Post by Datura on Aug 14, 2016 18:23:18 GMT -6
When God comes calling,
do not ignore him
even if you don’t believe.
Drink in his prophecy
lick his words from the air.
If God has damned you,
do not worry. Even gods
get it wrong most of the time.
Take that vitriol
onto your tongue. Let it
fill your mouth and fester
in your stomach. Each morsel
of love turned to hatred
is a purpose.
If God sends his hounds to your doorstep
feed them. Let them eat
from the welcome mat
and put them to bed.
It is not always their fault
they took faith
in the wrong heaven.
If it is,
put them down.
It should have brought a semblance of closure: Winter’s corpse, discarded on the mat like the filth it was. That victory, by all of accounts, should have been a monumental moment, a culmination of the rabid hatred that had been brewing for ten months. August Fourth should have been a drastic release, a heavy unburdening- the moment that an undying flame was finally snuffed out. Instead, looking down at the stray dog of The Orphanage,
I felt only pity.
Seven days had past since then, and Winter tried each day to distance herself from the match by either claiming her preceding words were “kayfabe” or that I hadn't ended her career. Regardless of the excuses, I had proven how fickle her words were. Winter Pine was a fraud who could not live up to the rhetoric she attempted to overcompensate her failure with. Such was Animal Instinct. Such was The Orphanage as a whole.
And now, the center head of that pathetic hydra had reared itself like a petulant insect. Rather than allow a third of his little group to settle her own reckoning, Casanova English, in his infinite arrogance, had invoked my name in front of the world before his moment of dissatisfaction.
Had my words meant nothing to him?
Had those nights of understanding become lost?
Had the moments of insight flocked from his mind like birds for winter?
Had he forgotten there would be consequences for using his breath to draw on my name?
I hadn’t taken him for a fool
He knew my quarrel was not with him, but in the name of his makeshift family, he rebuked my truce with complete disregard. He had forgotten that the only reason Winter Pine and Matthew Robinson had crossed my path was Robinson’s attack on my own family and Winter’s endorsement of it. In defending his allies despite their deeds, he had made himself culpable, a misstep I could never forgive.
Casanova English had asked me to quell his darkness. Rather than follow the path I set for him, he brushed me aside as he would his failing conscious. In doing so, he ruined the only opportunity to have a ear that understood the internal struggle that raged inside his bones.
So many saw Casanova as the epitome of the industry, and I could not blame them. His stance atop Visionaries was unwavering, and he commanded respect with his performances. But hidden behind his braggadocious exterior was a man whose mental and emotional turmoil would ruin him. It was only a matter of counting not the weeks, but the days. And that's where he had faltered. The lonely person whom he had confided in now had a reason to rip the anguish from his mind and force it back down his throat.
Visionaries of Wrestling had become a collection of liars and thieves, a cesspool of miscreants who had no problem attempting to soil my name. Somehow, in the span of only seven matches, I had the Horsewomen on one side and The Orphanage on the other, both intent on proving their hypocritical and false messages using my body as an open letter. The two most powerful groups in the company found themselves aiming their ire at my jugular.
I would have it no other way.
Elizabeth sits with her knees bent to her chest on the chipped, stained gray steps leading up to a small local church. Overhead, a cross stands outstretched against the sunlight, a beacon of hope for travelers who needed to atone for their human failings.
A black dress covers her thighs and ends at her knees, and her head is covered by a black hat that circles around and casts shade upon her neck and shoulders. Around her neck, a lithe silver chain allows a black cross to dangle over her chest. Beside her on the step rests a single unopened Bible.
“There are only five days until Heatstroke, and I have to say: I'm not impressed.” Elizabeth’s voice is a heavy boil of fatigue and annoyance. Her eyes rest half open, her eyelids fluttering like butterflys’ wings. Her constricted pupils stare from above black bags, the result of restless evenings and unending days.
“I'm sure everyone in this match will sit or stand before and tell you what this opportunity means to them. All five of my competitors will tell you, in their special way, that this match will substantiate their legacy in VoW. They will look you in the eye and tell you what an epic match this will be, perhaps with the exception of Thade, and make it sound like this is a must see event. Allow me to give you my own reaction.” She inhales deeply and extends her leg, lounging further on the concrete.
