*The scene opens on a dark rainy night. The rain is bouncing off everything that touches it and the streets are a mass of puddles. The streets are empty, other than the odd stray cat looking for shelter and the occasional car slowly going through the wet terrain the world around it seems to be taking solace from the elements. However from within the deserted street enters a life form, and by the looks of them they look to be very disorientated, lost and confused. They are wearing only a white blanket, which is sticking to their bare chest and their black trousers are covered in mud from the cars splashing the dirty surface water all over them. They are also not wearing any shoes. They stand at the end of a street, shivering they pick out a piece of paper from their wet trousers and look at it. It seems to be an address, however as it was written in biro pen it has began to smudge and the address is illegible. They crumple up the paper and throw it to the floor in anger and proceed to walk further along the street, until they stop at a house. It is a middle house in a terrace row, a staircase making its way up to a red door. The person looks at the sign at the bottom of the steps on a pillar. The sign is brass plated and engraved.
The engravement reads- Dr John Prosnovich PHD
It would seem this is the address the person is looking for as they proceed to climb the steps, using the handrail as they gingerly make their way up slowly, their cold, wet feet beginning to slow blisters on the soles. They get to the top of the steps and proceed to bang on the Lion-shaped knocker on the red door, desperation kicks in as they begin to pound on the door with their hands, their white blanket falling off their wet skin onto the concrete floor below with a thud due to the weight of it being saturated with rain water. They begin to yell, however the yell is more an uttering of grunts than actual words. They finally slump to the floor, sliding down the door.
Meanwhile inside the owner of the property has heard the commotion and has went to their front window, peering out through their blue velvet curtains, moving away again. It takes a few seconds before the sound of chains rattling can be heard on the other side of the door before the door begins to unlock. On the other side is the owner of the property, Doctor John Prosnovich. He is an old man, his skin grey and wrinkled, balding head with birth marks across his skin. He is wearing thin reading glasses and is standing in his tweed house coat and comfortable slippers. He looks down at the person laying by his door but does not recognise them at first. He just thinks he is a beggar looking solace from the rain*
Doctor Prosnovich– I am sorry sir but I cannot provide you with shelter this evening, there is a YMCA just down the road.
*The person on the floor stands up, mopping the wet black hair from his eyes as Dr Prosnovich removes his reading glasses and puts on his proper glasses which are attached by a string around his neck. He finally has a sense of realisation at whom he is looking at*
Doctor Prosnovich– Wolfgang, is that you?
*Shaking profusely and wiping the rain from his face he looks up at the doctor*
Aceldama– Doctor, it is happening again.
Doctor Prosnovich– Wolfgang, you have not been a client of mine in near gone 10 years, I am retired now.
Aceldama– Doctor I knew no one else to turn to, I need your help, please help me with these demons in my head, or else I fear they are going to get the better of me.
Doctor Prosnovich– Even though retired I have never been one to shy away from fulfilling my Hippocratic oath, come inside, I will boil the kettle and we will try and get to the bottom of all this.
*Aceldama walks inside and immediately Dr Prosnovich has went over to his coat stand and removed a long bearskin coat from it and proceeds to drape it around Aceldama.*
Doctor Prosnovich– I think the best place to start is by getting you dry and then telling me, how did this all begin…..
**FADE TO BLACK**
9TH April 2023
Bok Centre, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
*Backstage at the Bok Centre we open to a very irate Aceldama careering down the long hallway, pushing anyone who dares gets in his way and mumbling at the bottom of his voice. He gets to a door and begins to bang upon it repeatedly. He begins to shout in an attempt to let anyone who is listening hear him loud and clear*
Aceldama– Lee open this door! I want to know what the fuck that was all about!
*The door finally opens, but from it does not exit Lee Best, but instead a small man, ginger hair and thick glasses holding a notepad. He looks up at Aceldama and responds to him in a condescending tone.*
Man– Mr Best is not here, and if he was, he would not be speaking to yourself.
Aceldama– I know he is here, I want him to explain to me the actions of Evan Ward out there, who does he think he is speaking to me like that?
Man– Mr Best is not here, however he did expect you would come knocking and has asked me to give you this.
