“Kerry, make sure that you don’t start the zombie apocalypse by ordering a sandwich.”
I ignored Chuck. Why had we run into him, of all people, on our day off? I stepped up to the counter to order a salad. Not that I thought a zombie apocalypse was possible, but it’s best not to risk it. Naturally, they were out of salad. I ordered a sandwich after all. I didn’t want salad anyway.
“Hey Kerry, a guy just turned into a zombie because you took the sandwich he wanted,” Chuck said.
“Actually, that’s not how zombies are made,” said my brother Rob. “First, you have to already be dead.”
“So why don’t we kill you first, Charles?” Angie asked. She glared at him. I’m always astonished at how she can intimidate people who are two feet taller than her.
Chuck must have decided that we weren’t amusing enough, so he wandered off, muttering something about short people, nerds, and freaks. I sighed. Short Stuff and Nerds were Angie and Rob’s nicknames. Most people didn’t call me a freak. At least, not to my face. But Angie and Rob liked their nicknames.
“Guys, I need a nickname,” I said as we ate our sandwiches. Sandwiches are so much better than salads.
“You already have one!” Rob said. “Kare-Bear is the best nickname ever!”
Rob knew that he could only use that name because Chuck was no longer around and Angie already knew it. Otherwise, I would glue all of his possessions to the ceiling. I would get in trouble, but it would be worth it. Instead, I stole his cookie. He stole my drink, but I was done with it anyway.
“How about we call each other nicknames based on our super powers?” Angie suggested.
“That’s kind of already how it works,” I pointed out. “Being short is your super power, being a nerd is Rob’s. I don’t think being a freak accident lends itself to good nicknames.”
“You’re not a freak accident,” Angie said brightly, “you just create them.”
“You’re not helping,” I said.
“Ok, if you were a super hero, your super power would be -”
“Being able to see the future,” I interrupted. It was obvious.
“I’d be a shape-shifter,” Rob said.
“And I’d be a pyromaniac,” Angie said. We’d had this discussion several times.
“So what,” I said, “I’m Forsight, Rob’s Shifty, and you’re Pyro?”
Our discussion about super powers continued in the same vein it usually would follow as we left the restaurant. I would point out that Angie had enough fire-power without adding real fire, Rob would say that being able to see the future wouldn’t solve any problems, and Angie would say that Rob only wanted to be a shape-shifter because he thought wookies were cool.
And we all forgot that I already had a super power. I accidentally kicked a penny into a muddy puddle of water.
Do you know anything about wishing wells? Not many people do. Apparently, there’s only one wishing well in the world at a time, and it changes place every time someone makes a wish. And, contrary to what most people believe, any small body of water can be a wishing well, including sinks, pools, small ponds, and muddy puddles.
I don’t know anything about wishing wells either, but it’s the best explanation I’ve ever managed to come up with.
Because less than a minute after kicking the penny into the puddle, Rob yelled at me not to step on a piece of paper which immediately burst into flame when my foot touched it. Angie was gone, but there was a cat standing where she had been.