Meeting Your Match by Catharsis

Part 1 – Even Stevens

The chime that accompanied the notification on Jane’s smartphone was bright and cheerful. The message it announced left her feeling anything but.

[Your Nemesis has been found!]

‘WTF?’ she thought. She sat at the tiny square table in her small apartment kitchen, put her half-empty coffee mug down, and examined the note that had interrupted her Saturday morning. Black block letters sat on a warning-yellow background surrounded by a thick red border, topped off with a grinning skull with demon horns in the upper right corner. She tapped the leering icon to figure out which app had generated the message.

‘Oh,’ she remembered upon seeing the launch screen, ‘THAT one.’

[NEMESIS: Meet your match]

It had been a silly thing, done in a fit of curiosity and boredom a few weeks ago after her last breakup. If dating apps kept tossing nice guys at her that she inevitably grew tired of, she’d wondered, why not ask the tech wizards and their fancy AI for the opposite?

The app’s layout looked different than it had been the last and only time she’d opened it. The top half was now filled with a contact page. Strange thing was, the labels were normal, but the text in the boxes next to them was blurred out. Only the first half of the Name area was legible.

[Kaylee]

‘A woman? Well, if they were trying to set me up with someone threatening, they couldn’t have picked a person with a more dopey-sounding name.’

Jane touched her finger to the blob that obscured the photo. To her surprise, a large window opened up.

[WANT TO CONTINUE?]
[For a small charge, you can unlock the full potential of Nemesis! Pair up with someone calculated to push YOU to greater heights.]
[ACCEPT Decline]
[By selecting the ACCEPT option above, you agree to the Terms & Conditions listed below. NeuroNetMatch, its partners and subsidiaries are not liable for actions taken by the users of its applications. By participating, you agree that…]

‘Blah, blah, yeah, yeah,’ Jane thought. She pressed the Home button on her phone to dismiss the app and stretched. Sunlight lit up her wavy, medium-length chestnut hair and reflected off the shiny material of the football jersey she wore. Its sponsor logo was distorted by Jane’s firm 34C breasts. The 22 year old drained her coffee and lifted her 5′ 6″ frame out of the chair to get ready for the day.

She had two and a half hours before her shift at work and a grocery list with some things she’d promised to pick up for the old couple next door. No time to dawdle. She drove to the market, raced efficiently through the supermarket aisles, frowned at the total cost the register coughed up despite the coupons she’d brought, and was headed back out to her car when that unfamiliar chime rang out again.

[Your nemesis is online.]

Jane had just dismissed the notification when another popped up.

[Your nemesis has unlocked your information.]

Jane stared in shock at the words. She pressed the question mark icon at the bottom of the message as she steered her shopping cart across the rough asphalt parking lot.

[Your nemesis is now able to read basic details about you. Make things even by selecting the option below to Unlock their information]
[UNLOCK Close]

Jane dropped her phone into her purse. She loaded her bags into the trunk of her car and returned the cart on automatic pilot. Her brain was still working through the implications of what she’d just read. It made sense to her that the person the Nemesis app had matched her up with was a real human being, one that might be curious about who Jane was. It just felt unnerving to be reminded that she existed and was doing things that targeted her.

And Jane knew next to nothing about Kaylee. What did she look like? Where did she work? What did she do there? Was she into sports? Perhaps she was a fan of a rival team?

Her finger hovered over the screen of her phone as she sat in the driver’s seat of her car. ‘Nah,’ she thought, ‘I’ve got enough bills to pay already. I don’t need to be spending money on something silly like this.’

The next notification arrived midway through her journey home.

[Your nemesis is interested in your location.]

Jane read it, and steam rose from her ears the rest of the drive. As soon as she arrived and piled the groceries on the kitchen counter, she lay her phone on the table and mashed the UNLOCK button. The Terms & Conditions page appeared again, and she hit ACCEPT to clear it out of the way.

“Who exactly are you, Miss Kaylee?” Jane muttered.

[Name: Kaylee Hutchins]
[Age: 24]
[Height: 5′ 7″]
[Weight: 126]
[Dress Size: 2]

The photo that faded into view wasn’t anyone Jane knew, but she instantly recognized the type: blond hair, naturally attractive but wore lots of makeup, member of the popular girls clique at school, not smart enough for advanced classes, probably married right after high school…

[Status: Married, 5 years]
[Children: 0]
[Occupation: Homemaker]

Jane nodded her head. ‘Bet she’s never worked a day in her life.’

[Activities: HOA president, Neighborhood Watch coordinator, director for annual charity 5K/10K run]

“Ugh, it’s worse than that. Little Miss ‘In Charge’. I’m not going to have any problem feeling better than her.”

[Address: 19403 Country Mill Run]
[Current Location: CLICK TO SEARCH | BLOCK | ?]

Jane paused. She touched the question mark.

[Current Location is based on the last known place your nemesis connected to the Internet. It may only indicate a general area. This service costs an additional fee, and use of it allows your nemesis to use it free of charge within the next five minutes. The Block feature prevents your nemesis from using the Current Location search, but may not be used within ten minutes after you perform a search.]

“Why make shit so complicated?” Jane closed the information bubble and pressed BLOCK.

[Location Search blocked for 1 hour]

“Wait, that’s it?” She scrolled up and down, but didn’t find any option for increasing the length of time. Frustrated, she put her phone down, separated the groceries for her neighbors into two bags and carried them over.

When she returned, there was a series of chat messages sitting on her phone’s screen. They featured the disturbing grinning Nemesis skull as the sender.

“Excuse me?” Jane said, incensed.

(What do you mean?) she typed and sent. An animated version of the skull appeared in one corner. It’s jaw moved up and down to indicate that Kaylee was typing.

(How so?)

Half an hour ago, receiving word that the stranger the Nemesis app paired her up with was just as eager to drop the whole thing would have made Jane perfectly happy. Now, however, Kaylee’s blunt dismissal made her blood boil.

She was halfway through a three sentence-long defense of her pride when Nemesis interrupted her.

[Your Nemesis has blocked voice calls and text messages from you on their device]
[Respond in kind?]
[BLOCK Close]

Jane halted her typed tirade, thumbs still hovering above her phone and ready to stab out more letters of it. “Fine,” she spat. She mashed the Close button. “Fine!” she shouted at the grinning skull icon, as if Kaylee could hear her through it. “See if I care!”


For once, Jane was glad that the big box store she worked at had a “no cell phone” policy for its employees. Spending hours at a time away from hers helped her forget about Kaylee and Nemesis, and all the weird thoughts the two made her ponder. The few times she checked her phone during breaks, the only notifications she saw were the usual social media ones generated by her friends. She wrapped up her 10 to 6 shift and headed out to her car. In the middle of a series of blue-bordered group texts Tara had started about going out for drinks was an unnerving red one.

[Your Nemesis is nearby!]

‘Fucking what? When was this?’ Jane squinted at the tiny print. 4:53pm. Over an hour ago. ‘Shit. Don’t scare me like that,’ she scolded her smartphone. The debate she’d been having about how to answer Tara’s RSVP vanished from her mind. One part of her brain tried to calm her down. ‘It was just a coincidence that Kaylee happened to drive near the shopping center where I work. Nothing more.’

But another part worried that it wasn’t coincidence. What if Kaylee’s messages earlier had been fake? What if she was in fact curious or even scared of Jane but was just hiding it? What if she’d stopped by Jane’s workplace to scope her out? What if Kaylee had actually seen her, but Jane didn’t know it?

“Fuck,” she said out loud inside her car. This dizzy tornado of thoughts was getting her nowhere. She tried to think of dinner, of whether to join Tara and her entourage for drinks later, but it was no use.

She had to know.

Jane launched the Nemesis app and tapped on Kaylee’s address. It was just a twelve minute drive. ‘Just a quick visit,’ she thought. ‘Clear things up, and that’ll be the end of it.’

Ten minutes later, she turned her car into a neighborhood of large houses and well-manicured lawns. Jane stared in envy, guessing at the amount of money someone would have to make to afford to live in one of them. She drove on auto-pilot, her arms and legs following the directions her phone was narrating and her eyes swung from one gorgeous-looking home to another.

“Arrived. Your destination is on the right,” the calm female voice on her phone announced.

Jane slid her car next to the front curb. She ducked her head down to look out the passenger-side window and up the slope at the blue and white split-level house she was parked at. ‘Damn, that’s a beautiful porch,’ she thought, ‘Bench swing and all.’

A chime broke her reverie. Three descending notes played on gigantic bells like out of a horror movie.

[Your Nemesis is nearby!]

Jane scrambled to pick up her phone and dismiss the notification. Her heart pounded hard in her chest. She swallowed. Her throat felt dry.

The front door swung open and a woman, her blond hair gathered behind her head in a ponytail, strode out in a hurry, but only to the top of the short set of steps connecting the porch with the front lawn. She had been staring at the smartphone in her hands the whole way, a look of disbelief smeared across her otherwise gorgeous face. Now, her head rose. Her eyes took in the sight of the unfamiliar car in front of her house. Her demeanor changed from one of surprise to one of anger.

[Nemesis device detected. Acquiring connection. Linking…]

Jane panicked. ‘Shit. This was a bad idea. Shit!’ She could see Kaylee squint against the setting sunlight in a loose, fashionable blue shoulder-less top and tight khaki slacks, trying to get a good look at her through the passenger window. “What was I fucking thinking,” she cursed as she gripped the steering wheel and hit the accelerator pedal.

All the way back to her apartment, she beat herself up for being so naive and stupid. Kaylee had already shown herself to be stuck up and unwilling to discuss things like normal human beings do. Why would she be any different in person?

Jane eased her car into her parking space at the apartment complex, shut it off, and breathed a sigh. ‘Forget it,’ she told herself. She got out of her car and lit a cigarette as she crossed the parking lot. Her phone chimed.

An eerie chill ran down Jane’s spine. The Nemesis skull’s jaw was still moving.

