The bright lights from the New York City continued to fade away as the whistling sound of my falling body rang loudly through my ears. This was it! Teddy Palmer sentenced me to death in the New York City Sewage system. Everyone knows how lethal this shit is down here! Chills ran up through my spine as regrets continued to surface. I’d neglected Meredith and Lexi. I’d never won the HOW World Championship. I didn’t spend enough time developing relationships in HOW or heckling Lee. My heart wanted to leap outside of its chest as darkness fully surrounded me. Time felt like it stood still as second felt like years. I closed my eyes before I barely caught the noise of my body crashing into the sewage filled waters of Times Square….
Everything faded from my mind as my eyes slowly cracked; I saw the white oak trees outside the big picture window in my bedroom slowly come into focus. My head began to throb as the sunlight beamed directly into my eyes. As I grabbed my throbbing head; I felt the warm arms of someone wrapped around my neck almost yanking me from the bed.
“Good morning sleepy head!!!! I’m so glad you’ve returned to the land of the living, hehehe!”
Meredith squeezed me extra tight as I turned my head towards my alarm clock. It read 10:13 AM. Immediately I scramble out from under the covers and frantically rushing to throw clothes on. “Meredith!” I exclaimed. “I’m going to be late for my flight out to New York. The plane leaves in an hour. There’s no way I will make it in time to Times Square to prepare for my LSD Championship match if I miss my flight. I have to get back in my mindset…”
“Uh, Darin…” she quietly called out as I rushed into my closet to pull out my old worn out HOW T-Shirt and a pair of sweatpants into a duffle bag.
“Not now, Meredith! I’m fucking late! This match at March To Glory is the most important match in my career,” I say as I toss her my iPhone, “quickly book me an Uber to the Saint Louis Airport. I need this done NOOOOOW.”
“EARTH TO DARIN?! It’s been 5 days since your match at March to Glory. You’ve been at home recovering from your fall,” she says as her eyes sink while I continue to toss unwashed clothes into the bag hoping to make my flight. I cram the last pieces of clothing into my bag before darting towards the door as Meredith stands directly in the doorway, tapping her foot.
“MOVE OUT OF THE WAY NOW, MEREDITH!!!! I NEED TO…”
Meredith yanks me by the arm and tosses me down on the bed, turns on the television and shows me the ending to the LSD match at March to Glory. Bewildered, I stare at her for a moment, trying to process everything that’s happened. I rub my chin trying to process everything all at once. She pulled out the paperwork from the Mount Sinai hospital. I read through the diagnosis as she begins to fill me in.
“You’ve been recovering from your fall for the last five days. Doctors spent days running tests on you. They couldn’t find anything wrong you from the fall. They’ve ran all sorts of tests including diagnostics on radioactivity, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with you. Not that I agree with them…we all know something is wrong with you. But here…”
She hands me a notebook with things I documented from the last few days of activity. We had grabbed pancakes, gone for long walks. I saw all the symptoms from lightheadedness to irritability to memory loss, the whole nine yards. Immediately I reached for my Montblanc pen at the side of my desk documenting the lapse in time. Meredith watched me intently.
She said using a concerned tone, “Uuuuh, what are you doing?”
I dropped into Google studying all the source material I could. From Quantum Leap to Superman to Captain America, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and some science magazines; I wrote and drew pictures before immediately I threw up a picture of me hitting a worm hole.
“Great Scott! I’ve discovered time travel, Meredith! I’ve finally done it! Sutler Kael finally has a purpose as the director of Human Resources and Time Travel shit.”
Meredith grabbed the journal and slapped me across the head. “Try again, Darin! I don’t care how many DeLorean cars and Hot Tub Time Machines HOW has; it’s a gimmick. Try again.”
“Well it only means one other thing, Mer Bear. It means I have superpowers. There’s no other logical explanation as to why I survived the nuclear waste in the New York Sewage System and don’t remember it. I clearly now have superpowers. I can feel them coursing through my veins.”
Meredith rolled her eyes and balked. “You were found 12 hours later floating on the back of a sewer alligator by some weird team dressed in hazmat suits…and Scottywood wearing an eye patch for some odd reason. I think they sent the EPU to try and find your remains.”
