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Arms Akimbo This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Why is it, no matter how hard I try, no matter what I do, it always comes down to this. Me standing here, holding some sort of ray (i.e death, freeze, anti-matter etc.) and him, standing there, arms akimbo, a smug look of defeat painting a grin across his face, spread across a perfectly chiseled jaw bone. He stands there, like a Greek god, a red cape flowing out behind him, his hair forming perfect golden ringlets, his rippling biceps, triceps, abs, and pectorals forming mounds under his spandex suit; how absolutely disgusting.


So this is what true righteousness looks like, this is the face of integrity, the body of morality, this is the man who will bring evil to its knees, this is the man said to bring world peace, to create harmony from chaos. And me? I am the face of evil? Me? Small, lanky, and blonde, I lack any muscular definition whatsoever. But of course, it is I who will destroy the world and decimate man-kind as a whole.


I know what he’s going to say next, he’s going to say, “Ahh. Dynamo, so we meet again.” He’s going to say, “Once again you have planned your evil plans, and once again I have foiled them.” And then he’ll say, “Dynamo, you scum, you slime, you freak of nature. What makes you think you could ever be capable of defeating me?” And then he’ll scoff, and add, “You are lower than dirt you evil fiend and I will always win, I will always be victorious, because good will always triumph over evil. Because I am strong and you, you worthless bug, are weak.”


Why is it always good and evil, strong and weak, victory and defeat? Why must everything be so black and white? Who says that I am the villain and he the victor, just because I see the flaws in our system, just because I have a vision of a world without giant thieving corporations, a world without corrupt leaders, and an upheaval of the system? And who is he? An ever-smiling lap-monkey for the government, highly attractive muscle-crony for the mayor. How am I ever supposed to change the world when I have some radioactive shmuck with a God complex following me around and thwarting my every move?


The familiar metallic taste of blood and sweat seeps into my taste buds as I part my teeth to lick my swollen lips. I know I won’t last one more super-powered punch to the mandible, and I’m thinking it might be time to get my a** in gear and breeze the hell out of here. I’m always the one running, always the one covered in blood and bruises and high-tailing it out of some super-powered Mexican stand-off. Me here, with my ray, he there with his… fists.




The wind is coming in through the factory window and sending a shiver down my spine as it hits the beads of sweat forming at the nape of my neck. Shadows playing off conveyer belts and merchandise and the red spandex of his suit, tell me that the sun is finally setting. I start counting down the seconds in my head. 30, 29, 28, 27…
He opens his mouth, assuredly to start some droning monologue about my failure. But I hold up my hand to stop him. I know I’m a failure, I’ve heard it all a thousand times before; I’ll hear it all a thousand times again. I’m the bug and he’s the news paper. He’s the hammer, I’m the nail. 25, 24, 23, 22…


My hand curls around the glass vile in my pocket, as I calculate the distance from where I’m standing to the door. I open my mouth and say, “You wouldn’t know it from looking at me, but I’m quite the under-dog.” 16, 15, 14, 13…


My eye is starting to puff up, the purple skin, swelling and throbbing and bleeding, is starting to squeeze my eyelid shut. I’ve got one good eye, and one good arm to get me to the door and I’m pretty sure I’ve fractured one or more of my toes. I say, “I mean, I know I’m scum, and slime, and dirt or whatever. But in the end, I’m not the one standing here in a cape and tighty-whiteys telling the world I’m a God.” 7, 6, 5, 4….


I raise my hand high in the air and throw the vile down with as much force as I possibly can and quickly whisper “three-two-one.” It hits the ground with a tinkling shatter and we’re suddenly engulfed in smoke. I leap past him and towards the door, and I can hear his giant’s feet pounding the cement just behind me. He throws out a fist or a foot or something, maybe even a metal pipe he’s found lying around on the factory floor, I can’t really tell what it is in all this smoke, all I know is that it hits me hard. A pointed strike to the parietal bone and I stumble. It’s funny how you can take the severest of beatings, but nothing stings more than scraping your palms on concrete. I may not be strong, but I sure am fast, and before I even know I’m down I’m back up and out that door.

The sun is setting deep and dark on the horizon; cooking on the skyline like an egg in a frying pan, I see people looking at my smashed in face. I know my nose is broken, I know I’m drooling blood and stumbling like a drunk. But I feel grand.
I don’t care if I’m good or evil, strong or weak, victorious or pummeled to a bloodied pulp.


Because in the end there is no good or evil; it’s all just one big power struggle. Everyone has their own agenda; everyone just wants to rule the world. Everyone is greedy, and sadistic and cruel. But I’ll keep trying to change it, one violent face-off at a time.





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