I tried to scramble to my feet, but a swift bill took hold of my ankle once again.
I never thought my greatest nemesis would be a goose outside the office door, waiting, plotting the moment it would strike . . . again. She never attacked anyone else. Only me. The bruises on my ankles from last time had just begun to fade, and here she was, right on time for a new set, but today was different. She had no idea that I was just waiting to turn her into dinner. With cleaver in hand and my son’s hockey pads covering my extremities. I leaped. My feet slipped from under me and I fell on my ass, covering my face as she attacked. My hands were empty! Where’d it go!? I watched in horror as one webbed foot swept the utensil into the street, as if she knew what I had planned.
The goose let out its fearsome warcry, “Honk.”
I screamed, batting at it as it hit my ankles in the same place as always. Karen from accounting flailed from a distance.
“Shoo,” she shouted. “Leave her alone!” The goose set her sights on Karen.
Between gasping breaths, I tried to warn her. No Karen from accounting, save yourself! But it was too late. With wings spread the bird waddled its death march towards her. She bolted, abandoning me in my hour of need. In spite of my bravado, I wanted her aid in the battle to come, but she left me here at the mercy of the waddling menace. I tried to scramble to my feet, but a swift bill took hold of my ankle once again. Ankles, my one weakness! Enough was enough. I kicked at my own foot, wailing in fury as I fought back. “I am the top of the food chain! Not like this! Not again! I—” I had just realized I wasn’t hitting anything.
The goose stood there, staring at me with mocking complacency. Slowly, I stood up. Our eyes met. It dove for my foot, beak first. On pure instinct I punted, and the creature flew several feet. The demon fell on its back, wings splayed, motionless. I snatched up the knife. The goose found its footing, and stared. I took a step forward.
“Honk!” It scrambled back. I shuffled for it again. All of its bluster had been blown away by the glorious power of my debilitating blow! The goose scrambled away into a lopsided flight.
Brandishing the knife over my head I roared, “Not so tough now are you!” Tears formed. I had finally won! My daily torments were over. No fowl creature would ever raise its beak to me again! Or so I thought. Chirping came from behind the bushes. Oh no . . . Three helpless little goslings shivered in a tiny nest.
I wound up sitting on the inside of the office door for an hour after wrapping the baby geese in my sweater. When their mother returned, our eyes met once again. We both honked. I bid my nemesis farewell with a smile as she led her family away.
Christopher Mitchell is a martial artist and game designer with a strong affinity for action and magic systems in all media. When he isn't developing new worlds, he is actively acting out the swordplay within them until his Husky, Artemis, insists on joining in. Christopher is currently learning guitar, honing his writing and studying Bolognese fencing.