I pointed and laughed at Meredith looking her directly in the eyes and patting her on the head. “Ooooooh, Meredith, I’ve been a TMNT fan and Hulk fan for years. Clearly, I took a swim in the nuclear waste; I gained powers I cannot control yet. And they must be amazing superpowers! I wouldn’t document my journeys in this book if my mind keeps wiping daily. Maybe I know the Jedi Mind trick. Watch!!!!”
I wave my hand right in front of Meredith’s face a couple times while chanting out, “You will stop doubting me. You will stop doubting me.”
Meredith unfolds her arms and punches me directly in the arm before shaking her head. “Shut up, you dork. You do not have superpowers!” She grabs the pillow and smacks me across the head playfully. I leap up and point my finger directly in her face.
“SEE! SEE! You aren’t being a skeptical as you were 5 seconds ago! HA! I knew I have the power of the Jedi Mind trick!”
“Shut up!” She said as she got off the bed and grabbed my fully packed duffel bag off the floor before shoving straight into my chest. “You’ve got training in an hour at the MVW facility. HOW wants you in peak condition in 3 weeks for a match. You think Super Darin can handle a simple task like that?”
Reluctantly I nod as I put the bag over my shoulder quicker than I’ve ever done and head back towards the door with Meredith. As we slowly began to leave, I whispered under my breath so she couldn’t hear it: “I will discover my superpowers if it’s the last thing I do.”
“Another definition of a hero is someone who is concerned about other people’s well-being and will go out of his or her way to help them — even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed without a doubt, a real superhero.”
“You know what Hughie Freeman; I used to have a ton of respect for a fighter of your caliber. You absolutely used to stand for something that mattered. You marched to the beat of your own damn drum no matter if it rubbed people the wrong way. You took your beatings and dished them out harder. You didn’t discriminate against anyone. You stepped inside of that squared circle; kicked ass, took names and it drove you to a lot of success. Deep down inside Hughie, I fucking hated myself for not tapping into that spunk you had. Eons ago, I shared that spark for a good fight. I fought the good fight, collected 24 different championships and decorated myself in gold like you just started to do in HOW before the March To Glory season. You racked up wins against a former World Champion in Scottywood. You ended Jiles’ LSD Championship and beat a future World Champion. You had it all made.
Then you fuckin’ squandered it.
You were the true definition of a pikey. You kicked ass, travelled the world, and had that ruthless name until you attached your mouth around Lee Best’s dick like the desperate little leech of a man you truly are. You had notoriety, fame fortune, and finesse as a performer I’d not seen since the likes of me back in 2014. Hell, I’d have bought you a pint being a fellow Irishman who loves kicking ass and taking names. You’re a damn good little spitfire of an Irishman and I respect a good Irishman.
Hell, you wouldn’t know it from my looks, but I’ve got some Irish blood in me. I love a good ole’ fashioned brawl and I fancy someone who shares the same kind of moxie.
But I don’t fancy some brown-nosed dirt bird like yourself parading you’re one of the toughest sons of bitches around like prized fighting hooligan that represents the land of my ancestors. You see our ancestors rolled in their graves when they saw yer bleeding tick lips attach themselves around Lee Best’s dick. You beat your chest like it’s a prize being accepted into the Best Alliance like it’s some kind of fight club. But you’re nothing but a yellow bellied muppet sucking dried shite out of Lee’s ass. Hell, the old Hughie Freeman wouldn’t storm down to the ring like a coward with an army of Lee’s goons and would fight the good Irish fight alone with a few pint glasses in his hand and cracked them over the skulls of those bastards just for shits and giggles.
But what did you do? You sold out your heritage and have become a mere scab.
If you’re a true Irishman, I’m cutting ye deep with that shit. I’m cutting ye deep by calling you a fraud.
And I want your little Irish ass seeing red in our fight because it’s the one weakness we both have.
See, your little threats about collecting Lee Best’s receipts don’t scare me. You beat up a worthless random jobber. You molly whopped a gang of the toughest bad asses in HOW taking short cuts. Fight or flight, right?
While you’re desperately fighting your ass off trying to get off Lee; I’m fighting for something different. I’m fighting for pride.
