I found this prompt from a defunct page on Tumbler. There wasn’t a link or attribution, so I don’t know who it originates with. If you know, I’d love to hear to I can give credit! Prompt: Tell the story of why a supervillain sings a song in the shower to get prepared for the day.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
“Your alarm, babe.”
“Oh.” Beep. Beep. Bee… “Thanks.”
I watched from the doorway as my husband sat up on the side of the bed and stretched. For ten years, he and I have been married. For ten years, I have returned to the room to wake him after he slept through the alarm. I’m not sure why he even uses one.
But Richard Barnhart, if nothing else, is a man of habit.
He cocked his head and grinned, gazing at me through squinty eyes. I blushed. My sister told me before I married Richard and every week since, “You could do better, Janie, you really could.”
Maybe Richard struggled with work and sometimes went days without showering. He could be a bit quirky, but he was also charming. That goofy grin and his sweet words melted my heart. When he made me mad, I couldn’t stay angry long.
And Richard Barnhart, if nothing else, is a man of commitment.
That’s hard to find nowadays, but he loves me, and he loves our son, and not once have I had a doubt about that.
“I’m making muffins,” I said. “Do you want eggs or sausage?”
I smiled and blew him a kiss. He returned the gesture.
Jonathon, our seven-year-old, sat at the kitchen table. It was Monday. Jonathon, without fail, asked for blueberry muffins on Mondays. They were my favorite breakfast, so I was happy to oblige. He drew on a sheet of paper with colored pencil—a scene with tall buildings, a bright yellow sun, and two men fighting in the street. One wore a brownish-gray guise that resembled an armadillo. The other sported black tights, a matching cape, and a purple mask. He held a laser gun of some kind that fired at the armadillo.
“Who wins?” I asked.
Jonathon glanced up, grinning from ear-to-ear. It was his father’s grin, that same charm. “The Darth Avenger, of course!”
“Of course.” I chuckled and patted his shoulder before I grabbed an egg and a frying pan.
The pipes clanked as Richard showered. It wouldn’t be too long before we heard his voice echoing through the walls. He sang the same song every day.
I love my husband, but Richard Barnhart, if nothing else, is a man who cannot carry a tune.
Still, he belted: “Woah, we’re halfway there! Wo-oah, livin’ on a prayer! Take my hand; we’ll make it, I swear. Wo-oah livin’ on a prayer! Livin’ on a prayer!”
Jonathon used to ask why daddy sang the same song every day. I would smile and tell him that it was our song. We often struggled to pay the bills. It frustrated Richard, but the song reminded us that we had the most important thing already.
He finished his shower. I pulled the muffins from the oven and slid the egg onto his plate. Richard emerged from the bedroom wearing a black Spandex suit with a matching cape. “This looks awesome, hon,” he said as he kissed my cheek and grabbed his plate and coffee. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” I beamed, but my grin quickly faded. I pointed to the growing stack of bills on the counter. “Several of those are second notices.”
He nodded. “I know. I have a bank job today. That should take care of the pile and the next month’s.”
“What if the Amazing Armadillo shows up?”
“I got that covered.” Richard glanced at Jonathon. “Isn’t that right, son?”
“Yeah!” Jonathon’s eyes grew big. “Dad has a new shrink ray!”
“Is that what you’re drawing?” I asked.
“Okay.” I placed my hand on Richard’s chest. “Just be careful.”
“Always am.” We kissed. “Love you, hon.” Richard pulled on his purple mask and headed for the door, singing as he walked. “Oh, we’ve got to hold on, ready or not. You live for the fight when it’s all that you got!”
Richard Barnhart, if nothing else, is a man of hope.
Photo cred: unsplash.com/@peterlaster