Dorian Hawkhurst is once again sitting in a place he hasn’t been in a long time, the Burnout Bar and Grill. The Falcons are ahead of the Eagles 6-3. One of the little joys in life is when you come to the Burnout and there isn’t any NASCAR on the TV. With is Diet Coke in front of him, he’s kind of zoned out despite his team playing from behind.
"Yo, Dorian!" one of the guys sitting at the bar yells out. "What’s the matter, bro. Eagles got you down? "
"Naw, man. It’s not that. Just got a lot on my mind."
"It can’t be that bad. I mean, you’re sitting here, in the middle of a bar, milking a damned soda. You ain’t drinking."
"It’s called "Willpower." You should try it some time. "
"Chill out. I’m just messing with you."
"You know what? I’m really not in the mood to be messed with. I’ve got a 9 year old at home who can’t figure out where her best friend is, a title match in front of the biggest crowd I have ever wrestled in front of, oh, and my opponent is my childhood best friend. Hell, I didn’t straighten my act up, he’d probably be here trying to convince me not to beat somebody’s ass. It was kind of a hobby of mine back in the day. "
"All right. Easy there, chief. I’m just saying it could be worse."
"You know what? It could be a hell of a lot better, too. You sit here on your bar stool week after week and day after day. Don’t you get tired of having your ass print on that stool every day? I did. Yeah, I come back once in a while because I like it here. But, unlike you, I got out. I got off my ass and I made something of myself. I went from being a drunk like you to being a man who travels the globe and gets paid to put asses in seats instead of putting my ass in a seat and paying to be there like you are. You want to tell me it could be worse? Yeah, man, it could be. But I have more to worry about than if my beer is empty or not. I’m sorry if I’m coming down on you, but you have no idea what the hell I have to deal with on a day to day basis. But, that’s neither here nor there. Now I’m here, you’re still there. "
Dorian drops some money on his table and signals over to the bartender.
"Hey, Larry. Money’s on the table. I gotta get out of here before I do something I regret. "
Dorian storms out of the Burnout, a scene that has been repeated many times before. This time, at least, he is sober. He walks down the street, determined to get home. His mind is everywhere. He can’t seem to focus on any one thing for more than a few seconds.
Dorian jumps back as a white Prius nearly clips him, snapping him back to reality.
"Damn. Sorry, man."
The hipster in his man bun driving the Beetle flips Dorian off as he tries to speed away.
"Sorry about your tiny penis!!!" Dorian yells as the guy drives off.
The rest of the walk home is pretty uneventful. Dorian stops in front of his house, a decently sized white Colonial and takes a deep breath, He’s still pretty unnerved by everything going on, and you can see it on his face. Dorian walks into his home and is greeted by his girlfriend Morgan, who has not been seen by the CWF universe in quite a while. She wraps her arms around Dorian and pulls him in.
"Feeling any better, baby?"
"No. Not, really."
"Come her and talk to Mama."
"Actually, I’m going to head down to the basement and hit the studio. I need to vent."
"Okay, baby. Can I get some sugar later?"
"You know it, Mama."
Dorian kisses Morgan deeply on the lips.
"Heard from the egg donor. She tooks Chloe out to Chuck E. Cheese. Should be back in about an hour."
"How’s the kiddo holding up?"
"She said she’s down, but enjoying herself."
"I can’t stand when she’s with her mother. I never know if Voldemortzilla has her shit toghter."
"Voldemort and Godzilla individually don’t even begin to cover it. Anyway, let me get this knocked out so it’s over and done with. The office needs it for the promotional material."
Dorian gives Morgan a quick kiss and turns to head down the stairs to his makeshift studio. It was would be weird for most parents to be home in the middle of the WrestleFest festivities, but Dorian put his duties as a parent first. Even though Chloe was homeschooled, she was required to check in and take actual classes at the school on Thursdays. Dorian worked in out so that was the one day Chloe’s mother got to see her. It was supposed to give him a break, but he always ended up worrying about her instead.
