Jerry Russo and his beautiful wife, Theresa, were the owners and managers of the Waverly Place Sub Shop on Waverly Place near Manhattan's Greenwich Village and Washington Square. Shops and stories owned and run by people with multi-racial origins dotted the local community. There was a Jewish delicatessen and an Oriental restaurant as well as a hardware store with an Italian name on it with a unspoken legacy back to the old Mafia crime families that used to run the area, but those times were long gone. The shops and eateries lined the walkway between Waverly Place on up to Washington. Almost a thousand people crossed through here on the walk from one part of the community to the other part of the community. Many of them had their lunch at the Waverly Place Sub Shop on a regular basis. To keep those customers coming back, Jerry tried to encourage his kids to create new sandwiches between their lessons. He had three kids. Justin was the hard-working overachiever who tried hard to be the ideal son, the young one was Max who had his fun establishing the rules of what was cool and fun and the missing one was the lazy yet self-centered daughter known as Alex who was either still in after school detention or cruising the mall with her best friend trying to get another boyfriend to add to her previous collection.
"Well, Max…" Jerry looked to his wife by his side after hearing his new sandwich idea. "I'm sure Andrew Zimmern swears by spiders as an alternate source of protein…" He noticed Theresa holding her stomach and trying to not vomit her breakfast. "But I don't think the rest of the world is ready to embrace it."
"I wish you'd stop watching Travel Channel and go back to Disney Channel!" Theresa held her head as if she had a headache.
"Okay, here's my idea…" Justin sipped his bottled water and set it aside. "How about a Seafood Surprise?" He mused excitedly. "It seems that several years ago the Subway Sandwich chain used to have a lobster and crab sandwich, but for some stupid reason or another they did away with it. Everyday, my buddy, David, at the Subway over on Lexington says someone is always asking when is it coming back! We could fill that void! Let them come here and get it!"
"Interesting, interesting…" Jerry checked his watch and looked for his errant daughter. "But crab and lobster is expensive. Economically, we couldn't cover the cost."
"Here's the beauty of it…" Justin looked over to his father. "As wizards, we can get them wholesale directly from Maine and cut out the middle man." He started to pick up his water then hesitated as a distant impact tremor resonated the block through it.
"That could work…" Jerry considered it. "I'd have to run it by the Wizards Ethics code, but I'm sure there's no rule against magically transporting seafood."
"Wouldn't the health department ask us where we were getting it?" Theresa asked aloud.
"And that kills the seafood sandwich idea…" Jerry crossed that off the list. "Unless we can get the lobster and crab whole sale from around here, we…" Another more obvious impact tremor sounded that jostled the block. Justin watched the vibration resonate through the other drinks at the table, and his mother braced from the impact. Jerry scowled confused wondering what was going on.
"Max…" He looked to his young son. "Did you magically let another T-Rex loose from that movie?"
"No, dad, I swear…" Max confessed as another louder vibration jostled the shop enough that a rack of clean silverware crashed to the floor from the counter behind them and the condiment bottles on the tables fell over around them. Even the chairs at the tables were close to vibrating off the tables and crashing to the floor. "I haven't watched Jurassic Park in over a month!"
"You watched The Lost World last night." Justin pointed out.
"Hello, different movie!!!" Max confessed as the next impact tremor dropped the chairs from the tables in the shop and sent a few bottles in the kitchen falling to the floor. Whatever was coming was getting closer. Several people started running through Waverly Place and pedaling through on their bikes at top speeds. A few tried getting into the shop to escape what was coming, but the front doors were closed as usual for Sunday and they raced off to get away as fast as they could. Jerry tried looking out the front of the shop to see something. Justin went to the side windows from the direction of the scared and fleeing by-standers as people continued running in fear of their lives. Whatever was making the impact tremors with each step was right overhead, the next one rippled through the shop and shook the foundation as Theresa braced on Max to keep from falling over to her feet. A vast shadow blocked out the sun as Jerry strained to see over the hardware store across the street.
"What's going on?" Theresa asked. "What is it?"
"I can't tell…" Jerry pulled his keys from his pocket as crowds raced by the shop in terror. He unlocked the front entrance and pushed the doors before him as he stepped out on the sidewalk. All around them was daylight, but over the shop and Waverly Place, something blocked out the sunlight. He dodged two kids running past him and cocked his head skyward as something moved beyond the roof of the hardware store. Justin searched the skies wondering of this was the day of First Contact when extraterrestrials became real. He jogged over to the other sidewalk as more terrified spectators ran the way to Greenwich Village. His brown eyes craned higher and higher to the mass of shadow fifty-feet high blocking his view… It's shape, it's movement… It was Alex!!! Theresa screamed at the sight of her!
"I'm so hungry!!!!" Her booming voice echoed over the city with the torrent of a storm. She had to be over fifty feet tall… the shadow of the sun behind her and the awkward perspective from the ground keeping her from being recognized as a local youth from the neighborhood. Clad in bed sheets tied over her chest and a huge tarp hanging from her hips, she was emoting both the fear and power of a famous Allison Hayes movie as she panned the sight of screaming and running figures at her feet. Her legs were as wide as ancient California redwoods, her stature as vast as the face of Mount Rushmore itself. She lifted up a small sports car and tossed it over her shoulder to crash into the roof of the pet store.