“Six people will enter Norfolk, Virginia expecting that briefcase to contain a title shot. Six wrestlers will converge upon the Norfolk Scope guessing that some momentous prize will await them after their victory. All of us will take part in a grueling thirty minute match to determine who receives the honor of getting…” Elizabeth theatrically shrugs her shoulders.
“We don't know, and we won't know until we're given permission. Some claim that is what makes this match so exciting: The suspense of being forced to wait, the anticipation of not immediately knowing what we're competing for. Anything could be locked inside that metal case, but regardless of that, six people are going to kick and fight and ruin their bodies for a chance at whatever it could be. Well, five of them. Based on the reasonable nature of the match, I know exactly what is in that case. That’s right.” Datura raises her right hand and points to her temple.
“In the past, we've used ladder matches to determine a winner, which gave the match a minuscule sensibility about it. If you're trying to grab a tangible item like a briefcase, then you hoist it above the ring and literally force someone to grab it.” Her eyes widen, and she looks up to the sky as if expecting to see a briefcase dangling there.
“That should be obvious, but in keeping favor with Visionaries of Wrestling’s utter lack of direction or reason, we've found ourselves in a thirty minute ironman match, but not your typical ironman match! No. That would make too much sense!” She lowers her gaze and places her face into her palm. She lets out an exasperated sigh, having already grown tired of trying to comprehend the match.
“Rather than set us loose with anything at our disposal as most would do, we are barred from using foreign objects, which is amusing because last time I was in the ring with Joanna Thade, I was assaulted with a taser, and it seems fitting that this, if no other match, would be the perfect opportunity for revenge. Instead, in their infinite wisdom, management has robbed me of ladders, chairs, and everything else I see fit to win their little mystery case. Not only that, but they have robbed you of seeing carnage and mayhem, and have decided to rob any competitor who decides to give you what you want of a hard earned pinfall or submission.
“But that isn't all, friends. Not only will we lose a point, we will be removed from the match for two minutes under their absurd Penalty Box rule. Yes, that's right. We’ll be placed in time out like children. Children!” Elizabeth clenches her fists and extends her fingers repeatedly.
“Our company took one of the most exciting matches of the year, a match that people look forward to for twelve months, a match that allows us to compete with the four million other companies that exist, a match that once determined who would climb the ranks of our roster, and they turned it into a joke.” Datura blinks several times, blank faced. She raises her hat from her skull and scratches her scalp underneath her turquoise hair.
“Which is why I am going to tell you exactly what is in that briefcase. Ace Watson thinks that management will remove me from the match for telling you, but at this point I do not care. Ryan Omega will not sit atop his ivory tower, beckoning me in for meeting upon meeting with a piss cup and a goofy grin and silence me. The powers that be will not longer make me dance like a court jester for their amusement. I will refuse to be complacent in their bullshit.” She pauses and looks up to the church, mouthing sorry to the front door.
“Management promises money, awards, title shots, and an entire slew of other prizes to the winner of the Quest for the Case match, but I know that isn’t what’s inside. Based on the serious thought that they poured into this match, based on the vigorous preparation they’ve done, and based on their concern with providing an interesting contest to the fans, there is only one conceivable item that could be given to the victor…
“It’s a Pizza Hut coupon.” She says this with utter seriousness, disappointment etched across her face.
“In 2014, we saw the debut of this match at the second ever Visionaries Pay Per View. Therein, after tremendous action like Dathan smashing Stacy’s face into the top rung and throwing her off of a ladder and Patrick Jones leveling both Ziu Zhong and Dathan with it, we watched as Ziu Zhong dangled fifteen to twenty feet above the ring and took a selfie before winning the first ever Quest for the Case Match- a moment that began his meteoric rise through to World Visionary Champion and a moment that will span the ages of the wrestling world…” She trails off, reliving the mayhem in her mind.