Dorian grabs a bottle of root beer out of the minifridge he keeps in his studio, before putting it down on a small tray table near where he records. He puts his phone on a stool, which now has the word “Tripod” carved in it from what looks to have been a pocket knife. He sets it up to record, and steps in front of the plain black curtain that he uses as a backdrop.
"Jimmy Allen, my old friend, I don’t entirely know what to tell you. You either caught me at the best possible time… or the worst. I feel like I am being whipped around with no direction. At WrestleFest, I am either going to be scooped up and thrown about like a car in a twister or I will be sitting in the eye of the storm. That ring is where I feel most at peace. That ring is where I am at peace. Even in the middle of the shitstorm I call my life, I find peace there."
"I’m not going to pretend that I am focused on you, Jimmy. It would be a disservice to you if I wasn’t honest. I still didn’t know how to deal with Chloe. Her mini-breakdown at the WrestleFest fan event weighs heavy on his mind. Shit, it weighs even heavier on my heart. But. she spoke her mind, and I’m proud of her for that, but at the same time, it broke me. It took me everything I have not to run to the nearest concessions vendor and get me a cold one."
Dorian takes a deep breath, kind of defeated.
"Hurts to admit that. But, Jimmy, you’ve got little ones at home. You get it. I figure that if you get me, you get me. It is what it is. I am proud to be the CWF Impact Champion, but any parent will tell you the kid is priority one."
"I'd be lying if I didn't say that Mia's disappearance wasn't affecting me either. That woman is like a little sister to me. I would walk through the fires of hell and back just to spare her a moment of pain. It kills me to not know where she is. It makes me angry. And you know, Jimmy that I've had a bit of an anger problem. You don't earn a nickname like "Shusei no Akuma" without... Well, you know.
Dorian pulls a stool over from off screen and sits down on it.
"I'm not sure how this is gonna go. I know that you are going to bring the fight to me, Jimmy. Just like back in the day when we used to spar. No quarter was asked and no quarter was ever given. This match is a coin flip based on our history. As long as certain other people mind their own business, this will be a match for the ages. I'd they do show up, well Jimmy, Merry Fucking Christmas. You can have the belt. I'm going to take those sons of bitches, tear off their heads and shit… down... the... hole. "
Dorian's words are slow, measured, deliberate… and premeditated.
"So, here we are at WrestleFest. This, right here, is The Greatest Show. Hugh Jackman should be here singing about it. This is what we have worked so hard for. When I first got here, all I wanted was to work hard enough to get a shot at being on this show. To be here, as the Impact Champion, is mind blowing. It is an honor and a privilege. My life is like a fantasy. I am more than I thought I'd ever be. It's like dreaming with my eyes wide open. And, yes, I stole those lines from that movie, but it's one hundred percent true."
Dorian, despite his unusually calm exterior, cannot hide the fire. In his eyes.
"What this boils down to is who wants it more. Jimmy, I can promise you that man is me. I don't want this. I NEED this. This match, like each and every match I've had before and every match I will have after, is a statement. Each win, each loss, adds or subtracts itself from my legacy. I need to be the best at everything I do. As it was at the dojo, it is today. Nothing has changed, Jimmy. Just like the old days, you stand in my way. The difference this time used that you have to overcome me. "
Dorian strokes his beard, a slight smile upon his face.
"Hope does it feel to have the score on the other foot, Jimmy? How does it feel to be on ther other side of things, Jimmy?"
Each time Dorian says "Jimmy&qout; his voice gets more and more intense.
"Our old frand Ataxia, he taught me a few things, Jimmy. Did you learn anything when you knew him, Jimmy? I did, Jimmy. You want to know what I learned from him, Jimmy? It's how to defeat an opponent before the match even begins. Are you ready for that, Jimmy? You'd better be, because if you're not, Jimmy, you're getting hammered.”
The picture faces to black with Dorian giving a smoldering stare into the camera.