Flash Fiction Challenge: Form of a Lizard

flash fiction writing prompt doorknob lizard vieques PR 1999
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

As B-List superheroes go, Lizard Man was not exactly a frontrunner. He sat on the door handle and sighed, wondering if there was a C-List.

The power to transform into a tiny lizard had a very narrow set of advantages.

Sure, he could squeeze into places most other superheroes could not go, but lord help him if there was a cat waiting on the other side.

His young ward, Turtle Boy, looked expectantly at him. “I’ll keep lookout while you slip under the door and get the Psybernetic Crystal.”

It would not be Lizard Man’s finest hour…

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Form of a Lizard”

  1. Turtle Boy watched Lizard Man squeeze beneath the door to recover the Psybernetic Crystal. Anxiously, Turtle Boy kept a lookout for fiends.

    Within seconds, he heard from behind the door screams of alarm and every sound of a vicious life or death fight. He even thought he heard a flame thrower and screams of anguish. He was proud of the merciless beating Lizard Man must be giving his opponents.

    Suddenly Lizard Man shot out from beneath the door. He looked burned and beaten to a bloody pulp. Trying to catch his breath he said, “I made it to the middle of the room and climbed up on a purse to get a better view. Suddenly I was spotted. All hell broke loose as they threw everything and anything they could grab at me. It was the most horrifying fight for my life I have ever had. One of them even took a can of hairspray and tried to burn my tail off. Fortunately, it will grow back in a couple of weeks. I will just be sore between my legs and not able to use it for awhile. Truthfully, I barely got out alive.”

    Shocked Turtle Boy lamented, “The dastardly fiends set a trap for you. I should have known. Did you get the Psybernetic Crystal?”

    Larry stuttered, “No! Not a trap. I just went in the wrong room, it was the Ladies Locker Room. Quick, let’s try the other door, maybe the crystal is in there.”

  2. Or so he thought. There were too many disadvantages to being Lizard Man. That gecko on TV made everything look easy, cool. It wasn’t.

    From the crack beneath the door, he surveilled the room. No easy task from lizard height. No cats, thank goodness. That would have been disastrous, possibly fatal.

    He scurried across the evil scientist’s hotel room, hoping to catch sight of the elusive Psybernetic Crystal. Once it was in his possession he’d have the ability to control machines, maybe even robots with his mind. For good. Not evil. Surely that would make him an A-List superhero.

    Once sure he was alone, he transformed into his human body. He shivered. The room was darn cold. Perhaps the crystal would also allow him to rematerialize fully clothed.

    He scanned the room again, this time with the advantage of human height.

    The crystal shimmered like an unfulfilled wish. This was too easy. As he lifted it from its pedestal, electricity surged though him, energized him. His hair stood on end, and he nearly dropped the crystal when the alarm went off.

    He had to get out, quick. But how?

    “Turtle Boy,” he shouted. “Trip the security guards.”

    He hoped Turtle Boy wasn’t taking one of his numerous naps and was relieved to hear the scuffle in the hallway.

    Now to exit the window and climb down the fire escape.

    Stepping onto the ledge, he cursed the evil scientist for visiting in winter. Chicago Januarys were darn cold. Especially naked.

  3. To Lizard Man’s dismay, there were cats on the other side of the door, many of them. He freaked out at first but then realized the cats were behind glass. Dogs too, were encased in cages behind the wall of windows. A large brightly colored bird asked for a cracker from the stand near a counter where a young girl in a blue apron stood.

    “Uh oh.” Lizard Man hadn’t precipitated the Psybernetic Crystal would be hidden here.

    “Hey little guy. How’d you get out of the cage?” The voice belonged to the girl with the blue apron.

    Lizard Man ducked under the shelving unit that held apparatus for the fish tank owners. “Yikes, that was close.” Thinking he was safe until he saw the straws of a broom headed his way.

    “Gotcha!” Apron girl picked Lizard Man out of the dust pan and placed him in the cage with several other geckos.

    A young boy walked into the shop and told the shop girl he wanted a new pet, a gecko. “The one with the red spot on his tail, I like that one.”

    “You’ll need some crickets for him to eat.” She said and placed the gecko in a brown paper bag along with a container of crickets.

    “Thanks” said the boy.

    Once out of the shop the bag was opened. “Hey Lizzy, that was a close call.”.

    “Quick thinking Turtle Boy, but don’t call me Lizzy.”

  4. “Oh, sure…. you do that,” said the lizard. “You just keep watch and then what? Let’s say, for shizpah and giggles, a gigantic human approaches. What the hell are you gonna do? Slowly die? Attack with the speed of molasses on a December morn… in Maine?”

    The turtle’s eyes began to glisten.

    “Jesus, man, you even well up slowly. We’re animals, Turtle. Fauna. And tiny reptiles besides. It’s alright to pretend that we’re something we are not, but let’s not die for the ruse, OK? You understand, don’tcha buddy?”

    The turtle slowly crawled over to the lizard’s side and nuzzled his neck.

    “There you go, big guy,” said the lizard. “That’s right. Who’s yer buddy?”

    “You are…” said the turtle.

    “And who’s got yer back?”

    “You do…”

    “So,” Lizard asked in his best non-heroic voice, “what’cha want to do now? Got another idea for a game?”

