“Please, Paul,” Corrie begged, following her brother into the living room of his apartment. “You’ve got to help me out here. I hardly know this girl.”
“And whose fault is that, Sis?” her brother said without turning. He went to the desk where he kept his wallet and keys, gathering them up. “I mean, Hollie’s only been my assistant for the last three years. It’s not like she hasn’t been around.”
“Well,” Corrie told him, leaning against the desk, “if I’d known that you were going to marry her someday, maybe I’d have paid her more attention.”
Paul looked up at his sister as if he wanted to say something. Instead, he just sighed. “Look, Corrie. I’ve already told you. You don’t have to do anything special for Hollie’s bachelorette party. She’s a simple girl with simple tastes. She’d probably be happy if all you did was get together with her and the other girls. Maybe watch a movie or something.”
Corrie made a huffing sound. “Bor-ring,” she spat out. She stood up and walked over to the entertainment center on the far wall, scanning the collection of DVDs on the shelf. “Figures,” she said. “All you ever watch are those silly fantasy movies with fake wizards and sh…” She stopped as a section of discs caught her attention. “Hey,” she said, pulling one out, “when did you get into cartoons?”
“Huh?” Paul turned to look at her in confusion. She held up the DVD for him to see. It was a collection of Tom & Jerry shorts. “Oh, those aren’t mine. They’re Hollie’s. She can’t get enough of ‘em.”
Corrie raised an eyebrow at him. “Really?” She turned back to the shelf, pulling out another of the animation discs.
“Yeah,” he replied, taking his coat off its hook by the door. “Look,” he went on. “I have to go down to my agent’s office to sign some papers. You’re welcome to hang out here if you want. Lock the door if you leave, okay.”
“Sure.” She never looked up at him, but she did give him a dismissive wave. Just shaking his head, he went out the door. Meanwhile, Corrie continued her exploration of Hollie’s DVD collection. After a few minutes, she looked up in thought. “Interesting,” she said to herself.
“All I’m saying,” Michelle said, as Hollie unlocked the door, “is that I just don’t believe this was her idea. That’s all.”
Hollie just smiled as she pushed the door back. One by one, her four fellow assistants entered her apartment. She followed them in and shut the door behind her.
“You have to admit that she’s got a point, Hollie,” Crystal said. “Granted, we’ve only known Corrie for a few weeks. Still, a quiet evening in watching movies? Hardly seems like her style.”
“I know,” Hollie admitted, dropping her keys into her purse. She placed it on the desk next to the door. “To be perfectly honest, I figure she got the idea from Paul. But the point is, she’s trying. So, let’s give her a chance, okay?” She watched as her friends shared a silent conversation, then nodded agreement. “Thanks, guys.”
“So,” Michelle said, leaning against the arm of the couch, “when does the tall witch get here?”
Hollie gave her a stern look, which only got her a crooked smile back. “I’m not sure,” she said after a short sigh. “I told her that we should be back from the race by now. I guess she’ll be here shortly.”
“Great,” Tiffany announced, picking up her gym bag. “That gives me time to take a shower.”
“Good,” Crystal teased. “I was afraid we were going to have to smell you all night.”
“Well,” Tiffany shot back, “I’d like to see how fresh you’d be after a 5K run.”
Jokingly, she swung the bag at her friend, who quickly moved out of the way. Unfortunately, that left the potted plant on the side table unprotected. The bag hit it solidly and it fell straight to the floor, spilling dirt all over the carpet.
For a few moments, everyone just stared at the mess on the floor. Finally, Tiffany spoke up. “Oh, crap. Hollie, I’m so sorry.”
Hollie gave her a little wave. “It’s not a big deal,” she told her. “You go on ahead and get your shower. I’ll clean this mess up.”
“The hell you will,” Michelle spat out. Everyone looked at the shortest assistant. “Look, Hollie, I know this is your apartment, but tonight you’re the guest of honor. And as such, you shouldn’t have to be picking up after anybody.”
“Yeah, you’ll get enough of that after you’re married,” Kristina put in.