*From his notepad the man hands Aceldama a piece of paper which Aceldama unravels to reveal the content of the note*
He IS a War Games captain, he IS a member of the Final Alliance, therefore he IS family to you. Get in line, sort out yourself. He has EARNED the right to speak to you in the manner he did, you have not. You may have found your own personal redemption, but now it is time to redeem yourself to ME. Remember who you work for, remember who you represent. You are part of the Final Alliance, start playing your part.
*Aceldama throws the note to the ground, noticing that the man is turning away and attempting to close the door. Before he can do that Aceldama lets out one of his patented big boots nearly knocking the door off its hinges as he proceeds inside the room, the small ginger haired man sent to the floor with the impact of the force. Inside is a party atmosphere, there is music playing and scantily clad women running around the office as in the distance sits a man, naked young women gyrating all over him as he proceeds to pour champagne down their bare chests as they giggle. The man is wearing a golden mask, none too similar to the one worn by Lee Best to hide his missing eye. Aceldama proceeds to walk over to the desk and lifts it from the floor moving it across the room as the man looks up at him in fear. Aceldama stands over him, looking menacing.*
Aceldama– Nobody has earned the right to speak to me the way he did out there. I will not have it, family or not even family members can fight from time to time and I want Evan Ward, he needs to learn respect……your not even listening to me! I know what you have done for me and I appreciate it but I will not just be a simple cog in your little game…..
*Aceldama sees a red mist, forgetting who he is speaking to and where he is he proceeds to grab the tie of Lee and grabs him off his chair. Lee begins to whimper and then out of nowhere proceeds to urinate over his trousers. Disgusted, but also somewhat confused Aceldama releases his grip of the tie and Lee slumps back into the leather chair and begins to cry. Aceldama is very confused now, he leans over and proceeds to remove the mask from the head*
Aceldama– You’re not Lee Best.
*Sitting trembling on the leather chair, face now revealed is a young man, bald head none to similar to Lee Best however the striking difference, and one of the reasons he was wearing the mask is that this young man is covered in acne, and is wearing a fake grey beard*
Lee Best Impersonator– Look man we are just interns here, Lee had left early and had asked us to clean up the office, we noticed the mask was left here so we thought we would have a little bit of fun, I put on the mask and pretended to be Lee, chicks started coming over to me thinking I WAS him, it was just a bit of harmless fun, I swear! Please don’t tell Mr Best about this.
Aceldama– Your pathetic.
Lee Best Impersonator– Man I just wanted to pretend to be someone I am not for a change, I make low pay, I don’t have a girlfriend, I am a nothing! But Lee, this guy has everything…..he owns a freaking wrestling business man! That’s cool! We weren’t doing anything wrong.
Aceldama– Trust me, he is not the man you think he is. You can pretend all you want to be someone else, but the reality of it all is, your just a kid who pissed his pants.
*Aceldama is about to lay his hands on the young intern impersonator when something catches his eye in the corner of the office. A large flatscreen TV hanging on the wall is turned on and running across the screen is the draft picks for War Games 2023. It gets his attention as finally Aceldama’s name comes across the screen and he notices which team he has been drafted into…..Evan Ward. The other ginger haired intern, picking himself off the floor and fixing his glasses, walks over and stands beside Aceldama*
Ginger Haired Intern– Wow, that’s not cool! Looks like your on Evan Ward’s team now dude, looks like your going to have to accept him as your captain.
*Aceldama has heard enough and proceeds to elbow the intern straight in the face, sending him flat down onto the office floor, out cold. He walks over his lifeless body and makes his way out of the office and back down the hallway. He then proceeds to make his way into the male restrooms and walks over to the long line of sinks, lined by a long mirror. He turns on the faucet and sets it to cold as he cups his hands and proceeds to throw the cold water over his face, mopping away his black hair from his face. He looks into the mirror and what he sees in front of him frightens him, a figure he has not seen in over ten years, a figure he hoped that he had got rid of, the demon inside of him. The source of all his sick and twisted thoughts, the voice of doubt, the voice of turmoil.*
Aceldama– Stop laughing at me!
Look at you, playing the role of the lamb. The little obedient lamb being guided by the Welsh shepherd. How the mighty have fallen. Once feared by all, now nothing but a glimmer of your former self.
