Post by Mitch 'The Broken' Heart on Sept 26, 2020 0:13:51 GMT -5
trials, tribulations, trouble, and strife.
The unfairness of it all seethed in the back of his mind.
Mitch Heart had a double shift. As soon as he was done at the Toy Box, he had to catch a cab across town to the SIlver Cricket. It was a more upscale club by far- while the girls at the Toy Box, like Raya Sunshine, were very pretty women, they were still just in the realm of attainable in the eyes of the sort of men who ranked women like that.
The Silver Cricket girls were goddesses, the sort of beauties that seemed to have descended from on high to, for whatever reason, do sexy pole dancing. It was a rather dull job, bouncing here. People rarely misbehaved at the Cricket. They knew better. A misdirected touch from a mere mortal would cause women like these to giggle and vanish, their mortal bodies abandoned in a puff of opalescent dust and a g-string.
That sort of experience, however- watching topless goddesses dance and, if you had enough to spend, even get a lap dance in the champagne room- was reserved for Detroit’s elite. The Cricket was for people who had money in their pockets. It was still objectification, just objectification dipped in diamonds and presented as ‘classy’. The same kind of scumbags who popped into any other club, just scumbags with enough money to think themselves unlike anything of the sort.
Mitch hated every last one of them. None of them dirtied their hands for the money they made, or so much as broke a sweat. Financial bros, stock market high rollers, and the richest of them just piggybacking off of the money of their daddies and their daddies before them. None of them knew what it was to struggle. None of them had broken their bodies and spilled blood by the bucket to finally earn a decent nest egg, something where he could finally breathe, only to have almost all of it sunk into a hospital bill that a vindictive boss refused to pay for.
He was right back where he started. Desperate, flailing, trying to keep his head above water, or at least not sink deep enough that Pen would drown with him.
Ask for help.
He could. He had built a rather motley circle of friends. Any would be glad to help him if he’d just ask, he was certain of it, and yet… he couldn’t. Pride, self-sufficiency, the refusal to be in anyone’s debt… he couldn’t decide if it was one or a cocktail of all of those reasons that kept him from just telling Spade, Diamond, and Club that he was in trouble, that C$J had screwed him over. And so, his keen bouncer’s gaze set to watching all of the Silver Cricket’s late night clientele with scrutiny.
He wasn’t looking for troublemakers. He was looking for prey. Ones that looked like they would scare easy, would follow direction under duress. Ones that weren’t too cautious. Ones that looked sufficiently loaded, that flashed thick clips and wallets of hundred dollar bills trying to impress both the dancing goddesses and the people around them. Ones that maybe were getting a little too tipsy and seemed to be intent on staying till closing.
His gaze settled on one man, a slender young bespectacled fellow with slicked back brown hair and large green eyes trying to fill out his expensive suit, generously passing cash out left and right- to the dancers, the servers, even fellow patrons. His well of cash never seemed to run dry, and yet he seemed almost needy, desperate for people to like him. Mitch almost felt badly for the poor sod, until it crossed his mind that he was probably some poor little rich boy who even now was frittering away more money than Mitch made in a month.
The boy stayed until last call, and as Mitch predicted, tried to get some of the other patrons to find some other place to hang out and party. Nobody took him up on it, the clientele dispersing, leaving the boy alone. Sighing, his hands in his pockets, he moved away from the club and down the sidewalk. Tugging a black balaclava over his face and dark sunglasses over his eyes, Mitch followed. He wasn’t sure if the boy lived nearby or was looking to meet someone- it didn’t seem he had a valet parked car on premises.
Clinging to the shadows, he trailed the boy for a block or so. Everything was quiet. Most people were likely asleep, without a care in the world in this part of town.
“...I’m just as good as you.”
Mitch froze, not moving a muscle.
“So what if I’m not some jock, so what if I’m not cool. I’m just as good as all of you.”
Not talking to Mitch. Not talking to anyone, it seemed- just sulking. Money, it seemed, didn’t buy everything. From the sounds of it, this kid would maybe trade all of his money for some friends, and would be envious if he could just see Mitch interacting happily with his. It almost made him change his mind.
Unfortunately, the camaraderie he had with his comrades wouldn’t buy Pen her medicine or pay the rent.
He moved swiftly, his hand clamping over the boy’s mouth like an iron muzzle, dragging him back into the shadows. The young man struggled. It felt to Mitch like he was gripping onto a bird, all flapping feathers and fragile bones. The blade flicked out of its handle, pressing to the young man’s pale throat. Mitch’s voice was a low growl.
“Stay still, kid, and stay quiet. I don’t want your life, but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll hand over every last greenback you’ve got on you.”
