Post by Gemini Battle on Jan 27, 2016 23:18:42 GMT -5
Grayson Pierce sits in the office of his house. He heard a baby crying but knew that was a sound that may never again grace this home. The upstairs of his house has three rooms. One was the master bedroom, the other, the nursery of his deceased child, and the third an office with a mahogany desk passed down to him from Kat’s mother. The room has a cork board with important documents tacked onto it on the wall above a black filing cabinet with a big dent in the top from where he was standing when he put the cork board up. The fucking thing was so heavy he thought it could take his weight, but the way he was on top of it caused the thing to crumble beneath his feet.
He couldn’t afford a new one, which was why he was sitting at this desk. He was looking at his bills. Cable, Internet, Electricity, Two cell phones, credit cards from Christmas, the list goes on and on. Oil, Propane, fuck, it just doesn’t stop.
He made a fair wage, but he hadn’t been paid in a couple of weeks. He was expecting a major bonus check form One, even though he lost the main event he still was IN the main event and helped sell out the Staples Center because of it.
He knew for a fact that some people got paid, but he hadn’t yet. And he was a week behind on his Slam checks too, significantly smaller but still deserved. Maybe mouthing off the boss in the ring wasn’t a good idea, he thought, but quickly tore that thought form his mind. It was a great idea. People had to know what he thought, that’s what draws them to the arena.
But it was hard to drive that thought away when he looked at his bank statement compared to his bills. He had more bills than money, and he was going to have to short something. He thought out loud.
Well we need oil, gotta stay warm. Need the house for that manner so that’s this much…
He tapped away at a calculator, the clicking sounding like an accountant’s office, but not a very good one because it stopped almost immediately.
Well I’m out of money. And only 9 bills left.
He laughed a nervous laughter but on the inside he thought that he was going to lose the house. He thought he was going to starve, and he wasn’t able to support his wife and chil… well his wife and himself. He hated this fact, and he hated even more watching promos of his opponent this week in extravagant houses with his beautiful wife, knowing that he suffered a similar fate as he, but he didn’t seem to care nearly as much.
Money really did help solve problems, didn’t it?
Kat came upstairs with a cup of coffee. Like he wanted to stay awake. He wanted to sleep, but his mind wouldn’t let him. He didn’t need coffee to stay awake. But he accepted it and took a refreshing sip, even if it was only to patronize his wife. She sat on his lap and started kissing him. He enjoyed it, but his mind was too far gone.
She knew it, and she stopped.
We’re going to be ok, babe.
Easy for her to say. She didn’t have to worry about it. He did. He had to take this all on himself. Why? He didn’t even know. She had offered to get a job on numerous occasions, but as long as he was getting paid she was able to tour with him and stays home as she pleased. If she was to take a job it really meant that she had to stay home on Long Island all the time. He didn’t know if he could go on the road without her.
I can get a book keeping job, part time. I could still go with you on weekends…
You know how much more it would be if you travelled only on weekends. You would be working just to travel. What’s the point? If I can’t have you the whole time…
Well at this rate you won’t be able to have me at all. Things are tight, I know I can help.
You shouldn’t have to. I’m the man and I need to take care of you.
He was being chauvinistic and he didn’t give a shit. He grew up without a father, his mom without a husband, and he didn’t want his wife to suffer the same fate. He thought he knew what people deserved, and he deserved to be stressed out and to take the burden of his family on his shoulders and let his wife live in luxury as much as he could.
She skipped the last part of his thought and only thought of the chauvinistic part. She stormed out of the room.
Good, he thought. He would rather she storm off and be pissed off at him then know the gravity of the situation. He went back to the books, clicking away at the calculator, trying to figure out the best way to make ends meet.
He struggled with this next decision. He didn’t want to question his values, but then he thought of his wife sitting on his lap kissing him on the mouth, trying desperately to calm him down in any way possible. She deserved for him to do more, to be better. He was going to have to swallow his pride. He was going to have to call her.
You Could Have Had It All
The wicker chair was out of season in this small ‘Florida’ Room as they call it in New York. I’m not what they call it elsewhere but basically it’s a room with glass walls positioned where a patio would normally be on a house. It might as well have been a patio though.