"Alex!!!" Jerry screamed at her even as his wife and sons backed in fear and surprise. "What did you do?!!!"
"I'm so hungry!!!!" Alex reached down and lifted up a bus in her hands. It was like a small toaster with wheels in her encompassing hands. The people in it started screaming as she jostled and shook it. They were so far up off the ground; the fall would kill them if they fell. The giant girl's invading fingertips poked the doors open as the bus driver undid his seat belt to escape and tried climbing up the aisle rising up before him. Passengers were scrambling to climb over the seats as a fat lady tumbled backward and crashed into him, sending them both falling out of the vehicle. The first thing either of them saw was the open maw of that giant teenage girl just before falling through her lips and into that endless humid gullet she called her mouth. Theresa fainted into Justin's arms at the sight of her new fifty-foot-tall cannibalistic daughter.
"Alex…. Oh my god…." Jerry turned to Justin holding his mother and dragging her into the store. "Max, get my spell book!!!!"
"This is like so cool!!!" He couldn't stop watching as Alex continued shaking the commuter bus. "Where's my camera!" Who else got to live through a horror movie? People were falling into his sister's giant mouth or bouncing off her shoulders and crashing to earth as she shook them from the bus.
"Max, the spell book!!!" Jerry screamed as a young lady bounced off his daughters left arm and landed before the shop.
"Dad! Dad!!!" Justin was holding on to his unconscious mother and pointed to his sister's titanic presence over the neighborhood. She had emptied the bus, looked down upon her family and raised the bus even higher. Jerry looked up to his daughter's possessed black eyes as she snarled with hostility, reared the commuter bus up higher and hurled it to earth at them through the front of the shop. What the impact didn't destroy, the exploding gas engines took care of in the fire. With that disturbing sight, the real Alex Russo woke up from the shock.
Jostled from sleep, she sat in her canopy bed reeling from her disturbing images for a few seconds and looked upon her moonlit covered surroundings, her breath racing, her hands trembling and the trepidations of fear clutching her heart. She gasped recalling the vivid images of her dream. She could still feel the bus in her hands; the sensation of standing so tall over her street. By her side, the neon red letters of her bedside clock read 3:15 AM. In three hours, she'd have to get up for school. Perspiring and distraught, she fought to catch her breath, her eyes ablaze with stunned fear and nervous fright. What was happening to her?! She pushed her comforter back and extended her still dainty feet to the carpet before racing out of her room and toward her parents' room at the end of the hall. Prodding open their door, she launched into their bed like the tiny scared girl she used to be when she was younger and turned to her mother.
"Mom…. Mom…" She trembled afraid her heart was about to explode from the fear of her dream.
"Oh, what…" Teresa stirred slowly from her sleep and dreams around Antonio Banderas. "Lexie, baby… did you have the dream again?" She spoke with the accent of her Spanish heritage.
"Alex had the dream again?" Jerry opened his eyes half asleep and rolled over to his teenage daughter between him and his wife. He groaned tiredly exhausted. Alex looked like a little girl again in the dark room with just moonlight shaping her facial features. "Alex…." He sighed tiredly.
"Jerry," Theresa stroked her daughter's head. "You've got to do something. Our poor Lexie has been having these dreams for almost a month. She can't get any sleep."
"I know… I know…" Jerry yawned, rubbed his face sleepily and looked to the shape of his daughter's shadow. "Alex…" Jerry yawned tiredly and rubbed his eyes. "I talked to Professor Crumbs at the school about your dreams, and he said there could only be one of three reasons." He braced backward on his left arm. "One, are you scared of your powers?" He explored the possibility of a psychological excuse.
"Are you kidding?" Alex thought the question was ridiculous. "I love them! I just wish I could use them a lot more!"
"Not going to happen…" Jerry tiredly moved on to the next reason. "Are you guilty about something you did with your powers?"
Alex just shot him the same look. She was never guilty about anything she did.
"Well, then…" Jerry yawned a bit. "The only other possibility is that it's a premonition to something that's going to happen. I mean, shortly after my powers kicked in, I had recurring dreams of being lost in the woods, and they stopped after I passed my wizard's exam."
"Jerry…" Theresa looked around her daughter to her husband. "What does being lost in the woods have to do with an exam?"
"A wizard's premonitions are never exactly like the event they are being warned of; they're more about psychological imagery." Jerry explained. "My dream was about fear and distress. Alex's dreams about being a giant are more about… I don't know… becoming something she doesn't want to be, liked exposed as a wizard to the world or maybe even turning into something she doesn't want to be."
"Like fifty feet tall and eating people like popcorn…" Alex nodded her head scared for her life.
"Alex, honey…" Jerry stroked the back of his daughter's head. "You are not going to turn into a giant. There are umpteen wizard rules against it."
"But I never follow rules!!!" Alex confessed scared to death! Her mother pulled her tightly trying to give her support.