Only For Good
by Gerald So
The hostages were held in a basement in Staten Island, I wrote, forced to watch either the Star Wars trilogy or Catwoman and Jack Sparrow making out on a broken treadmill.
I closed my memo pad. If Jack weren't a friend and I didn't have a crush on Catwoman, I'd have burst out laughing.
Some Halloween party.
How did I, mild-mannered reporter, end up here? I didn't want to look back, but it was better than looking at them or watching the movies, tainting their memory by association.
I met Catwoman in a Western Lit class last semester. I liked her right away. Her tall frame, clunky shoes, glasses. And everyone on the lit magazine staff noticed. Just like everyone at the Planet knows Clark loves Lois.
At the same time, it was clear to me Cat liked Jack.
Brooding over the summer, I finally asked her out last month:
Would you care to have lunch with me? Purely in the interest of fellowship and conversation.
Some pickup line. I actually felt bad for her having to turn me down.
My instinct then was to retreat to the Fortress of Solitude, but I didn't want to quit the magazine over Cat.
When Susan O'Shea invited the staff to her parents' in Staten Island, I tried to back out. I knew there'd be drinking, and drinking would lead to...this.
But both Cat and Jack said I should come.
So I did. Actually they brought me. I couldn't drive well enough to get a license, which meant I was stuck here until Jack sobered up.
I wanted to show them I could see them together and not go insane.
So much for that.
Call no woman respectable till she's dead.
It was a line from a movie I'd fallen asleep to. Black-and-white. I couldn't remember the title.
I squinted at her over my glasses, but stopped as I felt the heat behind my eyes. I tore out the page I'd begun to write, crammed it in my pocket, and tried to sleep.
This is the first story I wrote for Patti Abbott's Fall Flash Fiction Challenge. It was inspired by a Christmas party I attended. Moving the party to Halloween allowed me to take all manner of creative license.