It retained no heat and gave a view of the small beginnings of a snowfall as a blizzard threatened the safety and livelihood of all on the small suburban island as it did nearly every year. Just when you think it’s too late to snow, you get past the fact that there was no white Christmas, and never expect a White Martin Luther King’s Day.
You’ve got it all, don’t ya?
He takes a sip of black Dunkin Donut’s brand coffee and winces at the brutally strong flavor. He was not traditionally a coffee drinker, and was pretty sure he misread the directions, but he had decided to take on a few new vices in his time of mourning.
Or… maybe I’m wrong about that. I don’t know. I’m not a fucking genius or anything, but let me think about this rationally. First the things that you have. A beautiful wife. A paycheck that is second to few and a number one contender match for the World Title at Fifteen. Sounds pretty sweet.
But I’ve got those things too, aside from the money, of course, but you know what they say… money can’t buy you happiness. Though I know that it certainly helps at least having peace of mind.
He takes another sip and as the coffee streams past his teeth, and down his throat he warms up from the inside out.
That is around where our similarities end, Mr. Flash. You and I aren’t alike in any other way. You see, the biggest difference you and I have is our abilities to cope with losses. You see I left One with my tail between my legs knowing that I was bested by a man who was not better than me, simply better than me that night.
So I went out there the following week and, like it or not, I exposed some backstage politics that had been bugging me. I said things that I don’t regret. Perhaps I regret the forum, but I don’t regret the content. I meant every single word. Spencer Adams, Vic Venable and Teo del Sol were the People’s Choice. They stood for good and what’s right, but in the end they only cared about themselves. If you didn’t agree with them then you weren’t considered ‘good.’
BeachKrew is a monster of their own, but I’ll get back to them. I suppose the most relevant group of people I discussed that lurid night were the Sentinels, Howard Black and Occulo. What gets me the worst about these two is that the fans praise them as heroes as they came out and saved your ass from Dune who wasn’t finished with you yet.
Come to think of it, I wish he did finish you off. I wish that he didn’t show mercy on you. But I guess at the end of the day he didn’t.
They came out not to save you though. They came out to hurt Dune. Their beef is with Dune, not siding with you. So when you teamed with them and decided to play nice and win those Trio’s Titles you tried again to desperately to try and team up with someone to get your hands on precious WCF gold and leather once more, because without gold you’re nothing.
But here’s a secret. Even with gold… you’re worthless. You’re not worth the leather that the gold is attached to that you don around your waist.
He gets up from his chair, knocking the cup off his lap. He looks down as steam rises from the cedar colored floor and the puddle of black liquid expands across, nearly touching his canvas covered feet before he backed away from it. To the kitchen he went to grab a paper towel.
When I went out there into the ring that controversial night I didn’t really go out there with the intention of calling out the locker room on their bullshit. I was furious, and I was devastated. I felt horrible, and by venting it made me realize I shouldn’t act rashly, because… as much as it pains me to say this… I went out there with the intention of quitting.
But hey, at least I didn’t try to take my own life like a fucking coward. I didn’t even consider it. Who could I be talking about?
By the way, you should have fucking done it and saved us all the trouble of hearing you bitch and whine about losing to Dune and whether or not you’re going to be a good guy or bad guy, and whether or not you want to use the name Flash or Malignaggi. Regardless of what name you use you’re going to be known as a loser, and the guy who can’t fucking get it done when it matters most, but I digress on purpose.
He searched the desolate house, looking for any sign of life. No one was around. He grabbed the necessary implements and headed back out where it wasn’t much warmer than it was inside.
I lost at One… but…so did you, except, it’s well known that the only reason you beat Dune at War was because you were better for one night, not the better wrestler. At One, you fought, and scraped your way back into that match. You took chair shot after chair shot. You took everything that Dune could throw at you. You looked like a fucking star. You looked like you were going to persevere again… then he slammed you off that ladder. Only one move did it. You saw stars, and then, even for a brief moment, you were out for the three count.
It fucking sucked, didn’t it Flash? I know it did. I understand what it feels like when you put forth an effort you feel was better than your opponent’s only to come out with a defeat on your record. I get what it’s like to fight for your son, and your wife. I understand the feeling of going home to the only person left in your life that you can rely on for support and telling her that you let her down.