[Your Nemesis knows your location]

The lit cigarette fell from Jane’s lips. She swung her head around, looking for any movement. She was alone right now, but she didn’t know how long that would last. She grabbed her purse and dug inside it for her keys. She leaped up the flight of stairs to her apartment door, jammed the key in the lock, and raced to safety.

Jane spent a minute calming her speeding heart rate leaning against her locked and bolted door. She had way too much adrenaline to stay still, however. She walked to the kitchen, thought of getting something to drink or eat, rejected that idea, wandered down the hall to her bedroom and back out, considered sitting silently in the shower but knew there was no way she could remain motionless for any extended period of time. With a start, she recalled that Kaylee knew her address. Of course the bitch would come here! It would be best if she wasn’t even in the apartment when Kaylee arrived.

The plan came together so simply and naturally. Her apartment complex sat next to the local high school, and there was a rough patch of trees in between them. Jane had often seen kids cut through a gap in the chain link fence as a shortcut. She could hide herself there and watch Kaylee from a safe distance.

Jane locked the door behind her and crept down the stairs. A car was approaching. She peered out to find a Lexus sedan turning away from her building and into the lot for another one. She walked as calmly as she could, trying her best to act like everything was normal. Her gaze was fixed on the path the led to the school fence and the rusted frame of a discarded box spring that looked like it might do for an observation spot.

Motion in her peripheral vision caught her attention. From the direction the Lexus had gone, someone was moving straight down the center of the parking lot at a rapid pace towards her. A woman, blonde, dressed in a loose blue top. Despite herself, Jane stopped.

“Jane?” the woman called out. “Is that you, Jane Margaret Carter?”

An uncommon rage boiled in Jane’s veins. She turned and faced her nemesis.

“Kaylee, get out of here! Just… go home! Don’t make this worse-“

“First of all, Ms Carter, I don’t take orders from you!” Kaylee shouted as she completed her rapid-paced march and stood with one hand planted on her hip and the other pointing accusatorily. “Second of all, if I see you set foot in my neighborhood again, you’re going to jail! Understand?”

Jane’s fists were tight. “Look,-“

“Don’t interrupt me. I’m not finished.”

“Kaylee, …” Jane growled.

“I said shut up and listen for ONE… FREAKING… SECOND! Jeez.” Kaylee lowered her voice. “The app fucked up. Plain and simple. I watched everyone of my friends use it and get matched up with someone who’s obviously their equal. That’s all I wanted, but now the broken-assed thing won’t let me unmatch and get someone else.”

“Oh?” Jane said, barely restraining herself, “I’m not good enough for you. THAT’s the problem?”

“I didn’t say that! Don’t put words into my mouth! What’s wrong with wanting a choice?”

“What if you’re wrong?” Something gloriously hated-filled and powerful was churning deep within Jane’s core, eager to wipe that haughty look off of Kaylee’s pretty face. It gave her confidence and a clear-eyed surety to her words. “What if it picked exactly the right person?”

Kaylee’s expression twisted in disbelief, but only momentarily. She took one more aggressive step toward Jane. “If you think for one instant that you and I are at all well-matched, you are on some serious drugs. Don’t give me that stupid smile! You have no idea who you’re messing with.”

“Oh, I know your kind pretty well, Miss Queen Bee. I tangled with someone in high school just like you. You try to lock everything around you under your thumb… but I’m one thing you never will, and that drives you crazy.”

“Hah! Like I give the tiniest crap about someone like you, who barely scrapes by working in retail, who drives a rust bucket Honda, and who not only isn’t in a relationship, but has never had one last longer than a few months.”

“How the fuck…?”

“Oh, I got the all the gory details of your humdrum life and total lack of ambition, ‘Plain Jane’. Bored me to tears. So, you listen now and you listen good: you’re nowhere near my league. Stay the hell away from me and mine, and we’ll both be happier.” At that, Kaylee spun on her heels to leave.

“Wait a minute, you piece of shit! Come back here!” Kaylee covered her ears and sashayed snootily as if oblivious to her voice. Jane’s frustration exploded. Her right arm swung fast. The key ring she had held in it went flying. The bundle of keys with its small cannister of mace arced perfectly through the air and struck Kaylee right in the back of the head.

Jane stood stunned at her flawless throw. She’d kind of wanted that to happen, but could scarcely believe she’d pulled it off so effortlessly.

Kaylee was less than pleased. In fact, the sharp pain in her scalp made her downright livid. “You stinking crack whore!” she shouted and turned to face Jane once more. She grabbed the fallen key ring, readied the finger-sized self-defense spray on it and charged.

Jane ran, terrified at how fast Kaylee was moving. She dodged between two cars and towards the rough path towards the fence. The hiss of pepper spray frightened her even more, and she willed her legs to propel her with everything they had. She heard Kaylee cough and gag as the blonde ran through the noxious cloud she’d made, but Jane didn’t turn back to look or slow down in the slightest.

She tore past half a dozen trees and ducked through the gap in the chain link fence. The sound of running footsteps grew louder behind her. The left sleeve of her shirt caught on a branch and she wrenched it free, fearful of Kaylee’s claws grabbing her arms in a similar way. Jane’s heart pounded fast and hard. She broke from the woods and up a small hill behind a stand of metal bleachers next to the football field. She willed her legs to run, but they wouldn’t move as quickly as she wanted them to.

With a sudden jerk, her torso twisted halfway around. Kaylee had caught her right shoulder and yanked. Damn, she was a fast runner. Jane’s left foot landed wrong. Off balance, she spun and landed butt-first on the grass. Kaylee’s momentum took her several steps further along before the blonde could halt herself. She turned and towered over Jane, face crimson with anger.

“I’ve got you dead to rights for assault and battery, missy…” Kaylee fumed. Jane rose to her feet. She’d heard all she could stand from this bitch. “You are going to… OOF!”

Jane’s lunge had been swift, and her fist struck true, smack dab in Kaylee’s side. Kaylee staggered back, clutching her injured stomach. Jane snarled, “Don’t ever tell me what to d-“. She cut her growled retort short to dodge the wad of keys Kaylee flung at her head. “Fucking…” was all she got out as she righted herself. Kaylee was right in front of her, swinging with fury. The blonde’s first punch bounced off Jane’s upper arm, but the second rang off her skull.

Jane went into a defensive crouch for a few moments, taking a succession of blows to her arms and shoulders. Another shot to the head, though, and she snapped. She fired a jab straight forward. Her knuckles barked against Kaylee’s chin. The other woman chirped and retreated in surprise. Jane followed up by ramming her other fist into Kaylee’s midsection, forcing out a satisfying grunt. She swung hard three more times. The first one hit an elbow, but the other two only met air.

Jane stood up fully. Movement flashed in her peripheral vision to her left. A second later, stars blotted out her sight and pain erupted in her nose. She howled and clutched her face. Red-hot hatred, the likes of which she’d never felt before, fueled her into action. With a complete lack of care for the flurry of blows Kaylee was landing on her head and sides, Jane fought back. For every punch she endured, she threw one in return. For each kick that struck her legs, she answered with a foot or a knee.

The two females stood toe to toe and pummeled one other, pounding and slapping in a chaotic whirlwind of violence for nearly a minute. Each were intent on destroying the other and heedless of the damage they were receiving. Hands grabbed at hair and clothing. Bodies slammed together and twisted. Legs lashed out to kick and trip. They bent over at the waist, one arm around each other’s neck, and struggled there trying to throw their foe to the ground. The pair stomped and stumbled in that embrace for several dozen seconds, working strength against strength and hurling punches, neither able to gain the advantage.

Finally, Kaylee exploded in frustration. She slammed her free hand into Jane’s forehead once, then repeatedly. Jane squirmed, but found she couldn’t escape. Kaylee squeezed harder and bashed her opponent’s nose with a good, solid clout. Jane slipped from her grip and swung a balled fist. It thundered into Kaylee’s right tit, making her scream in agony.

The two women separated a few steps. Their hair was a mess. Their faces were flush and sweaty. Their clothes were loose and disheveled. Their mouths hung open, panting hard, hot breaths. Their gazes burned with evil intent, never leaving the target of their rage as the pair circled slowly, wary but eager to reignite their fiery battle.

Jane spat excess saliva off to the side. Kaylee grimaced in disgust. Jane saw her expression and got pissed off. The blonde’s face hid none of the desire she felt to continue.

That’s all it took.

As if in mutual agreement, Jane and Kaylee stormed at each other and resumed throwing punches. Fists struck home again and again, landing more often than being blocked or dodged. Grunts of pain and exertion punctured the air. The hail of blows intensified into a torrent that stung and rocked each woman.

“Bitch!”

“Dumb bimbo!”

“Loser!”

“Stuck-up cunt!”

On and on they pounded each other, dancing in a violent brawl across the ground. Knees bashed into thighs and pelvises. Jane took a rude hit to the jaw, but responded right back with two heavy palm strikes into Kaylee’s chest.

Their breathing grew labored. The rhythm of their skirmish slowed, even though its intensity hadn’t diminished in the slightest. Each held the other’s hair in one hand and wailed away with the other. Fist after fist thudded into their bodies and banged into their foreheads. Jane’s blows landed harder, and her body weathered Kaylee’s assault well. Kaylee, though, had more energy and endurance, and her persistent attacks were whittling at Jane’s resolve.

Kaylee ducked, causing Jane to ram her knuckles into the blonde’s hard skull. Jane cursed, shaking away the pain in her hand.

And giving Kaylee an opportunity.

Three sharp blows to the belly later, Jane was nearly doubled over in agony. She maintained her grip on Kaylee’s tresses and forced herself to fight on. Kaylee let fly with another wallop to Jane’s lower rib cage. The brunette knew she had to do something or the next hit would make her crumple.

Jane charged. Her body rammed into Kaylee’s. She wrapped her arms around the woman, pinning her foes arms to her sides. Huffing and puffing, the fighting females struggled and strained for control. Shoes scuffed in the dirt. Legs grapevined around each other and twisted.

