Submitted into Contest #131 in response to: Write a story about two characters whose first impressions of one another are wildly inaccurate.... view prompt


Adventure Fiction Romance

“Hi! You must be Callum?”

“And you must be Rita? You look gorgeous tonight!”

Nervously giving each other the first impression assessment, Callum and Rita were pleasantly surprised that for once the photo on the app underplayed the in-person experience. 

“Thank you! I love your suit. Very.. erm.. fitted and tight.”

“I’m relieved actually because I don’t do this a lot and was worried it wouldn’t fit me,” Callum responded.

“Well believe me it does. Very nicely!”

Callum and Rita were led to their table by the waiter. Both noticed how busy the restaurant was with every table occupied except for the one they were about to sit down at.

Callum liked the table’s central location as it gave him the ability to keep an eye on his surroundings. Rita preferred a table off to the side, away from too many people listening into her business, but she didn’t want to complain this early in the date. 

“… so Rita, have you been here before?”

“No, a friend of mine recommended it as a good place to chat and drink cocktails.”

“The perfect combination!” Callum enthused.

“Absolutely! What’s your favourite cocktail?”

“Wow Rita! Going straight for the tough questions. It would have to be… Mojito closely followed by a Snowball.”

“Nice choices! I love a Tequila Sunrise or a Woo Woo.”

“Not familiar with the Woo Woo but get the feeling tonight I’ll get introduced?”

“That would be fun! Introduce each other to our favourite cocktails! Here comes the waiter now.”

Callum looked at Rita’s gorgeous olive dress and noticed the green bracelet she was wearing. It looked so familiar to him, but he tried to block that from his mind whilst he ordered his Mojito.


“That tastes really good, Callum!”

“Mmm the Woo Woo is a revelation, I can really taste the vodka.”

“Right? It creeps up on you and before you know it you’ve had five and need help standing.”

Rita’s laugh, the one she’d been trying to hide, launched out of her mouth for the first time tonight. It was a combination of a cackle and a snort. Her eyes widened thinking she’d blown it but Callum laughed back and soon enough they were both making a combination of  laughs, snorts and cackles.

“Need help standing? I’ll try not to get that bad. So, Rita Woo Woo what made you swipe right?”

“Oh! Well Callum Mojito Man it’s been a while since I’ve done this kind of thing and a work colleague recommended the app so thought I’d see who was on there. Your profile peaked my interest.”

“Writing that profile took me ages – so difficult trying to talk about yourself like that. I’m not boring at all but I am quite a private person and those profiles expect you to be quite out there so was definitely a struggle.”

“I’m the same! Just doesn’t come naturally to talk freely about myself in that way. What did you like about my profile?”

Rita was fishing for compliments as she was told that’s what you do on dates to see if the guy is interested.

“Your eyes. I’d never seen that shade of green before. Also your love of travel and Marvel movies,”? Callum admitted.

“Ha! Well those characters are not just for guys y’know! I noticed you like travelling too, what’s the last place you visited?”

“Rome, about a week ago. So beautiful, I wished I could’ve have stayed there for weeks but it was just a flying visit.”

Rita scrunched her brow as the squeak of a very tiny alarm bell sounded. Could it be a coincidence? Must be. Well she better ask anyway.

“A week ago? Were you there when the Vatican was attacked?”

“Erm I heard about it but was near the Trevi Fountain at the time. Some attempted robbery of old artefacts?”

Callum started to sweat on the inside. He needed to hide the truth at all costs. What an idiot! Why did he have to say Rome? He continued…

“Yes I think the news said it was a team of evil superheroes but the good guy in a cape made sure they didn’t get far.”

Rita brushed off the coincidence, rearranged her bracelet and quickly changed the subject as it was getting too close to home.

“Really? I don’t believe all that super stuff, it’s media spin. They’ll print anything these days. So what do you do as a job Mr Mojito?”

“I’m in law enforcement. I work with the police to ensure they have the right equipment and support they need to do their job. It’s very fulfilling when it works.”

“Does that mean sometimes you get it wrong?”

“Well we can’t always be in every place at the right time. Some things can slip through the net but not often. And what do you do Miss Woo Woo?”

“I work in Human Resources. I am in charge of advertising and hiring people with the right skills  to join my company’s team.”

“Sounds very powerful!”

“It can be at times. Shall we grab the waiter and order some food?”

