Post by Matt Knox "The Raven" on Sept 19, 2020 23:17:24 GMT -5
“You fought like the goddamn devil”
“Do you believe me now, about him?”
“I’m sorry. Thank you”
All words that rang in his head, spoken in a haze of concussion and morphine. The war with the rat was everything he expected. What he hadn’t expected? Was Silvio making the save. No, he wasn’t surprised at the virtue. Maybe, surprised was the wrong term?
He was almost spiteful for it.
He obviously didn’t want to be sidelined, crippled, or hell. Killed. But he had ulterior motives, further and deeper than those he had expressed. Bigger than beating the Rat, bigger than avenging Ade. He wanted to provoke the monster into showing his true colors, showing that his depth was equal to a puddle. There was no redemption in the muck and the mire, no deeper layer..
He was all he appeared to be, nothing more.
And Silvio proved otherwise. He talked Zane King down, and saved Matthew Knox from the Lab Rat King, while simultaneously saving him from The Raven.
Matthew is pulled from his musings by a sharp twinge going up his back, causing him to grip tighter on the ring ropes he was leaning on. His face twists in pain and he bows away from it, leaning his head down into the ropes
“You good, Matt?” Bert’s voice came from across the room, real concern weighing upon it. He was working with the cameras and getting ready to shoot Knox’s next promo. “Peachy” came Matthew’s reply. His eyes opened halfway as he settled his gaze on Bert, causing the grimace to lessen. He reflected quietly on their history, and the subtle growing Bert had done since they came to Baltimore
He had gotten the job with Carnage to write their Insider piece, seeing as how it was mostly borderline a blog or a transcript for Beyond The Belle it wasn’t hyper impressive, but Bert’s excitement had been very uplifting. He worried over C$J’s garbage self and what he might do to the kid. If he was smart, he’d hire him to run the show cameras eventually. For a kid who only knew the slight tips Matt himself picked up from doing so many promos, the kid had a talent for editing and just general camera work.
He knew deep down, he could never hurt Bert McAlroy. Not intentionally. His mind turned to Amber Ryan then, as he moved his gaze from Bert and to the far wall of his private training area. Bert had set up a brand new display for his old hardware when he wasn’t working. His eyes lingered over the Phoenix Wrestling Enterprise World Heavyweight Championship. Gold plates set unto black leather. “Matthew Knox” upon the nameplate.
His greatest achievement, and the catalyst for the last chapter of his life. The start of a long road that would lead him down into the deepest pits of self loathing and addiction. The fall that would eventually lead to his road to redemption. A road he was still on, that he found now to be longer and harder than he had even originally thought. His eyes shift to the spot above the PWE title, empty and waiting.
He smirks, a chuckle reminding him of the severe pain in his body as a hand shoots to his ribs. Some would call it wishful thinking, but Knox preferred to think of it as an inevitability. Deep down, he knew that his path was leading to the Carnage Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship. He knew that whoever had the belt when his number was called was going to lose it that night. His only concern was the hunger he saw in a good friend’s eyes. The same hunger within him.
One more bridge.
What he wouldn’t do, to get back to the mountain top. It was a short list. Atop that list, he saw while watching Isolation 2020 on his way to Baltimore to make it official with the company. Jack Michaels nearly murdering Amber Ryan, attacking her with a malice that went beyond competition. Each blow landing as if to say “How dare you!?” Dare she what? Fall out of line? And what line? The line drawn by Paragon, or the one of the Father?
If you watched the match, and made it through to the end the biggest takeaway, above all the horrors. Above thumb tacks. Above Carnage staff getting assaulted. Was the broken voice of Johnny Vegas, who was such an advocate for Jack Michaels, and Paragon as a whole. The man walked out at the end, as Terra Skye threw together a speech about family as Jack Michaels embraced Amber Ryan in the ring, as if he had snapped out of some trance. As if He hadn’t just tried to murder Amber
The son of a bitch really acted like she had freed him, unburdened his soul by lifting the weight of being THE Jack Michaels, Carnage Champion off his shoulders. Until suddenly, the weight wasn’t too heavy and he needed to have the belt on the line to get a hold of Ken Davison. Knox’s lip curls up at the thought. Striking hot iron, before his daughter's corpse had even begun to cool off.
He shook his head. No, right now, titles aren't important. Right now, he had to turn into a skid to stop a slide. And he’d have to fight like hell, because he was heading into a fight with a no doubt distraught and angry Amber Ryan who had not won a match since defeating Trent Steele at Underground: Redemption. This slide was no doubt just as equal a part of her stress as the Michaels and Ken situation. She’d never show it, from how little he knew of her he knew that.
