Cassidy smiled. Of all her friends, she had been sure that Janet would be the most likely to believe her story. From the table at the café where she sat, she scanned the street looking for a likely victim. "See that couple standing on the corner over there?" she said, pointing with her chin.
Janet turned to see the young lovers standing arm in arm, waiting for the light to change. "Yeah," she nodded.
"Well," she said, massaging the ring on her finger, "he’s a fireplug." She smiled as she watched the man disappear with a "pop", replaced a second later by a little red hydrant. The girl with him shouted out his name as she looked down at her former boyfriend.
"Holy shit!" Janet exclaimed, turning back to look at Cassidy with a look of wonder.
"And she’s a garbage can," Cassidy added.
Her friend turned back just in time to watch the girl’s transformation into a wire basket full of discarded paper. The crowd of people on the corner quickly moved away, afraid of sharing the young couple’s fate.
Janet turned back to her friend again. "And that ring lets you do that?" she asked.
Cassidy held up her hand for Janet to see. "Yep," she grinned. "It belonged to my grandmother. Been in the family for years."
"How does it work?"
"Who knows," Cassidy told her, "and who cares. It works, and that’s all I need to know."
Janet stared at the ring with a strange expression for a few moments before looking into her friend’s eyes. "Can I try it?" she asked.
Cassidy grinned, happy to see that her suspicions about Janet weren’t unfounded. "Sure," she said, slipping the ring off her finger and handing it to her friend.
The other girl took the ring and held it in her palm for almost a full minute before slipping it onto her own finger. Cassidy waited patiently, letting her friend move at her own pace. Finally, Janet looked up and asked, "So, who should I change?"
Cassidy looked around the café. "How about that waitress over there?" she suggested, nodding at the young woman taking an older couple’s order.
"Okay," Janet agreed. "How do I do this? And what should I turn her into?"
"You just say what you want her to become, and…poof!…she'll become it. I’ll let you decide what that should be."
Janet thought for a few seconds. "Okay," she nodded, "then, she’s a potted plant."
A second later, the waitress was gone, and a small porcelain pot with a peace lily in it stood in her place. The old woman at the table let out a scream and fainted, drawing the attention of the entire restaurant.
Janet threw her hand over her mouth to stop herself from laughing. "I did it," she said through her fingers.
"Yes, you did," Cassidy nodded.
"Can I change her back?"
"Nope," Cassidy told her. "I’ve tried to do that a couple of times, but it never worked. Once you change someone, they stay changed."
Janet looked a little unsure about this latest piece of news. "Isn’t that bad?"
"Why?" Cassidy smiled. "What’s the use of being able to change a person into a plant if you can’t leave them that way."
just shook her head, smiling at her friend. "Cassidy," she said in
a less than serious tone, "you’re something else."
And just like that, she was.