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#RubyIyer: BOMBAY SHORTS 13 – Costume Porn

Recap: Ruby Iyer is pushed in front of a local train in Bombay, and wakes up with super powers. Her world is shaken even more when she meets Edward; now when she is face-to-face with her adversary, can she rise to the challenge? Read on—

– Costume Porn – 

“… Gaaah! You want me to wear that?” Ruby ‘s forehead creased in confusion.

“Why lovely—you don’t like it?” Pankaj seemed so crest-fallen, that Ruby took pity: “No… you know, I mean, its spandex no? —”

“Spandex? Please! Give me some credit!“ huffed Pankaj.

“No Panky really, its just, you know, will I really fit into that?” Ruby desperately tried to worm her way out of wearing the suit! Together they looked at the onesie-like-outfit, which Pankaj had unwrapped; the unpretentious brown paper cover falling away to reveal a shimmering oily-pool of darkness, which seemed to flow over his hands.

“Where did you get this, Victoria’s Secret?” She joked.

“Rubeee!”

Uh! Oh! She knew she was in real trouble with Panky when called her by name instead of an endearment. “Yes, Panky” she replied subdued.

“Go… try… it… on!” He dumped the suit, wrapping and all into her reluctant arms.

Damn! There was no getting away, was there? This was it – The End. My career as superhero was over even before it has begun.

Ruby winced. Since when had she begun thinking of it in such prosaic terms, as a career? Anyway, was being a vigilante even a career?

I am a doctor, a lawyer. Uh! Aunty I am a superhero. Did it matter though really what they thought? What she had become, the path that had been thrust upon her—no the road she had chosen to follow, of her own accord—had already ensured that she was out of the orbit of the ordinary. Wasn’t that what she had always wanted…?

Hanging her head, she walked into the bedroom, accompanied by her fait accompli, the super uniform.

Slithering into it—really there was no other way to describe the sensation of the material which oozed over her skin as if it had a life of her own—a second skin… a personal barrier to the world, her own bubble of selfishness.

Sitting on the rickety bed, she pulled on the soft boots, smoothing them on over her knees and instantly felling in love with the feeling of power, which swept over her as she flexed her toes within its soft, buttery warmth. That at least Pankaj had gotten right!

Running her hands over her thighs, where the material clung to her hips, she got to her feet, turning hesitantly towards her reflection, her eyes skittering up, as shy as the sun rays valiantly peeking through the early morning smog over the city.

Meeting herself in the mirror she was taken aback. Was this why comic book superheroes indulged in costume porn?

Turning one way, then the other she was pleased to see that there were no ungainly muffin-tops, bumps, or bloated pockets of flesh: all she could see was a smooth expanse of skin-fully covered. She looked good… no, she actually looked pretty incredible: no longer was it Ruby looking back, it was…? Her mind drew a blank. Walking into the front room she burst out “here I am all dressed up and I don’t even have a name for my alter ego.”

“Ohhhh!” Pankaj gasped in response, clutching his chest and sliding to his feet.

“Left side Panky!” Ruby said mildly looking down to where he lay comatose on his back.

“What?” He gurgled.

“Your heart—it’s is on your left, if you are faking a heart attack, at least get it right.”

Abruptly Pankaj sat up: “O M G!”

“What? Does it look that bad?”

“You look like…ah!” He stumbled over his words.

“Lara Croft?” Eagerly Ruby turned to her right, furrowed her eyebrows, bent her left knee in the fashion of the Croft posters, and raised both her hands forefingers bent around an imaginary gun in each hand.

“…Ah! No!” Pankaj tilted his head considering, “more like…”

“Trinity?” Ruby asked hopefully, placing her hands on her hips, schooling her eyes into an expressionless face

“No..no…”

“Come on Panky… who then?”

“You look like ah! Yourself! Someone who kicks ass, the real thing!”

“Awww!” Overcome at his sheer hundred percent unadulterated loyalty Ruby went up to him and flung her arms around his neck: “I do love you Panky.” When he drew back and looked at her with suspicion, at that, she hastened to add “ no, no, not like that!”

“That’s alright” Pankaj patted her shoulder, a knowing smirk on his face “I do prefer those of my own gender, but you know, if you asked nicely…?”

“Okay!” Ruby cut him off: “we all know how irresistible you are to BOTH sexes, but am happy leaving our relationship just as it is Panky.”

“Are you sure lovely, you know am always up for—” his iPhone pinged just then. “Hmm!” Pankaj picked up his phone from armchair, and looked at it exclaimed, “guess what, ms. superheroine, you’ve just had your first SOS tweet!”

“What?” Ruby moved to peer over his shoulder, the palms of her hands suddenly clammy, her heart beating fast;

“@sanori : help, I think he is going to jump!” She read aloud. “OMG OMG what have you gone and done Panky, put me up on twitter?” Ruby snatched the phone from his hand and sat down hard on the sofa “I think I am having a heart attack!” she croaked feeling the blood thud at her temples.

“Breathe lovely, breathe. It’s nothing… probably just a panic attack.”

“What? I don’t have panic attacks” Ruby sat up straight, the blow to her ego making her forget about the more pressing issue of having to answer the call for help. She snatched the phone from his hand, “what is the twitter handle anyway?

@Bombayvigilante : Tweet me if you see a woman in distress.”

She looked at him aghast, “OMG, really, that makes me sound like a complete retard, now nobody, will take me seriously!” She sat down with a thump. “Hey! What have you used as a picture for the twitter handle?”

“Just a close up of your eyes!”

“I suppose it’s not too bad” she agreed grudgingly, “at least it does not let on who I am. But ah! I… I am not ready Panky!”

“Really?”

She dithered, “ah! Can I at-least take a”— she held up the fore and middle-finger of both palms before crossing them miming a hashtag— “selfie first?”

“RUBYYY!”

“What? Kidding okay! I know I have to face the world at some point…”

“You are worried about how you look, when someone out there right now, desperately needs your help?” Pankaj chided.

Defeated she got to her feet and sleepwalked to the door. “Hey!” She turned, catching the old, smelly, motorcycle helmet he threw towards her, blinking as he took her picture on his iPhone.

—To be continued

Laxmi Hariharan is a kindle bestselling author. Find her @laxmi or Facebook, and at Young Adult Old Soul.

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