Bert stopped tapping away on the keys, checking his phone he stood up. The sound of the chair sliding across concrete stirred his attention just as Bert spoke “Yo, I gotta run Matt. Insider shit but i’ll be ready to shoot tomorrow,” he paused, “If the doc’s clear you.”
Matt considered for a moment, then answered as Bert was shoving his laptop into his backpack and fishing out the keys to his rental, “No, we’ll shoot the promo and get it out there. Got plenty to say, even if I can’t go,” he frowns “I don’t like the thought of people thinking I can’t take what happened.”
Bert didn’t answer, just nodded and waved as he let himself out. Matthew eyed the exit solemnly, before slowly dropping to a knee and gingerly stepping from the apron to the floor. He straightened up, grimacing as a hand went to his midsection and a grimace took over his facial features
Could he take it?
“Why did you do that?” Hope watched Adrienne leave. She had seen the woman at We Are Relentless, in that god forsaken match. “Do you WANT to die?” She plopped down in the chair Adrienne had just vacated, leaning forward and staring at what was left of her father. Step Father.
Matthew took her barbs and questioning silently, letting her finish before he started, “He hurt my friend. I decided to teach him a lesson,” he smirked as he quipped, “It’s not my fault he’s a slow learner.” Hope stared at him, unamused. She shook her head before idly picking up the stuffed crow from Pearl, weighing it thoughtfully.
“Is this going to keep you out long?” She asked evenly, “Maybe keep you sidelined and away from the match with--”
“No.” Matthew cut in, a tired exhale escaping before he continued, “That...that’s going to happen. So is the match at ninety-nine if I can help it.” Hope averted her gaze to her folded hands, shaking her head and reaching up to frustratedly muss her blonde locks. Her bright blue eyes lifted back to her father.
“I get it. Like, I’ve had time to think about it from everyone’s point of view,” She hesitated, “And I get it. Grandpa Nate-” her father rolled his eyes “-wants to settle it and help you find peace. And I’m hoping that you,” She paused, before leaning forward and taking his hand in both of hers, her thumb traces over the bruising on his knuckles before she continues, “get this out of your system.”
He gazed at her, eyes narrowing as he tried to understand, “Get what out of my system?”
“This hatred. This….this death wish,” She raised her eyes back to meet his then, her own gaze soft but determined. The perfect quiet, raging fire, “I don’t like it, I never will. I don’t want to see you fight Grandpa Nate, Uncle Aaron...anyone of them. But-” She shook her head “-they’ve been quiet lately. Too quiet, I think-” Another pause as she huffs “-that...Just be careful, okay? I don’t want to see either of you hurt.”
Matthew wrapped his hand around one of hers, squeezing it softly as he listened to her open up to him. She had made the points prior, but they were tearful, angry and hurt. Now, it seemed like she was asking him out of a much calmer self preservation. He released his grip, slowly pulling his hand away, considering his words before speaking.
“I never wanted it to get to this point,” he began, “with the whole roster against Tho--Grandpa Nate and the others. But it’s also not my fault, much as he seems to believe it is,” He motioned with his hand then, to the universe and his daughter, “These three matches, I wanted to fight as far away from Insidious as I could, prove something to…” a pause, before he shook his head, making a face, “Me, I guess. Two world champs and a monster before I put something to rest that's bigger than Carnage, bigger than me, bigger than anything really,”
He shifts, so he can face her better, eyes boring into hers, “I’m done trying to convince you of what I see with them, Hope,” he said calmly “all I want anymore, is to get along with you and hopefully, with Ivy someday soon. I can’t force my ideals on you and I was wrong to ever try,” he smiles as he reaches a hand out to push a stray lock of hair from her face, “as if I or anyone else could ever force you to do anything.”
She smiled despite herself, listening to him speak, “So after this match, that’s it? No more wars, words or otherwise?” He nodded in response, and she lifted her right hand to him, presenting an outturned pink, “Swear?” she inquired. Matthew stared at the pinky presented, and suddenly it was a decade ago and this was over something so much more trivial. He raised his gaze to her baby blue orbs and lifted his own pinky, intertwining it with hers,
“A good father will leave an imprint on his daughter’s life”
The camera clicked to life to find Matthew Knox, wearing a Carnage Wrestling T-shirt, black jeans and a pair of converse. His head remains bandaged and he sits in a folding chair in the middle of his training facility.
“I guess Jack left his in the shape of a boot, huh?” Matthew leaned forward in the seat, resting his elbows on his knees, one much more gingerly than the other, “Of course, I'm the last person to offer an opinion on fathers and daughters, I suppose.”
