A story in 3 unrelated parts

A story in 3 unrelated parts

Posted on December 2, 2023 at 3:55 pm by Evan Ward

Evan woke up in the hospital room, the bright lights stung his eyes as they adjusted to the bloom like it was a late 2000’s videogame. The first thought which went through his head as he pushed himself up to sitting was “Who the hell put me here?” It was the million dollar question you always ask when you wake up in the hospital after being dropped on your head. It slowly came back to him, though, as he gathered his bearings and rubbed his sore eyes. Who put him here? Rhys fucking Townsend did.

Ward looked at the side table and saw his phone was very politely placed on it along with a punnet of grapes and a very cold coffee. Someone obviously was trying to be useful but totally mistimed it. Ward assumed it was Trent. He picked up the cold coffee and sniffed it. Yikes, that was definitely a gift from Trent. The splash of Baileys in that cup of coffee was so vast that it would be more appropriate to call it a cup of Baileys with a splash of coffee in it. Regardless, Ward wasn’t about to drink it, he liked his coffee the same way he liked his revenge: scolding hot. He checked his phone, it was November 21st. The morning after Chaos 50. On the one Ward was pissed off he was out cold since the show but, on the other, at least he wasn’t waking up months later like the last time someone dropped him on his head after he lost a match.

Visions of the night before flooded back to him. The match against Drew… Townsend pretending to be some sort of coach, being more annoying than Scott Stevens playing a kazoo… Losing the match because of Rhys’ bullshit shenanigans… The aftermath’s assault with a top rope piledriver. For some reason the thought of the impact made his inner monologue dig out knowledge he hadn’t used since primary school and speak Welsh. “Mae hyn yn fendigedig yn fawr iawn.” He thought sarcastically as he rubbed his throbbing head.

He vaguely remembered Townsend yammering on at him before he lost consciousness but it was all just a muffled blur behind the ringing of the concussion. While Ward was generally fighting fit and recovered from oh so many injuries this year, his head was still a weak point and Rhys knew it. The maliciousness of that attack made Ward furious. He knew it was a deliberate attempt to injure him, to break Ward’s body and spirit as ICONIC neared in the hopes it would make for an easier match. Fuck that, Ward thought. 

Rhys wanted a fight? He wanted to break my spirit? He wanted to establish dominance? Fuck him. I’ll give him what he deserves. I’ll teach him not to fuck around with the heart of Ground Zero. He drew the battlines, how far we can go. What I do next is all on him. It isn’t my fault if it makes him snap. He brought this on himself.

Ward swung his legs off the bed and hopped down to the floor. He wobbled a bit but wasn’t too bad. He’d checked himself out of hospital in worse conditions before. He found his clothes in his bag by the bed and got dressed before picking up the grapes and walked out the room.

Mmm… he thought as he munched on the grapes. Tasty, but not as tasty as the lunch he had planned. He had an acquaintance to go eat.

 

A week later, Evan was legging it down a Cardiff street, ducking down alleys and generally trying to avoid being caught. He ducked behind a cluster of wheelie bins to catch his breath and gather his thoughts, which had been racing just as fast as his legs. He couldn’t believe it. He thought it was a foolproof plan. It was the early hours in the morning over here, surely no one would have been paying attention to what he was doing in Townsend’s house. Sure, he was out there for a good ten minutes picking the lock. Sure he made a tremendous racket as he wrecked the place. Sure, it was a mid-terrace house with houses adjoining either side. But surely no one would have noticed and called the police. Bloody nosey neighbours.

He hadn’t got halfway down the street before the blue lights were shining and the sirens were blaring. He’d been legging it for the last twenty minutes and was sure a chopper was in the air tracking him.

Ward nearly jumped out of his skin when his phone rang. He answered it to hear the welcome sound of a stoned idiot.

“What the fuck’s going on?” Trent growled down the line from across the atlantic. “You were fucking meant to check in when you got the fuck outta there!”

