Monday, October 20, 2008

"Never Special," Butter & Encounter (pt. 1), 380 words

"Have you tried buttering the bread," I suggest.

"Huh?"

We're in the diner again, the same one we ducked into after our first confrontation -- if you can call it that. Nefarious is sitting across from me, his hands holding tight to a mug of coffee as he goes on again about, well, pretty much anything that wanders across his mind.

I think I understand, now. He loathes having a life that's completely routine. Every complaint and rant of his goes back to that: how meaningless his life feels in his obscurity in a lab. It's the little things that seem to get to him most of all, as if they're something he should be able to grapple with because they're so small, but he still can't master them. Like his sandwiches.

"To stop the mustard soaking into your bread," I explain. "My mother always buttered the bread when she was going to put something on a sandwich that could soak in, when she made lunch for me in elementary school. If you don't mind the extra butter in there, it's like an insulating layer, protecting the bread. It works with mustard, jelly, whatever."

"Huh," he repeats to himself.

***

I'm at work when the news pops on a report of a new villain announcing himself at a heist. Now, this is only of interest because he hasn't been caught yet. Usually, if the police haven't taken care of it quickly, some random hero spots what's happening and comes on in. Rarely, if it's bad, a bigger one gets called in.

This one? It's been five solid minutes since he got into his van and started driving. Five minutes with a brazen new villain uncaught. This makes him newsworthy, possibly just because he's supernaturally lucky.

At my desk, I have a good view of the TV that Dr. Higgins keeps in her office's waiting room, and I have the remote. Out of curiosity more than anything, I turn up the volume to see what they're saying about the new villain. He hit a bank not too far away, and hurt three police in the initial getaway -- one in critical condition. For a moment I imagine taking off after him. It would probably get me fired, so it stays a fantasy.

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