A note from Daoist Enigma

First one star! Yay troll xD

I'm used to the game they call RR by now, but it's still amusing.


After having brutally bested after his attempt at a frontal assault, the logical course of action would be to try a different tactic. However, that would also be the expected course of action. If a year of getting tossed around in the arena had taught him something, it was that there were some people in this world that you could never beat. It wasn’t a matter of practice or experience, and neither was it a defeatist mentality- Frank, while usually an amiable bastard, well… at least with him, transformed into a completely different person the moment he stepped into the arena.

It was like fighting a man who could see three seconds into the future, moving just enough to perfectly position himself for a counter with a minimal amount of exertion, making it almost seem like an exercise in futility. Perhaps that was the exact feeling Frank was trying to project, subconsciously making his opponent doubt and second guess themselves. So when Timothy charged with a clenched right fist, he lightly flexed his left wrist for a second, knowing that such an insignificant movement would be exactly the kind of tics Frank would be looking for.

Even if he could get Frank to flinch for an instant, it would be a minor victory. Covering the distance, Timothy threw a powerful right jab directed right towards the smug grin that proudly rested on Frank’s face. The next instant, things went exactly as planned as his fist rapidly careened towards Frank. This time, instead of sidestepping, Frank positioned his left foot behind his right in a manner that a straight line was formed between the two and then ducked at the optimal time. Tim’s fist only connected with air, but the kinetic energy behind his charge was still present. Two arms with bear-like strength locked his right arm in a vise-like grip, and the next thing Tim knew, his own energy was being used to hoist him over Frank’s back and into the…. special shock-absorbing material that cost a fortune to include in the construction of the ring, otherwise Frank would’ve never attempted such a maneuver. There was little the Quill family couldn’t buy when they truly wanted something.

Still, the impact had rattled Tim’s internal organs, and he broke out into a coughing fit that lasted a good minute. Not at all bothered by being planted again, his raspy voice echoed out “Aikido…. really?” Tim asked, with a skeptical expression on his face.

“The file I gave you were three years old”, said Frank with a snicker, which prompted an angry glare from Tim from his upside-down view. “Hey, don’t give me a dirty look. Do you really think I’ll give up all my cards that easily? Plus, even I don’t have the guts to use Aikido in a real fight. It’s just a party trick, the only reason I pulled it off was 'cuz I’m used to fighting you, and heck, even if it failed, all I’d lose is a bit of my pride. Though mind you, the thought of failure never even crossed my mind”, explained Frank, the monstrous talent that he was.

That…was the real reason behind why beating Frank was a lost cause. It wasn’t limited to sparring matches either, no sir. He had indeed read the files in great detail, and the places Frank had come back to from, just thinking about them give him the chills. He'd tried to peer into the man’s thought process, but even a small glimpse was enough to drive most mortals to insanity. Frank was no stranger to a basic fear of death that most humans share as a basic survival instinct, but the possibility of failing a mission never occurred to him. There was no outcome where he foresaw himself dying, no error that he made that was beyond salvaging, no ‘worst-case scenario’ where the odds of survival were zero. One would call that delusional, but in fact, it was the most pragmatic approach to life that was possible. Fear of the unknown and the uncertain was like sailing in a vicious storm with just a small boat on the verge of capsizing, and the phenomenon only worsened in the worst-case scenarios, where not even a trickle of hope was in sight. For most men, there was a thin middle ground where perseverance, effort, and a belief in their comrades could allow them to weather the storm and return home heroes… but for Frank, there was no boat, no storm, no fancy conjured mental imagery. There was just him… and the enemy.

“Again,” said Tim, as he swatted away the last of the dust that had clung to his shorts. This time he had tried a careful, measured approach, circling the circumference right beyond Frank’s reach, baiting him to make the first move by camouflaging some minor, intentional errors in his guard as openings. Unfortunately, Frank responded bait of his own, prompting Tim to instinctively tighten his guard and prepare a suitable response after last times beating. Then came the real jab to his stomach, that sent him careening to the ground.







Gradually, a natural tempo was formed in their fights, as Tim had stopped tried to win but instead hone the various forms Frank had taught him, and he too shifted to light taps meant to point out shortcomings in Tim’s guard rather than knock the wind out of him.

Soon, Timothy Quill found himself lost in thought, slipping down memory lane… to happier times.

Timothy woke up to the familiar, pleasant smell of freshly cut strawberries and slightly tilted his neck to see his girlfriend, Anya snuggled up next to him with a small smile on her sleeping face. Once again, Tim found himself wondering what shampoo the little scamp used, and how someone could smell that good. Or maybe it was just his love for strawberries that made it so damn alluring. Knowing Anya though, it was entirely possible that she just crushed a bunch of strawberries and rubbed them over her air until the smell stuck- certainly wouldn't be the craziest thing she's ever done. After all, she never told him the brand no matter how many times he asked, calling it a trade secret. Best to presume her guilty until she offered up an explanation, even if it made him the dumbest lawyer on the planet.

Giving her a soft kiss on the forehead, he slowly edged out of the bed hoping that he wouldn't wake her. He always preferred to wake up an hour and a half before his first class, it gave him enough time to make breakfast, bathe and have room to spare for a quick refresher on the previous class's topics.

Of course, he could always have Alex prepare a beautifully plated omelet infused with truffle oil with generous servings of Sevruga caviar, dollops of cream cheese (a personal preference), and topped with an edible gold leaf (that tastes like absolutely nothing and adds no flavor whatsoever), but both Tim and Anya had enough of the fancy fare back at their respective homes. Not to berate Alex's craft, or for that matter, any of the chefs under their employ, but both of them had come to an agreement that the food that they're used to lacked a certain... soul. It was hard to explain, but for people who had never tasted a meal cooked by their mothers it was understandable, you had to know something to miss it.