“Someone called the cops, dude!” Ward exclaimed, a hint of panic in his voice. “I need an extraction!”

“Fuck, man.” Trent paused. He was either coming up with a plan or lighting a joint. “Fuck, dude, shit yer arse to fucking Bute Street, under the fucking bridge. Best I can fucking do. Can you fucking make it?”

Ward frowned. Bute street wasn’t too close, but close enough. “I can make it.” He hung up and started running again. He could make it. His lungs were on fire and his muscles were screaming but he could make it. All he could think about as he ran was how hungry he was and how he wished the meal he’d gone to a week ago hadn’t been such a disappointment. It’s funny where your thoughts go when you’re running for your life. He had thought he was going to an exotic gourmet restaurant for those with, shall we say, discerning palates. A German master chef dishing up the finest cannibalistic cuisine. It turned out to just be a boring artistic cuisine experience where the food was styled to be human body parts but were really just normal food. To make matters worse it was all vegan! Talk about irony. Ward thought he had finally found a place to legally satiate his newly found appetite for human flesh and they didn’t even serve real meat!

To make matters worse the acquaintance he thought was going to be served up there was actually just there as part of the erotic side of the experience. The waiters and waitresses were all in the nude offering out their bodies for a bit of oral entertainment while the food was being prepared. He got really offended at the idea of his penis actually being eaten.  Ward couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find somewhere to serve up actual human flesh. The western world really did persecute people like Ward, it wasn’t fair. He still hadn’t managed to eat a single piece of long pig since biting Jatt’s ear off in that cage and it was driving him crazy. He was starting to wonder whether it really was something people were into or just something made up for entertaining the masses on shows like Hannibal.

Ward pushed that disappointment out of his head and focused on the here-and-now. He was on Bute Terrace, running at pace down the main road. Bute Street was so close, the next left turn, but he could hear the sirens getting closer. He needed to lose them or he wouldn’ be able to make a clean getaway when he got picked up. He suddenly broke off left into the multistory carpark of the Radison Blu Hotel as the cop cars raced past. He sprinted up the ramps, leaping over cars, hurdling rails and doing all that fancy parkour shit which looked so good in movies.

He barged through the doors into the hotel lobby. He immediately slowed to a casual walk, pulling off his green jacket, turning inside out to be a red jacket. Hooray for reversible clothes! A cap was laying on the reception counter and no one was looking, so Ward sneakily nabbed it and put it on his head as he walked back out the main entrance as casually as can be, in amongst a group of businessmen off to catch their early morning trains to London or some other bullshit city. He broke off from the pack as they reached the junction, they crossed over to the train station while Ward hangered left onto Bute Street and was soon under the bridge.

He leaned over the railings and looked around. There was no discernable place to get picked up from. The road was a good two meter drop from safety rail and it wasn’t exactly a good location to stop. Suddenly a black transit van, decked out in all sorts of heavy metal art screeched to a halt in front of Ward. The sun roof slid open and a very hairy man poked his head out of it.

“Oi, Evan, ya wanker, get the fuck in!” He yelled and ducked back in.

Ward didn’t wait around, he springboarded off the railing and into the van, closing up the sunroof once he was in.

“Fucking floor it, Marsh, here come the rozzers!” Yelled the hairy man at the fat man in the driver’s seat. He turned to Ward and grinned. “How the fuck ya doin’, mate? Been a fuckin’ age.”

The hairy man was Wez, the vocalist of Trent’s thrash metal band, Buried. He also played bass when Trent wasn’t around and rhythm guitar when he was. The fat man who was driving the inconspicuous getaway van at the top speed the speed limit would allow (20 miles per hour, because Wales takes things slow) was Marshall, the band’s drummer. The yet-to-be-mentioned scandinavian-looking guy with long blonde hair who was sitting at the back was their lead guitarist, Simon. He was practising his guitar work like always. Oddly enough, it was a left hand drive van. Ward guessed it was the one they drove on tour in America and had just had it shipped over.