The world spun. Jane’s back hit the ground. Kaylee fell on top of her, knocking the wind from her lungs. The blonde rose up and fired a punch to Jane’s face. Her fist went off course as Jane’s hips swiveled and bucked her off sideways. Jane immediately got up to pounce on her rival, who was trying to prevent herself from sliding down the hill.

Jane reached a crouch just as Kaylee got to her knees. She tackled the other female, who grabbed her in a rough embrace. Tangled together, they tumbled over and over down the slope. Thud after thud echoed like drum beats as each one had a turn slamming into the ground. After the two tightly knotted warring women careened crazily to the bottom, they continued grappling and wrestling in the dirt, rolling this way and that and wailing away with their fists. Their fight took them into the dried leaves and pine needles at the edge of the woods, which crackled and crunched as they continued their scuffle. Their fingers yanked hair and clothes. Their arms and legs wrapped around the other woman fiercely. They squeezed one another painfully, then set to rocking back and forth, hands and fists flailing. On and on the two battled, their heated catfight reaching a frenzied climax.

After a couple minutes, their movement drew to a halt. Kaylee sat on top of Jane, straddling the brunette’s hips, but her head was buried in Jane’s shoulder, trapped there by Jane’s right elbow. Kaylee slugged Jane once, then again, harder.

“Unh,” the prone woman groaned.

“Fuck…” Punch. “…you!” Punch. Kaylee’s breathing was stifled by the tight hold Jane had on her neck. She hurt. All over. But that wasn’t going to stop her. Nothing would. “Bitch! Gonna pound you until y- Erk!”

Jane increased the constriction on Kaylee’s neck. The other woman’s face was mashed practically flat. Pain lanced through her as Kaylee drove a knee into her gut. She was tired, ready to quit. Determination alone kept her going. She was going to teach this slut a lesson if it was the last thing she did. Another fist struck her temple. “Stop it,” she wheezed. Kaylee kneed her again. “Stop or I’ll fucking rip your head off, you stuck-up cunt!”

Kaylee wound up to deliver another blow. Jane jammed her left hand into Kaylee’s dangling right breast and clawed it with her nails. Kaylee howled and fought to dislodge Jane’s agonizing attack. Failing that, she mauled Jane’s tits right back, digging her nails into the brunette’s bra. The entwined women locked in that test of strength and endurance for a dozen seconds. The grunts and groans of two females engaged in desperate combat rent the air. Kaylee felt herself going light-headed. Jane valiantly clung to her foe’s neck even as her body threatened to rebel against the incessant torture.

With twin shouts, the battling women parted, shoving each other away and rolling to separate piles of wounded agony. Kaylee gasped, drawing in precious cool breaths. Jane moaned, cupping her injured breast, every inhale making her chest cry out in pain.

Time passed. How long, neither could tell.

Jane turned her head to look at Kaylee. Her nemesis was glaring straight back at her. With a start, Jane noticed anger slowly replace fatigue in the rich blonde’s face. Rage boiled inside of her, evaporating her body’s exhaustion. If Kaylee still wanted to go at it, Jane was more than eager to keep fighting her.

It must have shown in her expression. “You want more?” Kaylee asked with a growl in her voice. “I can give you a whole lot more if you’re stupid enough to want it.”

“Shut up! Just shut your fat-lipped, ugly, entitled, shit-spewing hole of a mouth!” Jane propped herself up on one elbow.

“You’re going to have to make me,” spat Kaylee. With a grim nod, Jane knew that was the truth. “But you never will.” Kaylee pulled herself slowly onto her hands and knees. Jane managed to make it to a sitting position. “Because I’m better than you.”

Red mist clouded Jane’s vision. Her fingers curled into tight balls. She was going to stand up, knock this haughty bitch down and beat her into a pulp. If only she had the energy to do it.

Instead, she gradually staggered to her feet and stood there swaying for a moment. Kaylee got up, too, and wobbled a bit before finding her balance.

The two women stared at each other. And the more they stared, the angrier they got. The very sight of the other female filled them with bile. Kaylee wanted nothing more than to smack the defiant look off of Jane’s face. And Jane wanted nothing more than to smear the smirk of superiority from Kaylee’s lips and grind it into the dirt. Their exhales became more pronounced, hissing through their teeth. Snarls carved lines around their mouths and dug canyons in their foreheads.

Kaylee seethed. “C’mon, already!”

Jane growled like an animal. She lunged, left arm swatting to block Kaylee’s hands and right arm readying a punch. Kaylee wasn’t there when she arrived. Jane swung at empty air, watching in surprise as her target leaped to Jane’s left. She turned her head just in time to catch Kaylee’s fist slamming into her left cheek. She felt like she was drunk, only in partial control of her coordination. The world looked cloudy. She lashed out, aiming in Kaylee’s general direction, guessing that she’d probably miss.

But it took Kaylee longer to recover from throwing her punch than the blonde had anticipated. Her sluggishness left her in perfect position to receive Jane’s elbow right in her midsection. She moaned. Her knees felt like they were giving out. She reminded herself that she was tougher than this stupid slut. Kaylee hurled another roundhouse.

It missed, swishing behind Jane’s head as the brunette stumbled and collapsed into her. Jane clutched at Kaylee’s clothing to keep from falling. Enraged, the blonde yanked Jane’s hair to peel her off. Jane launched a fist into Kaylee’s stomach in reply. Kaylee desperately tried to remain standing. She knew that if they fell, Jane would be on top of her and would likely pin her.

Jane landed another belly punch. She sensed that this was her chance. If Kaylee escaped her grasp now, she’d never catch her again and the speedy bitch would have her at her mercy. She hauled her arm back and let fly.

Jane’s and Kaylee’s blows hit simultaneously. Twin gasps of pain rocked their bodies. Jane fought through the shock and lifted her eyes to Kaylee’s. An identical look of hate stared back at her. Kaylee struck again. Jane took the punch and remained defiant. She readied her response, and delivered it.

Kaylee winced, but quickly replaced that with a sneer. “Give it up, you weak trash,” she shot. She slugged Jane in the ribs with everything she could muster.

Jane grunted. “Never, you fuckin’ cow.” She drove her fist up into Kaylee’s stomach as hard as she could.

Kaylee huffed, then gave her the same punch in return.

Back and forth, the evenly-matched women traded blows in a viciously measured manner. They leaned body against body, barely able to stand, and tested each other’s will to keep going with fist after fist plunging into their aching, tender flesh. And keep going they did. For several minutes they swung their arms wildly, plunging fist after fist into the body of their hated rival faster and faster, punctuating each hit with a grunt of exertion and a moan of agony until tears of pain stung their eyes and their lungs felt fit to burst. On and on their battle raged, a ceaseless exchange of punches between two women clutching each other with one hand and wailing away with the other.

With a final shout, Jane slammed her knuckles into Kaylee’s left cheek. The blonde teetered, dizzy. Jane flung another blow, but Kaylee’s haymaker cut her attack short.

They stumbled apart. Both were breathing ragged. Neither could think of stopping. Not until the other was down.

“Bitch, you best leave before I beat the ever-loving shit out of you,” Jane said.

“I haven’t even started with what I want to do to you.”

“Fine! Let’s see it, cunt!”

Footsteps crunched through the dried leaves behind them. “Hey, hey!” shouted a man’s voice. Jane’s heart jumped. She recognized it as belonging to the old man she bought groceries for. “What’s going on over here?”

“Mr. McKenna…” Jane began.

Kaylee composed herself in a flash. “Oh, did you hear us yelling? We were just having a heated discussion.”

The man looked over at Jane, taking in her roughed up appearance. “That so?”

Jane knew he wouldn’t believe her, but lied anyway. “Things got out of hand, is all.”

Mr. McKenna snorted. “Well, you two young ladies should put an end to whatever’s between you.”

Kaylee smiled that pretty, fake smile of hers from the Nemesis app’s photo of her, the one that had instantly made Jane hate her. “Don’t you worry about that,” she promised dishonestly. She looked straight at Jane and added, “I think we made our arguments quite clearly. We both know where we stand, and that’s that.”

Jane tamped down her ire. She blew out a breath and nodded, as if in agreement. “No quarrel here,” she assured Mr. McKenna. She held out her hand to Kaylee. “Everything’s even stevens. Right?”

Kaylee barely masked her fury. Still, she shook Jane’s hand wearing the same plastic smile, and without another word the blonde stalked off back to her Lexus.


It was another month before Jane opened a match-making app again.

When she did, once again she got more than she bargained for.

Catharsis Divider

Part 2 – Tit for Tat

His name was Charlie and he had all the qualities that Match4Me (a free app from NeuroNetMatch) had promised Jane. Blond hair, steel blue eyes, and a body chiseled lean by regular exercise. Sharp suit, winning smile, infectious laugh. Polite, but with an edge. Sure of himself and his career path, but not assertive or dismissive of others’ opinions. Loved the same food Jane did and best of all, rooted for the same team.

They’d met at a restaurant for dinner, chatted until it closed at nine, then found a bar. They sat across from each other at a high top and read one another’s hunger in the gauzy light. Jane was three drinks in and knew exactly where she wanted this to go. She’d let one strap of her small, black dress balance on the edge of her shoulder, displaying as much cleavage as she dared. She watched Charlie’s eyes wander below her chin as he softly stroked the back of her hand with his fingers.

She grabbed his wrist possessively. They paid and left.

Jane waited in her car, fixing her makeup while Charlie paid for the motel room. She watched him exit the office and walk down the long row of doors. Scarcely able to contain herself, Jane walked as fast as her heels let her and caught up to him at the entrance to their room. She enveloped him in a rough hug and breathed hard and hot onto his neck. They stumbled in together, hands racing across their bodies, barely able to kiss from how wide their grins were and how giddily they giggled with excitement,

The door shut with metallic bang and two seconds later Charlie flattened Jane against the wall with an equally loud thud. Her fingers were tearing at the buttons on his shirt and his muscular torso was crushing into her. Jane kicked off her shoes and massaged the back of Charlie’s legs with her heels. His hands grasped her ass cheeks and squeezed. He lifted her off the ground and carried her towards the waiting queen-sized bed. Moaning with delight, Jane wrapped her thighs about Charlie’s waist and felt herself fall quickly but gently to the waiting sheets.

