Post by ☠ ANNIE LENNOX ☠ on Nov 22, 2020 2:06:40 GMT -5
Just another bruise earned One more lesson learned Just another kick from behind Just another punch in the eye Another broken tooth Against the bitter truth Over and over again I say no pain, no gain
Every shard of glass that was plucked out of Annie's back by a member of the on-site medical team had the same cadence; a sting, a ping, and a burn. Even in her yesteryears as a manager, she was familiar with this variety of post-match care and as much as it had been her status quo since 2014, this particular instance was special. The pain of being thrown through the glass, the discomfort of having it removed elicited the same emotional frequency that listening to a finely crafted crescendo would. In fact, a smile had embedded itself on her blood-stained features that she got a good look at in the mirror affixed to the wall of the makeshift locker room while she straddled a steel chair. She allowed the cool metal of the backrest to support her torso, her arms wrapped around its frame and her chin finding rest on her own wrists. The plucking continued, and probably would for the next short while. MAY 2019
"The fuck are you on about?"
Every little condescending syllable reverberated off of the walls that comprised Chase Rex and Annie Lennox's hotel room and cut like shrapnel that Annie couldn't shield herself from. It was the same tone she'd gotten anytime she brought this subject up. The first dozen - a safe estimate - times she brought this up, yeah, it hurt. Being told that her dream was a waste of energy, even down to the brainpower it'd take to conjure those kinds of delusions, not just by the person who introduced her to it, but the person she loved and supported while he made sure he went out and got his was a wound that would always get reopened. Annie, however, had grown a tad desensitized over the years she spent treading this familiar ground. She wouldn't stop, either. Deep down, she knew there'd be a day when he finally came around. Chase didn't even look up from double-checking his gear for that evening's show. Annie might as well have just sat on the end of that bed shouting at a brick wall.
"Oh come on. You're going to give eventually anyways, so why not just make it easy on yourself and do it now?"
Annie watched the back of Chase's head while he recounted the rolls of athletic tape he'd packed in his gear bag. Three. Three fucking rolls. Every time, without fail. Annie's fixated gaze burrowed holes into the back of Chase's skull that he couldn't help but notice. In a huff, he haphazardly tossed the rolls back into his gear bag and planted his hands on either side of it. His focus moved from the table and his bag, to the window directly in front of him.
"The last thing you need to be doing is fucking off when you're supposed to be at ringside with me, making sure I-"
Much like the condescending attitude he exhibited just mere moments ago, Chase's shade of narcissism wasn't anything new for Annie. That didn't mean it didn't spark even the slightest of raised eyebrows as a silent retort. Chase had managed to catch himself before he dug a hole too deep to climb out of. He turned to face Annie with a barely passable, pitiable expression rendered on his bearded mug.
"We win, yeah? Without these purses, how're we to survive, hm? It's not like we have guaranteed money - at least not anymore."
As quick as a snap of the fingers, the pleading dimness in his eyes let a flash of fiery rage shine through its cracks before fading as quickly as it came. "Guaranteed money". He sure liked to throw that phrase around, usually utilized as a weapon. It was never outright stated, it was right there between the lies - somehow, some way, Chase believed that any signed deal they ever had always fell apart because of Annie; his inability to accept the consequences of his behavior only served as another signal fire for his narcissistic edge.
"Fucking off? Fucking off? Training on off days, before shows, working matches, bringing more money in? Is that some kind of joke to you?"
Annie felt the urge to lift herself from the bed and get into Chase's face, but he was already looming over her before she had the chance to.
"It is, yeah? It should be to you, too. How many times have we talked about this, huh? How many times have I told you the exact same thing? When it comes to the ring, there's two types of people - the kind that are meant to be the competitors, meant to be the stars, meant to be the money makers. Then there's the variety that are meant to make the former look good - talk when they don't feel like talking, get involved when they need to get involved; no bullshit, bottom line and since we've had this little union in this business for a while now, you should know where you and I stand."
The scar tissue that'd served to numb the edge of his razor sharp tongue over the past few years wasn't quite thick enough to resist that bombardment, which was Chase's most blatant assertion of what their roles were not just in their dynamic, but in the business as a whole. Annie's jovial attitude slowly wilted.
"Can you move, please? I've got to get ready for tonight."
Her "request" was placed more as a formality. She stood and transferred her newly-acquired sullen energy into a firm nudge that moved Chase aside. Annie stepped into the bathroom and pulled the door closed behind her. Chase listened ever so carefully, smiling when he heard the click of the lock. He'd won, yet again. At least for that one moment, he'd won. Annie had it described to her since, but she wished she had a way of seeing the look on his face when he realized Annie had done the tried and true "slip out the bathroom window" not long after they got to the building like she was on a bad date (that'd lasted about ten years). More so, she passively wished to be a fly on the wall of the room they'd rented when he dashed back after his match to find her bags missing. Truth be told, this dance had gone on much longer than their five years in the business together - really, wrestling was just a new venue for the same fight.
