(Originally published in Xavier University’s Athenaeum Spring 2010)
Jeremy sits in trepidation, awaiting his nemesis’ return. He is held against his will in a white room lit by an indistinguishable incandescent irradiating light. His fingernails SCREECHED SCRATCHED against the leather armrests as he gazes at what appears to be a buck-toothed beaver feverishly smiling back at him. Just as his worries begin to subside, there is a prolonged and whining CREEEEAK as the door opens. Jeremy stares as his nemesis enters the room. His nemesis is clothed in a garishly gray-green garb and his horn-rimmed glasses add to his leering menacing glare. His nemesis begins moving his mouth and Jeremy assumes that words are coming out, but he can’t hear anything but the familiar tingling sensation rattling at the back of his brain. His nemesis lowers the chair back. As Jeremy’s head descends he knows things are about to grow terribly worse for all parties involved.
His nemesis SNIP SNAPs on rubber gloves and begins to remove the elastic restraints from Jeremy’s oral penitentiary with a TRICK TRONK. His nemesis loosens the wiry prison bars and Jeremy feels a SCRITCHETY SCRATCHETY and then peace. It feels like freedom for Jeremy but he knows that this is only a temporary reprieve from his jail. His Shadow, the rattling voice in the recesses of his mind, breathes a breath of fresh air with a joyful sigh of relief. “LIBERTY!!” Jeremy hears his shadow exclaim. But suddenly, his nemesis brings new restraints into the fold. With rubbery fingers deep inside the caverns of his mouth, Jeremy is surrendering to a steady suffocation. His nemesis brings out another shackle to torment Jeremy with, along with a mighty hammer to apply the shackle. The Shadow hisses in the corners of Jeremy’s head. TINK TINK TUNK goes the mallet as Jeremy feels his head go numb and the Shadow begins to take over once more. His nemesis begins TINK TINKETY TUUUUUNKing away at another shackle. Jeremy tries to fight the Shadow’s hold, but eventually submits to its control. There is darkness in Jeremy’s mind when abruptly, “YOU ARROGENT AUDACIOUS ASS!!!!” he hears the Shadow declare. “YOU BELIEVE THAT YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO HOLD ME LIKE THIS AGAINST MY OWN WISHES??!! I AM UNSTOPPABLE YOU INSIGNIFICANT MAN!!!!”
The events that follow are fuzzy for Jeremy. He hears foreign words of malice and anger coming from his mouth; he’s not in control, merely a bystander in his mind. It’s as if he’s riding shotgun in a hell ride heading straight for the highway that intersects Bar of Soap in the Mouth from Mom Road. The next fleeting moments are a whirlwind storm of WHOMPs! YEEEOWs!!! and THUDs.! When the storm settles, Jeremy feels his new restraints tightened, providing the familiar faint feeling of pain. He peers around the room and seeing all of his nemesis’ torture tools scattered across the floor, along with the beaver, still smiling relentlessly. He looks behind his torture chair and sees his nemesis lying on the floor, seemingly unconscious. Jeremy puts his sneakers on the ground, stands up straight, and walks out the door in a somewhat hurried manner. “Ugh…” Jeremy sighs reluctantly, “looks like it’s time to find ANOTHER Orthodontist…” Deep in the dark cabinets of Jeremy’s complicated pantry of a mind, the Shadow smiles.