Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday Mini-Series Part 2

Welcome to the first Monday Mini-Series, a new idea I'm introducing to Rainbow Lyrics and Mellow Mushrooms. Each mini-series will be roughly 4-5 parts all coming together to comprise a short story. This first short features a superhero trying to do a very simple task...go grocery shopping. I hope you'll follow along to see how things go for him. Feel free to leave comments and feedback. I hope you enjoy this first installment.

Lactose Intolerant Part 2

It afforded Devlin the opportunity to people watch, starting with a leggy brunette in the football jersey who was rummaging around in her bag, muttering to herself about never having a stupid pen.
"I can relate," he chuckled as they went by; pausing only so he could pass her the only pen they had on them.
Not like they had a list anyway. She smiled and thanked him while Naill grumbled about Devlin never being prepared for anything. That wasn't true and his brother knew it, he kept a condom in his wallet, right next to a little packet of lube. Equal opportunity and all that jazz, if there was one thing their unique existence had taught him was to never limit themselves in anything.
“Which is why we are one honey bun away from actually needing to do exercise,” Nail muttered furiously as they headed for the aisle marked canned fruits and vegetables. Devlin simply whistled a happy tune and pushed the cart, breathing in the scent of chicken frying over in the deli. A pyramid of mushrooms stood beside the endcap, picture perfect with all of the labels facing in the same direction.
"They'd be pretty good on pizza," Devlin remarked, eyeing up the cans.
"Fresh ones are better and we're not making pizza, we're not making anything that comes from a drive through or can be delivered to our door."
"You do know that we get cranky when we're hungry."
"Thought you agreed to shut up and let me handle this?"                         
Devlin grumbled and narrowed his eye. "Fine," he snapped, but that didn't stop him from reaching out and snagging a can as they went past. Unfortunately, the rapid, jerky movement sparked an avalanche of cans and a gasp from Naill. In a flurry of motion, they grabbed at the cans, gathering them all back up before they could hit the ground in a cacophony of noise. Unfortunately, putting them back so fast meant that they ended up in a precariously balanced pile, nothing like the precise placement they'd been in before Devlin happened past.
"You just couldn't resist, could you? Naill grumbled.
"One can isn't going to hurt us, besides, we can throw it into a pot of spaghetti or something," Devlin pointed out, the offending can still clutched in his grasp.
Naill let out a long suffering sigh and rolled his eye. "Fine, but from here on out, you keep your hand to yourself."
Smirking, Devlin placed the can in the cart and made an x with his fingers across his chest. "Cross my heart and hope to die"
 "So I'd wish, but that would be suicide," Naill complained as he took charge of their direction, wandering down the aisle and adding cans of pineapples and apricots. They'd hardly gone a few steps when a woman fussing at her child to slow down and stay beside her took the turn, and distracted, bumped into the stand, sending mushroom cans everywhere. The crash was spectacular, cans rolling down the aisle and bouncing with loud clangs off metal shelves. Naill cringed, pushing the cart a little faster.
"Shit, cleanup on aisle three," Devlin muttered, hiding a snicker behind his hand.
"It ain't funny."
"Yeah, it kinda is," Devlin remarked as the woman tried to corral the out of control kid, dodging cans and nearly tripping on them while she made a grab for him. "Maybe she'll put the kid in a cart from now on."
"Wish I could shove you in a cart, you're old enough to know better."
"So's the kid, or he would be, if she'd teach him some manners."
"Yeah, 'cause you know all about raising kids, right?"
"I'm just saying, maybe if some folks taught these brats young, they wouldn't grow up to be little assholes who run around robbing corner stores, spray painting other people's property and beating up folks for their money."
Naill grabbed a couple bags of dried beans, studying them awhile as he debated which would be best in a pot of chili, before finally deciding on the canned beans, uncertain if it would be worth the effort of having to soak them overnight, then boil them before they'd be of any use.
"Chili does sound good; think we can figure out cornbread?"
"It shouldn't be too hard," Naill replied, grateful that Devlin was finally getting with the program; they headed into the aisle with the baking products only to discover that there were way more kinds of flour than they'd ever imagined.