“Knackered, dude, fucking knackered.” Ward huffed a deep breath and relaxed into a seat. “I wasn’t expecting the cops to be called so fast. At least I’ve left no evidence it was me.”

Wez raised an eyebrow and scratched at his foot-long beard. “Didn’t you live stream it on a wrestling show?”

“Yeah, but that was happening over in the states, wasn’t it?” Ward explained innocently. “What are the Cardiff police gonna do, go over there and watch a rerun?”

“Dude, I can’t believe I’m the arsehole tellin’ ya this, but you’re such a fucking idiot.” Wez sighed. “It’s a fucking globally broadcast, internet streamed show for the biggest pro wrestling federation in the world! Half the officers in this city love that shit!”

Ward thought about this for a moment. He could be in serious trouble, he could get arrested and thrown in jail. It could ruin his career. He’d never be allowed over in the states again if he got a record. He shrugged. “Eh, whatever, it doesn’t matter. Rhys won’t press charges or he won’t get that match he wanted at ICONIC, will he? Dude’s too bloody proud and now he’s got a much more personal reason to want me in that ring and beat the living shit out of me. It’s gonna be great!”

“If ya say so, dude.” Wez sighed. What a stupid idea the whole thing was. “Let’s just get you to some fucking place to lay low for a couple of days then you can hop on a fucking plane and get back to yankyland, right?”

The van (very slowly) drove off into the night, never to be seen again… until Wednesday when it drove Evan to Cardiff International Airport.

 

 

Evan breathed in the fresh Phoenix air. After being stuck in a bungalow with a trio of stoned assholes for a few days then being bundled up onto an economy flight across the atlantic this smelt like freedom. Now he was back stateside Ward was confident he wouldn’t have to put up with any more stoner bullshit.

“Hey, you motherfuker fugitive, what the fuck’s up?” Yelled the personification of stoner bullshit out the driver side window as his van screeched to a halt perfectly in front of Evan, if Evan was an 80 year old hunchbacked lady in a mobility scooter. The one eyed giant looked her up and down and frowned. “Who the fuck are you?”

“Doris,” She said, “Are you my Über?”

“Fuck off, ya old bint.” Trent said and reversed the van to where Ward stood with his head buried in his hand. The van in question was almost identical to the one Wez had picked Ward up in, except it was right-hand drive. Ward assumed the two vans had been mixed up at some point but couldn’t imagine how it had happened.

“What are you doing here, dude?” Ward asked with an audible groan. He really wasn’t in the mood for dealing with the massive idiot.

“I’m you’re fucking ride, ain’t I?” Trent replied, grinning like an utter idiot. “Wez told me your fucking plane was landing the fuck on the runway so got the fuck over here to fucking pick you up. So get the fuck in.”

Ward rolled his eyes and stomped around to the passenger side. He swung the door open and pulled himself up into the cab. “You better have a hotel booked for me.” He grouched.

“Fuck yeah, we’ve got this fucking awesome motel room backing onto a fucking biker bar. The place is fucking brilliant.”

“Riiight.” Ward pulled out his phone and started looking up hotel rooms in the area. “So what’s the news? Has my match been announced yet?” 

“Oh, yeah, dude, you’re fighting that fucking Jackson Cooley arsehole.” Trent said as he narrowly missed colliding with Doris’s Über when he pulled out. “Dude’s funny as fuck, you’ll fucking love him.”

Ward thought he probably wouldn’t, but figured why Trent would like him. Exactly what this company needed, another bloody stoner.

“Seriously, Trent?” Ward swung his legs up on the dashboard. “All credit to a dude who can come in and drill Scottywood through a flaming table and all but he seems like a bit of a knob. He acts a bit too cool for school.”

“Don’t ya fucking mean too Cooley for Schooley?” Trent grinned. Ward groaned.

“You’re the fucking worst.” Ward has been known to make some bad dad jokes in his time but he had nothing on the stoned asshole beside him. “Whatever. The dude beat Scotty but he also bleeds well. Really well. Dude was gushing like a faucet after Scotty was done with him.”

