Bill Borden was a bad kid. He broke Jessica’s glasses, let the air out of Alice’s bike tires and dognapped Cindy Kline’s poodle and kept her in his bedroom for three days before his parents heard her barking and scratching at the door. He poured paint into Clarissa’s purse and cut the back of Kathy’s hair during English. Bad. Billy was a bad kid.
Billy was a small boy with brown hair and brown eyes. He had a smattering of freckles and would have been cute, if he wasn’t so mean. He stomped on lunch bags and knocked books out of hands. He even tore up homework and set the clocks ahead in classrooms, so he could get out early. Okay, no one really minded about the clocks, but still.
Suzi Sparks was the new girl in school. She had blond hair, gray eyes, and she came from a tough neighborhood, in a tough city. She didn’t like the suburbs and was hoping that her parents would see the light and move back to her old neighborhood, so she could get on with her life. Some of the girls in the new school were nice and but the classes were boring and so was everything else in la la land.
She was standing by her locker, wondering how to get back to their old apartment, when Billy pushed her aside and broke the lock on her locker. Suzi smiled at him. “I’ll meet you in the park after school, at four,” she said sweetly.
“I’ll be there but I bet you won’t be,” laughed Billy, as he walked away, tossing her broken lock into the trash.
“What’s wrong with you?” hissed Elizabeth, who had overheard the conversation. “Don’t meet him anywhere. Stay away from him, he’s awful.”
“I’ll be okay, don’t worry,” said Suzi. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning in math.”
Suzy went home, fed the cat, ate a couple of cookies, changed her clothes and left the house. The sun was shining and the birds were singing, it was a perfect day. She could see Billy sitting on a bench, as she walked up the lane.
“What are YOU supposed to be?” he asked, laughing.
“I’m not supposed to BE anything. I AM a superhero,” she said calmly.
“Wearing a cape doesn’t make you a superhero,” he snickered, “it just makes you look stupid. Should I be afraid? Are you going to turn me into a toad?” he said, wiggling his fingers at her.
“No, not a toad,” said Suzi, matter of factly. “I have something different planned for you.”
“Oh, really?” he sneered. “Let’s see whatcha got, then, you and your cape.”
There was a tiny glitch in the air and then Billy started screaming. “What did you do to me?” he shrieked, running his hands over his body. “What did you do?”
“Oh, get over yourself,” sighed Suzi. “It’s no big deal. I just turned you into a girl. I noticed that you never bully boys, so I thought you might like to see what it’s like to be on the other side. It’ll be good for you,” she said, walking away. “You’ll see.”