Terrence felt the sweat trickle down his back and pool at the top of his ass crack. It was hot, the humidity making the inside of his costume feel slimy, bits of the rubber chest covering and heavy pants chafing against his skin from the inescapable moisture.
Heads turned to stare at him as he stormed away from the vibrant crowds filling Church Street. Dusk was approaching and the street was lit up with strobes and spot lights. Rainbow flags fluttered everywhere; drag queens, sparkling with sequins and glitter, posed for selfies with tourists. Terrence realized his mistake, his miscalculation, too late to be corrected.
A group of nubile young men wearing little other than thongs and glitter rushed past him, giggling nervously as they cast backward glances in his direction. He eyed them with envy as the back of his mask rubbed against a blister forming on his neck, caused by his top-heavy headpiece constantly becoming unbalanced. His plan had included chasing boys just like these ones through the crowd.
It was supposed to be funny. Ironic. A witty political statement, even. How was he to know that most people wouldn’t get the point he was trying to make, wouldn’t even recognize his costume, or why it was relevant?
He conceded defeat, intent on heading home to take the whole outfit off, to shower away the sweat and tend his wounds, both physical and emotional.
Crowds of people, brightly dressed in finery more appropriate for hot weather than his own, flowed past him towards the thumping bass of a DJ starting a set at the street festival.
Then, a loud comment aimed in his direction. He’d heard a few as he had walked through the street fair, but had ignored the jibes as he fled the scene. This one got to the heart of the matter.
“Yo, Krampus, you’ve got the wrong parade, man!”
This story is part of a week-long series of Pride-themed flash fiction. Check out the full schedule here.