“Exactly,” Michelle agreed with a grin. “So, you just sit back and let us handle things.” She turned to Tiffany. “Go shower, Tiff. I’ve got this. Where do you keep your vacuum, Hollie?”
Hollie couldn’t help but smile. Leave it to Michelle to take charge. “In the hall closet,” she replied, sitting down on her couch.
“Got it,” Michelle said, giving Hollie a thumbs-up and following Tiffany into the hallway. A few moments later, she returned with the vacuum cleaner. It was one of those new style uprights with a clear container instead of a bag. As she unwound the power cord, she turned to Kristina. “Why don’t you go and get the popcorn and drinks ready?”
“You got it, Boss,” the younger girl said with a sharp salute She winked at Hollie before heading off to the kitchen.
“What about me?” Crystal asked. “What can I do?”
“For starters,” Michelle told her, “you can open that shade. I could use a bit more light here.”
“No problem,” the dark haired girl replied, going across to the window.
Hollie sat back and watched as Michelle plugged the cord into the wall. As she came back over, light from the opened shade flooded the area where the plant lay on the floor. “Thanks, Crystal,” Michelle said, coming back over to the vacuum. “That’s much better.”
Hollie turned to the window, intending to share a smile with Crystal. However, she was brought up short by what she saw there. Or rather what she didn’t see. Because, though the open window with the rolled up shade was in plain sight, Crystal was nowhere to be seen. Hollie looked around the room in confusion, wondering where the girl had gotten to. If she had gone into the kitchen to help Kristina, surely she would have seen her go by. Had she gone down the hall for some reason?
Maybe Michelle saw where she went, she thought. She turned to the other girl. But before she could say a word, Michelle clicked on the vacuum, drowning out any chance of her asking about Crystal. With a frown, she again looked over at the unoccupied window. There was something odd about it, but she couldn’t figure out what. Frustrated, she sat back to wait for Michelle to finish.
Meanwhile, Michelle, oblivious to Crystal’s apparent disappearance, calmly ran the vacuum over the carpet. She started at the edge of the spilled dirt furthest away from the overturned flower pot and moved in toward it.
When all that was left was the dirt right around the pot, she squatted down on her heels. She reached down, intending to pick it up and put it back on the side table. But as her hand came close to the edge of the running vacuum cleaner, it was suddenly sucked inside.
Michelle only had a second to looked confused by this turn of events before the rest of her was sucked in behind it.
It was so fast that, at first, Hollie didn’t realize what had happened. Once she did, however, she was surprised to find that she could replay every detail of Michelle’s plight back in her mind. From the girl’s hand going under the vacuum, followed quickly by the rest of her, to the hose that ran from the brush attachment to the dirt container expanding out in a vaguely female shape as Michelle was pulled through, and finally, to the container filling to capacity with her surprised friend. Hollie could replay it all in her head.
And she still couldn’t make herself believe that she actually saw it.
Slowly, she got up from the couch and walked over for a closer look. The vacuum had an auto-shut-off feature, and apparently a four foot five inch tall young woman was more than enough to engage it, as it stood silently next to overturned plant. Still, Hollie didn’t get too close to it, just in case it was still hungry.
Leaning around, her eyes focused on the clear plastic dirt container. Inside, she saw Michelle. The girl’s face was pressed tight against the inside wall, her eyes staring back at Hollie with a combination of confusion and anger. She had to be uncomfortable in there, Hollie figured. After all, while it was a large capacity container, it was never meant to hold anything a big as Michelle. She had to be packed in there pretty tight.
She looks like a cartoon character in there, Hollie remarked to herself. At the thought, an involuntary giggle came to her. She quickly cut it off, bringing her hand to her mouth. She turned away from the vacuum for a second to pull herself back together, before turning back to apologize.
When she did, she noticed for the first time that not all of Michelle had been sucked into the vacuum cleaner. Standing next to it, as if nothing had happened, were her two-inch heels. The girl had literally been snatched right out of her shoes. Hollie stared down at them for a few more seconds, Michelle’s situation temporarily forgotten. Something about them sitting there empty seemed familiar, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on what.
