Single Minded Focus

Single Minded Focus

Posted on April 21, 2024 at 10:02 pm by Drew Mitchell

March to Glory – Madison Square Garden – New York City, NY
The raucous crowd’s roar crescendoed into a deafening frenzy as Jace Parker Davidson made his move toward freedom and glory. With the cage door flung wide open, he swung one leg over the threshold—victory within grasp. But fate had other plans. The shrill buzz of the buzzer cut through the chaos, a heart-stopping interruption that left the audience on tenterhooks.

“Because Jace failed to touch the floor with both feet in the allotted time, the match will continue!” bellowed Bryan McVay, HOW’s ring announcer, his voice booming over the public address system. “Therefore, the next stipulation of the match is a……TABLES MATCH!”

A collective gasp filled the arena as the rules shifted in an instant. Drew Mitchell, the rowdy British rookie, his chest heaving from exertion, seized upon the sudden twist of fate with a glint in his eye that spoke to his untamed spirit.

He and Evan Ward were atop the cage, a precarious perch where titans clashed. Drew, feeling the moment, fed off the energy and channeled it into raw power. With a guttural yell, he immediately hoisted Evan high above his head, showcasing the strength of his youth. Seconds stretched into eternity as Drew’s silhouette stood out against the blinding stage lights, before hurling Evan downward in a maelstrom of limbs and fury.

Evan Ward’s body careened through the air, a human missile locked onto its target- Joe Hoffman and Benny Newell’s broadcast table set up below.  Benny pulled Joe to safety just in time before Ward’s cataclysmic impact spectacularly splintered the table, shards dancing in the spotlight as Evan crumpled amidst the wreckage.

The bell sounded right away and confirmed Drew Mitchell’s ascendancy to the LSD title.

“Here is your winner…AND NEW! HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING! L-S-D! CHAMPION! DREW! MITCH!!!-ELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!”  Bryan McVay’s announcement reverberated through the packed arena, elevating the moment to the stuff of legends.

***

Meanwhile, miles away in the comfort of her bedroom in suburban St. Charles, Missouri, Brinsley Decker sat, her blue eyes fixated on the big-screen TV that illuminated her face with flashes of the violent ballet she’d just witnessed at March to Glory 2024. A small, appreciative nod followed the conclusion of the match.

“Well done, Drew… well done,” she murmured, her voice a whisper of recognition for the kindred spirit who shared her relentless drive.

At that instant, a soft knock intruded upon her solitude.

“Brinsley? Why are you still awake?” Her mother’s voice filtered through the door, tinged with the concern of a parent defying the late hour.

“Nothing, Mom. I’m going to sleep,” replied Brinsley, a lie delivered with practiced ease from the twenty-year-old golfing prodigy. She clicked off the TV, casting her room into darkness save for the moonlight peeking through the curtains, the night embracing her as she contemplated the disciplined path that lay ahead for them both.

Later That Night- Holiday Inn Express- Downtown New York City
Golden effervescence erupted from the neck of the champagne bottle, a geyser of celebration in Drew Mitchell’s grip. With an exultant roar that could rival the roar of the crowd in the wrestling arena, he released the pressure—a symbol of his own ascent to the pinnacle of the LSD league. The belt, a grand tapestry of leather and gleaming metal, nestled against his shoulder as if it were tailored for him alone. His hotel room, basked in the amber hue of streetlights filtering through the curtains, transformed into a palace of revelry.

“Cheers to the champ!” The voice cut through the air, crisp and lively. Sunny O’Callahan stood there, her wild mane of frizzy blonde tresses capturing flecks of light, creating a halo effect around her carefree smile. Her arm shot up, wine glass aloft full of Southern Comfort, as if she were leading a chorus of cheers that stretched beyond the confines of their private celebration.

Their eyes met, Drew’s gaze tracing the contours of Sunny’s silhouette—her flouncy top fluttering slightly with her movements, the denim of her jeans hugging the curves of her athletic legs.

Drew swayed slightly, the exuberance of his win coursing through every vein as he stood in the center of the hotel room, his sanctuary of success. He beamed at Sunny, her presence a vivid contrast against the muted tones of the walls and furniture—a burst of energy, like a comet streaking across a twilight sky.

“Oi, Sunny,” he began, the lilt of his British accent wrapping around each syllable, “none of this would’ve happened without you.” His words, heartfelt and soaked with the gravity of his ascent from obscurity, hung in the air between them. “You believed in me when I was just a rough bloke from a small town dreaming big.”

Drew’s lips met the rim of his glass, sipping the champagne that tasted like liquid glory. Yet as he savored the moment, his eyes locked with Sunny’s.