His gaze averted to the side, he clasped his hands and started to bounce his forearms with his non damaged knee, “Then again, if I was going to take a moral high ground I’d point out that I never directly profited on a personal level after my step daughter went through a grueling professional loss.” He raised his hands up then, a smile cracking his features.
“But we’re not here to talk about Jack Michaels,” he shook his head as the smile fades as quickly as it appeared, “No, I won’t disrespect you with that, Amber. It can’t feel great, to go from being the biggest name in the company to flag waving surrender monkey in the matter of a month,” the smile returned, “Far be it from me to pile on.”
He shifted back in the seat then, his face grimacing in pain a moment as a hand raises to rest upon his midsection, “However I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few points that stick out to me from your world, Amber,” he lifts the hand from his ribs, holding up his index finger first, “You have been ousted from your throne by Ken Davison and your shot at redemption has been taken over by the King you dethroned.”
He held up his middle finger, “You haven’t won a match since you and Trent Steele tried to kill one another at the same Pay Per View that I debuted at. You’ve lost twice to Ken Davison, losing your title in one loss,” a smile returns to his features “and then, you and Mac lost to my two friends in Team Starfox”
He held up the ring finger, “Finally, as a result of both of those two points you have become the smallest version of The Distorted Angel that I’ve ever seen.” He drops the hand then, bringing it to be clasped with the other as he shook his head.
“You’re a former two time World Champion, Amber,” He points into the lens “And unlike a lot of us who parade those old accomplishments, those World Championships were Carnage World Championships. And between the end of We Are Relentless, and the start of Chaos Ninety Seven you became nothing more than a Martyr for a glory hungry old fool playing noble avenger. And that,” He scowls, spitting the words as if they’re the bitterest he’s ever tasted “Is bullshit”
“The best way, the only way for you to reverse this slide is with a win. Those came so easily before, didn’t they?” He lets a smirk crack his features, shaking his head before continuing, “Know this, Amber Ryan. You are capable, you are dangerous, you are probably the toughest pound for pound fighter in the back,” He raises a finger, “But you aren’t going to set it right at my expense, Amber. Because, with all due respect, unlike you I’m not in the business of kowtowing to the needs and wants of former title holders.”
He lowers the finger, instead sticking his thumb out and jabbing it toward himself to accentuate his point, “What I am, Amber is the toughest son of a bitch you’ve ever met. I know Jack seemed to think I wasn’t cut out to face you,” He sneers “But with all due respect, your guest-appearance papa couldn’t lace my boots. But you, Amber. You’re a whole different creature in this landscape. One of a few alpha predators.”
A pause, Knox leans back in the chair, wiping at his face, before returning his gaze to the camera, to Amber, “But me, I am anything but prey. I’m the man who drove Insidious to the uncomfortable silence they now live in. I’m the man who’s only been pinned twice since he got here. I’m the man who’s backed up Every. Single. Word. I’ve uttered since arriving,” He stands from his seat then, removing his shirt to reveal his heavily bandaged ribs and million different bruises.
He spreads his arms, displaying the damage to himself caused by Zane King, before speaking calmly but dangerously “And I'm the man who’s going to walk this off, just because I need to get there to beat you, Amber. I can’t start a slide myself, I can’t become what you’ve become in the middle of trying to get to where you were.”
“I want the Carnage World Heavyweight Championship. It’s the whole reason I came back. I always thought I’d beat you for it, or die trying. But now, I’m fighting you while we row the same boat, toward the same shore,” he approaches the camera then, dropping to one knee, “I just didn’t get discarded into the sea like you have been.”
He narrows his eyes into the camera, “I’m not sorry for what I’ve got to do, Amber. And I know you wouldn’t accept my apology if I had one to give. I’m going to hurt you worse than you’ve been hurt in a long time. I’m going to send a message to the roster, written in your blood. And then I'm going to go through One Hundred and come out the other side an undeniable force. And you…”
His expression softens, a frown breaking the intensity of his features, “Will be the first of the old gods that they forget...”
Matthew stands and walks out of the shot, his footsteps echoing as the camera fades to black.
September 19, 2020
It’s easy to take things for granted. Especially when the world moves at such a neckbreak pace. Within an hour and a half, I was posturing on my way to the ring and taking those last seconds to go over my plan. Then, I was the back of an ambulance trying to answer questions through the all too familiar fog of concussion. I took the Rat to his limits, I think. And I think he’ll think twice before crossing me now.
Or maybe I just hope so.