The boy didn’t move. His body was trembling violently, eyes like large green marbles framed in gleaming brass. A dark, wet stain began to form at the front of his pants, spreading down one tailored navy leg. Mitch’s teeth gritted, a breath hissing through them.
The command seemed to break the rabbit-like fear paralysis. The young man scrambled for his pockets, throwing huge wads of bills and a full money clip onto the ground. Mitch scoffed.
“All of this for a good time, huh?”
“...p...people like you more if you’re w...willing to show them a g… a good time…”
“News flash. They don’t like you. They like what you give them. That’s why none of them stuck around at the club when you asked. They were sick of hanging around a spineless, needy, clingy wet noodle with nothing to offer but money. Now get out of here.”
Whimpering, the boy awkwardly flailed his limbs as he ran off, leaving the money and traces of urine on the pavement. Sighing, Mitch scooped up the bills. Enough to cover what St. James had cheated him out of and then some. He should have felt relieved.
Instead, he felt hollow, with rot around the empty spaces. The money hadn’t mattered to the kid- he probably could’ve schmoozed him out of it if he wanted to. Or avoided this altogether by asking for help. But in the end, whatever trauma the poor gawky sod would suffer was little burden in the long run. Not with Pen’s wellbeing at stake.
He could pay for a good therapist, after all.
Snorting, Mitch walked back toward the club, removing his disguise when he was clear of the scene of the robbery. He made it to the bus stop just in time to catch the last late-night line home.
The next morning, Mitch needed a walk to clear his head. He’d slept terribly. He couldn’t get that rabbit of a rich boy’s frozen expression out of his mind. His dreams had featured emaciated, clinging creatures dragging him down into a fetid pool of blood, piss, and money. He could still taste copper and ammonia in his mouth.
Mitch walked about aimlessly, the morning mist making Detroit smell like something akin to a wet dog. Looking up after a while, he realized he’d wound up in Brush Park.
He had come here on walks with her what seemed like a lifetime ago. It was a strange neighborhood- historic and full of mansions, yet a lot of the once grand homes stood abandoned and derelict, like once strapping, well to do gentlemen gone withered and senile, their handsome exteriors crumbled and cracked and festooned with vines, windows broken out and boarded up like blinded eyes.
Knife at the ready, Mitch slipped through a broken window into what he assumed was once a beautiful parlor, but the wallpaper, a subtle lattice of pale pink roses once upon a time, was ripped and stained and covered with graffiti. The hardwood was scuffed and rotted and littered with garbage and used needles that occasionally crunched to bits under Mitch’s sturdy boots. Any squatters here seemed to be gone for the time being.
“Mom? Who’re all these big houses for?” “They were for very rich people, but that was a long time ago.”
“Where’d they go?”
“They left when the city started changing.”
“Why’d it change?” “Oh, you’re too little to understand just yet, Mitchie. I’ll explain it when you’re older.”
She never did, though Mitch had figured it out on his own- a combination of white flight and the failure of many of the once thriving auto plants, among other things. The neighborhood was in the midst of a revitalization project, and some of the old mansions were already upscale condominiums and law offices and such, the dregs of society that had once sheltered there cast out. Built for the rich, abandoned by the rich, and retaken by the rich again after becoming the unofficial property of the poor.
It made Mitch’s stomach churn, and between the nightmares, the myriad of smells in the old house, and the stench of general unfairness, he almost evacuated the bagel he’d crammed in his mouth earlier. He composed himself, though, as he came across a hole in the wall. It was roundish, roughly the size of a human fist. Someone had been very angry, very high, or a little bit of both. He sighed, tracing his finger along the jagged edges of plaster and wood.
Anger. That was something he could get. And, he thought as he brushed off a clean space on the floor, it was probably something his opponent could get, too.
Sitting down, he propped his phone up and clicked the camera on.
“I bet you’re pissed as hell, Strife.”
Mitch Heart leaned back against a half rotted wall. Next to him, about six inches from his head, was a gaping hole. It didn’t go entirely through the wall and the space between was dark, giving the hole the appearance of a portal to a black abyss. Reaching out, Mitch traced his fingers along the edges.
“I mean, let’s run down your short career here realquick. You show up like a bullet out of a gun. You win your first match, a three way vs. Hampton and Kincade. You make a brilliant showing at your very first pay-per-view, outshining everyone in that Beat-The-Clock challenge. And then? You have a chance that most rooks on their third match could only dream of- the opportunity to be the inaugural Chaos Champion. I can only imagine how overwhelmingly excited you were. An inaugural champion on a third outing. Imagine!”
Giving a low whistle, Mitch shook his head- and then shook his finger, the corner of his mouth turning upward.