The neon afterglow of triumph still danced in the sequins of Sunny’s flouncy top as she perched elegantly on the edge of the hotel room’s coffee table. The bottle of Southern Comfort, cradled casually in her hand like a microphone, tilted back for another swig. The liquid fire traced a path down her throat, and with it, she let out a low chuckle that seemed to blend the laid-back vibes of a California beach with the rolling lilt of an Irish ballad.

“Drew,” she said, lowering the bottle and fixing him with a gaze sharp enough to slice through the buzz of victory. “This is just the starting bell. You’re raw talent, love, but diamond’s gotta be cut to truly shine.”

Drew, basking in the warmth of his championship glow and the champagne fizzing through his veins, found himself momentarily entranced by the way the dim light played upon Sunny’s legs- legs that had paced countless arenas and kicked down barriers in their own right. They were the pillars of Missouri Valley Wrestling’s Alabama Gang. His eyes traced the curve from calf to thigh, admiration and desire blurring together in the haze of celebration.

Feeling a surge of boldness, perhaps spurred by the champagne or maybe by the heady intoxication of his newfound glory, Drew rose from his place of rest. He closed in on Sunny, every step exuding the confidence of a champion, yet tinged with the recklessness of youth. He leaned in, the proximity teetering on the edge of impropriety, the air between them charged with more than the static of celebration.

“Maybe you could help polish me up a bit more, eh, Sunny?” His words slurred slightly, the British inflection lending an unintended charm. His smile widened, playfully cocksure, hoping to ignite a spark beyond the mentor-mentee dynamic they so often inhabited.

“Easy there, tiger,” Sunny deflected smoothly, the laugh that followed twirling in the air as effortlessly as her frizzy blonde curls. Her glass caught the light, winking like a mischievous accomplice to her playful rebuff. “Tonight, you bask in the glory. Enjoy your moment, Drew.”

She extended a hand, her fingers grazing the gleaming surface of the championship belt that rested on Drew’s broad shoulder- a touch that was both congratulatory and grounding. The metal plates reflected their faces, twisted into expressions of mirth and ambition.

“This beauty’s proof enough of what you can do.” With a pointed finger sharp as a dagger thrust, she punctured the balloon of his ego just enough to keep him tethered to reality. “Once we’re back in St. Louis though,” and that finger now jabbed towards his chest with undeniable intent, “it’s grind time again.”

A rumble of laughter shook Drew’s frame, his head thrown back as he acknowledged the truth in her words. Back to work in St. Louis,” Drew echoed.  He ran a hand through his hair, still damp with the effort of battle, and let out a breath that seemed to carry the weight of the world.

The glittering skyline outside his hotel window played backdrop to his silhouette as he stood, the LSD championship belt slung over his shoulder—a mantle of responsibility as much as it was an emblem of triumph. In its reflection, he saw not just his own image, but the countless hours in the gym, the sacrifices, the bruises, and the relentless pursuit that brought him to this pinnacle.

“Enjoy it, Drew. No one takes this night from you,” Sunny’s words cut through his reverie, her tone equal parts command and benediction. She understood the transient nature of their world, where champions were forged in the fire of public adoration and the relentless pursuit of greatness.

“Right, I’m the LSD champ,” he murmured to himself, his British accent lending an air of gravitas to the statement. And with that, he allowed himself a small smile, a private celebration for the road traveled and the journey yet to come. The LSD champion. The title rang in his ears like a chant, a mantra for the battles ahead.

And no one could take that away,- at least not tonight.

Monday April 15th – X-Golf – Ellisville, Missouri
The neon glow of the X-Golf sign flickered as they entered the indoor golf center in Ellisville. The hum of conversation and the digital chirp of simulators set the backdrop as Sunny strutted toward their bay, her denim-clad legs drawing admiring glances.

“Go on, give us a show,” Drew teased, settling onto a stool with a drink in hand.

“Watch and learn, kid.” She winked, gripping the club with natural ease. With a powerful swing, the virtual ball soared across the projected fairway.

Beside them, a tall man with a strong swing chuckled appreciatively. “Nice form,” he commented, leaning closer.

“Thanks, love,” Sunny flirted back, her Irish lilt playing at the edges of her words. They bantered effortlessly, laughter mingling with the soft thwack of golf balls.

Drew sipped his drink, content to observe, until his eyes caught a familiar figure down the way. Brinsley Decker’s long brunette hair swished as she lined up her shot, her toned arms flexing with precision.

“Isn’t that-?” Drew muttered to himself, his interest piqued.

“Who?” Sunny turned, following his gaze. “Ah, the golfer girl. Go say hi.”

Drew hesitated, watching Brinsley drive another ball with unwavering focus. His mind raced—should he interrupt her practice? Introduce himself properly? Or just admire her dedication from afar?

