The scream echoed through the dungeon. I glared back at my torturer. My vision blurry, the pain pulsating through my body.
My mind started to slowly lose consciousness.
“Hey, now! Don’t you go blacking out on me, boy!”
The sound of the whip hitting my flesh, cutting me open. I bit down on my lower lip in pain. Alex started to walk around the cell and looked
“Look what you got yourself into, Archie. You thought you flew above the rest of us. You thought you were the best at what you do and kudos to you, you backed your words up.”
Alex dragged a chair and pulled it up right in front of me. He sat down and then slapped my face.
“Now, now pay attention to what I am saying. You see one year back you went into a gambling problem. You went and lost all your money. You the Champ! Broke like my grandma’s hip. But you know who came to your rescue? Well, do you?”
Alex grabs me by my hair and pulls me to face him.
“Answer me, boy!!”
“You did, Alex.”
Alex lets go of my hair. My wounds were burning, I was drenched in my own sweat.
“Exactly! I came to your rescue. Alex, the merciful. I saw potential in you, boy. I didn’t even ask you to pay the money back. All you had to do was one thing. One thing only.”
“IT WAS NEVER YOUR CHOICE!” Alex screamed as he whipped me again and again and again until everything went dark.
The referee signals for the bell. Fami slowly stands on his feet and looks outside the ring at me, his brother, who was on the ground, leaning back at the announcer’s table.
“YOUR NEW FCW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! ANGEL’S ILLUSION!”
The crowd erupts in cheers as both Fami and I went to opposite corners of the ring and raise our tag team gold.
“Hey brother, you seem to be lost.”
Fami was unwrapping the white tape from his right hand. We were in the locker room of FCW. I was polishing my tag team gold and I was caught up in my own thoughts. It’s been a year that we have become champions. We have defended our titles against all challengers from FCW and other companies. Yet here we are. Still champions.
“It’s nothing. It’s just that we have been champions for so long. Doesn’t feel much fun to go out and face the same people we beat several times before.”
“Well, come on! There was a time when people and myself included didn’t think we would end up as successful wrestlers, let alone tag champions. Now, look at them. They can’t even imagine a world where we weren’t champions.” Fami chuckled as we could hear the crowd chant our names in the distance.
What Fami said was true. When I first joined this company there was skepticism to my approach to the business. People didn’t like my whole “Unholy” schtick. You call yourself Arch-Angel and almost everyone picks up a microphone and starts talking about clipping your wings. It was the same every night. Some veteran would start talking about how we were too “gimmicky” or too “over-the-top”. They thought we were over-compensating for our inferior wrestling skills. We were the underdogs of the company but now things have changed.
“Yes, but is this enough? I feel like we should’ve been so much more. Even if everyone keeps cheering for us it just feels like...”
Yes, I have been feeling this way for quite some time. We were champions and yet it felt like we were somehow…
“An afterthought. Yes, the crowd likes us but in the end, we are not the reason why the crowd comes to the shows.”
“Looks like this is going to be a close one!” The television roared and we both watched as Ahnauf fought against the FCW world heavyweight champion Skyvenom.
“Look at them. Skyvenom as always been the center of the company. The guy has been undefeated for the last 3 years. So many challenges and yet he sits at the top like a king. People come for him.”
“Hey, I don’t mind the money and attention I am getting as tag team champion but look at them. People are at the edge of their seats. Waiting for the Ahnauf to beat Skyvenom. Waiting for Sky to finally lose.”
“Oh my god! Skyvenom has countered Ahnauf’s powerbomb into the VenomShock!! The referee is going for the count! ONE! TWO! THREE! There you have it, folks! SkyVenom is still your FCW World Heavyweight Champion!”
We could hear the crowd chanting “SkyVenom” in the distance.
“That’s who they come for.” Fami whispered.
We never spoke it aloud but we both were envious. SkyVenom was an iconic figure in FCW. A man who has done it all and stood at the top of the company like a king. We were mere jesters for the crowd’s entertainment.
Music hits “Nirvan-Smells like Teen Spirit” and Angel’s Illusion comes out with a huge pop from the crowd. They go down the ramp and raise their championship gold up in the air. Fami then signals to cut the music and Archie grabs two mic and hands one over to Fami.
