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formal notice


Jan 1, 2000
upstate NY
He entered quietly, slipping in through the studio’s ‘delivery’ door, flicking his cigarette ashes on the ground as if to signal is arrival. After one last drag, he dropped the British imported ‘Silk Cut’ and twisted his boot-heel on it, grinding it out. The studio was little more than apoorly converted warehouse with hastily-added light rigs and medium grade audio and video equipment. Despite the mediocre accommodations, Max Blackshire wasn’t the least bit discouraged. It wasn’t about how the finished product looked, or sounded – as long as the message was sent and the point was made. As far as Max was concerned, the point of a promo was to send a message, not to entice the viewer with a flashy backdrop or trite, contrived, scripted circumstances designed to put the wrestler(s) over.

All over the studio, the crew was hard at work, still putting the final touches to the lights, adjusting the “GXW GLOBAL WARFARE” banner and generally tweaking the entire scene. Max was about thirty minutes early when he silently walked onto the set, pulled the stool where he wanted it and sat down, removing his coat and draping it over his arm in an uncharacteristically civil manner. It took a handful of moments before one of the sound tech’s did a double take at him.

The young man removed his head set, looked around, then got up from the bundle of wires at which he had been kneeling. “Um ... can I help you?”, he asked meekly.

Max never looked at him as he pulled out his battered pack of smokes and tapped one out into his free hand, plugging it into his mouth. “You can tell whoever’s in charge to start filming”, Max replied flatly. He lit up.

“Wait, You’re ... ! ... You’re early, Mr.Blackshire!”, a man strode in from Max’s left and angrily folded his arms across his chest. Max exhaled, immediately surmising that the man before him was the man “in charge” here.

“S’right. Now, be a gentleman and roll that camera of yours, will you?”, Max eyed him ambiguously. The director took a moment to concoct a response, and then chose none, deciding rather to turn away towards one of the camera’s and a chair beside it.

“...roll film...”, the director quietly ordered. The on-set crew didn’t budge. Finally, one of the light crewmen stepped forward.

“But ... we’re not ready yet...”, he informed everyone.

The director was about to reply when Max raised a hand.

“I am”, he said.

Slowly, after getting a confused shrug from the director, the crewman retreated back into the shadow.

“Roll film!”, the director shouted once more. And roll, it did.

Max tapped the ashes to the ground then took a quick drag, eyes on the camera, the banner behind him half-lit.

“People may tell you ... that they know what motivates me. They’ll take every opportunity to share it, too, if they think it might make them look good.. Say they know what I’m about; heard every story, witnessed every “horrific” act ... or they know someone, who knows someone, who has. They may tell you I’m out of my mind. A looney. Or some’ll say that “it’s all an act”. Everything, from day one. Meticulously fabricated. Some sort of elaborate hoax - that I’ve really never committed a sin in the world, and have got me brother stashed away in a grass hut on the shores of Tahiti, just waiting for the right time to ... swerve ... the world. Maybe, somewhere out there on this cold, ignorant, inhospitable, and hopeless planet ... someone in this business might even deign to resort to petty, meaningless, heatless and empty name-calling. You know the type by now, I’m sure. The kind of people who have nothing of their own to cling to. Nothing happening in their own lives, they’ve got to try to glean some kind of worth from others. Maybe they think they know me ... maybe they think they’re “better”. Or that they matter.”

He smiled slightly and plugged the cigarette back into his mouth for a moment before exhaling a thick stream of smoke.

“Misconceptions, each and every one. Dangerous misconceptions, all around. Allow me now to perform a service I won’t take the time to perform again. I’m going to tell you all ... everything ... that you want to know.

“Why am I here? What am I after? Why should you care?

“You know ... it’s a damn funny thing about life. In some situations, there’s never just one answer for any given question. I have come to Global Xtreme Wrestling to claim what is mine. When I have done so, I’ll quietly leave. This federation has nothing more to offer me other than what is ... hiding ... within it. Once the victory I demand is mine, finally ... peace will return to your company ...you will have your quiet, quaint, drowsy, little-happening stomping grounds back to yourself, and you can go on about your irrelevant business.

“My target is singular. One man has what I want, and it is for Him that I have brought this War. A man who carries with him ... my destiny. At the moment, my quarry is ... flying quite under the radar. But that won’t last. Eventually, the moment will be right. Eventually ... inevitably ... I will have what I desire. Having eyed this promotion for several weeks, I can already foresee a handful of the Ignorant, who might take it upon themselves to provoke me. To, for whatever ill-conceived reason, feel the need to stand in my path; to waste my time. Maybe try to prove something. Do what you will ... but understand that I have ...no patience. For anyone.”

He looked briefly, away from the camera, towards the director - then back to the camera.

“... Ever.

“To the whisperers and the revisionist historians, I can only say this. I re-write the book on Max Blackshire, myself, every mother____ing day. Presume what you want. Say what you want. Do what you want. I can say with some confidence that I’ll never care. But do it and say it all knowing that - odds are - you haven’t the slightest ___ing inkling of what I’m about. Not even the beginnings of a clue as to what drives me. And for ALL of that, be very thankful.

“You see ... I came here for a reason. And I won’t leave until that purpose has been seen through to it’s cold, bitter, inevitable end. I won’t leave until He shows himself, until I can take from Him what belongs to me. When all of that is over - when all doubters have been silenced - I’ll move along to the next conquest, and the next playground. The next notch in my belt. Oh, I’m so close to putting the past behind me, to closing – slamming – the door on my family’s cursed memory once and for all ... and then?”

Max hung his head, smoke rolling from his mouth like a heavy fog.

“Then ... I’ll be free.”

Hopping off the stool, Max stuck what was left of his cigarette in his mouth and walked off stage, just past the rolling camera and silent crew. They watched as Max threw the heavy iron door open, flooding the studio with late summer light, then looked at eachother as it clanged shut behind him.

“...cut...”, the director said.

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