He was hard and thick, and when he first entered her, Jane almost came right then and there. It wasn’t long at all before her gyrations and Charlie’s powerful thrusts had them both reaching a wonderful, simultaneous orgasm, heads buried in each other’s shoulders and mouths shouting in total ecstasy.

He rolled off of her, giving her a welcome break from his weight and sweaty heat, but maintained physical contact. They kissed, sweetly to start with, but growing more and more ravenous. Jane removed his condom and explored her lover’s balls and cock with her fingers, the latter becoming pleasantly stiff the longer she played with it. She sat up and began stroking him harder. With her tongue, she teased his manhood fully erect and ready. She fit another condom on it, straddled his hips, and impaled herself with his weapon all the way up to its hilt.

It felt so good, so right, so perfect to have him inside of her. He fit her so well that she wanted to ride him all weekend. She leaned forward and kissed him, never stopping the rhythm of their fucking. He grabbed her tits and sucked at her nipples. Jane was teetering on the edge of another all-encompassing explosion.

A rude, insistent knock pounded on the door.

“Charles!? Charles, I know you’re in there.” A female voice, muffled but angry. “You’re a horrible liar and you better not be doing what I suspect you are doing.”

The two lovers disengaged in a flash.

Jane stared at Charlie in shock. “You said you were single! And that the guy you sublet an apartment from doesn’t like you bringing home women…”

Charlie opened his mouth, but merely looked away, obviously unable to continue any deception.

Jane grabbed the top sheet and wrapped herself in it. “You shit! That’s your wife, isn’t it?” she thundered. No reply. “Oh, just great.” She stomped over to the door. “Well, Mr. Unfaithful…” She unlatched the lock and twisted the handle. “…whatever your real name is…”

Flinging the door wide open, Jane announced, “It’s time to show her the big secret!”

Three descending bell tones rang out in the ensuing silence. Ice water showered through Jane’s veins.

Standing in the doorway holding her smartphone was Kaylee Hutchins, dressed in a loose white top and yoga pants with her blond hair tied back behind her head. Jane recognized the notification on the screen in Kaylee’s hands. A grinning skull with the message [Your Nemesis is nearby!].

Kaylee lifted her gaze. Her torso shook like a pressure cooker about to blow. Shock, horror and rage passed across her face in rapid succession. “You…” she said, her voice a scary whisper. Jane took a step backwards.

Charlie hurriedly threw on his shirt and stepped into his suit pants. The motion distracted Kaylee, allowing Jane to retreat further into the room. He finished collecting his things and with a bowed head walked over and tried to usher his wife away from the site of his indiscretion.

Kaylee didn’t budge. “I don’t want you to touch me, I don’t want you to talk to me, I don’t want to SEE you the REST of the NIGHT!” she said to him, her tone rising to a shrill screech.

He left. The two women stared at each other for a few moments. Kaylee stepped inside the room, sniffed at the scent of sex hanging in the air, and shut the door behind her.

“I didn’t know…” Jane began.

“LIAR!” Kaylee screamed. “Don’t you fucking start with me, you filthy stinking slut!” She fidgeted with the latch to her purse and dropped her phone inside. “Oh, I thought you might pull something after our last meeting, I certainly did. I’m not stupid. But this… oh, this…” She held up her hand to cut off Jane’s attempt at a rebuttal. Her eyes bored into her bitter enemy’s. “This tells me that I didn’t dish out NEARLY enough pain to your disgusting crack whore face!”

Deep inside, hate welled up in Jane’s gut. She didn’t care anymore about explaining the truth of the situation, not to Kaylee. She’d hurt the bitch, and hurt her good, without even trying to. And the feeling she got from seeing Kaylee suffer filled her with uncommon gratification.

“It’s a face your husband found attractive enough to cheat on you over.”

“Bullshit! You seduced him. Led him by his dick and parted your legs like a whore.”

Jane chuckled. She was enjoying this. “I barely had to do anything. Guess that means what’s between YOUR legs isn’t keeping him satisfied.”

Kaylee threw her purse down. “Bitch, I’m going to wreck you so bad that this will be the last time a man ever looks at you.”

“Oh, you wanna go, huh, you fucking cunt?” Jane cast the bed sheet onto the mattress. She stood defiantly naked with her fists balled at her sides. “I have DREAMED of getting the chance to kick your ass again!”

Kaylee whipped her exercise top off and struck a challenging pose with only a blue sports bra covering her firm B-cup tits. “Again? Keep your fake news to yourself. You didn’t do shit to me and you’re damn lucky that old man interrupted us.”

Jane narrowed her eyes. “Oh, yeah? There’s no one to interrupt us now.”

Kaylee turned, set the lock on the door and faced Jane again, nodding her head slowly. “That’s right. Just you and me, slut.”

Jane’s pulse pounded. She wanted this. Wanted to unleash her temper so bad. This wasn’t the way she’d anticipated her evening would turn out, but now that it had, now that her hated nemesis stood in front of her once more, and was just as eager to restart their brawl… fuck, she was beyond excited. Fighting this bitch tooth and nail was going to be the climax of a memorable night out.

Kaylee’s first swing was fast, but missed short. Jane’s kick in response caught only air as well. The naked brunette paused, goading her opponent into over-committing. Kaylee threw two more punches, well aimed and hard, which Jane backed away from. Infuriated, Kaylee charged. She brushed aside a sharp jab with her wrist, barged Jane back into the dresser and landed three good blows into her foe’s stomach.

Jane hauled her arm back, elbow banging into the flat screen TV, and delivered and solid fist to Kaylee’s jaw. Kaylee shrugged it off. She pressed her advantage, ramming herself body against body into Jane. Plastered chest to chest, bare stomach to bare stomach, and thigh to thigh, Kaylee ground her hated nemesis into the furniture. Welded together, the two women locked each other in a tighter and tighter embrace. Fingers clawed at naked skin. Hands clutched at clumps of hair. Arms and legs wrapped like pythons about their slowly struggling torsos and hips.

Face to face, hissing and spitting, Jane and Kaylee fought an excruciating war of constriction and pain. Neither female gave a thought to the sensation of the other’s unclothed body rubbing roughly against her own. Their muscles were afire from being pitted in combat with another, equally-matched set. Their nerves screamed from the constant agony of scratches and slaps. Swaying and stumbling, they twisted and writhed on their feet in a clash of strength and a tangle of limbs.

Kaylee had her left forearm jammed under Jane’s chin, pressing the other female’s head toward the top of the dresser. Jane’s right palm grasped Kaylee’s jaw, pushing the blonde’s head awkwardly back. Sweat built on their hot skin as the battle waged on and on. Grunts and groans erupted from the entwined pair as they poured everything they had at each other. The nails on Kaylee’s right hand dug into the flesh of Jane’s arm as she attempted to pry Jane’s left hand out of her hair. Jane felt herself being folded backward but refused to give an inch to her hated rival. The fingers on her right hand scored a trio of red marks on Kaylee’s cheek, causing a howl of anger. Kaylee let go of Jane’s arm and began pounding Jane’s face with a balled fist.

Jane squirmed, sending the dueling fighters off balance. Kaylee recovered and backed away. She blocked a strong kick with an elbow. Her response caromed off Jane’s shin. Jane swiped with extended claws. Kaylee dodged and moved two steps further away.

Sweat beaded on their foreheads. Their mouths hung open, sucking in the stale motel room air. Chests heaved, working to recover from the intense outpouring of violence they’d dished out and received. Neither woman had a lot of endurance at that moment, and both were smarting from the pain and panting from the strain.

But the spark had been struck. The kindling lit. The raging fire of their mutual hatred had exploded into an unquenchable inferno, one that fed on the feel of every blow that landed true and roared higher with the sound of their rival’s cries of agony.

“Should have fucking finished your ass the first time.”

“You couldn’t fucking come close, bitch!”

With snarls on their faces, Jane and Kaylee launched themselves into one another. Fists flew. Hands yanked at hair. They stood slightly bent over, yanking with one arm and trading pinches with the other. Harder and harder, faster and faster their wild fight spiraled out of control. The bodies of the two warring women stumbled this way and that, colliding with furniture and then with the wall, all the while still slugging relentlessly.

The brawling pair flopped onto the bed and grappled fiercely there for a few seconds before their battle descended to the floor. Punching and kicking, they poured their hatred out relentlessly into one another’s bodies until their flailing legs pushed them apart. Kaylee and Jane rose to their knees, grabbed each other’s hair and then staggered to their feet. Jane rocked Kaylee’s head with a vicious right and the blonde responded in kind. Lost in anger, the two threw themselves fully into a fist fight that ranged back and forth around the room.

Their blows stung more than injured, but neither cared. They slapped and punched with complete abandon. The sound of skin getting smacked echoed off the walls as their fury drove them to ever greater heights of violence. Kaylee delivered an immense wallop to Jane’s cheek only to receive a fist into her left tit in reply. She latched into Jane’s hair with both hands and tried to force the brunette’s face into her knee. Jane surged forward instead, ramming her head into Kaylee’s chest.

Jane bulldozed Kaylee into the wall. She threw one fist, then the other into her foe’s midsection. She kept alternating, pouring every ounce of muscle into Kaylee’s stomach over and over while her target wheezed and grunted at each impact. Kaylee rapped her knuckles on Jane’s back again and again but it only made Jane redouble her efforts. Soon, the constant pummeling was more than she could endure. She bent Jane over more so that she could wrap her arm about Jane’s neck.

That altered Jane’s aim. Her next punch struck Kaylee in the pelvis. The rich blonde howled in agony and wriggled away from Jane’s assault. She escaped towards the bathroom, but Jane was not going to let her get away. Standing up, she grabbed Kaylee’s wrist and whacked her with her other hand. Kaylee aimed a fist at Jane’s head. It missed, and pain erupted in her belly again as Jane launched a knee into it.