Aceldama– I don’t need you back, I have not needed you all this time
And look where you are! A mere servant to the cause of a corrupt tyrant. He does not care about you, none of them do. They think they are better than you, all of them. But the simple fact of it all is, they have done NOTHING that you have not done already. They are not inferior to you, they are simply relevant.
Aceldama– He gave me my redemption back against Bobbinette, he freed me from that Russian hell, he took me under his wing and has allowed me to create Chaos.
Then it looks like your not fulfilling your end of the bargain. I don’t see Chaos, I see an old man, and old, beaten down man who has lost the very thing that made him that unstoppable monster all those years ago
Aceldama– Oh right, and what is that?
ME!!! You NEED me, try and pretend you don’t, but you need to embrace me once again, or else your future will play like a script from a play, you will know everything you do, your actions will be nothing but orders, you need to take control again. Tonight you were humiliated, next time, there MUST not be a repeat of what happened there and the only way to avoid that…..is to let me in!
Aceldama– No, the path you took me on nearly led to my demise, I will not allow that to happen
Your body nearly led to your demise!! Without me you were no longer strong, without me your body began to fail you, with me guiding you again, you can become the Monster once more.
*Aceldama raises his fist and with a ferocious thud bangs his hand across the mirror, smashing the mirror into shards. His fist begins to seep red crimson blood and shards of glass remain in his knuckles. Instead of removing them Aceldama instead turns in a rage, dashing through the restroom door and back down the hallway and into the office once more. The two interns are standing gathering up loose beer and wine bottles into black bags as Aceldama emerges and proceeds to pick up the Lee Best impersonator by the throat and throws him across the room, his backing smashing into the television on the wall sending it too crashing to the ground. The other young intern tries to calm matters down*
Ginger Haired Intern– Wow man, take it easy, we are just wanting to clean this mess up and be on our way, no more messing around I swear!
*Aceldama walks over to the intern, standing tall over him, a menacing look in his eye, he looks down towards the floor in front of him*
Aceldama– You missed one.
Ginger Haired Intern– I missed…..
*Before he could finish his sentence Aceldama picks up a loose champagne bottle and proceeds to smash it across the forehead of the intern, sending him in a dizzy spin before passing out on the carpet, his blood leeching into the thick pile. The other intern is now on all fours, scurrying to try and find a hiding place. Aceldama, like he stalking prey showing moves behind him, kicking away bottles and cans until he makes his way to the desk he flipped over earlier. The intern tries to take solace by hiding underneath it but Aceldama drags him out by his left leg and picks him up lifting him into the air, his back against the wall*
Aceldama– So you want to be Lee Best do you?
Lee Best Impersonator– No sir, it was just a childish thing for me to do, I understand the error of my ways.
Aceldama– I am a member of the final alliance, Lee Best is my leader, and in mocking him you have offended me.
Lee Best Impersonator– I I I I didn’t mean to I swear, I just wanted the chicks man!
Aceldama– I think you need to hang around a while and think about your actions, let me help you there.
*Aceldama proceeds to walk over to the office desk, tip it back on its legs and goes into the top drawer, he pulls out a staple gun and walks over to the intern. He grabs his left arm, the intern realising what is about to happen tries to pull away, but Aceldama headbutts him and he goes limp as he takes his bare arm and proceeds to use the staple gun, putting four staples into the skin of the intern and pressing him against the wall. He does the same with the other arm. The interns skin is bleeding but is also flexing to its maximum as it stretches against the wall. He is stuck by the staples. He begins to scream in agonising pain*
Aceldama– So if I am to be a disciple of the Final Alliance, let me be the disciple of Chaos. I agree, I just…..just haven’t been myself recently, but now, now I FEEL like me. And now I know what I must do….I NEED to be the monster again, I NEED to embrace, not retract, definitely don’t retract, embrace. You try to be something you’re not, just like you there, you only going to end up getting hurt. We need to embrace who we are!! Me and you, you….well you are NOTHING, a boy….trying to be a GOD. You need to understand, when we forget our ranks, try to pull away and BE something we are not, your only going to be called out for what you truly are. Me on the other hand…..I am quite the opposite of you. Now, before, when you seen me, I was NOTHING, I was not me, I forgot who I was. But someone reminded me who I can be, who I was, my true identity. And now, as I stand before you…..you finally see me for who I am.