“In 2015, Tyler Storm ravaged our current Zero Gravity Champion, among others, to win the second Quest for the Case and cement his name into our lexicon. Think back on the brutality that match entailed! Tyler hit an exploder suplex on Ace into the ladder, Watson hit a double foot-stomp on Evans almost putting him through the it, and Storm, Watson, and Herring went off the ladder in a powerbomb, superplex combination. I mean, my god!” She extends her arms as if attempting to showcase the absurdity of the current situation.
“And when I defeated Maxwell to be placed in this match, I assumed I was in for a similar war. I anticipated this match as I have anticipated nothing else since my debut because I have thrived in that type of situation my entire career. My first ever world title was won inside of a chamber, which I careened off of several times.
“But the six of us have been neutered, left to the company’s attempt to rebrand itself as a professional corporation. The history of the Tyler Storms and the Valquists and the Ziu Zhongs has been wasted, ruined by a clusterfuck of purists trying to rebuild their own fantasy of what wrestling should be.” Datura rubs her forehead, afflicted by a headache born from frustration.
“To make the deal even sweeter, there are only two combatants that I feel any semblance of excitement for. For once, I cannot blame Joanna for saying she doesn't care…” She holds up a single finger, obviously unfinished with that thought.
“But we all saw what happened last time Joanna said that she was uninspired and apathetic toward a match. We saw exactly the kind of yarn she spins, like a twenty-something year old hipster who doesn't want you to know how obsessed she truly is. Zahara and I made the mistake of allowing her to mislead us by taking her word, but I will not be making that same mistake come August Eighteenth.” Elizabeth smiles and waves, intent on making sure Joanna knows exactly how she feels.
“Despite the fact that I've been disallowed to exact a fair vengeance for our last encounter, I want you to understand that it changes nothing when it comes to the final outcome. I step into this match with two purposes. First, I plan on claiming the Pizza Hut coupon in that briefcase. Second, I plan on single-handedly making sure you do not walk out of Virginia as the winner.” She leans forward and runs her tongue across her upper lip.
“Guess which one is my priority?” She grins, teeth bared.
“Unlike Katalina, I am not intimidated by your presence in this match. Unlike the rest of the fools who have trembling upon your every empty word, I do not see you as a major threat. I see you as a charlatan who sells herself for far too much and doesn’t see the value in reevaluating her sense of self worth.
“In spite of your attempts to condescend and insult me, I know exactly the type of human waste that you are So go ahead, Joanna, sit out three fourths of the match again because you don’t care and attempt to steal it in the end. This time, I will gladly step out of those ropes and beat you within an inch of your life while the subservient wastes of space you surround yourself with watch in horror.” Elizabeth places her palms on both cheeks and bats her lashes.
“You continue, despite your unending list of failures, to play mind games with the roster. Allow me to remind you that you failed in beating Constance Chapin at Darkest Hour. You failed at defeating the Neon Blondes with your best friend Emma Carlisle at Double Jeopardy. You failed AGAIN to beat the Neon Blondes at Fate of the Gods. If your record of past Pay Per View showings are any indication of how you will fare at Heatstroke, then I will be happy come the final bell. Then, after you lose in the Quest for the Case match, you can walk your miserable ass backstage and watch your wretch of a tag-team partner get embarrassed by a snake and a frat boy in the main event.” She rubs her chin in contemplation.
“Then again, part of me hopes you do win. Part of me hopes you, somehow, overcome your inability to do anything of worth and you capture that briefcase. And in the same breath, I hope that the briefcase contains a World Visionary Championship opportunity. Would you like to know why? Because I would happily throw myself on the cross to watch you snarl and spit and rant. I would gladly martyr myself to see you make all sorts of promises, only to lose in the biggest match of your career, right after your lover goes through the same.” Her eyes water up, and she pouts.
“No, no. I mean…” she sighs, “I know you’ll never ever get there, but it is a lovely thought.” Elizabeth blows a kiss to Joanna, who she knows is watching.
“But allow me to discuss someone who could, very easily, become a future World Visionary Champion.” Datura readjusts herself, fixing her posture. Her demeanor relaxes, and she gives a genuine smile.
“God damnit, it’s wonderful to say the name Gwendolyn Massey.” She savors the taste of it, allowing it to marinate in her brain. She exhales through her nose and shakes her head as if stuck in an unbelievable moment. “Let’s run down the list of accolades of the Lady Joker, shall we?”