“The fuck is a faucet? You turning fucking American or someshit?” The van swerved wildly as Trent turned to grab a bottle of beer from the cooler in the back and opened it up on the gearstick. He apparently misunderstood the laws about drinking and driving and thought the 0.08% blood alcohol concentration was a minimum, not a limit. “What’s it fucking matter how he fucking bleeds? Ya gonna fucking drink it?”

“Oh god no, don’t be disgusting.” Ward said. “Not without cooking it first.”

“…” Trent looked at him cockeyed, ignorant to how he was drifting across lanes. “I was fucking joking.”

“But nah, the dude bleeds well. You bleed that much and it’s gonna wear you don’t isn’t it? I hardly know jack about the guy…”

“It’s Jackson, not fucking Jack.” Trent corrected him, helpfully. Ward ignored him.

“You never go into a match unprepared-”

“Eh, I used to fucking do it all the time.” Trent said while drinking with one hand, scratching his ass with the other and somehow steering with his knee.

“You should never go into a match unprepared, and all I’ve got to go on is his match with Shittywood. That told me three things: first he’s a bit of an all rounder, doesn’t really seem to lean to one style or another. Jack of all trades-”

“Dude, I fucking told you, it’s Jackson of all tr-OUCH!” Trent yelped as Ward kicked him in the head. The van jerked to one side as Trent’s knee jerked in reaction. He grabbed at the steering wheel with his ass hand and straightened up. “The fuck was that for? You nearly made me drop my fucking beer!”

“Would you kindly just shut the fuck up and concentrate on driving?” Ward put his feet down off the dashboard, assuming it would be slightly safer in the event of a crash and reduce the risk of him kicking Trent in the head again. “Like I was saying… Second, he’s plenty happy to play it hardcore and rough it up with the most crazy of them. Third, he bleeds like a haemophiliac on their period. The first point isn’t much help, but the second leads onto the third, right?”

“I don’t fucking follow.” Trent scratched his head.

“Of course you bloody well don’t.” Ward sighed. “Look, I’m thinking if I can goad him into making the match, you know, extreme, and get him bleeding then it’ll be quicker to wear him down, make him sluggish and easier to knock the fuck out.”

If you looked at Trent’s face you could very clearly see the cogs whirring in his head as he tried to understand what his short friend was saying. “So… you’re fucking saying your fucking gameplan is to fucking beat him up ‘til he fucking bleeds, then fucking beat him up some more until you fucking win?”

Ward shrugged. “Pretty much, yeah.”

“Dude, that bloody plan is so very fucking…” Trent began… “Genius! You’re a fucking brain and a half.”

“Too right, that’s what I keep telling people but no one believes me, I’ve got no idea why. Anyway,” Ward clapped his hands together. “I’m bloody starving, let’s grab some food.”

“Sure fucking thing, Boss.” Trent saluted while finishing his beer, then threw it out the window and swerved across to exit the freeway. “I know just the fucking place, it has a fucking brilliant grill.”

“Oo, does it serve white meat?” Ward’s eyes widened at the possibility, like a kid asking his parents if they’d got him the toy he wanted for Christmas.

“Yeah, they fucking serve chicken a ton of fucking ways.”

“No, I mean the other white meat.”

“Oh, right, yeah, they fucking serve pork.” Trent nodded.

“No, the other other white meat.” Ward winked euphemistically.

“Ooohhhh. Nah, dude, they don’t fucking serve rabbit.” Trent shook his head. “Not unless there’s fucking road kill outside.”

“Oh…” Ward sounded very disappointed, like a kid opening his presents on Christmas day and discovering his parents didn’t get what he asked for.

“Don’t fucking worry, dude.” Trent slapped Ward on the back. “You’ll fucking love it, once ya get over the fucking stench of leather and fucking petrol.”

Ward frowned. “It’s that bloody biker bar isn’t it?”

“He’ll fucking yeah!”

“For fuck’s sake, Trent.”