We all Have Journals
After the Camera Went Out.
The camera went out, broken on the USS Octane floor. I slapped my face a few times to try coming back to reality from the horrifying grin I was subjecting Jack to. It is not that I care about his fear, but it is not something that suits me. I understood that things were different and that a cork was taken out and destroyed with no hope in putting it back in. I rubbed my cheeks in hopes it would help and finally my mouth went back to normal.
“I almost think that was on purpose, but that would mean you are smarter than I believed.”
Jack Marley, the lackey extraordinaire shrugs and soccer kicks the camera ten feet away. “I don’t have the money to pay for that, mon.”
I rolled my eyes, “yet you kick it right in front of me. Explain yourself before you join Igor in the Nurses office where your medicinal herb will be given to Jiles.”
Jack gulped remembering every drop of blood that had just rained down upon the battleship when Steve got his hands, elbows, and forearms on Igor. Not to mention the loss of his herb may as well be an elbow to his head. “Well remember when you discovered your dad gave me what would become the amazing Miracle Whip.”
I gave him a fake surprise look, my hands on both my cheeks looking like Kevin from Home Alone, “yes, what a surprise.”
He nodded not understanding sarcasm, “ok, well to get the car from your dad I had to promise to make notes on anything you said in your dreams.”
I began tapping my foot on the floor quicker and quicker after each word Jack said. “Interesting,” My left foot stomped hard on the floor making Jack jump back. “Why?”
I grimaced at that question. I was becoming more annoyed with not getting quick responses and my right eye starting twitching consequently. “Yes, why the hell did he want you to take notes on that?”
Jack wiped his head as being nervous and the summer sun had made him begin to sweat, “um…I guess he was worried about the sleeping pills not working or what could happen if they didn’t. He never said anything I told him was important though, mon.”
I waved him off, “just guilt dreams over my brother since I haven’t and won’t visit him.”
“What about– recently?”
What little sleep I got was as light as a Darin Zion one liner. I wake, I sweat, I scribble, and I eventually fall back asleep to seemingly wake up minutes later by an alarm. A noise I hear all the time like someone was playing a prank on me. It was a constant in my life that has gotten worse as the months have gone on.
Wrestling is painful.
Wrestling is stressful.
Those are the excuses I have made because I have never had this success or agonizing failure as a performer. I was always looking from the outside at what it was like to be a Main Event level talent in this industry. I was never really a member of it, ripped away from it after only six months and having to wait ten years to re-enter.
My dreams and nights are always the same, but it gets brighter and louder, my head pounding longer and my hand gripping for something that isn’t there.
It shakes…When I am awake now, not just in the dream.
My powerful left hand reminiscing a person with Parkinson’s. It is not something I am ignoring…it is something I am hiding.
I am excited after all.
“It is like staring at the sun because you have to…as it is talking to you,” I stammered out of my mouth not even realizing I am explaining something to Jack Marley whose understanding of anything not weed related is very limited.
Jack looked around with a look on his face that screamed he was hoping for help. He finally just looked down to the floor obviously not trying to look at whatever my damaged face was showing at that minute. “Is it…well, I mean, maybe that is what the pills are supposed to dampen.”
He took another step back from me.
I looked up at the sky, “so what happens when I stop using them?”
He shook his head at me, “is it worth finding out, mon? They might not even be working well anymore and look at you?”
I looked to my left hand thinking it would start shaking again but nothing happened. I took that as a sign because what else should I believe in during this train of thought. I grabbed the pills from my pocket and threw them as far as I could and watched as they went overboard like they were an extension of Teddy Palmers unwashed jeans.
“Touchdown, I always was the best athlete in the family.”
Jack watched the pills go overboard and a look of concern took over his face. He struggled in his pocket and pulled out a premade joint and lit it as quick as possible to calm his nerves. “That…that, goes without saying, mon.”
I walked away because that goes without saying.
That goes without saying.
The Bowels of The Battleship
“Where did those four come from?”
We are deep within the USS Octane where four young Japanese men all in black trunks are dispersed around a makeshift wrestling ring. The only thing on the floor is a wrestling mat with work lights on each corner showing the only light inside the dark corner of the battleship.
