Here is part 2 of my short story, "Asking Batgirl for a Date." Part 1 was posted yesterday. Enjoy!
I pulled into the Grand View Mall, wishing for a handicap permit to dash in with the least amount of people staring and laughing. Instead I wandered up and down the aisles for ten minutes, looking for a close spot. No such luck. I swear this grandma pulled a “Tokyo Drift” move on me to hustle me out of the best spot left.
I parked at the end of a row.
Should I walk cool and confident or sprint in and draw more attention? I ended up with an awkward jog, then slow, speed up, slow down, that only magnified my loser status. I know Granny Speed Racer even pointed me out.
At least I was finally here. Yeah, people snickered walking by me, and I still felt like a freak, but it made sense when I walked into the Boo House, the temporary Halloween store. Where the required uniform was some type of costume.
The source of my embarrassment.
Being penniless, I didn't have money to buy something in the store, even with my 5% discount. The manager, (dressed as the Hulk), needed me the next day, leaving no time to hit a thrift store. I sped home, hoping the deep dark recesses of storage would hide a cool surprise.
Rather than a cruel disguise.
Dad had an ensemble wardrobe of polos and khakis, so he was no help. The younger siblings had mini Star Wars stuff. The Force was not with them. But good ol' Mom and her theatre days...
My boss (now as Frankenstein) showed me the break room. Time to doff my jacket, revealing the rest of my gruesome ensemble. I put on my pointy hat, adjusted my belt and dagger, and prepared to brave the crowds.
The game better be worth it.
Frankenstein showed me the cash register and gave a quick tour. Fake weapons there, masks behind the counter. Blood, gore, and makeup on aisle 13. Except – they were all aisle 13. Lots of goodies to make any Halloween creepy or goofy.
The first half hour passed uneventfully. I seemed to blend in – no one laughed in my face at least. I wondered for the hundredth time how women could stand wearing tights. Or superheroes for that matter. I felt so exposed.
I kept busy cleaning up after kids trying out the props and leaving swords and guns everywhere. Helped me learn the layout quickly. Besides Franky, another employee stood by the cash register filing her nails. Blood red nails. I didn't think they were fake, and I wondered if she only looked like a vampire today or if she dressed that way all the time. She fit in here at least.
I bent over to pick up a dismembered hand when I heard a musical voice behind me. “Let me guess, you're looking for your shadow.”
Not my best side showing. I wheeled up and around.
Holy fireworks Batman!
I mean, Batgirl. I faced an angel in black vinyl. Her blonde hair cascaded onto her cape, while pools of azure peered out from her mask. Her spiky-heeled boots elevated her petite frame to almost eye-level with me. I felt a huge grin spread on my face as I noted her soft cherry-scented lips smiling at me.
I wanted to say something witty and charming. I think I stared dumbly and drooled.
She giggled. I melted.
“I hope you're the new guy. If you dress like that all the time, I'm in trouble.”
“Why would you be in trouble?”
“Because you look better in tights than me!” She laughed again as my face flashed crimson at record speed. Gotta recover.
“So you're, uh, Batgirl?”
She glanced around slyly. “Smart AND a snappy dresser. Frank knows how to pick 'em.”
Breathe. Stay cool. “Are you Stephanie then?”
Now she looked puzzled. “I'm not Stephanie. My name is...”
“Oh, my mistake. Since you're blonde, I thought you were the new Batgirl, Stephanie Brown. Of course, the original Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, was a redhead. But I'm sure you knew that.”
Another confused look. “Actually I didn't know that. I just thought it was cute.”
Way to go, geek! “Oh, you're very cute. You don't even need red hair, and, um...”
Mayday. Going down in flames here.
She grinned. “I'd better go check in. Catch you later in Neverland.”
She headed for the back, her skirt sashaying all the way. I wanted to gaze at her forever, but I caught an irate Frankenstein in my peripheral vision. Time to get to work.
Tomorrow, the conclusion!