She’s all that you have left. Because Black and Occulo don’t give a shit about you. They helped you to get at Dune. That’s all. You HAD BeachKrew on your side, but you decided in your brief moment of clarity when you lived in a world of self-pity and despair, and finally felt human to most that you were going to make a point out of them. You dismantled them better than anyone else in the fed, but in doing so you lost the only people in the fed that had your back if something went wrong. Like it or not, you are now alone.
And that’s the only reason why when Oblivion was about to put you through the mat at Slam a few weeks ago that I came out to help you. Not because I like you, and not even because I respect you… I came out because I PITY you. You’re a helpless formless shape of the man you used to be. And no matter how hard you try at this point you will never be the man you were a year ago when you joined the fed.
And you proved it with your cowardly actions at Slam last week. I literally did fucking nothing but walk down the entrance ramp. You talk a big game, you claim that facing me is a joke and that it’s going to be no problem for you to beat me but your actions say something else. Your actions show fear, and perhaps it’s of me, but more likely it’s of your own mortality. You fear that you’re not good enough anymore and you know that when I beat you this Sunday at Fifteen that not only will your skills be threatened but your livelihood will be at stake as well.
You see, I want this win, Joey. I want it bad. But if I lose I’ll drop back down the card and happily work my way back up and finally capture that gold that I know one day will be around my waist. I learn from my defeats and it only makes me stronger, and yes, that makes me much stronger than you will ever be. When you lose you will feel drop back down the card, but you won’t be able to work your way back up. People will finally realize that you, Joey Flash are beatable, and that you are not the indomitable force that you claim to be. At one time you were a champion, but now you are a nonentity.
You’ve already lost…you’ve lost it all Joey. Your son (god rest his soul) and your friends. You’re alone now for the first time in your life the only person you can rely on is yourself. It’s a sad and lonely life you live, Joey.
And I pitied you… but rest assured at Fifteen when we step into the ring with each other there will be no pity. There will be no help for you; there is NO HOLDING BACK! There will be only me standing atop your crumbled corpse of a body. The withered remains of everything you have left because I know that you’re coming into this match with me to fucking show Seth that we shouldn’t be booked against each other anymore.
You think that I’m beneath you, and that you deserve to be fighting different and better talent. But I’m going to let you in on one more little secret, Flash. You’ve faced Gemini Battle at his worst, and you’ve faced him at his best. But you’ve NEVER stepped into the ring with Grayson Pierce, and NO ONE has stepped into the ring with me with the chip that I have on my shoulder right now.
At One I should have defeated Wade Moor… but at Fifteen… I’m GOING to defeat YOU!
Next time, use a gun. It’ll be less poetic than a bridge but more fitting.
He dropped to his knees and wiped the floor clean.
A clean slate stared up from the ground.
He turned his car off and checked his teeth in the rear view mirror of his 2002 Silver Nissan Sentra. He got out of the car and looked at the massive building that appeared to go as high as the heavens, into the clouds and out of sight. He entered the revolving door and fought the urge to run through it over and over again as he did as a teenager.
A red headed man in a security guard uniform checked his ID and confirmed that he had an appointment on the 42nd floor. He pointed him to the direction of the elevator where an attendant wearing a maroon coat and a silly hat asked him what floor. He pushed the button and he watched as the numbers slowly ascended to his desired floor.
The elevator smelled like perfume and when the doors closed he felt like the whole world was closing in on him. Partly from a bout of claustrophobia and partly because of his lack of desire to be here. He didn’t want to go to this meeting, he was dreading it in fact, but he had no choice. He was 3 fucking weeks behind on his pay check for ONE and he needed it to get through the rest of the month. He hated living pay check to pay check but this One paycheck should get him through and build a cushion.
The numbers seemed to take forever. It was only at 11 when it stopped and a woman in a black business suit reeking of cigarettes came in with what might as well have been a cloud of smoke. Oh, how he wished he had a pack on him, but he told his wife that he would slow down after their last altercation.