Lee Best Impersonator– Please let me go, it hurts so bad!!
Aceldama– I am Aceldama. I AM the monster. I AM the person who will bring Chaos to this place. You finally see me, like he has saw me this entire time.
*Aceldama proceeds to choke the intern, looking into his eyes and beginning to sing a sick, demented lullaby as the intern passes out. He then proceeds to look at his red hands, covered in his own blood, and then proceeds to write on the bare chest of the intern. He scrawls a ((–A–)) upon it and stands admiring his work. Suddenly he hears audio from the television, which is still on the floor, screen broken but still seems to be turned on and working fine as it declares next weeks card for Chaos 28 will include a last man standing match pitting Aceldama against Brian Hollywood*
Aceldama– The stars are aligning, do you see them? The awakening, the re-birth. I told you all to watch the skies! And look, the voices call me to my first duty, my first true calling. The man who brought me my last defeat, only minutes ago…….BEFORE the awakening. I am going to take his body, and DRAG it to the Arkansas River, and THROW him away. He thinks after tonight I am human, that in this match I seek retribution. I DON’T NEED RETRIBUTION ANYMORE!! I just want Chaos. I just want people to see what I am capable of, I just want them to see the REAL me. His body will flow down the river, from Arksanas….to Hollywood, back, to whence he came.
*All of a sudden a mass of EPU guards storm their way into the office and immediately stop at the door, Aceldama turns to look at them smiling with his sickly smirk. The guards suddenly move forward getting their stun guns at the ready*
EPU Guard– Wolfgang, you’re going to have to come with us, quietly and without any further bother. Lee would like to speak to you about this situation.
Aceldama– And I am sure he would like to hear about it, this….imposter, pretending to be him. It just could not go without punishment
EPU Guard– Wolfgang…..
Aceldama– It is ACELDAMA!! You will address me by my proper title, Wolfgang Bruggemann is dead, all that remains is Aceldama.
EPU Guard– Ok Aceldama that is fine, are you feeling ok? Have you been taking your medication?
Aceldama– Never better, I feel like a new person. And as to answer your question, no I have not been taking my medication, it was restricting me, I just wasn’t feeling….myself, you know?
EPU Guard– Now lets just go, Lee is waiting outside in his limo and would like a word with you.
*The EPU guards line around Aceldama, side by side and march through the hallway and through a set of double doors, which brings them out to the back of the arena. It is a cold evening and Aceldama’s breath is lingering in the air like a dragon blowing steam. The limousine is parked outside and Aceldama walks towards it, the window is pulled down and Aceldama peers inside*
Aceldama– Ah Lee about in there, I suppose I should start from the beginning, wait a minute……your not Lee Best…..your……
*Before he could finish his sentence, the EPU guards who escorted him outside and since detracted back into the arena and closed over the double doors as two masked assailants blindside Aceldama and start taking him down in front of the limousine. One strikes him over the back of the head with a steel pipe and the other proceeds to kick him whilst he is down on the concrete. The limousine door opens and the two masked assailants jump inside and the limo speeds off into the night. Before they drive off something is dropped out of the limo and lands beside Aceldama’s lifeless body.
A small dragon statue.*
**FADE TO BLACK**
*The scene returns back to Dr Prosonovich’s residence where we are inside the living quarters. Aceldama is sitting on a high backed leather chair, a thick blanket over him, holding a cup of coffee in his two hands as Dr Prosnovich walks over to the large fire and proceeds to throw a couple of dry logs onto it, sending the flames billowing up higher and coating the room in a warm, orange glow. Dr Prosnovich returns to his seat beside Aceldama and sits down, removing his glasses. He rubs his eyes and turns to Aceldama*
Dr Prosnovich– Did you ever figure out who attacked you that evening?
Aceldama– No, I blacked out and when I came to I couldn’t remember anything of what happened, but there was this dragon statue beside me.
Dr Prosnovich– I see, a calling card from your attacker maybe?
Aceldama– Maybe, but I cant seem to understand its significance, if any.
