Stupid Tattoo

Stupid Tattoo

Posted on May 13, 2022 at 11:46 pm by Clay Byrd

His eyes stung, even when he had them closed. The burning sensation caused by lack of sleep permeated through his neurons. The inside of his eyelids were a cavalcade of lights and shapes. The shapes would move and transform, rods and cones morphed into stars and darkness but the sweet release of sleep never came. Just the shapes dancing in front of his eye lids. The Behemoth rolled over on the cot, he stared out into the darkness. His vision had started to blur a day or two ago, he wasn’t sure. He’d lay on the cot for what felt like hours, his arms and legs felt tortured and exhausted. 
 
The only thing that relieved The Monster’s fury was the giant tire in the middle of the floor. And the sledgehammer that sat beside it. Clay stumbled to his feet, he looked like a drunken buffoon but there wasn’t an empty beer can in sight. His gray t-shirt was covered in stains, his beard looked matted. Part of it was even matted into his hair. Clay didn’t care, he hadn’t cared about much since last Saturday. 
 
Of course he hadn’t been in attendance at Refueled, but he had watched. He’d analyzed everything from the recliner in Solex’s living room. Conor Fuse being an imbecile wasn’t of any consequence to Clay. The kid had his own world of bullshit to deal with now. What appeared to be Michael Best’s son had made sure The Gamerboy had felt a knee upside the skull that had surely been ment for Clay. None of that mattered though, none of that bothered The Behemoth. 
 
GOD had returned. 
 
The one man Clay had waited to have return for months, he looked thinner, his gaunt appearance wasn’t what bothered The Behemoth. It was his acceptance of the status quo. Three of Lee’s most loyal soldiers, four if you counted Harrison stood before him. What had Clay expected? The old man to pick his servants over his family? Why had he believed in GOD? Why had Clay Byrd had faith in Lee Best? 
 
That’s what you’re supposed to do with GOD’s, right? Have faith? Believe? Follow their orders to the letter? Before the old man had left he left the enormous contract that had laid out many things, it was to be a map for the future of High Octane Wrestling. Clay depended on that contract like men depended on the good book. He would die in defense of it, he would go to war at it’s command. And The Behemoth had, he’d done exactly that. 
 
He gripped the wooden shaft of the sledgehammer. His blistered fingers wrapped around the maple handle. The twenty pound hammer went from the floor to above Clay’s head in a flash, and the head came down and smashed the tractor tire. He snarled as one of the blisters on his fingers had already cracked open, the fluid spilled down the handle. Clay gripped the hammer tighter, and swung again at the tire. 
 
It was a futile mission, trying to destroy the tire. The tire would not dissipate, as hard as Clay could swing the tire would not go away. It would absorb the punishment, and fire back at The Behemoth, the recoil of the hammer sending it back almost over his shoulder. It took every muscle in his upper body to catch the hammer on the recoil and swing it again at the tire. 
 
The tire was like The Best family, never leaving, never vacating. If anything, it became stronger and sent the hammer back towards Clay harder with every swing. The new Best child, Michael Lee Best, lurking on the outside of the cage, and the one who betrayed The Behemoth pulling all the strings. Clay’s low growl filled the space in the room as he took another swing with the hammer. He’d been at this for days, he hadn’t slept since Refueled had aired. 
 
He screamed, the hammer fell out of his hand and clanged to the ground. The Behemoth stopped, his arms gave out before his legs did but they found the cold concrete just like the hammer. Clay looked at his torn and bleeding hands, and the dirt caked into them. A knock at the door of the bunker caused him to stop staring for a moment. 
 
“Dad wanted me to see…” The small, scared voice echoed in the concrete bunker. Scotty didn’t dare come down the stairs, he was smarter than that. The mangled metal chair at the bottom of the steps was a testament to his forethought. The Behemoth lifted another chair and flung it as hard as he could against the concrete wall of the bunker. Scotty carefully exited out of the bunker and sprinted across the perfectly manicured yard as fast as he could.
 
