I jumped off the couch, scattering clumps of gooey rice…
"Oh, whoa," Tina said. "It worked! I never thought it would actually work!"
Jen's eyes were closed, but the lids shuddered like a sleeper's in a frantic dream. I steadied her head between my hands.
"Jen? Can you hear me?"
She moaned, then her hands went to my arms, grasping them weakly. Her mouth moved, and I bent closer.
"I'm a tapanese jen-year-old," she said.
"A Japanese ten-year-old, I mean."
Her eyes opened. She blinked.
"Hi, Hunter. Whoa. That was cool."
"That was not cool!" I said.
"Should I call 911?" Tina asked, her pet phone in hand. In the adrenaline rush of the moment, I noticed quite clearly that it had pink plastic ears on either side of the antenna.
"No, I'm fine." Jen pulled herself up into my arms until she was sitting again. Her grip on my shoulders felt weak and shaky.
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I feel great, actually." Her voice dropped to a whisper. "I've got it now. I know what's going on."
"Just take me home. I'll tell you there."