Exercise 15, The Antagonist

Nemesis is the vain, greedy, scheming wife of Jake, Navy combat pilot and award-winning writer. Nemesis, professor of literature at the Sorbonne before they married, dabbles in nuclear chemistry when not nagging her husband as a lousy provider for the family. Jealous, suspicious, and unscrupulous, she uses any means to enrich herself and her family, stooping to blackmail, lies, sexual favors, anything to achieve her diabolical ends.

Jake finds himself in a weak spot when confronting Nemesis: his beloved eleven-year old daughter, Aphrodite, crippled and wheelchair-bound since an airplane accident for which Jake, at the controls, took the blame. His life since the accident is one of contrition for Aphrodite’s crippling injury, and heroic efforts to fight Nemesis’ insane attempts to find the Midas touch no matter the cost, including taking Aphrodite, the only person she is capable of loving more than herself, from Jake.

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