Jewel — Shopping Spree
“Well, let me go and see if we have something … in your size.” There it was. The little break, the little pause that was supposed to tell Jewel that her body was weird. It was different and it caused work, a break in the routine. Jewel felt very much like storming out of the shop and showing that stuck-up …. But she forced herself to stay put and not give her that satisfaction. She knew it had been a mistake to step into the shop. A mistake she had made a couple of times before. Same old, same old. Wasn’t this supposed to be fun? Weren’t they all supposed to enjoy shopping and get a kick out of it? She deserved a kick. She deserved a treat. So she had tried it ‘one more time’. Wondered if she could treat herself to a little gift in the sale. She had been good with money lately She had helped to bring down a gang member who had sold drugs in her neighbourhood. She deserved a cute little top. Which was why she stood there, already pissed off. Her mood by no means improved when she saw the shop assistant coming back with empty hands and a smug expression. She did not wait what pithy remark the woman had come up with this time, but turned on her heel and left the shop. She had discovered a new fabric shop that would certainly have something in her size, because she would make it so. That would do the trick and be her reward this time.
Head in the clouds and planning out what she wanted to do, Jewel made her way towards her next destination. So much so in the clouds that she did not think about the traffic getting thinner and the streets getting calmer. Until a movement, a rustle and a cry caught her eye and slowly but steadily it sunk in that what she saw was one guy shoving the other around. Another one much smaller. This was not a kerfuffle between hooligans. As long it was fair, she did not give a damn if they wanted to bang their heads in. But this looked like a proper fight. Unfair. Jewel decided that her superpowers were needed here.
She did not have her mask, but for these, smaller cases, she had a routine she played out. First, she played “invisibility”. A superpower available to those who are not mainstream-attractive, TV-love-interest material. Together with a sense of “I belong here”, it was close to hiding. Or so. She missed having a cape, because she loved the Batman like move to draw attention by suddenly appearing out of the shadows. But these days everything lacked a good shadow really. Too much light pollution. And Jewel had learned the hard way that a cape in broad daylight was quite the opposite to an invisibility cloak. But still, with her technique she made it quite close before the couple even noticed here. She then played out “underestimation”. This was not actually her superpower, but theirs. Nobody expected much from her. The way she looked, dressed, talked. Surely the guy with the shaved head and the knuckle tattoos — clichés did have to come from somewhere, right — did not expect her to come up close and demand for him to stop and go away. He even less expected her to use the moment in which he smirked and tried to think of an insult to get into pose and kick him in the chest. It even surprised him that she took his punch without blinking — after he finally got through decades of education that you do not hit girls. As the result he got to take another hit from her. Luckily for her — and most likely for him — the smaller guy had read the room correctly and scarpered. An example Jewel was quick to follow as soon as she could. The job was done.
She made a run faster than people expected and only stopped when the fabric store came into sight. By then the adrenalin from the fight had worn off, to be replaced by a happy calm as she picked a fabric that was perfect for the top she had in mind. “What an unusual choice” said the woman when she saw the spider web pattern. “Well, today I felt a bit like Spiderman”, Jewel replied with a smile on her own.