“Maybe I will,” Drew mused aloud, though his body remained firmly planted on the stool.

“Or maybe you won’t,” Sunny chimed in, catching his indecision. “Your call, champ.”

He weighed his options, the competitive edge within urging him to take the chance, but something held him back—a respect for her concentration, perhaps, or an awareness of his own burgeoning responsibilities.

“Next time,” Drew decided, raising his glass slightly in a silent toast to Brinsley’s discipline.

“Suit yourself,” Sunny shrugged, turning back to her new friend with a playful smile.

Drew watched Brinsley for a moment longer before redirecting his attention to Sunny’s game, the clink of ice against glass punctuating his decision. The LSD champion had his own path to forge, and for now, that was enough.

Friday April 19th– The Cheers Bar and Grill – Manchester, Missouri
The Cheers Bar and Grill was a cacophony of raucous cheers and clinking glasses, the scent of beer-soaked wood mingling with the musk of anticipation. Drew Mitchell stood amidst it all, the LSD championship belt glinting over his shoulder, a beacon of his triumph. His eyes, fierce with the fire of a young lion, locked onto the screen as Drew’s focus narrowed to the face being shown. There, in bold arrogance, stood Charles de Lacy, his sneer cutting through the chatter and clinks of glass. Drew’s grip on his beer tightened, the cool glass a stark contrast to the heat rising in his chest.

Seeing you crowned LSD champion at March to Glory churned my stomach to its very core,” de Lacy’s voice dripped with disdain. “I feel a little nauseous thinking about it even now.

Beside him, Sunny rolled her eyes. The corner of her mouth quirked upward in a show of amused contempt, but Drew felt the bile rise in his throat.

Drew, you embarrass me.” The words slithered from the screen like a challenge. “I don’t know if it’s the Mötley Crüe hair, the D’Artagnan facial hair or your association with that strumpet Sunny O’Callahan, all I know is you fill me with shame.”

Sunny scoffed, taking a leisurely sip of her Southern Comfort. Her nonchalance was a stark contrast to the anger bubbling within Drew. His jaw clenched, muscles taut, as he watched de Lacy prance on the screen like some peacock heralding his own inflated worth.

It’s a disgrace, a betrayal of everything I hold sacred that a man such as yourself should be representing our fair isle to the impressionable hicks that tune in to HOW week after week,” de Lacy continued, his every word laced with venom. “You represent everything I despise, and your uncouth demeanour and lack of refinement only serve to tarnish the reputation of our proud nation.”

Drew’s pint hit the bar with a thud, the frothy liquid sloshing over the rim. His gaze didn’t waver from the screen, where de Lacy’s image exuded smug superiority. He could feel the hot spotlight of attention shift in the bar, fellow patrons pausing mid-conversation, drawn in by the unfolding drama.

“Easy, Drew,” Sunny murmured, though her voice carried an undercurrent of shared indignation. She leaned in closer.

Drew took a deep breath, channeling the raw energy coursing through him into a focused point. This was no mere barroom spat; it was a declaration of war, a gauntlet thrown down before the masses. Drew’s knuckles whitened as he gripped the edge of the bar, his jaw set firm and his chest heaving with each breath. The atmosphere in Cheers Bar and Grill was electric, every eye on him, waiting for his reaction. The taunts from de Lacy had cut deep, challenging not just his title but his very essence as a wrestler.

“Settle down,” Sunny’s voice dripped with sarcasm as she rolled her eyes at the mention of Charles de Lacy. She lightly patted Drew’s arm, a slight gesture of comfort in the midst of his boiling anger. “That pretentious English brat is just green with envy.”

The crowd roared in agreement, their nods and shouts buoying Drew’s spirits.

“That’s right,” Sunny continued. “That entitled little English bitch is just jealous… and can you blame her… er… I mean him?” Sunny continued, her eyes glittering with ferocity. “How many opportunities to win a big match has de Lacy had and he’s failed miserably at each one. While you, Drew, took your chance at the first opportunity and became the LSD champion.”

Sunny paused as the crowd cheered wildly.

“Plus, let’s not forget,” Sunny raised her voice above the cacophony of conversations around them, “you didn’t need some director feeding you lines or ‘canned’ intensity like de Lacy did.”

She gestured towards the screen where de Lacy’s smug face still loomed, an unwanted specter overshadowing their celebration.

“Drew, your ‘perfect stage’ at March to Glory was no scripted drama. It was real.” Her words underscored the authenticity of his craft. “Your performance at March to Glory was all-natural talent. You showcased your wrestling prowess and showed the world how a true ‘wrestler’ conducts himself inside the squared circle compared to that scripted fraud you’ll be facing Friday night, Charles de Lacy.”