Steve Solex sat outside covered in baby oil working on his tan, he heard little Scotty and glanced at the boy with one open eye. Scotty stopped in front of Solex and stood at attention. He made the young man wait an entire minute like that in the hot sun before speaking to him. 
 
“At ease,” Solex said as the young man placed his hands behind his back. “What’s your report private?” 
 
“General Byrd seems to still be outraged and angry, he threw a chair at me again.” Scotty said, Solex raised an eyebrow and sat up placing the mirror down beside the chair. 
 
“How’s he look?” Solex asked, Scotty shrugged his shoulders. He tried to open his mouth to speak but Solex just snarled at the young man.
 
“Get the fuck in the house, I’ll check on him myself.” 
 
The old warrior and #1 Dad trudged across the lawn towards the bunker, he opened the door and started down the steps. Another chair came flying in and crashed against the wall, barely missing Steve. He looked at the furious Behemoth in the middle of the bunker, the single overhead light illuminated Solex to the full severity of the situation. Byrd was looking for the closest object, but Solex was able to intercept the weakened Behemoth
 
“HE FUCKIN’ BETRAYED US STEVE!” Clay roared, Solex went into action as fast as he could. He grabbed his enormous friend around the waist and tossed one arm over his shoulder, he pulled him over to the cot and sat his best friend down. The exhausted Monster from Plainview’s chest was heaving as he sucked in breath after breath. Steve turned around momentarily to grab the last metal folding chair. He felt the huge hand on his shoulder and reflexively turned around wielding the chair at The Monster
 
“I ain’t gonna hurt ya Steve,” The Behemoth almost whimpered. He grabbed a gallon jug of water and stumbled back to the cot. Steve’s eyes flashed around the room. He looked for the cause of the stumbling. The only cans he could see were the food stores that Clay had been rummaging through. 
 
“I know… sorry Clay, old habit…” Steve set up the chair and sat down beside the big man as Clay drank half the gallon of water in one huge swig of the gallon jug. He looked over at Solex, his pale blue eyes darted around the room before he sat the jug down. 
 
“That bad?” Solex asked, the only answer from The Behemoth was a grunt. He held out his worn palms to Solex, showing him the damage and the torn blisters. 
 
“The fuck did you think was going to happen Clay?” Solex said with a smirk, but Clay didn’t react to the comedic attempt. 
 
“I dunno Steve, I don’t fuckin’ know. He’d come back and it would all go back to normal? We’d be back on the payroll, start crackin’ skulls fer him ‘gain. It’d be like old times…” Steve looked at Clay, stunned at the words coming out of The Behemoth’s mouth. 
 
“You actually believed that?” The concerned tone in Solex’s voice was clear. 
 
“No, I thought he was fuckin’ dead.” Clay mumbled as he pulled at his beard. 
 
“So, what do you want to do Clay? You want to walk away? Call Troy and beg her to take you?” Clay’s blood shot eyes widened for a moment, before his brow furrowed. 
 
“We could have if it wasn’t fer him,” Clay said. Steve shook his head back and forth as he listened to The Behemoth’s ramblings. “If he hadn’t made us do all that terrible shit…” 
 
SMACK
 
The right hand flew from Solex out of complete reflex, the blow stunned The Behemoth. 
 
“He didn’t make us do a fucking thing Clay, we did that shit on our own. He gave the orders, but we executed them. Any time we wanted, we could have walked across that line and joined the other sorry sacks of shit sitting across from us. Anytime we wanted Gamerboy to hand us a controller all we had to do was ask, but we didn’t Clay!” Solex’s snarl and disgust were astonishing to The Behemoth, but more than that, it was the tone of his voice. 
 
“So what do you wanna do? Sit down here and fucking smash a tire for another two weeks until we go to Ukraine, or do you want to get back at that mother fucker?” Clay paused for a moment looking at Solex. The tension in the room was thick, you could cut it with a knife. 
 
“How?” 
 
“We take those belts off of JJR and Pleasant, what’s the one thing Lee always wants?” The question was rhetorical, but The Behemoth nodded along anyway. 
 
