ILLUSIONS

ILLUSIONS

Posted on April 29, 2021 at 12:15 am by Arthur Pleasant

 THIS IS A FUCKING DISCLAIMER
The following flashback is a reenactment from events that transpired over fifteen years ago. Since there were no cameras recording this shit back then, we felt there was no other way to tell this part of Arthur Pleasant’s story than to hire some actors on the down-low. Like we’re talking under the table and shit. Sorry to ruin the “immersion” for you assholes but we’re not here to cater to your every want and need.

All actors seen are paid for by goRe productions and receive such payment through various currencies, such as cryptowhatevers and half-eaten bologna sammiches. Any inquiries about unsafe working conditions for any children or animals or completely unrelated sex acts seen throughout this video may refer to the ‘X’ button on the upper right-hand corner of their browser window (left red button for Safari dickheads) and see themselves out the door with the rest of the fucking snowflakes from today’s society.

If you REALLY REALLY REALLY want to make a goddamn inquiry about something and continue to pester our goRe hotline (1-800-THE-GORE), then send all correspondence to leebest AT howrestling DOT COM. No, that’s NOT HO Wrestling as in HO’s wrestling in bikinis and sucking dicks in magic tricks. The latter job is reserved for the entire Grapplers Local 214. Why there’s not an extra W in the domain name, none of us here at the goRe really know. Nor do we really care. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Enjoy! (Or kill yourself. Whichever is fine.)  

|XxXxXxX|


“That’s right, friends. All you need to do is instill fear and be willing to hurt people and you can get whatever you want. The only true power is violence.”–
Santa Claus, South Park


Utqiaġvik, Alaska
July 3rd, 2006

Even in what the rest of the United States may call ‘the dog days of summer’, the cold and dry polar climate of Utqiaġvik, Alaska, can be an unforgiving monster. If one were to throw in some of its notoriously long-lasting fogs, where they can scoop it up and stir it with a spoon in a bowl like it’s hot ham and potato soup, and of course the never-ending days of “The Midnight Sun” – where you have approximately eighty days of sunlight between Mid-May and early August – then you have one of the most unique habitats in the entire world. Certainly in North America, anyway.

For a young, introverted pre-teenage boy? This is the norm. 

While kids in other parts of the country might be playing football outside or swimming in the neighborhood pool with their friends, Arthur Pleasant looks down at the cryptogram puzzle in front of him. A slime green Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles number two pencil is pointed upwards in his left hand while his right elbow indents onto the bed and his palm holds his head up via the right side of his cheek. Arthur’s eyes scan the codex of letters underneath the blank spaces on page number four of his spiral bound, fluorescent colored puzzle book. Hesitating for all of a nanosecond, he pencils in the letter ‘A’ atop the letter ‘J’. Seconds later, he takes the butt-end of the pencil and erases what he previously scrawled.


“Hmm. That wasn’t right. Okay, so… if ‘G’ equals ‘T’, and ‘J’ equals ‘E’…”, he says to no one but himself before trailing off.

 __  ___  E_____E  T_E  ___E_ __  ___E  ___   _____   ________    __ _____    T___ ___    _____  _E  _ET __EE


With no television turned on or music playing from a radio in the background, Arthur happily kicks his feet back and forth on his ruffled bed in a relaxing silence. The only noises that can be heard are the ticking sounds from a Darth Maul clock across the bedroom. Funny how multigenerational Star Wars is, isn’t it?

Continuing to look down with an intense focus about him on the partially filled in cryptogram beneath his eyes, Arthur’s pupils contract and nostrils flare while these facial ingredients cook up quite the revelatory recipe.

“AH! Yeah! That has to be ‘the’! There’s a ‘GSJ’ there and another ‘GSJ’ there. Yeah, that has to be it! So, that means…” he trails off once again through his excitement.

The tip of his little red tongue pokes out from the left corner of his closed mouth as he fills in some more letters. According to the codex, ‘S’ now equals ‘H’.


__  ___  E_____E  THE  ___E_ __  ___E  ___   _____   ________ __ H_T_E_   THE__ ___    _____  _E  _ET __EE

That’s when he heard them downstairs.

“I KNOW YOU FUCKING BEAT HIM!! I SAW THE BRUISES ON HIS FUCKING BACK AND ARMS!!” she says in a muffled, distraught tone through the walls and flooring of the home’s heavily insulated structure.

“Oh now baby, come on. I told you before that he had an accident! I swear! Not my fault that the stupid kid is a klutz. I mean, it’s literally not my fault since he’s not even my kid. Hahaha.” his Father laughs in a distinctly intimidating baritone voice.