It was slightly ironic how Tim had gravitated to another descendant of an obscenely wealthy family, but it was a decision made after certain painful incidents in the past. Whether he liked it or not, being the sole heir of a multi-billion dollar fortune made Tim a very attractive relationship proposition, and most people that approached him always had that thought floating in the back of their head. Anya's family, while not quite at the billion-dollar mark, still had enough money to the point where it stopped mattering, and she was another girl who had made it into law school via a generous 'donation'. Another aspect that Tim didn't enjoy, but while he was many things, a hypocrite was not one of them. He wouldn't criticize a system that had benefitted him greatly, only hoping that his father's money went to a good cause.

Though what he hadn't expected was how deeply smitten he would become with Anya, to the point where he couldn't imagine a future without her in his life. It had only been two years, but for Tim, the times spent with her felt like a lifetime of happiness, and he couldn't wait to spend many more together. They were a healthy, communicative couple, and Anya seemed to be as smitten with him as he was for her.

"Alena, please pull the blinds," said Tim, addressing the automated voice assistant. Moments later, the blinds started automatically whirring, eliciting a few groans from Anya as the first rays of dawn came pouring in.

"Wake up, Anya!" said Tim, raising his voice just enough to send the message, but not enough to prove a nuisance.

"FUCK!" Anya suddenly screeched and sat upright as if someone had lit a fire under her derriere. "I forgot that we had that prop law thing due today, and that smug old man loves picking on me. Sorry Tim, but I think I've got a sudden cold and need to take a day off. Send my regards to Professor Garcia, please", said Anya, and hid herself underneath the blankets like a little kid scared of the horrors that lurked beneath the depths.

Tim groaned and replied in mock anger, "You're lazy, sloppy, irresponsible and I spoil you as if you were my daughter. On top of that, you take everything the professor says wayyy too personally and get too anxious about it. What did I like about you again?"

"I'm cute" a small, insecure voice came from underneath the blankets. "The cutest," the voice added, to ensure there wasn't any room for doubt left on this particular topic, but it seemed to be on the verge of tears.

Tim found his tough-guy act instantly got hit by a wrecking ball and crumbled into a thousand pieces. Crawling underneath the blanket, he saw that the corner of Anya's eyes was slightly red. Giving her a warm hug, he softly whispered in her ear "And you're not alone. You'll never be alone again. I'm sorry for bringing up your father, I swear I didn't mean it."

"Of course you didn't", she said, in between small sobs that she couldn't stop from breaking out, as she returned the hug warmly.

"Also, I kinda figured this would happen. The pen drive by the table has what you need, and if you get anything less than an A I'll eat my hat. So that Garcia can go fuck himself, and if he raises his voice against you one more time I'll make sure the board hears from me, my father, and anyone he has on speed dial as well", said Tim, struggling to contain the venom from slipping into his words.

"Now", said Tim, as he wiped the corner of her eyes, and continued "You ready for some pancakes?"

"Pancakes? Ya- wait, don't tell me," said Anya, with dread seeping into her voice.

"Yup, pancakes with strawberry syrup, the best syrup known to man," said Tim, with a proud grin on his face.

"Ugh, I like you, Timothy, I really do. But you and me, we're gonna have a problem if we can't even agree on the best syrup," she said, in a playful tone.

"Oh? Which one is it then?"

"Why blueberry, of course"


"Says you"

"Fair enough. Now, will you tell me the secret behind the strawberries? I did your homework and all, and technically that's academic dishonesty. Technically, you could get me expelled, y'know. "

"Oh pleaaaase. Dean Blake would rather walk up on prom night buck naked than fire "the" Timothy Quill."

A response that caused Tim to utter a sound that was a mix of an awkward cough and a chuckle, he retorted "That's an oddly specific example you know. Didn't know you had the hots for that baldy?"

"Oh my, are you jealous little Timmy? Isn't that what Frank calls you. Maybe you should treat the cutest girl on campus better, y'know. Like a date at a local diner, that'd be interesting."

"For a rich girl, you're awfully low maintenance aren't you?"

"Guess we're both fucking weirdos," she said, and they both burst out into laughter.

Frank's fist arced towards the right side of Timothy's face, and for a moment he stood perfectly still as if he had given up the fight.

Then with a loud roar that was a mixture of anger, hatred, and self-loathing, Tim elbowed the arcing arm right in the center with precision he would later admit was impossible for him to replicate, causing Frank's clenched fist to reflexively unclench due to the intense burst of pain. He immediately followed up with a brutal kick to the shin, causing him as much pain as it did to Frank, followed by three quick left jabs right in his gut. Taking advantage of the brief window of time he'd generated, Tim hurriedly moved behind Frank and locked him in a chokehold, and then used his legs to latch onto his body.

Though he'd underestimated Frank, as a strong punch rocked his grip around Frank's neck, and he would be forced to let go long after another two of those heavy hits.

"DIE WITH ME, THEN!" yelled Tim, and instead of angling his bodyweight forward, he let himself fall backward, along with Frank's entire body weight on top of him, and crashed to the ground. For the first time, Tim had managed to genuinely surprise Frank- whether it was his ingenuity or idiocy was unknown, but the surprise was legitimate.

"You know that if this were a real fight, you'd be the one with a broken back," said Frank, in a nonchalant tone.

"And I still wouldn't let go until you lost" said Tim with a voice that was capable of no falsehoods, only the truth and his anger.

Though Frank could still get out of this predicament, his means were not suitable for a peaceful spar. Besides, Tim had genuinely earned this victory, even if it came at the cost of mutual destruction.

"I yield"


A note from Daoist Enigma

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About the author

Daoist Enigma

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Wordsmith


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