The ashes are cold.
The air smells like recycled schwag.
A man is nearing the end of his rope.
Not this shithole again.
What in the blue fuck are we doing back here?
It’s been four years. Two months. And zero days.
Oh. This day. Great.
Since Cancer Jiles shot that flare into the sky.
That puts us at about eight months till Eye Patch comes calling.
To look upon the Greek GOD of COOL for this jaunt down the rabbit hole, you’d notice he’s not wearing his COOLYMPIAN luster well. His hair is in shambles. His clothes double as rags. His demeanor is one of bewilderment and frustration.
Just picture Zion after the first round.
“How did it come to this? HOW? HOW!?!?!?!” Alone, broken, and buckled over on his knees, Jiles vehemently questions the air around him. “TELL ME, CHRIS!!! HOW?!?!”
I mean, Jiles is conversing with Chris, the last of his imaginary friends. Chris is a nice guy. He always keeps to himself. He never makes a mess. He excels at hide and seek, and doesn’t seem to mind the ruin engulfing coolympus.
“I WANT THE ANSWERS! WHY WON’T YOU TELL ME!!”
There goes Chris, keeping to himself again.
However, as miserable as Jiles sounds and looks, he still has his most prized possession.
A pair of T-1000, Jet Black, Mirror Tinted, Mongoloid Slaying, COOL emblazoned sunglasses.
T-Shades for short.
What makes these sunglasses so prized and precious, you might wonder?
Aside from making the wearer look like a million dollar bill and them being the heart and soul of this tale…
ONLY when The Greek GOD of COOL is in full bloom, and ONLY when the T-Shades are upon his face…
Look. The fuck. Out.
…is he able to enter his final, and most righteous form.
While in this form, The Greek GOD can chop down Mongoloids with a casual flick of the wrist. He can spew venomous toxins from his mouth for which there are no antidote. His ego in this state is so inflated, he hovers above the Earth wherever he moves.
Think Sauron meets Alien meets David Blaine.
If a mortal were to simply touch the T-Shades while Jiles is PEAKING…
…he or she would instantly be turned to stone.d
Medusa got the snakes. Jiles got the shades. Greeks and their myths.
“IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT!?!?!?!” Hastily, Jiles jumps to his feet. He gingerly rips his precious T-Shades from his unkempt face, and thrusts them high into the air like Mufasa holding Simba. “WELL YOU’LL NEVER FUCKING GET THEM, CHRIS!!! NEVER!!! YOU HEAR ME!!!!!!!”
A long, prideful pause.
Begotten of energy and light headed from all the Szalinski like screaming, the Greek GOD passes out.
Face down, inhaling the muck of coolympus, Jiles lay. His kung fu death grip so resolute, you’d need a medical degree, bolt cutters, and a voodoo priest to free his prized T-Shades.
Still might not be enough.
He begins to dream.
A Greek GOD is snoring.
He burned a bridge.
Is no longer a fridge.
And now his world is boring.
The sun shines… like an Omega Beam from Darkseid, bouncing off the mirror tint of Jiles’ precious T-Shades and melting his closed eyes.
It takes a few, but eventually the fallen COOLYMPIAN is able to gather himself. Well, enough for him to roll over onto his back anyway. Diligently, and unshaded, he stares into the sun with contest like intent.
“Fine. Into the abyss with them. If I can’t… then no one will.”
…must have been one hell of dream.
…maybe we will find out about it someday
Beyond the white door.
Inside the War Room.
Not so much a War Room, per say. More like, there’s an old pull out couch, shitty tube TV, fold out table that a bunch of old men would play pinochle at, four folding chairs, and a dry erase board with Eric Dane being ceremonially egged scribbled on it.
So, Whammy’s basement then.
There’s also a pillow and a blanket tucked away in the corner.
So, Whammy’s basement that Jiles has been staying in then.
It’s Jiles, who’s donning a black and red HOW tracksuit with a fresh new pair of Nikes to match, and Whammy, who’s business casual. The two have spent the last few hours sitting on the couch, reviewing what the competition thus far has had to offer. From exciting old matches, to crazy new promos, etcetera.
Currently, the tube TV that weighs way too much to throw away has Darin Zion’s latest icecapade skating on it. “So, looks like you were wrong about Zion. He is a man.”
Put up your Dukes.
“Meh, no matter. I’ll bitch slap him just the same.”
Whammy sighs. “He’s a former High Octane Champion, too. You might want to take him a bit more seriously.”
