She ran around the corner and stopped dead. Leaning over she put one hand on each knee. Her breath came in short gasps. Running hard and long hadn’t been in her plan for the day, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches, or run from ninja hordes, whatever the case may be. Feeling a little better, she raised her head. Blocked. She was blocked in. The alleyway ended in a brick wall. She looked left. A large, grey, brick skyscraper loomed over her. She looked right. Creeping ivy covered most of that wall. She looked behind. Shadowed figures moved into the alleyway’s entry.

Forward then.

She crept forward, moving along the far left wall. Maybe there would be a way through the brick blocking her path. Maybe, just maybe, she’d discover a door. Reaching the end she scanned the wall. Nothing. The red brick taunted her with its unbroken lines. She looked up. The wall stretched ten feet into the air. Too high to climb. A crunch sounded behind her and she whirled.

Three ninjas stood there, blocking her path. They crouched in ready positions, hands held out in loose fists. 

“There is no way out,” the big one snarled. “We have you now.” He moved in on her. “I am called Good Intentions and I will defeat you.” He snapped out one of his hands and caught her collar. He twisted the fabric tight. She anticipated his move and ducked and spun. Now his arm was across her shoulder. She grabbed his wrist and in a lightning fast move — spun, crouched, and threw the ninja over her shoulder. 

“No, Good Intentions, I smack you into oblivion by having a plan and working the plan,” She gloated as she kicked him. She felt rather than saw the next enemy approaching. 

The smallest ninja stood in directly in front of her and moved his hands in an intricate pattern. His feet never stopped moving. “You never see me coming. I’ll keep your attention much longer than you anticipate. I’m a million little things. I am Distraction!” As the scrawny ninja cried out the final word he spun into a tornado kick.

She jumped to the side and blasted him with a side kick. As he doubled over, she hammer fisted the back of his neck. “Distraction, you can’t fool me. I see through your pitiful attempts. You’re put out of commission by guarding my thoughts and carefully blocking out any intrusions.” She laughed and nudged him into a pile with Good Intentions. Then, she turned to face the final ninja. “And, just who are you?”

The last ninja stood with his hands by his side. His dark eyes held a glint of a sneer. The face mask of his uniform covered his mouth but didn’t muffle the disdain in his voice as he spoke. “My name is Negativity but my friends call me Mr. No Good. I disagree. I think you are the one who is no good. I’ve seen what you can do and you don’t measure up. Everyone else can do it better than you. You may as well give up now. Why continue to waste your time?” He reached for her. She bounced on the balls of her feet, swiftly dodging his hands. 

“I laugh at you, Negativity. You’ll never touch me. You’re easily beaten with truthful words about myself and about what I am called to do. My talent may be developing, but it IS developing. I won’t let the likes of you stop me.” 

His left hand shot out and she squatted down and kicked out with her leg using his momentum to sweep his legs out from under him. He fell hard, but bounced to his feet again. “I don’t go down that easily,” he taunted. “You’ll have to try harder than that. You’ll never make it.” He let his leg fly in a high roundhouse. She blocked the kick and grabbed his leg. Kicking her foot up she connected with a soft, sensitive spot.

“You have no power over me,” she said as she dropped him, moaning, onto the pile of bodies. She gave the hem of her jacket a tug back into place and ran a hand through her hair. She looked again at the wall, then she nudge-kicked the twitching pile of martial artists over next to the bricks. 

She bent and tightened her shoelaces. She put her foot onto the twitching bodies. She climbed up over Good Intentions, she used Distraction as a stair, and finally she stepped onto Mr. No Good. Standing tall, she reached up and grasped the top of the wall. She pulled herself up and over. A smile crossed her face. On the other side of the wall stretched wide open fields of flowers. 

Blocked no more.