I’ve kept quiet on the bullshit with C$J. The man is taken with himself and seems to see us all as toys that make him money. He won’t get far with this, none of them do. But he’s making the right, basic moves. Find an asshole or two, pay them extra on the side and insulate yourself from the growing number of combat athletes who want to hurt you. It’s a solution, but it’s temporary.
And the actual kind of temporary, I mean. Not the supposed kind of Temporary Jack Michaels has graced us with. I don’t like how much space he has occupied in my head, with the rest of the devils here. And as much as he tries fooling himself otherwise he is indeed one of the blemishing devils in Carnage Wrestling. As an expert in vendettas and crusades, frankly it’s easy to see through the fake ones.
It’s odd, how the sudden shakeup in the World Title picture has stirred so much emotion in so many. Particularly, myself and Silvio Leon. I can’t speak for his innermost feelings, but it doesn’t take an expert to see past the modesty to the smoldering desire within. God, it’s like looking in a mirror. That KNOWLEDGE of what your destiny is, and the determination to see it through.
For me, it feels like robbery. Amber Ryan being unseated while on a losing streak, no rematch clause. Felt like the opportunity for a shot was going to present itself, but lo and behold the old, rotting king returns to a Kingdom that has forgotten him and does not recognize the old glory he claims, and uses to rain earth upon the still breathing Princess.
Weave into this Alex Winter and his bear poking. No doubt, the man is vicious and dangerous in his own way. But he is no Zane King, he is no Jack Michaels, and he sure as shit is no Mathew Knox. And I will prove it to him, before this is all over.
But first, the death rattle Princess of Paragon. Amber Ryan, who holds my respect and well wishes. If this were any other match I’d simply look forward to the competition and the niceties that precede and follow. Now, I have to make an example of her to show the roster that the biggest, baddest most dangerous member among us could not kill me.
And now, I need to prove to myself that I am capable. Capable of beating top competition, and not just henchmen and goons. Amber Ryan, even in a skid is ten times the challenge any of Thor’s idiot kids, or Alex Winter could ever hope to be. Especially with her back against the wall as it is now.
And now, I rest and mend. At Ninety Nine, the real work begins.
Matthew sat in the bed in his Marriott suite, dressed only in a pair of silken pajama pants. His gaze rests on the bottle of Vicodin in his hand. The three he had chewed and washed down with water started to take hold, soothing the pain racking his body. He closed his eyes, only to snap them back open as visions of being powerbombed out of the ring played against the inside of his eyelids.
Frowning, he shook his head and brought a hand up to caress the bandaged bite wound on his forehead. The hand floated there, tentatively for a moment, before he slowly peels the bandage away. He winces as he feels small hairs being pulled but eventually, he gets the whole bandage off.
His fingers trace over the stitches, in an even line. The wound was deep, and would likely scar. A permanent mark from fighting a monster. He grimaced, feeling his hand shake as he drew his knees up gingerly, wincing at the faint whispers of pain shouting through an opiate fog. He wrapped his arms around the knees and bowed his head.
Here, alone? He didn’t need to be strong for a moment. He could breathe, and process it. Refine it. Accept the fear, and turn it into resolve. He exhaled slowly and lifted his head, blinking back the sting of tears. He’d never admit it out loud, but there was a point. An obvious one to viewers, when he had beat the count in. Part of him laid on the outside, body on fire and screaming in agony
He wanted to stop, his brain cried out to stop him but his heart? It screamed louder. He beat the count, and drew the Rat in for what should have been the end. Feeling his breath leave him, feeling the beast crumble under his grasp. He tasted victory, he tasted revenge!
He grimaced, shaking his head. And then, he was being driven onto his head. He couldn’t recall much else, just pieces. Trying one last dropkick. The impact of the steel on his spine. Silvio’s voice. The Rat dropping him.
And the pang of disappointment that he had done so..
His eyes settled across the room then, and he swung his legs gingerly over the side of the bed, standing from it and moving across the room toward his target.
There, resting on the desk was a small, stuffed crow. A gift from The Dra--Pearl From Pearl. He smiles softly. Her most precious secret, or at least the most precious he knew of. And she had entrusted it to him. He brings the bird up stares into it’s stitched on eyes. Maybe, this was what he was meant to find in the chaos?
Friendship, his child coming back to him and now an all new sort of healing he never thought possible?
At this rate, he’d need to quit being such an angry, miserable bastard soon.
But not yet.
Clutching onto the stuffed blackbird, Knox turned and limped back toward the lonely king sized bed, where he’d lay down and feel less alone than he had in more than a decade. As sleep took him, a real true, and peaceful sleep.
