Recurring Nemesis


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Recurring Nemesis

He was nonchalant, dismissive, scornful

of me. Always has been, from our first meeting

way back before memory. His visits

leave me fitful, restless, waking in a


frightful sweat, but only when I force my

release from his domineering grip. Or

perhaps only when he releases me

out of boredom and acute disgust.


He visited me last night, as he has

many nights before. Though I don’t recognize

him, he is oddly familiar. His smug smile

lives in every bully who has ever


toyed with my meekness. His unforgiving glare

is in every bystander who ever

had their doubts of my abilities proven

by observing me fail spectacularly.


He is strong, masculine, fit, handsome, and

firmly confident, but just short of being

obscenely so; he is everything I’m not,

but wish I were. He is kind to every


other soul inhabiting my mind, but

exceptionally cruel to me, and only

on exceptionally cruel whims that seemed

to instinctively align with when I


was at my lowest, most vulnerable

moments. He openly mocks my appeals

to his reason, decency, and empathy,

targeting my darker nature, the part


of me I try to ignore, compartmentalize,

and starve to death. He ignites something

primal in me, strutting away from the

embers floating around the tinderbox.


I feel my evolved sensibilities

burn away, leaving only the cruelest

intentions hooking themselves into my limbs;

if he approaches me once more, I know


there won’t be anything left of me to

reason with. And this fills me with a

primal joy that frightens me. I know that

if he invades my space again, if he


seeks to belittle me with a face slap

or an ill-advised shove, the three-strike

combination I have chambered for him

won’t simply be warning shots to get him off me.


They won’t be angry, bleary, wild lashes;

they’ll be highly-focused nitro-glycerin-

fueled blockbusters designed to take his smug smile

on his arrogant head right the fuck off


of his fucking shoulders. I would lean in,

attempting to channel those three strikes into

punching and kicking him out of existence.

He smirked and moved in my direction, just


as I envisioned. As he entered range

and readied a dismissive slap for me,

I released every ounce of rage from my

left fist, followed immediately by


my right fist and a left front-thrust kick just

for kicks. All three blows landed with great, lush

satisfying thuds, evaporating him

from my dream, throwing me into the harsh


reality of morning sunlit skies,

punching, kicking tangled blankets and air.

Immediately, I felt dread, for it

wasn’t my fancy words that had prevailed,


but my violent nature that I had tried

to deny for so long. Disoriented

and ashamed, I tried to regulate my

breathing, eventually cracking an


ironic smile because right or wrong, I

finally got that bullying bastard.






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