Arthur ignores the fight downstairs that his adopted parents Roy and Lorretta Pleasant were having in the kitchen. He always tried to block them out whenever they started with their loud bullshit. Kind of like what the entire HOW roster does whenever Zion or Hollywood speak. No use getting involved in something he can’t control, right? Ever the pragmatist, even at the impressionable and discoverable age of twelve, Arthur is. Besides…if he got involved? Roy would just beat him even harder when she wasn’t around.

“Why did we even take him in then?” a still muffled Loretta says. There is a brief silence before she continues, “You’ve never shown a single second of interest in being his Father since day one. Yet you agreed that adoption was our best option. Why did you even agree?!”

His tone turns frighteningly calm.

“Because, Loretta. I just wanted you to shut the fuck up about having a kid, you BROKEN ass cunt.”

Sobbing. Hard, heaved from the chest sobbing follows directly after this mentally abusive statement. For several minutes this is all Arthur can hear as he desperately tries to figure out his bedside puzzle.

“If ‘G’ equals ‘T’, ‘J’ equals ‘E’, and ‘S’ equals ‘H’…” he says to no one but himself before trailing off. Putting pencil to paper, he started writing ‘O’s’ wherever there were ‘T’s and ‘L’s’ on top of ‘U’s’.  

__  _OU  E_____E  THE  _O_E_ O_  _O_E  ___   __O__   THE ___U__O_  __ H_T_E_   THE__ _OU    _____  _E  _ET __EE

“Aww. What, are you gonna cry about it now? That’s all you do anymore. My stupid fucking bitchy slit of a wife has feeeeeeeelings. Fuck you and your tears. I bathe in them, bitch. Cook my dinner.”

Something inside of him triggers. This… monster… inside of him. Never in his entire life has Arthur ever felt something like this. 

Gently putting the Ninja Turtles pencil and cryptogram down on his bed, Arthur stands up from the edge of where he had been comfortably laying for hours on end.

Getting down on his hands and knees, Arthur pulls out the shoebox he has stuffed under there just in case Roy gets drunk and tries to beat on him again. Removing the lid, he then reaches in and calmly, cooly, and collectedly withdraws the .38 Special.


|XxXxXxX|

HAHAHAHA. Just when it was getting good, too!

Looks like I’m doing something right if Lee Best has his comically small banana hammock in a tight little bunch after I stepped foot on the USS Snake Eater or whatever the fuck name is registered on the Captain’s log of that vessel of his. I mean, were those words from “GOD” supposed to fucking scare me? Unsettle me? Frighten me, even? Maybe it was supposed to conjure up some type of moment of introspection for me and force me to reevaluate my career here in HOW?

Yeah, maybe.

Good thing I’m a church burning atheist, though. Otherwise? I’d probably be offended by his sheer one-dimensional mind for booking a wrestling match.

Again, I say… HAHAHAHA.

Clearly, Leonardo Leroy Ladamier Kano-Looking-Motherfucker Best does not understand what he has on his hands. But that’s okay. Signing talent to their roster and being half-blind… yikes, poor choice of words…to their true nature is a flaw that many wrestling promoters have. Why would this elitist Chicagoan be any different from the same elitist promoter up in [REDACTED] or down in [REDACTED]?

Whoops. I spoke outside the bubble. My bad. I’ll have my team edit that shit out in post-production. Don’t you worry, High Octanians! Arthur Pleasant isn’t here to rock all the boats. Just Lee’s. Pinky swear.  

Now. Dan “Fucking” Ryan, was it? Isn’t that… isn’t that how you were introduced? Right. Sure. I’ll take a bite. A BIG ole bite, no less. I got a numb palate after eating shit sammiches from so many doubters over the years anyway, so it doesn’t matter if the river of shit this match leads me through tastes like the same fucking sewers I’ve crawled through in the past. I guess you could say I’m a regular Andy Dufresne in that regard. Heh.

Oh look, I can reference movies or sports or pop culture, too. Sorry, Dan. Don’t sue me for gimmick infringement.

So, is this… is this liiiiike… supposed to go your way or something? Liiiiike… was the intention of my being booked against you in the opener in only my third match in HOW some type of psychological construct? Of course, with its sole purpose being to force some humility in me like I’m some kind of mere subhuman roaming the land of “this hurrrrr giants hyuck hyuck”?! Liiiiiike… I’m supposed to lay the fuck down and lose my first real challenge after beating the vanilla soft serves that were Bobby Dean and Darin Zion? Cuuuuuz I’m just a little bamfuckletated by how we’re all supposed to react to the way this match was set up and presented to everyone. The pretense reeks of more falsehoods than a SubReddit political “discussion” Re:/Dumpster Fire. 

Daniel. Listen up, Oh-Fucking-Bürgermeister of Ye Oldguard. By now I’m guessing you know as well as I do that I’m more than what everyone is and was expecting. Nine times out of ten, you get what you’re expecting when someone new and fresh as the afterbirth of an aborted fucking fetus waltzes into a promotion overrun by this cadre of established names and Hall of Famers. But every once in a while, that one does the unexpected. And as sure as the wind and your false-teeth having Mom blows (Did I do it right?! Calling the lawyers yet?!) and the rain falls, I am THAT fucking one.