The elevator stopped again at 12 and the woman got off leaving him alone with his thoughts. He had only 2 things on his mind at the moment. One of them being the money problems he’s been having and the other being his opponent at Fifteen. Joey Flash has been the bane of his existence since joining the WCF.
It seemed that Seth Lerch had a hard on for watching these two men face off. It’s no surprise as the two men are two of the best all-around athletes and wrestlers the world has to offer. They put on a spectacle every time they enter the ring with each other, and, even though Malignaggi, or rather Flash, has gotten the better of him through a majority of those exchanges, it could never be said that during the match it was certainly anyone’s match.
But Pierce didn’t believe in Moral Victories. He thought that they were bona fide trash. No one ever built a career off of moral victories, the only thing that matter is wins and losses. And that’s where the trouble lay with Grayson Pierce.
As he looks back at his past he tries and struggles to find the last time that he won a match. Not counting the Trio’s Tournament or any other Tag Matches he was in he finds it hard to find a situation where he stepped into the ring with another guy and stepped out the winner. Yet every time he left the ring his stock rose higher and higher.
Nobody, ever made a career on Moral Victories, fuck that. Pierce has ONLY made a career off of moral victories. It seemed that his ability was respected enough by Seth to put him in these situations, and the fans and the roster always thought that he was a favorite or at least not the underdog, but he struggled to get his mind out of the gutter.
It feels really shitty losing all the time, and he had to stop it. He could flounder around the main event and never step into the title of Champion, or he could make a difference, and this was his opportunity. Defeating Joseph Flash was the ultimate opportunity to prove that not only does he deserve to be in the main event picture, but that he deserves to be the World Champion.
Joey Flash has had a different outcome thus far in his career. He started off winning like a dozen matches as he went on to become the greatest Television Champ of 2015, only to not get any title shots, other than his victorious attempt at War. Pierce was being rewarded for his failures and Flash was denied growth through his victories. Being compared to Jonny Fly left to big shoes to fill, and he was doing a great filling them, and now he had an opportunity just as Grayson did to step out of the shadow of the man deemed the greatest in the company’s history to begin to cement his legacy.
The bell rang again taking him out of his stupor. The door opened and he looked up at the foreboding 42 knowing that it was time for him to stop thinking about wrestling and start thinking about money. Oh, how he would rather be thinking about wrestling. He felt like he was supposed to tip the elevator attendant, but if he had money to do that than he wouldn’t be here in the first place.
He smiled and nodded and the older gentlemen retained a look of happy apathy probably underlined with deep seeded resentment as the door closed in front of his face. He felt like as asshole as he went up to a young man wearing a dress shirt and matching tie.
Why do you need to know?
My boss demands that I ask these questions. I'm not really sure why... I'm just a temp. The regular guy is on a spa day or something. There’s only a few more. Shoe size?
If you were a teddy bear floating in the ocean and had a volleyball and you painted a face on him, what would you name that volleyball?
Grayson had no idea how to answer this question. It sounded like the plot to Castaway, so he answered…
They always do. Please sit at the end of the table there at the black chair. It’ll be just a moment, sir. Thanks for coming to the WCF Headquarters, we hope your stay is a memorable one.
He went in the room. The table he sat at was long, like way too long for this room. He could hardly sit at the end where the chair was so he moved it. An attendant came in and insisted that he put the chair back where it was and sit at the end of the table. It was oval, about 15 feet long. The room was only about 20 feet long so with 2 and a half feet on either side to fit, he was fortunate that he was rather skinny, but his legs were long and this whole thing in general made him uncomfortable.
There was a phone in front of him, and another one at the end of the table. He thought about how funny it would be if the two people at either end would have to call each other because they were so far away from each other. He wondered again what kind of meeting would require a table like this. He never was part of a traditional workplace; never an ‘office guy.’
He started his life on the road, rocking away on a bus, or more often in the back of a van smoking pot, drinking beers and banging bitches. That life made way to the life of wrestling. The pot smoking stopped, the beer drinking continued and the bitch banging went on until he found Kat, the love of his life.
