Home » Flash fiction » Short story: “Shower scene”

Short story: “Shower scene”

Well it’s short scene centered around a shower, so…

***

The water in the shower had finally decided to get warm again and Zouriel stepped underneath the shower head, yelping when it gave a cough and a splash of scalding water his him in the face. Cursing under his breath he went through the motions of washing and scrubbing. How strange that you came to appreciate such small comforts when they became less of a staple in your life. How long had they been living like this now? The days had begun to blur together in his mind.

At least this motel room had warm water in their taps now and then, even when you wanted it to be warm! Ignoring the nasty stains on the ceiling, which might be the first signs of mold or some other kind of rot, Zouriel closed his eye and let the warm water wash over him, getting into every nook and cranny, every corner and crevice. When the warm water had run out again, he stepped out onto the cool bathroom floor and grabbed a reasonably clean towel off the rack. Steam hovered in the air, obscuring most anything, especially the mirror, but the voices from the other room were crystal clear.

 

“I’d wanna be like Spider-Man ‘cause he can climb on buildings and things and swing with his webs and tie up all the bad guys with it!”

“I thought you’d want to be able to do something you can’t already do, like fly maybe.”

“I dunno…Flying seems kinda scary. If you climb you can still hold onto stuff and get down safer.”

 

He wasn’t sure what had prompted this conversation between Marcus and Oy, but he couldn’t help listening. His post-shower routine ground to a halt and he remained standing in front of the fogged up mirror, towel wrapped around his waist as water dripped down on the floor.

 

“So, what superhero do you wanna be Marcus? I think you should be Superman, ‘cause you’re strong and stuff.”

Zouriel heard Marcus let out laugh.

“I don’t think I’d be very good with either climbing or flying, I…kind of have a problem with heights.”

Oy let out a gasp. “Really? But you seem so brave, just like Zourie!”

“Zou is way braver there; no lies, he has to blindfold me to get me to climb into anything higher up than seven feet.”

He heard Oy moving around on one of the beds, the springs letting out a pained groan.

“Maybe…You can be like Batman then? He has all these gadgets and things in his belt and you wouldn’t have to climb things all the time.”

A brief silence as Marcus apparently mulled over this.

“I…actually don’t like Batman all that much. I mean, I guess he’s an interesting character, but he’s so…dark.”

Zouriel could see why Marcus would think like that, if you are on the run from one form of darkness, you want to keep it away from your own person at all costs.”

“I think…This feels silly, but I kind of have a thing for Captain America. I think we could really use a guy like that around.”

“Ohh, and he’s really strong like you too!”

“I think he’s probably a bit stronger than me, since he’s a superhero and I’m not.”

Zouriel could hear the smile in Marcus voice and he realized he was smiling himself.

“I think miss Cass is Wonder Woman”, he heard Oy say. “Cause she’s pretty badass.”

Another burst of laughter from Marcus. “That she is! I guess she is the one that keeps us guys straight.”

“Zourie…I think he kind of used to be a Batman”, Oy said, sounding very thoughtful, like he was weighing every word he uttered carefully and Zouriel could almost see him gnawing on his bottom lip as he usually did. “But he’s not really a Batman anymore, I think.”

“I think Zou can just be who he is”, Marcus said. “Which is good! We can’t all be superheroes, can we?”

The bed springs creaked again and Oy let out a shriek of laughter.

“No fair, no fair! Zourie said where it tickles!”

Soon the voices quieted down and were replaced by the low drone of voices as the television was switched on. Zouriel realized he’d spent more time than what was really reasonable in the bathroom. For so long that he was mostly dry now, only his hair still dripped wet, almost long enough to touch his bare shoulders.

In some ways it was silly to hear them talk about imaginary heroes, discussing ideals that didn’t fit into the dark world they actually lived in, but somehow it seemed more appropriate than ever. If they could not allow that kind of innocence, if Oy could not be allowed to dream and feel that kind of childish glee anymore, then hadn’t the bad things already won? Those powers they were fleeing from wanted people to become drones that did as they were told…So as long as they had the ability to dream…

Zouriel toweled off his hair roughly, then pulled on the shirt and pants left on the closed lid of the toilet and ventured back into the room.

 

“Wow, you took forever? Did you fall asleep in the shower again?”

“No, I didn’t…”

“You did, didn’t you? See, this is why we let you shower last of all.”

“I didn’t fall asleep!”

“It’s okay, I love you anyway.”

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