Anyways, so we were walkin' through this alley, right? And like, Doubt showed up flanked by Confusion and Loneliness. So I turned to Optimism, and I was like,
"Shit, man, this can't be good."
But you know him; he was all like, "It'll be fine, I'm sure if we keep walking they'll leave us alone."
So that was the plan, ya know? Just keep walking and ignore 'em. But God knows that didn't work. We musta got within six feet of the three of 'em, when Boredom walked out behind us, blocking the exit.
Now, Optimism, he's kinda naive about this sort of thing. He walks up to Doubt, and he says, "Evening, gentlemen, we were just passing through here on our way back to Reality. I'd greatly appreciate it if you could move out of the way."
Then, quick as a flash, Confusion grabs Optimism by the arm and throws him into the wall. So now Optimism is pinned with his face to the wall, and Confusion behind him, rifling through his pockets, and I'm facing Doubt, Boredom, and Loneliness by myself.
As I'm trying to figure out what to do, Indecision joins Boredom behind me, and they move in closer. So there I am, practically sandwiched by those four guys, praying for my life.
Indecision and Confusion grab me by the shoulders, and hold me while Doubt starts playing a tune on my kidneys. Meanwhile Boredom has taken my wallet, and is greedily emptying it of its contents.
In between abdominal impacts, I look over to see Optimism laying on the hard ground, bleeding profusely. I'm scared, man, I'm hoping he ain't gonna die or somethin'. And you know what? That asshole Loneliness is still kicking at him, idly, as he sifts through dollar bills and ATM cards.
Everyone stops for a bit as headlights flood the alley. I'm thinking that maybe someone has come to save me and what's left of Optimism. I'm thinkin' wrong.
As the lights turn off, and the motor dies down, I see Envy and Pessimism step out of the car. Now the shit has hit the proverbial fan. I don't know if you're familiar with Pessimism, but that guy has it in for Optimism. I mean, he's trying to kill Optimism.
Well, Doubt stops trying to punch a hole through my stomach, but by now I know it isn't a good thing. Envy saunters over, you know how he does it, all smooth, and cool, and refined. And he's just sort of smiling, you know that eerie sorta grin he does? Yeah, well he's smilin' an' he's struttin', and as he gets closer to me Confusion and Indecision sorta relax for a bit. I mean, I can still feel their meat-hook arms gripping my shoulders, but they've relaxed a bit.
I stand up straight, remembering some things that Pride always used to say, and I present a half-way-decent figure to Envy. I let him know I'm not beat, yet. Well he walks up and takes a few things out of his pocket. As I look at these things, they change from pictures, to videos, to sounds, to ideas. They keep changing and shifting as he holds them in his cupped hands, grinning the whole while.
Envy wads them all up, all these ideas, and he goes to stuff them in my mouth, like he's going to suffocate me with my own paranoid delusions and schizophrenic illusions.
And so that's when it happened. I thought I was done for, I thought I was going to die, but then She showed up. She dropped down from the rooftops above, landing squarely on Boredom behind me. Envy stood there, looking over my shoulder, his smile turned into gaping disbelief.
She took out Confusion and Indecision with a series of exceptionally high kicks, before running across one of the walls and pouncing on Envy. Now, Pessimism took a swing at her with his big club-like fists, and for a second I thought he'd got her.
But he hadn't.
She rolled right off of Envy and back away from Pessimism. He lunged at her, but she turned sideways and used his momentum against him, pushing him right into a broken window. He slumped over, and Envy began scrabbling away from her.
The way she walked, it was like music to my eyes.
Step after step, a triumphant melody. Envy just couldn't get away, and she hefted him up by the collar of his sleezy shirt. She punched him three times, and then tossed him through an old wooden door nearby.
She helped Optimism back to his feet, and then turned to face me. There we stood, staring at each other, face to face.
Her and I.
Me and she.
Decker Schott-Noonan writes from Ypsilanti, Michigan.
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