Dr Prosnovich– So……you had your little episode earlier in the night, you told me there you felt like you were reborn, that you were accepting that this persona, the Aceldama, was you all along. That goes against everything you always told me all those years ago. You always told me you were Wolfgang Bruggemann, that this ‘Aceldama’ was nothing but a persona, an alter-ego if you will, but now you say the human, Wolfgang, is now gone, why are you accepting this now?
Aceldama– Because I have no choice but to. Since I have returned from Russia, something has been missing in me. I had became weak. I was losing matches left right and centre, one minute I am on top, the next I am back to where I came. The Monster I once was had gone, I needed to bring him back, but this time accept that without him, I cannot compete.
Dr Prosnovich– Ten years ago Wolfgang you came to me to help you cope with your demons within. To help you manage your schizophrenia. With my help you succeeded. But the only reason why you succeeded is because you wanted to change, you wanted to remove those thoughts within. It seems to be this time you are embracing them.
Aceldama– Why fight something you cannot control? I am a wrestler, my job in life is to fight those in front of me, how can I fight them when I am constantly losing a battle with myself?
Dr Prosnovich– I think the biggest battle you are facing right now, by listening to your story, is that you do not like the role you have been put in. You would rather be the shepherd, the leader, not the sheep. And you seem to have an issue with those around you who are authority figures, your team captain, the owner of your job, your turmoil is not with your ‘demon’s but where you stand in this world, you want that to change and you think by embracing your inner ‘Aceldama’ that will bring it about.
Aceldama– And will it?
Dr Prosnovich– Of course it won’t. You have been given a role to play, play it, after all it is only a job, do the job, get paid, go home and do it all over again.
Aceldama– Just a job? This is my LIFE!! You got old, you have got weak. Your mind used to be so strong, but I can see the cracks. The man you were, you could have controlled me, I would have listened, but now……no. I thought I was coming here to ask for your help, but it would seem you have been enjoying your retirement a little bit too much. I thought I wanted your help, to change, but instead, as I sit here and listen to you, its YOUR fault I was the way I am. You made me supress what makes me great. It was YOU that brought my downfall.
Dr Prosnovich– I think you are being a little bit on the harsh side there. It was YOU who came to MY door asking for help. I have been retired nine years, I didn’t need to open my door to a half-naked stranger, but I did, and here you are, sitting on my chair, drinking MY coffee. You really want to know why I retired when I did, it was YOU. Your case traumatised me, the things you told me you did, like something from a horror movie. But yet, I felt I FAILED you. I can see now I was right, I did fail you. You never wanted to change.
Aceldama– You know something, that is the smartest thing that has came out of your mouth since I walked in here. Yes I thought I needed your help, but the truth is…..deep down, I blame you for everything, and I wanted you to know that. Yes I have done some terrible things, but they were all necessary. I do not apologise for any of it……
*Aceldama abruptly stands up out of the chair and throws the coffee mug into the fire, removing the blanket from his shoulders*
Aceldama– All this time I have been on a quest, looking for redemption for the wrongs in my life. My loss to Bobbinette Carey, trying to bring back the glory days of my past, but the biggest redemption I seek…..is with you. You destroyed me, turned me into a nothing with your psychology witchcraft. I began searching for help, now I come searching my retribution, EVERYTHING that has happened to me in the ten years since we last spoke is all your fault…….you told me to hold back, but no more.
Dr Prosnovich– I think you should leave right now, before I call the police.
Aceldama– I will leave, I will walk out that door and I will continue in my life, I will go to Arkanas and I will get back what I once had, but you on the other hand, you too will leave.
Dr Prosnovich– This is my house! I am not leaving!
Aceldama– Oh doctor, I do not think you are understanding me. You old fool, once so wise. You will be leaving, in a sense of the word. It is time you leave this world for good…..and the last image you will see will be the face that haunted you all this time…….I AM ACELDAMA AND I AM HERE TO SHOW YOU THE MONSTER YOU TRIED TO CAGE!!!
