Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

Posted on February 6, 2020 at 3:25 pm by Brenton Cross

Brenton Cross sits in a chair in the lobby of HOW Headquarters. He leans back, a leg crossed over the other with his arms crossed. A bit irritated from waiting a while, the best he can do is be entertained by the janitor’s mopping of the floor.

“Brenton!”

Brenton’s head turns to his left so he a suited man walking into the lobby. Brenton stands up, straight like a soldier to attention, it was just habit. The man he spoke with was pretty nerdy, a blue button down with a tie, covered by an awfully colored maroon vest. His glasses expanded his eyes under a balding head.

“Bad news. The promo room is booked for the day.”

“Well… shit,” answered Brenton.

“BUT! We do have a camera crew in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania! We thought it would be a good idea to get some B ROLL of the Groundhog Day events going on there, you could shoot a promo with them.”

“Have fun in Punxsutawney, Brenton!” says the receptionist.

Brenton turns around irritated.

“For your information, Hairdo, there is another major wrestling promotion interested in me,” replied Brenton.

“Yeah, that would be Geocities CWF!” the janitor says jokingly.

“Thanks, Janitor,” responds Brenton.

“Wait here, our new producer Rita will be joining you, and she may have some ideas on where to go with your promo. She’s really nice.”

Brenton heads out the door where a transportation van is waiting for him. Another man is sitting outside the van waiting for him.

“Hi, Brenton. I’m Larry, I’ll be your driver and cameraman.”

“Can you keep a secret, Larry. I’m probably leaving HOW. So this will probably the only time we promo together.”

“What’s wrong with HOW?”

“I could beĀ  wrestling for a promotion where my opponents promos actually had character, where they weren’t the same exact fucking thing my last opponent said. A little bit of substance would be nice. Hell, I could do a shitty unoriginal promo too. What do you think I’m doing here talking to you?” responds Brenton casually.

 

Later on in Punxsutawney, at a nice bed and breakast, covered blue with white shutters. The alarm clock flips to 6:00 AM.

“Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb
Babe
I got you babe.”

Brenton, lying under the blankets in bed arose to the sound of Sonny & Cher. He got out of bed wearing blue pajamas and headed for the bathroom to clean his face. The radio jockeys took over the song:

“The big question on everyone’s lips!”

“Their chapped lips,” the second DJ added.

“Do you think Phil will come out and see his shadow?”

“IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!” they shout in unison.

Brenton cleaned up, looked out the window in disgust and then left his room.

Brenton walked down the street, he turns the corner of a busy street.

“Brenton?! Heyyy Brenton?! Brenton?!”

A man crossing the street, dressed warm, sporting a fadora, glasses, and a brief case runs up to the Brenton.

“Brenton Cross?! I thought that was you!”

“Hi, how you doing, thanks for being a fan,” responds Brenton.

“Don’t tell me you don’t remember me, I sure as heck-fire remember you.”

“Not a chance,” says Brenton.

“NED! RYERSON!”

Brenton stands there not recognizing the man at all.

“Needledick Ned, Ned the Head, come on buddy, we went to wrestling school together! I did the whistling belly to back suplex for the talent show. Bing! Ned Ryerson, got an STD real bad almost didn’t graduate from wrestling school. Bing again!”

“Ned Ryerson?” responded the Brenton, unwillingly, still not remembering the man.

“BING!”

“Bing.” says Brenton. “So you turn pro?”

“No, I’m just a referee now.”

“Of course you are. Hey I’d love to sit here and chat, but I have a promo to do.”

“Don’t just go rip off a movie now!” exclaims Ned.

Brenton nods his head and smiles sarcastically. He walks off and steps into a giant pothole full over water, soaking his pant leg.

“Haha, watch out for that first step, its a doozy!” yells Ned.

At the celebration Larry and Rita are waiting for Brenton with the rest of the crew, taping the groundhog and ready for Brenton’s promo.