    The shell came down across Lizard’s skull with the force of an anvil. He felt his body numb as his brains beat his head to the floor. Through his dimming, sideways field of view, he saw Turtle slipping back on his shell.

    “Wanna know what we’re gonna do? You’re gonna die, buddy,” turtle began, “but I’m-a gonna get me a Psybernetic Crystal. Peace out, loser.”

    And off he went, with the speed of molasses on a December morn… in Maine.

  5. He slithered down to the floor and squeezed under the door just far enough to peek inside. The room was almost completely dark. The glimmering Psybernetic Crystal on the massive tabletop, reflecting the flames in the fireplace, made him blink.

    No visible signs of danger and no pussycat as far as he could see. He took a deep breath and started to run. His feet felt wonderful sinking into the plush carpet. Flicking his tail to add speed to his four little legs, he raced towards the table. Just as he reached it, Turtle Boy screamed “Watch out!”.

    Startled, and not knowing what to watch out for, he frantically shouted his transformational command “Shazronimo” and immediately ballooned into a monstrous dinosaur. And, within seconds, his growing size alone split the table in two, extinguished the fireplace fire with a swing of his endless tail and crashed through the door. He lay there, panting, the demolished room creaking and cracking away..

    “Oh you big Silly Billy,” Turtle Boy squealed as he sucked himself into his shell.. “I was just kidding!”

    Dinosaur Man roared “Shazronimo” and shrank down to his little self, resting his dizzying head on the door handle beneath it. “Guess I finally found the C-list,” he sighed.

  6. Lizard Man took a deep breath. This was going to be their year. They’d finally win the superhero competition and the grand prize—a fully outfitted secret hideout. All of the A-listers had one. He and Turtle Boy still shared basement space in his parents’ house. It was humiliating.

    “I won’t let you down, Turtle Boy.” He transformed and scuttled underneath the door. Once inside, the Crystal was easy to spot. It sat on a lighted dais in the center of the room. Lizard Man did his happy dance. All he needed to do was shrink the crystal with his shrink ray (last year’s fourth place prize), slip back under the door, and then he and Turtle Boy would return to the judging room victorious.

    “Let’s see who likes second place this year, Scorpion King!” he shouted, thinking of his arch nemesis who was always faster, smarter, deadlier, and well, had a snazzier costume. “And that goes for you, too, Rat Girl and Super Rabbit! Me and Turtle Boy, we’re moving up this time!”

    A sound caught his attention. Was that…? “No, it can’t be! How did you get in here?”

    Calico Cat smoothed her whiskers and purred triumphantly. “You’re not the only one who can get into tight spaces. You’re a joke, Lizard Man. And that spandex is so dated.”

    Her cat boomerang pinned him to the wall. Maybe we’ll redecorate the basement, Lizard Man thought dejectedly. But next year they’d win for sure.

  7. “Drive,” I said, transforming back into human form.

    My whole left leg felt like it was on fire. Unfortunately, the real limb was still inside Jena’s house masquerading as a lizard tail. I clicked the seatbelt and tried to ignore the horrible tingling in my absent toes. I’d need one heck of a story to tell my day job while it regrew. Regeneration was a perk of lizard transformation. Too bad the ability also made me bait sized.

    “Aw, butterbeans, Lizard Man. What happened now? Jena have a cat?”

    I felt myself turn red and glared out the window. “I don’t want to talk to it.”

    “Did you at least get the Psybernetic Crystal back? I need it to power my turtle shell suit.

    I rubbed the stump of my missing limb. “Enough already.”

    Turtle Boy frowned. “You should never have shown it to Jena in the first place. She thought you were proposing.”

    Some hero I turned out to be, sneaking into my girlfriend’s house to take back a rock. I was so worried about Jena, I forgot about her lizard obsessed boy. The brat dropped a bucket over me as soon as I crawled inside. The partial transformation I did to escape the cage he shoved me in freaked him out. Then the kid slammed the jewelry box door on my tail. Only luck saved me.

    “Aw butterbeans,” I moaned, looking at the crystal I’d grabbed. It was the wrong one. “What am I going to tell Jena?”

  8. He’d spent years perfecting the technology to allow him to morph into a superhero at will, any form of his choosing. He wanted to soar high over mountains and hear everyone exclaim in awe every time he swooped low to snatch a child out of danger or rip the weapon from a criminal’s hand. Unfortunately, there was a slight glitch in the system. The laser beam focused on the tiny lizard in the eagle’s mouth, not the eagle. Now he made women cry out, but not in a good way. Rewrites to the program were exhausting, all that hopping on the computer keys was taking so very long. The Psybernetic Crystal could be just what he needed.

    Lizard Man slithered under the door and perused his surroundings. The crystal was on a mahogany pedestal, guarded by a napping cat. Lizard Man tried to scurry around the other furniture without drawing the cat’s attention. He was unsuccessful.

    Turtle Boy flinched at the cacophony. After a few moments, the noise died down and he tried to peek under the door to see if his partner was okay. Cat fur was floating around the room in clumps. No sign of his friend. He feared the worst.

    “Got it!” his friend shouted as he slithered back under the door, missing a chunk of his tail. “One problem.”

    “Only one?”

    “I had to swallow it.”

    “Ouch. If you think I am going to sift through lizard poop for you, forget it!”

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