The following piece was presented at Jersey City Writers’ literary event – Superheroes & Supervillains: A Night of Dynamic Dare-do-well and Dastardly Deeds. Please enjoy.
Brendan kept his wings politely folded behind him as he wheeled through the supermarket in his wheelchair. He swore that Carol, the produce lady, was always giving him a dirty look as he perused through the apples, inspecting them with his feet. He kept his feet cleaner than most people kept their hands, and he was well known in the community for saving lives, but he still got dirty looks when he used his feet like hands. He hated the wheelchair but it was the most efficient way to get around when he needed his feet free to shop. He turned down the aisle with bread and internally sighed as he saw Vanessa approaching, with her ponytail swinging back and forth behind her, and her earrings sparkling almost as much as her eyes. She smiled widely at him as she snapped her gum. She was a local reporter who had the hots for him.
He tried to close his legs in time but she ended up ducking in between them for a big hug and he was forced to wrap his legs around her as he felt her press up against him suggestively. He felt his body respond even as his mind resisted. He wasn’t in the mood for her games. “How’s my favorite superhero?!” she called out.
“Famished,” he said coldly, hoping she would get the hint and leave him to shop in peace. She pulled out of the hug and he closed his legs.
She was still grinning from ear to ear. “I’d like to ask you a few questions about the high school shooting.” she said. “You saved countless students’ lives. How did you manage to get the gun away from the shooter without hands?”
Brendan winced. He hated that people were always questioning his abilities due to his lack of arms. “The boy is a troubled one. He dropped the gun in shock when I lifted him up with my legs and flew him to the police station.” he said. “Can I go back to selecting the bread for my sandwiches please? I’m rather hungry.”
“I’m sure you are,” Vanessa giggled and ran her hands along his abdomen. “Flying burns so many calories. How about I buy you lunch at Tommy’s diner and you allow me to continue the interview?”
Brendan bit his lip. The offer was tempting, he had bills to pay. The wheelchair had been expensive, and the state refused to approve him as being on disability despite being without arms. “Fine,” he gave in, and got in line to pay for his food. “Do you mind if I drop off my groceries at home first?” he asked.
“Sure,” Vanessa said. “And why don’t you drop off your chair, too? I’d love a ride!” She winked at him.
His heart skipped a beat. Despite her constant questioning, Vanessa was fun to fly around. She didn’t squirm as much as most people whom he tried to save. Her hair flowed gently across his chest as they flew through the air. Flying with her between his legs meant she was close enough for him to smell her jasmine perfume. The problem was, when he flew with her, it would often lead to sex. Pumping his wings got his blood pumping to other regions as well, but most women seemed turned off by his lack of arms. In fact, he had heard a rumor that his superhero nickname Wingman came partially from his sidekick nature, since he never seemed to land the leading lady, not even the ones he rescued.
Brendan looked at Vanessa’s hair. “Won’t the wind mess up your hair?” he asked, not sure if he wanted to fly with her or not.
“I’ll take that chance,” she said, leaning into him.
After dropping off his groceries, they stood on his balcony. It was only a 5 minute flight to Tommy’s diner, but Brendan decided he would take a detour on a beautiful warm summer day like this. “Let’s swing by Pershing Fields on the way,” he said. Vanessa smiled and leaned back against him.
He remembered her first words to him at an Art House party. “Did falling from Heaven hurt?” she asked. “No, I made a soft landing,” he stumbled over his words.
Brendan wrapped his legs around Vanessa and spread his wings.