Elizabeth clears her throat. “ICW World Heavyweight Champion, HKW World Heavyweight Champion, two time Classic Champion, Pride Pro Women’s Champion, ECWF United States Champion, WCPW Television Champion. For fuck sake, there isn’t a title that Gwendy hasn’t had her silly little fingers on, is there? There isn’t a single company that Gwendolyn Massey has not dominated in, is there? ” She rubs her hands together and chuckles.
“And Visionaries of Wrestling is no different. She drew against the incredibly talented Constance Chapin at Breakthrough 49 in a match that I dare not hesitate to say is a competitor for match of the year. She wiped the floor not one, not two, but three competitors in Winter Pine, Kinkaid, and Health Williams the show prior. Let’s face it. I don’t think there is a person in this company that can beat Massey at the moment, and I’m not foolish enough to think that I will be the first.” Datura bites her lip.
“Massey has the mixed martial arts background that tough guys in this industry claim to have. Her use of submissions and strikes is second to none in Visionaries of Wrestling, and arguably, second to none in any company I know of. That rolling elbow she uses can knock out anyone in the game, and The Joker’s Calling can make any wrestler on this planet go to sleep. Her five opponents at the Pay Per View are no exception.
“While a ladder match would’ve eliminated half of her offense, in an ironman match, Gwen Massey gets to wear down her opponents with her arsenal of submission holds and batter them into oblivion with strikes for thirty long minutes. There is not a match on earth that suits her better. The only real disadvantage that Gwendolyn has is that there will be four people trying to break up every submission she locks on. The only strategy that exists for anyone that isn't Gwendolyn Massey is to pin or submit the four other people in this match and hope she doesn't catch up ” Elizabeth’s mouth tilts into a half frown.
“In these two competitors, we see a great deviation of styles and ideals. Joanna Thade doesn’t care about singles competition. She doesn’t care so much so that she competed in singles competition to win an opportunity to be in this match. She doesn’t care so much that she will ramble on for twenty minutes about this match, walk to the ring, sit on the sideline, then blindside her opponents in an attempt to win said match she does not care about. Then you have Massey, who will tell you exactly how much she cares every time she steps into the ring. She will tell you how hard she has worked and what every moment means. One cares about her silly abstraction of Chaos, the other cares about competition. Only one of these women deserves my respect, and it damn sure isn’t Joanna Thade.” Datura runs down her fingers, cracking each one. She takes a moment from speaking to consider her other opponents before scratching the spot right underneath her eye.
“Now, I know that there are three other competitors in this match who all earned their way into this match, somehow. The truth is, I could not care less about their presence. I know, I know-” Elizabeth raises her hands in a defensive posture.
“It is silly of me to dismiss my opponents. That is rule number one: never discount the person or persons standing across from you in the ring. But let’s briefly talk about these three for a moment.” She crosses her legs and raises her right hand, holding up three fingers.
“Katalina Star is a hell of a competitor. She was one of the first to earn the ‘honor’ of being in this match at Fate of the Gods. She defeated three other people to get this chance, but let’s face it, she has no business being in the same ring as Joanna Thade. The moment that Joanna won her slot, Star lost all hope of winning at Heatstroke. Here’s what’s going to happen: Katalina will step into the ring and do exactly as she’s told. She will work with Thade to the best of her ability. She may even get a pinfall or two, if Joanna is feeling generous. But the moment it comes down to it, the ‘leader’ of the Horsewomen will gladly stab Strife in the back to earn herself a single measly point. I know it. Katalina probably knows it. Thade certainly knows it. I would not be surprised if Thade thinks she can take this match by getting Star to lay down for her. It’s a conflict of interest for her, and it’s one that further tarnishes this match.” Elizabeth lowers one of her fingers.
“Maxwell Soloke and I have become well acquainted with one another since my debut. Two of the four victories I hold in Visionaries of Wrestling are over Maxie in one form or another. He has certainly had a rough streak, and some may believe that this is his redeeming moment. But Max, despite his experience, has proven that he is incapable of keeping his head on a swivel, which is somewhat of a prerequisite come Heatstroke. I love Max’s determination, and I love a good underdog story, but the implications of this contest simply do not work in his favor.” She lowers her second finger, leaving only one.