Callum nodded and signalled the waiter to come over. His tiny head alarm was ringing loudly as he stared at Rita ordering her food whilst she twisted the unique bracelet on her wrist.


Blanking the irrational concerns from his mind Callum was loving his date and the banter back and forth during the meal was beyond all his expectations. Somehow Rita already fully understood him and he got her too. There was so much in common, different upbringings, career paths and friends but underneath it all he already felt a deep connection with this woman. He realised he’d been staring a little too long so needed to break the silence of two people chewing food and being comfortable in each other’s company.

“That was delicious. I’m really glad we came here. I was so nervous beforehand,” he said.

“Yeah, I feel like we’ve got on well. The drink and chat has flowed nicely. Listen erm I know it’s just the first date, and this may be a bit too forward, but do you fancy going somewhere else for another drink or two?”

Callum wanted to jump for joy, of course he would. He did his best to keep it in with a swift nod of the head. Rita could see he was interested in her and despite any misgivings, even she had to admit there was chemistry between them.

“Errr sure, let’s settle the bill and find another bar nearby. Now we need to hopefully catch the waiter’s eye,” Callum said.

“Come on you’re an expert now. I believe in you! Here he comes… SEE!”

“Beginner’s luck! Thank you. Here’s my card <beep!> And we’re free to leave. Let me help you with your coat.”

Callum picked up Rita’s long black coat and held it behind her as she positioned her arms into the warm hug of the inner material. Once her hands burst out from the arms of the coat the luminescent green bangle jangled as it escaped the clutches of the furry cuffs. 

“Rita, sorry to go on but that’s such a lovely bracelet. I swear I’ve seen that before?”

“This old thing? It was my mother’s for decades but haven’t worn it in a while.”

Rita tried to hide the bracelet but Callum had already softly clutched her arm and was bringing the bracelet up to his face to get a closer look. Spinning the green jewellery around Rita’s wrist Callum wracked his brains once more but the tiny alarm inside his head was now beginning to echo louder and louder around his skull, escaping through his ears.

“It looks so familiar… hmm it’ll come to me.”

“It’s just a green bangle. Anyone could own one like it. Maybe it’s someone that you know?”

“Not that colour though. I’ve definitely seen it before but where? It’s even the same as your eyes OOOOOFFF!”

The punch to Callum’s chest threw him backwards hurtling through table after table sending the other diners in multiple directions, somersaulting through the air as chunks of oak followed them. His back hit the restaurant window first which shattered around him and the rest of his speeding body followed. Callum’s shocked and battered body hit the the pavement outside causing a small mound of concrete to surround him as he came to rest.

Rita walked calmly through the restaurant ignoring the pandemonium ensuing around her. Her eyes were fixed on Callum outside with mixed emotions of concern that he was okay and annoyance that she decided to wear her magic bracelet tonight of all nights. But how did he recognise it? Carefully navigating the upright shards of the broken window to leave the restaurant Rita looked down at Callum’s lifeless body.

“You wouldn’t drop it! I just wanted a nice date and I was enjoying it and you had to ruin it!”

Callum sat bolt upright in his concrete coffin and stared at Rita.

“You!? I knew I’d seen that bracelet before. It was in Rome.”

Rita eyes exploded as Callum’s suit instantly disappeared revealing his even tighter bright purple Lycra outfit and cape underneath.

“YOU!? Right, well you’re not going to thwart me like you did in Rome.”

Callum looked around at all the people in and out of the destroyed restaurant filming them on their phones.

“Everyone move away before you get hurt!”

The public were very dumb so ignored Callum and preferred to continue capturing this solid gold video content for their various social media channels. Rita sighed, her green eyes glowed and fierce rays sprayed out hitting every device she could reach melting them instantly. That was enough to disperse the crowd permanently.

“Right, where were we?” said Rita rearranging her somewhat ruined olive dress looking around for something to hit her enemy with.

“Rita, we don’t have to do this. You could just leave.”

Callum walked into the street trying to get further away from the nearby shops. Rita had already found her first weapon of choice. Grabbing the side of a supermarket delivery lorry, she carefully picked it up and extended it over her head so she could take her aim. With an effortless thrust of her arms Rita launched the lorry directly at Callum’s chiselled face a hundred yards away.