“You ready, Brenton?” says Rita smiling. “And in 3, 2, 1!”

“I stand here in Punxsutawney awaiting the arrival of Punxsutawney Phil, to see whether he’ll see his shadow or not, and tell us will we have a longer winter, or an early spring. What does this have to do with my match at Refueled? Absolutely nothing. Maybe its about tradition. Maybe it’s about repetition, or maybe its about foreshadowing. Will I win the Lee Best Invitational? Bear through the treacherous forecast ahead of me full of promising superstars, or will I see an early end. This week I have Joe Bergman, a former HOW Champion. It seems I’ve been pitted against the hardest, hell Max Kael is in the same group as me. One can only imagine, that no matter who I face, they will say the same thing as everyone else and play their promo off the time travel idea. Maybe Max will with hit us with some Bill and Ted, maybe Warrick Hill will be clever enough to reference Time Cop! When all is said and done, like everyone else, nobody has the brain capacity to truly understand what it is like to be me. In a place and time I really don’t belong… kind of a like Punxsu-fucking-tawney.”

Brenton walks off.

“What the hell is his problem?” says Larry to Rita.

Brenton heads back to the bed and breakfast. He declothes and goes to bed, closes his eyes and falls asleep.

 

“Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb
Babe
I got you babe.”

Brenton, lying under the blankets in bed arose to the sound of Sonny & Cher. He got out of bed wearing blue pajamas and headed for the bathroom to clean his face. The radio jockeys took over the song:

“The big question on everyone’s lips!”

“Their chapped lips,” the second DJ added.

“Do you think Phil will come out and see his shadow?”

“IT’S GROUNDHOG DAY!” they shout in unison.

Brenton looks around curiously. He makes his way over to the window and looks out to see it hasn’t snowed as forecasted. He gets changed and gets his belongings together so he can head to the airport to get to Refueled. He leaves the bed and breakfast and walks down the same street he did before.

“Brenton Cross?! I thought that was you!”

“Ned Ryderson?” asks Brenton.

“Bing! Right out of the box!”

“Will you excuse me, I’m not feeling that well.”

“Well funny you should mention your health.” Ned throws his arms up in an X shape.

“You’re a referee,” says Brenton.

“Bing again!”

“Yeah, I gotta go.”

Brenton walks into the road and steps into the water filled pothole again.

“Haha, watch out for that first step, its a doozy!” yells Ned.

Brenton runs into the park where again the Groundhog Day celebration is happening.

“Where you been?” asks Rita.

“I need someone to give me a good hard bodyslam.”

Rita picks Brenton up like he’s nothing and smashes him onto the ground.

“How’s that?” asks Rita.

“Can we talk for a second, I may be having a problem, I feel really weird.”

“Let’s just do this promo, in 3, 2, 1” says Rita.

“Well…. it’s Groundhog Day… again.” says Brenton. “And that can only mean I’m in Punxsutawney. Why would HOW’s resident time traveler have any reason to be here? No idea. Who am I facing this week…. Crash Rodriguez? This can’t be right? I mean, he was a good opponent, pretty much the first to talk about how I’m a ripoff of Back to the Future? You know what I need to go lay down.”

Brenton runs off.

“What the hell is his problem? says Larry.

Brenton runs to the bed and breakfast, up to his room and dozes off.

 

“Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb
Babe
I got you babe.”

Brenton, lying under the blankets in bed arose to the sound of Sonny & Cher. Brenton smashes the radio and jumps out of bed and looks out the window. No snow. He changes and runs outside down the very same street. Ned Ryderson runs up to him.

“Brenton?! Brenton Cross! I thought that was you!”

Brenton kicks Ned in the gut, grabs him by the head and smashes him into a parked car window knocking him out cold. He runs into the park to find Larry and Rita, BUT not first without stepping in that darn puddle.

