- Feb 21, 2015
The following is paid for by Bryson Enterprises. The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bryson Enterprises.
The room is dark. It could be described as a cloying nothingness, hanging thickly in the air; an empty,foreboding void that promises to drain any light that chances to appear nearby. An absence of light crawls across the nonvisible ceiling like a black veil; it mourns the passing of the day and marks the end of another rotation. The space is notable for the fact that it is nearly suffocated by a darkness that eclipses that within the cranial spaces of those within this competition the woman within must suffer the countenance of; an inky black permeates the space, cathartic yet unsettling. It could be said that it is as dark as the inside of the coffins buried six feet underground, which contain the respective hopes and dreams that all you cunts ever had of having any degree of actual talent. For real, it's as dark as Darth Vader's asshole. The room, in fact, resembles the oft not glimpsed pits of your greatest miseries and shames.
The darkness is nothing more than the abstract revelation from God's own hand that nature abhors a vacuum, and in the nihilistic mirror of your own horror, you insert your own dark seeds you had long since prayed would never sprout. Yet they do, because God just hates you, and rues the day He said "Let there be light" because it led, inevitably, despite all His efforts... to you. And with each proceeding day as God wrought more of that creation, it would inevitably expand the complete nothingness that would have been that darkness. If fairies were made from the laughter of children, and fairies were but kindles of light given wings of love, then this would be the testimony of the hundred thousand children who were given a small kiss to their forehead and told that their mother never loved them and never will. Tears and grief produce an aching heart, and the darkness therein lay the sum total of a thousand Perfect Circle albums produced by Trent Reznor with bonus tracks by The Cure.
The darkness is like the revelation that comes when, defying death, you claw from your grave through the dirt of the Earth in defiance to the laws of God and man only to find you have done nothing other than birth into your existence the sensation of decay that is never ending; to watch as your body, like the world, slowly falls to pieces around you.
It is darker than middle school emo poetry.
Darker than midnight.
Darker than pitch.
Darker than the foulest witch.
Darker than the moment you realized Tim Curry played the Devil and was actually the hero of the film 'Legend'. There is the moment you realize love for yourself is accepting that your heart is a chamber of shadows, and love from another is someone with a lantern who can shine a light into that darkness and love the monsters therefore revealed... and yet this room... this... black... dark... room... this room has no love.
The room is as dark as coal. Coal. It almost makes you want to laugh when it dawns on you that this description of the room, this one word, is a perfect depiction of the participants as well. You hear the talk, you read the predictions, and you come to realize that masked under all of the tough verbiage, all of the various analogies, are nothing more than lambs being led to a slaughter. Their smothering insignificance weighs on you like a ton of bricks; you begin to fear their incoherent, idiotic ramblings and asinine egomaniacal bravado, not because it is actually worthy, but because it is like this room- devoid of any and all color or creativity. When you look at them, you can see only black. Like coal.
The dark, dusky room, absent of daytime delight, could be described diligently as if the devil descended upon the dwelling, destroying dependence and desire from the God-given light. As if the dastardly demon had devoured the day and directly, deftly, and definitively departed, leaving behind a drab, dismal and doleful emptiness. Dark. Quiet. So dark one would feel queasy in this quintessential wasteland and quick to query a qualified release to the quenching light. But in this quarantined, quixotic quasi-hell, all that remains is the queer feeling of your heart quavering in your chest. Dark. Jammed with the absence of light and jeopardizing just about every justifiable emotion aside from the juvenile fear and juxtaposed against the jarring silence between each breath.
The room has become a mixing bowl for the goddess Nyx, who pours her rich, black molasses thickly into the cell so that it sloshes over the brim, threatening to blanket the entire building, city, world in its syrupy darkness. In that inky batter, only her children could have possibly survived, and the woman within the room was smothered by the sultry beckoning of Hypnos, the icy embrace of Thanatos. Close your eyes, peasant. Pull the hood down. Bury your head in the sand. Weep as the cosmic clock runs out on every natural light in the sky, and one by one, they wink out, exploding into microscopic waves that shimmer briefly before expiring forever. When the void has claimed every candela and lumen, you will have then tasted an infinitesimal fraction of the darkness here, and your mind will reel as you try to grasp the concept of the darkness in this room. You can't. You understand nothing. You know nothing. Nothing is blacker than this.
The room could be described as all of these things but it's not. In the end, it's very simply. It's just. Fucking. Dark.
Eden Morgan sits somewhere within the room. There's no real hint as to where she is or what she's doing in the room, because, in case you haven't figured it out by now, it's goddamned dark! A groan issues forth, giving a direction to turn toward, focusing on the source of the sound. A throat clears, and a male voice is heard, speaking low and steady. A tiny flame flicks to life as Brandon Simon, Eden Morgan's personal assistant, can be just made out in the dark blankness, the cloaking shr-- let's not get into that again.
“My name is Brandon Simon, and I'm here to read a prepared statement from Ms. Eden Morgan,” he intones quietly, glancing over his shoulder as he holds the lighter aloft with one hand, a paper in the other. He clears his throat gently before beginning. “And I quote...”
