Astrea gulped her morning coffee as she turned on the news. She barely avoided doing a spit-take at the picture of Madame Molecula that accompanied a report of last night’s museum robbery.
The villainess was wearing a see-through version of her usual costume. What the hell...? She tuned out the news reader’s voice and stared at her nemesis. The FCC is going to come down on that station like the wrath of God, she thought as she thumbed the “rewind” and “pause” buttons of her DVR to freeze-frame on the image. It’s practically pornographic, and not so much as a warning... oh, my God, she’s not even wearing a sheer outfit! She’s naked—the “costume” is literally painted on!
She blinked, and the image shifted somehow. Molecula was actually wearing her usual costume, but somehow it had looked painted-on. She could see both images at once, like one of those optical illusions.
Vaguely, she wondered if the news report said anything about her unsuccessful attempt to capture the villainess. She didn’t really want to know. Truly, she didn’t care all that much. Instead, she continued to watch the freeze-frame view of Molecula, her gaze focused on the nude vision in her mind rather than the reality.
Her old habit of drinking coffee while thinking kicked in. She took another sip—and spit it back into the cup. Old room-temperature coffee was just foul, especially when her taste buds were expecting it to be hot and fresh. As she poured the rest of it into the sink, she caught a glimpse of the time. Dammit! I’m already late for work, and I know I woke up on time!
Hurrying out the door, she didn’t stop to wonder where the time had gone.