Inside The Mind Of Madness

 
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[Center ring. Saturday Night Glory. “The Resistance” and “The Uprising” stand impassively, shoulder to shoulder, surveying the damage they have done. The 5’9″ Gutz, tied helplessly to the ringside barrier with athletic tape. The same tape that began the night wrapped around the wrist of “The Resistance”. Gutz is unconscious, his face bloodied, his limbs limp, his mind numb. His partner Blud lies in a tiny heap some eight rows deep into the crowd. A circle of fans surrounds him. He too does not move. Standing at ringside, barely, are Kenny Jacquet and Darrel Fowler. They are bruised, bloodied, beaten. Yet they are victorious. With a fresh DQ win tucked in their pockets, they stumble up the ramp to the backstage area. They celebrate as they walk, but their crushed bodies tell a different story.]

*No cameras. No voice-overs. We are inside the mind of one of the deadliest men on the planet. Lucky for us, he doesn’t know we’re here.*

[An altogether different angle. Looking out from the eyes of “The Uprising” Diego Valencia. The crowd is spread out before us like a field of reeds in a hurricane. They do not sway, but rather their movements are erratic and jerky. Their heads snap from side to side. There is screaming. There is booing. We hear it, yet the sound is distorted. It’s like listening to a stereo with a fishbowl over your head. Echoing and reverberating back at us. Suddenly, the sounds begin to slow, like a tape being played at the wrong speed. Each jeer and obscenity that is launched at us is slowed to a disturbing pace, till they are nothing more than elongated growls from a dying beast.]

[Eyelids. A long, drawn out blink. As we look out through Diego’s eyes, the world in front of us becomes like a slow-motion replay. The sound of our own heart beating pounds mercilessly in our head. *THUM* *THUM* *THUM* It goes on. The roar of the crowd becomes like ocean water rushing over a drowning man’s head. Slow. Distorted. Frightening. Our breath is heavy and full. We feel each intake of oxygen rumble like an earthquake through the soul. Each exhale, the explosion of a steam pipe released from it’s fitting, gushing out air in an extended moment of gasping freedom.]

[ The Voice of Casey Young, GCW Ring Announcer ]

“Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention please….. the winners of this match….. as a result of a DISQUALIFICATION!!! KENNY AND DARREL! THE GLAMMMMMMMMMMM!!! BOYS!!!”

[The announcement pierces through the fog and makes a b-line for our brain. Yet it is of no consequence. We can sense it. Diego Valencia cares not about the losing. He cares not about glory. Every heaving muscle in our body tells us that the result matters not. Slowly, our vision changes. With a slow, deliberate motion, our view swivels over to that of GCW referee Jason Lyons. He is now fully in our sight. In the crosshairs. Like a frightened child in a thunderstorm, the eyes of Jason Lyons go wide with fear. He steps backwards, and in an instant, is gone. Running from the ring like the coward he is hired to play. Yet there is something in his eyes, or was it something in our eyes, Diego’s eyes, that told Jason Lyons that it was more than an act. There was true fear on his face. And we sensed it.]

[A hand on the shoulder. No need to look. We know who it belongs to. Denton Cage, Diego’s partner. Our partner. Suddenly, the dull rumble of the crowd picks up speed. The sound of rushing water gives way to the chorus of boos that it is meant to be. The distorted sounds and images become one with reality and we are back in the center ring, seeing it the way millions of fans saw it on TV. Our breathing grows lighter and more rapid. Real life has returned.]

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Wrestlers locker room, backstage. Denton Cage stands over the sink looking into a mirror has he adjusts his tie. Diego Valencia stands at his open locker, himself dressed in a button-up silk shirt, the collar raised. He is packing his duffel bag. They stand is silence for a while, their backs to each other. One gets the impression this is the way they spend much of their time together. Denton breaks the silence.]

Cage: So tell me, what was with the look you gave Lyons?

Valencia: What Look?

Cage: The look you shot him after he announced the decision. You coulda burned a hole through his skull. He practically messed his pants scurrying out of the ring.

Valencia: I don’t know. Didn’t think about it.

Cage: Oh.

[The quiet returns as Diego finishes packing and they trade places. Diego at the mirror slicking back his hair while Cage commences to packing his own belongings. A young guy, probably 19 or so, wearing a GCW Staff t-shirt, enters the room.]

Staff Kid: Hey guys, nice work tonight.

[He gets no response.]

Staff Kid: Seriously. You guys put on a heck of a show.

[Still nothing.]

Staff Kid: So like, what’s with the whole anti-porn thing? That’s just a gimmick… right?

[With this last question, Cage stops his task and turns to the kid.]

Cage: Look, buddy. Get lost. We don’t need to explain ourselves to you. [he returns to packing]

Staff Kid: Sorry, man. I was just curious. [obviously this kid can’t take a hint, as he presses on] Bummer about the loss, though, huh? I figured you guys had that.

Cage: [without turning this time] Kid, wins and losses don’t mean a thing. If you think otherwise, you’re a moron.

Staff Kid: Well, yeah, but… you could have had a bye in the first round.

Cage: So what. So this way we get to pound on one more team. Big deal. You don’t get it. It’s not an act. We’re not leaving till we clean this place up. So take and your little wins and losses and go bug somebody else.

Staff Kid: Fine, brah. I was just saying that…

[Out of nowhere, Diego spins around and grabs the kid by the throat, slamming his back and head up against the cold, concrete wall. The kids eyes are popping wide with fear as Diego tightens his grip on the kid’s neck. They hold the position for a moment with Cage watching cautiously from afar.]

Valencia: We – don’t need – to TALK to you, KID. Get it?

Staff Kid: [panicking] Yeah… YEAH!

Cage: Diego. [no answer] DIEGO! Put him down!

[Diego releases his hold on the young staff member, who slumps to the ground holding his throat and looking up at “The Uprising” with a look of half annoyance and half fear. Diego returns to fixing his hair.]

Cage: See? Now what the heck was that?

Valencia: Nothing, Chico.

Cage: Uh huh.

[The two men continue to pack in silence while the staff guy sits watching in silence.]

[And we’re done.]

 
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