“Unfortunately, your charmed run hit a wall. A wall with a fucking unintelligible Scottish brogue. Seeing as you bested him in part in your very first match, I can’t imagine how frustrated you must feel. So frustrated, it seems, that you’re going around schmoozing with the local celebrity and not seeming bothered at all. Huh.”
“Maybe that’s confidence. You’re so cool and so chill that you can let a once in a lifetime opportunity slip through your hands and not be bothered. Or maybe being wrapped around the finger of a pretty girlfriend takes the sting off some. Or maybe… just maybe… you really don’t care.”
The Broken gave a snorting sort of laugh, letting that slight upturn grow into a full on smirk.
“That’s a pretty bold statement, I know. And I’ve been known to be wrong. So I’m guessing that this will be a pretty good litmus test of just how bad you really want this. After all, not to toot my own horn? But I’m a pretty fucking brutal dude to get into a match with. You said yourself that ‘this is how you die’ and while I can promise you’ll probably come out breathing, I can’t promise that you won’t wish that you weren’t.”
He shrugged once more, idly drumming his fingers on the ruined hardwood floor.
“I imagine you’ll have your piece to say to me and deny all of this. Tell me that you’re motivated and that you want this and how you’re going to climb the mountain and reach the top. That’s all well and good, but Strife? The thing about you is that sometimes when you talk, I don’t know if you’re speaking or if someone else has their hand jammed up your ass and is making your lips flap. And that’s not all on you. You seem like a decent enough kid, I guess. But you’re surrounded by people that seem to have a pretty hefty influence on the direction of your life. Sooner or later you’re gonna have to ask yourself if you’re strong enough to take the wheel, or if you’re content to let the Islas and the Axtons of the world make you a passenger.”
Shuffling a bit, Mitch sat up straighter, looking at the camera head on, eyes sharp and steely.
“A passenger ain’t never going to beat me, kid. I am The Broken. I consume everything in front of me. I get torn apart to tear apart. If you don’t have your own goddamn convictions you won’t last five seconds, and that ain’t a boast- it’s a warning. This Heart will test yours, and if it’s found wanting? I’m going to destroy you to spare you getting destroyed later. You should be angry, Strife. You should be frustrated. And like some messed up fuck punched a hole right into this wall? You should be ready to punch a hole right through me.”
Demonstratively, Mitch balled up a fist and struck himself firmly in the chest.
“Show me that spark. Show me that fire that burned out major wins right out of the gate. Maybe you won’t win, but you’ll still prove way more to me than if you don’t.”
Standing up, he leaned back against the wall, holding his arms out.
“Me and my friends are building the future. Show me you’ve got a place in it.”
Post by Dom Strife on Sept 27, 2020 20:36:57 GMT -5
Story Time with CW's Newest Signee
Remember when I said that I was a piece of shit long before 'last straw day'?
If you need a refresher course, I wrecked my father's brand new truck on I-695 purely by accident, and also survived... purely by accident. That caused a lot of worrying and heartache for everyone involved, but it was also the point where Dad couldn't stand the sight of me anymore. I could tell you, nothing was harder than trying to heal up in the hospital knowing that I'd be homeless the moment I left. Two broken wings wouldn't have stopped my father from pushing this baby bird right out of the nest; squawking at it the whole time, but secretly hoping that he wouldn't learn how to fly until after I smacked face-first into the ground below.
Sorry, I sometimes digress into the world's worst metaphors.
Where was I?
So, a lot of people seem to think that wrecking his truck is why he kicked me out of the house. But the truth is a lot less complicated than that.
About a year before the accident had occurred, and long before the Ram was sitting in his driveway, I had made the mistake of telling him the truth of why I had lost my last best hope at getting a real job. I can still remember the disappointment in his voice, the moment after I told him that I had gotten myself fired from McDonalds. McDonalds, of all places. I can still feel the disgust in his words when he asked me if what I was saying was true, and the disbelief woven into every cold pause.
For him, sending me to work at McDonalds was a litmus test of the worst kind. It was the lowest of the low, as far as the stigmata of 'entry-level opportunities' were concerned. But apparently it was a test.
I didn't pass.
Ever since I was legally old enough to work, my father pushed for me to get a job, learn a trade, or his favorite option, follow in his footsteps and enlist. To be fair, that was his ultimate goal for me and he made that perfectly clear. He slaved for twenty-plus-years (and two tours of duty) paving the yellow brick road for me. All I had to do was choose to walk down it, he'd say...
...and I couldn't even flip a fucking hamburger.
Mr. Clarence was (and I assume still is) a dear friend of my father. Their friendship was perhaps the only reason I was hired to McDonalds in the first place. I'm sure they still get along just fine to this day.
