Experience taught my kind to avoid public bathrooms. But since experience can’t argue with a full bladder, I took an exit that welcomed drivers to The Idle.
I parked behind some empty chairs that faced traffic. For car watching? I thought, but biology overruled curiosity, and my need for release sent me rushing into a gift shop in search of a bathroom that was, of course, all the way in the back.
A framed sign, taped between doors labeled His and Hers, read: Ask store attendant for key. I read it again, as my bladder screamed that it would not make it back to the front of the shop without exploding.
Showing my bladder that flesh was weaker than thought, I approached the cashier, and said, “May I borrow your bathroom key?”
He looked beyond my face. I wanted to think that he was admiring my glorious hair, but knew he was staring at the hint of wing tattoo escaping the top of my sweater.
“Male or female?” he said.
“What?” The question surprised me. Angels weren’t common in cold cities, but myth and reality merged decades ago. Our physiology was no secret.
“Men’s or women’s bathroom?” he said, in a louder voice.
“I’m an angel,” I said, feeling flustered. “I’m not in love right now, so… I’m neither and both. I mean… any bathroom. I just need to pee. Any key will—”
“We’ve no restrooms for people who can’t tell.”
“Who can’t tell what?” A surge of mixed emotions set my skin aglow, then the man reached under the counter, and my wings and sword burst fully out of my thoughts.
“I’m not afraid of you,” he shouted, brandishing a crucifix between us.
Wings retracted and sword returned to non-being, I walked away from the trembling fool, too furious to apologize for the puddle my bladder rained on his filthy floor.
the wee notes…
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Mythical Prejudice (Poetry and Flash Fiction with Magaly): write a 3-stanza poem or a very short story (313 words or fewer) that explores prejudice from the point of view of a mythical creature who is part of our modern world.
– Many mythologies and theologies speak of angels as sexless and/or genderless. So, I’ve wondered how these beings might be treated if they were citizens of a world that is very much like ours, but where myth has become reality.
– The Idle (still in the making) a tourist attraction in Indiana, which will involve rows of chairs “overlooking the downtown’s interstate”. The idea behind the “attraction” is that some people might enjoy watching traffic… as long as they are not stuck in it.