Noticing as it sailed towards him, the lorry still contained the driver, Callum aimed his laser vision, fired a bright blue double ray directly down the centre of the cabin and the trailer cutting the lorry perfectly in half and singeing the driver’s coat in the process. The two pieces of the lorry were still flying directly at Callum’s face, he caught both, let the driver get out and then launched them back at Rita in a double lorry javelin move not seen since the Superhero Olympics of 1987.

Pressing her bracelet twice, Rita’s bright orange forcefield shrink wrapped her entire body whilst bits of lorry exploded and sprayed all across the street. As the flames died down Rita pressed her bracelet three times, flew off to a nearby shop grabbing three random members of the public and zoomed back to the street making sure they were blocking Callum’s view of her.

Callum stared at the innocent people Rita was hiding behind. He activated his X-Ray vision but couldn’t quite make out what she was doing with her wrists behind these innocent strangers.

Losing patience, Callum used his super speed to dash behind the human shield and grab Rita unaware. There was no one there except some smoke… Callum stood staring at the empty ground for one second too long trying to figure out where his enemy had gone, not realising the three holograms of members of the public, which she had created using her bracelet, had disappeared behind him. Before he could turn around and discover Rita’s hiding place she grabbed his foot and zoomed up into the sky at breakneck speed.

With his head pointing towards the ground and cape flapping over his face, Callum tried to grab Rita’s hand as their tight super bodies went higher and higher into the clouds. Firing off some random blue rays from his eyes were also proving fruitless as he couldn’t aim upside down. With outer space swiftly approaching, Callum decided for once in his super life he may have to bend the rules.

Grabbing his invincible stretchy cape, he ripped it from around his neck, flung it towards Rita’s head covering her entire body, pulling it tightly as he tried to close the super sack he’d started to create.

Clinging onto Callum’s foot for dear life, Rita continued to climb but the pressure of the cape around her throat was too much and she eventually conceded. Letting go of Callum’s foot, he successfully tied the sack at the top with Rita safely captured inside and headed for the ground with the floppy make shift jail for one in front of him.

Hurtling towards the ground with the captured Rita in front of him Callum decided he would make her think he was about to hit the ground hard but not do it at the last minute.

Thousands of feet passed by in nano seconds with only a few hundred more until they both hit the ground. Rita began to wriggle inside the sack with her face peering out from the sealed top causing Callum to lose his grip.

The sack plummeted the remaining hundred feet to the ground causing a huge crater to explode and form into the road below. The sealed sack sprung open revealing a dishevelled and startled Rita inside.

Callum sped to her aid, checking she wasn’t injured. Seeing the devilish look in her annoyed eyes he pinned down her arms with all his remaining strength, just in case she tried anything silly. He stared deep into her sultry, but still really pissed off, green eyes.


“Not until you calm down!”

Rita was in no mood to calm down, her eyes began to glow green ready to fire into Callum’s super skull at point blank range. Spotting the emerald hum from Rita’s face Callum quickly blew a swift gust of ice cold air across her eyes freezing them shut giving her some fetching ice glasses.

“You can’t do that! Ow it’s freezing!”

“That’s the point, stop wriggling.”

“Get off me then!”

“Not until you promise to stop fighting.”

“… Okay, I promise.”

Callum, still unsure of her honesty, reluctantly let go of Rita’s arms and sat down next to her. Dusting herself off she ripped off the frost from her ice glasses and lay on the ground catching her breath reliving the evening.

She was still fuming and wanted to keep fighting but something stopped her. Out of nowhere, Rita had a crazy idea and rather than battle her handsome foe some more she wanted to ask something, as the super villain life was so lonely. Clearing her throat Rita turned to Callum.

“You know… and I know this is going to sound silly, we could maybe try and dial back to the start of the evening. Yes we are meant to be enemies but you have to admit there was a spark there and if we tried… a kiss… it might prove there’s still an attraction?”

Callum stared into Rita’s eyes normally and via X-ray vision and came to the conclusion that somehow she was telling the truth. He couldn’t believe, especially after the last ten minutes of carnage, she’d even suggest this but somehow he felt the same.

Superhero life was a constant internal battle to trust anyone when you are deceived by numerous villains time and time again. This could be the exception to that rule and Callum for his own mental health needed to find out.

“I suppose we could, no harm in a little kiss.”