“I heard Harrison called in a favor with Sutler and a woman in a white suit with red hair delivered these four from MAXKAEL JR’s dojo.”
“Yea, I think they are breathing.”
The two talking finally get into the work light area and we see Laser and Igor talking to each other. Igor has a splint on his nose and a swollen eye from the beating Steve had given him days before. Laser has a smile on his face as he looks at each trainee struggling to breath on the cracked and dirty old wrestling mat. The only thing new are the red stains that seem to be everywhere.
“Should we…I don’t know, get help?” Igor asks sheepishly still trying to learn that violence like this is encouraged.
Laser shakes his head, “no, these are nothing but pawns. Sutler wouldn’t have given the OK if people cared if they came home or not.”
“What about that?”
Igor points to the corner where Steve Harrison can be seen sitting on a metal folding chair. His hands are taped and drenched in red and the T-Shirt he is wearing is unrecognizable because of sweat, blood, and tears all over it. He is staring straight ahead with his palms on his thighs pointing towards the ceiling.
“So–did you see any of this?” Igor asks and he tries to look away from The Miracle Man and concentrate on Laser.
Laser nods slowly, “it was like watching an artist paint a masterpiece.”
“That is disturbing, Laser.”
Laser chuckles to himself, “you learn to enjoy this, Igor or you won’t be making the ride back to America.”
Igor slowly moves his right hand and rubs the splint as he panders what enjoying this means after he got a swift beating, “yes sir…is he sleeping?”
“I am not sure it is wise to find out,” Laser pauses as he thinks back at what he witnessed and what he didn’t notice. “He fought until each one of those young boys were unconscious while not saying a word as he was proving his new resolve. I am not sure how much he has slept since we got to Tokyo either so any odd motion towards him might snap him back into fight mode. This is what it looks like when you attempt to prove you are worthy of The Best Alliance, Igor.”
“You honestly think,” he points back at Steve, “that he is in any shape to perform in a match like War Games?”
“If you saw what I saw you would be asking if it is legal to put someone in a cage with him.”
“But…he looks like he could pass out at any moment.”
Harrison blinks and looks down at his taped hands, the blood beginning to soak into his palm from the tape unable to hold it back any longer. He grabs his right index finger and snaps it back in the place fixing a dislocation that must have occurred during his performance. He winces as it straightens out and then begins looking at the men lying on the mat. They begin to finally move around from their injuries or near-death experiences. He exhales a long breath and whispers, “I heard it, that damn alarm.”
Igor looks at Laser and softy says, “what?”
Steve begins talking again before Laser can respond. “I am not claiming to be perfect, heh, far from it. I have done my duty, but it feels empty. These scabs had zero experience and hearing screams and prayers in Japanese made it feel like a video game that has yet to make it to the States. I am sure Conor could understand that, but he could not understand going the extra mile…no… MILES to succeed in this hell.”
“He doesn’t seem happy, Laser.”
Laser waves his hand at Igor, “shut up.”
Harrison pauses and looks up at the ceiling again and then taps his right temple, “did Jatt Starr visit me the other day with product ideas?”
Igor obviously having the listening skills of a child decides to interrupt even after laser had told him to not talk, “yea, I saw you guys talking the other day.”
Steve stands up and then looks towards Laser and Igor, “how long have you been there?”
Laser grimaces but answers before Igor can screw up again, “not long, Steve. I am very impressed with what I see here though. I believe if Lee could see he would tear up at the sheer splendor of it all.”
Steve looks back at the fallen dojo students. Each making a different grunt as they move around slowly. He looks back at Laser and Igor and begins walking slowly towards them, “have you ever thought how it might be if that was you crawling on the floor trying to find your teeth? You could always ask Igor I suppose…right, Laser?”
Laser nods back to Steve, “I would prefer to stay clean and uninjured so I can help you and Jiles the best I can.”
Harrison shakes his head obviously agitated by Laser’s bullshit response, “right, well I think I need a shower after this.”
“Don’t let Lee know, but as Cecilworth would say you need to get the stink of the poor’s off you, I understand.”