He remembered that he was here because of her. He was swallowing his pride for her. He had to, it was the only option. The door opened in the center of the wall next to him and the figure of a woman dressed to the nines in high heels, a modestly length gray skirt and a button down white blouse, with perhaps a bit too much cleavage exposed. She sat down, and took off her thick black rimmed glasses and put the arm in her mouth as she looked over the folder she had placed in front of her.
Grayson looked in disgust at Katherine Phoenix who clearly thought she was better than everybody because of her position. The fact that she ‘leaked’ the pay schedules of the superstars infuriated him, even more so, it infuriated him that he got paid so little compared to people who have been at the WCF so much less time.
To be fair, when he was going as Gemini Battle he ‘had no need for money.’ He was only there to cause destruction and chaos. Well, real life is happening, and not the deluded ramblings of a mad man and he needed to make money and fast. He could ask for a raise another day. This visit was simply to get his One Paycheck and bonus for main eventing. That would bring them back into the green and then some.
Gray Bear, I’m very surprised that you reached out to me to meet me…
She looked up and realized how far away he was. They were fifteen feet away from each other so she picked up the phone and dialed. Grayson didn’t think this was funny anymore. The phone rang and he picked it up.
He didn’t know why he answered it like he didn’t know who was on the other line.
Gray Bear, I’m very surprised that you reached out to meet me.
My name is Grayson Pierce…
Oh, my file says Gray Bear. Let me make a note of that… ‘Gray Bear prefers to go by his Christian name of Grayson Bear…’ Got it. How can I help you?
Pierce sighed, and carried on.
I haven’t gotten my One paycheck yet. I was sent in your direction to get it.
Katherine rustled through her paperwork, feverishly searching for something. Then she pulled out a check with a big smile on her face.
Well I’ve got your one paycheck right here.
Well that was easier than he thought it was going to be. He hung up the phone and began to walk over to her. She looked confused at the receiver in her ear and then dialed the number again. The phone rang again from the opposite side of the table before Grayson could even get half way. It rang again and she pointed at it smiling. He signed yet again and answered the phone.
Don’t you want to threaten me about posting your pay online, or tell me that you deserve stuff or whatever?
No, there’s no need for that. I feel like, actually, you’re being straight with me. You’ve got that check there I was looking for and then we can be on our way. Quick and easy, right.
Ah… Koala Lion always calls me that.
Quick and easy. Not really sure why. So, the paycheque…
He could hear the British spelling of the word in her voice, and he didn't like it... She continued
The paycheque was the only reason you came to see me. You don’t want to complain about how little you get paid?
Well I did want to talk about that. It wasn’t really me who negotiated my pay last year. Actually, I was getting paid a lot more when I FIRST started. This new pay rate started when I was Gemini Battle…
YOU WERE GEMINI BATTLE!?!?
Grayson looked at her incredulously. She had a smile on her face like she just met the President. She seemed almost giddy.
Me and Logan fucked you over pretty bad against the Vapor Kings last year. Team of Treachery and all… Sorry, not sorry.
Yea, I didn’t forget about that. But thanks for reminding me…
OH…MY…GOD… You’re SO WELCOME!
She sounded so genuine that she either didn’t get sarcasm or chose to ignore it and was a marvelous actress. Either way this conversation was getting on his nerves rather quickly. He decided just moving forward with the conversation was the best move from here.
Well, I wasn’t going to do this, but maybe we can talk about a pay raise.
Well, as you know, the WCF is NOT at ALL going through some financial turmoil whatsoever.
Well then it shouldn’t be a problem to give me a raise.
Well, now I didn’t say that. You see, I’m only the ASSISTANT to the head of Talent relations. I can demote you or give you a pay decrease whenever I want. But I can’t just give you a raise, you see.
Please don’t tell me that I have to…
You’re going to have to talk to Koala Lion about that one. Maybe I can set up an appointment for you.
Grayson looked unsure. The last time he saw KL Henson he was coming down from the top of a cell in a moonsault to land on top of him at Revenge. He and Henson never truly saw eye to eye, and even thought Pierce tried to give him a hand shake at the end of the match Henson let him… but didn’t really mean it. Grayson really just lifted the guys hand to his own and made himself feel better.
Is there any way I don’t have to talk to him.
