It’s a dark and dreary evening. Typical for this time of year. Yet another Refueled has just wrapped, moments ago. Instead of sitting in the arena enjoying a room full of heated air, I am walking through the cold night towards the awaiting taxi, ready to head back to the hotel. Once inside I tell the driver where to take me, but moments later I smell something in the air, and next thing I know, I’m enveloped in darkness.
I’m not sure how long it was, but I slowly begin to wake up. Finding myself still in the back of the taxi, music plays throughout the cab that would cause dogs to howl. I realize that the car is slowing to a crawl, shaking my head to clear the cobwebs. Wherever it is I was to be taken, we must have arrived.
Confusion on my face, I look out the window and sigh in complete and utter defeat. With no other options before me, I find myself exiting the cab at the bustling Port of Chicago of all places. Massive boats are docked all over, scattered throughout with smaller vessels here and there. The one section of the port that I was instructed to go to is surrounded by a massive chain link fence. Easily 14 feet high, razor wire along the top, dare I say, impregnable.
However, easily following the path I find myself on, I soon approach a manned security checkpoint, and after a quick scan of my ID by a very bored, yet friendly security guard, I’m shown through without any fuss imaginable. Heck, I didn’t even get the chance to fantasize what I would have to do if they turned me away!
Past the security gate, and the waving guard, I clutch my duffle bag tighter to my shoulder and make my way towards the massively sized USS Octane birthed just down the way. With every step closer to the massive structure on water the feeling of foreboding increases within me, causing my shoulders to slowly slump, and the smile on my face to falter.
I don’t know if there was some sort of (You Sunk My) Battleship experience gone wrong in my childhood, or what, but I’ve never been a fan of ships, boats, submarines, seados, dinghies, even those inflatable floaties drive me crazy. I can’t help but wonder, with every step I take, why was I being forced aboard the Octane two weeks before March To Glory was to take place.
Hell, I’m going to be the only one here for the next two weeks! What am I supposed to do? I can only masturbate so many times before even that becomes boring and repetitive.
“Wake up.” the monotonous tone of Laser breaks through my fuddled sleeping brain, causing my eyes to slowly open.
Seeing the massive sized mountain of a man standing ominously over you while you sleep is not something I recommend as far as wakeups go. I groan out in frustration as all I want to do is go back to sleep, but the large man is having none of it, as he nudges me in the lips with the business end of an electric toothbrush. Dear Lord I hope that’s new… Judging by the discoloring of the bristles, I think it’s safe to assume the Lord isn’t here to listen to my prayers right now. Must be busy sleeping, probably in an actual fucking bed too, the lucky bastard.
Last night after climbing aboard the USS Octane, I was shown to the stern of the ship. Before last night I didn’t know where the stern was. Instead of a nice comfortable bed, I was shown to a yolk yellow sleeping bag, lying on the deck. Horror after horror, is this some sort of foreshadowing bullshit for the outcome to March To Glory?
Kicking and struggling I climb free from the sleeping bag that faintly smells of pee, glaring into the dead eyes of Laser the whole time. If he was intimidated by my baleful look, his smirking face was doing a good job of hiding it.
Wearing a uniform three sizes too small, which causes me to think back to a short time ago when I, myself, was three sizes too big, I reach out and snatch the toothbrush from his gnarly hands and follow him as he leads me towards the bow of the ship, another term I had no clue about.
The ship is nearly abandoned, which would make perfect sense, considering the show doesn’t start for another two weeks. Hell, the only person I’ve seen so far, besides Laser, was a crewmate walking through the halls with a cup of coffee in hand, and a mouth wide open as he yawns. I still can’t understand why I am here.
Forty-five minutes full of back breaking, mindless swabbing of the deck I suddenly realize why I am here.
“Bobby Dean, I can’t believe you made it! Is it Christmas time in March or what!?” the very familiar voice of the COOLest person on Earth calls out, causing me to jerk my head up.