Mr. Clarence's job (besides being manager) was to make sure that I did things my father's way. Who cares about the kid who adds an extra McNugget to the ten and twenty piece boxes? Who cares about the kid who gave two dipping sauces instead of the corporate-mandated single sauce serving? Mr. Clarence did. Because the 'rules are the rules for a reason' and they apply to everyone.
Just like the Army.
So... who cares about the kid trying to make his little slice of the world just a tiny bit better for the people in it?
The moral of this story? I guess it all depends on how you look at it.
Whatsoever I've feared has come to life
Whatsoever I've fought off became my life
Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
Sunspots have faded and now I'm doing time
Now I'm doing time
"I've got some good news."
The last time the Carnage Legion caught a glimpse of the inside of Dominick's apartment, it was barren. But things had been going good as of late for the kid who was building his life from the ground up. Though still sparsely furnished, Dom had acquired some pieces of furniture second-hand. There was food in the pantry and the lights were still on. So all in all, he couldn't complain. The paychecks from Carnage Wrestling seemed to have helped, however there was what appeared to be a mass of paperwork sprawled out on the desk in front of him, all with the company label of Strife Delivery Service. With the exposure of his matches coupled with the easing of regulations regarding the pandemic, his business was picking up.
"Yeah, you'll never guess who I just got off the phone with."
Isla Burke, Dom's lone employee in this self-employment venture, walked into the main area and sat down on Dom's couch.
"That, was CSJ." Dom sighed. He shifted his focus onto the papers. How many loads of these has he already done? How many loads still left to do? "He wants to offer me a job, finally."
Isla could sense that Dom wasn't as happy about the news as she assumed he would be.
"A job, as a wrestler?"
"No, a space astronaut."
"Dickhead," she snapped back. "So you finally got your contract?"
"Yeah..." Dom's voice tapered off. "He says if I want to, I can start in a couple weeks."
"That's great, Dom. This is the break that you've needed."
"Yeah..." He repeated, same tone, same taper.
"...but it doesn't sound like you're too happy about it, though. Why?"
Dom remained stoic.
"Because, Iz. He said that if I wanted to work for Carnage, I'd have to get rid of my truck."
It's not about me.
So many so-called superstars want to rise to the top of Carnage Wrestling just so they can tell the story of making a better Carnage. But what do they make? What did Jack make in his long tenure as the World Champion? Amber Ryan? Why do so many people speak of making a better Carnage Wrestling but it always involves them gaining some sort of power or prestige? Harry Hampton. Why is it always that the only way that anyone can make this place any better is through their own personal gain? It's strange, if you think about it. It seems like 90% of the roster is on this 'I need to win to affect change' kick... and I just don't understand it.
No, I'm not saying that Mitch Heart is as guilty as... Ken Davison or JC. But I do know what I am to Mitch. I'm just another stepping stone. A hurdle at best; a much needed vacation compared to the Lab Rat Kings of the world... and I'm okay with that. It's not "Broken's" job to make my life easier. I'm completely down with the competition aspect of this. I'm down with paying my dues... be it by sweat or by blood or broken bone. Yet when it comes right down to it I have to be something more than a bump in the road... I have to prove that I'm worthy of a spot here in Carnage Wrestling. I know Heart, for one reason or another, would do whatever it takes to be a champion here in Carnage. But I'm not just fighting for my dream here... I'm fighting for my fucking life.
And no, maybe it's the rookie in me, that doesn't get the grandstanding, the goodwill gesturing, the fevered hero complexes that run rampant backstage... and far be it for me to judge. But let me tell you a little something about myself, okay? I'm not a liar. I don't want people standing around at my funeral saying anything but that Dominick Strife was always straight with people... that he always told the truth.
So Mitch Heart, the truth is that I already know that I don't stand a terminal snowball's chance in Boy's hell against you... But it's not going to stop me from trying. I'm not going out there to be a bump in your road; I want to derail you. Because between you and I, I don't have to beat you to make waves. All I have to do is hang in there. You're the one going into this match with all of the expectations on your shoulders... not to mention that there's no way that you can be going into this one at a hundred percent. You have all of the pressure and I've got the key to the city. I can let it all hang loose... I can let it all fly out.
You don't know which angle I'm going to come at you, which is exactly the way I want it to be. It's my job to confuse you. It's my job to out-maneuver you. And Mitch, I already know that you'd love nothing more than to turn this into a brawl. So I got you... Perhaps I'll tape my fists and we can pretend we're settling this out in the parking lot. Maybe we can settle it in the parking lot. It is Carnage after all.
OOC: Sorry, I've had a lot of RL stuff going on lately. My apologies for not putting more into this.