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Fiction Funny Speculative

“So,” he said, putting on his reading glasses and picking up the sheet of paper, “Mr. Kick, is it?”

“No sir, I’m applying for a position as a Side Kick. My name, well, the last name I went by was The Wasp. I was working for Insect Man at that time but I’m afraid we had a falling out. He blamed it on the economy but I think he just wanted me out.”

“Aha, and why exactly would that be, Mister, ah “one hand raised the paper to eye level, “Wasp?”

“Well, first off, I think he had a problem with my name, thought it had non PC connotations. You know ‘WASP,’ didn't want the media bugging him about it,” he paused for effect. Nothing. He continued, “Also he was concerned about copyright infringement. It seems there’s another Wasp out there, female, but still. . . .”

“I see, and. . . ?”

“I also think he resented me because I appealed more to the target demographic. The twelve to eighteen year olds. I’m younger and cooler, if I say so myself. I’m like an Ed Sheeran or a Harry Styles, only I sting not sing.”  

“You did say so, yes. Okay, so why don’t you tell me what kind of position you’re looking for, I do have some openings here,” and with that he shuffled and thumbed through multiple papers. “Here we go. I have a mutant shape shifter whose looking for help in getting revenge against his ex-business partner’s corporation. If you don’t mind reaching across the aisle, this could be a good opportunity for you,” he said. “I also have an opening for a Vampire assistant, you’d be on coffin duty during the day and blood procurement during the night. It’s rather long hours but pays well.”

“Nah, I prefer to stick to my management company, G-Guy Inc. I’m in the union and have benefits and accrued time towards my pension. I’d need to start all over if I went to the B-Guys. Do you have anything with my team?”

“Let me see,” he said, sliding his swivel chair over to a computer screen. “I have some part time work with Amazing Girl and. . .wait,” he scrolled his mouse through a few pages, “she just turned twenty-one and changed her name to Amazing Woman. Oh my, do you know what kind of paperwork we’re going to have to do now?”

“You’re responsible for that too?”

“Yes, yes. Everything gets funneled down to me, I’m afraid. I work with everyone. I have my hands in many pots, so to speak. So, as I was saying, Amazing Gir, ah, Woman, needs some help for the short run. Probably till she gets this name thing squared away. Business cards,” he said, irritated, “she will need new business cards,” he picked up a pen and jotted down some notes in a small spiral notebook, mumbling to himself as he wrote. “So what do you think?”

“About the name?”

“No, no, no, about the job, Mr. Wasp, please do try and focus.”  

“Well, it sounds interesting, but I think I’d prefer something with more of a future, you know? As you said this sounds like a short term gig, a temp job, if you will. I’m looking for something I can settle into for the longer term, create a relationship, get comfortable and develop clever repartee with the boss. People love that witty stuff. I’m also absolutely on board for a name change, depending on whose team I wind up on. Oh, and the costume. . . ,”

“We do not refer to them as costumes, Mr. Wasp, they are uniforms or gear. It’s a serious business, requiring a serious attitude, understood?”

“Yeah, of course, didn’t mean to degrade the profession. Okay, in terms of the ‘gear,’” and with that, he air quoted with his fingers. “Spandex? Not a fan of the chafing. Way too hot in the summer and not forgiving when I’ve binged on too many burgers and fries. That’s not to say I don’t stay in shape, I know it’s kind of a job prerequisite but I do like my down time and there’s always the vacation ten,” he patted his midsection and grinned. 

“Mr. Wasp, we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, we haven’t even nailed anything down as of yet and when we do, a lot of your functionality will be dictated by your Superior.”

“I get it, sure, I’ve been around awhile. After all, they do put the Super in Superior, don’t they?,” he said, with an anticipatory smile. 

Deadpan stare. “Aha, yes, yes they do. Do you have any further requirements?,” he continued. “I see from your resume,” he said, refocusing on the white sheet laying on the desk, “that you prefer to not wear a mask, is that true?”

“It is. I mean, I will if the opportunity is too good to pass up, but. . . ,” and with that he leaned in confidentially and whispered, “I have this skin condition, you know? It tends to flare up around my eyes, makes me look like a raccoon. Not good for my brand.”

“Mr. Wasp, there is no brand unless we find a match for you,” his voice rising a bit in frustration. “Have you given any thought to going out on your own? Why the bridesmaid and not the bride? Why the sidekick and not the Hero?”

“Thought about it, yeah, a couple of years ago, but, nah, not for me. Too much regulatory bullshit, if you don’t mind me saying so, you know? Sorry. I’m not cut out for administrative stuff. I just like showing up, doing my thing and going home. I’m fine with just being the shadow to my boss’s sunshine.”

“Well, I believe I have a good sense of what you are looking for, Mr. Wasp. Let me explore a few more options and I can get back to you shortly. I’m sure I can find a position that will be mutually beneficial to both you and a Superior,” and with that he stood and extended one of his eight arms for a handshake. “Thank you for coming in today, and we will talk soon.”

The Wasp clasped the hand, pumped it twice, turned and fluttered out of the office.  

April 25, 2023 00:33

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2 comments

Mary Bendickson
02:56 Apr 25, 2023

Revealing last couple of paragraphs, huh? Very astute side-kick story.

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Andrew Fruchtman
03:12 Apr 25, 2023

Thanks Mary. Felt the need to write something whimsical. Hope it was. Glad you enjoyed it. Many thanks.

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