask them to give her back.”
“Because that’s exactly what they’ll be expecting! Duh, do I have to think of everything around here?”
“Okay, I can see why we have to take the leprechauns by surprise. But why do I need to do the slalom course and everything?”
“ ’Cause, dude, it’s cool! You never need a reason to be cool! Now, let’s go over this one more time: Do you have your goggles?”
“Um, yeah. You’re looking at me wearing them, aren’t you?”
“Dude, you’re just supposed to say, ‘Check!’ ”
“’Cause it sounds awesome! Now, let’s try again—we’re running out of time! Goggles?”
“Oh, oops. Well, never mind that now. Alrighty, then—we’d better get moving! Any last questions?”
“Yeah! Where’s Lizzie?” Lizzie is my best friend. She’s also the only other person I know who can see Dodger. He’s totally invisible to everyone else.
“Don’t worry. She’ll be there when it all goes down.”
“When what all goes down?”
Just then something started beeping really, really loudly. I looked around, but the noise seemed to be coming from the side of Dodger’s shorts. He reached into his pocket and pulled out something that looked like a cross between a cell phone, a GPS device, and a banana. Sure enough, it was the source of the beeps. It was also blinking bright orange once every few seconds. “Holy cow!” Dodger said. “Team Alpha is already in position! We’ve got to boogie!”
“Yeah, we! You didn’t think I was going to let you have all this fun by yourself, did you?”
“But . . . but . . . you don’t have a snowboard!”
“Whoopsie. I knew I was forgetting something.”
“Wait, so what are we going to do now?”
Dodger took maybe ten steps backward up the hill and said, “We are going to . y!” Then he charged toward me, leaped in the air, and landed on the board so his feet were right next to mine and his arms were around my waist. We started zooming down the hill. That was when it occurred to me that I wasn’t wearing a helmet.
“Cowabunga!” Dodger shouted in my ear. Then he laughed.
Excerpted from Dodger for Sale by Jordan Sonnenblick.
Copyright © 2010 by Jordan Sonnenblick.
Published in 2010 by Feiwel and Friends.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.