You see, you and your little Best Alliance fuck sticks stand in my way to getting my hands around Jatt Starr’s neck. You’ve all poked fun at my name far too long. This is my pride. This is my dignity, and this is my God damned ring. I’ve spent over 15 years cementing my legacy in this business and you and your little buddies want to shit all over my legacy. In fact, it disgusts me to no end you do this. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into my fucking career. I take pride in every championship I’ve held both inside this company and outside of it. Yet you want to poke fun at my loyalty. You want to discredit my work ethic when I kept the lights on above you and Lee Best’s head. Sure, I’ve had my ups and downs in this business, but everyone’s had it.
And I’m tired of being a doormat for you and the rest of your fucking cock socking, clod hopping disrespectful cunt asses. You all come in and out of this company like it’s a revolving door. You all get on your hands and knees and polish Lee Best’s dick up really nice to get yourself 15 seconds of fame before you let the damn door hit your ass on the way out. Meanwhile I’m busting my ass off trying to make a decent living and build a career at your fucking expenses.
You know how that makes me feel? Pretty fuckin’ pissed off. Like Irish pissed off, mate!
I want to knock a few damn skulls around, cause some blood to pour from your heads and leave you in a pile of your own damn piss to add insult to injury.
Yet at every turn, the Best Alliance has plagued my career on and off again for the last 6 years. They’ve stone walled me. They’ve shat on me. They’ve mocked my name. They’ve taken shortcuts, used under handed tactics, distractions, and the entire kitchen sink. All the while, that anger continues to build up. Every time I hear you or any one of your crew call me the “Other Guy” or “mediocre” and demean me builds that anger. It intensifies that anger. It builds it up to a point where I want to break.
And I’ve fucking hit the brink weeks ago.
I banned your ass from my life at March to Glory for a reason. I made my statement. You, Lee Best, and your other cock mongering Best Alliance cucks have terrorized me for the last damn time. It’s damn time I make a statement. It’s time I seize my respect back. It’s time I stop letting waiting for Lee Best to toss me the damn scraps.
It’s damn time I took that target I put on my back and use it as a damn strength instead of a weakness. Maybe I can rip it off my back and start beating Solex and the Lonely Hearts Club around if you asswipes get involved in my match this week.
I’m pretty damn tired and fed up with how you treat men and the rest of the roster by issuing ultimatums and abusing your fucking power when the rest of us had to keep the damn lights on all these last three years. You better believe I want to take your skull, Hughie, and crack it a few times through the Best Arena and leave a trail of blood this week in our match.
I’m not fighting you this week simply for a paycheck.
I’m not fighting you for some dumb participation prize.
I’m fighting you for my pride.
I’m tired of letting you and everyone of the Best Alliance take the pride out of my fights. I’m tired of you fucks winning against me at every single turn. I’m tired of being denied for 6 years a win against any Best Alliance I take on. You’re damn right I’m looking for a fight and had I crossed paths with you last week; I would have kicked your Irish ass over to the Scottish border just to disrespect your pikey vagabond ass.
You will not take my victory this week, Hughie. I will not let you. I will fight you with every inch in my body until I’ve got none left just to make damn sure you get your Irish ass dragged out on a stretcher.
I’m the hero in this damn story, not you.
I’m the ruthless son of a bitch in HOW, not you.
I’m the man who marches to the beat of his own drum and wins, not you.
You joined the wrong side of this road, brother. And while I once respected you; I promise you, Hughie. I’m fighting dirtier than you this week. I might the whitest meat loveable shit head, but you damn right won’t be the next Best Alliance member to walk all over me.
I won’t be denied this win. I will ban you again this week. I’ll make you the utter embarrassment I made you to Lee after March to Glory. I promise your night will be long and your walk of shame will be longer.
I will be the one that gets away from Lee Best. I will not be another shit head he smears on the mat to be an example.
You will fall, Hughie, mark my words. I’ll drop you to your knees for your master and you won’t be polishing his pole. You will be left at his feet as an example not to mess with me or the rest of the HOW roster. Your stupid ass war is over.
You may try and take our lives, but you will not take our freedom.
I will be the Hero of High Octane after I end you. And after words, I’ll pour a pint out over your worthless ass just watch your ass squirm, you worthless Pikey.”