#FridayFlash: Dress For Success

Dress For Success

by Monica Marier

“Ready for your first day of work, Ed?”

Ed Waterman nearly dropped his coffee. “What, today?” he asked. “Don’t I get a training video or something?”

Mr. Lanz made a humorous snorting noise. “We do on-the-job training in this line, Eddy.”

“Uh, sir? I It’s just ‘Ed’,” ventured Ed, but he got the feeling Lanz wasn’t listening. The imposing man was instead busy dumping a heap of brightly-colored spandex into his arms.

“Here’s your uniform. You can change in your office. I’ll see you in five,” said Lanz, smiling. Ed could only nod as he struggled with his slippery pile.

“Oh! Eddy?” said Lanz suddenly. Ed tried to turn carefully. Pieces of uniform slithered to the bland office carpet.

“It’s Ed. Yeah?” Ed stooped over the shiny slick clothes.

Lanz made a strange grimace like he was trying to suck a raspberry seed out of his teeth. “You really need to wear different shoes. All employees are responsible for their own footwear.”

Ed surveyed the shiny black shoes that were sticking out from under his work slacks. “What would you suggest?” he asked.

“Something with gripping rubber soles. Something you can really move around in,” said Lanz. “Those will have to do for today.”

Ed wandered towards his office to change, unsure which of the doors was his office. He hadn’t seen a single employee, yet — only Lanz.

Ed’s parents had been sooo impressed when he’d gotten the phone call from THE Trevor Lanz, playboy billionaire CEO of LanzCo. The job placement agency had dug up a real honey of a job for him.
LanzCo seeks civic-minded administrator for community outreach program. Hours: 5pm-2am. No degree necessary, ex-military preferred. Some heavy lifting.
Starting salary was $75,000 a year with benefits, something Ed couldn’t afford to miss even if he hadn’t been jobless for the last eight months. He wasn’t ex-military; he had been a personal trainer until the yuppies dropped him during the recession. He assumed that the LanzCo job was some sort of sponsored social work, like a soup kitchen.

Ed finally found the door to a very nice office with a new nameplate on it. It said “Eddy Waterman.” Ed sighed. Inside his new office, he eyed the uniform that Lanz had handed him. Suddenly, Ed wasn’t so sure about this.


“So what do you think, Eddy?” asked Lanz.


Ed gulped and tried to keep his balance. He was dressed from head to toe in a livid pink and purple body-tight. It had a matching purple cape with a white lightning bolt on it and a dark purple mask that had been pasted with eye-lash glue over his eyes. Except for the black office shoes, and his boxers bunching around his crotch, it was a rather daunting ensemble. By this point, Ed had no delusions about what he was supposed to be dressed as.

A more pressing question was why Lanz was dressed in a similar costume, and why they were currently astride the radio antenna of LanzCo Tower. The wind buffeted them back and forth as the airplane beacon above bathed Ed and Lanz in an eerie red light.

“Seriously, what do you think?” Lanz prompted again.

“I think… I should have filled out the health insurance forms before we came up here,” replied Ed. “And brought a spare pair of shorts,” he mumbled.

Lanz laughed long and hard. “I’m not allowed by HR to advise what to wear under the suit,” he said. Lanz was dressed in royal blue with a large white eye on his chest. The iris of the eye was a lightning bolt like the one on Ed’s cape. He looked very imposing in it, and Ed realized for the first time just how tall and built Lanz was.

“So who are you then?” asked Ed cautiously.

“I’m Captain Flashback,” said Lanz without a trace of irony.

Ed looked at him blankly. “Uhh...”

“You wouldn’t have heard of me yet, Eddy. Nobody has. Tonight is the first appearance you and I will be making in public together.”

“Together?” asked Ed, growing more anxious.

“I’ve been toying with the idea of being a superhero for some time — especially after my accident.”

“The one with the truck full of irradiated cadmium and your Porsche?”

“Yep. I’d been thinking about my life, where I’d gone, what I’d seen. ‘Take On Me’ by Ah-hah was playing on the radio. Then the truck in front of me flipped over and my life really DID flash in front of my eyes. After that, I found I had the power to overpower people with images from their past. At first I thought I could put it to good marketing use, but NAH… I wanted to use it for good. I wanted to make the scumbags of this world stop and re-evaluate their lives — to be a superhero. That’s where you come in. I need a sidekick to help me. What do you say, Eddy? Will you join me in the fight against evil?”

Ed was about to tell him where he could stick his “fight against evil,” when Lanz sensed his reticence and cried.

“I’ll make your base salary $100,000 a year.”

Ed considered. “Do I get overtime?”

Lanz grimaced before easing into a defeated grin. “Okay. So do we have a deal?”

“Deal,” said Ed ruefully. He needed the job. That was all there was to it.

“Glad to hear it!” cried Lanz. “Only… I’m not liking the name Eddy for you.”

“Good, because I prefer—”

“Lieutenant 80’s! That’ll be your sidekick name!”

“But I was born in 1990,” Ed started to complain, but it was clear Lanz wasn’t listening.

“Ready to say hello to the world?”

“Sure, Captain,” said Ed biting back hysterical laughter.

“Great!” cried Lanz. With a spectacular leap, Captain Flashback launched himself onto the next rooftop. He turned to Ed. “You comin’?”

Ed fought the urge to scream and hide before running after Lanz. He wished he had worn better shoes.


!sdrawkcab ... hsalFyadirF s'tI
April Fools! The story you just read appears here on my blog as a part of the Great April Fool's Day FridayFlash Blog Swap, organized by Tony Noland. You can find my story for today, "King Nosmo the Intrusive" at Monica Marier's website, Attack of the Muses. I tried hard to make my story sound as though it had been written by Monica, even borrowing one of her favorite characters for the story. Did I succeed? You decide!

You can read all the dozens of stories swapping around as a part of the GAFDFFBS, check out the GAFDFFBS index. For hundreds of thousands of words of fantastic flash fiction stories, check out the FridayFlash hashtag on Twitter. It happens every Friday!


  1. I love this! That's a really cool superpower, too.

  2. My prompt for this was "Shiny Black Shoes" and I was reminded of the time I reported to my first day of work (as a janitor) in a skirt and black high-heels. They gave me a uniform and told me to get to work, so I had to clean streets in those shiny (painful) pumps all day.

  3. Awesome! The Lieutenant 80s had me in stitches! Great stuff!

  4. The sidekick never gets no respect, does he? Let's just hope Lt. 80s manages to clear that gap between buildings!

  5. Ha! I enjoyed their rambling dialogue exchanges. No respect, no respect, almost Dangerfield-esque for superheroes. Good work, Money.

  6. Great! Not just a FridayFlash, but a FridayFlashback!

    And it's good to know that I'm not the only who thinks about superherodom.

  7. This is fantastic Monica, the dialogue, descriptions, all of it! I too like Lieutenant 80s - hilarious!

  8. So captures that first day at work feeling. Great story.

  9. This was fantastic - a classic of "the job description didn't say anything about these extra duties"!

    Thanks for the story, Monica!

  10. This was really fun. I loved the "civic-minded administrator." Maybe I can find a job for a mad scientist on Monster.com. This is great.

  11. I love superhero stories. I hope the health benefits are good because Lieutenant 80s may be needing it soon. Great story!

  12. Suddenly Eddy doesn't sound like too bad of a name. Wonder what being a sidekick to Captain Flashback entails. Probably taking fists and bullets from the baddies while Cap gets in position to weave his wonders. Great story!

  13. Very fun read! I could see this as a comic strip, I think. Thanks, Monica and Tony!


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