“Ugg I should have never gone roller skating last night. My legs feel like rubber.” Autumn muttered softly, wincing as she swung her legs against the stool she was sitting in. The sounds of the tv playing the local baseball game filled the room, mixing along with the conversations and the noises of people scraping their plates, enjoying a warm meal. It had been a long while since she had been back here at all, back to a favorite hangout when she came home from her long travels on the road. Los Angeles was her comfort zone, her place to unwind and plot out what her next moves were, plus all the shopping and visits with friends and family that still lived in the state. Those who still worked in this bar knew her quite well and would badger her about inside news or just the random story from her days on the road. She would laugh and tell whatever they wanted to hear, so long as they kept the drinks coming and the food delicious every time. So here she was again, sitting at the edge of the bar, drinking a tall bottle of beer and laughing with the bartender who was cleaning out the used glasses.
“That’s hilarious, Autumn. Can’t believe you got away with gift wrapping all of the referee’s stuff.”
Autumn shrugged, taking another swig from her beer bottle, a small grin on her face. Her head briefly turned towards the direction of the kitchen, a bit disappointed that her food still hadn’t come yet before she turned back to continue her tale.
“Hey it was his birthday, and I felt like being a little silly. He wasn’t mad about it by the way, he actually got a good laugh out of it.”
“Well that’s good. You get him a gift or something?”
“Duh, can’t do something like that and not get the poor guy a gift. It was some complete collection of his favorite band that I found. Pretty jazzed he got it.”
“Sounds awesome. You ever get a chance to meet the real big stars? You know what I mean.”
“Not lately no. I mean, I would love to meet some of them. To be able to just have that few minutes to talk life and the business would be awesome. At this point it’s a pipe dream, you know? Something you want to do, but don’t have the time to do it. It’s whatever dude.”
The bartender shrugged, walking off to deal with a few customers that had sat down within the past few minutes of their long conversation with one another. Autumn simply watched, frowning at his back before turning her attention to the tv on the wall nearest her. Of course it had to be on commercials the second she turned her attention to it. Happened every single time. It was for some stupid car that she’d already seen, and was frankly in her opinion, ugly as shit. Needed to be taken out back to the junkyard and set on fire.
A shadow fell over her, and Autumn looked over, finding one of the waiters holding her burger and fries with a smile on his face. She grinned, returning the thanks, and watched as he set it down in front of her, the smell making her mouth water. It was moments like these that she really enjoyed, being able to sit quiet and relax with some good food and drink. At least the memory of Nina and her band of goons was a million miles away.
“So is Hostility. Christ, I knew that was gonna be a bad idea from the start but I had my reasons for going there. I was willing to follow it through all the way no matter what the cost was. No matter what the cost…” Autumn quietly mumbled to herself, popping a fry into her mouth. The whole memory of everything that had transpired since then brought a sour taste to her mouth She wasn’t pleased that the title she had chased was basically non-existent at this point. There was no gold around her waist, only the memory of what once was and what would never be again. Now she had to go hunting and looking for a win without that strap sitting around her waist.
“My old teacher would probably tell me not to worry so much. That the belt shouldn’t define who I am. It was a moment that proved to everyone that I was the best and I could step away from those who seeked to...keep me with them at any cost. It’s not like it’s the end of the world anyway. There’s plenty of other things out there for me to do, not just do that.” She shrugged again, munching on another fry. The movie Cujo popped into her head for some odd reason. What a movie to watch as a young teenager. Was scary then, not so scary now. Kind of weird that one single moment came to mind. Maybe it was because it had something to do with the here and now. Minus the bloody zombie psycho dog. Eww. No thank you.
“Am I upset at what happened to Hostility? Kind of yeah. I went there with a specific purpose in mind and things just go poof. Total sad panda. The title that I lost to Nina is basically a non-existent thing now. Never happened, never really existed at all. Perhaps this is just the bitterness seeping through, or maybe it’s just my way of sorting through things. Whatever it is, I’m past it and I’ve come back to Evo to continue where things left off essentially. Without needing to ramble on and on like a broken record. I’m here, I’m me, and let’s get things crackin’ eh?”
Her bartender friend set another beer down besides her, winking as he went about his job, leaving her to eat in peace for a while. There was always time to chit chat later. Always.
“Los Angeles is my hometown, my place to come back to when the road gets a little rough and I need to refocus. Nice place to shop and enjoy some wicked cool sights you’ve gotta admit. Too bad I haven’t been able to enjoy the beach here as much as I wanted to. The birds around here are annoying as fuck, but if you ignore the ones that pick at you for stupid reasons then it’s okay. I mean, geez leave the seagulls alone. I prefer the ones at the petshop. The ones in cages waiting to be free. That was me at one point. A lone bird in a cage watching the world go by, waiting for that one opportunity to break out and be...free. I couldn’t sit in my little world and let people run all over me, use me as an excuse. I had to break out and fly on my own truly. I did just that. Here I am, sitting here in this bar, living proof that even the strangest and darkest of birds can be beautiful and break free.” She nods, as if affirming that to herself.
“So I guess all that’s left is to grab that broken down mutt and drag it out back. Put it out of its misery like ol’ yeller. I don’t take too kindly to people poking fun about where I’m from, or for my appearance. Birds are deadly creatures if you dig a little deeper into it. Screw the seagulls, the Raven is the most deadliest creature of all. Smart, intelligent, and quick to take down prey when the opportunity is the most acceptable. It has to be done. In order to put down what can’t even attempt to stand anymore, I have to circle and strike when the time is right.”