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My Nemesis

obormottel Sunday, 03 August 2014
Part 1/2 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

It was a long hard day. The presentation had to be perfect. The future of the company depended on it. The livelihood of 12 families depended on it. They all depended on me. No sweat. I knew we had a good product. I knew how to sell it and I knew who to sell it to.

I was just wrapping up the final details and attaching the last of the documentation when I decided that I needed a little break. A breath of fresh air. I deserved it. I had long since said good night the last of my co-workers and was bearing the load alone. Even my boss had left as he mumbled something about knowing that he was leaving it in good hands and headed for the door. I was getting tired, a little muddled, and even feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I stepped outside, craving a cigarette to help me unwind. I took a short stroll down an unfamiliar alley near the office. My head turned to the sound of blaring music, garish lights and a noisy crowd of people I would never think of associating with. I picked up the pace of my stroll to distance myself from the scene but nonetheless was drawn by unhealthy curiosity to see what had animated those people. The imposing tattooed bouncer and the glimpse of the spot-lit stage confirmed my hunch that this was not a place I wanted, er... was supposed to want, to enter. On my nonchalant stroll back to the office I cast another wayward glance in that general direction. It was then that I noticed something moving in the trash near that establishment's dumpster. I cautiously edged in that general direction and in a poor attempt at cool control, kicked over one of the trash bags.

I recoiled at what I saw. It was a huge muscular man of indeterminate parentage and race, bound and gagged, struggling mightily to free himself. I smiled wanly to indicate that I wished him no harm, not that I knew how to harm him if I could. When I bent down, I noticed that his grimy T-shirt was emblazoned with the none too encouraging words: "I AM NOT YOUR FRIEND!" He smiled back at me with a broken toothed smile and shrugged his shoulder sheepishly with regard to the anti-social messaging on his shirt. I pulled at the slimy rag stuffed in his mouth and tied around his neck. Upon freeing it, I was rewarded with an odor of sweat, cheap alcohol, stale cigarettes and poorly digested food. I proceeded to untie the unfortunate gentleman and release him from his bondage. I stepped back to further assist him, when I suddenly got a very brief view of the largest fist I ever saw. The blow shattered my glasses, while the impact and intense pain blurred my vision. I unceremoniously sank to the dirty pavement, barely aware of what hit me and wholly unable to take control of the situation.

The sound of cloth ripping and the uncomfortable breeze along my upper leg indicated to me that the none to gentle giant had ripped my pocket clear off my pants to access my wallet and keychain. In a flash he was gone. I was not worried about my car because there was no way he could know where it was parked and there was no way he could know the security code to the immobilizer on the vehicle. But my house was a different story. He knew my address and he had my keys. There was nothing other than a short cab ride stopping him from entering my house, my home, my mikdash ma'at. Nothing other than me. I had not done such a good job of protecting myself. But my wife, my teenage daughters and young children, that was a different story. No one messes with them and I have what it takes to protect my family. I ran back to my office where I have a spare set of car keys, I gave a last wistful look at the computer with my unfinished work and ran down to my car. I slammed the car into gear and raced off.

As I was driving like a madman, I wondered how I had gotten myself into this mess. I knew the chronology of events, but couldn't understand how I did not foresee the consequences. My reverie was broken as I reached my block and noticed the now familiar hulking figure exiting the cab a few buildings away from my home. He must have cleverly asked the driver for an address other than my own in an attempt to cover his tracks from the evil he was fiendishly planning.

As the cab pulled away, I saw my chance. I switched off the headlights and gunned the engine. The car responded nicely as I noticed my new foe perfectly framed against a trash dumpster. In a shockingly powerful impact of metal against metal, I knew I had caught him solidly between my now crumpled bumper and the formerly undented municipal dumpster. The unpleasant thought of the extensive body work needed by my car paled into insignificance relative to the need to stop this fiend. But I stared openmouthed through the cracked windscreen of the vehicle as my nemesis heaved the smoking wreck of my car off his lower body. He writhed free of his intended entrapment and headed resolutely towards my home.

I was incensed at his audacity to survive but was not without recourse. I was home on reserve duty, so I had my army issue fully equipped M-16 in the trunk of my car. Shrugging off the mounds of paperwork and explanations I would need to provide to my superiors for using my personal weapon, I unlocked the trunk and hefted the familiar weapon. Knowing my neighborhood better than my stubborn foe, I raced up stairs and across rooftops to get a clear shot at the oversized outlaw as he climbed the outdoor steps to my heretofore inviolable fortress of a home.

I loaded a steel-jacketed round into the chamber and stared resolutely down the sniper scope as he came into its crosshairs. I could swear that I saw him smile as he stared back at me. I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly to center myself and squeezed off the golden shot. The "third eye", as we are taught, appeared in a reassuring puff of blood, skull fragments and brain matter. It seemed as familiar and easy as in the mindless computer games I played in my youth. He crumpled to the ground and wriggled in what I thought were his death throes. But this time the intended victim didn't stay down.

I knew he was strong but didn't realize how superhumanly strong. No problem, I loaded a RPG shell into the under-barrel launcher. The shell launched with the reassuringly familiar metallic thump and raced the short distance sputtering sparks until it hit. The explosion, which would have destroyed an armored vehicle, shockingly only left a scorch mark on his ratty T-shirt. The sooty remnants gave him an even more sinister impression. His T-shirt now read "I AM YOUR END". "No! You are not" I shouted silently to myself. I half-heartedly emptied the rest of the clip in his direction. Most of the bullets found their mark but I knew they were veritably useless against this monster. He neared the door of my home with a leering grin on his ugly face as I jumped from my vantage point, one flight above his location. I was not going to let him in to my home, even if it killed me. The stench of his hellish odor was nearly enough to overpower me. He stumbled as I landed on him and punched, kicked and scratched at any part of his body that I could reach. He recoiled from my onslaught and shrunk away from me, but I did not let up. I knew the battle was mine and I had to finish it. He smiled up at me from the ground as I had my heel on his neck. He sputtered out, "You win today, but tomorrow is another day". It wasn't a threat or a promise, it was just the truth. I was shocked at the revelation and he took the opportunity of my distraction to disappear.

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