And then, it hit her.
Leaving Michelle trapped, she moved back over to the couch, her eyes going back to the uncovered window. Sure enough, sitting on the floor in front of it was Crystal’s sneakers, looking as if someone had neatly placed them there. Hollie realized now that they must have been there earlier when she had been trying to figure out what had happened to the other girl. That was what had seemed off to her then, but it wasn’t until she had seen Michelle’s shoes next to the vacuum that it had registered.
Slowly, she moved over to the window, staring at the sneakers as she went. Could it be, she wondered, her eyes lifting to the rolled up shade at the top of the window. She glanced back over to Michelle, who remained compressed inside the vacuum’s container. The girl’s eyes stared back at her, obviously wondering why she hadn’t been set free yet.
Hollie knew that she should do something to help her friend, but her curiosity got the better of her. She just had to see if she was right about what had happened to Crystal. So, she turned back to the window and reached for the pull string that hung down from the shade. She hesitated nervously, before finally taking it in her hand and pulling the shade down.
Sure enough, there was Crystal. The dark-haired girl had been reduced to a flattened image on the face of the shade. She stood staring straight ahead with a shocked expression on her face. Her legs were tight together, while her arms were held straight down by her sides with her hands bend ninety degrees to her body. Only the girl’s eyes, which blinked a few times in obvious confusion, gave away the fact that she was more than just a printed image on the flat shade.
Though she had expected to find Crystal there, Hollie still had a hard time believing that the girl had drawn up into the shade. After all, that kind of thing only happens in…
She stopped as she realized what she had been thinking. She turned quickly, staring at Michelle stuffed unnaturally inside the vacuum cleaner. Beyond that, she could see the entertainment center where she and Paul stored their individual DVD collections. Turning back, she again took in Crystal’s flattened form on the shade.
“…in cartoons,” she whispered softly, completing her earlier thought. She considered that a bit more before turning to the side so that she could address both of her friends at once. “Look, girls,” she said. “I don’t know how this happened, but don’t worry. I do know how to…”
A panicked cry came from the kitchen, cutting her off sharply.
Hollie spun to look in that direction. “Kristina,” she said before rushing off across the room. Behind her, she didn’t see her two trapped friends share a look of frustration at being left in their respective situations.
Hollie practically slide to a stop as she went through the doorway that led to the kitchen. “Kristina!” she shouted looking around frantically.. “What happ…” She stopped at the sight before her. Kristina stood in front of the sink, looking down at herself while she dripped water onto the kitchen floor. “What happened?” Hollie asked again.
The youngest assistant looked up at her, obviously trying to get herself under control. “Your sink exploded on me,” she said with forced calm.
“Yeah,” Kristina went on, turning back to face the sink. “I was just trying to refill these ice trays, and when I cut on the water…” She held her hands out so that Hollie could examine her. “…it soaked me.”
Soaked? Hollie repeated to herself. Drenched is more like it. The girl was literally covered in water from head to toe. There wasn’t a part of her body – from the top of her head to the end of her toes – that wasn’t dripping onto the floor at her feet. Even if she had dumped a bucket of water over her head, Hollie didn’t think she could have gotten the girl as wet as she was right then.
Still, considering what had happened to Michelle and Crystal, she had to admit that Kristina had gotten off light. With a sigh of relief, she asked, “Do you have anything to change into with you?”
“No,” Kristina replied, her frustration growing.
Hollie smiled at her. “Well, no problem,” she told the girl. “It might be a bit tight in places, but you can wear one of my sleepshirts until we can get your clothes dry.”
For a second, Hollie thought she’d get some more argument. But slowly, Kristina’s angry expression softened, and she returned her friend’s smile. “Okay,” she told her, turning to pick up the ice trays from the sink. She moved the short distance over to the refrigerator and sat them on the counter next to it. “Just let me put these away first,” she said, reaching for the door of the freezer.
