Cassandra Pugh was thunderstruck when the fern in the shower window spoke to her. She would have fainted dead away, had she not been sitting on the toilet when the incident occurred. Instead, she simply stared at the offending shrubbery as it yammered on – in a voice like James Earl Jones on helium – about its role in the subjugation and control of all mankind.
“Hold on a minute,” Cassandra interrupted. “What do you mean by subjugation and control of all mankind?”
The plant tutted. “Haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve been telling you?”
“I’m sorry,” Cassandra said, truly abashed. “I was a bit, what’s the word? Thunderstruck! I was a bit thunderstruck when you started talking. It took me a few minutes to figure out just exactly what was going on, and that you actually were talking. Well, by then I had lost most of whatever it was you were going on about. Was it important?”
“Pathetic,” the fern sneered. “This is why it’s going to be soooooo easy.”
The plant shivered and squealed, “THE SUBJUGATION AND CONTROL OF ALL MANKIND!”
“We will! The conquest has already begun!”
“Who would believe you?”
“I’ll make them believe!”
“Psh. Never mind,” the plant said peevishly. “I’m just pulling your leg. Everybody would believe you, because this isn’t an isolated incident. After over one hundred of your years – infiltrating every home, office building, school, restaurant, hotel and, yes, bathroom – waiting, waiting, waiting… we are literally everywhere and the plan has finally been put into effect.”
It was odd, Cassandra thought briefly, to hear a fern laughing like a diabolical squirrel. It was almost cute. Then the full realization of what all of this meant clocked her like an Acme anvil. Cassandra Pugh was never so grateful as she was at that precise moment to be sitting on the toilet.