Jane sensed a chance. Her nemesis was backing away now, flailing defensively and barely able to block her blows. Her left arm batted down Kaylee’s weak swipes while her other arm hurled a barrage of fists into Kaylee’s side, shoulder, and face. Kaylee roared in frustration and swung wildly, but Jane saw it coming. She dodged and plowed a hard right into the bitch’s cheek. Kaylee wobbled a few steps further, and Jane pursued. She battered the other female with punch after punch, even getting in a good kick to Kaylee’s ass.

Seeking shelter, Kaylee retreated into the bathroom and tried to close the door. Jane charged, barging it back open and knocking Kaylee onto the toilet. Kaylee kicked, and Jane backed off a few feet where a coughing fit overtook her. When it was over, she found her opponent on her feet once more.

Neither woman moved. They eyed one another warily, hands at their sides but fists clenched. Chests heaved in time with their racing breaths. This wasn’t over, they both knew. Not by a long shot. Someone was going to walk out of this room victorious, and Jane was certain it would be her.

“Had enough, bitch?” she spat.

“I… am going to beat you… into an unrecognizable pulp, you disgusting cow!” Kaylee panted.

Jane slapped her hard across the face. “Shut up.” Kaylee’s reply swung short. Jane struck again twice, beating her foe’s head down. “Just fucking shut up.”

Kaylee lunged. The bodies of the two women came together in a clinch, where the duo grabbed hair and clawed skin. Their hips slammed again and again into the sink. The sweaty, half-clothed figures twisted and writhed in the bright light glaring from above the sink. Their feet bumped once against the bath tub, then their battle saw them bang solidly into the door. The knob bit into Kaylee’s ribs, causing the blonde to bend away from it.

Jane pounced, wrapping her nemesis in a side headlock. She poured her muscle into it and drove Kaylee down and down toward the tile floor. Leaning with all her weight, she forced the other female’s legs to buckle. As one, the wrestling hellcats collapsed to the ground.

Kaylee’s right hand yanked hard on Jane’s hair. Jane’s left arm tightened around Kaylee’s neck. Both women groaned in agony, but neither lessened her tortuous hold. With fierce intent, they tightened their grips and fought with everything they had for a full minute. The constant pain and pressure took its toll, and Kaylee cracked first.

The blonde kicked her feet out. Her heels met the door. Her legs extended and launched her forward. Jane maintained her hold and tumbled atop her thrashing rival. Kaylee spun onto her back, throwing Jane off into the cabinet below the sink. She flung her knee over Jane’s thighs and tried to mount the brunette. She was met with an identical counterattack. Still lashed together cheek to cheek, the lower halves of the battling pair flailed wildly. Toes bashed shins. Knees knocked. Calves and thighs met, eventually ending with both sets of legs knotted in a tangle.

Body to body, they grappled and squeezed each other on the cold tile. Once, then a second time they flopped over, grinding themselves tighter and tighter in ball of wanton violence. Both moaned and grunted as they kept at it, fighting pain and weariness as they pushed each other to the limits of exertion.

Kaylee finally succeeded in dislodging Jane’s hold. She threw an elbow into Jane’s chest. Jane coughed, then quickly flung herself on Kaylee’s back to keep her from escaping. The trapped woman bucked valiantly, but couldn’t shake Jane’s weight off of her. Jane flopped atop her foe, mashing her naked tits into Kaylee’s sharp shoulder blades. She winced then began a loud coughing fit.

“Disgusting whore,” Kaylee said. She reared upright, still on both knees with her rear end sitting on her heels, Jane still draped on her back. “You sound like shit.”

“You ARE shit,” Jane shot back. Pushing against the wall, she forced Kaylee back onto her hands and knees.

With a resonant THUNK, Kaylee’s forehead struck the toilet bowl. She saw stars and lost focus for a few moments. When she regained her vision, she found herself staring close-up at water. The acrid smell of ammonia and cleaning fluid assaulted her nose. She almost gagged, but concentrated on retreating. Jane had her by the hair, though, and was intent on shoving her further into the bowl instead.

Kaylee’s face hit the water a few times, but Jane didn’t have the leverage to dunk her fully. The dominant brunette took one hand and began pounding on Kaylee’s exposed back. Fist smacked skin again and again as the trapped woman struggled mightily to escape.

Jane’s hands were hurting. She knew she was inflicting damage, but it wasn’t enough. Her nemesis was just too resilient. She shifted position, kneed Kaylee in the side and tried to slam her head onto the rim. With a yelp, Jane’s legs were swept out from under her by Kaylee’s free hand. Her tail bone hit the unforgiving floor and her head whacked the sink.

Still nursing her injury, she watched a wet-faced Kaylee pull away from the toilet, turn to her with a vicious snarl and dive at her, screaming with rage. Jane caught her with both feet and launched her backwards. Kaylee rocketed to a stand, but tilted off balance. She stumbled backwards into the shower curtain, which tore from its rings as the woman grabbed it on her way down into the tub.

The pair paused their conflict and massaged their wounded skulls for some time. Burning with animosity, they hurled curses across the bathroom instead. Each barb was like fuel for their fire. Their anger drowned out the pain they felt, and replenished their tiring muscles. There was one thing Jane had to admit: the two of them were an even match in willpower. Nothing short of getting knocked out cold was going to stop them from going at it over and over, crashing together with fists flying and fingers clawing, fighting dirty like feral animals in a chaotic knot of arms and legs.

The very thought rousted her like a second wind. She rose to a squat and used the sink to help her get up. The look of hatred in Kaylee’s eyes was all the invitation she needed. She wanted so bad to get back to fighting this bitch.

Fight her and win.

Jane stomped to the tub. Kaylee scrambled, but only got her legs underneath her by the time Jane arrived. Jane grabbed a fistful of hair with one hand and the bottom of her rival’s sports bra with the other and hauled Kaylee out of the bath. She’d planned to ram the blonde into something, but Kaylee lunged forward as soon as she got a good foothold. Jane found herself propelled swiftly into the towel rack. Pain erupted across her back. Her hand slipped out of Kaylee’s tresses. She tugged with her opposite hand, hoping to throw Kaylee to the floor, but the other woman slid straight out of her grasp and away. With a start, Jane noticed that while she still had a strong grip on the sports bra, it was no longer attached to its owner.

Her surprise was quickly cut short. Now bare chested, Kaylee nailed her with a fist to the jaw and followed it up with a knee to the stomach. Jane doubled over, suddenly feeling woozy. She raised her arms in a feeble defense, but Kaylee avoided them and landed a series of belly punches that took Jane to the brink of collapsing.

Triumphant, Kaylee pulled a towel off the rack and shoved it over Jane’s face. Holding it there with both hands, she leaned hard to increase the pressure pinning her foe against the metal shelving. Jane slapped at Kaylee’s arms and kicked at her legs, but was stuck fast. Desperate, in the darkness she imagined exactly how Kaylee was standing, and precisely where her legs met. Jane’s shin hit Kaylee’s crotch painfully, but only strong enough to make her annoyed. The blonde moved closer, relaxing the force pinning Jane a little, but blunting any repeat attack.

Jane had no intention of aiming there again. Her free hands reached out, fingers arched like claws. She sunk her nails into Kaylee’s breasts and mauled them. The high pitched shriek that followed was only barely muffled by the towel. Kaylee released it, allowing Jane to breath freely once more, but responded with her own on the brunette’s ample tits.

Jane almost wished she hadn’t raised the stakes this way. Her boobs were on fire with agony now from Kaylee’s grasping fingers, and she still was trapped against the towel rack. Seconds passed feeling like hours. On and on the bare chested females tortured the supple flesh of each other’s sensitive orbs. They panted, chirped in pain, whimpered as tears came to their eyes, and growled in fury. Red lines marred their smooth skin where nails had dug deep. Still they fought, testing their self-control and endurance far beyond where each thought they would have quit.

After one too many of Jane’s twists of her tits, Kaylee grimaced, pinched both of Jane’s nipples between her fingers and pulled. Jane howled, bashing her opponent’s arms away and covering her injured chest. Kaylee wasted no time, rocking Jane’s head side to side with a flurry of rights and lefts.

Jane ducked and ran, enduring a painful tug on her hair as she fled into the main room. Kaylee was right on her, though, catching up and tackling her from behind. Wrapped in a loose embrace, they fell on the mattress where they tumbled back and forth, punching and kicking. Soon, the two nearly naked women wrestled into a ball. It rolled this way and that amidst the dirty sheets. Arms rose and fell as the barrage of punches continued without cease. The fearsome duo rocked and squeezed, battered and pummeled each other, trading the top position again and again. Jane rose up and launched a hail of fists into Kaylee from above, only to be thrown off and suffer a knee to her midsection and a palm to her nose in return.

They broke apart and got to their knees slowly. Exhaustion was setting in. Eyelids drooped wearily. Their breasts heaved in time with the heavy breaths roaring through their wide open mouths. Sweat matted their wild, tousled hair and plastered it to their foreheads. Blotches of light red painted their naked flesh all over with a map of the damage they’d inflicted on one another.

Despite all this, their hands were balled into fists, and both were raising them slowly but surely.

“Bitch.”

With each insult…

“Slut.”

…a punch was thrown…

“Sleaze bag.”

…a fist hit bare skin…

“Cow.”

…they tested each other…

“Crack whore.”

…daring each other to continue taking punishment…

“Stuck-up cunt.”

….pushing each other past their limits…

“Oof. Unh,” Kaylee moaned. Jane’s last jab to her cheek had left her disoriented.

With a grunt, Jane put everything she had into a fierce right hook. Her target was moving erratically, though. Her blow bounced off Kaylee’s skull, sending a shock through Jane’s knuckles. Kaylee lay on her back, looking up at Jane with glazed eyes.

Jane towered over her, framed in Kaylee’s vision by the headboard behind the brunette. She shuffled forward. Readied a walloping left aimed at the unguarded stomach before her. Her opponent was helpless to stop her.

Or so she thought.

Kaylee placed both feet on Jane’s chest and kicked. Sent her flying head-first into wood with a sickening crack.


