A Costumed Life
The Miami Comic Convention was ending for another year, and the last of the attendees were walking out of the convention hall. Since most of the casual fans had left earlier, it was mostly the fans that had entered the costume contest that were now leaving. They talked with one another, making comments about each other's costumes and makeup, congratulating the winners and, in smaller groups, voicing their opinions of who should have won, before breaking up to go back into the hotel to change clothes. A casual observer would have seen Vampirella, Mantra, The Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Superman and Batman, Catwoman, and a host of other famous and not so famous comics characters. If that observer had a good eye, he or she would have spotted something else in the picture, a pair of strange looking men hiding in the background, and if close enough, they also would have heard the conversation of these two, which went something like this.
"You sure this is the guy, Pickles?" the shorter of the two, looking for all the world like a Tom Cruise whose growth had been stunted, said.
"Yeah, I popped into his house, and you should see all the costumes he's got in his closet. I think we can have a lot of fun with this guy. Best of all, there'll be no interference from our foes to stop us. Yeah, I think Stevie boy is gonna provide us with all the fun we want, and then some," the slightly taller one, who looked like a skinny Rip Torn, said as he adjusted the derby hat on his head. "And how many times do I have to tell you, Short Stuff, that my nickname comes from the FRONT of my name, not the back!"
"Well, I most certainly can't use your regular name or nickname while we're disguised as mortal humans, can I, PICKLES?" his partner replied, just before they both disappeared into the darkness.
One of the men leaving the convention, the one the two mysterious men had been talking about, Steve Zink by name, said good night to his friends and headed for his car. It's a good thing his costume's cowl covered his short sandy blonde hair. His build wasn't too muscular, but padding in the costume had taken care of that. His five foot ten height had been nearly perfect for the costume. His Batman costume, along with the presentation he'd made, had won him the contest for best male. He was glad he had decided to use the Batman Beyond costume, since there had been two other guys dressed as the original Batman, and also, they didn't go through the acrobatics in their acts that he did. Now he had another trophy to add to his growing collection.