“Then we have Rebecca Saint, a woman who somehow defeated Katie Moicelle and Stacy Jones despite being the human incarnation of drying paint. For her last match, Becky whined and complain that people discredit her because they cannot relate to that much greatness. Allow me to shed some perspective. Becky dear, people don't discredit you because of your greatness. People discredit you because you and your ‘best friend’ are loud mouthed Neanderthals who are mediocre in the ring and painfully boring outside of it.” Elizabeth rolls her eyes, tapping her foot with impatience.
“Rebecca Saint is the walking cliche of the wrestling industry. She is type of person who takes a minor accomplishment, like beating Stacy Jones, and turns it into a reason why she's the greatest, ignoring the fact that three fourths of the roster has done the exact same thing.” She rubs her eyes.
“In summation, Visionaries of Wrestling has effectively ruined Heatstroke as Pay Per View. Aside from the predictable end to me getting my hands on Joanna Thade again and the chance to see me and Gwendolyn put on a technical clinic, there is no reason to watch this shitshow of a match that will end in a Pizza Hut coupon…” She stops to shake her head.
“Normally, this would be the end of my spiel. I would normally say something haunting and leave it until the match. But just like Breakthrough, this is not a normal time in my career.” Elizabeth leans forward and rubs her hands together. She smirks before allowing a smile to creep on her face.
“On the last Breakthrough, a man whom I considered a future ally decided to renegotiate his battle lines. Rather than accept my hand in friendship against ChaosSworn and other members of the Horsewomen, Casanova cordoned himself off from the only person on this roster who could understand him, outside of Matthew Robinson and Winter Pine.” Datura wipes her nose and chuckles, shaking her head in disbelief.
“Casanova English told the world that if you look down on his ‘family,’” she says this last word with concept, “you look down on him. If those are the terms you've set out, allow me to be as clear as possible:
I look down on you, Casanova. I look down on you more than I look down on Joanna. I know those who surround themselves with parasites become one.” She snarls, spitting onto the ground to her right.
“You may hold this company on your shoulders, and you may carry The Orphanage by yourself, but you have not faced a considerable threat since regaining your title from Valquist in November of last year. You've faced the three different men since then in Valquist, Seth Iser, and Ryder Blade. After Heatstroke, you'll be able to add Emma Carlisle to that list of failures and carry on like you're a god.
"But should I win this match and should that case contain an opportunity to face you in singles competition, I make this solemn vow: I am not Ryder Blade. I am not Seth Iser. I am not Valquist. I am certainly not Emma Carlisle. The World Visionary Title is not what brought me here, and it is certainly not what inspires me to step into the ring with you." Elizabeth clicks her tongue several times.
"My goal, from this moment on, is to use the darkness you begged me to quell and wrap it around your throat. My quest, if you want to put it in this company's term, is to wrap the personal hell you're so afraid of around your throat. I have no claim on that title, nor do I care to make one. I have far more personal aspirations.”
“You could have avoided this. All you had to do was stand on the sideline, but the ego you so desperately hide behind would not allow for that. You had to puff out your chest to defend the filth that clings onto your boots. Instead, you put me in the position to dismantle the family you crave piece by piece.
“And it's already begun. With the defeat of Winter Pine, I have initiated the first phase. The Orphanage, aside from its leader, has proven itself fickle. It stands as a monument solely because of its headmaster. But when the children find themselves in their grave, and the only one left is a man who cannot continue to survive his secrets without me, what will be left? What will The Orphanage become when the only person who can save them stands toe to toe with the only woman who knows his destructive demons? What happens when God battles the woman who stands to steal Heaven from him?" She ceases speaking, allowing the question to sit upon the audience's chest.
“Find your congregation, Casanova. Stand before the fools who pray at your altar. Beg them to stop me from finding myself at your door. You've found yourself in a precarious situation, and there is nothing you can do to stop what's been set in motion. I have a single question for you, Casanova." Elizabeth grabs her Bible and climbs to her feet. She brushes her dress off and tilts her head.