There he was, walking towards me with the biggest grin I have ever seen on his face. I was there when he won the tag team titles on more than one occasion. I was there when he won a significant amount of money from a scratch off. I was even there when he had his first three-some, and yet, I have never seen him smile bigger than at that moment.
Steve may think that I hate him, but the truth is, the man approaching me, with a bag of peanuts tucked comfortably under his arm, is the one man I loathe more than anyone!
“I asked, and I pleaded,” he continues. “I begged, and I prayed to the GODs above! ‘Please,’ I said, ‘please grant me this one final wish.’”
He begins to chuckle as he gracefully drops onto his butt, his legs crossed Indian style. The sheer beauty of the move makes me irate, imagining the spectacle I would have made trying to get into a similar position, with a lot less grace.
“And what do you know,” he tears into his bag of peanuts causing quite a few to spill forth onto the deck, causing Laser to scowl. But I notice the scowl is not in Cancer’s direction, rather in MY direction. As if *I* were the one to spill the shells there.
Without another word, Cancer Jiles sits there watching me as if this were the greatest day of his life. I can honestly say it was one of the worst days of mine, and it had only just begun.
Cue the Carpenters “We’ve Only Just Begun”
Time. It’s a funny thing. When you wish time would speed up, it drags. When you want to make it last forever, it’s over in five seconds. I hear that is a common complaint with Harrison *ba dum tss*
Yet, kneeling there on the deck with an ever grinning Cancer Jiles watching me break my back with a toothbrush in my hands, I know that time is crawling. Luckily, I know Cancer will soon break the maudlin, because if I know Cancer, I know he can’t simply sit and enjoy something in silence.
In 3… 2…
“I bet you’re wondering why you are here, huh? I’ll tell you, but just this once. You are here because I wanted it so. I want to watch you suffer with my own two eyes, and I want to break you so badly the thought of jumping overboard is the only thought you think of.”
He stops for a moment to give his words a chance to season before continuing to stir the pot. All the while, my anger is simmering to a boil.
“You’re here because I gave up everything to get you here. Your feeble, peanut sized brain couldn’t even comprehend the climb I had to make to ensure we had this time together. I will tell you, because of this, I will be paying extra diligence to make sure I get what I want.”
With a very lackadaisical toss, another peanut shell lands in a spot I’ve already swabbed about three times and counting. And it only lands there, once it rebounds off the back of my head first. It wouldn’t be the first one to do so, either.
But with a voice derived of complete condescension he calls out, “And you missed a shell. Tell him, Laser.”
I’m not really surprised by the antics of Jiles, I’ve been aligned with him for so long, I know the extremes he will go to for his pound of flesh. I am, however, surprised by Laser, who demands “Scrub.”
I could tell, Cancer was loving every second of this!
“You heard him. Scrub, Bob. If you don’t, I’ll call…” his focus shifts from me to Laser, and he aloofly asks the Mongoloid, “Hey Big L, what’s that guy’s name again?”
Don’t say, please don’t say it. I know it’s a wasted effort, but I’m still frustrated when Laser responds “Harrison.” It’s almost as if the whole bit were scripted.
“Yeah, that’s him.” he chuckles. “Or I’ll call Garrison and he can come down from his new crew quarters. Your call.” The chuckling begins again, this time he almost chokes on a peanut, which would certainly be one way of answering my prayers! “Tell me you treacherous pig, does he hit as hard as I do? You know, like Sinead O’Connor, that nothing compares to my boot.”
It’s a funny question. Not a haha funny question, but rather an ironic funny question.Because if I were to answer it honestly, I would not be able to honestly claim Cancer OR Stever Harrison as the hardest hitter I’ve come across. It would obviously be M…
“You do not speak. You listen.” he calls out with the upmost confidence, causing me to bite my tongue before I blurt out exactly what I was thinking. He continues, “Now, you heard the man. Scrub. Show me that bold ambition that got you by Shell’s kid. Get in deep between them cracks, and not the one in your ass.” he leans in, and whispers in my ear, “I want to see the same guy who looked me dead in the eyes and refused me my greatest accomplishment.”
