“People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch.” – Melvin Udall
Well, look who’s fucking coming to dinner?
The uninvited, unwanted, half as talented younger brother of Andrew Murray, everyone’s favorite quadriplegic, graying, dead in the water, sack of shit former ICON Champion. The man with the dumb squid pun name, the man who has made such a career out of being a puppet that “I’ve Got No Strings to Hold Me Down” is his entrance music. Come on, Cayle, I’ve missed you so much. I’m super duper excited to see you again. Do a little dance for old time’s sake. Go around the locker room and ask everyone what you should do to get better some more. Let me go get my little binder of wrestling cues so you know where to stand to get the proper light. Come on, Cayle…
Ah, don’t tell me you’ve gone and ruined it by mysteriously “spending these last few years in Japan”? The old Cayle was so charming, sometimes witty, occasionally talented, if not constantly held back by the hairy, sweaty arm of Andy Murray’s hand up your ass forearm deep. Have you gone and gotten some clarity, Cayle? Have you pulled your Winnie the Pooh pull-ups to your waist because you’re a big kid now? Don’t do that. Don’t do that, Cayle. I don’t want this new “I’m the master of my domain” Cayle, not when you’ve always been so good at masturbating to yourself. Don’t go dry now, you miserable, Scottish cunt. You diminutive, derivative little dipshit.
Nobody fucking wants this.
Nobody fucking wants your self-realization story clogging up No Remorse. You’re what we’re stuck with, but nobody fucking wants it.
What is your stupid fucking point anyway? Andy Murray created me, and I created you? Because it sounds an awful lot like you’re blaming me for you being a fucking coward ’in the last locker room we were in together’. It sounds an awful lot like poor little calamari was led around like a puppet again, like fucking usual. Is that your point? Andy made me, and I made you, and so I MUST PAY!
Boy, you really showed me. I don’t know why I’m fucking here at all, Cayle, since you’re so goddamned good at this, since you’re going to kick my ass. Cutting edge stuff there, buddy, truly.
I guess that’s the kind of shit I can expect from you in between the ho-hum family drama drivel that nobody gives a fuck about since five days ago you were content to get your daily blowy from your favorite girl in Tobita Shinchi and now you’re dropped into this shit, eyes a’blazing and fire in yer belly.
You’re gonna kick my ass!
You’re gonna kick my ass!
Yeah… of course you are. You’re the very epitome of bravery as you walk through backstage halls with forty-two security guards in Blue Angels formation to make sure you’re protected because all it took was staring at you and whispering a few words in your ear to make you shit your trousers. Everybody gonna fuckin’ kick my ass, Cayle. Everybody. Why don’t I just set my clock by every-fuckin-body who’s told me their gonna kick my ass over the years? Might as well set a Cayle Murray robot up in a corner somewhere and pull a goddamn string to get your greatest hits of trite bullshit that every first-year boob says when trying to intimidate someone they’re obviously scared shitless of.
Tell you what, while you’re over there being all brave and focused and ready to ‘kick my ass’, try flying to the right goddamn city, you dumb motherfucker. You’re “coming to Florida with nothing but Dan Ryan and the ICON Championship on my mind, and that’s bad news for the Group of Death’s big bad wolf”, huh? You’re traveling to Florida in a few days, huh? Well, that sounds fun. Florida sure can be nice and sunny, good beaches, have yourself a little mixed drink in the sand, but we have a Last Man Standing match in Chicago this weekend. You planning on showing up for that? Or am I gonna be the first man in HOW history to win on a twenty count against an opponent who isn’t even there?
Yeah, you’re focused alright. You’re a regular iron-willed icon of preparation and drive. Mike tipped me off on the location of the barn where he was programmed to be a murder boy. How about I let you in on the secret, you show up there, and maybe someone can program you with a fucking brain, you addle-headed, flighty little fuck-tard.
I can’t blame you for not bothering to learn where our show is, Cayle. You’re phoning in everything else, so why not? If you wanna run your pansy ass all the way to Tampa to escape from me on Saturday, that’s fine, but I’ve got a buddy who’ll be in town that day who knee-fucked your brother into the sad place at War Games. How ‘bout you make sure you stop by the ol’ Five Time Academy and say hi while you’re on vacay?
You think I don’t care about you or this match? You must be out of your goddamn mind. You represent everything I fucking hate in this business, you entitled, arrogant, phony little copycat pussy shit. You’ve earned absolutely none of this — none of it — You’re gonna talk down to me? You’re here based entirely on a lie. Lee thinks you’re some fucking badass who ran off the big bad monster before, ’and I’ll do it again!’, but the only thing you’ve ever done is be a willing pawn of much smarter men than you. You’re at the bottom of the fucking food chain, motherfucker, because guess what… if I’ve been in Eric or Mike’s lap, who the ever-living fuck are you?
