KAKOOOOM! Lightning emblazoned the sky for brief moments, heavy rain slammed and battered the bridge with ferocity, drowning out most of any sound. Oh, and the Silhouette of a woman in a grey hoodie choking me.
My head felt lighter by the second as she pressed down further with her thumb. I never even got a look at her face, don’t know her real name, or why this had to happen. Why she wanted me dead now. It didn’t make any sense.
Okay, maybe I should be more worried about getting her off of me. She’s no frail woman, in fact, she’s quite heavy and surprisingly quick; I’m struggling to get her off. Ha, She must be pissed that I knocked her gun into the river. Well sorry Shadow lady, but the job isn’t gonna be that easy.
I had enough of this shit, I jutted my foot straight into her with all the force I could muster up. Snarling in pain, she doubled back under the flickering street lamp. It gave me enough time to stagger to my feet. Cross eyed and gasping for air, I was struggling to get a hold of myself.
What am I gonna do about Shadow lady? Please, what am I saying? I have no choice.
My mind flashed back to our conversations. We surprisingly had similar views, even from our radically different worlds. This must be going through her mind too, it has to be. What is the reason that one of us has to die, why can’t she just let it go?
F--- it. No time to dwell on this now, she’s probably planning to attack me right now. Wait, where is she?
Poof! Her figure spontaneously condensed in with a black puff of what looked like smoke, like some sort of wizard. Pow! One hit to my face while I was still surprised by her little disappearing act. A hit hard enough to send me to the ground, face down. I struggled to get back on my feet, which I find is surprisingly easy when someone begins dragging you back up by your collar.
She had me, although I could only see her mouth I could tell she was looking directly into my eyes, I felt that in my stomach.
“I may have left out a couple of details about myself.” She denoted in her usual monotone voice, “Like how I got the name Shadow Lady.”
Shadow lady raised her free hand and balled it in a fist. At first I thought she was getting ready for another punch, another really powerful punch. But as I watched her, her hand begin to turn pitch black and disfigure itself, as if her hand was made of soot, blowing away with an updraft.
What the fuck is this woman!? I panicked to myself. I don’t know but I’m not gonna find out the way she’s planning. I quickly unsheathed my blade and flung my arm into her as hard as I could, breaking myself free of her grasp.
“Uumph!” She staggered back clutching her skull, trying to shake the pain.
Perfect timing, swing while she’s stunned.
I took a running start holding my blade by my side and in one swing cut right through her with the perfect cut: directly under the larynx. Went straight through her like butter.
KAKOOM!! Just like a cheap action flick or a climactic anime fight scene, it was as if nature was in tune with my actions.
I turned around and watched for something to happen, anything. Maybe her head fall off her shoulders, maybe she’d stumble and fall to the ground, I’d go for anything that would explicitly say ‘this is over’ at this point.
But she just stood there for a few moments, not dead. It looked as if she was thinking, and not dying. That’s the critical part here: she’s not f---ing dead or even dying.
After a few moments of silence and violent rainfall, the worst outcome I could imagine: she turned her head over her shoulder, rubbing her throat around where I had cut, or where I thought I cut anyway.
What the hell? At this point, this is what professionals would call the ‘acceptance’ step.
“Cute.” She began, “So that was your perfect cut huh? I’m impressed, really.” She turned fully to face me, hand still rubbing her throat, “That really woulda killed me.” She spoke in disbelief, she wasn’t being sarcastic, she was being honest. I would have taken a normal human’s head clean off with a cut like that, I gave it my all.
I was in far more shock than she was, it was like seeing yourself bowl a strike, only to watch the pins get right back up. Oh I’m in way over my head here, that was the only thought that was racing through my mind at that moment, and it was running Daytona Speedway.
“Well.” She began to speak only to suddenly lung forward, fading out of sight again. I don't think I even had time to fully react before I was lifted off my feet again. Right in the jaw.
I fell back to the ground again, luckily my head cushioned the fall. The violent rain momentarily got drowned out by a sickening crack followed by a loud consistent ring as I unfurled to the ground. Seconds later I heard the loud clanks of my katana ricocheting off of the stones far ahead of me.
What a hit. This woman is inhuman.
This was what I imagine falling off a building and surviving would feel like; the pain was akin to a railroad spike lobotomy, my vision was completely throwing in the towel, I‘d have better sight underwater, and my body was a complete wreck; nothing but twitching followed violent pulses of pain.
This is hopeless, I had to admit to myself.
“I can’t even… cut… her.” I managed to choke out.
This is it, I thought. Her silhouette, or what I could make of it, came into sight as she loomed over me. This is the part where the hero has bested their ultimate challenge and happy ending for all except the guy who possibly has a brain hemorrhage.
Except I’m not the villain here...
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