Sandy Reed-Lawson once told me to write in a journal about the odd dreams I had. I always thought it was rather childish, so I ignored that advice. It never made sense to me that she was interested in what I dreamed about unless it was some sort of repressed memory exercise. That always made me question it because I could not trust her. She and her husband had ulterior motives even if I spent a lot of time with him when he trained me to be the Suplex Saint that I am today. I was never naïve about what training me did for his desire to do business with my father.
I see someone I cannot take my eyes off— to talk about my issues.
It is like loading a gun and giving it to your own killer.
These days my dreams have become more vivid, yet it is still hard to explain details with a pencil and a pad of paper.
May 24th, 2021
Steve Harrison yells while sitting up from his cot like he was shot out of a cannon up. He breathes heavily repeatedly and looks around the room trying to find his bearings. He wipes the sweat from his forehead and holds his head as another headache takes hold of him. He grabs a journal from under his cot and flips it open.
“Long chair, bright lights, muffled talking,” he scribbles.
He grabs the bottle of painkillers he has been using and tosses a few into his mouth following it with a large gulp from a water that stands next to the pills on the nightstand. He cups his face in his hand and groans to nothing.
“I can’t believe it has come to this,” he says to himself with a confused tone as he questions his own sanity. He opens the drawer on his nightstand and pulls out his rarely used cell phone as he often leaves Jack to answer the phone while he has been staying on the Battleship. He looks down at the phone and scrolls through the contact list and then pushes who he was looking for. He puts it on speaker and leans back on his pillows hoping that he can fall asleep during the call.
It is answered before the third ring.
“You are the doctor…I mean shrink, you tell me, Sandy,” Steve responds sarcastically, his left hand shaking a bit that is holding the phone.
“You sound like my husband did when Damon Zombie put him in a coffin.”
“Are you saying I sound scared?”
“I am saying you sound like you have had enough, tired and beaten down.”
Harrison chuckles softly but it sounds forced and fake, “I am only sick of this damn ship and the company. I have no issue with tasers, and my own blood being spilt. Anyone who happens to beat me gets back two-fold the next time.”
“It is 3:45 in the morning and you are talking to me. I don’t believe anything you say.”
Steve leans forward as he begins to grind his teeth in anger. He can never trick this woman even though he always tries. “What do you believe, since my own words don’t mean anything?”
“You had a dream you don’t understand again and have zero friends to confide in.”
The Man Low on Miracles stands up from his bed. His face twisting in anger, he clenches his fists but there is nothing to punch but a bed and wall. He takes a few deep breaths with his hand over the phone and calms down. He takes his hand away from the phone in hopes Sandy had not heard any of transpired, “Is that all?”
“You need the approval of people.”
Harrison shakes his head, “I don’t give a shit what these other wrestlers think of me.”
“Sorry, I mean you need the approval of LEE BEST!”
“You let that man slap you several times and threaten to take your eye and yet you still fight on his team.”
“You enter a match called War Games where you could be seriously hurt and for what? You don’t have any real relationship with anyone on your team. You must think I haven’t been kept up to speed, Steve. You seem to forget my husband and brother were wrestlers and Trey seems to still be interested after his trainee Peyote Jones vanished all those years ago. Your opponents are what to you, just an annoyance or something that seriously is in your way of succeeding?”
“I see, if Lee Best is who you trust in, I can understand, it just doesn’t make it smart.”
Steve Harrison pauses in his tracks as he looks out the small window in his room at the water outside. He taps the phone with his left index finger as those words from Sandy made him hesitate. “What are you talking about?”
“He is a man of a certain age much like your father who you have spent your entire life trying to make proud of you. You can say you hate him and that might be true but everything you do is to make him acknowledge you.”
“I plan on…”
She laughs, HAHAHAHA, it was like an arrow to Harrison’s heart.
“I suppose laughing isn’t dignified for my position, but after over ten years you still don’t see it and that is almost sad, Steve. But then again, I suppose it cannot be help. Are you taking your sleeping pills?”
Harrison stares a hole through the phone and jabs the end button with his finger and tosses the phone back on the bed. He picks up the pill bottle and stares at it, “sleeping pills? No wonder I am in constant pain. Why the fuck do I have sleeping pills anywa…,” Steve passes out in mid-word.
May 24th, 2021
“You are not ruthless enough.”
“You gave up.”
“What the fuck did you say?”
Steve Harrison with new bandages on his head and face from Saturday stands over a fallen Igor. Igor is clutching his throat trying to breathe from where Harrison just chopped him as hard as he could. Steve winds up his leg to kick him when Laser appears in front of them with his hands up. “Whoaaaaaa!”
