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Paul and Gianna #2
Chapter 2: The First Human Flight
Wednesday morning, Gianna woke up to the sound of her alarm clock shrilling. She quickly turned off the alarm and threw back the covers. Gianna slipped on her jeans and favorite blue T-shirt with Captain America’s shield on it. After tying her unruly, fire-red hair into two ponytails, she went to get Paul downstairs. She opened Paul’s bedroom door. He was still sleeping. Gianna ran into his room, climbed onto his bed, and jumped on him. Paul yelped in surprise, black hair standing on end, blue eyes flashing.
“Gianna, we talked about this! You said you would stop it!”
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“I’m sorry, Paul, but we’re gonna be late for co-op!”
The twins ran downstairs to the kitchen. Gianna quickly grabbed their backpacks.
“What are the pair of you doing?” asked a woman.
Gianna turned around. It was their mom, Elizabeth Evans. She was tall, pale, slender, and beautiful. Her short, black hair curled under her chin. Her bright, green eyes sparkled.
“Hi, Mom,” said Gianna. “We’re going to science class.”
“I thought I told you there was no class today,” Mrs. Evans replied. “Must’ve forgotten.”
“There isn’t?” said Paul.
“No,” Mrs. Evans said.
“Why not?” asked Gianna.
“Because,” explained Mrs. Evans, “she assigned two and a half weeks for you to work on your science fair project.”
When Gianna heard this, she extended her arms to the sky and yelled, “Yes! This is great, Paul! We’re in a science fair! For the very first time!”
Gianna ran around the room, cheering and jumping for joy. “This is awesome! A science fair! We need to do well on this project! Our absolute best! Which means we have to start working on it today! Come on, Paul, let’s go! Bye, Mom, I love you!”
Gianna then bolted toward the stairs.
“Don’t you want breakfast first?” came Mrs. Evans’ voice from behind her.
“Don’t worry, Mom! I don’t need anything, but Paul might!”
“Don’t you have other school subjects?”
“No worries, Mom. I got ahead!”
Gianna continued to run up the stairs until she reached her bedroom. She sprinted over to her cabinet. Opening the doors, she began scouring for ingredients. Footsteps sounded behind her.
“You’re really excited about this, aren’t you?” came Paul’s voice.
Gianna turned. “Yes, because this is exciting! I’ve always wanted to be in one! I’ve even thought of our project already.”
“So, what is your idea?” asked Paul.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for the last month,” she began, “and I thought we could, y’know, kill two birds with one stone.”
“You aren’t seriously suggesting we present the super jump potion, are you?”
“Well, I don’t see any problem with it,” Gianna said as she took out the ingredients.
“Gianna, there’s a reason why it still isn’t ready: It always explodes or malfunctions. Remember last week when all your hair fell off and I shrunk until I was hobbit-size?”
She thoughtfully touched the top of her head. “My head looked so small without my hair. Well, we’ll just be more careful and precise.”
Paul sighed. “Alright, but if one of us gets hurt-”
“And we won’t.”
“-then it’s off, alright?”
“Nothing will happen, 'kay, Paul? I promise. Cross my heart and hope to- well, not to die, I don’t hope to die. I dunno why that expression was made. Maybe to show they were very serious about promises, but why not ‘cross my heart and hope to hurt?’ Yeah, that sounds better, cross my heart and hope to hurt. Could you get my notebook, please?”
After Paul found the potion notebook, Gianna began taking out the alcohol lamp and her chemistry set and set them on the old, wooden table. Then, they went to work. Paul and Gianna put on safety goggles. Gianna lit the alcohol lamp and opened her notebook to the appropriate page.
“Okay, we need calcium powder.”
Paul handed her a jar of white powder. Gianna measured out two teaspoons and dumped it into a bowl. She added a fourth of a cup of water and began stirring.
“Sodium chloride, please,” said Gianna, holding out her hand.
“Why do you not just say ‘salt’?” Paul asked, handing it to her.
“Sounds more professional.”
Measuring a fourth of a teaspoon, Gianna dumped the salt in and stirred it vigorously. The potion brewing took days, mainly because there were inconveniences. The first potion batch made Gianna mute. Paul thought it was really strange, since he was used to hearing her talk for hours at a time without running out of breath. Their second attempt, Paul’s legs turned invisible. The third exploded before they could finish it. The fourth batch made little bird wings grow out of Paul’s back. The fifth try, Gianna’s hair grew until she collapsed under its weight.
“Now I know how Rapunzel must’ve felt,” Gianna said after Paul cut her hair. “If I were her, I’d never want to have a hundred feet of hair; It’s insanely heavy.”
“This is the fifth detour, Gianna,” Paul said, trying to stuff Gianna’s massive red hair into the garbage can. “The science fair is tomorrow. We better get the super jump potion--ngh--done or we fail the assignment.”
“Don’t worry, Paul, I have a good feeling about this time,” Gianna said, rubbing her hands together.
“That’s what you said last time,” Paul said, shoving the garbage can lid on with difficulty, “and literally every time before that.”