When Jane regained consciousness, she was immobile. Her wrists and ankles were tied to the mattress at each corner with rolled up sheets. A washcloth was stuffed in her mouth. She scanned the room. Kaylee was rummaging through her gym bag with her back to the bed.

“Let me go!” Jane tried to shout, the result coming out more like a muffled wail.

Kaylee turned around, a self-satisfied smile on her bruised lips. “You need to learn your lesson, whore.” Jane saw for the first time the dildo Kaylee held. She slapped into her palm like a police baton. “When I’m through with you, you’ll never even think of coming near me again.”

Kaylee climbed onto the bed and straddled her nemesis.

Jane thrashed to free herself one final time, then roared in impotent hate.

Kaylee snarled down dismissively. “Get fucked.”


What followed was a humiliation Jane would never forget.

Or ever forgive.

Catharsis Divider

Part 3

It had been a horrible day, capping off the absolute worst week in a fucking terrible month.

Kaylee Hutchins could scarcely believe how completely everything had fallen apart since that day four weeks ago when she discovered her husband cheating. There’d been arguments, shouting, and days of silence. Then lawyers, depositions and divorce proceedings.

And that was just the start of it. One vile rumor after another about her had spread like wildfire. She’d heard about them fourth- or fifth-hand, and only after they’d injured her reputation. So-called “friends” began avoiding her at meetings, ghosting her texted requests and disconnecting on social media. She was no longer considered a good-enough “ally” by certain disadvantaged groups, they said. She’d received accolades in the past about how she ran organizations like a tight ship, but now her style was “problematic” and had “oppressive” overtones. In one arena then another, her presence in a leadership role was deemed “counterproductive” to diversity and inclusion, despite all the work she’d done breaking barriers and becoming the first woman to hold those positions.

“Stupid, back-stabbing bitches!” she fumed. In her hand were two letters, one from the charity that sponsored the running events she poured so much time into, and the other from the homeowner’s association. Her services were no longer needed, they said. She’d sensed this coming, and had gone in person to head them off. But she’d been stopped at the door both times and turned around without being able to say a word. All of her written protestations of innocence were taken as proof that she had yet to come to terms with the “harm” she had done. And now the final shoe had dropped. Bureaucratic weasel speak painting her as toxic waste to be disposed of.

There’d even been flyers — couched in guarded language but obviously aimed at her. They’d littered the lamp posts and humiliated her at the neighborhood pool. One had even been stuck on a stake and planted in her front yard.

So Kaylee stayed cooped up at home, an empty one now that Charles was off in a hotel as part of their separation. Once, she had been so proud of livng in it. Now, it only reminded her of everything that had gone wrong. She had nobody to talk to. Nowhere to go. And nothing to do but sit and stew.

Just make things worse, the power went out.

“Fuck!” she yelled. She crumpled up the letters and flung them across the living room. She looked out her window at the setting sun. She had no idea how she would come back from this.

But she would, she promised herself. Kaylee Hutchins was smart, resourceful, and driven, she reminded herself. She would rise up above all those petty worms who cowered in fear of being canceled alongside her. She’d show them all. She’d craft an invincible plan, and execute it to perfection. They would look up and envy her, as they always had. It was simply a matter of time…

Kaylee tilted her head in confusion. The porch light across the street at the Watsons was on. She’d complained about it numerous times and got them to stop leaving it on constantly, but now they obviously felt free to regress to their old habit. What bothered Kaylee now was that it was on at all. If they had electricity, then why didn’t she? If this wasn’t a neighborhood outage, then what was the reason everything in her house was no longer working? She’d paid the bill. She was sure of it. Had there been a mix-up? Had someone doing digging nearby severed the underground line to her house?

“Fuck people who can’t do their job properly!” Kaylee marched into the kitchen where her phone sat on the counter. She reached for it. Her fingers were almost on it when it lit up.

A message appeared. Black block letters on a warning-yellow background surrounded by a thick red border, topped off with a grinning skull with demon horns. Three descending bells rang out ominously.

[Your Nemesis is nearby!]

The feeling of uncontrollable horror that gripped Kaylee Hutchins in that moment was like nothing she ever thought possible to experience.

A key slid into the lock on the back door that connected the kitchen with the deck. The lock clicked open and the door swung wide. Standing in the entryway was Jane Carter, dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans, black gloves and a pair of cross trainers. She pocketed the key and cracked an evil smile.

“Miss me?” Jane asked.

“How the FUCK did you get a key to my house?”

“How else? Charlie gave it to me. It’s still his house, too.”

“And when exactly did he… oh, god.” Panic gripped Kaylee. The world tilted beneath her as if the universe itself was out of control. Never had she felt so helpless, so stupid, so outplayed.

“All this time and you never figured out who was making your life a living hell? Really? You thought that the beating you gave me in the motel would make me just give up? Or you didn’t think I was capable of playing at your level? I warned you that I’d dealt with stuck-up busybodies like you before. I know exactly how to bring your kind low.” Jane leaned casually against the door jamb. “Are you willing to at least admit that I’m a worthy nemesis now? Huh?”

“You’re lying. There’s no way you could coordinate all the people and organizations that have fucked me over unfairly recently. You’re a nobody, a nothing. Who the fuck would pay the slightest attention to you?”

Jane studied Kaylee, watching for any dangerous movement. The woman wore a simple white blouse over blue capri pants. Her blonde hair had seen better days and she’d hardly applied any makeup. Jane allowed herself a self-satisfied chuckle. “You see, Kaylee, you look at power from the top, where you’ve always been. To you, it’s a game of manipulation and control. But I see it from the bottom. I see the people you walk all over. You only care about what they can do for you. Without them enabling you, you’re left with nothing. I understand exactly how they feel. All it took was the right words planted here and there, and they had an excuse to abandon you. Now no one listens to your orders anymore.”

“What, you think they’ll follow yours? Don’t make me laugh.”

Jane shook her head ‘no’. “I’m not trying to take what you had. I just crushed all the support you relied on to prove a point, and to isolate you so you don’t have any backup. And now that the boring setup work is done….” She raised her gloved hands and curled them into fists. “It’s time to finish the job.”

Kaylee’s face was beet red like a boiler about to blow steam. “I will end you.” She reached over next to the stove to pull out a chef’s blade from the knife rack.

But it wasn’t there.

“Forgot that those are one of the things Charlie took with him to storage, huh?” Kaylee whipped her head around to stare daggers at Jane. “The guns, too. He’s been such a good help.” Fuck, Jane was enjoying this. “Nothing but you and me here, girl. And I’ve been looking forward to this for such a fucking long time.”

A freight train of female fury that was once Kaylee Hutchins barreled straight at Jane, screaming incoherently and lashing out wildly with grabbing fingers. Jane landed a solid right to Kaylee’s ribs, but it had absolutely no effect. The two women collided together in a crazed tangle. The force of Kaylee’s impact sent them flying out the open door and onto the hardwood deck. They tumbled over and over, clattering across the boards and nearly reaching the railing.

Jane slugged Kaylee, a left to the upper arm. The blonde was in no mood for warm-ups. She yanked Jane’s brown hair and delivered a rapid-fire salvo of punches to Jane’s face. Jane kneed them apart and rolled away. Kaylee got to her feet quickly and kicked Jane hard in the side. She lifted her foot to stomp on her hated rival, who was now trapped against a picnic table leg. Jane caught the raised leg by the ankle and twisted it. Kaylee spun and fell down on the deck.

Both combatants stood up in a flash. They faced off a few paces apart, fists ready. Determination burned in their eyes. First blood had been drawn. Neither would back down now. Not until the bitter end. The source of each woman’s pain and humiliation was standing right in front of them, a nemesis more than willing to go at it with them toe to toe in an all-out catfight. Both were eager to give and take punishment until only one remained victorious to prove once and for all who was better.

No time elapsed between Jane and Kaylee reaching their feet and the resumption of their hostilities. The two hellcats threw themselves at one another, punching and kneeing with complete abandon. They battled this way and that, crashing into the patio furniture and the large propane grill as their fight ranged from one end of the deck to the other. Again and again they closed to hurl fists at sides and arms and heads, then backed off to reset for another assault.

Kaylee rammed Jane into the railing, bending her backwards over it, one palm jammed into the brunette’s chin and the other pinning Jane’s left wrist to her side. “Stinking bitch!” she growled and pressed the advantage. Jane grunted and squirmed beneath her grasp, unable to escape. Yes, Kaylee thought with glee, she did miss this. As much as she hated Jane, she had to admit that the man-stealing slut had done her a favor. Never before now did she realize how much she enjoyed taking her frustrations out in a violent brawl with another woman. The feeling of physically dominating a rival, fighting through the pain she received in return, thrilled her like nothing else. She was going to ride this vicious high until Jane was whimpering in utter defeat.

The two females wrestled upright for over two minutes. Their fingers dug into each other’s skin. Their bodies twisted and swayed in a contest of sheer strength and will. They pulled hair and slapped, clawed through one another’s clothes and groaned with exertion. Jane forced one knee between them, then a second. With a mighty yell, she pried herself and her opponent apart.

Every sense Jane possessed was fully alive. The sight of Kaylee’s snarling face filling her vision. The feel of her fist rifling into the blonde’s gut and the grunted sound of pain it elicited. The scent of the bitch’s neck as they fell once more into a clinch. She wasn’t supposed to enjoy this, leaning chest to chest with her chin on another woman’s shoulder, her arms encircling in a rough embrace, trading punch after punch with a hated rival. She wasn’t brought up to settle differences this way. But fuck, did she love it! She answered every fist Kaylee flung at her, matched each increase in power and speed. Jane knew she was more than Kaylee’s equal. She’d shown it by humiliating her socially. Now that the two of them were duking it out, scratching, slapping and pitting their bodies and determinations to win against one another, there was no other way she wanted this duel to end.