“I've watched the contributions of my opponents, and this is the state I find myself in. A migraine. Jordan, Dave-- I take it all back. I've often ridiculed your talents, but neither of you have ever forced me into a darkened room due to a horrendous headache.”
The flame sputters out, Brandon cursing softly beneath his breath as he steadily flick-flicks at the flint, continuing on as the flame ignites.
“You know, when I joined this thing, this 'Battlemania', it was with anticipation. The chance to compete against others unfamiliar with the name of Eden Morgan, the chance to make them familiar, so familiar they would never forget it. I watched as the ranks filled in quickly; I listened as each competitor was analyzed, some notably marked as 'favored to win' or 'ones to watch for'. And so I did. I watched, and I waited, and while I did so, I amused myself with an upstart who decided to call me out on social media. It wasn't long before she turned tail and ran away. I'm sure she already saw which way the wind blew and decided to make herself scarce. Wise decision, Alexis.”
The fire wavers once more, Brandon pausing and holding his breath, the sound of a bottle rattling --pills?-- behind him, followed by another audible groan.
“Then the 'trash talk' started, and I couldn't believe what I was hearing or seeing. I had to go back and check the sign up sheets to ensure that these pitiful efforts were indeed from the same competitors I had previously heard about, the ones spoken of so highly by the media who would seek to judge us. I then had to wonder, and to be honest, I still do- was their judgment, perhaps, made in error? Were they chemically inconvenienced when they made their bold predictions? Did they actually seek out the facts and not just hearsay? Do they not get Synergy on their low-grade cable networks?”
Brandon exhales slowly, steadily, a bead of sweat forming on his brow as he starts to develop a cramp in his thumb. Eying the lighter, he swiftly alternates hands, trying to keep the flame alive, but to no avail as it once more sputters out. He swears audibly this time, earning a wordless hiss from his employer behind him. The lighter flicks back to life, Brandon appearing tense. His eyes scan the paper once more.
“In the offerings I was able to get to before I was struck down with this affliction, I found a common thread- each of you spouting off about your accomplishments, your years of experience, why you should win. It was all so utterly dull and predictable. Well, since this seems to be a formula, allow me to expand on my credentials so I don't disappoint anyone ticking things off on their scorecard. I don't have decades of experience backing me; I have been in this industry just over two years. I don't have title upon title to brag upon; I've only held one championship, and that was the UGWC World Title. Twice. I don't have some inane grudge against anyone in this match. I don't know any of you well enough, or care enough to, for that. What I do have in my favor is a history of winning matches such as these. Two years in competition. Two over-the-top battle royal wins.”
Brandon presses his lips together as the flint heats up, branding itself to the pad of this thumb, but valiantly, he continues on.
“Our over-the-top battle royal is known as the Massive Melee. We have another just around the corner, another with my name on it. I excel at these matches, and I say that without the need to massage my own ego. Truth is truth. A match such as the Massive Melee, as well as this one, is random. Chaotic. Two environments I was born and bred for. I had decorated opponents in both Melee's who boasted of their accolades, their experiences, but when faced with random chaos, their past accomplishments didn't aid them. I am at my peak when the opposition is faceless, and right now that's all I see, a sea of faceless mediocrity, trying their best to convince each other that they matter outside of their ponds. Let me assure you... you don't.”
Unable to hold the lighter any longer, Brandon drops it with a yelp, the light quickly extinguishing, that insatiable darkness from earlier blanketing all. A movement is heard and then another cry of pain after a moment of contact. Some scrambling about and then an audible sizzle followed by a whimper.The light flicks back into play, Brandon rubbing at a lump already forming on the side of his head, his reddened thumb stuck between his teeth as he licks at it. He draws it away, looks at it, and frowns before lifting the paper once more, arm shaky.
“Many of you will scoff at this, and issue one prideful boast after another, but let's be honest, shall we? Your proffered work speaks for you, and it speaks volumes. What does it tell me? It tells me that although there are very few I consider worth a damn in UGWC, very few I don't despise, every one of those Entertainment Professionals that walk those halls are better than you. Seeing what you have put forth, I am grateful that it was at UGWC I cut my teeth, among their finest, despite our many differences; because quite frankly, the alternative is all of you... and we see how that turned out.”
Brandon purposefully lets the light burn out, hand moving with the lighter toward his mouth as another sizzle and a whimper is heard. A moment or two passes before the light emerges once more, Brandon's face pained.
“In light of everything, my fellow competitors, I suppose I should apologize to you. It seems as though you've tried so hard, and now it's all in vain. Vegas; gratuitous sex scenes; overuse of Google translate; and just plain old seeing who could out-dull the other. It was a valiant effort. Perhaps a certificate for participation is warranted? I'd hate for your 'Best' to leave empty-handed, but a Queen trumps a Bishop. And at the end of the day, it's not personal- it's just business.”
Brandon lowers the paper and lifts his thumb, a sigh of relief issuing through the darkness.