Writing prompt: when is Super not so super?

Take a look at the picture below.

blurry photo of man in Superman costume walking away down a sidewalkI happened upon this sight while I was biking to Forest Park, which is the main urban park here in St. Louis. (It’s also apparently the best city park in the country, according to USA Today.) It was a Saturday morning, and the guy in the red suit had just crossed the street and was heading toward the Central West End, a part of town that has a bunch of restaurants and a major hospital complex.

The first thought that came to me was, Hmm, that’s odd. It’s not every day you see Superman walking (walking!) around the neighborhood. I couldn’t help but wonder where the guy was going and why he was walking instead of driving.

Or, you know, flying.

I got as close as I could without seeming like a weird whacko stalker to take the picture. A guy in a cape probably gets a lot of people stopping him on the street, though. In fact, as I was getting ready to take this picture, a car did a slow pass by him. While I couldn’t tell if the driver said anything, there was definitely some rubbernecking action going on.

The second thought that occurred to me was, Hey, this could make for an interesting writing prompt. For me, a lot of my writing starts off as a game of “what-if.” I see or imagine something that’s odd or out of place, and that gets me thinking. If the wheels turn long enough, that gets me writing.

So, if you’re of a mind to write something, start with a guy in a cape walking down the street in the early morning. He could be just a guy in a superhero suit, or he could be the genuine article. But you’ll still have to figure out where he’s going and why.