With One Magic Word
A fashionable morning news hostess named Diane Sawy — er, I mean Leanne Sayers is beckoned into an abandoned subway by a strange figure. When she meets the wizard Shaz — ah, I mean Martha Stew — er, that is Marcia Steubbins, will one magic word allow Leanne to become the heroine she’s always wanted to be?
On this rainy night in the city, many people were hurrying home to their families. But one lone newsreader stood in the weather ignoring the potential damage it might do to her expensive suit with the cute matching heels.
Her name was Leanne Sayers, and she worked long two-hour shifts as the cheerful hostess of the morning news. Now she found herself drawn this fateful night to an abandoned subway entrance. She had never been to this neighborhood, and there was no valet parking and not a coffee shop in sight. Oh, sure, there were coffee shops, but none that served that special creamy blend that Leanne loved.
Wandering in front of this subway station, she thought, A subway? I think that’s where people eat those big sandwiches.
Seeing a figure all in black who beckoned her over, she stared at him because his black coat and trench coat looked out of place with his red-and-white-checked apron.
“Hey, Leanne!” he said. “Get your blond fluffy self in here! I don’t get paid overtime for beckoning, and I’m ready to clock out.”
“Are you a professional beckoner?” she asked with her reporter’s instincts.
“They don’t come any better,” he said proudly. “I’ve got a beckoning license, too. So get down here.”
“Why’d you pick me?” she asked with mock modesty as she smoothed her skirt, reasoning that there could be reporters down there.
“I didn’t pick you,” he snapped. “Beckoners can’t be choosers. Just come on!”
Leanne Sayers went down the steps to see a long hallway with ugly statues lined up in a row. They had names like Tangle, Split End, Broken High Heel, Run in Hoses, Chipped Nail, and the like.
“What are those?” she shuddered.
“The Seven Deadly Fashion No No’s,” said her guide. “We had to remove one called Capri Pants when styles changed and they came back in again.”
Leanne Sayers gazed in wonder as the place changed before her heavily mascara-lined eyes. The area was suddenly a huge chamber with a spacious airy roof and a charming little skylight. She saw a table with a beautiful meal placed on it with tiny handmade table settings.
“Welcome to the Breakfast Nook of Eternity!” said a beautiful blond woman sitting on a divan with plush arm rests and a handy snack tray. Her hair was elaborately coiffed, and her robe was purest silk with silver sandals on her carefully painted, toenailed feet.
“I love that robe — is it pure silk?” asked Leanne.
The woman smiled and said, “No, it’s a silk blend. Can’t tell it from the real thing, can you?”
Leanne smiled. “Aren’t you…?”
“Yes, I am the diva of domesticity herself,” she said with a curtsey. “TV’s gracious living expert, Marcia Steubbins. Now, Leanne Sayers, speak my name!“
“Marcia Steubbins!” said Leanne.
A crash of thunder echoed, and somewhere a dinner bell rang.
Leanne was transformed. She now wore a darling short tunic with sandals and a little cape that hung off one bare shoulder.
“I name you Captain Marcia!” said Marcia. “You will serve me as the guardian of good taste and protector of the stylish homemaker.”
Captain Marcia smiled. “I shall do it. What is that carved slate?”
Marcia Steubbins said, “It shows the breakdown of your powers based on my name. M from Marcia Brady for good hair, A from Dear Abby from wisdom, R from Rachel Hunter for good legs, C from… uh… I don’t remember the rest. I mean, that’s what the slate is for, right?”
Captain Marcia smiled. “I shall be off to do your good work for soccer moms everywhere.”
With a flash of leg and a whiff of perfume, the perky newsbabe set off to do the duty by homemakers everywhere.