Steve shrugs and goes to chop Laser in the throat as well, but a hand reaches out from behind him and grabs him and turns him around. Harrison looks up and is staring at Redrum. Lee Best’s murder bodyguard shakes his head and puts his finger to his mouth and points to Steve obviously signaling him to be quiet and listen. Steve rips his arm from Redrum’s grip and looks back at Laser.
Laser lets out a breath, “Igor was just quoting the boss.”
The Miracle Man shakes his head, “did he include the stupid stomps?”
“What do you think?”
Steve rolls his eyes, “fine. First, I had to put up with Jiles jumping on my back and now I have to deal with this garbage. What the hell is the point?”
Laser clears his voice as Igor still cannot speak and is now on his knee but still not to his feet yet. Jack Marley walks up to the damage and then looks at Redrum and shivers at the look of the monster. “You can go,” Laser says to Redrum. He looks back to Jack, “you want to help calm down your boss for us?”
Steve interrupts Jack and pokes Laser in the chest, “do you think I will take advice from him? You low totem clowns cannot tell me anything I am not aware of. You think I don’t realize I dropped the ball because I couldn’t get my head around having to almost kill a guy?”
Harrison walks over and boots Igor in the face, “is that what you want?” The Heart and Soul jumps down and starts throwing forearms and elbows at Igor’s face. Repeatedly his face is smashed and blood starts squirting out of his nose all over Steve’s face and BA T-Shirt.
Jack finally steps in and pulls Steve off Igor. “That is enough, boss, I mean…who is going to get me my rolling papers if you kill him?”
Harrison stops and moans, “isn’t this the fucking test, Laser? You tell Lee to get someone I can put into a coma if this is what he wants.”
Laser nods, “you show that you are the real Heart and Soul by ripping it out of the competition, Steve. That is what the boss wants and the next time you have someone down you don’t hesitate…you leave them unconscious or worse… if need be.”
Harrison wipes the blood from his face and smirks at Laser. His left hand starts shaking again but he casually grabs it with his right hand in hopes nobody noticed. “Go get me some practice dummies, you worthless scab.”
Laser smiles and walks away leaving Steve alone with his trusted lackey. Jack looks horrified at the carnage that just transpired. Jack puts his finger up, “are you…ok?”
The Plague to the Grapplers, turns and looks at Jack, “why are you looking at me like that.”
Jack’s eyes are large as he stares at Steve Harrison. Steve’s maniacal grin is glued in place as blood drips down his chin. “You…uh…your hand?”
Harrison looks back down to his left hand to see it is still shaking, “I am excited, Jack. Isn’t this what wrestling…or is it fighting now–all about? Being the last man standing, being the man who won’t hesitate, being the man who can act without a conscience…that’s what everything is pointing towards, like it or not.” He moves his left hand to inside his shorts pocket, “get me a towel before this blood dries.”
Jack nods and looks down, “um…just to be sure, have you been sleeping?”
Harrison pulls out the sleeping pills from his right shorts pocket, his laugh becoming a serious as death look but a grin still there showing all teeth. “What do you know about these pills, Jack?”
Jack turns and accidentally stumbles into the camera knocking it down and damaging the lens so nothing can be seen and all you can hear is, “we all have journals.”
1 Hour Later
Thankfully the lounge was empty for Steve. He sat on one of the lounge chairs looking like a complete mess still. The table in front of him has an ashtray and one large glass that is full of whiskey, the few ice cubes already beginning to melt. He picks up a cigar, turns it over in his fingers, puts it to his dry bloodied lips, and lights it. He takes a large drag and blows it out, following with a small cough or five. Steve is not much of a smoker but at this point it is about overcoming all obstacles.
“I stole this from Sektor, I think he owes me for winning the tag titles back so he and Jatt can feel important again” Steve says as he takes a drag from the Cuban Cigar. The blood-stained bandages are still on his face as he has not changed them between meals or fun time with Jiles and Scottywood at Doozer’s expense. “Everyone has a mission in this War Games but me it would seem even if some people have been taken off their target already. On Saturday night I gave myself a new mission. What an embarrassing end of that match for me.”
The Man in search of a Miracle blows some crooked smoke circles because of his busted lip.
“Some say I feel shame but when have I ever had any shame while in HOW? Arthur Pleasant won a small battle on Saturday but if you looked at us you would think I should be arrested for felony assault with a weapon. He will never be One Hundred Percent in time for War Games. Hell, he can pray to Xander’s goddess, but it still won’t make a lick of difference. I am certain he will not even be Eight Five Percent by the time I bury him in debris and leave him for the Yakuza to clean up afterwards. You’d be surprised by the people Sutler knows. The dogs never go hungry in his neighborhood.”