She smiled seductively and used a crooked finger to motion him closer. He leaned over the table, the phone receiver still in his ear. She looked at hers and hung up. She slid her chair across the carpeted floor, the wheels squeaked the entire time, and she seemed to go uncomfortably slowly making the squeaking sound last longer. She got next to him and snuggled up close to him. She brought her lips to his ear and whispered.
You smell good.
She began to roll away.
Was that all?
Ugh… you rolled over here to tell me I smelt good?
You smell good? Let me see.
She rolled back over to give him a whiff. He pushed her off of him.
Come on! I was trying to talk to you about my pay and a potential raise!
Oh yea… come here.
She motioned with her finger again.
She said a bit more convincingly.
I don’t want other people to hear. I need to whisper it to you.
He reluctantly rolled over to her. They were about a third of the way down the table and she leaned over to him, brought her lips to his ear and whispered.
You DO smell good!
Fuck you, Katherine. I shouldn’t have come here in the first place. If you could just give me my One paycheck I can get out of here and leave you alone.
She rolled her eyes.
I was ONLY trying to say something nice to you. I guess guys can’t take it when a beautiful, attractive, pretty, gorgeous, stunning, striking woman as myself offers a compliment and you men AWLAYS take it the wrong way. All you men are the same…
She handed him the check and before he looked at it he saw her with a tear welling up in her hazel eyes.
Listen, Katherine, I didn’t mean to…
Men are ONLY interested in my brains… never my body! Just once I want it to be for my body!
She said shocking Grayson. He shook his head as she pulled a napkin out of her cleavage and wipes the tear form her eye. He looks down at his paycheck and looks at the date. It’s for Slam, and it’s measly at best.
He said pointing at the paycheck. She blew her nose and threw the napkin on the floor.
That’s your one paycheque.
No… this is for Slam. Not One!
Oh, Grayson Bear… you don’t seem to understand. That’s the one paycheque we have for you right now. The paycheck for our event that we call ONE is currently being processed.
I came for that check. That’s the one I needed. I need to… it doesn’t matter. I need that money.
Well maybe if communicated better with my secretary then we wouldn’t be having this problem. If you want, I can take this one back…
She reached for it.
He pulled it back, and kept it, his necessity defeating his pride in a one-on-one standard rules match.
I...I’ll take it, I guess. Do you know when I can expect the One check?
Katherine pats Pierce on the shoulder and smiles deviously in his direction.
It’ll get here when it gets here, Grayson Bear.
She goes to leave, but before she does she give him one last shot…
At least you’re not getting paid in cookies, but if you lose this week… that may change… just sayin’…
OH THERE YOU ARE! I was waiting for you.
He stares angrily at her as she walks up to a mirror and mimes having a conversations with herself… a rather funny one it seems as Pierce exits, walking past her and out the door towards the elevator where he presses the button and waits for his next journey.
The Sad Ballad of Joey Flash
Brown eyes light up the darkness of ‘Goodfellas’ Pool Hall and Bar in Selden, NY.
This man has really trodden quite the path in the WCF.
Grayson Pierce paced the back room of a pool hall. The clacking of billiard balls could be heard in the front. He was there with his friend Cesare, a prematurely balding young man who loved to wear graphic t-shirts and torn denim pants, even in this bitterest of winters.
It started with a victory over a man who would become his arch nemesis in John Mullins, AKA Occulo, and a man we’ve never heard from since in early November of 2013. It left to an undefeated streak the likes that has never been seen before and perhaps will never be replicated for one’s beginning of the WCF that lasted all the way to the first of February with a loss to… well…
He took a sip from a pint glass willed with a foamy liquid, as a smile crept across his chiseled features.
His defeat at the hands of Grime left him a shell of himself. He was forced to find something in himself and deal with defeat. As he suffered defeat after soul crushing defeat as he founded, and subsequently destroyed Imperium, claiming his desire to take out Cairo and Beckman as the reasons, when in fact it was the completely embarrassing beginnings of the doomed group against the stable I was wise enough to join in the DRG.
After that he was denied title shot time and time again. Every time it seemed that he was getting closer and closer to finally getting that match against Dune he was pulled away for another man that Seth Lerch deemed more worthy. Then he finally got his shot, not only for the World Title, but for revenge against the man who he believed took the life of his only son. He won that match and stripped the man known as the greatest World Champion of 2015 of his title and finally stood atop the WCF. It’s a great tale of triumph through adversity, but that’s where the story ended.