Post by DistortedAmber on Sept 20, 2020 23:13:41 GMT -5
“There is stability in self-destruction, in prolonging sadness as a means of escaping abstractions like happiness. Rock bottom is a surprisingly comfortable place to lay your head. Looking up from the depths of another low often seems a lot safer than wondering when you'll fall again. Falling feels awful.
I'd rather fucking fly.” ― Kris Kidd
Unnamed Hotel Baltimore, MD 13.09.2020 11:02pm
Revelations only ever came in empty hotel rooms.
Too much space for one person, Amber had always concluded, the expanse swallowing the redhead whole and without a second thought. From the most luxurious and decidedly wasteful to the cheapest, parasite ridden highway side slums- the walls always simultaneously felt too far away and incredibly close as though a constant Schrodinger's conundrum of architecture. Many throughout her career had never understood her choice of accommodations- between her accidentally minimalist fifth floor apartment in Atlantic City to the ‘hole in the wall’ motels frequented by transients and undesirables alike… They’d always told her that she deserved better, that she’d earned the right to indulge. Luxury might have been earned, sure, however that never made it comfortable.
It wasn’t as though she didn’t appreciate comfortable beds without the threat of bed bugs, sheets that weren’t badly bleached in places in hopes it might disguise and destroy less than favourable stains. Thousand thread count here only seemed to count when it came to doing the laundry and stuffing as many sheets through as mechanically possible to save money on water.
There was something about it though, the imperfections somehow driving away anyone of a higher standard and the almost deliberate ignorance to be any better despite the potential. Amber had always believed she got what she earned... what she deserved... and sitting on the far edge of the roughly made double bed with her head cradled in her hands- that never felt more true.
Bathed in a dull yellowed glow, Amber found herself staring at the floor. Maybe even through the floor. All she was truly sure of was the vague throbbing pain in her ankle and the sharp ache behind her eyes, worsened by the occasional flickering of the lamp beside her. Everything else recently had become a blur, technicolour and screaming through the back of her head- being around people, even those she cared about was becoming harder, she knew what they could see, the way they stared a little longer than normal with a knowing pity in their eyes and she only resented herself further every time she caught them. Jack had asked her to stay a couple extra days in Vegas, maybe cause he wanted to keep an eye on her… keep her on a short leash… and Mac had offered to come and stay with her in Atlantic City… close at hand, within eyesight and arms length…
All good intentions. Just trying to do right. She knew deep down though, they didn’t trust her to be alone.
Amber Ryan had a reputation. Beyond the nicknames and the monikers, beyond being described as a force of spite and willful ignorance, beyond Mother Nature's greatest failure to prove people could be effectively weaponized. A redhead on fire running as cold as the growing void in her fucking chest. A paranoid self-destructive sociopathic hurricane wound just a little too tight. She’d had her problems. Her demons had been openly publicized and televised for the world to see too many times over and her coping mechanisms had a way of leaving her worse off than if she simply dropped dead on the spot and those around her always got that sense the slippery slope was coming long before the descent began.
Just a shame they were always too late to stop it.
Ever since she returned last year, she’d become so determined to carry the weight of the Carnage on her shoulders, to do right… to just do better… That somehow she never saw the floor disappearing from beneath her feet until she was in a catastrophic free-fall. Tumbling, hitting every god damn fucking wall on the way down while everyone else, it seemed, were too busy wielding words like knives at each others throats hoping their venom held it's edge a little sharper than the next guy.
… and it was all her fault.
Everything. Fucking everything could be traced back to the lead up to Isolation.
If it weren’t for her challenging Jack the way she did, maybe the match would never have gone… that way.
If it weren’t for her alienating Kyra, maybe she wouldn’t be so fucking determined to ‘feel real’ and crawl into the arms of a slithering martyr and his superiority complex.
If it weren’t for her, maybe Mac wouldn’t have gotten caught in her crossfire and she wouldn’t have derailed his high road momentum in a match they should have won.
Most importantly though… if it weren’t for Amber and everything she had fucked up… Ken motherfucking Davison would not be the Carnage World Champion.
She didn’t even want to get drunk, she just wanted to be numb.
Amber could feel her chest tighten with every ragged breath, the knots straining and the threads somehow holding it all together fraying at the edges. Everything hurt so bad- nerves firing relentlessly as the flickering light burned the edges of her vision and even the rhythmic pounding of her heart became a torture surging through her veins. She wanted to scream but her throat felt dry, swallowing air that scratches like sand. All she wanted to do was be better, to make Carnage better, to redeem a world title that many had stopped caring about and in turn… Lives, loves and careers had been drastically altered. Friendships and relationships put through a career woodchipper and all for what exactly…
Fuck she didn’t know anymore.
