Stalemate

By Tamara Shoemaker

You eye me from your position as you have every morning for what feels like eternity. Our standoff won’t end until I crush you in ignominious defeat, obliterate you into nonexistence, send you to the hell to which you so obviously belong.

I did not invite you here, cretin. You crossed my borders and invaded my territory, setting up your fortress where you had no right.

I hold the majority; my strength is greater than yours. Yet fear holds me captive, and our unspoken parley drags on for minute after eternal minute.

You make your move, and I counter, gasping, my weapon held aloft. You freeze again, and we return to our neutrality, nothing solved, no resolution reached.

What is it about you that paralyzes me, that cements my movements in painful indecision? You have become my archenemy, my nemesis, the Waterloo to my Napoleon.

I will not end in such a way. With determination born of sheer desperation, I advance. You scramble away, and with the high-pitched scream of horror, I bear my shoe down upon your eight legs and rid my bathtub of your eight-eyed stare.

At long last, with shuddering breath, I wash the vestiges of my fear down the drain.

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