I glare back at him with all the menace I feel at the moment, which is a substantial amount!
“Close, but that’s not him.” he scoots away, and while doing so, flicks another peanut shell at me. Surprise, surprise, it was with total luck that he was able to hit me right in the eyeball. I am bowled over, clutching my eye as Laser can be heard laughing like a maniac who routinely enjoys watching Youtube videos of people falling and breaking a bone.
“There will be none of that.” Cancer surprises me as he scolds Laser quite firmly. “Bobby Dean belongs to me. At least until this boat finds Lady Liberty. He is my last meal and no one else’s.”
I swear it wasn’t me, but the sound of a fart emanates amongst us, which causes all three of us to go silent. Each looking at the other, with me holding a hand over my salty sullied eye. But it’s not long before the two of them simply stare at me.
I sigh. What else can I do in this situation? Hell, at this point, I wouldn’t put it past EITHER of them to let one rip and simply blame me, to further my humiliation. I simply put my nose back to the grindstone, and put the bristles of the electric toothbrush back to the deck.
“That’s what I thought.” Jiles calls out with confidence, as if he has already won at life. “The Bandits might be dead, Bob, but you and I will forever be on life support. No matter what.” Another peanut shell goes flying from my old buddy’s direction. “You better fucking hope, and pray to GOD himself, who as it turns out isn’t too far away so maybe he will hear you…”
He pauses dramatically I would assume, as I refuse to look in his direction.
“HA! Right. Like he would listen to you.” he finishes triumphantly. “But, like I was going to say, you better hope Mike escapes first, Bob. I’ll tell you that. You better hope I don’t get the chance to run his loverboy ass up and down, and all around that cage.” the prick snorts, arrogantly. “You better hope I can’t gas him out, and he starts to wonder how much he’ll have left in the tank for Danny Darko.”
“You better hope that amidst all of my running, and jumping, and prancing about like there are vines hanging from the top of Garden and my fucking name is George of the Jungle, that I don’t happen to find another chance to get my gun off.” I finally happen to look in his direction, and what I see is a grown man, looking down the barrel of his leg, with his foot aimed in my direction, as if he were lining up a sniper rifle. Hard not to be impressed by his dexterity. “Cause then it’s over. And then, the first person I get to face as World Champion is you.”
He laughs, but his words register in my brain. The toothbrush goes silent for a moment.
“Oh yes, Bobby Dean, my beautiful bastard of a friend. Make no mistake we’re gonna have some fun on this trip. I promise you that. If that fun becomes too much for you feel free to jump the fuck overboard. You might make it. You do look like a floatation device in that jumper. Until then, fucking scrub.”
His words begin to fade, his insults no longer hitting as hard as they were seconds before.
Me? Vs. Jiles? For a World Title? A title that Cancer hasn’t even won yet!?
Not only will he have to beat Mike (insert laughing hysterical emoji here), but, I would also have to beat Steve Harrison…
I think I mentioned this once before, but it bears repeating. You would think Steve, that I would hate you.
Let’s be honest, if I should hate anyone, it should be you shouldn’t it?
From the moment you signed the contract and debuted here in High Octane you have been trying to push my buttons. Using my name every chance you could to elevate yourself. Making your jokes, always with me as your punchline. Making a mockery of my name in some lame attempt that people would then remember yours. Hoping that the more jokes you tell at my expense, the more eyes you will have on you.
All the while I haven’t said one word about you. Why? Because you are a gnat. You are an insignificant gnat, whose only job is to annoy me, it would seem. Sadly, you couldn’t even do that with any amount of success. That is, up until the moment you attacked me, mere seconds after I was able to secure my first victory in 2021.
