// A warning to the prophet, the liar, the honest
This is war
To the leader, the pariah, the victor, the messiah
This is war
The dim light hanging above the bar and the light from the flat-screen just barely illuminates the face of one ‘Beautiful Psychopath’ Autumn Raven. There’s a bottle of Stella Artois sitting in front of her hand, being rolled around with her fingers as she keeps her eyes trained on the football game playing on the TV. You can’t tell who’s playing, but by the din of conversation around her, everyone seems to be excited about what’s happening. The bottle is lifted to her lips, the dark liquid being consumed as the people around her let out this loud cheer as the team that everyone seemed to be cheering for scored. She, in true A-Ray fashion, just snorted.
Sports was never my thing to watch, especially football. That was more my family’s deal.
She took another sip, ignoring the guys doing their thing, talking and whatnot, completely ignoring the figure that sat down next to her. He motioned to the bartender for a drink before turning his head to her with a grin. Autumn’s eyes didn’t leave the tv, and her expression didn’t change much at all. The bottle continued to be moved around in her hand.
“What happened? Did you get lost?”
“No. Just got into this hour long conversation with one of the boys back home and I lost track of the time. I’m sorry but I would have been here a lot earlier if it hadn’t been for that shit. Anyone bother you?”
A shrug. “No. They did play a commercial for Civil War a few times, but that was about it. When your face isn’t prominently featured, people tend to leave you alone. Which is fine and good with me.”
A bottle was set down before him as he continued to talk. “I guess that can be a good or a bad thing. For you, it’s a little of both. I gotta give you some credit, no wait. I’m giving you a hell of a lot more. I have been blown away by what’s been coming out of your corner lately, man. Ever since you dropped what’s his ugly face and separated yourself from the whole problem 100 percent, you’ve been golden. That shoot last week was fire. That’s the mentality you need to have, and should have from here on out. Screw everything else, it’s you now.”
“We lost to V.E.N.O.M. though. Christer got pissy for whatever reason and took it out on Maestro, then left before everything was over. People aren’t gonna take him leaving teammates behind again lightly.”
“True, but what about you? How do you feel?”
Autumn sighs. “Upset, sad, disgusted. Upset that we didn’t win, disgusted that Christer decided to do what he did despite the situation. But I...survived. I didn’t give up. I kept on moving despite the situation at hand. I got tossed around, but I kept going. I’m not gonna take anything lying down, not anymore.”
She thumps the near empty bottle down on the countertop so hard that the bartender jumps a foot in the air, coming over to retrieve the bottle and going back to grab her another one, not bothering to question the look on her face.
“Because of what you have to prove?”
“No, because of unfinished business. I can’t put it to rest and move on until it’s done. His shadow is still out there, and I will face it with a clear mind...very very soon. It will be over then...it will all be over…” Autumn quietly said, nodding to the bartender as she took a swig out of the new bottle. All she saw out of the corner of her eye is the nod of his head.
“So when is you and Chloe’s next playdate?”
Autumn frowned, crumpled up a napkin and threw it at his head as things fade out slowly…
The noise has quieted down some, but the crowd remains still. Autumn has switched places and is sitting at one of the booths on the far wall, feet propped up on the leather cushion and back pressed against the wall. There’s a glass of water sitting next to her, half-full. The light above her head is barely on, throwing half of her into shadow and otherwise adding to the darkness surrounding her. She continues to stare straight ahead, arms crossed over her chest.
“I had to think about how I wanted to approach the matter of Civil War very...very carefully. At least what to say. When I was approached by management a while back about representing the CWF brand at this deal that WCWA was having, I was shocked to say the least. I thought for sure they would pick someone like Loki or MJ, but they cast their eye on me and put me in one of the slots to represent everyone as a whole. I was honored, but a little miffed. I’ve been so up and down as of late, so why choose me?
That became my mantra for a while, until it hit me one day as to why.
Toughness, heart, willpower. The tenacity I had been showing over the past few weeks or so. Maybe that’s why. They were giving me a chance to show off, perform in front of the crowd and represent the brand. A confidence booster, more than likely.
But above all toughness. That is the key. That’s the core of it all.
I faced KC3 with everything I had. I didn’t give into his bullshit, and I didn’t let anything he said get to me. I brought out everything to that ring and I performed to the best that I possibly could. He wrenched back on me with that hold, wanting to hear me scream and tap out, wanting to embarass me in front of everyone again like so many people have before. I could hear the taunts, I could hear him screaming in my ear, his shadow looming over me. I felt a calm come over me as the darkness closed in, and I let myself go, defiantly staring into the dark...into the shadows without fear.
I didn’t want to submit, because submitting is something I did before. I didn’t, and I wasn’t going to submit to KC3 no matter what he wanted. I wasn’t going to surrender to anyone’s wishes and desires, not anymore. Because I’m stronger than that, I’m better than that, and when pushed, I can do awesome things.
Because of my...toughness.
Never give up. Never surrender.
That’s our motto going into Civil War. That’s my motto from here on out. Time for The Lost Soul and Alex Rain to stand with me and represent CWF.
Watch out, there’s plenty more where that came from.”