We Are People
Inside a small studio apartment, we see a coffee table with a crack engulfing the glass top. Next to the table, laying on the couch is the HOW rookie, Crash Rodriguez. He’s half-asleep, trying to will himself to return to his dream state. Desperately trying to return to sleep, just to avoid being awake. He closes his eyes, disappointed that he’s no longer in his peaceful slumber and that he instead must fight off the daily pain. That the voice no longer slumbers with him.
“Will this ever get easier?” he whimpers as he rubs his temples, and adjusts his eyes to the light.
“Will I ever be allowed to breathe fresh air? I just want to have one moment, where I can sit down and not hear the taunting. Not hear the screams. This world I once thought was full of life, has been infected and drained of its vitality by this voice. It won’t let go. It won’t back off.”
Crash finally sits up, he rubs the sand from his eyes and pulls out a phone easily five years old, complete with a cracked screen and a backplate hardly hanging on. He taps and swipes about the screen, staring intently. Not long after he slides the all but broken cellular device to his front pocket as he stands and stretches. Upon closer inspection of the man’s living situation, we see the place is dirty. The area around him is littered with empty bottles of tequila and booze. Perhaps a celebration of his recent win, or even for his 21st birthday. Amongst the mess, Crash finds a half-empty bottle and pours the remaining liquid down his gullet.
“Alright, let’s get this shit done.” The rookie grabs a pack of cigarettes and his trusty silver Zippo as he scruffs through his hair and heading out the front door of his small box of a room. He makes his way down the stairs and approaches a 2003 Chevy Impala, complete with cracked windows, a dented body, and a missing rearview window. He starts up his car, shaking his head, obviously showing that something on his mind is bothering him. Crash begins to slam his fist on the steering wheel.
“A fucking tag match? A TAG MATCH! FUCK FUCK FUCK!”
Crash grips the steering wheel tightly, as he squeezes his knuckles turn white. After a few seconds, he relaxes his grip as well as himself.
“This isn’t a bad thing, it is just a curveball. AN IDIOTIC CHOICE. Nonetheless, it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance.”
The young man begins to compose himself. He opens his glove box and within sits his mother’s bible. He kisses his fingers, then presses them upon the cover before he puts his foot on the pedal and drives off. The scene cuts to Crash pulling over on the side of the road as he arrives at his location. He opens his door and his first step is into a puddle, from the previous night of rain. An audible sigh is heard leaving the rookie’s lungs.
“When it rains, it pours. I’ll attest to that. The world will witness it at War Games. HOW has proven it leading to War Games. I’ve been partnered with Robert Dean, the lockerroom’s so-called ‘bean eating machine’. A man I only first met seconds before Lee Best threw our names together like a child taking a bath with their toys. I don’t like it. I don’t want it. BUT I’LL BE DAMNED IF I’M NOT TAKING THOSE TITLES HOME!”
Crash’s screams leave his body, akin to the shrieking of lunatic. He begins slapping himself, before finally pulling at his hair. Tufts of hair sneak out from his knuckles before the scalp gives out and the hair is forcefully removed.
“You know what it’s like to give away your whole life? To lead your life down one straight and narrow path, and not for one second while you walk that road, not for a single moment, do you ever see any hint of arriving at your destination? Do you know what it is like to fight every FUCKING day to be viewed as somebody who made it, only to be written off due to how you look? I do. My partner must. For you see, the people in the back, the raucous making fans that fill the seats every week. They don’t see that we made it. They only see a man who thirsts to hurt himself and others when I just wanna be able to say I did it. I wanna be able to say my mother would be proud, no matter how much she hated this business. As for my partner, they don’t look at Robert Dean as a man, who’s carved himself out a spot in front of a national audience. They see a fat man, who’s only real ability is to sit on people. They see a freakshow, but we’re people. WE’RE MOTHER FUCKING PEOPLE! WE’RE NOT JUST MONSTERS TO GAUK AT! We’re not just FREAKS for you to gossip over and treat like lesser beings.”
Collecting himself, Crash eases a bit, taking a breath before pulling out a cigarette and lighting it, a common habit we’ve seen from the youngling. He puffs on the cigarette and begins speaking, allowing the smoke to escape as he talks.
“Robert Dean may not have been my first choice for a tag partner. NO! Robert Dean wasn’t even on the list of names I’d even consider. Yet, I won’t bitch. I won’t moan. Instead, I’ll walk myself down the ramp, stand next to Bobby Dean as the bell rings, and then we will unleash a destructive force, the likes of which will have never before been seen. Acts never previously conceived of. If you all want to point and stare in awe, well…. THEN WE’LL JUST HAVE TO GIVE YOU FUCKS SOMETHING TO FUCKING LOOK AT!”
Crash’s voice cracks as the screams leave his throat. The promising rookie’s voice is raspy, and cold as he speaks softly.
“Egg Bandits, LOD, Stevens, O’Dell, Zion, Hanson, Hollywood, and Savage.”
Crash drops his cigarette to the ground and stomping it out beneath his boot before continuing.
“The ten of you better be fucking prepped and ready for war, because I want your best. I want you to give us everything you fucking have, and more. We’re going to topple each one of you bastards. We’re going to break you, we’re going to crush any shred of hope you have. AND AT WAR GAMES, WE’RE TAKING THE TAG GOLD HOME WITH US! AT WAR GAMES WE’RE GOING TO DISMANTLE EVERYBODY IN OUR FUCKING PATH! AT WAR GAME WE’RE DONE BEING YOUR GOD DAMNED JOKES! SO INSTEAD… At War Games…”
The rookie stops short a second, building the anticipation of his next words, before quietly whispering.
“At War Games, we will be your new tag team champions, Crash Rodriguez and Bobby Dean.”
With those words leaving his hushed lips, “The Crooked Man” walks off, chuckling grimly as he does.