A modern re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz!
Zippy Green never meant to fall in love with a girl, but when she does, her ultra-conservative father tries to send her to anti-gay camp. At the Kansas City airport, however, she hides inside a giant suitcase and sneaks onto an airplane headed not to the camp, but to Seattle, where her online love Mira lives. Halfway through the flight, the plane barrels out of control and crashes into the ground, knocking her unconscious.
When Zippy awakens, she finds that most of the passengers have vanished. She doesn’t know what’s happened, but she’s determined to find out. She begins a quest on foot toward Seattle, and along the way, she meets a teenager with a concussion, a homeless man with a heart condition, a child without a shred of bravery, and a terrier named Judy. Together the group discovers that more than two-thirds of the world's population have mysteriously disappeared. But that's only the beginning...
All Zippy wants is to find her Mira, but before she can she has to contend with two outside forces. The first is her homophobic father, who does everything in his power to keep her from the girl she loves. And the second is extinct creatures of all shapes and sizes, including living, breathing dinosaurs, which have replaced the missing population.
Two hours into my flight to Seattle, I unzipped part of the suitcase and breathed in the cold, stuffy air.
The actual liftoff had been less traumatic than I expected. I had to cover my ears when the engines roared to life, but the speed of the plane and the long climb into the air didn’t impact me any more than if I had been a passenger in coach.
I had no idea if I could pull off the Seattle end of my master plan—I didn't have Mira's phone number and wouldn't be able to call her—but I was ecstatic at the thought of seeing her. She didn’t know I was on my way, of course. She didn’t even know I had been sentenced to gay rehab.
What would Mira say to me if she knew what I was up to? I wished I had access to a laptop and a modem so I could sign onto AOL and instant message her, right there in the cargo area of the Boeing 737.
I imagined our conversation going like this:
SparkleFlower: Z! Where have you been?
zippitydoodah: Not enough time to explain. I have a surprise for you.
SparkleFlower: Oh I love surprises.
zippitydoodah: Can you be at the Seattle airport in an hour?
SparkleFlower: What? Why?
zippitydoodah: I'm on my way to see you.
SparkleFlower: Shut up.
zippitydoodah: Mira, I'm serious.
SparkleFlower: No you're not.
zippitydoodah: I'm an hour away. I swear!
SparkleFlower: Oh my God. Oh my God, I am freaking out!
zippitydoodah: I am, too. I'm so excited!
SparkleFlower: I have to get ready!
zippitydoodah: Hurry! One more hour!
SparkleFlower: I'm coming. Oh my God, Z. We're finally gonna meet.
zippitydoodah: I know. But before we do there's something I want you to know.
SparkleFlower: Okay, what?
zippitydoodah: I've been thinking it a lot lately.
SparkleFlower: What is it?
zippitydoodah: Mira, I think I might be in lo—
The turbulence broke me out of my daydream. I opened my eyes to see a dozen suitcases slide from the right side of the cargo area to the left. I stayed put for a few seconds, but then started tipping over.
“What the hell?” I whispered.
“What the hell?” I whispered.
I didn’t have time to lift my arms to protect myself. The suitcase slammed against a golf bag, then tumbled up against the wall.
“Oww! What! What’s going—”
The plane spun out of control. I screamed, and reached for the zipper, but I was too late. All the suitcases launched toward the ceiling, including mine. I stayed in the air for what seemed like a full minute, then soared back down and crashed against the metal floor.
I started crying, hyperventilating. The plane was barreling toward the ground. I was seconds away from dying, and I didn’t even know why. Had something happened to the engine? The pilot?
The suitcase launched back up toward the ceiling and spun through the air, from the left to the right, and back down again, like I was being bounced around a pinball machine.
I didn’t know if I was safer inside or outside the suitcase, but in my panic I grabbed hold of the zipper and tore it open. I looked out in full for the first time. At least fifty pieces of luggage were getting tossed around the cargo area, like sheets of paper in a wind tunnel.
The plane barreled to the right and catapulted me from the suitcase down toward the metal floor. A large animal carrier smashed against my shins.
The end was coming, faster and faster, as the plane plummeted. I peered into the carrier to see a little white dog staring back at me.
When I closed my eyes for the final time, two warm tears rolled down my aching cheeks.
“Mira… I love you… I love you… I—”
The plane collided against the Earth, and I launched forward, struck my head against the cargo door, and blacked out.
Author Web Site: http://brianrowebooks.
Over the Rainbow on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/
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