Perched at unlikely angles upon unforgiving iron patio chairs, Sofia and Lucero scrolled through news on their lunch break.
“Look at this,” said Sofia, holding up her phone to her dusky, raven-tressed friend. “Another eruption downtown. Yesterday.”
Lucero tsked at her plainer friend in glasses. “Was she triggered or was it intentional?”
Blue light flickered over Sofia’s glasses as she skipped past ads. “Looks like someone tried to mug her.”
“In broad daylight?”
“How stupid does someone have to be? I mean, knowing what we know now.”
Sofia shrugged in her orange pullover. “I guess desperation pushes people to do stupid things.”
Lucero rolled her huge, bright eyes. “You’re more generous than me, I guess. How big did she get?”
Sofia scrolled. “They’re estimating around 300’.”
“Cops were right there, by coincidence. Oh, right outside a baseball game.”
Lucero clicked her tongue. “Dumb luck. Poor girl. She never had a chance at 300’.”
“That’s not a bad height. I’m surprised she went down so easy.”
“I’m sure you’d think so.” Lucero’s cheekbones bulged prettily as she smirked at her friend.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Three hundred must seem pretty impressive to you.”
Sofia scoffed in disbelief. “I’ve gone larger than 300.” Her friend only arched one fine eyebrow, so she continued. “I have! Three hundred’s nothing.”
“There, we agree.”
“I went 500’ two weeks ago. Remember? Out at the bluffs?”
“Oh, I remember. That’s pretty good, I guess.”
Sofia set her phone down on the iron patio table with a clang. “Whoa. Hold on a second. Are you trying to suggest you can go bigger than me?”
Her exotic friend raised one slim hand. “Oh, sweetie. Don’t even.”
Sofia stood up hard. Her chair flew back, ringing angrily, and the other students having lunch fled the patio. “You can’t sit there and tell me you’re bigger than me.”
“You’re making a spectacle of yourself.”
“I’ll make a smear of you if you don’t wipe that smirk off your face and erupt.”
With painstaking deliberation, Lucero shut off her phone, pocketed it primly in her handbag, set this carefully aside, and got up with a modest screech of chair legs. “I hope you remember those words when everything goes dark.”
Sofia roared and every shred of clothing evaporated as her body blew up to a colossally scaled version of her doughy, comfortable frame.
Lucero found herself standing beside one bare ankle, heavy joints churning beneath cakes of skin as her friend adjusted to the new center of gravity. “Famous last words,” she muttered, before hissing and reaching for the sky. She shot up past her friend’s befuddled expression, looking down at her crown of mousy brown hair as it receded far below her. Her own recently denuded heel caved in the campus food court, but such things were beneath her concern.
“That’s nothing, shrimp paste!” Sofia cried, growling as she erupted to double her company’s bulk, expanding and lengthening in all directions. She felt the plaza crumble beneath her feet like a gluten-free cookie. Lucero escalated even further, singing in falsetto as she rose into the heavens, so Sofia sucked down a double-load of breath and bellowed furiously, feeding her muscles with growth-stimulating oxygen and blood cells. She couldn’t hear the car alarms as her sole spread across the entirety of staff parking lot C1. The new height made her momentarily dizzy, and she stepped back two blocks into the residential district, devastating thousands of millions of dollars in wealthy, well-intentioned (if not strictly liberal in practice) Democrat homes. It felt like nothing more than a bed of cotton balls beneath her foot; her primary concern was the lithe, serpentine body of her exotic friend racing past her with quintessential grace and effortlessness. Sofia clenched her fists…
In another part of town, Dominick and Ken were in a similar argument.
“Four inches?” Dominick scoffed. “You think that’s small?”
Ken folded his arms and frowned. “Who said that’s small? That’s me on a big day.”
Dominick laughed, stood, and shrunk beneath the coaster folded to even out the table legs. Growling, Ken likewise reduced himself.
And as far as anyone could tell, that was the end of the argument.