Jiles snickers. “Yeah, sure thing, Wham. I’ll take the Iron Lion serious when Bob Marley comes back to life and writes a song about why you shouldn’t smoke marijuana. Until then, it’s Dane or The Mexican. So, pretty much Dane. And we got a plan for him.”
Confused, Whammy shakes his head as if to say he has no idea of such a plan. “Uh… plan?”
Ignoring Whammy, because one simply cannot plan for Eric Dane and his aura of treachery, Jiles continues. “I will say this though, the luchador fellow slightly intrigues me. He’s… captivating. In a… I wonder how long he can hold his breath underwater for type of way. Two minutes? Three? After watching his promo from a bit ago… I’d bet the over.”
Zombies don’t breathe.
No line for that.
“First, he’s not Mexican.” Whammy is quick to politically correct. “Second, he’s wrestled everywhere on the planet. Third, while you were out on a sabbatical from COOL, he was out there making a name for himself. If I didn’t know Eric Dane like I know Eric Dane, I’d venture to say he’d be a shoe in to make it into the second round.”
Begrudgingly, Jiles swallows his outgoing insult. “Okay. So he’s not Mexican. And so fucking what? He’s not getting past Dane. No way. No HOW. The writing is on the wall, Whammy.” Going by Jiles’ inflection, it’s not hard to read either. “Eric was right. Nobody wants to see Even Madder versus Dashing Darin the Zionist. Nobody. Not even their own parents.”
Whammy rolls his eyes.
The Greek GOD continues. “Think about it. Would you rather see an idiotic crumb versus a masked bum? Or, would you rather see The Only Star, versus The Greek GOD of COOL? The creator of Defiance, versus its greatest Champion?”
Defeated, Whammy turns the TV off. “Okay, Mr. Cool. What now then?”
An intent look. “You know what now. It’s been a few days. Where are they?”
“Don’t play games.”
Whammy confidently shakes his head no. “Seven months ago I received a package with an explicit note. To do what you could not, and to destroy your sunglasses. I did just that.”
“Do you remember the note?”
“Good thing I do then.” Whammy knew this day would come, so he memorized Jiles’ vivid instructions. Happily, he clears his throat and begins to recite in his best Greek God voice. “Wham, take these and drop them into the deepest, darkest abyss that there is.”
A posterious pause.
“Then, pour an ocean worth of gasoline into the abyss and set the whole thing on fire. Then drop Bobby Dean — if he is willing — into it. Then, fill in the abyss with all the concrete in the world, and when it’s nice and dry, move whatever remaining Wonders of the World there are on top of it.”
“P.S. If the abyss is not possible, talk to Chris at Nasa about returning them to Mars. P.S.S. Make sure you get a few thousand lunchables for Robert. Signed, Cancer. Jiles.”
Disgusted, the note writer erupts. “OKAY! Enough already! I remember what I wrote! It’s just… I was in a bad place then. I was at the end of my rope.”
Not his fault.
Jiles is not entertained. “Wham, please tell me you still have them.”
More dead faced shrugging from the old guy.
“I get it. I asked you to take care of them.” Jiles takes a beat to throw on a grateful face. “That being said, I’d like to thank you for keeping them safe while I was off the reservation. It couldn’t have been easy, shouldering the burden. Good news is I’m here now to relieve you of your duties. You were great, soldier. Truly were. Now tell me, where Whammy? Where are they?”
“I told you. They are gone. They are not here anymore.”
“I know they aren’t here anymore, Whammy. While you were out the other day I peaked around the house for a few minutes. I couldn’t find them anywhere. Shit, I couldn’t even sense them.”
Stunned, Whammy asks. “Wait. So you were the one who ransacked the house, and not some rabid raccoon while you were shampooing your hair?” Normally, that right there could be classified as an outlandish attempt for an excuse.
A Zion, if you will.
However, Whammy knows the extensiveness of Jiles’ grooming, which makes it believable. “And here I was, wondering how a raccoon could open every drawer in the goddamn house! You’re cleaning it up! I know that much!”
Could have been Rocket.
“I’ll pay the luchador after Dane gets done with him to come over and tidy up. How’s that sound?”
“I told you he wasn’t Mexican.”
Jiles gasps. “Well. I. Never! Whammy! Jammy! How dare you stereotype! It’s 2019, for Pete’s sake! I meant because he would be beaten SO badly he might be looking for a new line of work. You know, help a guy out sort of thing.” A wag of the index finger. “Now give me back my shades before I tell the world how deplorable you are!”