Eric and I drug your stupid ass along for months to use you in our plan to kick Mikey to the curb because you’re so fucking stupid, you can’t be trusted to so much as keep your goddamn mouth shut to get the job done. I had to clock you on the fucking head and knock you out just so I could turn around and do the work necessary to take care of the bigger picture because the only thing Cayle Murray is good for is fucking up a sure thing.
Admitting your bullshit after the fact doesn’t win you a medal. All you’ve done now is piss off Lee Best, because he’s counting on someone with actual fucking credentials to put me in my place, and what he’s getting is a sad fucking facsimile.
You’re the half-baked backup plan of better men, the crusty burnt end of a meatier story. You’re here, hacking away at well-trodden ground, uninspiring and stale, when you know we’d all prefer somebody else. You look like him, but you’ll never be a fourth of what he is or was, will you?
You really wanna play this game with me?
Simon says get my coffee, bitch.
That’s all you’re good for anyway.
What, you think you’re gonna just drop in here like the second Darren on Bewitched and no one’s gonna notice? One Murray out, one Murray in, like nothing ever happened? Oh yeah sure, I can sell that match, buddy. No problem. Happy to. Anything to make sure Cayle Murray is happy. The world is fine, everyone’s happy, everything is just swell, as long as you’re happy, Mr. Murray sir. Anything for you, Mr. Murray, sir. Anything else you need, Mr. Murray, sir? How bout a nice ‘go fuck yourself’, Mr. Murray, sir? How are your feelings today, Mr. Murray, sir? Is everything ok? Powder your ass? Got another brother to trot out when I smash your motherfucking face in? How about Sid? Does he wrestle too? Does he have some fun little inter-brother drama we can work out since that’s all it fucking takes for you fishmonger fucks to get title shots?
Oh yeah, super great. Love it. I’m sold.
I can see the tag line now!
”If you loved Andy Murray, you’re gonna like Cayle Murray!”
It’s like if body snatchers precisely duplicated him in every way, only with an absurd amount of hair gel.
You can scream from the rooftops all day long that you are your own man, but anyone who has to spend that much time establishing that he isn’t his brother can’t be much of his own man, can he? Why don’t you start talking about all of the other things you probably are, like… deserving…. not derivative…. not wrestler number five thousand whose mistress is the ring! Like not wholly out of place and ridiculous as you try to frame yourself as being on some sort of mission to get me back for helping you win the only things of substance in this business you’ve ever won.
Why don’t you try to do something besides try and convince everyone that you fucking belong here in the first place? Like we weren’t all out on a car ride with mom, said ‘We want Andy Murray!” and mom said “We have Andy Murray at home!” and when we got home, it was you.
Or tell us some more about your happy go fun time stroll through the halls last week, looking for some chips because there’s a dip you want to explore… until you fucking ran into me and tried to be little Cayle McBadass and explored dying.
I wanna let you in on a little secret, Cayle.
I’m so smart, so malevolent, so devious and eeeeeevil that I sent a little woodpecker to follow you around after the show, and there it was, flitting around above you, just out of sight, pecking away, driving you crazy, following you to your super cool hotel room, then following you to your brother’s super cool private hospital suite, before finally, standing above on the top floor, I shot it from the air and made it fall right next to you, because more than anything else in my life, despite everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve done, I want nothing more than to be part of your stupid fucking jerk-off fantasy. I want to be the one who makes the woodpecker stop, you rotting jam on the taint of the wrestling business. I’m that much of a fucking mastermind. It was such a brilliant goddamn idea that I just had to do it, couldn’t wait to fucking do it, because more than anything else in life, I want to make sure you get your fucking epiphany before match time.
Everything I do is for and about you because if you’re not happy when I repeatedly swing my elbow and bash your smug, cocky little face in, I don’t think I’ll be able to live with myself. If you’re not pleased as fucking punch after No Remorse, ready to clap your dumb little hands and see what the office has for you next, I just don’t think I’ll ever get over it. If you were to be wheeled off to another private room like your brother, or God forbid, decide this just isn’t for you and walk away back off to… ahem…. ’Japan’… I simply do not know what I’ll do. I don’t think I could bear it. But I’m here for you, Cayle. About that there can be absolutely no doubt. I was here for your brother and now I’m here for you. I live to fucking serve. Live to serve YOU.
AS LONG AS YOU’RE HAPPY.
After all, I fucking believe in you, Cayle. You may be garbage, but after all, it’s garbage can, not garbage can’t.
And you’re a goddamn five-year-old, aren’t you? — throwing a little tantrum, making up shit to get your way. I had a nephew who, when he was five years old, found a fucking stick outside in the woods and played with and treated that thing like it was made of gold. He lorded around with it and wanted everyone to pretend like it was anything other than what it was. You know what I told him? It’s fucking wood. It’s just wood. It’s not that special. Look outside, it’s everywhere. Tree, tree, little bush. That’s you, Cayle. You’re just not that fucking special, no matter how much you try to tell us. There are a million of you everywhere. And no matter how much time and effort you put into trying to get everyone to think you belong here, like your inner turmoil about who you are means you’re suddenly morphing into the king dick at this late date, I’m not fucking buying it. Say nature is a whore all you want, Kurt Cobain. I’m not fucking buying it.
