Awkward Hawk, issue #1: Beware the Stare of Dr. GorgonPosted: May 6, 2013 | |
Okay, here’s the first in my “Awkward Hawk” series. As I have it planned, each will be a vignette based on one of my socially awkward quirks. Afterward, in case the quirk was not made obvious by the tale (And if that’s the case, what kind of writer am I?), I’ll offer a brief explanation. Let’s get to it already!
WARNING: It turned out longer than anticipated. Advance at your own risk.
“Beware the Stare of Dr. Gorgon”
(Picture by electricbill on Flickr)
Dr. Gorgon strolls through the garden of statues clogging Main Street. She peers into cars to see stone drivers and passengers. There’s even a dog statue lifting its leg on a tree. If that isn’t proof of her villainy, I don’t know what is. That dog has to hold it in for who knows how long.
Hurts me just to think about it. Hold on, I’m taking a bathroom break before I continue this narration…. Okay, I’m good.
“Nobody can challenge me,” the bad doctor whispers with a smile, then pauses. “Oh, wait, Daring Demon would be a nuisance, being blind and everything. But he’s in New York, so it’s moot. Nobody else can challenge me!”
A pigeon, being unobservant, suicidal, or both, chooses that time to take off from a windowsill. Dr. Gorgon’s gaze swivels in its direction, and she whips off her tinted goggles. The pigeon’s eyes meet hers. Flesh becomes stone, and the pigeon statue plummets to the street, sure to smash upon impact.
That is, it would have, if Awkward Hawk didn’t come swooping down to catch it just in time. Hawk sets it down on the sidewalk. Does a pigeon count as a full life saved? he wonders. Eh, I’m going to say yes. What, is someone going to audit me? He takes out a notepad and adds a tally on the “lives saved” page. After a brief struggle with conscience, he puts a tiny asterisk next to it. Best play it safe.
“Really?” Dr. Gorgon scoffs. She has replaced her goggles. Sure, she’ll take them off again when she wants to finish Hawk off, but it’s only polite to allow for banter and/or monologuing. “Awkward Hawk comes to stand against me? Was the Gilded Grasshopper busy? Don’t you have a cave to hide in?”
“For your information, it’s being fumigated, and Grasshopper has a dentist appointment. But I would have come anyway!”
“I’m certain.” The doctor sits on a car hood and crosses her legs.
“So what’s your plan, Gorgon?” Hawk asks. “You aren’t the type for harming the innocent unless there’s profit involved. Where’s the profit here?”
“I had a grand speech prepared, you know,” Dr. Gorgon says. “Embellished the affair a bit. But since it’s just you, I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes version. Did you attend the city council meeting about the road work they planned for next week on this street?”
“I think my perfect attendance at council meetings is public record.”
“Ah, good. That’s it.”
“That’s – what?”
“I’ve clogged the street with human statues so they can’t do it.”
“Because I live right there,” Gorgon points at an apartment building just down the street, “and I work nights, so it would keep me awake.”
“I know, right?” Dr. Gorgon slides off the hood. “Well, it’s been a nice chat and everything, but let’s finish this.”
“Good. I was hoping to get to Subway before the lunchtime rush.”
Dr. Gorgon lifts her goggles and stares at Hawk, anticipating his fate as her newest statue. It would be a good one, too, what with the wings and all. Maybe she’d sell that one to an art gallery and pretend she sculpted it. She was preoccupied trying to think of a name for the sculpture, so she didn’t notice Awkward Hawk walking towards her, not turning to stone at all. She settles on “An Angel Falls” when she finally comes to her senses and sees Hawk standing right in front of her. “You’re not stone,” she says.
“No, thankfully, I am not.”
“But how? My power is irresistible. I could turn an elephant to stone!”
“It’s theoretical, but the math supports the hypothesis. How are you doing this?”
“Wait – hey, you’re not even looking at me.”
“Um, nope, I’m not.”
“Have you even looked at me since we’ve been talking?”
Hawk fidgets. If he wasn’t already looking away, he would do it now in embarrassment. “Maybe not.”
“That’s just rude.”
“Not as rude as your stony gaze, villain!” He was already embarrassed, so he figures he can get away with that line.
“Damn it, come here and look at me, coward.” The doctor grabs his face and tried to turn it so their eyes meet. Awkward Hawk struggles, as I’m sure you’ll agree is a good idea in the situation. As they struggle, he twists away rather violently and ends up clipping her with a wing. She goes down without further fight.
Awkward Hawk hasn’t noticed yet, as he is crouching in the street with his arms flung over his face. When he finally peeks out and sees the unconscious villain, he simply says, “Well, this is awkward.”
* * *
And there you have it. So what is the social quirk this is based on? If you guessed “corny one-liners,” you’d be wrong. It’s all about my aversion to eye contact. I can make eye contact, and frequently do. It just makes me uncomfortable for some reason. When I’m talking to someone, I’ll often look off to the side. I’m sure it makes me seem rude (as many of my quirks probably do), but I swear I’m just weirdly shy.
Wow. This turned out longer than I planned. I expected just a piece of a scene – maybe a bit of comic action with some dialogue. Ended up with some bona fide flash fiction over here. As fun as it was, I’m not sure future installments will be as long. I was also considering playing around with a script format (something I haven’t done before). We’ll see. I hope anyone brave enough to read the whole thing enjoyed it.