“Sure,” Steve grumbles as he looks away from Laser and stares as one of the trainees drags a seemingly broken ankle across the mat with tears running down his cheek.
“How do you feel now, champ?” Laser asks still grinning from ear to ear at the chaos.
The Miracle Man begins walking away, “terrible,” he responds and continues to walk, his left hand shaking again as he stares at the ceiling like it were talking to him.
I think, I mean shit it is dark at least.
I had already broken the only clock that was in my room. I had gotten sick of looking at it knowing I still had not fallen asleep. So, it is currently in pieces scattered around my room. My cell phone had died days ago, and Jack had been searching for a replacement charger but as always, The Best Alliance members had not been helpful in that regard. Can you see Jack wandering around Tokyo? Oh well…I am certain it will solve itself.
But, really…I don’t want to talk to anyone anyway. I have enough random noises I cannot understand around this ridiculous Battleship.
OK, also I don’t have any friends or family that would be reaching out to see how I am.
I am… heh…
I am dangerously low on sanity right now. I can at least comprehend my situation but do not fool yourself into thinking I am less competent inside the ring. I feel like I am coil about to be unleashed and to be honest with you, I am not sure how that will look.
It is all fun and games, until it isn’t.
People have died during matches in HOW.
People have lost eyes for disappointing Lee.
People have lost their children to other wrestlers and not done a damn thing to get them back.
If HOW offices had a daycare if would have been ran by The Minister, that is how dark and disturbing much of what goes on here is.
Who am I to complain though? I haven’t exactly been a pillar of morality and fairness. I have acted with my best intentions at the heart of everything. I have done business with The Minister and used his death to make myself more money. I have attacked LT and left her injured while sometimes making misogynist remarks towards her birthing canal.
I mean some things can still be funny if still alarming.
I have sold items that some people may say were made by Chinese children under the influence of only eating from a Wet Market and being paid in Miracle Money.
Then I laid out Bobby Dean and made my declaration that I was part of The Best Alliance. Lee Best knows how to throw a party especially when he is fitting the bill. It is about the money. I guess that is my vice, since it keeps me clamped to the cause.
Is this a confession?
I suppose it is just a man’s ramblings from a bed that feels like it is fucking made of sharp pieces of granite.
I am not asking for forgiveness nor am I apologizing. What’s done is done and nobody in HOW can claim being an innocent bystander…well maybe Zeb but that is because nobody cares enough about him. I have done and will continue to do what needs to be done for me to succeed. The Best Alliance is a ragtag group of performers that NEED to succeed because us failing brings about the worse in GOD. I know exactly what that means, and I have made it clear that I will try my hardest to get along with these people.
I have heard Dan Ryan of all people go down the road of fake outrage. He claims that Conor Fuse showed him respect so he is fine with him being his tag partner. Who has ever said they don’t respect the fucking Murder Daddy? I am serious, if this is all it takes to get him to agree to be your partner, I guess I should have just said those stupid words.
But what is the point?
It is foregone conclusion that any wrestler worth a damn in this industry would respect Dan Ryan and everything he has done and is still doing. If he wants to find some new angle for motivation, then so be it but I wouldn’t want to bust that Texan nose of his if I didn’t think it meant something.
As for Conor Fuse…no…no, I don’t respect the words with friend’s partner of Jatt Starr. Lot of three letter words between those two geniuses. I have made mention before that I think he could be great but instead of following up on his grueling battles with Scottywood and High Flyer he becomes LT’s servant. Do the recruiting even though you should be concentrating on your skills after you not only lost to Jiles but then lost the tag titles to ME. Yea, ME, I did all the work that isn’t controversial.
How does it feel to know you could be so much more but instead run around with game controllers so LT can do absolutely nothing but be a leader in name only? I don’t need to hear about the Grapplers being on the same page because you aren’t. You just despise us like we despise you. LT hates Lee and then what? I can understand your desire to get at Sutler but then you chose to be in the tag title portion of War Games.
Was that even your decision?
You won’t get to Sutler and that is the sad truth. You cannot beat Jatt and Ryan just lost to Sektor. What will change now when your focus is entirely elsewhere? I suppose you will be a Lyft member for life now. I wish you luck on advancing but just know that it isn’t going end up in your favor. If it isn’t me, it will be the Sutlinister leaving you wondering what could have been. There are no save points, pal, just violence…lots of violence.
