Julie squinted at Mandy’s necklace. “That’s an unusual pendant.”
Mandy smiled. “Thank you.”
Julie shook her head. “No, I mean that it’s kind of strange. Where did you get it?”
Mandy looked around and leaned forward. “Can you keep a secret?” Julie nodded. Mandy smiled. “Hidden among the populace there are people who are hiding something spectacular.”
“Aren’t you too young to be a spy?” Julie frowned.
Mandy shook her head. “I’m something even better. This pendant isn’t just for decoration. In an emergency, I can pull it off my necklace and I can enlarge it and use it to save the day!” Mandy raised her arms in the air and cheered.
“But it’s a tambourine,” Julie said. “Does it shoot out lasers or cause earthquakes or something?”
“No, it just plays music like any other tambourine,” Mandy said. “Isn’t that great?”
“I guess so.” Julie folded her arms and nodded. “Let’s see it, then.”
Mandy flipped it over. “It looks just like a full-sized tambourine on both sides,” she said.
“No, I want to see it grow,” Julie said. “Do you need to say some sort of magic words or do a dance or something?”
“It only works if there’s an emergency,” Mandy said. “I can’t use my powers for selfish reasons. That’s the path to the dark side.”
“What kind of emergency? A tambourine wouldn’t stop a robbery or keep werewolves away or push away meteors,” Julie said. “Unless it really does shoot lasers.”
“No lasers,” Mandy said. “But music can calm down crying children. It makes boring car rides fun. And it makes a long wait in line seem shorter.”
“I’ve been waiting here for my mom to come pick me up for a long time,” Julie said.
“Really?” Mandy said. “Let the music begin!” She jumped up and her necklace started to glow. Light flashed. Somewhere, cymbals crashed. Suddenly, Mandy was holding a full-sized tambourine.
“Wow! It’s true,” Julie said.
“Of course it is,” Mandy said. “Any requests?”
“I really like The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy,” Julie said.
Mandy rolled her eyes. “I have a tambourine. Give me something with words.”
“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star?”
Mandy sang the song and played her tambourine. She ended the song with a flourish. Julie looked around. “Is something supposed to happen?”
Mandy sighed. “You’re supposed to clap after the song.” She lowered her arms. “The music lives on in our hearts.” Light flashed. Cymbals crashed. Mandy’s tambourine transformed back into a pendant. “So, are you still bored?”
“Nope. I guess you fixed my emergency,” Julie said. “So, why did you tell me all this?”
“You noticed my pendant. That must mean you have potential. Do you play an instrument?” Mandy asked.
“I play the piano,” Julie said.
“That’s not portable at all,” Mandy said. “It’s no good for being a Super Musician. Maybe you’re the sidekick type.”
“I think I see my mother,” Julie said. “It was nice talking to you. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime.” She hurried away and resolved to avoid Mandy in the future. She’d seen enough superhero shows to never want to be a sidekick. Not even a musical sidekick.