It’s just a matter of whether you’ll see it come time to gear-up for Refueled. Personally? I hope you don’t. And, hey now Daniel… it’s not just because that’s probably how I’ll be able to bring you the fuck down from those clouds your head has perpetually been in for all these years and actually BEAT you; much to the shock of everyone not named Arthur Pleasant, of course. See, I hope that, while you’ve been out training a rigorous regimen of Ramen Noodle inhalation in that taupe-colored, flower patterned recliner you probably inherited from your dead Grams (*sniff sniff* I smell a retainer and attorney fees coming.) and are too sentimental to have the piece of shit thrown out, you don’t have a clue about the goings on of moi.

I hope that, while sticking to the Bobby Dean vending machine diet and letting yourself go like some cinematically assembled trope of a down-on-his-luck divorced detective from some random ass pre-antisemitic Mel Gibson 90s noir drama, you just completely ignored everything going on in HOW. Then, upon seeing who you’re up against? I hope you think nothing of phoning in what still might be some passable verbiage against anyone else with that fucking hillbilly Texas twang of yours like the inbred sack of shit and rusty horseshoes mixed with rotten cottage cheese smelling bag of wrestling veteran clichés you are. I really do.

I hope you waltz into this match, flexing those cute, marshmallow-esque, semi-cycled off roided up biceps of yours and come at me all hard with those polo-covered, Jatt Starr-like bitchtits thinking, “That Arthur, kid. Gawtdayum. He’s just some sort-uh wanna-be little cunt, I reckon. I got this. Yessir-ee-Bob. Ain’t gotta worry ‘bout nothin’ with him. Pound symbol legend status! He’s only beaten Darin and Bobby, anyway! Ride like the wind, Bullseye!”, and just write me off altogether. 

You know… pretty much how your entire fucking 2021 schedule has been going.

It’ll make beating your fucking old, lumbering, Lurch looking ass in the center of the ring that much sweeter. But if you don’t? Then c’est la vie, mon ami (That’s Swahili for “Eat a dick, motherfucker. Bring it, Saul Goodman!). Beating a focused, driven, unpretentious Dan Ryan clean as a fucking whistle will be an even better achievement to unlock in front of the thousands of Las Vegas Lard Asses selling out the T-Mobile Arena to see me, the Provocateur, the Denizen of Decay, the Composer of Chaos, the inFamous One, or whatever other “The” moniker they’ve lobbed at me, throw yet another wrench into the poorly oiled machine. 

Fact is, though? Hope is nothing but a happy little illusion for the heartbreaking pains of this big reality we live in. So I can hope all I want that you’re going to come into this fucking thing too rested and unmotivated all I want… that will not serve me anything but a shit sammich in the end. Nah, Boomer. I don’t believe in such illusions any more than I do false Gods or the perfidious prophets I see making snide comments behind their keyboards in the Twitterverse.  

And the reality of this situation is simply this: when I beat Dan “Fucking” Ryan? Ho, ho, HO! Not only will your new shtick have to change into playing THIRD fiddle behind Michael Lee Best and Arthur “Undefeated-And-0” Pleasant, but I will be that much closer, if not clutching it in my hands entirely, to gaining a spot on someone’s team at this upcoming War Games shit show. With open arms, too.

Doesn’t matter if it’s Best Alliance.

Doesn’t matter if it’s Grapplers Local 214.

Doesn’t matter if it’s just me, myself, and I from The Guardians of REAL Entertainment versus those two alliances. 

One way or another, MY ass is getting IN that cage. If I can get on Lee’s boat? You can fucking bet I… WE, I should say… can get into War Games.

So there it is, I suppose. Cat’s out of the bag. My “goal”, as it were. My “objective”, if you wheel. My… whatever you want to call it. It’s not only beating you… but beating you as a means for my “in”. And one way or the other, I will not waste such a rewarding opportunity by buying into the Rick Dickulous notions and machinations that this match is designed to be a squash for little ole pain in the ass me.

Every time you come at me? I’ll be bouncing right back at you. Because I am THAT ferocious.

Every time you think you have it in the bag? I’ll cut the bottom out from under your fucking clown shoes and let myself out. Because I am THAT much quicker.  

Every time you think you have me dead to rights with whatever stupid meathead powerhouse bullshit move you use as your finisher? I’ll be ready to elbow you in that cum receptacle you call a skull until you don’t know which way is up and which way is Texas. Because, despite my leanings into the underground society of torture porn combat, I am THAT much more resilient in the art of professional wrestling. 

