It’s a weird thing, to have a twenty five year career relegated to playing spoiler pre-pay per view. To have a few opportunities thrown your way, only to come up short. To be given the keys to the kingdom, only to lose them in the ocean of talent that is High Octane.
I remember when things were a lot easier for a man like me. When I could show up, do my backflips, smile for the kids, throw a snowball into the crowd and lap up the praise. Wheel down a snow cone cart full of weapons and tricks and toys and just relish the environment of chaos and destruction. Now, I’m just a shell of the man I once was. Not even booked on Pay Per view. Not given the opportunity to initiate payback on those who’ve wronged me… not even wanting said payback. Losing your tag partner without a batted eye lash. Pretty much forgotten about Just…
If there was a definition of superfluous, my HOW career might be the image for it.
Honestly, I’m not sure what I can do to shake myself free from this malaise. I tried to change things up. I played it fast and loose. I fell into family drama. I fell into emotional trauma. I started hearing voices and shut them out. I’ve tried the usual tricks, the unusual tricks, and yet here I am.
Now, I’m the gatekeeper. The low bar people clear before they get their chance to shine. To fight in Alcatraz. To take on the BESTs of the world.
I don’t know what I want… but I don’t want this.
Jack Harmen is doing a set on some heavy bags. Mostly kicks, a few spins with extra velocity. The thuds echo throughout the empty training center. The Odessa Dungeon. A small little hovel of pain and brilliance, helmed by the smartest lawyer turned wrestler in the business. Plus, with all that encyclopedia in her noggin, she head butts really hard. Harmen doesn’t pay her any attention as she exits the office, her ruby high heels click and clacking as she walks toward.
Jack just grunts toward her as a sign of acknowledgement but doesn’t depart from his work out.
Mary-Lynn: Let me manage you.
Jack Harmen: No.
Jack kicks the bag extra hard, so it rattles and a little bit of dry wall starts flaking out from the ceiling.
Mary-Lynn: C’mon. Whattya got to lose?
One last kick, sends the bag flying but it tetters back like a pendulum. Harmen swiftly dodges out of the way.
Jack Harmen: I lost everything I ever had in HOW… losing you? That’d break me.
Mary-Lynn: Yeah, but I’m not even there NOW. So, you already lost me, just like you’ve lost yourself. I know you Jack. I see it… everyday. You’re aimless. You’re directionless right now. I can help shut out the noise, give you focus. Push you toward your goals. Sign the right contracts. Grease the right wheels. Make things.. Happen.
Jack Harmen: Pass.
Jack continues his work out. Mary-Lynn reaches out and grabs the heavy bag, so there’s additional resistance.
Mary-Lynn: Well, if you won’t have me at your side.
Mary-Lynn pulls out a manilla envelop, and slams it into Jack’s chest. Harmen looks confused, and starts to undo the innards.
Harmen’s eyes bulge when he sees the top print.
“HOW CONTRACT. PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER.”
Harmen sneers, throwing the paperwork clear across the room so it scatters on the cold concrete. Mary-Lynn just rolls her shoulders and goes to pick up the displaced papers.
Jack turns to a nearby workbench and picks up a towel, wiping the sweat from his brow.
Jack Harmen: Alright. You wanna manage me that badly?
Harmen takes a few steps forward and then charges, yakuza kicking the heavy bag clear off the wall mount so it thuds on the ground.
He takes a single turn to Mary.
Jack Harmen: Then let’s go to work.
Mary-Lynn smile just grows, subtly at first until it encompasses her entire face. She pulls out ANOTHER manilla envelop, and hands it to Jack.
Jack Harmen: This what I think it is?
Mary-Lynn: Everything I could find about John Mckinney.
Jack Harmen: Thanks Red.
Mary-Lynn: Also, you owe me for that heavy bag.
**MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC. Jack Harmen stands in front of a red brick wall. This time, over his shoulder, dressed to the nines in a red skirt suit and emerald framed ruby lens glasses is Mary-Lynn Mayweather.**
Jack Harmen: Welcome to the jungle Mckinney, we got fun and games. We got ever–
Mary-Lynn taps him on the shoulder.
Jack Harmen: Axl Rose just sent me a cease and desist letter. Really?
Jack Harmen: WHATEVER! Axl Rose can sit and spin and so can this new hire. John, if that IS your real name (Mary-Lynn rolls her eyes), you better prepare for the unmitigated violence that you’re about to expose yourself to. To a den of inequity and horror the likes of which has been unforeseen. You maybe hot FYRE elsewhere, hell, I was, but here? Everyone’s on equal playing ground. Anything can happen at any time, and for me, my climb back to the top starts with YOU.
Harmen claps his hands in front of him.
Jack Harmen: That being said, you made it here, so you’re talented. Not gonna overlook you. I had my lawyer here dredge up every little iota of information she could about you. I know your game, your strengths, your weaknesses… and I plan to exploit them all. And with my talented protege, the smartest mind in the game by my side… plan all you want… the result will be the same. A locomotive to the brain. See you at Refueled.
Harmen cracks his knuckles as Mary-Lynn lowers her emerald shades before the scene fades to black.