Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire

Posted on May 7, 2020 at 11:43 pm by Alex Redding

May 2, 2020
Mississauga, ON
2 PM

Tell me you haven’t been waiting for this.

No, not hearing from me. Fuck off for thinking my ego was as big as that. As big as yours.

Spring, finally cometh.

It sure has taken its sweet time. Like Sting at one of those tantric orgies, or your grandma still using change at a cash register in this the two thousand and twentieth year of our Lord. And, I just made you think about creepy, old, sex grandpa Sting and your grandmother: hate me now.

The sun shining, the clouds playing accent to the pale blue, and your breath not freezing to the tip of your nose. I’m sure everyone smart enough to not live in a desert have been waiting in anticipation for Winter to politely shuffle the fuck back off to the north pole with Santa and his sweatshops.

Today might be the first time since the fall of Rome, or more accurately, my fall at Rome, that I can take a lungful of sweet Spring air, and not grimace, remembering just how stupid it was to even for a second work with Max Kael. I haven’t had the pleasure of getting into the business of revenge, but I could almost swear I was in that match with Ted in the Lethal Lottery.

But, back to it, I haven’t been called to ply my craft for neigh-on two score days, and it’s making me itchy. Trying to do away with the nervous energy and getting my chores done at the same time, I’ve taken Goldie to the park for some Frisbee fetch.

And only twice do I angle the disc upon release such that it comes back to me, faking out the simple minded, loving beast. The place is sparsely populated enough that I can launch a few without fear for getting a stern talking to. To me, it’s a bright red UFO streaking across the suburban skies, but I wonder what it’s like the colour-blind pouch. Is it just something to chase, bite and bring back, all for the smile of the higher-ups?

So it goes for the pleasantest of sixty some-odd minutes before my rescue makes avail of the nearby tree to power-wash the dirt. Not that I stare, but the thing in your lizard mind that makes you check the bladder levels, and the answer always comes back with, ‘could pinch a few millimetres, boss.’ And for a flicker I go back to that idea of sparse, but my better angel says it’s just a ten minute walk back to the friendly confines of home.

“Come on, Goldie, let’s go home and bug Grace!” the pup turns all happy and alert, as if simply saying my sister’s name meant she was here. It’s a short hike back to the gates, but with each step, I’d swear Winter walked toward.

“Alex?” came a drill bit to my ears familiar. It couldn’t be. For the love of all things Holy, why her?

“Hi,” comes quick enough, but, “Kelly,” is a slow time getting there, and not all that powerful, neither.

She looks… good. To my despair, and nearly certainly out of spite, she’d managed to keep from falling to absolute tatters upon the annulment of our nuptials, and stayed wallowing in that these eleven years since. Instead, she stands with an unoffending smile, pixie haircut that just has this strawberry blond fringe framing her face and those endless seas of blue eyes.

“It’s, uhh, been a while.”

“Not wrong there, cowboy,” she tilts her head, half deciding if this encounter is going to be more awkward for me, or her. “How have you been?” she made her resolution.

About as well as her, as I could see from the way she’d managed to hold clung to the body of her youth despite marching towards her mid-thirties. “Can’t complain.”

“I mean, you could, but who’d care, right?” she laughs as she parrots the working stiff I was fresh out of highschool and into factory life to support my decision to let my family leave. From the cradle comfort to form a new family of like-minded, but economically disinclined souls like Ted and Kelly.

“You look…” I start, before my pooch, forgoing the need for opposable thumbs, drove that dagger in my back. Helplessly, I watch my ex-wife stoop to greet the furball.

“Who’s this little guy?” I want to be annoyed when she uses baby talk to scratch behind Goldie’s ears.

If this was Hollywood, you’d charitably call us star-crossed lovers, but this ain’t the silver screen, and I’m trying hard not to make the same mistake twice.