Hollie’s eyes shot open. “Uh, Kristina…” she started, trying to warn the other woman.
But she was too late. Kristina casually pulled open the freezer door and turned to get the trays off the counter. As she did, a burst of cold air blasted out of the open freezer, catching the girl in mid-reach.
This time it happened so fast, that Hollie missed the details. One second, Kristina was a young woman, wet but mobile. The next, with a short, sharp sound that reminded Hollie of someone stepping onto a pile of broken glass, she was a statue of ice, dry but static. Even the small puddle of water that had pooled at her feet had frozen, forming a base that kept her from falling over.
Well, Hollie thought, at least she got to keep her shoes on.
With a resigned sigh, she went over for a closer look, though she was careful to close the freezer door before she got too close. She slowly circled around behind the frozen girl. Kristina was pure white ice from head to toe. Her shoulder length auburn hair had been blow back by the freezer blast and remained behind her as a solid wave, tiny icicles hanging from a few wild strands.
Coming around, Hollie saw that the Kristina’s eyes were able to follow her, pleading her for help. She stopped in front of her outstretched hands and gave the girl an apologetic shrug before looking down her frozen body. When she did, she saw that the cold blast had had another effect of the girl besides freezing her. Apparently, Kristina hadn’t bothered with a bra that morning, as two sharp tips were clearly visible through the front of her frozen t-shirt.
The sight of another icicle hanging off the left tip was too much for Hollie, and another unwanted giggle escaped her lips. Instantly, she bit it back and looked back up into the frozen woman’s eyes. Kristina’s expression had darkened considerably.
“Oh,” Hollie said defensively, “don’t give me that look. I tried to warn you. Besides, you’re a lot better off than Crystal and Michelle. You should see what happened to--” Suddenly, she stopped as she thought of something. “Oh my god!” she spat out. “Tiffany!”
Without another word, she took off, leaving Kristina standing where she was. She did toss off a quick “Be right back” to the two girls stuck in the living room, but didn’t stop to explain anything as she rushed straight into the hallway. A second later, she found herself again sliding to a halt, this time outside the closed bathroom door.
Taking just a second to catch her breath, she knocked cautiously on the door. “Tiffany?” she called through it. Maybe it was the fact that she had just been standing next to a frozen solid Kristina. Or it might have just been a result of her nervous anxiety. But as she waited for a reply, she couldn’t help but notice the amount of heat coming through the door.
When she didn’t get an answer, she knocked again, louder this time. Again, no answer. By then, Hollie was actually sweating from the heat. Biting her lip, she reached down and took the doorknob in her hand. Hoping that all she was about to do was embarrass her friend, she opened the bathroom door.
A billowing cloud of steam rushed forth, forcing Hollie to step back out of the way. If she thought the heat coming through the door had been intensive, the air coming out of it was like a sauna. Based on what had happened to the other girls, Hollie found it hard to believe that much heat couldn’t have had some effect on the girl in the bathroom. Oh god! she thought. What if she melted. She’ll go down the drain.
“Tiffany!” she shouted at the top of her lungs, rushing over to the door and trying to see through the heavy steam. But it was useless. It was just too thick. She was just about to risk going into the bathroom herself when she felt something tugging on her pants leg. Impatiently, she glanced down to see what she was hung on, her eyes going wide at what she found.
Standing just outside the door with a pair of panties around her like a sheet was a twelve inch tall Tiffany. Seeing that her friend was relatively unharmed, Hollie let out a breath she hadn’t been aware that she was holding.
Tiffany, meanwhile, was looking back at her. She was obviously talking, but Hollie could barely hear her. So, she bent down and offered Tiffany her hand. The miniaturized girl turned and sat in her palm, pulling the panties around her as best she could. Standing back up, Hollie turned around and let Tiffany get off onto a bookshelf that she and Paul kept in the hallway. It put the shrunken girl at just about eye level with her.
“Are you okay?” Hollie asked her.
“What do you think?” Tiffany squeaked in a voice that was a few octaves higher than usual.