“Okay and in 3,2,1”

“Hi HOW fans, this is Brenton Cross! You’re resident time traveler! Things have obviously gone awry on the timeline, because I seem to be stuck in a fucking loop! Let’s see who I am facing this week?” he looks at the cue cards, “Noah Hanson? HUH! You mean the guy who said I was a rip off of Back to the Future? Impossible! What is going on?! AHHHHH!”

Brenton runs off.

 

“Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb
Babe
I got you babe.”

Brenton, lying under the blankets in bed arose to the sound of Sonny & Cher. Brenton gets out of bed and looks out the window. No snow. He changes and runs outside down the very same street. Ned Ryderson runs up to him.

“Brenton?! Brenton Cross! I thought that was you!”

“NED!” yells Brenton. He grabs Ned and smashes his head off the curb busting his head open and leaves him to drown in the puddle. Brenton runs into the park to find Rita and Larry ready for his promo.

“Hey guys! Let’s do this! Brenton Cross here again! At the same place I was before, saying the same shit as always, my promo based off the liking of a beloved film! I can’t decipher my opponent, so this is the best I can possibly do! I mean, I do have a couple of wins and I’m kind of on a streak. The fate of the world is in my hands, but who gives a shit about all that? It doesn’t really matter, because no one is even listening. I’m your resident time traveler! That’s ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW.”

 

“Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb
Babe
I got you babe.”

Brenton gets out of bed, goes outside and stands in front of a fire truck and dies.

 

********

 

Brenton sits alone on the ground in a very vast open field. The grass is long and waves in the wind, few clouds in the sky, it is actually quite beautiful out. The winds rustles his hair and he breaths in the cool fresh air.

“I have to say, it’s nice to breath in air that’s not polluted with nuclear fallout. In my time, Joe, it is cautioned to carry around radiation detectors like modern day cellphones. Like this fresh air, comedy is another rare existence where I come from. A sense of humor is pretty much disrespectful when you’re constantly burying bodies. So I must say, thank you Joe Bergman. It’s been a while since I’ve had a laugh, and I can only remember from my youth what it was like to goof around. I’m glad to see that I still have it in me to be satirical like yourself. What I’m bothered by though is your clear underestimation of your opponent on Refueled. Your a former World Champion, Joe. Surely you are smart enough to take a look back and see your not the first person think it’s on par to try and get a leg up on me by referencing a time travel film. It was clever, the first five times I saw it. Maybe it’s rust. You’ve had some time off since losing the belt, and just like anyone else, you’re bound to have to shake some of that rust off getting back into all of this. ”

He stands up and walks around the field. Touching the tips of the overgrown fox tails.

“Like everyone else, you have absolutely no concept of time, and the consequences that come along with that. I get it, you and everyone else think I’m a joke. I’d put money that most of you think I’m just batshit crazy. Time travel is not possible, so let’s just patronize Cross and play into his psychosis so you can get a promo out that is semi-entertaining. The boss might like it. The fact is, you have no interest in winning this tournament, Joe, not like I do. If you lose, maybe you move onto an Icon Title run or something. If I lose, nobody will remember your Icon Title run, let alone your World Title run. What we’re standing on here is a future burial ground. 40 years from now, you have rows and rows of gravesites that make Arlington look like a picnic area. 40 years from now, we don’t have time for jokes, no time for satire, no time for humor. It’s kill or be killed. I think I like that state of mind even in our current time. I refuse to wake up every day with the same outcome in place any longer, Joe. Waking up knowing that people are performing actions, writing laws, making trades, flowing money, and lying. All the steps that lead to the utter destruction of us all. I’ll one day wake up to a morning where I have stopped all that from happening. You’re merely one of those steps, Joe. ”

He stops.

“This is where you lie in the future Joe, this is your plot. Just one of close to 6 billion people. I’m willing to sacrifice everything to stop that genocide. Spare your life. But in order to do that, to live, you’ll have to be beaten inches from your end. And that is what I will do to you, Joe. You’re resident Time Traveler.”