off guard and unawares

The temperature hovered just below freezing, yet it felt as though it were sub zero. And aside from the occasional gust of wind and irregular snow flurry that floated to the barren ground, the night was still. Inside and out, it was quiet, too quiet for my liking. That alone should have been the first and last indication that something was in the mix. Unsuspecting as I was, I peered around the corner into my bedroom, my sanctuary. The darkened room and the television’s soft glow lulled me to a false sense of security. Then, all at once I was taken off guard.

“Aiieeeya!” She pounced.

My attempt to dash into the closet to don my tights and super cape was foiled. Instead, I found myself quite unprotected and quite unbalanced as my opponent delivered her split-second offensive blows. Bam! Kapow! She fired a jab to my abdomen with wrecking-ball force. Oooof. An instant later, I howled in pain as an uppercut to my right cheekbone stung as though it had just been hit with flaming lava.

How did she know? How could she possibly know that my cheek was still sore and bruised from our last encounter just a day before?

Her super-human strength and unpredictable moves make her my most feared and dangerous adversary. She was invincible, and she had me at her mercy. And that was when she went for the upside-down, runaway freight-train kick to the face. She flipped and hung in the air for a moment, foot cocked emphasizing the inevitable. Once released, it was unstoppable. Whhaaaackkkk! I was undone.

A few hours later, B walked in the door and took one look at me, “What happened? Your eye is black and puffy.”

We’ve had no secrets in regard to my super-hero alias. He's witnessed the treachery and bound many a wound.

“Your daughter,” I replied calmly.

“Say no more,” he said with a smirk and a wave of his hand.

Even so, I felt compelled to relinquish the details. “I was the human playground. This,” I said pointing to my eye, “happened when I was the slide.”