Hollie fought the urge to giggle again. “Can I get you anything?” she asked instead.
“Two things, actually,” the Barbie-sized girl told her. “First, if it’s not too much trouble, could you fetch me my clean panties from my bag off the sink. Once I realized that I was shrinking, I barely had time to get out of the shower before I was too small to reach them. These are the ones that I wore during the race this afternoon, and they’re not really…” She took a second to sniff at them. “…fresh.”
This time, Hollie did smile. “I think I might be able to do better than oversized underwear for you in that regard. What’s the other thing?”
“An explanation,” Tiffany answered. “What the hell happened to me here, Hollie?’
“Magic, apparently,” the taller – much taller, in fact – girl replied. “And it’s not just you. All the other girls are in similar situations right now.”
“Magic?” Tiffany repeated, with a raised eyebrow. “Who’s magic?”
“Well,” Hollie said with a sigh, “if I had to guess, I’d say…”
“Surprise!” a voice cried out from behind her.
“…Corrie,” Hollie went on, finishing her statement. She took a minute to collect herself before she turned to face her future sister-in-law. “So, how long have you been here?”
“Oh, ever since you girls got here,” the tall witch answered. “Before, actually. After all, I had to get your present ready, didn’t I?”
“My present,” Hollie repeated, taking in the expensive red velour dress that the woman was wearing. A bit fancy for a casual night of watching movies, she commented to herself.
“That’s right,” Corrie nodded with a big smile. She stared into the open bathroom doorway, fanning away some final traces of steam that came through it. “Let me tell you something, Hollie Dear. You’re not exactly the easiest person in the world to buy for. And that silly brother of mine was no help at all.”
Hollie shared a brief look with Tiffany. “Corrie…” she said, trying to get the woman’s attention.
“But then,” Corrie went on without acknowledging her, “I found out about your love of those silly cartoon shows, and I knew exactly what to get you; a cartoon of your very own.”
Tiffany looked confused. “What the hell does that mean?”
“It means that she’s turned the apartment into a cartoon environment,” Hollie answered for the other woman. “The things that can happen in cartoons can happen here tonight.” She turned back to Corrie. “It is just for tonight, right?”
“Until the sun come up tomorrow morning,” Corrie answered. “And I’ll have to admit that this has been so much more fun than I ever thought it would be. Why, when that cute little thing in the kitchen put herself on ice, I nearly busted a gut.”
“On ice?” Tiffany asked.
“I’ll explain in a minute,” Hollie told her over her shoulder. “Look, Corrie. I appreciate what you’re trying to do for me here. I mean that. I really do. But I don’t think the other girls are going to be as happy about this as I am.”
“You got that right,” Tiffany agreed, looking down at her shrunken body.
Corrie gave them both a dismissive wave. “Oh, so what?” she said. “I didn’t do this for them anyway. Besides, someone as versed in these cartoon thingies as you are, Hollie, should be able to get them back to right in no time.” She stopped and let a slow grin come to her face. “After you’ve had your own fun, that is.”
Hollie started to protest, but came up short as she realized what Corrie had said. “My own fun,” she repeated slowly. “What does that mean?”
In reply, Corrie just pointed at the other girl’s feet. Hollie looked down to see that she was standing on a big red “x” marked on the hall floor. As she did, she heard a high whistling sound coming from above her. She looked up quickly, but all she saw was the ceiling of the apartment. Not that that meant anything. She was trapped in a living cartoon, and in a cartoon, you didn’t have to see the anvil to know it was there.
She looked back down at the woman that had set her up. Corrie stood there with a satisfied smirk on her face. “Hollie!” Tiffany shouted from the shelf behind her. “What are you doing? Get out of there.”
But Hollie didn’t move. She just continued to return Corrie’s stare, her own eyes narrowing. Then, she reached down with the toe of her shoe, placed it on one corner of the red “x” beneath her and gave a quick kick with her foot.