The pair clattered down the short set of steps to the back yard, gripping each other’s top with one hand and pummeling repeatedly with the other. They danced in a chaotic circle, slamming punches and slaps into their heads, cheeks, and sides. They almost lost their balance, but stumbled into a clinch where Jane tried to trip Kaylee up and the blonde kicked the brunette’s shins in retaliation. Locked as one, they weaved drunkenly in the grass for some time. Their arms wrapped tighter around their bodies. Fingers yanked at hair. Grunts of exertion cracked the air as the battle spiraled further and further out of control.

Staggering near a well-tended flower garden, their shoes hit the plastic border that marked its edge. Kaylee twisted away, but Jane tilted sideways, pulling her down with her. They landed side by side and immediately set to grappling in the dirt and mulch. Back and forth the warring females rolled, crushing a row of begonias and staining their clothes and skin with soil. Fists rose and fell, landing with harsh impacts. The two traded top position again and again as their brawl reached a fever pitch. Over and over they tumbled, pulling hair and kicking as they went.

Their wild scuffle came to a halt suddenly against a bush. Jane howled in pain and arched her back. The thorns of a rose vine had dug into her. The agony distracted her enough for Kaylee to deliver a series of solid blows to Jane’s left cheek. Jane slugged back, but Kaylee tackled her and pinned her wrists to the ground on either side of her head.

Face to face, Kaylee and Jane hissed at each other. “You made the biggest mistake of your life messing with me, you bitch!” Kaylee said.

“Really?” Jane retorted, kneeing Kaylee in the stomach. She clambered out of the rose bush, straddled her foe’s hips on her knees, and sat her butt down on Kaylee’s pelvis. “I don’t know about you…” Jane slammed a series of punches at her prone opponent’s face, who blocked them with her forearms. “But I’m having a blast kicking your ass!”

Kaylee bridged, throwing Jane off backwards into the grass. Before the blonde could leap atop her, Jane rolled to the side and got to her feet. She watched Kaylee stand up and shake the dirt from her hair.

“Keep lying to yourself, you dumb cow. You’ll never beat me!”

“Oh, yeah, ya stuck up piece of shit?”

“Yeah. I’m going to enjoy the hell out of pounding you into the ground.”

“Bring it, bitch!”

Kaylee charged, swung at Jane’s head, and missed.

Jane dodged under the blow at the last moment and rifled a fist deep into Kaylee’s side. The impact folded her over and left her face undefended against Jane’s follow-up. The next punch that cracked across Kaylee’s jaw resounded in the evening air and spun her a half turn. Jane advanced, sensing a golden opportunity. She landed hit after hit on Kaylee’s upper arm and back as her nemesis broke into a stumbling run.

Kaylee halted her retreat abruptly and flailed, ramming an elbow into Jane’s shoulder. The women clattered into one another. Kaylee grabbed at Jane’s tousled brown locks of hair, but quickly let go after receiving a trio of belly punches that knocked the wind out of her. She didn’t remember Jane hitting so hard before, and she began to get scared. She blocked valiantly, feinted a jab at Jane’s nose, then dashed up the steps to the deck and headed for the back door.

Jane caught up to her midway there. She tried to tackle Kaylee, but the other woman wouldn’t go down. As one, they crashed into the door jamb. Tugging hair in a violent embrace, the warring women careened into the kitchen, spinning out of control. They bashed into the refrigerator, slid against the stove and ended up at the sink, where Jane bent Kaylee over backwards toward the faucet.

Kaylee fought back hard, kneeing Jane in the crotch and pushing the brunette away across the floor. Having freed herself, she leaped for the island that separated the kitchen from the dining area. Her fingers had just closed on her smartphone when Jane grabbed her hands. They settled into a tug of war over the device, fighting for it side by side in the center of the kitchen. After a few dozen seconds, the two reached a stalemate. Kaylee had her shoulder barged into Jane’ chest, pressing her into the fridge door, but was no closer to wresting her phone from Jane’s grasp.

“Give it up,” Kaylee panted, “You’re going to jail.”

“Hah!” beamed Jane. “Realizing you can’t win, huh?” She glared into Kaylee’s eyes. “Admit it, then, out loud, that I’m better than you.”

Kaylee’s face lit up with renewed fury. “I’ll NEVER…”

Jane’s goading did the trick. Kaylee’s grip on the phone had slackened, and when Jane brought the blonde’s hands down onto her knee with a mighty shout, it slipped from both of them and hit the ground. Kaylee pushed away, but before she could reach down to retrieve it, Jane kicked underneath the refrigerator.

With a howl of rage, Kaylee slammed herself into Jane and grabbed at the other woman’s wrists. Jane twisted away, but not fully free. Locked body to body in a loose hug, the ferocious females clawed and slapped and tried to hurl the other to the tile floor. Weaving crazily this way and that, the battle between the two nemeses sent them colliding painfully with one appliance then another until it hit the cluttered island.

Jane was thrown onto the counter top, scattering papers, salt and pepper shakers, a napkin holder, and other debris off and onto the hardwood of the dining room. Hell-bent on destroying her, Kaylee climbed up onto her and set about pinning her down. Jane wrestled with her, fingers tearing at Kaylee’s blouse and yanking her hair for half a minute. Eventually. she worked her rival’s weight off of her and trapped her with her left leg.

Laying side by side on the smooth granite, Jane and Kaylee smacked and pinched, screamed and grunted. Never before had anyone driven them to these extremes. Never before had either encountered someone so intent and resilient, with seemingly limitless ability to match her in willpower and strength. It drove them further and further into a whirlwind of mutual destruction, without care and without pause.

Hair completely disheveled, cheeks red, and skin lined with scratches, the fearsome woman fought on and on until pain and exhaustion forced them to a temporary pause. Kaylee’s arms and ribs stung. The punches Jane had rattled her skull with left her slightly dizzy. “Fuck you,” she spat. Jane slugged her. “Fuck you,” she said again. Jane whacked her but good in the bicep. “Fucking ouch!” Kaylee wailed.

“I’m going to make you give up, you stuck-up whore. Sooner or later, I will.” Jane said, her voice husky and out of breath.

“You don’t even realize how stupid your plan was, do you? You spent all that effort hurting me socially only to throw it away by coming here and giving me the chance for revenge.”

Jane snorted. “Hardly. You’d never stay down unless I beat you physically, ain’t that right?” Jane caught and held one of Kaylee’s wrists before that hand could deliver a slap to her cheek. “Besides,” she snarled into Kaylee’s face, “I want to see the look in your eyes when you admit defeat.”

“Never happen, you deluded cunt. I’m going to pound you until you’re a whimpering wreck.”

“Joke’s on you, bitch. I’m stronger than you are now. Not only did I quit smoking, I’ve been hitting the gym.” A light dawned in Kaylee’s expression. Jane took it for surprise. “Yeah, that’s right! Taste this!” She released Kaylee’s wrist and gave her a strong clout on the forehead with her fist.

But Kaylee shrugged it off. She rapidly disengaged herself from Jane and slid away across the counter top. With a thud, she plunged off the island and down onto the dining room floor, and began running for the hallway opposite the kitchen. Jane got a really bad feeling in her gut and pursued with all the speed she could muster.

Kaylee slowed down to travel the five steps down into the lower portion of the split-level house. Jane merely leaped them. Her fingers caught Kaylee’s blouse at the neck. It tore as Jane wrenched her fleeing foe around. Kaylee roared with fury and swung an elbow into Jane’s forehead. Jane held on, arresting Kaylee’s momentum and ripping the woman’s top wide open.

Jane grabbed Kaylee’s hair to prevent her escape. Kaylee responded with a pair of blows to Jane’s chest. They landed weakly due to the fact that Jane had tugged her head downward to the point where she was bent over at the waist. Frustrated, she charged and bulldozed her rival into the wall. Jane stood her up and kneed her in the midsection, then shoved her into the opposite wall.

There, the two females tangled in a clinch. They wrestled with their arms and kicked with their legs. Staggering in a violent embrace, the duo careened from one wall to the other as they squeezed and clawed and yanked hair. Back and forth across the hall they battled. Pictures fell. Dents appeared in the drywall from the impacts made by their bodies. Kaylee went for a headlock, but Jane slipped out at the last second. The brunette got her foot up onto Kaylee’s stomach and pushed. The women flung apart, each being flattened with their back against one wall. They paused for but a brief moment, panting and wiping sweat-slicked hair from their brows, before leaping at one another once more.

Jane dodged under Kaylee’s right hook and plowed the top of her head into Kaylee’s chest. She barged forward, seeking to pin her nemesis, but Kaylee swiveled and flung her past. With a loud thud, Jane’s head hit the drywall, making a small crater and leaving a jagged crack in it. She spun, slightly dazed, and lifted her hands defensively.

The attack she expected never came. Out of watery eyes, she saw Kaylee vanish through a nearby doorway. “Shit,” she said. “Ger back here, you bitch!” She forced her legs into motion and followed her prey.

The room she entered was dimly lit by the setting sun filtering in through a short, foot-high window. Below the window sat a treadmill. Between Jane and it, the floor was covered in a thin, honeycomb-patterned exercise mat. In the wall next to the door was a full height Internet-connected mirror for doing workouts.

And at the far end of the home gym with her back to Jane stood Kaylee. Jane’s heart sank to the pit of her stomach at the sight of the rack of dumbbells her foe had just reached down to. Kaylee turned around. In each of her fists was a pink hand weight, the number 3 painted on their ends.

“You are NOT better than me,” Kaylee growled. “And you’ll get that through your thick skull even if I have to knock it into you!”

Jane steeled herself. “You don’t frighten me. You think those are going to do you any good?”

Kaylee swung with one arm, then the other. Jane avoided them both, carefully judging the distance between her and her opponent. Kaylee missed with a haymaker. When she brought her right hand down again, Jane dodged towards Kaylee’s left. With a yell, Kaylee aimed the dumbbell in her left hand at Jane’s face.

The extra weight kept the blow from its target. It bounced off Jane’s shoulder instead and the momentum carried Kaylee around a half turn to face away from her enemy. Shrugging off the sting from the impact, Jane lunged at her from behind. Her arms encircled Kaylee’s at the elbows and hauled them backwards. The blonde thrashed to get loose, but Jane secured her hold. Panting and grunting, the two women fought a contest of strength, teetering this way and that. Kaylee groaned as she strained against Jane’s attempt to dominate her. Her forearms were still free, and she managed to deliver a few hits to Jane’s thighs.