The medic had a singsong bounce to his voice while he plucked the last few shards from her back.
"No worries, mate."
Her smile hadn't faded. Why would it? Every little sting and burn was a positive confirmation that she'd made the right call. It was affirmation that Chase's wanton assertions that she didn't belong in the ring were just as hollow as all the others he'd volleyed whenever she wanted something for herself. Annie wished Chase was there, only so she could throw the fact that she was on her last show in the independent UK circuit.
That she'd be moving to the US without him to work for Carnage Wrestling.
The Carnage Wrestling crew that'd shown up to LP Steamers made sure to bring a lighting setup but the glow of Baltimore on the harbor was far superior to anything their rigs could provide. Annie sat center on a wooden bench behind a picnic table on their third story balcony, donning a black beanie and some band t-shirt obscured by the flannel jacket that was partially zipped up, jeans, and a pair of Doc Martens that've probably seen better days. Her arms were lopped across the top of the bench on either side of her, and her gaze that was leveled just off camera.
"You're telling me Carnage managed to convince Jason Momoa to wrestle under a hood that resembles a shrimp?"
A voice came from a source that wasn't mic'ed. Though faint, it was still just barely audible.
"No, no, no. Not Jason Momoa. Jason Lmoa."
A Carnage Wrestling producer had to double check the upcoming Havoc card himself. Annie couldn't stop the wry smile that emerged on her features to entrench itself.
"Is that spelled like L-M-A-O?"
Of course, the producer had to check again. It could be probably. Most likely.
"I uh- nope! L-M-O-A."
"Go on, you're taking the piss aren't you?"
"Having the time to fuck with the roster isn't in my paygrade."
Annie dismissively waved off the producer's sour tone and brought her focus to the camera.
A hand left the backrest of the bench and gripped the bridge of Annie's nose between the thumb and forefinger in an attempt to not mess this pronunciation up.
"Lmoa. The Crustacean Sensation..."
Laughter slipped out of Annie for a second, from which her recovery led her line of sight to fall back to the producer.
"Oh, come on! This whole thing sounds like someone lost the plot now that I'm hearing it out loud. You sure that this isn't some joke on the new guy? It's because I wanted to shoot this at a seafood place, innit? Look, we can shoot literally anywhere else next time - at the building, in my flat, at the fifty at M&T Bank Stadium - I just wanted to try the crab cakes."
The producer chimed in again. His voice was strained, as if he were trying to keep his frustration from seeping through. After all, he totally understood how someone new to the company would be baffled by any number and/or combination of The Masked Debaters.
"Trust me, this is legit. There's a whole group of these idiots, we tried telling them they might want to change their deal up. The name Garbage Fence doesn't exactly sell shirts and there's another one that thinks he's a bird."
After getting that briefing, there's nothing left for Annie to do but shrug and look back to the camera. She had questions - so many questions - but they'd be here all night.
"When's enough gonna be enough, Jason? How many times are you gonna take a right beating, lose your ass, and then come back for more? I dig the "never say die" attitude the lot of you "Masked Debaters" have about this business but at some point, hasn't the notion that this might not be... for you... ever popped into that crustacean cranium of yours?"
Annie paused and looked off towards the water. Any remnants of that mischievous, entertained smirk washed away. After a few moments, her attention returned to the camera.
"Maybe it's a sense of dedication I don't quite understand yet or, maybe, you've been beaten down so badly and so often that you're hoping you'll get lucky that one time so you can say it wasn't all for nothing. I get it. Right now and until that bell is rung and a hand is raised, we're in the same boat."
Almost immediately, Annie regretted her choice of words. A hand lifted from the backrest of the bench, met her face, and slid down it with a groan.
"We both have something to prove in this business and to ourselves. Unfortunately for you, whatever it is you're looking for, that keeps you walking down that aisle and into the ring, I'm sorry to say you won't find it come Havoc. Don't worry though, I'm not one of those "trophy hunting" types; after I get you in the trap and bring you ashore, I'll just snap my picture and put you back in the waves so you can try again."
Seemingly satisfied with her sentiments, Annie looked back to the producer.
"Yeah, I think that about covers it."
"Fantastic. Now - and I mean this in the absolute nicest way possible - will you and the crew kindly fuck off so I can enjoy my meal?"
With that, the shot cut to static and then to black.