“Yes, but I think I’ve figured out where we went wrong. We didn’t put in enough baking soda.” Gianna took the pot full of the rest of the potion and added more baking soda. She stirred it and the potion changed from purple to periwinkle.
“Now, to test it. Whoa, it’s almost nine. Paul, you better get in bed. I’ll test the potion and make last minute changes to it.”
“Are you sure you don’t need help?”
“Yeah, I can do it by myself.”
“Alright, see you tomorrow.”
Paul then closed the door to his room and went to bed. Because she was so tired and worn out, Gianna completely forgot what she was doing. Gianna then climbed into bed and within a few minutes, she drifted off. She was awakened by Paul who was shaking her.
“So,” she said, “I can’t wake you up, but you can wake me up?”
“I had to,” Paul said. “Remember, the science fair?”
“Good grief, I forgot!”
Gianna quickly grabbed her backpack and two jump potion vials and then ran downstairs to meet Paul who was snatching Pop-tarts for both of them. They ran to the garage, hopped onto their bikes, and pedaled down Maple Tree Street, then up Elementary Road where St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church was. They sprinted to the classroom and took their seats.
Mrs. Helen Sparrow was now telling them to get out of their projects. She was tall, thin, and wore high heels which made her even taller. She had dirty blonde hair which she pulled back into a large bun. Around her hazel eyes were rectangular glasses.
“So, Gianna,” Paul began, taking out the potion vials, “did you ever test the potion?”
“Uh, I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure it works,” Gianna reassured. “Say, forty or fifty percent-”
“Oh, no!” Paul hissed fearfully. “This is really bad! There’s a chance we could die!”
“It’s okay, we’ll figure something out. Don’t worry Paul, everything’s going to be all-”
Mrs. Sparrow called for attention. Each student was to come to the front of the classroom and present their project when they were called. Mrs. Sparrow began calling up one student at a time. One had a model of the solar system that spun around. Another, a giant DNA structure. The projects went on and on and Gianna applauded for each and every one of them. At last, Mrs. Sparrow called Paul and Gianna forward.
“What have you made today?” asked Mrs. Sparrow.
“We have a hypothesis that with a little help, the muscles can be strengthened. We are focusing on the one’s in our legs.” Gianna picked up the vial. “This should help that. Observe.”
Paul and Gianna gulped down the potions. Aside from Gianna getting a disgusting taste in her mouth, nothing happened. Suddenly, Gianna’s hand began to tremble. Soon, her whole body did, too. Gianna tried to stop but it did not help. She looked at Paul and noticed he was experiencing the same.
Nervously, Paul said, “Uh, Gianna?”
Suddenly, Gianna felt an upward jerking motion. She felt herself being hurtled up into the air by a great force. Wind brushed across her face. Gianna screamed and shut her eyes. Then, she came to an abrupt stop. Carefully, Gianna opened one eye. She saw. . .clouds! She opened the other and looked down. Yes, she was in the sky! Gianna shouted for joy.
“This is awesome!” Kicking her legs, she flew to the left.
“Whoa!” She put her hands behind her back, and she stopped. Jubilant, Gianna kicked off and zoomed through the clouds, back and forth, left and right, up and down.
“Eureka!” she shouted. Soon, she found Paul who was floating there, terrified.
“Isn’t this great?!” she exclaimed. “We can fly! Like Peter Pan or Superman!”
“Yeah, but what about when this wears off?” Paul asked.
“It lasts for an hour or two,” Gianna returned. “Come on, why don’t you try it out?”
“I don’t know how to-”
“It’s very easy, Paul! Kick your legs to go, lean left and right to change your direction, and put your hands behind you to stop.”
Gianna grabbed Paul’s hand and zoomed off.
“Whoooa! Gianna, slow down!” Paul yelled, but she continued at full speed.
When Paul stopped yelling, Gianna slowly let go of Paul’s hand. The two raced back and forth across the azure sky, dodging the puffy clouds, whooping. Suddenly, Paul stopped.
“People are probably wondering where we are!” he exclaimed.
“Race you down!”
Gianna kicked off and began dive-bombing toward the land, Paul following close behind. The small building was getting steadily larger. Small blotches were scattered across the churchyard. They were the students of the class. Faster than meteorites, Paul and Gianna dove until they landed on the grass. The students were all standing there, their mouths wide open. Suddenly, they broke out into a cheer.
“That was amazing!” exclaimed Gianna, biking back home. “We have to remember the formula for that.”
Paul chuckled. “That was amazing. I’m confused though; How exactly did that happen?”
Gianna shrugged. “Too much baking soda, I guess.”
“Why would that make us fly, though?”
“Well, baking soda makes things rise. . .”
Paul laughed. “Gianna, that’s only for baking!”
“Shame we didn’t get a grade on our project,” Gianna sighed.
“Well, Mrs. Sparrow did faint, Gianna.”
“Do you think we might get an ‘A?’ ”
“I don’t know.”
“Because we scared the life out of her and left a hole in the church roof?”
“Yes-- wait, we did what?!”
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