Whammy grits his teeth. “Now you’re definitely not getting them back!”
“Ahhhh–HA! That means you didn’t get rid of them!” Jiles perks up, spotting a light at the end of the tunnel. “See, I knew you kept them. You never listen to me. So where are they? Tucked away in Fort Knox? I know! Attached to a drone circling Mount Everest? Better yet, the sixth dimension– beneath all of Darin Zion’s emotions?”
“I thought you were supposed to be humble now?” Whammy disapprovingly asks. “What happened to that?”
“I am humble. I know this is my last chance.” A hearty thumbs up. “In order to not clusterfuck it into oblivion, I need the T-shades. I need to be at full power.”
“Damn it, Whammy! I know what I said! Dane has gotten to Dean for Zeus’ sake! He’s crossed the line!”
Whammy’s head spins in disbelief. “You wanted to sacrifice Dean so your precious sunglasses would never see the light of day again! And now you’re worried about him being underneath Eric’s umbrella!?!”
A scoff. “You and I both know they don’t make umbrella’s that big.”
True. They are called houses.
“Plus, I said to ask him. Not to force him. The choice would have been his.”
“Okay. What do you call the lunchables then?”
Jiles seethes. “Fine! I’ll find them myself!”
Done with the conversation, The Greek GOD takes a moment to stretch his legs. While he’s walking around, he checks out blatantly obvious places that his sunglasses could be. Like, inside of a clear cup, underneath a piece of paper, and then the same cup again. His patience exhausted, he sharply asks. “Where are they?”
“Where are they, Whammy?”
“Whammy. Where are they?”
“When is the show?”
“Not till the 8th. So tell me, Wham. Where are they?”
“And this will continue till…”
“Until you tell me where they are.”
The back and forth goes on until the last blotch of white on Whammy’s face turns red.
Then, a thunderous knock on the front door.
Curious, Jiles asks. “You expecting someone?”
“As a matter fact I am.” Whammy responds ominously. “Listen, I want you to know something. I didn’t destroy your sunglasses. I couldn’t, just like you couldn’t. I did send them away though, and the person who ha…”
Sounds like Whammy was about to say something important.
Jiles is out like shout. He hurdles the steps leading out of the basement in two bounds, and leaves a trail of fire on the carpet leading towards the front door. He abruptly stops, fixes his hair, straightens his brows, takes a breath, and gets ready to be reunited with his most prized possession.
“Come to Da–”
The Greek GOD reaches out for the doorknob, his hand trembling with excitement. Then, after swinging open the door… he turns ghost white. He’s speechless. He’s stunned. He’s unable to think.
For good reason, too.
This time, it’s no fake.
This time, it really is Jiles’ brother in arms.
Not by blood, but by yolk.
Dee. Double-oh. Zee. E. Are.
“You gonna invite us in, or stand there looking like you just took an egg bath?” The us in this instance is Doozer, and his wheelchair pushing, COOL loving comparde, The Dude.
Yes. That’s his name. The. Dude.
A descendent of the Lebowski clan.
And yes, you heard correctly. Wheelchair bound, the Doozer is.
Seems Father Time has not been kind to the Egg Bandits.
Amused, Jiles chuckles at the thought of himself soaking in eggs. The tension now broken, he quips. “So what happened, Dooze? Why are you in a wheelchair?”
Thankfully, Whammy has caught up to the reunion to cut the reignited tension. “Guys, it’s great seeing you again. Please, come inside. I know travelling isn’t easy for you these days.”
What a guy.
Aghast, Jiles interrupts. “Now you wait just one second, Whammy Jammy. You know better than to interrupt when the Forefathers are talking.” A firm, shaming shake of the finger. “Now, I believe I asked a question.” Jiles returns his attention to his brother-in-eggs. The horror fades from his face, and turns into genuine concern. “So, Doozy? Tell me. How did this… this… ha… hold on a GAWT damn second. Got some sort of discharge in me eye.”
A whiff of a sniffle.
Or, as close as a Greek GOD comes to getting choked up.
In public anyways.
And fuck Short Circuit.
“Anyway. FUCKING CRIPPLLEGIES. I mean wheelchair. Robo legs…”
Thankfully, while Jiles is trying to regain his composure, Whammy uses the opportunity to ferry the group of men inside. They trudge down to the war room, well, three of them do anyway. Doozer takes twenty minutes getting down there, but at long last he rolls on in. “Okay, so you guys are dicks for not helping me, and… are you fucking kidding me?”
