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The Longest Night - Part Seven


The Godfather
Staff member
Mar 17, 1988
In the car, Hornet’s cell phone rings, echoing the ringing inside his house from minutes earlier. It’s rare, these days he usually has it turned off. He quickly checks the caller id. It’s not her.


“We need to talk.”

“This isn’t the time, Chad. It’s 6:30 in the morning for goodness’ sakes.”

“You haven’t answered any of the other times I’ve called. I figured I shouldn’t be the only one at work this early.”

“I told, this isn’t the time.”

“Seems like there hasn’t been any time lately. You missed your last promo shoot. And we need to talk about what happened at ON TIME.”

“What do you mean?”

“Where you missed your cues? Where you were <b>asleep</b> in your dressing room?”

“Do you have cameras on me inside the dressing room now? I knew you were odd, Chad, but I didn’t think you were sick. Is this for some new line of videos? CSWA porno now?”

“You’re almost as funny as GUNS. Oh wait, he hasn’t been funny in years. I’m serious, Hornet, we need to talk.”

“And I was serious when I told you this isn’t the time.”

“I need to make sure that…”

Chad Merritt’s voice cuts off as Hornet’s thumb slips down to the “End” button on the cell phone. Moments later, he pulls up in front of a side entrance to Wesley Long Memorial Hospital. It’s not his usual sports medicine doctor, but it’s one of the places he’s gotten prescriptions lately.

He pulls the baseball cap down further on his forehead. It’s early, it’s doubtful that enough people will be here for anyone to recognize him. The doors open automatically as he gets close. He walks forward slowly as a nurse wheels a patient by in a wheelchair.

Hospitals are quiet in the dark. As soon as the sun rises, things will start to bustle. But right now, with the sky just starting to lighten from full darkness, it’s still almost silent, almost asleep.

His thoughts wander as he walks through white corridors. What will he say? What will the response be? Can he really tell someone else about another mistake, another flaw? And not just a mistake, but an… addiction?

It’s the first time he’s acknowledged the word, even in his own mind. Wrestlers aren’t supposed to recognize pain, remember? Wrestlers aren’t supposed to talk about weakness. The fight or flight impulse strengthens as he approaches the nurse’s desk.

“Oh, hello. It’s good to see you again. Are you here to see Dr. Jarosak?”

“I am. Is he in?”

“He is, but he’s on rounds at the moment. You were in a couple of weeks ago, is it your knee?”

“No, the knee’s doing well. I just needed to ask him a quick question about the Soma, and ask his help for a referral in D.C.”

“Glad to hear you’re doing well. I can have him paged if you…”

“No, no, that’s not necessary. I can wait.”

He sits in the chairs on the other side of the hall, the back of his head pressing against the cold white wall. Watching nothing, he starts to drift off slightly. Every time a nurse or patient walks by he wakes briefly, only to drift back into a light doze. The nurse at the counter smiles as she walks by, letting him know it should only be a few more minutes.

Just a few more minutes until he can finally wake up.

And then there’s a tug at his pant leg.

“Excuse me, mister, but aren’t you… aren’t you Hornet from TV?”

There’s a young kid standing there with his father. They’ve obviously come from emergency; the kid has a bright blue cast on his arm. Hornet stays silent, eyes still closed.


“Tommy, don’t bother the man. He’s trying to sleep.”

“It’s alright. Yeah, that’s me. What happened to you, kid?”

“I fell out of a tree yesterday. We thought it was just sprained, but it kept hurting all night, so Dad brought me here.”

“Sorry to hear it. Does it still hurt?”

“A little bit. But they gave me a shot. And it doesn’t hurt that bad. I didn’t even cry when I fell out of the tree. Hey, would you sign my cast?”

“Of course I will. Just be glad it’s Carolina blue and not Dook blue or I might have to say no. And then you might <b>really</b> cry!”

The kid laughs as Hornet accepts a Sharpie from his father and quickly signs the upper arm of the cast.

“So why are you here Mister Hornet? You’re not hurt, are you?”

The question stuns him. His throat swells, his blood starts pumping faster. There’s an extra beat of silence.

“No, kid, I’m fine. Just doing some paperwork. In fact, I just finished.”

“Cool. I saw your last match against Steve Radder. I was worried for a minute, but then you hit him a clothesline and got up and threw him into the corner… Hey, are you leaving? Can I see your car?”

“Sure, kid. I’ll walk out with you.”

The kid continues chattering as the three walk down the corridor and out the automatic doors. The sun’s still not out, and it looks like rain. And all of a sudden, Hornet realizes he’s very, very tired.


The Longest Night – Part 6
The Longest Night – Part 5
The Longest Night - Part 4
The Longest Night - Part 3
The Longest Night - Part 2
The Longest Night - Part 1
Evening's End
When You Can't Sleep

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