It’d be easy. A few drinks, a little bit of a burn and all of this could be a hazy memory etched into the back of her failing grey matter. Hell, even a bad hangover would be nothing compared to this, and it wasn’t like there was anyone here to notice… or stop her. Just a couple... dozen, yeah it’d be fine. Maybe she’d even get a few hours of real sleep- that’d be a nice change, besides it would still count if she were wrapped around a porcelain throne, right?
Dragging herself to her feet felt like far more of an effort than it should have, every fibre in protest against a wallowing sedentary misery. Amber brushed some of the hair out of her eyes, only for it to fall back into her vision- she barely had it in her to lift her head high enough that they’d simply fall away, her hand loosely swatting at something it had no hope of contacting. If she had tears of guilt and rage, they dried long before reaching the surface leaving her usually impassive features in a barely contained pained grimace of desperation.
There was a stagger in her step as her hands gripped the edge of the countertop as though it were depended on, knuckles creeping red and then into white as a shake migrated down her arms. She hadn’t counted but she suspected there might have been 15 tiny glass bottles, 4 of them neatly configured while the rest had been strewn haphazardly- an unattended housekeeping cart on the way to the room had proven fruitful and she doubted any employees were paid enough to care.
She didn’t care what they contained, only that they would slake her thirst in a way that might leave her irreparablely desensitized. Twisting off the caps proved more difficult as her hands trembled, unable to quite comprehend clearly why it felt so difficult to breathe- the first couple of bottles did nothing, their contents barely hitting the sides as the bottles were tossed back across the counter empty and useless.
Maybe it’d all hit her at once like a freight train of intoxication and terrible decision making but anything was preferable to this… Guilt. Hurt. Rage… Disappoint-
… “48 Across. 10 letters. To fail to meet the hopes or expectations of;” …
Miranda Grayson-Ryan had always loved crosswords, at times arguably more than the niece she took in after her sisters untimely demise. She’d never connected with the redheaded girl in the same way, the girl with the foolish dreams of pro-wrestling and a way of getting into absolutely everything that might dirty her hands. Maybe Amber might have felt differently about those words penetrating through her skin if Miranda hadn’t already been dead for just over two years at this point- her spite definable and directed even in the memories of a girl she left behind.
… “You could have had everything a girl ever dreamed of- and yet you continually throw it all away for… this.”...
Murmuring beneath her breath became fervant, fuelled by damage and hurt buried beneath years of the world believing there was something more to Amber than just a fucking death wish as the redhead violently wheeled around while launching the nearest bottle in the direction of the voice. Part of her expected to see the older woman, pencil tapping against a crossword book in indiferent pensive thought as venom dripped from every syllable- however the bottle only found the far wall shattering into a thousand pieces, dribbling it's contents almost pitifully down the crappy wallpaper surface. A much smaller and quieter part of her though, knew better.
… “There’s probably a reason your father left you know, wouldn’t wanna say it's you but there aren’t really many other options- are there?” …
Jonathan Webb couldn’t possibly have known that, yet his voice rang clear in the room with a confidence she wished she could muster to her left. He had promised her that he would tell her everything about him, about a man that only seemed to exist outside of her life in exchange for a price she wasn’t even sure she could pay… Part of her though, part of her wasn’t even really sure she wanted to know- that his words would cut so deep she might not even bleed out- however she knew she’d do anything to find out regardless. He knew nothing, yet it hurt all the same… Another bottle sent flying as she staggered a step away from the counter, exploding on impact just above the bed sending a shower of glass and what smelled like rum across the already musty sheets.
… “You make this too easy Amber. Just another stupid fucking fiddle playing my tune”...
Ken Davisons voice back at the counter sounded louder than most, making her skin crawl like she might be covered in a thousand tiny spiders she couldn’t see, adrenaline spiking furiously at the degrading tone of voice and level of contempt he effortlessly held. He knew what she’d done and like a fucking psychopathic asshole fuelled only be a desire to watch people hurt, he had exploited it. Exploited her. He’d gotten deep inside her head and started tearing away at the synapses like they’d personally insulted his choice of attire, important connections damaged beyond repair if only to prove that he could… She wouldn’t dare admit the hold he had, the depth to which he resided in her psyche- and even just thinking about it made her wanna dry retch till her throat bled. A terminal sickness that she’d rather have blown out of her skull then allow a second more of control.