In the end, your visit to your brother sums up everything about you I’ll ever need to know. You put your hands around his throat, and you let go. You should’ve squeezed, but you would never do that because if you squeezed, we’d all be robbed of the fantastic Murray brothers redemption story wouldn’t we, you weak condescending fuck? Wouldn’t fucking want that. But that’s why you’re a simpering skin-deep nobody living firmly and irrevocably in big brother’s shadow, and I’m a goddamn motherfucking sent from hell killer. Because you can’t let go. Send me to hell? Go fuck yourself.
Fuck off right back to Osaka or wherever the fuck you came from ’just before this’. Because when you’re long gone and trust me, you will soon be long gone, I will still be here, ICON Champion, or whatever…. the fuck else… I want… to be… — and I will not be led by you or anyone else…. you lavvy-heided wankstain… you craven, gutless, faint-hearted, panicky little cunt.
And in case you’re wondering…
That’s not a term of endearment where I’m from.
The last of the evening’s light had finally drifted off, and the droning sounds of the insects outside were easily heard through the open windows throughout the property’s first floor. Dan Ryan sat in this small ten-by-ten room, hunched in a corner, the light of his laptop screen the only thing breaking up the dimness of the room by now.
He listened to the sounds, the insects outside, the ticking clock on the wall, considering none of it and all of it in equal measure, not at all interested in filling up the passing time with anything but his own thoughts.
Dan looked across at the packed bag next to the bedroom door, hard to make out in the limited lighting, but he knew it was there where he’d dropped it before. It was just enough for the weekend, enough to be able to be prepared for anything that might come up at the arena, but light enough to just throw over his shoulder and go.
A light on the floor in the middle of the room went off again, buzzing around in small acentric circles. His cell phone was buzzing, the alarm going off to signify the buzzing of the door out front. He stood, walking over and looking down at it. The video was on, and the driver had rung the bell, then returned to his vehicle.
Bending over, he killed the video feed, then tossed the phone into the open bag as he approached the door. Throwing the bag over his shoulder, he crossed the hall, once again entering the front bedroom, where the sounds of scribbling could be heard. Cecilia was still working, working on what he did not know, but he was content to let her work out whatever it was she was working out. He had promised a judgment-free zone here, finally, with him, away from her mother. She wouldn’t have to pretend anymore, not to the Troys, not to trainers, not to anyone else. She would be free to be who she was, freedom she had never been afforded.
He walked in, just about halfway, and turned his head around the room as he looked at the small pieces of paper now covering most of the floor. He could see things written on some of them in crayon, some piece of a house, stick figures, or an abstract shape here and there. She heard the shuffle of his feet, but continued on, scribbling away something that only her mind could decipher.
“I can’t get it quite right… can’t seem to…”
She trailed off, and he looked again at the walls. They were covered in markings and colors, shapes, and symbols he didn’t understand until finally, his eyes rested on a framed drawing on the wall near the door where he’d come in.
He walked to it, looked at it closely. It was older, and it depicted what must have been a memory to a child’s eye, for it looked like it was drawn by a small child, perhaps five or six years old. A large house on one end of a woodland setting, complete with brown crayon-drawn tree trunks and scribbled out green leaves. A long driveway led up to a porch where two figures stood, one an adult, one a little girl based on the long hair and bow. At the end of the driveway, a long black car, and next to it, as if returning from a trip, a large figure, larger even than any human should be, towering almost over the house itself and looking down at the other two. Strikingly, the other adult figure had no facial expressions drawn on it at all, but the child had an exaggerated smile, excited at this return.
At the bottom, scrawled in red crayon were the words: “DADDY’S HOME”.
He stared at it, then turned his head back at his daughter.
She was looking him dead in the eyes. The scribbling had stopped, and her face had a blank expression on it. They held the look, and if anyone else had been in the room, a distinct chill would have overtaken them, because it held no emotion, no feeling, nothing but hard focused attention.
“Do you like it, daddy?”
She broke the silence, but the shape of her mouth didn’t change, no smile or frown appeared on her face; just dead, lifeless words.
He looked back, held it there, and finally, smiled.
“I love it.”
The smile wasn’t returned. Without a response, she turned back and began scribbling again, head bent over as she focused on her work.
“I’m making another. I’ll give it to you when you get back.”
He didn’t answer. It wasn’t necessary. Turning to leave, he looked at the hanging picture once more, and a deeply satisfying grin came over his face.
He shifted the strap of his bag on his shoulder and left.