Just like that, the “x” slid smoothly across the floor of the hall. It continued to slide until it came to rest under Corrie’s hi-heel clad feet. The tall woman just stared down at it in disbelief for a second. Then, she looked up at Hollie with a “what the hell” expression.
Hollie just gave her a wink and a smile, before pointing upward.
Corrie’s eyes got as big as saucers – literally. Her head snapped upward as the strange whistling sound got louder. “Oh, sh—“
That’s as far as she got.
The anvil fell right on top of the cartoon cat, driving him flat into the floor. A second later, the cat stretched from beneath the heavy object. He had been compressed into a round disc about an inch thick, and clattered about for a few seconds like a dropped coin. Then, with a bit of effort, he managed to pop his legs out from his flattened body. The rest of him remained disc-shaped, however, as he took off after the cartoon mouse on his toes.
The girls all laughed as the cartoon came to an end. “Okay,” Michelle announced, “I’ll admit it. Watching these was a much better idea than some silly old movie.”
Hollie smiled from her throne. It wasn’t actually a throne, of course. It was just her favorite easy chair. After they had decided what to do with the rest of their evening, the girls had moved most of Hollie’s furniture aside and placed the chair in the center of the room facing the entertainment center. While she sat in it, the rest of them gathered around the small round table that they had placed in front of it to hold their refreshments.
“Yeah,” Tiffany agreed from her perch on the edge of the table. “Especially when you consider the selection we had to choose from. How does Paul watch that crap?”
Hollie decided to let that one go. She just looked down at the tiny woman and shook her head. “Are you sure you don’t want me to get you back to normal?” she asked.
In reply, Tiffany just looked up to the ceiling over the window. There was still a Crystal-shaped indention there from where Hollie had snapped the dark-haired girl off of the window shade. Next, Tiffany turned to look at the round hole in the wall over the couch. She could still picture the sight of Michelle sticking out of the wall, her body rod-straight and quivering, after Hollie had reverse the air flow on the vacuum and shot her back out of the hose. Tiffany turned back to Hollie with a smile. “No,” she answered. “I’m good.”
Hollie smiled back. “Okay. You should turn back in the morning when Corrie’s magic wears off anyway. Just make sure you give me those clothes back before you do.”
Tiffany nodded, adjusting the straps on the sheer white babydoll nightie Hollie had given her. “No problem,” she agreed. “But you know, someday, you’re going to have to tell me why you have a collection of doll-sized lingerie.”
Hollie just blushed at the comment.
“I’m still confused,” Kristina said.
“I’m not,” Crystal said, taking a swallow from her drink. “If I was dating a magician, I’m sure I’d play some interesting sex games, too.”
Hollie’s blush got darker, but Kristina frowned at the comment. “Not about that,” she stated. “I’m confused about how Hollie was able to get us out of the situations that Corrie got us into. I thought only magicians like her and Paul reverse magic.”
“Right,” Hollie explained, happy for the change of subject, “and if Corrie had used her magic directly on you, that would have been the case. But that’s not what she did. She enchanted the apartment, not you guys.”
“And that’s different how?” Michelle asked.
Hollie turned to her. “Just that it’s not person specific,” she explained. “Paul refers to it as ‘environmental magic’, because it affects an entire area, not a single subject.”
“Well, I don’t know about you,” Tiffany huffed, holding her hands out to indicate her shrunken body, “but I’d have to say that I was pretty affected.” The other girls nodded in agreement.
“True,” Hollie was forced to admit, “but not by Corrie. At least, not directly. You all were trapped by the environment she set up. That’s how it works. It changes the…” She stopped as she struggled for the right word. “…physics of the enchanted area.”
“But why?” Kristina asked. “I mean, it’s not like they could use it in their acts.”
“Not usually,” Hollie agreed. “Mostly, they use it for kicks.”
“Kicks?” Crystal repeated.
“Yeah,” Hollie replied. “You know, like party games and such. It’s one of the few times that they use magic on each other.”
