A secretary’s crossed legs, pantyhose into a sharp pointed heel, gently rocking in nervous anticipation.
A “plop” from a water cooler, a silent bomb ready to disrupt the silence.
Just a nice calm day at the waiting room of Lee Best’s office. There’s a giant portrait of him behind the desk, 20 feet high. So, pretty sure it’s his office.
And calm it would have remained, if not for the thunderous crack of the front door being kicked open. Standing there is a green haired wide eyed maniac with disheveled clothing and sweat pouring from every pore, HOW star High Flyer tries to wave the Secretary down, before just walking toward her. He flops onto the front desk with a wet thud, leaning on the edge for support. He reaches up and tugs at his loose ill fitting bow tie.
The secretary spins her chair, to give Flyer the cold shoulder.
High Flyer: Hi! Lady! I was waving you down. Me. Hi. Look, you must be Lee’s secretary. Or Lee’s secretary’s secretary. Listen…
High Flyer takes a flier from his back pocket and slams it on the desk.
High Flyer: I just wanted to thank Lee for the big opportunity. And I mean, it is an honor to have the main event of this upcoming show against Steve Solex for the HOTv championship. But I just thought… I thought it would have maybe been against Sutler… In fact that’s why I’m here, is there a chance someone down the peon food chain made a mistake and printed the wrong run sheet? No? Let me talk to him real quick. Is he in? I’m sure he’d rather see the new World champ take on one of his deceased father’s greatest foes in the main event of HOW TV. I mean, that sells better than me fighting a bad Max Kael impression.
Off the non reaction, Flyer throws his arms up in submission.
High Flyer: I get it, I know. I know. Lee Best doesn’t make mistakes… but maybe he did? Just this once?
Without looking up, the secretary starts to file her nails.
High Flyer: You’re right. You’re right. Listen. Maybe we can just check and make sure. Is Lee in?
She doesn’t move, but continues to file.
High Flyer: Don’t… don’t you have to check?
She sighs. She leans over the desk and looks down the hallway. She shrugs.
Secretary: He’s not in.
Incredulous, Flyer looks down the hall, scratches the soft spot of his temple, and tilts his head toward the Secretary.
High Flyer: You shrugged. I saw you shrug.
She shrugs again.
High Flyer: There it was again.
Secretary: You can certainly take a seat and wait for him, if you’d like. Just… do it over there please?
High Flyer throws up his hands, making that childish entitled “Gah!” sound as he does. He walks over to the nearest loose chair. Flyer grabs it by the back and then drags is across the floor, making loud screeches and no doubt scratching the rich… marble? We’ll go with marble. Something classy no doubt.
High Flyer lifts the chair off the ground NOW, and then slams it into place in the corner. He then PLOPS down into it sighing as he does. He crosses his arms over his chest. After a moment, not even five seconds, he starts to fidget. He looks around. He looks at his watch. He picks out his phone, an early 2000s flip phone. He looks around again, this time startled, but then shrugs it off.
From this chair in the waiting room of Lee Best’s office, Jack Harmen proceeds to do seated knee lifts, while still wearing those metal weights tied around his calves.
As the secretary tries to go back to her magazine, Flyer starts to grunt, and groan, sweating from his makeshift workout. He then shouts from across the room.
High Flyer: Hey. Do you know who I am?
He starts to shadow box in between reps.
High Flyer: I’m High Flyer.
She flips a page in her magazine. As disinterested as she is in the magazine, she’s even moreso for this conversation.
High Flyer: I’m one of the best professional wrestlers on the planet.
Secretary: Doubt it.
High Flyer: Doesn’t matter. I’ll show it. You know what? Screw this. I don’t need to tell Lee Best thank you. I’m gonna do him one BETTER! I’m going to go show him how much I appreciated this opportunity in the ring! And make the best of it!
The secretary doesn’t respond.
High Flyer: You’re right. You’re always right. But yeah. We should definitely take that seat.
High Flyer gets up, nods toward the secretary, picks up his chair, and walks out the front door.
Stealing a chair from Lee Best’s waiting room…
… presumably to strike someone else with it later.
I’ve taken these weights off once since I fought Lester. Doing so before wrestling Steve Solex will give me the advantage I need to be faster than I’ve ever been.
That’s just a taste of what I have planned. See, I’m a strategist.
A lot of people just look at me and write me off as crazy. They write me off as too small. They write me off as a has been.
See, that’s where I thrive. That’s where I like to be. I like to see people think they have the advantage. You know those old poker stories? Where if you don’t know who the fish is at a table, it’s you? Yeah, well, at high level games, it doesn’t work like that. In poker, like in wrestling, when you get to the level we do, when you’re battling it out with experts rather than common fools… listen, this may be giving my tricks away, but whatever. It’s the grandest stage of them all, the global scale of entertainment and combat sports fused together unrivaled by any, name a better place than HOW to impart my life philosophy.