*Aceldama closes over the door and we only see the front of the door as we hear a thud as if someone has fallen to the floor. Then the sound of someone dragging something. It stops and then there is a moment of silence then the door opens, Aceldama’s hand comes through first and leaves a black smear on the white oak door. He walks through the door and down the hallway, taking a cap and coat from the coat stand and putting them on. He walks slowly down the steps and crosses the road as we notice the image of the chimney bellowing out thick black smoke*
*Aceldama proceeds to walk down the street and makes his way to a main road, the cars and lorries are moving fast past him as he stops by the edge of the road and puts his hand out as if he is wanting to busk for a ride. Nobody seems to be taking him up, and a good while passes with many either honking their horns in annoyance or splashing him with rainwater from the puddles gathering from the earlier rain shower. Finally a large commercial truck stops in front of him and the passenger door opens up, Aceldama uses the ladder to climb into the large drivers compartment where the driver turns to look at him as Aceldama takes the cap off. The driver immediately recognises him*
Driver– Holy shit! Your fucking Aceldama!! What the hell are you doing out here busking?
Aceldama– I need to be somewhere.
Driver– Fuck man I would drive you wherever you need to go, but I have to deliver this shipment to Arkansas by tomorrow morning.
Aceldama– Well isn’t that a lucky one, that is EXACTLY where I need to go.
*The truck pulls out again onto the main road to begin the long journey to Arkansas as the driver seems to be starstruck as even through he is driving on a busy highway he does not seem to be focusing on the road, only looking at his passenger Aceldama.*
Driver– I am a big fan, I remember you back in the day, man you were fucking awesome!
Aceldama– Big fan? But yet all you remember is the pasT?
Driver– Well with the job I don’t get to really see much wrestling, but 10 years ago, when I was a young kid, man I watched it day and night! I try to keep up, the whole ‘Final Alliance’ and all. That whole stable annoys me, they think they are something.
Aceldama– I am a member of the Final Alliance?
Driver– But are you REALLY? Your like the Sami Zayn of the Final Alliance.
Aceldama– The who?
Driver– Another wrestling federation, doesn’t matter, but what I am saying he was in his stable as lip service, he really was never accepted in. They will not accept you, I heard how they treat you, they don’t respect you man.
Aceldama– Stop the truck.
Driver– Look I mean no disrespect, but the Aceldama I remember he didn’t take shit from anybody. He didn’t answer to nobody.
Aceldama– So tell me then, as a wrestling fan, what would you do if you were me? Actually, do not answer that, I don’t want to hear from a truck driver on how I should do my job. You don’t see me sitting here telling you how to drive.
Driver– That’s fair I suppose. I apologise if I offended. Who you facing this week if you don’t mind me asking?
Aceldama– Brian Hollywood, you know anything about him?
Driver– Other than he has never won a single match that I am aware of, not a thing! I don’t think he has really done much of merit to be honest.
Aceldama– Great! Pinned by a wrestler who had never won a single match this year!
Driver– Wait, he pinned YOU?
Aceldama– I don’t want to speak of it, its in the best. This week that streak of his will continue, and I have great plans for him. He is going to be taking a little trip down the Arizona River….back from once he came
*Aceldama goes into the coat pocket and pulls out the dragon statue that was left by his lifeless body during his blindside attack. The driver sees it and looks at Aceldama confused*
Driver– I thought you were German?
Aceldama– I am
Driver– Oh….then why you got that Welsh Dragon statue
Aceldama– It was left by my side after someone attacked me…..how do you know it’s a Welsh dragon?
Driver– It’s the symbol of Wales, its on their flag.
*Aceldama takes a closer look at the statue and turns it upside down to find a small engraving upon it which reads- MADE IN WALES. He drops it to the floor*
Aceldama– EVAN WARD!!!
Friday 14th April
Main Street Bridge, Little Rock, Arizona
*The long overnight journey is complete and Aceldama has made his destination. He climbs out of the cab of the truck and stands by the bridge.*
Driver- You not want to go to the hotel or something? Your fight is not for another two days
Aceldama- No I am going to wait here I think, I intend to bring Brian down here, after all, it is falls count ANYWHERE
Driver- Your funeral.
*The truck drives off with a loud sound of the horn as Aceldama walks along the bridge and looks in the direction of the Simmons Bank arena in the distance*
Aceldama- There it is then, until Sunday then Brian Hollywood, I will be waiting for you……
‘Down by the river……..down by the sea….’
*He sits down on the edge of the bridge, his feet dangling over the edge as he looks out across the Arizona landscape*