He never got an opportunity to defend that title, because though he won the match the war was far from over between the man known as Dune and the man NOW known as Joseph Flash. No, their feud boiled over after that match sending both men through the floor causing both men to be out of commission for months.
Then you had to go and stick your fucking nose in my business, didn’t you Joey. You claim to want nothing to do with me, but when the situation arose and I had Dune right where I wanted him you had to come down and play the fucking super hero, and ruin my chance at credibility leading into One where I got my first Singles World Title Match.
I was going to defeat Dune, but instead you had to take pussy ass swings with a baseball bat that hardly put a dent in the guy and finally… FINALLY hit a lucky shot and knock him out. By knocking him out you did more than cement your chance for an embarrassing defeat at the man who not only killed your son, but killed your fighting spirit, but you destroyed my chance at building the necessary momentum towards One that I needed to assist in my path towards glory.
You ensured your ‘death match’ at One and you fucking lost it, Joey, because despite all you say about not wanting the title, and only wanting to be known as the best through your record, the fact is when there’s nothing on the line other than respect, you have such a huge hubris that it’s not motivation enough for you to win.
You are defined by your successes, while I’m defined by the way I act and the way I fight. I don’t need to win every match in order to get ‘over’ if you will. I’m over because I put my heart into every match, and I fight like there’s no tomorrow, because for me there is nothing else other than this.
He heads out the back room and into the crowded pool hall. Everyone can’t help but look at him… of course they are, despite his physical and somewhat flamboyant appearance, he’s surrounded by the exasperating camera crew of the WCF. He gets to his prematurely balding friend and is greeted with a smile and another pint.
No problem, my man. You finish your shit.
Dude, the life of a wrestler is 24/7/365. I don’t get a moment’s rest. Even if I was done verbally assaulting the shit out of Joey Flash, I still would have these mother fuckers up my asshole.
That’s pretty close.
Too fucking close. And you know what else is too fucking close (perfect segue) is how close I’ve been to the top of the WCF since I’ve joined, but never able to get all the way there. I’ve been inches away from grabbing that metaphorical brass ring and I’m fucking sick and tired of not getting there yet.
It seems like I’ve always been good enough to get to the game, but never quite good enough to win. It’s the story of my fucking life. The only trophy I won as a kid was the Championship of the Baseball league I was in where I was the star third baseman, but when I competed in wrestling, fencing and Track I would always make it to the finals, but never win the gold.
The gold has always evaded me, but not anymore. This week means so much more to me than just winning the number one contender spot for the World Title, but defeating the man who fucking spit on me at the end of your last match.
He spit on you?
Fuck yea, he spit on me. Like the piece of shit he is, he has no respect for anyone or anything other than himself. Did you know that his son died, and he didn’t even shed a tear?
He looks at the camera
And don’t tell me to keep your son out of it, or keep your personal life out of it because the fact of the matter is that you’re living the high life now, bro. You’re kicking ass and taking names, you got 2 months off to mourn the loss of your child, but when mine was taken away from me too early for no good reason I was forced to push my emotions to the side, and step into the ring with a sadistic fuck.
I’m not making excuses, it’s not my style. I fucking lost that night, but not again. I’m not going to fucking lose to Wade Moor again. If he gets by Jayson Price it will be him and me, not you, at Timebomb. And I’m not taking you lightly, Flash, I’m taking more seriously than I’ve ever taken anything before in my life. This is my moment, this is my golden ticket. And I’m going to unwrap it, tour the chocolate factory and send you to hell with the fat kid in the lake.
He steps towards the table, takes a shot and scores the eight ball.
Well, that’s game... for me! LOSER!
Shut up, I’m doing something here.
He looks at the camera and wipes the hair from his face. He stares into the lens trying to stare into the soul of Joey Flash, as if there is one left in there.
I’ve got purpose, Joseph. I’ve got meaning, and I’ve got passion. All you’ve got on your mind is revenge. All you’ve got on your mind is Beach Krew, and you’re thinking past me. You have no skills, you have no powers. You have no vision. You hear what you want to hear and know only what you’ve heard. You’re smothered in tragedy and you’re nothing without me, Joey.