“He wants the belts, that’s all he ever talked ‘bout. He wanted ta keep his belts,” Clay said as he ran his bloody hands through his hair. 
 
“And his new little murder pet has one Clay, and we can fucking take it. We need to take it, we HAVE to take it.” Solex took a chance and grabbed The Behemoth on both sides of his matted beard. “I fucking need you to want to take it Clay. I fucking need you to want to rip that little fucks arms off. I want you to destroy JJR. We NEED you.” 
 
The last three words hung in the air between the two men, Solex let go of The Behemoth’s greasy beard and looked at him waiting for a response. It never came, but Clay grabbed the now half gallon of water and walked with Solex out of The Bunker. As they got to the doorway, Clay turned around, his eyes squinting from the sunlight. 
 
“I won’t let you down in there, Steve.” 
 
“I know.” 
 
——————————–
 
I wanted to quit, I wanted to give up. I watched the last Refueled and my spirit was broken, there came Lee Best out to stop all the nonsense. Or at least I thought he came to stop the nonsense. I was wrong. He came to break our spirits, he came to send us spiraling out of control. That bastard emerged from the grave for War Games, and he came to put the final nail in my coffin. Lee Best wasn’t my savior, he was there to destroy me. 
 
All the violence, all the tenants of High Octane I held dear because Lee asked me to hold them dear, all the melodramatic bullshit. In that moment I saw how the patriarch of The Best Family valued loyalty. 
 
He spit in it’s face. 
 
How do you feel right now Jeffrey James Roberts? Do you feel good? Do you feel like uncle Lee’s going to take care of you? How long until you’re just spare parts that he feeds into his next wood chipper? Boy, Michael sure seems to like that STRONK feller. What if you make a mistake? What happens if you get Tyler Best eliminated from War Games? Do you think you get to walk out of that cell again? Or do you think Wahl, and STRONK will walk through that cell door and they’ll each grab a leg and split you like a wishbone at Thanksgiving
 
But until then, you’ll be a good dog, right? You don’t have any other choice, Lee has your life at his fingertips. One word from GOD and you’re gone faster than a two dollar whore in Chicago. 
 
See Jeff, I’m not going to let Lee have the satisfaction of getting to murder you for a mistake at War Games. You’re not going to make it there, I’m going to rip Pleasant apart in front of you, and use his body parts to beat you to death. I’ll take away Lee’s old favorite toy before he’s done with it. 
 
And you Pleasant, what’s there to say about you that Harrison hasn’t said and done to you already? Hell, I was one of your War Games captains, and I had so little faith in you I started playing mind games with Sektor. I couldn’t imagine a world where you managed to beat Sektor when he could fully focus on the match with you. I couldn’t picture a world that John Sektor, The Gold Standard let himself lose to you. 
 
You thought I was sacrificing Brian Hollywood? Arthur, there wasn’t a bigger sacrifice on that board than feeding you to Sektor. I knew it, and you knew it. We might as well have handed Sektor a ball bat and had him go in and fucking murder you with it, that’s how fucking useless you are. You had a chance to be world champion, and instead, you walked in there against John Sektor and got decimated. Just like I knew you would. 
 
Straight out of War Games, back down to the bottom. You’re Scott Stevens with a shittier tattoo, the only way you could make it worse is if it said “FEEL THE SMILE” below it with a fax number. I fucking despise your existence you walking, talking, garbage can of a human being. You’re so fucking useless you couldn’t even be a Wal-Mart greeter even with that stupid fucking button. 
 
You know what would be funny Arthur? If I rip the flesh off of you with that tattoo on it and give it to Jeff to take home and put with his little collection. He can even put ‘my first tag team partner’ under it in his scrapbook. It’d be touching, he can look down at that little stupid bloodied watchman tattoo and realize his greatest mistake
 
Yes, teaming with you is a bigger mistake than getting arrested for murder. 
 
He’ll realize that when I take those little belts off you and deposit them back at the bunker for The Highwaymen. 
 
See You Soon