Excerpt from CANDY APPLE #16: ACCIDENTALLY-FOOLED
"You can see the whole school from up here," I said as I gazed down
from the top of the Ferris wheel. A carnival spread out below us, sprawling
across the lush green Allington Academy campus. It was completely amazing.
Loud music blared from a nearby stage, where bands were scheduled to
appear all day. There were tons of cool rides and games—the school
had even set up an enormous half-pipe for skateboarders. "Can you believe
how many people showed up? It's so great that the school invites the
whole neighborhood to this!"
"Just tell me when we’re back on the ground." My
good friend Kiwi Adair had her eyes squeezed right.
"Okay," I said.
"Oh, phew," Kiwi said, opening her eyes. She let
out a shriek when she saw that we were still practically
scraping the sky. "That was so mean! I can't believe
you did that to me!" She reached for the plastic water
pistol on the seat beside her and gave me a playful
squirt. "You're pure evil, Amy Flowers!"
I squirted her back. "I meant 'Okay, I'll let you
know,' not 'Okay, ride's over.'"
Our car, which was stopped at the top of the wheel,
rocked as we moved. Kiwi gave another shriek. "I can't
believe you even got me to go on this ride in the first
place! You know I'm afraid of heights!"
"What?" I spluttered as a series of short blasts
of water hit me in the face. "You're the one who talked
me into this!" Laughing, I landed a few squirts along
her ear and in her long auburn hair. We’d won
the squirt guns playing a ring-toss game, and I actually
didn't mind getting wet. It was March and already hot
in Houston. The water and the air at the top of the
Ferris wheel were refreshing.
"You should have known I was talking crazy!" Kiwi
insisted. She yelped as the wheel gave a lurch and
began to glide toward Earth. Kiwi's long tie-dyed sundress
fluttered in the breeze as she screamed all the way
As we floated down toward the waiting line, someone
shouted, "That's why you shouldn't let girls go on
a Ferris wheel!" Preston Harringford grinned up at
me. He was standing beside the metal gate, next in
line. "They'll break your eardrums!'
The wheel was still turning. Without thinking, I
reached out and squirted him in the face with my water
pistol just as we passed him.
The Ferris wheel pulled us up and into the sky, but
not before I caught a glimpse of Preston's expression:
He was shocked, amused, and—probably for the
first time in history—speechless.
In the car beside me, Kiwi's screams had turned to
laughter. "Omigosh," she said, giggling. 'Did you see
his face? That was priceless!" She held up her hand
and I gave her a high five.
The Ferris wheel stopped again. This time we were
about halfway down. "This isn't so bad," Kiwi said
slowly. "Look! Is that Mitchie on the half-pipe?"
"I think so," I said as a figure in a pink helmet
hopped onto a skateboard and took the sickening plunge
down the U-shaped ramp. Our good friend Michiko Ohara
swooshed to the top and seemed to hang in the air as
she twisted one and a half times before plummeting
toward the wooden half-pipe.
The Ferris wheel started up again, and we coasted
back toward the ground. "Oh, no!" I exclaimed.
"What?" Kiwi leaned forward so she could see what
I was looking at. It was Preston. He was waiting for
us in the same spot we'd left him.
And he had a bucket.
Kiwi and I shrieked as a tidal wave landed over our
heads, completely drenching us.
"Gotcha!" Preston called after us as we soared back
into the air.
Kiwi was laughing so hard that she could hardly catch
"I guess I should’ve thought about the fact
that we'd have to go past him again," I said sheepishly
as water dripped down my face. But I was giggling too.
Preston had gotten me good that time. He drove me crazy,
but he could also be funny.
"Oh, who cares?" Kiwi flicked her long, wet hair
out of her face. "It feels good."
My brown-and-pink sundress was stuck to my body. I
peeled it from my skin, and it ballooned outward as
the Ferris wheel made its final descent.
Preston was long gone by the time we got out of the
car. Oh, well. My squirt gun was out of ammo, anyway.
"What next?' Kiwi twisted her long hair into a knot
and tied it at the nape of her neck. I wished I could
do that. My hair was still wet, but half of it was
already turning into a frizzball in the Houston sun. "Gravitron?" She
pointed to a ride that spun you around at about a zillion
miles per hour.
"If I go on that thing, I'll be wearing the cotton
candy I just ate," I told her.
"Gross!" Kiwi replied just as a voice behind me said, "Hey,
Turning, I found myself looking directly into a familiar
pair of deep-brown eyes. It was Scott Lawton, and he
was smiling at me as he took a sip of the soda in his
hand. "I like your hair," he said. He was teasing,
of course, but his voice wasn’t mean.
"Oh yeah—the wet look is really in." Giggling
nervously, I grabbed my hair into a ponytail and tried
to twist it into something other than a cotton ball.
"So I see," Scott said, smiling at Kiwi. "What do
you think of this year's carnival?"
"Oh, I think it's great," Kiwi gushed. "Step Out
is the best."
Step Out is Allington Academy's community service
project. All the seventh and eleventh graders spend
half of the school day working for a local organization.
The school always kicks off the two weeks of work with
From Accidentally Fooled. Copyright © 2009 by Lisa Papademetriou.
All rights reserved.