I mean I guess nobody should take advice from the wrestling sham wow guy, right Ray? Glad you got an interview where you could toss out one sentence opinions on your competition.
I don’t mean the interview. I mean every word that came out of your mouth. That is all you have. Ray? Not some vague back handed comment on how you got screwed when you lost to me for the tag titles. Nope, you need to focus on your past a little more so you can rev yourself up for your showdown with Jace. The dude tried to set you on fire who gives a shit about you beating him five years ago now. I feel like maybe you are still a little hurt by me calling your fed some redneck shit hole that gives Eric Dane a voice for some god-awful reason. While you are giving him a paycheck for putting over his trainee ask him how it felt to give up before he even fought me. You are welcome, Conor. You guys have that in common, Ray because instead of trying to rectify being dominated by me you just brush me off as some salesman that is below you to concentrate on.
The truth is you know it is safer to pretend I barely exist because if you must think about me at all you will have an anxiety attack. I am not a salesman on June Sixth, I am going to be a survivor and a Plague for everyone who takes me lightly.
That goes for everyone of course. I might be questioning a lot, but I am not questioning my skills in the ring. I see things, I hear things, I don’t sleep, and I actually feel empathy for the first time in a while. But inside the cages at War Games none of that matters because I don’t want to lose again.
I won’t hesitate anymore.
I won’t be taken off my game by someone else’s antics.
I won’t stop until my opponents are unconscious.
Don’t worry I will eventually join you but mine will be sleep, one way or another.
Because that goes without saying.
“Because you are so large your capture was that much easier.”
“Everyone just wants to know what the hell is going on.”
“You are experienced enough to know that sometimes you need to pivot and Rebecca Hines disappearance the first time was a pivot. The second time, it was because it doesn’t always work.”
“I would say twenty five percent of the time it has been fairly successful. To control outcomes there will always be failures and in some cases, maintenance is required.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You and your real boss have always had the wrong impression of me. I am not a businessman. Helping my forgettable son become a wrestler was never going to get you guys anywhere with me. I found it to be helpful though because he will never be able to replace me when I am gone so it was nice to send him away for a while.”
“Then what is the point of all of this?”
“It is an experiment, Mr. Morris. I was hoping that one day Steve would be an acceptable member of the organization, but he can never take my place like I took my fathers place and his father before him. He is too broken, and wrestling seems to be the main cause of that. I think back that maybe I should have never allowed that to happen but his mother babied him so much as a child that he actually believed in heroes and that the good guy will always win out in the end.”
“That doesn’t sound like Steve.”
“Hah, well you only know Steve now not who he once was. He is what he is now because of me but even that pales to what he needs to be.”
“Isn’t that why you have his brother, I heard he was in the hospital. I am sure your riches could help him?”
“I guess you aren’t just wearing a blindfold on your eyes, Mr. Morris.”
The blindfold comes off and William Morris sits with his arms tied down to a chair. Thurman Harrison sits across from him. Behind him on a black wall are five Large HD TVs. Lights are very right inside the room and William shakes his eyes from them as he tries to get used to the light after being blindfolded for a while. Thurman nods at him.
“I leave it to the doctors when it comes to the human body. I understand the human condition, but I cannot always lead the pawns where I want. I want everything to be perfect. Perfection is what I desire and if I can make sure everything goes my way the organization will succeed further, and I will become even more important.”
“What is all this,” Williams asks as he tries to free his arms from the chair.
Thurman stands up and looks around the room in awe of it and moves his arms in glee. “It is just part of the procedure. Don’t worry you won’t feel anything…well unless it fails and then maybe. Hah, ah don’t worry about that. Doctor.”
The doctor William had been following walks up behind him with a syringe in his hand. Without William seeing the doctor sticks the needle into his neck and fills him with the liquid. Williams eyes begin to flicker, and he looks once more at Thurman. “Maybe you will create an imaginary brother as well…the brain is so fascinating.”
Morris’s mouth opens wide in surprise but then everything goes black.