Rita nodded with a grin on her face. Callum didn’t need any further signals and moved towards her, grabbing the sides of her face gently, pursed his lips and slowly connected them with hers. Their wet lips moved together for a few seconds discovering new ways to lock their faces in one continuous movement until suddenly….

“UGGGHHHH!” screamed Rita in distress tearing her lips from Callum’s.

“YUCK! I THINK I’M GOING TO BE SICK!” whaled Callum feeling his lovely meal coming back to shake hands with his tongue.

“Your mouth tastes like a toilet. It’s absolutely disgusting.” Rita proceeded to repeatedly spit the kissy contents of her mouth into the surrounding concrete crater.

Scraping his tongue with his fingernails Callum responded, “My tongue is physically burning! Have you got acid spit or something?”

Rita thought for a moment and her cheeks began to turn red.

“Yeah I think… a little. Sorry!”

The pair of them spent over a minute trying to clean their mouths of each other’s saliva to the amusement of the brave onlookers in the remaining shop on the high street. An uncomfortable silence followed whilst Callum and Rita tried to end the date and leave before it got even more embarrassing. This was a bad idea all round. Eventually Rita took the plunge, “So erm I’m gonna go.”

“Oh really? Okay, no problemo. Nice meeting you Rita. See you around!”

“Yeah, I guess Callum… but erm you know with a bit of mouth wash and a few changes you could join me.”


“Join my team. We’d love you to be a part of my super villain squad.”

Rolling his eyes Callum wished there would be a time when a super villain didn’t try and turn him to the bad side. Sadly today was not that time. He took a deep super breath and politely responded.

“Rita, I’m flattered. But that goes against all I’ve promised to uphold for the people of Earth and…”

“OH JUST FUCK OFF THEN!” cried Rita before she zoomed into the air promising herself she’d never go on another date via an app again.

February 04, 2022 11:03

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Moon 🌙
16:08 Feb 08, 2022

omg that took a turn... part 2? this was such a fun read I loved it and i loved all the turns. great job!


PJ Aitken
16:14 Feb 08, 2022

Well it definitely could warrant a full novel or little sequel. Glad you enjoyed it.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Jeannette Miller
02:32 Feb 15, 2022

Great dialogue and super fun story to read! Great job :)


PJ Aitken
04:36 Feb 15, 2022

Thank you, Jeannette!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
15:38 Feb 09, 2022

This is absolutely brilliant, tinder date turns into 'something more'! The first part is flawless and I was gripped at where this is going, i think the action could have maybe been a tiny bit shorter, but the ending and twist with the kiss was a surprise turn and it was all loads of fun. I'm going to use my superpowers to put in a vote for this story;)


PJ Aitken
15:42 Feb 09, 2022

Thanks Scott - yeah it’s tricky as I wanted them to have a nice battle without it feeling too brief but glad you enjoyed it overall.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
12:42 Feb 09, 2022

What a fun story! It took a turn I definitely didn’t expect. I loved it! I guess when Callum’s cape flaps around in his face is what Edna Mode meant by “No Capes!” ;)


PJ Aitken
13:01 Feb 09, 2022

Yeah capes do seem to be a nuisance 😆 Thank you for your lovely comments, Katelin.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Hannah Barrett
20:59 Feb 08, 2022

Such a fun read, Pj! Loved how despite their individual "senses" buzzing from the very beginning, they tried to push through for the sake of chemistry. Well done!


PJ Aitken
21:02 Feb 08, 2022

Thanks Hannah - It turned out well and definitely have ideas of where it could go next.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Desiree Haros
22:56 Feb 07, 2022

Loved the author's take on superheroes/supervillains. We could use more of this type of fiction in the world.


PJ Aitken
05:39 Feb 08, 2022

You’re so right, Desiree. 😁


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
21:42 Feb 06, 2022

Oh my gosh. What a fun read!


PJ Aitken
21:46 Feb 06, 2022

Thanks Mary - I try to make my stories a lot of fun.


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
13:34 Feb 04, 2022

Unbelievably enjoyable 🤣 I would love to see this as a short film. Dialogue on point! Best line: “Have you got acid spit or something?” Relatable haha


PJ Aitken
14:29 Feb 04, 2022

😄 Oh Deidra! I’m blushing ☺️ The prompt seemed to open up my brain to take the Meet-cute setup in unexpected directions. And yes if someone wants to write the script and win an Oscar, don’t forget to invite me!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.