A win over Sutler Kael, which you try to demean for me, but fail to realize that it wasn’t about Sutler Kael so much as it was about me finally winning! And I hate to ask, but I am truly curious, do YOU have a victory over Sutler Kael by chance?
I’m asking honestly, because I don’t have a clue who you have beaten. People don’t tend to pay much attention to the gnats until it’s time to put them down.
You’ve gone after the Bandits all the while claiming I’ve been ducking you, when honestly, you’ve never even asked for a match with me! Not a single time! You then act like Lee brought you into the Best Alliance for the sole purpose of beating me, when in fact *I* am THE gnat in Lee’s visionless eyes. I’m the bottom man on the totem pole Steve. If the Janitor asked to have a match with me, Lee would probably grant it.
Hear that Stevens, you could probably get a match with me if only you asked!
So stop lying. The truth is, facing me has never been your goal. Why? Because if you beat me, you can no longer use me as the premise for your jokes. It’d be redundant at that point to make me your fodder, like kicking a man when he’s down. If you can’t beat me at March To Glory, your routine would still be ruined, because well, you had the chance to put your money where your mouth was, and you came up short.
I would think you would have a better use of your time, rather than make fun of me, you could use your time to come up with any myriad of excuses.
Maybe you weren’t fully recovered from your ordeal with Dan Ryan? Maybe you were out celebrating your acceptance into the Best Alliance, never realizing that they would let just about anyone in there. Case in point, Doozer…
Saying that, the irony is not lost on me. Doozer being a Bandit and all. But according to you the Bandits were a joke. So what does that say about the BA that not only did they accept Doozer, but they accepted YOU!? You couldn’t even get the role as voice of Cardboard Dan, no matter how many times you asked!
Listen, like most of my opponents you’ve found yourself in a lose/lose predicament. I would feel sorry for you, but I’m suddenly realizing that you are a fucked up individual, and instead of my pity you deserve my sympathy!
You’re simply a damaged boy who can never please his father. Hallucinating because you’ve realized no one is there to listen to your problems, so you create someone who can’t escape from your mind numbing drivel. Can you make a hallucination want to kill themselves? You should ask Miss Lawson the next time you dream her up, you know, for her safety.
I’ve been forced to listen to you in a short dose, I can only imagine the pain you’ve put her through!
Day after day the torture continues.
I don’t know what I did to deserve this, or even what Cancer did to deserve me doing this for him. But I swear I’m going to find out, because whatever it was I will either never do it again, or make sure I’m the one with the bag of peanuts next time! As the days pass, a random thought begins to percolate in the back of my small brain.
Last time Cancer was on this ship, in my shoes, with an electric toothbrush in hand. His back on fire. His ass numb. His very soul being crushed by the monotonous routine with no end in sight. Well, he came seconds away from winning the World Title. Honestly, if I hadn’t messed with him that night, who knows, maybe he would have won!?
I know I should feel guilty by that, but at the moment all I can do is compare my current situation with his. Because, hell, as we all know the world revolves around Beautiful little me! Could all of this meaningless hard work be preparing me for my match with Steve Harrison? Should I start a sea shanty right now? Should I recreate everything he did to help my chances against a guy like Harrison…
Well, Harrison is no Mike Best.
But what could it hurt? Hell, with my recent luck I could use every little help I can get!
My thoughts are suddenly interrupted as yet another peanut comes flying in and bouncing off of my forehead. Cancer stands there with that ever lasting shit eating grin of his.
“No day dreaming, get back to work!” he says with a sing song cadence, as if he were having the time of his life.
My head slumps down, I finger flick the small peanut off the side of the boat and into the water to join the hundreds of other little flotsam peanuts already there. Suddenly the pain in my back begins to recede. The feeling in my ass cheeks begins to return. I begin to think towards March To Glory not as my final punishment, but with a sliver of hope. Could I be looking at the beginning of a streak!?
A streak!? ME!? Hell the only streak I know of involves removing my clothes!