Fami waits for the crowd to settle down a little before raising his mic to speak.
“Two years back something miraculous happened. Two brothers who never saw each other eye to eye joined forces to form an iconic duo. To form the Angel’s Illusion and the rest was history.” Fami smiled as the crowd cheered.
“Now we are your tag champions for more than a year and we defended these titles against countless challengers but now… It seems like this division has dried out. Is there really no one back there who can give us a challenge? Is there no worthy soul out there? What happened? Weren’t you all going to clip our wings?” Archie said, looking towards the entrance of the ramp.
“As you can see there is no one left for us to challenge--” Fami got interrupted.
Music hits “Papa Roach-Last Resort” and SkyVenom comes out and the crowd starts chanting “SkyVenom” again and again. He makes it down to the ring and grabs the mic.
“One year? Two years? I’ve been champion for 4 years and you two are getting bored for have no challengers?” SkyVenom starts laughing. “It’s alright though, we can easily fix that problem though.”
Fami and Archie exchanged looks.
“You two don’t have any more challengers for your titles and neither do I. So why don’t both of you challenge me for my World Heavyweight title.” Skyvenom raises his title and crowd roared in cheers.
Both Fami and Archie looked shocked at SkyVenom.
“Come on now, don’t be that surprised. Think about it. It’s a triple threat match. Anything goes. You don’t even have to pin me to become the champion.” SkyVenom grinned as he drops the mic and exits the ring.
Fami and Archie then looked at each other.
“We accept your challenge Venom.” Fami shouted at SkyVenom.
“And no matter what you say, nothing is going to come in between us brothers. So you should be worried about yourse---” Archie gets interrupted by a kick to the face from Fami!
The crowd goes silent.
“It’s each man for himself.” Fami looked down on his brother.
SkyVenom laughing as he walks back up the ramp and Archie rolls on the mat in pain.
I slowly open my eyes.
“Look who is waking up now. For a moment there I thought I might have gone overboard.” Alex looked at me with a tired look in his eyes.
“Why, why are you doing this to me? I will pay back the money I borrowed. I promise.” I muttered.
“If only things were that simple.”
I opened my eyes and I saw the morning light shine into my room. I looked around and saw Martin towering over me.
“Wake up, idiot. We are late.”
I slowly got up and rubbed my head. It was only a dream. I got off my bed and looked at the mirror. The scars on my body still haven’t faded. I looked back at Martin.
“I won’t ask. You clearly have your demons, Alex or should I be calling you by your real name. Archie.”
“Alex would do. I better get ready. I’ll see you later.”
“Wait don’t you want to know, how I got to know?”
“It was Fami, wasn’t it? He worries too much about me.”
“Well with your history, who wouldn’t?”
I took my towel and head towards the bathroom.
“Don’t worry, tonight I start a new journey.”
God, Angels and Demons.
The holy and the unholy.
The realm of heaven and hell and all in between.
I am all too familiar with your world. But oh fallen one, you are setting foot in the ring with just an ordinary man.
Now, now I do feel bad for you. Losing the last pay per view and now engaging in another match. No rest for wicked, I guess. But aren’t you the same man who went up against my friend, Martin. Oh yes, you didn’t have the time or the willingness to fight such a man and yet Martin put you in your place didn’t he? He defeated in you in the most spectacular fashion.
Yet here you are, underestimating man again. Have you not learned your lesson yet? How many times do you have to face defeat in the hands of man for you to learn that this is the ultimate truth… You are no longer a match for us.
As for me? I am just human. I am a man full of flaws. Do I believe in God? Sure. Am I afraid of him? No. I don’t believe fear is the way to conquer hearts. Fear is not the way to win devotion. Ask yourself Azrael, why has God given us the freedom to think. If puppets are what he wanted, he could’ve he easily showed his awesome power and we would all follow him. No. It was so that we can experience love, pain, suffering, and joy. Everything that we go through in a lifetime teaches us to ultimately become the person that we are now. You and I cannot tell what God’s will is. We can only assume what he wants but as there are so many different being in this world there are that many different perspectives to what God truly wants. This forces us to answer one question…
Who is right?
So here we are, Azrael. A match between an angel and a trickster.
Let our ideas clash in the ring as we once and for all answer the looming question.