Drew straightened up, feeling the weight of the championship belt over his shoulder, the leather and metal a testament to his dedication to the craft. His gaze swept across the patrons of the bar, their faces alight with respect and admiration.

Sunny leaned in closer to Drew, her voice cutting through the noise. “Let me tell you something, Drew,” she said. “That man may think I’m just some strumpet, but guess what? I’m a manager of champions.”

She nodded towards the belt, her expression one of unwavering confidence. “You won this title at age 21 in your first year in HOW. Your future? It’s so bright we’re gonna need shades.” She took a sip of Southern Comfort, savoring the moment. “As for de Lacy’s future?” Her lips curled into a smirk. “I’ll be more than happy to deliver the cold slap of a dainty white glove to Charles de Lacy’s wishful dreaming.”

The crowd erupted in support, sensing the tension and reveling in the drama that unfolded before them.

Drew, fueled by Sunny’s words and the crowd’s energy, found his voice. It was rich with the distinctive cadence of his British roots. “If de Lacy finds himself ’embarrassed’ with a bloke such as myself representing our fair isle,” he exclaimed, his accent adding weight to each word, “then he’s in for an even greater humiliation.”

He paused, letting the silence amplify his next statement. “Oi, mate, when I Tenchi Crush your title aspirations, that embarrassment will turn into outright disgrace.”

With those words hanging in the air, Drew raised his hand, fingers parted in a ‘V’ gesture directed squarely at the camera while Sunny extended her middle finger– both a brazen challenge to de Lacy wherever he might be watching. The bar patrons roared their approval, the sound sweeping through the room like a tidal wave of solidarity.

Monday April 22nd– Drew’s Apartment
The glow of the television flickered across the dimly lit confines of Drew Mitchell’s apartment, casting tall shadows against the walls adorned with wrestling memorabilia. He lounged on his beaten sofa, one arm draped over the backrest, eyes intent on the news anchor who now shifted gears from local crime to something far more pleasant.

Local golf phenomenon Brinsley Decker,” the anchor began, her voice tinged with admiration, “is starting to make some waves in the world of golf.”

Drew perked up at the mention of the familiar name. The screen cut to footage of Brinsley, her form perfect as she swung, driving the ball with a precision that belied her youth. Her long brunette hair swayed with the motion, a stark contrast to the verdant course.

Decker’s victory at the Arkansas Open this past weekend was nothing short of sensational,” the anchor continued. “Her single-minded focus, dedication to the sport, and relentless drive have set her apart, leading her to triumph.”

“Single-minded focus…” Drew muttered under his breath, nodding in respect as he pushed himself off the couch. He strode to the kitchenette, the clink of porcelain echoing as he plucked a mug from the cupboard. He dropped a tea bag in, the rich aroma of English breakfast tea soon swirling through the air as steaming water filled the cup.

Just as he returned to his spot on the sofa, the sharp trill of his cell phone sliced through the quiet hum of the TV. Drew glanced at the caller ID expecting Sunny’s name, but instead, an unexpected name flashed on the screen: Brinsley Decker.

“Oi?” he greeted, his British accent thickening with surprise.

Cue awkward silence.

“Oi?” Drew says again, his tone a mix of confusion and curiosity as the silence stretches on the other end of the line.

“Hey, it’s Brinsley,” comes the response, her voice clear and carrying that unmistakable edge of determination he’d come to associate with her.

Drew leans against the counter, cell phone pressed to his ear. “How’d you get my number?” he asks, the faintest hint of a challenge in his voice.

A soft chuckle filters through the speaker. “Sunny gave it to me the other night at X-Golf,” Brinsley reveals, her tone nonchalant, as if acquiring the personal contact of a rising wrestling star was all in a day’s work.

“Oh,” Drew replies, his gaze drifting to the steaming mug in his hand. He takes a sip of the tea, letting the warmth spread through him, steadying his nerves for whatever this call might bring.

“Congratulations on winning the LSD title,” she says, her words laced with genuine respect.

“Cheers, Brinsley,” he responds, a smile creeping into his voice despite his initial wariness. “And congrats on your win at the local tournament. Heard you were relentless out there.”

“Thanks,” she says, and Drew can almost picture her shrugging modestly. “I wanted to win, so I did what I had to do.”

“Sounds familiar,” Drew muses, thinking of his own path to the championship belt. Silence falls between them, comfortable yet charged with unspoken questions.

“So,” Brinsley ventures, breaking the quiet, “what’s going on with you and Victoria McGill?”

Drew pauses, the question catching him off guard. “She’s… out of the picture,” he admits, unsure why he feels the need to be so candid.

“Oh,” is all Brinsley says, but the single syllable hangs heavy in the air, loaded with implications and uncharted possibilities.

“Can you talk?”