Here's a bit of flash fiction for you.
A Tradition of Anti-Heroics
I'm not special.
Nobody likes bills. Everyone gets annoyed when they come in the mail. Most people get frustrated when the amount is wrong. I dare say most people call the number at the bottom to fix the problem. Most everyone wants to yell at the person, but, I think, almost nobody really does. I didn't, because I'm not special. I did call though.
Everyone loves a sexy voice on the other end of the phone. We start to imagine. All the features become physical. The full bodied laugh turns into eyes you can fall into. The sexy burr in the voice grows into that one part of the body, whatever it is, that you want thick when the rest is slim. For me it's the breasts, if I was a girl I bet it would be the penis. Like I said, not special. We fantasize our way through life, and phone calls are no different.
I even started off by telling Samantha, but you can call me Sam, that I didn't think I was special. She assured me that I was though. They're paid to say that you see. Part of their job is making customers feel important.
Anyway... she fixed my problem. So sorry Mr. Smith, this was a problem with our computer, and I have corrected it. I fell in love while she did it. I may not be special, but I'm not a moron. She was flirting with me. So I screwed up my courage and asked her out.
Sam must be something pretty special, because she said yes. We set the time and place. She gets off work in an hour and I'm supposed to meet her for drinks. She even offered to buy. So, now I'm sitting here thinking.
How ugly is this bitch? I mean, to say yes to a date with some loser on the phone who has billing problems? The Trumps of the world don't get miss-billed. If they do they don't even notice. How repugnant is her personality, when she's not hiding behind a phone, that she has to resort to turning her legitimate job into an escort service? I bet she's a goddamned serial killer and she's planning on selling my organs on the black market. Her breath probably smells like that fermented fish the old Scandinavians are so in love with.
I'm sitting here terrified. What if all of that is true? Well, maybe not the killer part, but I bet she has armpit hair and feminist-forest legs. What if all of that is true and I show up to be disappointed my her snaggle-toothed personality and Quasimodo looks? I'm not going.
I'm terrified. Worse than that? What if none of it's true? What if she is the perfect goddess I met on the phone? What if she's everything I imagined. Then she couldn't help but be disappointed by me.
I'm not going, and you can't make me. Don't judge me, because I'm not special.
You wouldn't go either.
I just want to say, for those confused by the title. If you don't know it, before comic books and RPGs co-opted the term as a synonym for dark hero, antiheroes were a literary device. The term literally meant, not a hero. Stories about them were stories about the common man. They weren't brave, or skilled, or stuck in great adventures. They were workaday people living workaday lives. This is something of a tribute, and a remembrance of words that have been stolen from us. If you didn't know that, well now you do. I just wish I could remember the style they were common in. I want to say Gothic, but I'm relatively sure that's wrong. If anyone knows, please comment below. If not, guess it's off to the library for me soon, since the interwebs have failed me.