Harrison ashes the cigar on the Battleship deck and grins.
“I am not clinical enough.”
“I am not a killer.”
“I play around with shilling products too much.”
“I make this War Games team money. You can call it whatever you want but Miracle Enterprise keeps Clay Byrd in those expensive cowboy boots and JPD an inventory of extra fire extinguishers. My other mission then? I wanted to tear apart Dan Ryan, but he has made the conscious decision to be knocked out of War Games before I even enter the cages. He has gone from monster to ‘eh that guy,’ quicker than Zion lost all his good faith in one agonizing segment with that game controller douche.”
Harrison shrugs and scratches his bandage on his forehead.
“I am the Major and yet I am overlooked because some people finally started pulling their weight and another took Teddy Palmer to the limit. People forget that Teddy’s only singles loss since he got back was to me. I wish Clay all the luck in the world because I don’t get my shot at Teddy but don’t kid yourself into thinking that they are better than me. But rest assured The Best Alliance is going to win because I am there to make sure everyone does their job. I am here to make sure the Two-One-Four are pronounced DOA after War Games is over and they reenter American waters. If it is Jiles, if it’s Sutler, if it is Clay, or if it is ME, or any other member of our team. One of us or all of us will be left standing and then we will see who’s who.”
Steve stands up from the lounge chair and looks out to the deck where Steve Solex is seen bullying the help as he drinks a beer and curls with a weight with his other arm.
“That’s a man’s man right there and this time he will make sure Jeb gets what’s coming to him. LT cannot protect these toddlers forever.”
Steve stares up at the sky, the Cigar slowly burning without him even noticing. He looks back down and sees the smoke and shakes his head, “what is sleep anyway but the cousin of death?”
Harrison grabs his whiskey and takes a sip and places it back down along with the cigar and starts laughing to himself about what not even probably knows.
“I will be honest. I really do not care who I face at War Games because I plan on facing everybody. I literally do not like anyone on that team. They range from tedious to overrated, whichever one of those strikes your soul is probably what you are. I am not going to reach into your TV and make sure you understand the truth about yourselves. Do some soul searching, hit some golf balls, go to the wrong city to visit Super Mario Land, contemplate couple suicide (it is the perfect country for it), get real excited about making a friend and then ruin it, graffiti Shinto shrines with your bullshit imaginary friend religion, catch a pufferfish and cook it incorrectly, or orgasm while cutting yourself and watching the newest tentacle porn.”
FIST POUNDED ON TABLE
He sits back down and sighs to himself. He takes one drag from the Cigar and puts it out in the ashtray. He follows with one last gulp of his Whiskey and leans back in the lounge chair.
“Who is going to survive the carnage in Tokyo? No… the real question is who is going to survive to the end to look me in my eyes and call me nothing but a conman and then find themselves struggling for air. All you morons have is an outdated opinion of me wrapped in lies. You say I am some charlatan, yet you play the victim cards whenever it suits you. Who is the real phony here? Did you not enjoy raccoon milk? Maybe you have all become lazy, at least Arthur presented something new even if it included tiresome bald jokes. Look I cannot control going bald, but you can certainly control being an annoying fuck boy who wants everyone to give his band a listen on SoundCloud. Is that true? I don’t care, not like you are doused in honesty.”
The Miracle Man lies completely down on the lounge chair and looks at the sky.
“I come bearing gifts.”
“The Miracles of Steve Harrison, don’t be greedy.”
April 15th, 2020
“I was told and now I am telling you that Steve needs to take these to sleep.”
Sandy Reed-Lawson hands Rebecca Hines a bottle of pills and a large prescription pad that is already filled out. Rebecca takes them both and looks curiously back at Sandy, “he is coming back, why would he need these?”
Sandy sighs, “questions get us into trouble Rebecca. If Thurman says these are needed for Steve, then we are not allowed to question it.”
“I haven’t even heard of this drug before,” Sandy responds with a confused look on her face.
Sandy points to the pad, “it is only available from that doctor on the pad. It is supposedly some miracle drug that Thurman helped finance so only the elite can obtain it.”
“For the dreams.”
“Dreams— where has he been?”
Sandy puts her hands on her hips showing her annoyance at the questions, “all I know is that he has been away, but his dad thinks he is good to go now. Remember this is kind of like babysitting because the people with money and power make the rules and we can just nod our head if we want to survive the tsunami they create for their own amusement.”
Rebecca frowns wishing she had not answered the phone the other day when Sandy reached out for the first time in over five years. “This sounds very messy.”
Sandy smiles, “it is…also, make sure he doesn’t see his brother.”
Sandy nods slowly, “exactly.”