"Ummm," Devlin stammered as they walked slowly past bags of rye and wheat, bleached, gluten free, rice flour, oat flour, all-purpose, self-rising, and finally, corn meal.
"Pretty sure we need this," Naill stated as he picked up the corn meal. Turning the package over revealed a recipe for corn bread, so he made short work of grabbing the all-purpose flour, honey, and sugar they also needed from the aisle.
"Hey, if we grab some vanilla extract maybe we can figure out how to bake a cake, don't all those cooking shows talk about vanilla extract?" Devlin supplied.
"No cake, even homemade counts as junk food," Naill pointed out. He grabbed a small bottle of cooking oil, then paused at the spice rack, selecting several items and adding them to the cart.
"Do you even know what those are used for? Devlin asked, as Naill added jars of sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano.
"Nope, but we're going to figure it out."
Devlin's eyes lit up when they reached the cereal aisle. Reaching for a box of sugary goodness, he was stopped by Naill's admonishment.
"Don't even think about it."
Groaning, he dropped his hand, pouting as Naill selected several varieties of shredded wheat and flakes with nuts and dried fruit bits in them.
"What's the point of having a super metabolism if you won't even let us enjoy it a little," Devlin moaned as they passed his favorite cereal, the colorful box depicting several varieties of oddly shaped grain bits and marshmallows.
"It won't kill you to eat this for one week."
"You don't know that. It just might."
Lite syrup and whole wheat pancake mix soon joined the cereal in the cart. Naill stared at the oatmeal selections, trying to decide between the organics, gluten frees, lites, instant, steal cut, old fashioned and sugar-free. Devlin would have selected the flavored packages of fruits and cream or maple and brown sugar, Naill of course, grabbed the gluten free, likely because it looked the least appealing of all of them.
As he was tossing it in the cart, they both happened to notice an older gentleman trying to get the last box of cereal down off the top shelf with his cane. Hurrying over, they leapt, propelling themselves off one of the bottom shelves to get greater height, easily snagging the box and landing back beside the old man with a grin. It was quickly wiped away when he rapped Naill on the wrist with his cane hard enough to make him drop the box, right into the cart the crafty old codger had deftly maneuvered into place. Naill grabbed his wrist, shaking it out while the old man waved his cane at them.
"Think you was being smart, didn't ja, you young whipper snapper. Well let me tell you something, no little punk is going to steal my cereal and get away with it. You ought to be ashamed of yourself; didn't your folks ever teach you to respect your elders? You just wait, one day you'll be old and bent and let’s see how you like it when folks just push you aside like you ain't even there anymore. I know you saw me grabbing that box. What right do you think you've got to try and take it away? You want a box; you go ask them if they got some more in the back, this one is mine. Have some damned respect for descent folks who just wanna get on back home without any trouble."
Naill opened his mouth to speak, but couldn't manage to find the words before the old man hobbled away pushing his cart, muttering under his breath about kids these days.
“Unbelievable." Naill muttered.
"Why? Look at what happened with the purse snatching we stopped last week. We step in and keep those two girls from mugging the lady, leave them tied up in the alley and even offer to escort the woman home so she made it there safely, and she turns around and beats on us with that damned heavy assed handbag, yelling at us about putting our hands on those girls. Like they weren't about to beat the hell outta her if she didn't given them everything she had."
"True.” Naill conceded. “He didn't even give us a chance to explain."
"Why, when he'd already made up his mind about our intentions the moment we stepped in. Let's face it, people are jaded. It’s easier for them to see the bad in everyone than to expect something good."
"Tell me again why we bother?"
"I guess so we don't become as disillusioned as the rest of them. Besides, what's the point of having lightning reflexes if we can't do anything with them? It’s not like we can take all of our martial arts training and complete in tournaments or even fight pro, it wouldn’t be fair, we'd always be able to anticipate where the strikes would land, so we'd always counter them, where's the challenge in that?"
"Where's the challenge now?"

"True, but at least we're doing something good, even if most people don't appreciate it."

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