Thursday, December 21, 2006


He lingered in front of his apartment building, fidgeting, tucking and retucking his shirt into his slacks and scraping the dry mud off of his worn dress shoes. He watched for cabs and checked his watch, despite being five minutes early.

A limousine pulled up to the curb and a familiar face poked out of an opening window. “Get in,” Miranda called. Thomas looked around, as if trying to spot the hidden cameras showing a tv audience his antics set to zany music and a laugh track. The car door opened and he slowly slid inside.

Miranda wore a blue and black dress, and her skinny legs were exposed up to mid-thigh. Thomas wore a white wrinkled shirt, and his eyes were trying to look at anything but Miranda's skinny legs. “You look nice,” Miranda told Thomas with a genuine smile. Thomas mumbled the same. He finally made eye contact with the young woman. He smiled back and quickly looked away.

The limousine pulled to a stop, and its two passengers disembarked. While Miranda smoothed down her dress, Thomas furtively watched her hands slide down her middle and over her hips. When she turned to him, he looked up to the marquee. It was a large, white, empty sign with a small “restaurant” across the bottom.

Thomas looked at Miranda perplexed. “We're eating here?” Miranda confirmed. She began to walk toward the door of Blank, one of New City's chicest restaurants. It was renowned for its exclusivity and celebrity patrons, and Thomas felt more than a little intimidated. “But...,” Thomas began to say.

”Don't worry,” Miranda assured him, “I know the owner.”

Inside the restaurant, the maitre d'hotel grinned and pretended to listen to Miranda tell him that the two were there to see Mr. Sunder. “Everyone 'knows' Mr. Sunder. Do you have a reservation?”

”No, we actually do know Mr. Sunder. Alex. Alex Sunder.”

”Mmm hmm,” he said glancing over at Thomas. “I'm sorry, sir,” he said unapologetically, “we have a strict tie-and-jacket dress code.”

”It's not that strict, Jimmy,” came a voice from behind them. Alex stepped up to the host's podium. He had a suit that cost more than Thomas' monthly rent and all the confidence expected of a handsome, broad-shouldered, millionaire playboy. Thomas immediately resented Alex's good looks, but was impressed by his cavalier attitude toward the snooty maitre d'.

”Of course not, sir.” James, the maitre d', laughed insincerely. With a few flicks of his wrist, he attempted to shoo Miranda and Thomas away from the podium to make room for the VIP. “We have your table ready, Mr. Sunder.”

”Good. Can you show my two guest the way?”

James glanced at Miranda and Thomas, then gave Alex a look as if to ask Do you know these two? “I didn't know you were expecting any guests tonight, sir.”

Alex leaned in. “I guess you'd better set some extra places at the table then, Jim-bo.” James nodded and trotted off without a word.

Miranda hugged Alex, standing on her toes to reach around his neck. Thomas again resented the handsome man, while he stole a glance at the young woman's backside. Beaming, Miranda introduced Thomas. Although they met eye-to-eye, Thomas felt dwarfed by Alex's presence and firm handshake. Alex smiled knowingly at him, and Thomas nodded shyly. Miranda began explaining to Thomas that Alex owned this restaurant, and several other businesses in New City, and was, in fact, one of the richest men in the city. Alex feigned embarrassment. Thomas nodded and was impressed. James promptly returned and apologized for the wait.

After the three had settled into their table in a quiet corner of the room, and Alex had decided on a bottle of wine, he leaned in and looked intently at Thomas. “So, Miranda tells me you have a certain talent.”

Thomas looked at the young woman and saw her grinning and staring back at him. He averted his eyes. This young woman, as so many other women did, intimidated him. “It's alright. He's a superhero, too,” she whispered.

Thomas looked back and forth between the two. Miranda smiled encouragingly. Alex nodded his head. Thomas chuckled. I know she found out about my ability, but she doesn't – they don't – actually think I'm a superhero. They don't actually think they are superheroes. Do they? Thomas saw sincere looks on their faces. His chuckle died. They were expectant, waiting for him to say something. “Is this a joke?” he mumbled.

Alex explained, “The term 'superhero' has some silly connotations to it, I know, and finding a regular 'hero' is difficult enough in this day and age – in this city – let alone a 'super' one. But that is what we are. We are people with extraordinary power, extraordinary drive, extraordinary desire to do what's right. We right wrongs. We protect the innocent. We vanquish evil. The only way to describe what are is “superheroes.” Thomas blinked several times in silence. “I prefer the term 'crime fighter,' though” Alex added.

The waiter came, poured some wine, and took their orders. I'm not sure what's wrong with these people. They don't look crazy, but ... When the waiter had left, Thomas asked, “So, are you guys, like, in a cult?”

”I know it sounds crazy,” Miranda began. Thomas agreed. “But we're for real. We stop criminals and save lives.”

”And if you can do what Miranda says you can do, we want you to join us.”

”You want me?” Thomas pointed to himself. The two nodded. “To join your team of superheroes?” Thomas pointed to Alex and Miranda. The two nodded. This is the weirdest thing to happen to me in long time. Well, I've gone this far; I might as well keep going down the rabbit hole until I find out what these crazies are up to. Thomas glanced at Miranda. I can't believe I'm doing this just for a pretty girl. “So, a superhero, huh?” Thomas took a swig from his wine glass. "What sort of benefits package is there?”


  1. I'm sorry I was so late in updating Superhero today. I blame holiday shopping over the weekend and The Magster coming home for winter break. And communism.

  2. I suppose I'll be your scapegoat this time. But communists are not the only procrastinators.

    seriously though, keep up the writing. I likey.



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