I don’t fucking care where you’ve been or what you’ve accomplished any more than you care the same about me. All I care about, and as should you, is the here and NOW. And right NOW? You’re in the fucking way of change and progress. You’re in the fucking way of MY business. And you’re in the fucking way of someone very, very dangerous who ought not be fucked with.

Especially considering I have a nearly seven-foot tall Bad Russian Motherfucker at my side, willing to wreck your old soul as my ace in the hole.  

So you go ‘head and scream at me to get off your lawn or whatever it is you feel compelled to do right now. While you come up with… something… I gotta get back to this show. I mean, I paid that extra $4.99 for no commercials so I might as well utilize it to the fullest extent, you know? And how about the amazing performance from that little kid playing me?! I mean, holy SHIT, is he good or what?! The way he puts that pencil to the paper… goddamn. Fuck Anthony Hopkins and Chadwick Boseman’s corpses, THIS is the real Oscar worthy stuff. Even if it is a little clichéd and melodramatic. 

Kind of like you!

Hehe.

Seeya at Refueled, Dan “Fucking” Ryan.

|XxXxXxX|


He did his chores… and all Roy did was berate him.

He brushed his teeth before bedtime… and all Roy did was berate him.

He went to school and got good grades… and all Roy did was berate him.

“It stops now.” he thinks to himself as he looks into the barrel of the snub nose revolver. All six chambers are full as he had a friend give it to him fully loaded a few weeks prior. After school, of course. With it being 2006 and only a few years removed from the massacre at Columbine, he wasn’t about to bring a gun to school, accidentally get caught with it, and then forever be dubbed as an ‘Eric’ or ‘Dylan’. No. Arthur is too smart to do something so stupid.

He stands up and, without hesitation, begins walking out of the room. Rather than follow Arthur, our camera remains fixed in the bedroom. Arthur’s steps are silenced from the type of light stepper he is. 

Seconds go by.

Those seconds turn to minutes.

Those minutes turn to- POP!!

That lone POP sound turns into a single bloodcurdling scream.

Four more POPs in direct succession and the scream is silenced.

One more POP and the sound of a gun falling to a hardwood floor can be heard clear as day, even up from our position in his bedroom. Moments later, Arthur returns. His white and blue striped shirt has specks of blood all over it. His face remains clean. Calm, cool, and collected, Arthur hops back onto his bed as if nothing happened. Picking up the Ninja Turtles pencil he had in his hand earlier, he once again looks down at the cryptogram.

“Now, where was I? Aha! That looks like “You” to me. So then that means ‘A’ is ‘Y’.” says Arthur as he clicks his tongue and hums an indistinct song.

__  YOU  E_____E  THE  _O_E_ O_  _O_E  ___   __O__   THE ___U__O_  __ H_T_E_   THE__ YOU    _____  _E  _ET __EE

“MY GOD!!!! NO!!!! PLEASE GOD NO!! WHAT DID YOU DO?! WHAT DID YOU DO, ARTHUR?! WHAT DID YOU DO?!” says a frantic Roy Pleasant in between muffled, unintelligible screams. He is no doubt clutching his wife Loretta while she bleeds out on their kitchen floor.

If only the bitch had a backbone.


|XxXxXxX|


Las Vegas, Nevada
April 29th, 2021

Arthur Pleasant, twenty-seven years of age now, looks down at the same Cryptogram from all those years ago. He did so at the oak desk parallel to the television, inside the hotel room he was staying in for the rest of the week during this stop on the HOW tour. Gotta love the Bellagio. Though Arthur didn’t like to gamble, he enjoyed staring out into the city lights. After all, it was a far cry from the vacant, snowy badlands under the Midnight Sun of his hometown back in Alaska.

“It took me a long time; fifteen years, actually, but I finally finished it. Yesterday, in fact.” he says to an uninterested Yuri. A decade and half worth of eraser marks and faded graphite made up the entire sheet of paper that had, at one point, been ripped out of the book bindings.

There, in black ink, the phrase, probably taken from a shitty fucking verse in the bible, is revealed to the lens of the camera.  

IF YOU EMBRACE THE POWER OF LOVE AND AVOID THE ILLUSION OF HATRED, THEN YOU SHALL BE SET FREE.

“Hm.” Arthur pondered out loud. “I disagree. Close, though.”

Yuri, who is mindlessly flipping through channels on the edge of the bed that’s closest to the door, shoots a quizzical look at Arthur. He smiles devilishly. Taking a red ink pen from the three options that included blue and black from a built-in pen holder on the right corner of the table, Arthur pulled the cap off with his jagged, yellowish teeth.

He crosses out “LOVE” and writes “HATRED” above it.

Then he crosses out “HATRED” and writes “LOVE” above it.


IF YOU EMBRACE THE POWER OF LOVE HATRED AND AVOID THE ILLUSION OF HATRED LOVE, THEN YOU SHALL BE SET FREE.


“There. That’s better.”