“Nelson, calm down! Send me a picture.”
Moments later the image was on my phone. Four shaggy humanoids were facing down a middle-aged man. They were armed with shovels, waving them about as though they were spears.
“They’re yetis, Nelson. Like cavemen with bad tempers. Go outside and keep an eye on them, but don’t get too close. I’m calling GUTC.”
“Sure thing, Becky. Hurry, okay?”
I sent a broadcast to the girls, giving the emergency code and Nelson’s address. That’s my job; I’m the organized one. The other members of the Girls’ Ultra-Technology Club all follow my lead.
I ran the two blocks to Nelson’s place full tilt. When I got there he was at the foot of his driveway along with Jan. There was no way she could have beaten me there, so I assumed she and Nelson were together.
The yeti were adolescents, about our height but built like Muppet linebackers. One of them had backed the man up against his garage door and was menacing him with a large plastic snow shovel. The other three were aggressively shoveling his driveway.
The yetis had just finished up when Lanie and Sonya arrived. Sonya was out of breath, though I could tell she was starting to lose the weight that made her an outcast. I wish my acne would be so cooperative.
“Sonya, talk to them. Find out what they’re doing.”
Sonya pulled down her hood and started dancing and making faces at them. The yeti ‘language’ is mostly gestural; she has the knack. A half-minute later she turned back to me.
“They’re lost and confused. They worked out that people would give them food if they shoveled driveways, so they want some berries now.”
“Okay. Nelson, tell your neighbour what’s up.”
Nelson shouted, “They want some berries, Mr. Feegleman!” I could have done that.
Then I noticed Christy whispering to Lanie. Christy’s a super-genius, but she doesn’t talk much and then only to Lanie. This seemed to be longer than usual.
“Christy says they’re from the Foam, but their world has vanished.”
Nelson looked blankly at me so I filled him in.
“Short form: the universe is like a big mug of root beer; other dimensions are like the foam on top. Each bubble is a universe of its own, and they appear and disappear all the time. Sometimes things switch bubbles, like these guys.”
“What makes you think that?”
“We’ve been there. You’ve been there; the ice castle is in the Foam.”
We met Nelson when he somehow got transported to a bubble created by one of Christy’s devices.
“Okay, so what do we do with them?”
An idea popped into my head, and as hard I tried I couldn’t talk myself out of it. I sighed.
“We send them to the Ice Palace.”
Nobody else had any ideas, so that was it. Sonya went over to talk to them.
- - -
Heather Young. I mulled the name over in my mind a few times. She’s a blonde-haired blue-eyed dancer type with perfect skin. Why did she just walk up and introduce herself to me?
And why do I like her? She’s every girl that ever teased or bullied me wrapped up in one.
And why does Christy look at her strangely?
This merits further study.