“I see,” Kristina nodded, considering what Hollie had told her. “So, Corrie set up a cartoon scenario in here tonight, and since you’re such a big cartoon fan…”
“…I had the know how to get you all back to normal,” Hollie finished for her. “One of the advantages of environmental magic is that you don’t have to be a magician to use the magic involved.”
Crystal let out a giggle. “Something that I bet Corrie wishes she’d considered right about now, huh?”
All the girls but Michelle smiled. The shortest girl – well, formerly shortest, since Tiffany had her beat by a long shot at that moment – just let out a huff. “Yeah, right,” she spat. “Like that stuck-up witch would ever think that a mere assistant could ever pull one over on her.” She glanced over her shoulder to the hall, where the large 5000 pound weight still sat. At the sight of it, she smiled as well. “She knows better now, though.”
“So, Hollie,” Tiffany said, looking up at her. “You seem to know a lot about this environmental magic stuff. Have you been to a lot of those parties you mentioned?”
“A few,” Hollie admitted. “But mostly I know about it from the games me and Paul…” She stopped, realizing that she had inadvertently moved the conversation back to her sex life. As the sight of the girls sharing knowing looks brought the blush back to her cheeks, she quickly looked for a way to change the subject again. “Uh, looks like we need more popcorn.”
Instantly, Kristina edged away from the table and the empty bowl. “Well, don’t look at me,” she practically shouted. “I’m not going anywhere near that kitchen again.”
Hollie tried not to, but a smile came to her lips anyway. The newest assistant’s restoration, requiring a meat tenderizer, a broom, a bucket and the stove, had been the most involved of all of the ones she’d performed that evening. As soon as she had poured the young girl out into her own shape again, Kristina had dashed out of the kitchen, refusing to leave the relative safety of the couch. Hollie had managed to get her to agree to change out of her wet clothes into the earlier offered sleepshirt, but only after she promised to stay right there in the bedroom with her to make sure nothing else happened.
Not that Kristina was the only one. As she looked around at the other girls, she saw that none of them were ready to risk a trip to the kitchen either. Her smile widened just a bit. What happened to “just sit back and let us handle things”? she asked herself playfully. Apparently, the threat of being bent, folded and/or mutilated was enough to make the girls change their minds.
“It’s cool, Kristi,” she said, reaching over to pick up the bowl from the table. “I’ve got it. Does anyone else need anything?” she asked getting up from her “throne”.
“Nope, I’m good,” Tiffany said, patting the two pieces of popcorn beside her. In relationship to the shrunken girl, they were both about the size of pillows.
“Actually, I have a request,” Corrie cut in.
All of them looked down at the flattened face on the surface of the table that had been hidden under the popcorn bowl. Corrie just looked back with a perturbed expression.
Not for the first time, Hollie felt just a twinge of guilt for leaving her future sister-in-law as she was. But she knew that if she was able, Corrie would continue to pull her little pranks on the other girls, and she wasn’t sure they could handle it. So, as the woman had pulled herself out from under the heavy weight and began to pop herself back to normal, Hollie had rushed over to the nearby hall closet, grabbed a can of furniture polish and given her a good spraying. True to cartoon physics, the polish had hardened in seconds, trapping Corrie in her flattened state with only her arms and legs back to their full shape. A second coating of the restored limbs had assured that Corrie wouldn’t be running around the apartment causing trouble.
Of course, it had been Michelle’s idea to use the trapped lady magician as a table for the rest of the night. Hollie had fought against that at first, but the other girls quickly voted her down. She just hoped they knew that once the magic faded, and Corrie was back to normal, they were all, herself included, probably going to pay a heavy price for it.
Still, that didn’t mean she couldn’t try and ease the pain a bit. So, she smiled down at her flattened guest. “Sure, Corrie,” she schmoozed. “What can I get for you?”
Before answering, Corrie moved her eyes to one side to look at Kristina’s glass. Her eyes followed a drop of condensation down the side of the glass where it joined the growing puddle around the bottom. With a sigh, she cut her eyes back to Hollie.
“Do you even own a coaster?”
Continued in... Manipulated