I may not be the strongest one in the ring at Fifteen. I may not be the fastest, and fuck, I may not be the smartest. But you’ve lost your fire, Joey. You’ve lost everything that made you great. Where you have been failing internally I’ve been growing as a wrestler and as a man. When you lost to Dune that was it, you tried to end it all; but when I lost I accepted it and moved on, and I learned what worked and what didn’t work. I am not destined to repeat my mistakes again. When I needed help and guidance I sought it and found it and I’m a better person because of it. When you needed the same you made the conscious decision to shut people out and become a recluse. You are stuck in yourself, refusing to believe that anything else exists other than what you believe and I believe in nothing and accept everything for what it is. I adapt, I learn… I am fluid and I’m going to win.
We’ve walked similar paths, you and I, and as Robert Frost said you’ve taken the path less travelled. But that’s not necessarily a good thing, Joey. You’re falling into a pit of despair, struggling to find who you are and why you got to this place, refusing to believe that you brought yourself there. You blame others for your own faults. You are pissed at Seth for putting you up against me when all you want to be doing right now is fighting yourself. But I’m not going anywhere. I’m taking the path where I get over my immature and whiny behavior and I become the man that not only do I know I can become but the man that you can never be…
I’ll fight you a hundred times, and you may win most of those times, but you’ll never truly be the winner. Because as long as my heart still beats it beats with fire, and it beats with passion, and it beats strongest when we step into the ring with each other.
You’ve bested me before, but you haven’t beaten me yet.
He drops the pool cue like a rapper dropping his mic and leaves the room, and goes out into the bitter cold. His friend stands alone at the table, drops the cue and busts ass out of the crowded pool hall. The sound of the clanking of wood on porcelain with Lynard Skynard playing on the jukebox in the background is the last thing you hear as the scene fades.
“…And this bird you cannot change….”
In the Green
Grayson Pierce speed walks out of his car which barely had time to warm up on the way to the shopping center where the bank was. He had to park far away and he didn’t bring his hat or gloves. He was freezing cold as he watched a snowflake drop from the sky and melt on the pavement. He reached into his pocket as he crossed the parking lot and got under the awning.
He pulled out his leather trifold wallet and out of that pulled his worn ATM card. He hoped the magnetic strip would work as he entered it at the door of the back allowing him access. A person that looks homeless sits in the corner where he had to go to sign his check.
He felt empathy for the guy, sitting in the only warm place he could find in this sea of bitterness. This man had no money but sat in a bank for warmth, and Grayson was sure that the irony wasn’t lost on this man as he got up, grunted, and moved about a foot over, just enough to give him enough space to sign his name to the lousy noncompetitive check that he got for his appearance and tirade at the Slam after One.
An old man read his receipt and tossed it in the garbage next to the ATM before giving him a wide smile and putting his own gloves on and exiting the corridor. He took a peak at the man’s balance which was staring up at him, and realized why the man was smiling.
He put his card in the machine and typed in his password. He pressed the appropriate buttons on the touch screen and was happy to press ‘deposit’ for the first time in a long time. A hatch opened to his right and he checked the picture to make sure that he placed the check in correctly. It snatched the piece of paper from his hand and whirred in the machine for a bit.
This part always gave him anxiety as he feared the check being torn or destroyed in the machine. It had never happened in all his experiences doing this and still didn’t as a message appeared on the screen reading the deposit amount and asking if it was correct.
Heartbroken and defeated he pressed ‘yes’ and wished it was triple that amount. He pressed yes again for a receipt and it came out. He looked at it smiled. Not as wide eyed as his predecessor but wide enough. The number on the receipt was positive. It was small, but positive so he felt accomplished. He turned and saw the homes guy cover himself in his torn burgundy jacket and wished that he had something to give him. His life was tough, but not nearly as tough as this guy’s and his desire to help was overpowered by his desire to go to the supermarket and load up on groceries for the week with his new found fortune.
He braced himself to step back out into the frigid cold before opening the door and hauling ass out that bitch.