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Sliding on Rainbows
Jeanette Cottrell
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Crystal’s little sister Lissie is weird. The whole school knows it. But when Lissie suddenly starts acting normal, Crystal knows there’s something terrible wrong. With help from a skateboarder, an elf, and a wombat, Crystal faces a fantasy world of goblins and elves to save Lissie from herself.

From the top of the mist, a rainbow rose. It curved higher, closer and closer to us. The end of the rainbow, with bands as distinct and clear as huge ropes of licorice, settled mistily on the ledge at our feet.

I couldn’t believe it.

I had to believe it.

I couldn’t.

I stretched out a trembling finger, and tried to touch the rainbow. My hand went through it, and hit the ground. I cleared my throat. “So,” I croaked. “Now what?”

Miguel kicked his skateboard, apparently hoping the path would run down the rainbow. The path crooked right over the edge, just as it had the last time. He studied the rainbow, like he’d studied the Chief’s skate park. He moved up to the edge.

“Miguel, don’t be an idiot. You’ll die!”

Chewy nudged me, and I hugged her tightly, burying my face in her fur. She was warm and somehow soft and bristly at the same time. Chewy pulled away and sniffed at the rainbow. She chirped in satisfaction, and hopped onto the red band.

“Chewy!” I screamed. I snatched at her, and missed.

Chewy slid down the red band of the rainbow, like a child on a slide. In no time at all, she disappeared into the mists. I stammered in shock, but Miguel jumped on his skateboard and hopped onto the red band.

“Yes!” he yelled. His grin split his face. He threw both arms out to balance, shifted his stance, and swooped off after Chewy.

“But…but….” I scooted closer and groped for the red band. I could see it, but I couldn’t touch it. “It’s not there! How can they...” My spit dried up, and the words trailed off into nothing.

Haldir pulled his board from his pack, anticipation flooding his face.

“Chip, don’t leave me!”

He dragged his eyes away from the rainbow, the look of glee fading. “Crystal, it’s here. You can see it! Joey’s rainbows always work.”

“We could see the Turbo Wombat, but he wasn’t real!”

“That was different.”

How could it be different? There wasn’t such a thing as a Turbo Wombat. It wasn’t real. And you couldn’t slide down rainbows, no matter what the Oz books said. It was obvious. It was clear--Crystal-clear!

“Crystal, you came through on a rainbow, just like this one. You saw Miguel and Chewy just now. It worked. Come on. Pick a color!”

My hands shook as they tested one color after the other. It was like trying to touch the beam of a flashlight. Where’s a bathroom when you need one?

“If you believe it, Crystal, it’s real.”

“Okay,” I said. “I’ll believe it.” The green band was in the middle. Maybe that was safer. I pushed out a foot, and it froze in mid-air. I felt hot and cold at the same time. “Catch me if I fall, Haldir!”

I jumped forward--and plummeted. For an endless moment, I lived all of the nightmares of a thousand nights. Wind whistled past my ears, and jagged rocks reached out to catch me and batter me into bloody hunks. “Lissie!” I screamed.

Jeanette Cottrell teaches computer classes in an Oregon high school. She lives with her husband, two sons, dog, and cat. Herman the pink elephant flies in occasionally as well. Sliding on Rainbows is her second novel.

Fiction Books :: Coming of Age Books

ISBN: 1590887751
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590887752
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 174
Paper Weight (lb): 7.6

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