It was a peaceful, sunny Saturday at New Opal University. Most students here would take full advantage of the pleasant weather by playing sports, gaming on their smartphones, or enjoying the breeze while reading a good book. Blake Heart was not most students.

Blake sat alone in his dorm room, setting dimly-lit candles on the floor in what looked to be a magical summoning circle. In the center of that very circle, the black-haired young man carefully placed a batch of freshly-baked cookies before whispering the mages' chant:

"Eye of potato, ear of corn. Hear my plea this sunny morn; rotting apple, pair of pears - summon spirits from who-knows-where!"

As the candles went out, a dark fog began to fill the room. Just then, a portal to the ghost world appeared in the center of the magic circle, from which a trio of otherworldly, female, purple-glowing specters rose! ...And naturally, the offering of cookies had vanished. One of the spirits was tall and thin, the second was short and round, and the third had an average height and build.

The tall spirit was the first to speak: "You again?! What do you want THIS time?!"

The short ghost spoke next: "Oh, hush! This guy went to great lengths to call us to this plane. Although, I do wonder how he's able to provide such generous offerings every time!"

"You wouldn't believe how much it cost me to buy all that cookie dough..." Blake chimed in.

The modest spirit looked at her corporeal summoner. "This is about your crush, isn't it?"

"Y-yes..."

"You really should try talking to her on your own, without any supernatural assistance -- "

The tall spirit cut her off. "Look, Blake...if you really want to win her heart, you'll need to be tougher. Stronger! That way, no bully will ruin things for you ever again!"

Blake listened intently before nodding. "Alright, so what's the catch?"

"Well..." the short spirit proceeded to explain, "if you do go through with this pact, you'll be immune to physical harm for five whole days! But you'll also be the size of a bug. Are you sure you wanna do this?"

Blake's eyes practically lit up. "Yes! Anything to win the love of my life! You have yourself a deal!"

As the modest spirit shook her head with a sigh, the tall one snapped her fingers, conjuring a bolt of magical energy and zapping Blake with it! Overcome with a bizarre tingling sensation, the mage blacked out for a while...

-----

Before we get any further...who IS Blake's crush?

Is it Goldie Coine, the playful African-American cheerleader?

Is it Aria Green, the gentle brunette?

Is it Rubina Sparks, the dependable Hispanic girl?

Or is it Indigo Kitagawa, the Asian introvert?
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March 13, 2023
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