On a Wednesday morning in Hap’s Diner, two men — one Black, the other British — sat at a table across from each other and brainstormed super hero names and catchphrases. Though to many passersby, the catchphrases didn’t sound too heroic or masculine in the slightest.
“What about diaphanous?” asked the British man, sipping his coffee with hazelnut cream.
The Black man blinked. “As my name?”
“No, for your catchphrase. Like…” The British man snapped his fingers. “Diaphanous, yet…”
“‘Yet’ what? Black? Bald? ‘Yet’ is negative, isn’t it? ‘Yet’ means you’re trying to make up for something. I mean, I like diaphanous, but — Maybe it should be ‘diaphanous and’ something?”
The British man raised his cup in ascent. “Good. We’re getting somewhere.” He raised his mug. “Your turn, Jamal.”
Jamal leaned back in his chair stared out the window. He watched a few cars zip by, as well as people parked their cars next to the dearth of parking meters along the street. “Just call me ‘Jay,’ man.”
“But it’s such a wonderful name. It means ‘beauty.’ It fits you.”
“It fits the wings on my back. That’s about it.” He eyed the British man. “Also, Connor, I thought you said it was my turn.”
Connor quieted sheepishly.
Jamal’s eyes returned to the cars. “You said liked ‘gentleman’ before. What about ‘Gentlemoth’?”
Connor slapped the table and grinned. “Brilliant! I’ll take it!”
Jamal shrugged. “Just like that, huh?”
“Just like that.” Connor sipped his coffee again. “I’m more than happy enough for you to christen me.”
Jamal wrapped his fingers around his black tea. “If you say so. Your turn.”
The waiter, a burly man with hair crawling across his arms and sweat stains beneath his armpits, walked up to the two and whispered, “Coming up with your stripper names, ladies?”
Jamal’s grip tightened on the tiny tea cup handle. He glanced at Connor.
Connor glanced over his coffee cup and raised an eyebrow, asking, You wanna have a go?
Jamal lifted his chin. Eh, I’ll take a piece.
Connor winked, then lowered his coffee mug to check his pocket watch. “Well, well, well, would you look at that! Thank you so much for the coffee and tea, sir! We’d best be going now, shouldn’t we, Jay? But first…” He ducked under the wooden table. “Let me find my cane…”
The waiter’s chuckle was cut short with a loud thwack! to his calf. He stumbled away, face reddening with anger. “H-Hey! What the — ? ”
As Jamal stood from the table with Connor, he left a two-dollar tip beneath the salt and pepper shakers. “Thanks again.”
“Hey, wait! Come back here! He hit me! That’s assault!”
Connor blink coquettishly. “Oh, did I? Really, sir, I’m starting to worry about you. Maybe you should lie down.” He nudged Jamal in the arm, and with his palm spread out, Jamal blew his signature, sparkling-white Diva Dust toward the waiter.
“Wh-What?! No! I — I…” The waiter’s eyes rolled in the back of his head. He collapsed on the booth, asleep the moment Connor and Jamal left the premises.
Connor swung his white cane across the pavement. “You said it was my turn, wasn’t it?”
“I did, but…” Jamal chewed on his lip. “I wanna weigh in on the catchphrase.”
Like a director envisioning a blockbuster film, Jamal spread his arms out wide, taking in an imaginary horizon. “Diaphanous… and fabulous.”
Connor paused in the middle of the sidewalk.
Jamal blinked. “Connor?”
Connor took out his handkerchief from his breast pocket, lightly dabbed his eyes, and sniffed. “I have taught you well!”
Jamal rolled his eyes, but smiled. “So dramatic.”
“Melodramatic.” Connor wagged his finger. “Mind your words, friend.”
“God, you’re such a nerd!”
“And proud of it!”
Okay… Explanation time, am I right? XD
So, I might have mentioned it once or twice on this blog, but I draw. Obviously not well or to the level of a Disney animator or anything like that, but I draw occasionally. I like the feel of coloring and letting my pen tablet do the work instead of my fingers on a keyboard, sometimes. I used to draw a lot when I was a kid, and now I’m trying to get back into it.
Anyway, on March 13, I was on SoundCloud, and one of my favorite musicians named Maxo uploaded “Battle! Bug Type Expert,” the fourth in what I believe is a series of original songs using the soundfonts of Pokemon White 2 and Pokemon Black 2.
Needless to say, I love its boppin’ beat, and in my head, I got the idea for a character. But instead of writing about him first, I drew him. And thus, this nameless “Butterfly Man” superhero/gym leader was born. And in a kind of 360-moment, I wanted to write about the character that I had drawn, which led to this week’s flash fiction piece.
I’ll be honest, though. When I was thinking about what picture I should upload with this piece, and I decided to break tradition by not uploading a picture from Pixabay and instead uploading my drawing of “Butterfly Man,’ I was spooked. I was so ashamed of my drawing, worried about what people would think of it. And I was debating whether or not I should show it to you, dear readers.
But then I realized that “Butterfly Man” already gave me that answer. Since his inception, “Butterfly Man” always felt like a character that didn’t care what other people thought about him, his giant pink wings, his style of dress — none of that. “Diaphanous and fabulous” — That’s it.
Anyway, TL:DR; behold the first flash fiction piece with an illustration from yours truly 😀 ! Depending on my inspiration, I might include more drawings in the future.
If you liked this flash fiction piece (or even my drawing), please leave a comment telling me what part you liked or what parts I could improve. And if you can, please consider buying me a coffee or give whatever you can so that I can keep writing, drawing, and creating ^_^
As always, see you next post.