Barnes and the Brains Book 5: A Weird Case of Super-Goo
A blue glow is slowly spreading over Aunt Lillian...
This wrinkle cream is going too far. Giles's aunt has become a kid again, and everybody's treating her like one. It's time for Barnes and the Brains to outsmart the super-goo, and get Giles's kooky Aunt Lillian back into her own skin!
Read an excerpt...
A Weird Case of Super-Goo: Chapter One
"I quit!" shouted Giles. "I've had it with you two!"
"Now, Giles," said Tina, "there's no need to get so worked up. It's just a small glitch."
"Look at my hair! Look at it! It's bright orange! That's not what I would call a small glitch!"
Giles turned back to the mirror and stared at himself in horror. How stupid, he thought angrily. Why had he volunteered to test Tina's latest invention? He glared at the smoking metal helmet which, until a few seconds ago, had been fastened to his head. Tina called it the Brain Drainer. The helmet bristled with all sorts of lights and dials, and sprouted bundles of wires which trailed across the basement floor to a small radio.
What was supposed to happen was this. You put on the helmet, and tried to concentrate on the radio. The power of your brainwaves was supposed to turn into electricity and switch the radio on. Tina had said you could even tune it if your brainwaves were powerful enough.
But it didn't work out like that. In fact, it didn't work at all. Giles had sat in a chair for over half an hour, concentrating so hard he got a headache and a crick in his neck. The radio sat at the other end of the workshop, silent.
"Come on, Giles," Tina had said impatiently, looking at her stopwatch, "you're not trying hard enough."
"I'm trying, I'm trying!" said Giles through gritted teeth. The helmet on his head was starting to overheat.
"You must have very weak brainwaves," she said in annoyance. "A very weak brain indeed."
"I'll try," Kevin volunteered.
"No thank you, Kevin. At least Giles has a brain."
When the helmet began to buzz and smoke, Giles had angrily snatched it off his head.
"That's it! See, it doesn't work. Nothing happened!"
But something had happened. His hair had turned bright orange.
"Giles, it'll probably grow out. In a few months," said Tina.
"It's not so bad, Giles, really," said Kevin, who was trying very hard not to laugh. "I mean, orange is a great colour. Lots of kids at school would love to have orange hair."
Suddenly both Kevin and Tina were laughing uncontrollably, eyes screwed shut, doubled over.
"OK, this is the last straw," shouted Giles. "I'm tired of your stupid inventions! I'm tired all the little glitches! I'm tired of this whole genius business! I quit!"
* * *
"I just quit the genius business," Giles shouted as he walked into his house, slamming the door behind him. "Mom, Dad?"
"In here," came his father's voice from the living room.
Giles turned down the hall and stopped in the doorway, waiting for his parents to notice his hair. Mr and Mrs Barnes were sitting side by side on the sofa. They looked like they'd been sitting there for quite some time. Mrs Barnes cradled a mug of tea in her hands and was staring blankly out the window.
"Hi, Giles," said Mr Barnes, glancing at him distractedly.
Giles frowned in amazement. "Haven't you noticed anything unusual about me?" he said. "Anything different about -- my hair, maybe?"
"It's orange," said Mr Barnes placidly.
Giles knew that something must be wrong.
"Is everything OK?" he said worriedly. "Is someone sick?"
"No, no," said Mr Barnes. "Your mother's had a bit of a shock. She just got a call from your Aunt Lillian. She's coming to stay."
A Weird Case of Super-Goo, copyright Kenneth Oppel