"I can't believe you talked me into this!" Jessica grabbed a wine glass off a passing tray and glared at her friend Ann.
"Oh, get over your bad self! You've been with the firm for five years and you've never come to a single social function. And the Halloween Party is the best party of the year!"
"Oh yeah, and the food's to die for." Jessica pointed to the refreshment table. "Especially the Bloody Hand Punch and Frankenfingers. I have to deal with that jerk enough in the day time." She pointed across the room to a swashbuckling pirate whose swash protruded well over his buckle. "And we're all going to be out of a job within a year after he takes over the company. Bill Junior's so not half the man his father is. Oh, wait, scratch that! He's about twice the man his father is. In weight."
Ann laughed. "I know, I know. But look on the bright side! You know as well as I do Bill Senior's not going to hand over the company he built unless he's on his deathbed."
"He's 81, Ann! A remarkable 81 but still--sooner or later..."
"Well, it'll be later. A lot later. Lighten up and enjoy yourself. You look great, by the way. Which Fairy Princess are you?"
"Who knows? It was the last costume Party City had that fit. You're a great Cat Woman, too."
"Thanks, I thought it fit my purrfect personality."
Jessica's laugh cut off when the meaty hand dropped on her shoulder.
"I hate to break up such a good time, but I need some help. Jessica, can you find a file for me?"
"A file? Bill, this is a party!" She stopped herself just short of adding and you're sloshed. He was, after all, the Big Man's son.
"I know, Jessica, I know, and I wouldn't ask, but I've got a meeting first thing in the morning on the Sanderson account and I couldn't find the file before the caterer starting setting up. C'mon, it won't take a minute and it'll save me coming into the office before the meeting."
"Okay, okay. Follow me. Your Dad's got it." Jessica led the way out of the crowd and down the hall to Bill Senior's office. She flicked the lights on and leaned over to open the bottom drawer of the file cabinet. The smack on her rear landed only seconds after the lights went dark and the door clicked shut.
"Hey!" Jessica turned,both hands flailing at the body pressed against hers. "Stop that right now! What do you think your father would say?"
"Ah, baby, don't be like that! I've seen the way you look at me when you don't think I notice--"
"Get your hands off me, you fat pig!" She pushed away and the wand in her left hand made contact with Bill Junior's chest.
"Oink!" Oh, so he thought that was funny, did he? She stalked over to the light switch. Or she would have, if the low, heavy moving object on the floor hadn't made her fall flat on her face. And what was that squealing sound?
"Ann! Thank heavens! Get the lights on!"
"What's going on in--Aiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!" Under ordinary circumstances, Ann's shriek would have been loud enough to bring the entire personnel staff into the room, but since the live band had just swung into You Put a Spell on Me, nobody outside the room raised an eyebrow.
Jessica scrambled to her feet. She looked down and her eyes widened.
"Stop squealing like a pig! Even if you are one! Which I always knew you were! Serves you right!"
"Jessica, what happened? We've got to do something!"
"And what exactly do you suggest we do? 'Cause first, I have no idea what happened and second, I kind of like him like this."
"Jessica! Get a grip! The boss's son is a pig! You don't think we'll get fired for something like this?!"
"Personally, I think we deserve a raise."
"Be serious! How'd you do it?"
"Well, he started mauling me and I pushed away from him and--where's my wand?"
"I'm a fairy princess, remember? The wand was in my hand. It was between us when I called him a fat pig."
"You don't seriously believe that turned him into a pig!"
"You got any other ideas?"
"Okay, okay! I'm looking, I'm looking! Oh! Here! Under the desk."
Ann handed the wand back to Jessica.
Jessica glared down at the frantic pig. "Don't act like such a wuss! Just because you're a pig, doesn't mean you shouldn't at least try to act like a man! Okay, here goes nothing." She tapped his head with the wand. Nothing.
"It didn't work."
"Really? You think?"
"So say something! You said something when he turned, didn't you?"
"Okay. Let's try this again." She tapped the pig's head again. "You're still a pig but you're a human pig."
Bill Junior scrambled to stand. "Why you little--you're fired!!!"
Jessica smiled and waved the wand in front him. "Un-uh-uh! 'Cause look what I still have. Now, here's the thing, Junior. This wand--it's gonna be with me all the time from now until eternity. So you need to ask yourself--what exactly just happened here? Was it me? Was it this wand? Was it Halloween Magic? And if it's either of the first two, then you'd be so out of luck. But of course, if it's the last possibility--then you'd be fine. So the next time you're tempted to act like the pig you are, with me or anybody else in this company, you need to ask yourself. Do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk? Or should I say pi--"
"No! Don't say it!" Junior glared and backed slowly away from the women toward the door. He backed clear out into the hall and then turned and ran.
"Who are you and what did you do with my friend Jessica? And when exactly did you turn into Dirty Harry?"
"You were right, Ann. The company's Halloween party rocks! And next year--next year I'm coming as Clint Eastwood!"
|The Boxed Set|
|Because evil never dies. It just--waits.|
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