Another bottle sent careening, this one accompanied by a visceral cry as though the sound itself were dragged from somewhere unseen, unknowing and had resisted the ascent the whole way. Anguish and despair epitomised into sound. Proximity had run out of luck this time as the bottle smashed against the counter mere feet away before seemingly blowing back towards her- shards nicked at arms and one caught her a little below the eye drawing a rivulet of blood to the surface.
… “I thought you were the one person I could count on, and then you proved to me that you're just like everyone else. Tell me, how's it feel to know you're the apple of your 'daddys' eye, the person he held on that pedestal, high above the rest of us… yet you're his biggest disappointment”...
They were supposed to be like sisters, as close as blood. Warriors in a world they’d spent their careers being warned wasn’t for them, that they’d falter and fall before man and beast, that their fragile feminine wiles would be broken and used as toothpicks for the vermin and vile. Amber had hurt her in ways she couldn’t forgive herself for, her blindness and determination snuffing out something far more valuable that she swore she’d work to get back- Kyra didn’t seem to want that though, she’d found peace and solace in the assholery of another. Vitriolic yet fiercely honest, Kyras words cut differently to the others- as though she knew better than most how utterly avoidable everything was, and how inevitable it had become.
Amber almost wished that Kyra was standing in the doorway, arms crossed and unimpressed smirk drawn across her features. She hoped that despite the facade of indifference that maybe, just maybe a glint of her best friend could still be captured in her eyes. Her voice was quieter than the others, maybe she truly didn’t mean it… Almost regretfully, the bottle intended for her voice… for her image… for whatever Amber was holding onto... fell short and cracked, dribbling into the carpet and creating a tiny fierce smelling puddle before being quickly absorbed into the aged fabric.
… “The things we could have done together, and all you do is piss it away like it didn’t matter. For what? Fourteen pounds of gold? The fire we could have created together, it doesn’t even have embers still hot enough to light a cigarette with”...
She knew those words weren’t real, that despite the clarity and familiarity of his voice- Mac’s words weren’t his own, but Amber knew that one day they could be. They could be and she’d have earned every last one of them, not because she wanted to but because that's just how things went. Amber didn’t get a fairytale ending, that had always been her stance, those were for people far better and less inclined to destroy everything they ever touched. Bubbling under her skin, her blood ran like lava as her eyes burned from welling tears she desperately held back. Between the acerbic fumes of broken bottles in an enclosed space and her own exhaustion from weeks of trying to stay afloat with cinderblock boots- she could feel reality and everything it entailed slipping further from her proverbial grasp. She could almost see Mac, the disappointment and grief in his eyes as he looked at her. God he didn’t deserve this… fucking no way could she do this to him… she’d already let him down enough…
Initially, she hadn’t noticed the bottle snatched up in her hand as she lurched from the counter towards the voice she couldn’t see, a slur of apologies and pleas tumbling from her lips as her fists clenched tighter. Maybe she should have heard the glass cracking, the first dribble of blood seeping between her fingers- was this what she truly wanted, to be numb… It was short-lived as the sting of a clear alcohol melded with the darkening viscose stream of blood collecting in the spaces betwen fingers still clenched tightly- willpower overcoming animalistic rage long enough that she’d rather hurt in reality than damage the man she loved in fantasy.
Miranda wasn’t there.
Jonathan wasn’t there.
Ken wasn’t there.
Kyra wasn’t there.
Mac sure as fuck wasn’t there.
Just Amber and her myriad of mistakes.
On unsteady legs, her knees buckled slightly and she crumbled slowly to the floor while her hand finally released its jumble of broken glass and pooled blood in a vain effort to keep herself semi-upright. In the jaundiced glow of a bedside lamp, resting on her haunches, the redhead finally let everything go. Whatever minimal makeup she’d applied ran dark down her cheeks as the tears ran hot and plenty, tracing across skin and scars without pause or judgement. Wracking, defeated sobs rattled her frame to the point it might simply fall to pieces as blood saturated the carpet beside her.
She’d been so fucking determined to carry the weight of the world, but now all she could do was watch it all crumble around her.
… and it was all her kendamned fault.
“All I ever wanted was to be better.
It's not exactly a huge ask really, is it? Should be something we all strive for, that we crave and we scratch fiercely to achieve- we just want to prove ourselves, justify our existence to the person next to us as though they aren’t trying to do the exact same thing.
You know Matt, I wish I could tell you how things got to this point. I wish I could explain it all away and somehow make all this just… make sense. It doesn’t though and it fucks with me a little, I’m a little type A like that I guess. I mean I won’t sit here and argue that I’m not in a slump, it would be pointless to argue the obvious and besides- that's what Twitter’s for, right? We’re all so busy trying to use 140 words to drag down someone tweeting live from their high horse, we want everyone on our level or lower cause it's the human condition to want everyone around you to fail just enough that you feel a little less insecure.
