It was a Monday. Or maybe it was a Thursday. Mondays and Thursdays feel the same to me. Not like Tuesdays; I can always tell when it’s Tuesday. Wait, I remember now, it was a Friday.
Fridays can be slow or fast paced depending on a lot of factors ranging from paydays to parenting decisions to weather patterns. You can never tell how the comics business will be on a Friday. Oh yeah, I work in a comic book store called Bob Kane’s Comics. My boss isn’t “The” Bob Kane if you’re wondering; just lucky enough to want to run a comic book store and have the same name as the creator of the Dark Knight of Gotham City.
We’re supposed to be evasive about which Bob Kane the store is named after but I’m not much of a bullshiter. Luckily for me Gerald is the king of bullshiters. I once saw him convert a hardcore DC fanboy to Marvel and then back to DC.
That Friday had been slow. Gerald was in the back room eating his microwave dinner. I was up front leaning on the counter, reading a collection of a comic series I had missed reading last year, when the door opened and she walked in. Tall, blonde hair in a messy bun, thinnish figure contained in tight jeans and a plain heather gray t-shirt.
She looked around taking in the store from the door. I should have greeted her when she walked in but I was feeling lazy and figured if she need help finding something she’d ask. She smiled when she saw me, most women do. Most of them find it comforting to see another woman behind the counter.
“Hi, is this store really owned by Bob Kane?” she asked.
“Yes and no,” I said, “The owner is named Bob Kane but he’s not “The” Bob Kane creator of Batman.”
“Oh, that’s not very honest.”
“Why not? His name’s Bob Kane. It’s not his fault if people assume he’s “The” Bob Kane,” I said.
“It was his choice to call the store Bob Kane’s Comics, though. It’s kind of preying on other people’s ignorance, isn’t it?”
“Totally but it works. It got you in here didn’t it?”
“Maybe or maybe I would have come in anyway,” she said.
“If you would have come in anyway, then the name was just icing on the cake.”
She laughed, “True. I’m going to look around.” She walked off to wander around the racks. I watched her less because I was concerned about her shoplifting but because so few women came into the store. She wandered to the toy wall, excuse me, collectible figures. I never have seen the appeal of toys you couldn’t play with, which is why mine were not collectible anymore. Gerald nearly had a heart attack at a picture I took of my toy collection all unpackaged and set up on a shelf.
The woman was mostly hidden by the intervening racks of comics but I could see her looking up at one packaged toy in particular. A limited edition alternate color figure of the hero of a comic book that had been canceled last year that I never expected to sell. Gerald and Bob had a bet riding on whether or not it would ever sell. I really didn’t want to help Bob win the bet but what was good for the store was good for me.
As I started to reach for the grabber we use to get things down from the high hooks, I saw her float up, pluck it from it’s hook and float down. My imagination? Nope. Her ascent and decent were too smooth. Also, our comic racks are not very sturdy; the rack she would have had to climb would have rattled even if it didn’t fall apart. So, that only left one option, she could fly. She was either new to her power and not used to hiding it or just bad at self-control. Either way I needed to make contact to help along the sell.
She was so thoroughly entranced by the plastic encased figure, she didn’t hear me walk up behind her. I did the diplomatic thing and faked a cough.
“Oh I…” her eyes darted from me to the wall to the toy in her hands to the front counter.
“You shouldn’t climb on the racks,” I said to let her think I hadn’t seen her fly up and pluck it from the wall, “They’re not too sturdy. We have a step stool and a grabber thing.”
The panic in her eyes faded. “Grabber thing?” she asked.
“You know those claw grippers on a stick,” I mimed a grabber with my hand; she looked more puzzled. “Never mind,” I said waving away that line of conversation.
“Sorry, I didn’t want to bother you.”
“Yeah, cause I’m so busy with important comic book business that I don’t have time to get one doll down from the wall.”
“It’s not a doll. It’s an action figure of Mega Kidboy in his alternate coloration from the mirror universe.”
I smiled, “You are such a geek.”
“Says the girl working in a comic book store,” she shot back with a smile of her own.
Author note: This is the start of a story about a group of young adults; some have super powers, some are lgbt, none of them are super heroes or villians. Slice of life episodes.