The metal weights slamming into Jane’s legs hurt fiercely and threatened to turn them into jelly. With a yell, she tried to lift Kaylee’s feet off the ground and toss her sideways to the floor. Kaylee twisted, throwing her off balance. With a thump the pair hit the mat and broke apart. Kaylee flung a wild swing in Jane’s direction, catching the brunette in the ribs. Jane quickly grabbed both that wrist and the other one. She reared up on her knees and pushed Kaylee onto her back. Leveraging all her weight, she forced Kaylee’s hands downward.

They collapsed suddenly, flattening Jane out atop her nemesis. Kaylee wasted no time bucking her hips to dislodge her. Jane wrapped a leg around one of Kaylee’s, blunting the move and mashing their bodies against one another. Hissing face to face, the two vicious females struggled mightily. They rocked back and forth a few times before settling into a tight grapple. Arms fought for control. Legs grapevined. Gradually, inch by inch, they rolled across the mat, trading places gradually. Sweat beaded on bare skin. Their grunts of exertion and groans of weary pain echoed from the walls in the waning twilight as their battle drove both to the limits of their endurance. On and on their slow motion war waged, each woman’s body writhing and pitting every muscle against its counterpart.

After an exhausting three minutes of evenly matched fighting, Kaylee finally freed her right hand and bashed Jane’s arm with its dumbbell. Jane howled and tried to recapture that arm, but Kaylee reared back and set about mounting the prone woman. Jane feared the damage Kaylee could rain from above and drew her knees to her chest. Though Kaylee whacked her shins with glancing blows, she was able to plant her shoes on Kaylee’s stomach and kick her off.

The blonde flopped backwards, hitting her head on the wall. She watched as Jane started getting to her feet. In an attempt to pick herself up, she slammed her left arm against the wall next to her for leverage. The weight in that hand hit the mirror, cracking it irretrievably. Jane winced and chuckled. The fury that raged through Kaylee shot her to a stand in a flash.

Swinging one windmill attack after another, Kaylee drove Jane back until she had nowhere further to go. A sweeping right caught Jane in the left shoulder. Jane’s knees buckled, and Kaylee raised her arms to deliver twin finishing blows. When they came down again, Jane had encircled Kaylee’s waist with both arms and lifted her off balance. Her left wrist hit the handrail of the treadmill and the weight in that hand slammed into the belt and rolled off. With a cross between a yell and a scream, Jane lurched forward and tackled her nemesis to the mat. Kaylee immediately bucked her to one side and belted her with the remaining dumbbell. Jane retreated, nursing an injured left elbow.

Kaylee staggered to her feet. She was getting tired, both physically and mentally. Nothing in her entire life had been as troublesome as the brown-haired, lowlife cow creeping away from her on the floor. It was time to end this, to break Jane Carter and make her pay for everything she’d done to her. She approached her crawling foe, lifted the one hand weight she carried, and aimed a clout right in the middle of Jane’s back.

Pain shot through Kaylee’s left knee suddenly, causing her to stumble backwards a couple steps and land on her rear. A few feet away from her now sat Jane, the other 3 lb dumbbell in her hand, arm extended after delivering a surprise strike. The two women glared at each other. No words were exchanged. None were needed. Willpower alone drove them on.

They stood up wearily and faced off, each with an identical weapon. Eyelids dropped with approaching exhaustion. Mouths hung open, exhaling hot breaths from their heaving rib cages. Their clothes were torn. Faces marked with scratches and bruises. Their hair was wild and matted with perspiration. Their expressions, however, broadcast their steely determination. Each would do whatever it took to prove that she was the better of the two. Victory over the other woman was their single-minded goal, regardless of soreness or injury.

Jane and Kaylee shuffled into one another. With twin thuds, the dumbbells found their targets. Identical gasps of agony exploded from their lips. Again they swung, again they struck. Sagging in aching misery, their chests collided and their left hands latched onto their opponent’s top. A pair of thumps followed by matching moans rang out. Then twice more, the wallops no longer in unison. Ferocity propelled them. Their assault sped up. Metal rammed into hips, sides and backs in a crescendoing storm. Fingers resonated with the shock from each impact. Tears leaked from their eyes at the torment. Still, the catfighting duo fought on, battering each other incessantly until tortured cries bellowed from them both.

How long they pounded each other, neither could reckon. The battle had dragged on to the point that the hits all blended together into a single, drawn out sensation of suffering. Inevitably, though, their furious pace finally slowed. Hands grasped wrists and twisted. The weights fell to the ground. Grimacing eye to eye in pure hatred, Jane and Kaylee slowly lifted their arms. With malicious intent, four sets of fingers reached out and dug into tousled hair. The pair wobbled this way and that, bending and twisting their aching bodies as they began hauling one another around by their hair. Thrashing and stumbling about the room, they yanked and pulled with their remaining might. Their feet tangled abruptly, sending them toppling once more to the mat. There, the scuffle continued, bodies grinding and limbs embracing in a rolling ball of violence.

The nemeses slapped and groaned, tumbled and wrestled, too exhausted to inflict enough damage to finish the bout, but too stubborn to quit. They screamed every profanity they could think of in each other’s ears. Kneeing crotches and kicking shins, clawing breasts and pinching nipples, Jane and Kaylee tore into one another without cease for five, long, interminable minutes. Lost in the haze of combat, their tightly entwined bodies squeezed with every last ounce of animosity left in the two equally matched women.

Then, a hand found one of the fallen dumbbells. An arm raised, weight held fast in its grip. It descended hard,

One final time.


Kaylee regained consciousness on her back. Her arms were underneath her, wrists locked in handcuffs. Her ankles were similarly shackled and a wire linked the two restraints together. She couldn’t get up, and could scarcely roll onto her side. She was still in the gym room in her house. Her blouse and pants lay in a pile next to the treadmill. Jane crouched nearby, digging in a large camping sack. Kaylee let out an incoherent, almost animal growl at her.

Jane spun, then relaxed, seeing her foe still bound securely. She sighed, then sat cross-legged next to the blonde. She opened her mouth, but Kaylee interrupted her.

“Fuck. You.”

Jane pursed her lips. “So this isn’t going the easy way, huh?” She reached into the sack. “Suit yourself, bitch.”

“You’re going to jail for this! Forever! You can’t keep me… wh- what are those?”

Jane held up a clear plastic bag filled with numerous squiggling nightcrawlers. “What does it look like?”

“N-No! Don’t you dare-!” Kaylee shrieked as Jane dropped the bag onto her naked stomach. “Aaieee! Get them off of me, get them off!”

“Two conditions,” Jane began.

“Fuck you, you fucking slut! Get them off!”

“Listen you stupid shit! Shut up, or I’ll pour the bag out.” Kaylee fumed, her eyes burning with both anger and terror. “Good. Like I said, two conditions.”

Kaylee’s glare could kill a bird in flight. “What?” she spat.

“First condition: after this, we’re done. We go our separate ways and never see each other again. You do nothing to me, legally or otherwise, and I leave you alone, exactly the same. Agreed?”

Kaylee squirmed, obviously in absolute disgust of the worms crawling around in the bag on her belly. “Ugh! Fine! Yes, if you’ll take this infernal mass of gross…”

“Second condition,” Jane interrupted. She held up Kaylee’s smartphone. “I fished this out from under the fridge for you because there’s something you need to do with it.” Jane brought out her phone and tapped a few times on it. On Kaylee’s screen, the Nemesis app took over the entire width and height with a single notice:

[Your Nemesis is demanding your surrender.]
[Say “I Give Up” clearly into the microphone to admit defeat.]
[Press Cancel to reject the demand.]
[Speak CANCEL]

“It’s the only way to unmatch,” Jane said.

Kaylee snarled. She said nothing.

“Admit it, Kaylee. I beat you.”

“Never,” she whispered.

“You’re only going to make this worse for yourself.” Jane repositioned the bag of worms between Kaylee’s breasts.

“Uk,” the blonde gagged. “Fuck. When I get out of these cuffs, I’m going to…”

“You don’t get it, do you?” Jane gave Kaylee a few seconds. “Okay, you asked for it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!” From the sack, Jane pulled out a large white Styrofoam carton with dozens of tiny holes poked in it. A label on the side read ‘Live Bait – Crickets’. From inside came the sound of dozens of insects scrabbling and hopping about, bashing into the sides of the container. “Charlie said you hated worms but really didn’t like these, so…”

Kaylee went mute. Her face turned ashen and her eyes widened in abject terror. “Please…” she begged feebly.

“Say it. Say the words, Kaylee. Do it and this will be all over with.” Jane watched the war between fear and pride play out in her nemesis’s quivering lips for a bit, then, frustrated, stood up and readied to open the top of the box. “Say it, bitch, or I’ll pour every single one of these onto your face!”

Whimpers burst from Kaylee’s mouth. “i giv..” she muttered.

“Louder, you miserable cunt. Or I’ll make you repeat it all night!”

“I give!” Kaylee croaked. “I give up! I…” The beaten woman turned her head away and collapsed into in a fit of uncontrollable sobbing. Tears of total humiliation streaked her formerly beautiful features.

Jane’s phone trumpeted victoriously. The full-screen notification proclaimed the text Jane had long hoped to read:

[Your Nemesis Is Defeated!!!]

The triumphant emotion that filled Jane Carter at that moment was beyond expression.


Some months later, and a few days after returning home from her honeymoon as the new Mrs. Charles Hutchins, Jane’s cellphone emitted a sinister chime.

[Your next Nemesis has been found!] read the accompanying message.

Jane sat down on the porch swing at the house where she’d beaten Kaylee and dismissed the notification. A new chapter in her life was beginning. She sighed contentedly and hoped it would be as thrilling as her last one.

Then she smiled a devilish grin,

And opened the app.

The End

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