When your opponent is overconfident… great things can happen.
The old adage, that anything can happen in that squared circle? Well, that’s me.
In one of those posh Los Angeles houses with their patented high ceilings and hardwood floors, High Flyer stands stroking his chin, admiring an extremely large oil painting of himself, probably circa 2005. He nods, smiling. He walks over, climbs up the ladder set up next to it, and pulls out a measuring tape. Holding one edge on the top lip of the painting, Harmen walks back down the ladder, and brings the tape down to the base.
He turns. Sitting about five feet from him is an elderly Asian man, who sits quietly.
Flyer’s nostrils flare once, uncontrollably.
High Flyer: What did I tell you?
Painter: Good? Yes?
High Flyer: I said TWENTY FEET JIN! TWENTY! Not nineteen foot seven inches!
Painter: We use the metric system.
High Flyer: Screw the metric system!
Painter: But… there is… so much empty space at the top… you are a small man.
High Flyer: YOU TAKE THAT BACK! You know what?
High Flyer reaches down, pulls out gasoline, and soaks the bottom of the painting. He then flips open a matchbox. As the painter protests, Flyer flicks alight the flame and tosses it onto the canvas.
High Flyer: Now nobody gets ANYTHING.
The canvas quickly catches and a hold etches out from the bottom center outwards. After a few moments, only the frame remains.
High Flyer tosses the can of gasoline so it clatters across his floor.
High Flyer: Go home, and MAKE IT AGAIN!
He storms off, as the camera follows him.
High Flyer: That’s my future HOW Hall of Fame Portrait. After I beat Steve Solex for the HOTv, I can add the championship to my shoulder! I’m sure they have twenty feet oil paintings in their Hall of Fame facility… unless they have twenty five feet… No. Stupid. Be confident. Bold. This place OWES you. You’re a LEGEND. You’re High Flyer, the greatest cruiserweight in the world. I tattooed that on my BODY cause it’s TRUTH, then, now, forever. Of course they’re gonna put you in their Hall of Fame one day.
High Flyer walks through a living room, and a white upper middle class family sits around the television, mom, dad, 2 ½ kids. The dad stands up, shielding the wife from the Lunatic Wildcard.
Man: What are you doing. This is our house!
High Flyer stops. He looks to the left and sees a family portrait of the same family. He then looks to the right, where he sees a growling shitzu, He looks back at the family.
High Flyer: This is not a “Funny Games” situation. Unless that’s your kink.
Man: Get out before we call the cops!
It’s now, when the smoke alarms finally go off.
High Flyer: My name is Shawn Kutter.
High Flyer nods to the family, and quickly makes his escape.
Why a man who commits so many crimes dyes his hair a deep and visible green is beyond this narrator.
Maybe I am old and crazy. Maybe it’s just the surface level that matters. The version of myself I’ve presented since faltering to Connor Fuse. But remember, I wanted to propel him to the future, to fight Mike Best for the World Championship.
In the end, the obstacle changed for Conor, but he’s well on his way to our goal.
And now, Dan Ryan? Gone. Lindsey Troy? GONE.
With them out, that makes everything ten times easier. They can’t stop me now.
I don’t have the burdens of a failed Best Alliance hanging over me anymore. And if Steve wants to try to take me out because of my past association with the aforementioned LOSERS, get right for how Troy slighted him or whatever, go right ahead with yet ANOTHER delusion. If Lee Best wanted me gone, he’d have given me my papers long ago. I play a key role here, and I’ve been quietly amassing my power to leverage it in just the right way to get EXACTLY, what I want.
That starts Saturday with me smashing the chair from Lee Best’s waiting room against your stupid moustache.
Well, actually, it started two weeks ago when I woke up and kicked Lester Moregrimes into last year.
I’m going to take your championship from you Steve. I’m not taking anything for the 214, wherever those idiots have gone, good riddance, I hate them. I’m not taking anything to take it away from the Best Alliance.
I’m taking it from you, Steve, because I can. Because it’ll be FUN! So when you lose the championship without ever defending it, it won’t be because you’re old. Or because you’re crazy. Or because you’re getting reckless. Because I’m all those things too. The difference is, you were never and will never be the man I am. Because I know who’s in control. My voices suggest Steve, they only suggest, possibilities, probabilities honestly, but possibilities only. In the end, I always decide. But you, and your rambling, your luchador mask… as you see the grey hairs enter and curl across your actually very nice moustache, I lied earlier, I was just jealous. But as your prized ‘stache turns into white whiskers, as your muscles wither and your will decays, your mind split… you’ve distracted yourself.
That’s when the locomotive hits.
You’re realizing now, at this very moment, you can never be THE man.
But maybe Shawn can…
Good luck finding yourself. Hope it’s worth losing the HOTv.