As I exhaled, water vapor formed a cloud of exhaustion in the night sky. The moon angled itself perfectly to fill the alley with more than its fair share of borrowed light. The dumpster moaned disapprovingly as I hastily slammed my battered body against it. There was no time and little shadow from which to choose. I quickly gathered my thoughts in hopes of stemming the inevitable feeling of panic. I was playing right into his hands, deep breathing and elevated heart rate was just what he wanted. But ironically, I knew that's exactly what it would take to defeat him. The uneven pavement in front of me revealed newly formed puddles that made it difficult to tell where the ground stopped and space began. Dark water stowed aboard the fringes of my overcoat as I knelt at the ready. A dull cranial ache nudged my resolve. My hand instantly cupped the infected area as if I could rub away the sensation.
I knew that I couldn't hide here forever. Thoughts of escape forced their way into my head. The fence at the near side of the alley would assure me this same fight tomorrow. However, there was a reason I sought this foe and a reason I rested here. The sounds of footsteps and fleeing pests, echoing through the brick corridor, would make this decision for me. His slow, mocking gate, almost dared me to run. I came here to pick a fight and now I find myself cowering in doubt. Caffeine, you've ruled my actions for way too long. I am e-unit and this ends now.
I sprung free of the dimly lit shelter. My clothing held on tight and struggled to keep up. I turned to meet the gaze of my silent antagonist. He was 20 feet away but still close enough to make out his sharp features. "You wake me up and then steal my sleep. You promise me flight and then clip my wings". You hide under guise of taste and color. Why?" A shallow smirk crawled upon his face. There was no remorse in his stance nor attempt at empathy on his brow, just assimilating determination. I suddenly realized something important. This was going to be fun.
I moved forward with the silence of fabric waving in the breeze. A Wiffleball bat leapt from my coat to deliver a fatal blow. It met its counterpart and sent us stumbling. A quick step to the left and then a momentum forming spin to the right joined our bats once again. My slow and steady striking style was deflected easy by his staccato defense. He fought as if not to win but to wear me down, like it was a game to him. How wrong I would be. He unleashed a flurry of blows that seemed to gain in strength. I backpedaled to maintain distance. Tremors of frustration and haste grew on his posture at an unnatural rate. He gained speed and sheets of translucent yellow replaced his once solid weapon. He stabbed for my chest as I simultaneously spun to avoid the advance. His lunge took him too far and I parried his saber at the hilt. Caffeine fell to its knees as the Wiffle weapon hit the ground. My bat wavered in front of his face as I struggled to regain breath. "What are you waiting for", he said with a look or ennui. "You know you can't kill me. Whenever you study for a test, I'll be there. Whenever you wake up early to catch a flight, I'll be there. Wheneve...."
The bump on his head will heal, but I don't envy the headache he'll have tomorrow. I know he'll never go away but that won't stop me from fighting him. I like not crashing in the early afternoon and being able to go to sleep at night. Caffeine, don't come snoopin around my house if you're not lookin for a beating. See ya around the office..."friend".