I’ll save you the gory details of my bloodstained toga, but no one to stand before the mob and whip up a revolt, and suffice it to say I was drinking rum with nothing to dilute or flavour when I get the text messages in the early hours of the technically new day from Grady first, Ted second:

“….work to do.”

About damned time.


May 5, 2020
Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
12:15 PM Central

If I had the itch to get back a-fighting before, Ted’s little therapy session has got me all kinds of ready to go full Doom Marine on the demons that Lee Best has made his roster out of. “So, Bruvs Saturday.”

“Fuckin’ right…” Ted’s got the highly unofficial, but completely available online LBI Cup, the one thing he hasn’t cast to the floor. The only thing that wasn’t a ball and chain in this place, yet.

It’s a tense silence, me wound tighter than those 19th century timepieces. Ted smugly smiles at his reflection, and the apparent success of the day: dragging out of me more than hot wind to huff and puff about with, rather fire flowing through my veins. It’s only broken after an overly long beat.

“Ted, where’d those movers go?”

“Hmm?” he pulls himself back to the moment. “I…don’t know? How long’s it been?”

I don’t check my cell, but am all too sure, “it’s been like twenty minutes.”


“Ted, tell me you didn’t pay these guys up front,” I smell a runner.

“Pft. Give me a little more credit than that,” he says defensively, turning his back to me and continuing with a soft mumble. “I only gave them like 90% up front.”

Rather than risk hearing the 10% of however much Ted managed to keep from being swiped by perhaps once honest men that turned tail when we needed a moment, I take a box in hand and start piling in the agreed upon titles of past glory. A glance to the table, now resting gentle to the wall, I start back to the rental.

“Red?” I get not but around the first corner through the labyrinth. The bull-faced beast this time only Brain Bare. I guess I must have made for quite the sight to him, when he says, “So the rumours are true!”

“The Hell are you on about, man?” I knew I was going to regret engaging the faded star of backstage in all things HOW.

“The box full of shit, you’re quitting, even after Mr. Best keeps giving you shot after shot?” he sniffled back up the thin line of blood mixing into the stubble mustache.

“Shit dude!” he’s too close, as I kept walking, and he kept walking, now at my side. “Is it possible to get a contact-drunk from someone? Seriously, your breath could peel paint,” I swerve to get some air, distance.

“Then why are you here on a Tuesday?”

“Why are you?” shuts him down for one peaceful second.

“But, you don’t deny it?” he was a dog digging for a bone, a cocaine riddled dog.

“Deny what? Best wants to treat me like a prize fighter?”

“No, no,” he’s rubbing his temple, trying to massage out the tension that must be coursing through his entire being, his biggest story in years, and he didn’t have a camera crew anywhere in sight. “That you’re taking your ball and running away back to pansy-little Canada.”

Sudden stop shakes the coke fiend for all of a half second. “Is that what this looks like?”

Pulling his best no-shit-Sherlock with his cheeks numb that he can, Bare blinks in my direction, “Uhmm… yes. That’s entirely what this looks like.”

“And give up the opportunity to prove who’s the bigger choke artist? Leave little Mikey and Ken-doll-dicks sobbing quietly in the corner frapping eachother?” Now, that’s an image I dare you to shake any time soon.

“What?” he looks like the kid I pulled his sugar and sugar lollipop from. “You mean, all this? The box? The not showing up on card for three weeks. Not fighting since March to Glory? It’s what? Just coincidence?”

“It was fucked up ribs, what it was,” I would tap at my side if the box wasn’t in my hands.

“But… my scoop,” comes limply cast out to the ether for some crossroads demon like Lee Best to pick up and bargain upon.

“Sorry?” is a question, not any true sympathy. If these past forty-five minutes have taught me anything, past glory don’t mean you’re owed shit. “Maybe you could dive into that rabbit hole of why Lee Best is metaphorically hate-fucking his own son on live television varicariously through folks in gimp masks of HOWers past?”

Tears? Probably just complications from the mixing of ‘medications’ I’m sure, but that better angel I’m trying to ignore wants me to call for someone to make sure Bare doesn’t die in a puddle of his own vomit.