Jiles fell asleep waiting for him.
So did Whammy and The Dude.
“HELLLLLLLOOO!!!!!!!!! I GUESS YOU DON’T WANT THEM BACK THEN!”
The three men jump up from their resting position.
Whammy not so much, but he’s old.
Jiles is first to respond. “Oh, hey. Dooze. What took you so long?” Silence. “Anywho, let me try this again. What the fuck happened?” Before Doozer can answer, Jiles’ wonder gets the best of him. “Was it that skydiving thing I told you about?” The suddenly empathetic expression on his face intensifies. “Or a car crash? Please don’t tell me you’re still putting down road sodas!”
In an effort to stop Dr. Jiles from continuing his diagnosis, The Dude attempts a not-so-subtle headshake. Sadly, for The Dooze, it falls short and Jiles further prys. “Did Bobby convince you to try the squish contest again?“ This time, The Dude attempts a kill switch gesture. Again, it doesn’t resonate. “Sasquatch?! If it was Sasquatch, Doozer, tell me you got it on video.”
With physical cues failing…
The Dude interjects. “It’s not exactly–”
“–BIG FOOT IS NO JOKE, DUDE!” A frenzied Greek GOD of COOL chides his old pal. “NO. JOKE. Especially if old roller here happened to hit him with The Abuser.”
The Abuser is Doozer’s wrestling finisher, and not the status of his Megan’s Law page.
Doozer is a dissapoint. “This can’t be real life. It just can’t.” It is, no matter how much he shakes his head. “Any shot we can all calm the fuck down and do what we came here to do?”
“Yes!!!!!” Whammy exclaims. “Yes we can! Dude, why don’t we go check on the plants. You can tell me more about your… life. I think I have a Xanax or two upstairs. Let’s let these two… yeah. You guys have a good one.” Hastily, Whammy and The Dude head upstairs. They close the door leading to the basement, and then place their ears against it to eavesdrop.
“So………….. how’s your feet?” Jiles tries to start the conversation, but can not. He just can’t get over the wheelchair. It’s like seeing one of your heroes in a casket for him.
Just Doozer is alive, and not one of Jiles heroes.
“Lee took you back, huh?” The Dooze thankfully gets the ball rolling. “You working for free? Maybe breaking down the ring at the end of the show? Hopefully not teaming with Scotty again.”
“No… at least I hope not.” Oblivious, and here’s why. “Come to think of it, I really should’ve read that contract.” What could go wrong? ”It’s just, I was so happy to get the call… it was a long five years for me. I’ve been through a lot.”
The Dooze pats his legs. “You’re telling me.”
“Yeah… right. Your legs. So what happened? How’d you end up, uh… constantly seated?”
“Not even sure, to be honest.”
“What? How the fu–”
“I don’t know. It’s embarrassing. Not being like this I mean. It’s tough, sure. But, I could deal with that. Shit, I am dealing with it.” The Dooze pauses, clearly verklempt. “It’s just the not knowing why… that’s what really irks me.”
Jiles doesn’t how to respond. In a normal, compassionate way that is. So, searching the stars for a bright idea, he does what most no one would do in this situation and starts to whistle a jolly tune.
“You haven’t changed a bit.” Whistling over. The Greek GOD winks. One of the rare times you can actually see it happen. “Okay, Jiles. Let’s get down to business, shall we? The shades.”
“The shades… yes.” Jiles taps his opposing fingers together in an excellent manner. “I need them back, old friend. They are the last piece of the puzzle.”
“Why did you get rid of them in the first place?”
Jiles collects his thoughts before proceeding. “To be honest, it was a dream I had when I was all sorts of fried.” Typical. “When I woke up, I realized I was afraid of them. That, the person I was, then, would never be worthy of their blessing.”
Doozer looks at Jiles, trying to read if he’s on the level or not. “For real? Afraid? You?”
“Seriously, bro. I thought I’d break them if I put ‘em back on. That would have been fourteen more years of bad luck. That’s how far gone I was.”
The Hotel California.
A small business conference room.
There’s a fern in the corner, a cloud of smoke that has stayed lingering about, and a High Octane Wrestling flag that adorns the entirety of the back wall.
Is it promotional time? Please tell me it’s promotional time.
It’s been quite the journey getting here. We know why COOLYMPUS has perished. We’ve seen the reunion of yolk, twice.
