The camera opens up to the dining room table of the Hawkhurst household. Sitting amongst some half full and mostly empty beer bottles is a note written in a very neat looking cursive. It simply reads:
"Call me when you get clean. - Morgan"
The camera goes through the Hawkhurst household into the living room. The walls are a warm shade of beige and the floor is covered with a somehow pristine white carpet. While passing through, you catch a glimpse of Chloe’s room. Her bed is covered with a pink unicorn covered comforter, a poster of Mia Rayne on the wall behind her head board, and a Tiffany doll from "Bride of Chucky" sitting in the corner of her bed. Sitting on her pillow lies Lynk, still with the stains of Jace Valentine’s blood on the bottom of the skillet. In a frame on her white dresser is a picture of Jimmy Allen holding her as a baby, presumably at her baptism. On the floor is what you would consider a normal clutter for an almost 10 year old girl: Barbie dolls in various states of dress, My Little Ponies, Shopkins… and the odd Freddy Krueger action figure. Okay, maybe it isn’t as normal as we would think.
Continuing on, the living room itself is decorated with a lot of Philadelphia memorabilia, the most prominent being an old, powder blue, Philadelphia Phillies jersey autographed by Mike Schmidt. The windows have a very faint iridescent purple glow, as it would appear Dorian didn’t turn off his Halloween lights in the morning. The crew makes their way to the basement door which leads down to Dorian’s now famous makeshift studio. They head down the stairs, slowly navigating the old, creaky wooden steps. They get to the bottom of the stairs and hear Dorian call out from elsewhere in the basement.
"Over here." There is a slight pause, the Demon’s voice sounding winded. "Turn left."
The camera crew turns to the left as instructed to find Dorian Hawkhurst in a gray sweatsuit absolutely drenched in sweat. He is going full bore on a treadmill. With each step, the sweat flies off of his hair. Despite this, he looks fine, taking each stride with a determined look upon his face.
"Hey, boys. Come on over. Uncle Dorian’s got a little tale to tell you."
Dorian turns off the treadmill and steps off of it. He grabs a bottle of water from a bottle holder on the machine and chugs a good quart of water before sitting down on a small bench he has placed by the far wall. The camera crew follow, setting themselves up to get a good, clean shot of Dorian.
"First of all, I need to man up. We all know I haven’t been doing so well lately and I realize that. I’ve gotten stupid and overwhelmed. I let my demons get the better of me. We all know what’s been going on. Losing to Jimmy the way I did set me over the edge. I want to make it clear that is the reason. It’s not an excuse. I done fucked up and I have to take accountability for that."
"So, Shadow, I need to say sorry to you first and foremost. I hate myself for what happened at Evolution. I never should have put you in that position. I never should have put Chloe in that position. We all know how my heroics worked out. They didn’t. There should have never been any heroics to be had in the first palce. Loki, Tobias and Jimmy should have been dealt with. So, again, I am greatly sorry."
Dorian drinks more of his water, doing his best to keep his emotions in check.
"And, to my daughter, Chloe. I need to say sorry to you as well. I know I already handled this one behind closed doors, but I think I need to let the world know. You, my child, are a blessing and an inspiration. You go out there and try to do what you think is right. You tried to pick up the slack for me when you never should have had to. You showed bravery and courage, knowing that The Shadow was by himself. One day, child, you will change the world. But I want you to know each and every day, you change my world, and I am better for it."
Dorian finishes off his water and tosses the bottle off camera. You hear the thunk of the plastic bottle landing inside of a waste basket off camera.
"Now that we’ve got that sappy shit out of the way. Now, we get on to the business at hand."
Dorian grabs a towel from the end of the bench and wipes the sweat off his brow.
"Once again, I find myself staring across the ring at Autumn Raven. I have to admit that gets me feeling and warm and fuzzy on the inside. How could I not? I mean, Autumn Raven, for as much as a scrapper as she is, has shown time and time again that even though she is good, I am better. That’s not me trying to brag, mind you. In the time I have been here, I have watched her get better each and every time she goes out there. The improvement she has shown is impressive. However, it is not as impressive as what we have seen from my fellow Philly Phantic and my tag team partner this week, the Impact Champion himself, Zach van Owen."
A wide smile crosses Dorian’s face.
"We all know how much I like this kid. He’s got spunk. He’s a fighter. He has proved that each and every time he goes out to that ring. I see a lot of myself in the boy, and I mean that as a compliment. It’s like, how do I put this? It’s like the boy is levelling up at record pace. I guess that’s how he’d phrase it. But this business, this sport, it’s like one of those open world games. There is no end. It just continues each and every week. Like Warcraft, just when you think you’ve done it all, someone new shows up, there’s some kind of plot twist. It’s like a new expansion each time it happens. Zach knows this. Zach is able to evolve with the times. It’s a lesson that I wish I could remember more than I do."
Dorian gets up and starts walking over to a minifridge, continuing to talk as he does.
"I mean, the boy vanquished Freddie Styles. I’ve tried and tried and tried but I haven’t been able to do it yet. So, I guess that makes him a better man than me. I am proud to stand next to Zach, and we are going to need to be a well oiled machine with what we are up against..."
Dorian takes a deep breath as he removes another bottle of water from inside the fridge.
"Silas Atorias, oh, how I have waited for this day. This is one of the opportunities I have been waiting for since I joined The Forsaken. You have been a blight upon the face of CWF for much longer than I have even been here. You are one of those competitors than people either beg to face, or cower in fear at the very mention of their name. News flash: I’m one of the ones that looks forward to this little game we’re about to play. I don’t care about your parlor tricks. I don’t care about the dark persona you put on. Most of the time I see you, I sit and wait for the police to apprehend you and Scooby and the gang to pull your mask off to reveal that you’re actual Old Man Rishel."
Dorian lets out a laugh, in spite of himself.
"The Golden Crown tournament is an opportunity for the best of the best to raise their profile. There are savvy veterans and new faces coming in for this tournament. I look at this as a chance to show the world that "The Forsaken Demon" might have had a bit of a hiccup, but he is back, ready and focused. I cannot let everyone around me down again."
Dorian opens the water and takes a sip before once again plopping down on his bench.
"I do have one very, very important question for you, Silas?"
Dorian leans back, leaning his arms back to rest on the top of the bench.
"How’s your head doing? You still healing and reeling? You better have your head on straight when you get in the ring with me, boy. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve got quite a liking for taking these." Dorian raises his fists together like when he performs his “Square Hammer”. "...and knocking people’s heads straight off their bodies. Kind of a hobby of mine. Ya’ know?
Dorian stops and lowers his head, his hair hangs down around him. He folds his hands together before looking back up at the camera.
"I’m a bit of a spiritual man. I’ve done my fair share of prayin’ these last few days. I know that He can see the fear in my eyes. I know he can feel the doubt in my heart. I can only carry on, knowing that this struggle will make me stronger in the end. I need to continue, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Cliche, I know."
"Silas… Autumn… it’s time for the reckoning. When you came face to face with this demon, will you be able to withstand the punishment you are about to endure? For your sakes, I hope so. Because both of you are GETTING HAMMERED!!!"
Dorian throws his towel at the camera, covering the lens and forcing the screen to go instantly to black.