“Do you smell smoke?”

“How can you smell anything past that toxic breath of yours?” I turn my nose to try to pick up on just the one possible scent. “Hey, I think that is.”

“It’s coming from back this way,” he starts to double back to where I had just come from, only to have Teddy Palmer streak past.

“Shit! Shit!”

“Whoa! Hold on! What is it? What’s on fire?”

“How was I supposed to know that felt walls would go up that quick?”

Posted: May 05, 2020 @ 3:25 PM

The image to the left is of a local detachment of the fine Chicago Fire Engine 11 standing in pose with Red, and Ted, who found the one female of the unit to wrap an arm over. Eagle eyed viewers can see Brian Bare having a nervous breakdown in the distance.

So the script’s been written, and casting set.

24K versus G.o.D.! WarGames Main Event!

Or, that lasted for all of two weeks since the Bruvs made their way to the land of violence and Lee Best’s twisted machinations, doubled by the short-lived duo of Perfuckhead and Murrr, laying waste to the main event players.

And then you had to actually fight.

For the TL;DR version of this post, just know Red & Ted are very happy to give the gluefist fuckers a reality check, and that you really should work on your attention spans; it’ll do you good.

So, back to this shit written in the stars. Andy Murray, I’ll tip my hat to you, but a song came on the radio today, and it had me thinking. ♪If I had a million dollars♪ I would buy whatever contract Mikey has over you, so you could stop fucking whining over it. Maybe you’d punt those pricks in the head before we get the chance. 

Andy Murray, the only reason you dickless wonders ever got the chance to disgrace the tag titles.

Let’s review, your record at trying to win, or retain those straps was at Owen what now?

And you want to call me and my boy Ted piss shy? Ha. You two are shier than the four year old at a show with his Dad, begging that he could just sit down and pee. You’re shier than Bare if Lee ever decided to play pretend some day to be a responsible business owner and bring in spot testing.

You sent out the search for us? Congrats, dumbasses, you’ll get what’s coming.

Mikey, the mild irritation that funnily enough, before he got here, I only saw in commercials I couldn’t fast forward fast enough, reminding me that the H stands for Preparation. Unlikely, save some of that counterfeit cash and maybe buy yourself a prayer. Save it for the funeral of a friend.

Hey, Kendickless! You Welsh bastard. Stumbling through life, strip club to strip club, playing your own game of Pokemon, where STDs are the monsters, and you’ve gotta catch ‘em all. And paying for the pleasure. Falling face first into fuck knows who’s dick this time. 

Saturday, bring your smiles, I’ll enjoy knocking them chicklets loose.

The story’s been the same since we got in the door: thanks for coming, now be good boys and let Hollywood run with his little comeback journey, and… oops. Okay, do better this time, we want to see Max Kael take on Cecilworth… and we messed up those expectations as well. Sorry I couldn’t feel less sorry.

You know, it’s funny, but if you were actually as good at your jobs as you were supposed to be, I’d probably have been fired weeks ago. Alas…

It’s fine to write your script, your expectations, but just expect Red & Ted to come and tear ‘em up all good like.

Saturday, Red & Ted get back to our favourite pastime: bringing the fear of God, and ‘GOD’, to ol’ Farty One Belt. Saturday, we get the chance to move forward into the WarGames draft pool, and the shit-filing of golden underwear to think of Teddy Palmer getting another crack at Cece. It’s almost certain if we get in the pool, we’re getting picked. Either Mike’s smart enough to try to get us on his team and keep his boy safe. Or, Lee might just be a crossroads demon, but he’ll be game to play Ted tearing in. Hell, the way the boss keeps giving me stake after stake, shot after shot…

Red & Ted, healthy and Hellbent, and the Bruvs wanna play with fire? Then get your asses burnt.

Saturday it’ll be, “Off With Y’er Head!”

See ya soon,


Your Willing Villain