I guess I’m a little sick of it if I can be honest- tired of the words, the games, the idle thinly veiled insults and backhanded compliments. Cute gifs saying what words can’t and trying to pretend we aren’t nearly as insulted as we actually are cause every witty asshole has his moment in the proverbial sun.
For one night though… Fuck all that nonsense and lets bring this back to what really matters.
This isn’t gonna be some kind of ‘burial’, I won’t try to degrade you or tell you that I think I’m that much better cause truth be told I haven’t really proven much of anything recently. We all have our lows, I won’t pretend like I’m somehow immune cause people talk me up as something special- like this isn’t just shit ass luck and a couple bad nights like others might try to make you believe. I’m not setting out on some redemption arc, trying to make you a number in a win column or a notch in a belt that reminds me I really need to get a new one or a statistic to be pored over by someone with far too much time on their hands.
Strip it all away and you have two damn good fucking wrestlers trying to get back on their feet and show why they’ve earned their place a thousand times over.
I’ll admit guilt though- I’ve had tunnel vision recently and who hasn’t… You can see that top prize and it's calling out to you, it's a siren sitting on the rocks and you know the moment you hear it that it's gonna fuck you up, but you want it that much more because of it. I took something that should never have been mine and I allowed it to define me, hell, maybe I still do- that's a debate for another day. For a long time, it might have been the only thing that made me special and now it's sitting on the shoulder of a man who literally has the record for world's most punchable face. If you don’t think I feel sicker than everyone else who has to listen to his constant drivel and condescending bullshit, than you’re wrong... cause he has that title because of me, Matt.
It's something I need to live with, something that's stuck in the back of my throat and that chokes every word I try to say otherwise. I’m not coming into this as a former world champion, I’m not the concentrated fury of Mother Nature that I’m supposed to be, I’m not the Distorted Angel leaving the ring with ash and cinder at my heels- I’m just a woman, stepping into a ring with clenched fists and a hurt inside that she can’t seem to kill. It doesn’t make me better than you, even at my best or worst I’d never make that claim- I damn sure respect you Matt Knox but that won’t stop me going out there and doing what the fuck it is that brought me to the proverbial dance.
I go out, I win matches and I hurt people.
It's what we’re all here for titrated into its most basic form.
Maybe this really is about respect for you, maybe you just wanna show you can hang with the best- and don’t get me wrong I appreciate all the nice stuff I’ve heard you say about me… but it doesn’t change who we are, what we are and why we’re here. I’m clutching at threads not designed to hold my weight and you’re scratching and clawing to prove that everything you stand for can’t simply be bottled and sold as snake oil on the road. I’m not gonna pretend like you’re something I haven’t already seen walk through these doors, the new blood determined to create a revolution when change doesn’t come easily to a place like this- you see potential and rebellion against a status quo- but you forget it's the status quo that built these walls, it's what laid the foundation of this company.
Tear the roof off and the floors out and it's all rotten underneath- you want change regardless of what that might entail.
As far as I’m concerned? New blood can bleed for their place just like we all have, nothing is a given and nothing is sacred. Respect is great, but it only means so much when you follow it up with cheap insults and hyperbole, one minute you praise someone and say you wanna fight for the title but in the next it's ‘no offense but…’ and I’m left wondering when you’ll finally decide which side of your mouth you’d like to talk from.
I get why you have challengers lined up for miles on end, they just want a chance to shut you up… For you though- you’re a smart man in a dumb world trying not to get lost in the shuffle, trudging through shifting sands that threaten to swallow you whole if you stay in one place too long. Infamy and notoriety, cause it's your name on everyone's tongues right… Just a shame all attention isn’t good attention though. I get it better than most, with the influx of talent it’d be easy to get left behind, stand out or fall away. Prove yourself or piss off. Carnage isn’t a place to loiter and get paid, you eat glass and steel or you step aside for someone who will.
What you seem to forget though is a match with me is more than a trifling scuffle, it's not some fisticuffs to get you on a card, it's not some jerk off softball opener- it's a fucking opportunity whether I’m at the top of my game or scraping rock bottom. See, I’m the woman that when people see my name on a card across from theirs, they grit their teeth a little tighter, they train a little harder and they know that when they stand across from me- that it's a fight they won’t soon forget.
When it comes down to it- I’m the woman who’s place you want in this company- the one who might not need a title to be known as the best, but damn sure wants it anyway.
I’m everything this company stands for and it's about fucking time everyone starts remembering that.”