Mom was a scientist.
One day, she became sick with the flu.
While she was sick with the flu, a fellow scientist, Larry, made a toxic fume. The toxic fume drove Larry and the other scientists in the lab crazy.
So much for trying to cure for cancer … now Larry and his pals wanted to develop new ways of hurting people!
“We’re going to get rich!” Larry said during a conference call with Mom. “Get well and get back to the lab ASAP, so you can help us screw up the world!”
The plan was to sell a batch of ice cream that tasted great but was filled with the toxic fume so it would make everyone who eats it crazy, too.
It was all wrong.
“You’ve got to stop him,” Mom said to me.
She was in bed with a high fever.
“How?” I said.
She coughed up mucous, sneezed, and blew her nose into a tissue.
“Here, take this,” she said, handing me the dirty tissue. “Spread my snot around the lab. Then, steal a sample of the toxic fume. Bring it to me … I’ll take over from there.”
“Okay,” I said, wondering what Mom was thinking.
I put on one of her dress and sunglasses. I fixed up my hair. I tossed on her lab coat and grabbed her badge off the night stand.
I looked myself over in her mirror.
“You’re my spitting image,” Mom said with a snotty laugh. “Good luck, dear.”
I ditched my bike outside the lab and flashed my badge at a guy sitting behind the front desk.
“Welcome back, Dolores,” he said with a weird grin. “How are you feeling?”
I read the name on his badge. Larry!
“Better,” I said. “I just need … some coffee … to perk me up!”
“We have a fresh pot brewing in the break room,” he said, pointing. “Grab a cup, then meet me in the lab. I want to tell you about our new line of ice cream. We’re going to call it Psychopath Strawberry!”
“Cool name,” I said. “I’m sure a lot of people will like it.”
“I hope so!” Larry said with his weird grin.
In the break room, I took out the dirty tissue from my pocket. I dripped some of Mom’s snot into the pot of coffee. I also rubbed the dirty tissue along the rims of the clean cups.
I filled one of the cups with coffee and started roaming around the lab with a weird grin on my face like the other mad scientists. Everyone seemed happy to see me.
“Dolores is back!” someone yelled. “Our star has returned! Now we’ll really wreak havoc around the world!”
Finally, I found a sample of the toxic fume. I stuffed it into my lab coat.
It was time to escape from this creepy place.
I turned a corner in the hallway. Larry stood before me.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” he said with his weird grin.
I had to think fast.
“Yes!” I said, handing him the cup of coffee. “This is for you. I have to go home. Now my daughter has the flu! Good luck selling your insane ice cream. You should add cashews, to make it nuttier.”
“Great idea!” Larry said with a wild laugh. “I love the way you think, Dolores! Maybe you should take a batch of Psychopath Strawberry home to your daughter. It might make her feel better …”
“Another time, maybe,” I said. “Gotta run!”
At home, Mom felt better.
“I’m so glad you returned safe,” she said, hugging me. “How’d it go?”
I gave her the sample.
“Perfect,” she said, stuffing it into her purse. “Tomorrow, at work, I know just what to do.”
The next day, Mom called me from the lab.
I was in bed sick with the flu.
So were the other scientists. Even Larry was holed up at home with a fever.
“It’s been so peaceful and quiet around here,” Mom said, “plenty of time to figure out a cure for the toxic fume. I poured the cure into the air vents. My fellow scientists will return to work tomorrow and be back to their old selves soon. Psychopath Strawberry will be like a bad dream that never happened.”
“I’m so happy to hear it,” I said from bed. “Are you and the other scientists going to keep trying to cure cancer?”
“Of course, but first I’m coming home, to cure you,” Mom said. “Would you like me to bring some ice cream?”
“Sure,” I said. “Just nothing with strawberries, or nuts.”