Andrew Dubble, smaller than a speck of dust, flopped onto his uncle Al's wrist.
Andrew, his pocket-sized robot friend Thudd, and his thirteen-year-old cousin Judy had just been plucked from an Australian river by their uncle Al. He had come looking for them with a rowboat and a powerful searchlight.
Wowzers schnauzers! thought Andrew, bouncing on Uncle Al's skin. We're too small to see! And it's nighttime, too.
During their trip down the river, a shock from an electrical fish had shrunk them from the size of beetles to the size of bacteria.
When Uncle Al had opened their vehicle, the shiny, round Umbubble, they had tumbled out of it.
Ga-nuff . . . ga-nuff . . . ga-newww . . . Judy snored.
The shock that had made them small had also made Judy snooze.
With one hand, Andrew clutched the collar of Judy's jacket to keep her from falling off Uncle Al's wrist and into the river. With his other hand, he clung to one of Uncle Al's hairs.
Uncle Al shined his searchlight on the river.
Andrew looked up at Uncle Al. It was like looking up at the gigantic head of one of the presidents carved into Mount Rushmore.
Uncle Al's bushy eyebrows came together like two gigantic caterpillars. His frowning eyes scanned the dark ripples around his boat. "I wonder if they fell out when I opened the Umbubble," he said to himself.
"Uncle Al!" cried Andrew.
But Andrew's voice was much too small for Uncle Al to hear.
meep . . . "Purple-button time!" came a squeaky voice from Andrew's pocket. It was Thudd, Andrew's little silver robot and best friend.
In the middle of Thudd's chest were three rows of buttons with three buttons in each row. All of the buttons blinked green except for the big purple one in the middle. Pressing this button was the way Andrew, Judy, and Thudd could reach Uncle Al in an emergency.
Thudd pressed his purple button. It blinked three times and went off.
Nyeeeeeeeee . . .
The sound was close by. What's that? wondered Andrew.
Nyeeeeeeeee . . .
The sound kept getting louder.
NYEEEEEEEEEE . . .
The whining was so close and so loud that it hurt Andrew's tiny ears.
By the glare of the searchlight, Andrew made out something strange just above his head. It looked like a giant, hairy flower bud attached to a long, hairy stem. Andrew's eyes followed the stem up.
Way above, he glimpsed what was at the end of the stem--a horrible head!
"Yowzers!" he whispered. Two black eyes covered most of the head like a helmet.
Long, hairy antennas stuck out from under the eyes.
Eek! "Mosquito!" squeaked Thudd.
Suddenly the hairy bud snapped open and slammed down over Andrew and Judy!
Eek! squeaked Thudd. "Mosquito snout! Called proboscis."
Inside the darkness of the mosquito snout, Andrew and Judy were squashed between two walls. Andrew couldn't move. He tried to push the walls.
"Youch!" he said. The walls had razor-sharp edges, like blades.
The snout began to shove Andrew and Judy along Uncle Al's skin.
Eek! squeaked Thudd. "Mosquito look for good place to bite! Look for tiny blood tube called capillary. Near top of skin."
"What if Uncle Al swats the mosquito?" asked Andrew. "He'll crush us, too."
meep . . . "Mosquito light, light, light!" said Thudd. "Human not feel anything yet."
Ga-nufff . . . ga-nufff . . . ga-newww . . . snored Judy. She squirmed as though she were having a bad dream.
"Androoooo?" she said sleepily.
"Jeepers creepers!" said Andrew. "You've been asleep for a long time!"
Judy rubbed her eyes. "Where are we?" she asked. "Where's Uncle Al?"
"Um," Andrew began. But just then, the blades inside the snout started sawing into Uncle Al's skin!
Andrew sniffed a coppery smell. Blood! he thought.
Eek! "Mosquito snout gonna push Drewd and Oody inside Uncle Al!" squeaked Thudd. "Drewd got Schnozzle?"
Andrew shoved a hand into one of his pants pockets. He quickly pulled out two pairs of black goggles with noses attached and mustaches underneath. He handed one pair to Judy.
"Put on the Schnozzle, Judy!" said Andrew.
Judy pushed her face into Andrew's. "This isn't Halloween, Bug-Brain!" she yelled.
meep . . . "Quick! Quick! Quick!" said Thudd.
Andrew shoved the Schnozzle over his nose and hooked the earpieces behind his ears.
The blades of the mosquito's proboscis were sawing deeper and deeper into Uncle Al's skin. Andrew and Judy were on the very edge of the hole. One of the blades caught on Andrew's jacket and dragged him into the hole.
"Yowzers!" yelled Andrew.
"Aaaaaack!" hollered Judy, tumbling in after him.
A blasting spray drove them down and down. Without another scream, Andrew and Judy disappeared beneath Uncle Al's skin.
Copyright © 2007 by J.C. Greenburg. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.