AW Flash Fiction — “Ordinary” — 4/10/11

Character co-created by Will Eisner. Image fro...

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“Working with superheroes day in and day out has its drawbacks. For one, the egos are out of this world. This one thinks he’s the strongest. That one is convinced he’s the fastest. They all think they’re the greatest lovers ever.” I stop and look around for eavesdroppers. “The sad truth is, superheroes might be a criminal’s worst enemy but they aren’t all that great in the sack.” I take a loud slurpy sip of the last of my margarita.

My friend Lisa nods her head in sympathy. “Why don’t you look for an ordinary guy for a change?”

“Oh…I don’t know. It’s nice to get seated right away at restaurants and nobody messes with me.” I spy our waiter and hand signal him to bring us another round.

“Is that more important than a guy who’ll put your needs before his own?”

I snort back a chuckle. “Hell, ordinary guys don’t always do that.”

“What I meant was, put you before saving the world. I mean you’re a great girl, Roxy, but you’re never going to beat out a derailing train or a bad guy holding a bank full of customers hostage.”

“True. But aren’t I being selfish wanting something like that?”

Lisa pats my wrist. “Of course not. You have needs too. You can’t play second fiddle every time to the needs of the many, you know?”

I throw up my hands. “Exactly! But in my line of work, those are the only types I seem to meet, you know?”

“Superhero costumer is a pretty elite job with a very restrictive clientele, I suppose. But maybe a supplier or even the mailman?”

“Lycra Man and his twin Latex Gent supply the raw materials. Don’t even get me started on those dudes. Ugh! And even you should remember that Postalman delivers all our mail. You know, ‘neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor anthrax, nor terrorists’ bombs, nor any other act of God can keep me away’–that guy?”

“Oh yeah, forgot he handled all your packages and correspondence.”

“It’s a security requirement of the superhero union.” I heave a loud sigh.

Our waiter arrives with two more margaritas. He’s cute, very cute. Why haven’t I noticed him before? I make eye contact and he smiles.

“Thank you…Ramone. Hang on, let me get your tip.” I fish in my purse for another couple of bills, my eyes never leaving his ordinary chocolate brown ones. I drop the tip on his tray and wink. “Hey, would you like to help sober me up when you get off work tonight? Maybe get a coffee or something?”

Lisa’s jaw drops. Her head darts back and forth between Ramone and I.

“Sure, but I only have about an hour before my second shift starts at midnight.”

“What happens at midnight?” Lisa asks.

“Uh…I don’t want to brag, but suffice to say it’s very important and many lives are counting on me.” He looks smug as he finishes.

I throw myself against my seat back, my arm across my eyes. “That’s it! I give up! Why are the good ones never ordinary?” I lean forward, my best cynical face on display. I beckon with my hand. “Out with it then. What kind of superhero are you?”

Ramone shrugs, a sheepish smile plastered on his face. “Never been called a superhero before, but I volunteer at the Fire Station.”

I blink as my grin blooms.  “Eleven o’clock then?”

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