We know HOW a COOLYMPIAN castaway escaped his homeland. We know why he abandoned his most prized possession.
And why he begged for them back.
Now, it’s time.
Only took 6036 steps to get here.
What a sight The Greek GOD of COOLYMPUS is to behold.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m kinda hard. Motherfucker is straight beaming.
His hair is a blonde oil slick of perfection. Not a single strand out of place, and it would stay that way even if thrust behind a jet engine.
Ten of them.
His teeth, are pearling. They look like baby elephant tusks. So white. So verile.
His facial hair, zero. Because, fuck kids these days.
His threads, are ready for COOLYMPUS Beach. Black satin button up with the collar pointed towards the sky, venomous pair of Cobra skin shoes, and cloth pants that were hand sewn by no less than sixteen Roman children.
Only the finest for The Greek GOD of COOL.
And in his grasp…
“Cut me, Darin. I can’t see.” Unimpressed, Jiles continues. “Here’s a protip, kid. Go back to cowering with Adrian under the blankets while you still can. The footsteps you once heard in the middle of the night are about to return.”
Baba. Fucking. Yaga.
The haunter of dreams.
The collapser of bridges.
The slayer of Mongoloids.
And now the star of Rocky 8.
“Fucking guy. Do you not realize, Darin, the more you talk about being HOW World Champion, the worse off the distinction becomes?” A rhetorical pause. “Just by thinking about it, let alone discussing it, you do a disservice to the belt and all who have ever held it.”
Maybe not all.
“The dead of High Octane literally roll in their graves hearing the words HOW World Champion come out of your mouth. I know I cringe every time you say it– it’s as offensive as your man crush. I’m almost at the point now, where instead of being World Champion, I’d rather be ICON Champion after I win the tournament.”
The audacity! Who would ever do such a thing!
“Just because you’ve tainted the belt so much with your… jargon.”
Jiles smiles. It’s not the nice kind either.
“But, that’s okay. I know. You’re driven. You’re motivated… to blow a grown man, over, and over again.” The COOLYMPIAN’S face runs confused. “What the fuck is up with that, Z-Bag? Does Mike pay you to gaggle on his balls? Do you… like him? I only ask, because I have never seen someone… so diligent in this regard. It’s kind of unsettling.”
Jiles takes a breath.
It’s worth noting he has yet to T-shade up if you will.
Probably didn’t want to talk about Zion with them on… ya know.
“Darin Zion. Sounds to me like a guy who needs a shower, and a slew of immunizations shots.”
“Oh well. A layup is a layup, and I’ve never backed down from a handicapped match.”
A really big one.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
The Greek GOD of COOLYMPUS.
“Now that the child has been attended to, let me address the old man. Eric. Dane.”
Yep, the superstitious Jiles didn’t want to Zion up his shades. He knows where to spend his energy.
“Eric…” The tone turns inferno serious. “You should have never brought Bobby into this. Never. If you think fear, or money… or power runs thicker than yolk… you’re gravely mistaken.”
Disgusted, Jiles sends a charcoal colored loogie soaring through the air.
It sticks to the wall like a piece of chewed up Nicorette.
“And how fucking dare you threaten my hair. You. You fucking coward. If I didn’t know worse was coming your way, I’d scalp you in the center of the ring for such insolence.”
There’s below the belt, and then there’s poaching a Bandit.
And then there’s Jiles’ hair.
“My livelihood. Sure. My ability to take a piss. Sure. My clothes… maybe. But no. You had to touch a live wire. With your tongue. While it’s raining. You motherfucker.” The Greek GOD slowly moves about the room. From the vantage point, you’d think he’s hovering. “You know, we didn’t have a problem. We were going to be just fine shaking hands, and may the best cheater win. But now??? Now where do we go? You’ve stabbed me in the back, and threatened my very being. All before the first show has even happened.”
That’s The Great Dane for ya.
“You’ve left me with only one option, Eric. Yolk.”
The greatest misconception about Jiles and egging is that it’s a childish prank like twisting tits. The egging for Jiles, while definitely a prank, is more about degradation. About, leaving a mark that one remembers for the rest of their life.
“So when we meet for the first time ever inside the ring… inside a High Octane Wrestling ring no less, I want you to know, I will not hesitate. Not for one second. If the opportunity arises, you’re walking out of there with egg on your face.”
Jiles points to wherever Eric Dane is at right now.
Another benefit of the T-Shades. He can see like Heimdall.
“And I’m walking out of there and into the third round. You treacherous pig.”