Re: Prelude to an ULTRATITLE, Episode 2: Attack of the Drones
“Oh no, the polls aren’t looking too good, Sean.”
Miss Karla stared at the computer screen, her middle finger slowly rolling the middle mouse wheel down. Edmunds walked out from the bathroom in a towel, his damp hair sticking to his forehead.
“Meh, the election is five months away. Who cares.” He grabbed a Q-Tip and jammed it in his ear.
“No,” she turned around and looked at him, “I mean for the Ultratitle. 95% of those polled have chosen you to lose this round.”
He stopped mid-spin. His hand dropped to his side as he pursed his lips. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he fumed, a Q-Tip sticking out each ear. “Fu
ck it.” He grabbed the Q-Tips and slammed them into the trash… well, I mean, as much as you can slam Q-Tips.
“It’s ok, we’ll just do what we always do, Sean.”
She popped out of the chair and tried to cheer him up. He ignored her.
“I’m just going to do it, I swear,” he ranted. “Round 3 we’re just going to go ahead and debut a new shtick.” He disappeared into the walk-in closet, his rant becoming garbled.
Karla tried to appease him. “I know, I know, but it isn’t like this is the first time in this tournament we’ve had to prove people wrong.”
Edmunds walked out of the closet, wearing shorts now, but still going on. “Call up the tournament people. Tell them that “Simply Sensational” is gone. Round 3 will be Phantom Republican taking on “Not To Take Anything Away From” Sean Edmunds.” He tossed his hands in the air. “I mean, honestly, the pundits say it so much already that might as well be my new intro. Coming to the ring, weighing 228 pounds… “Not To Take Anything Away From” SEAN EDMUNDS!”
Karla cupped her mouth and made faux cheers. Edmunds rolled his eyes at her.
“Aw, c’mon Sean.” She walked up to him and playfully jabbed him in the jaw. “They said the same thing before you stepped into the ring last round, too.”
Edmunds plopped onto the bed, his ego obviously badly bruised.
Karla sat next to him and tussled his wet hair. “C’mon, let’s get dressed and get you to the salon. Your roots are beginning to show.”
And they were. Edmunds had been so busy with the Ultratitle and promotional duties for the VWF that his normally perfect hair had started to become “Cruise-y.” He shuttered as he thought the words “Cruise-y.”
“Ok,” he looked over at her, with his best puppy-dog look.
“Ok, ok!” she laughed, “afterwards we’ll come back and finish Battlestar Galactica.”
He hopped the bed and tossed on a shirt with vigor. “Alllll-right!”
Karla checked herself in the full-length mirror and exited the room. But Edmunds lingered behind to take one last glance at his growing roots.
“Ugh,” he lamented.
“LET’s GO!” Karla called from somewhere.
Edmunds slicked his hair down as best he could and started to head to the door. He paused as he came across the computer. “95%.” He shook his head in disbelief. “Time to fu
ck up ALL yo’ brackets,” he hissed. He “X’ed” out the browser and headed out of the room.
His temper tantrum finished, now he could get down to business.
He stood in front of the Ultratitle banner, cropped and prim and looking … simply … sensational. Sean Edmunds. The longest reigning VWF Pan-Pacific Champion. The SOLE SURVIVOR for Team VWF at the Experts: Rivals Factions against Team SIMCOE.
A nondescript producer stepped into the shot. “We’ll be going in just a few,” he chirped before disappearing.
“How are you feeling?” Karla asked as she held her arms up so an intern could help fix her gown.
Edmunds smiled at her. “I’m feeling great.”
And he did. He felt fu
cking fantastic. His earlier mood swing a distant memory, the usual confidence returned ten-fold.
A bell rang off-camera. That’s the cue. The intern checked Karla’s makeup, squirted some water on Edmunds’ chest, and slunk off to the side.
FIVE. FOUR. THREE. TWO. RED LIGHT.
Cue the cocky grin.
“It turns out that being ‘COOL’ isn’t enough.” Edmunds winked at the camera. “No, no, my friends. Actual TALENT is needed to advance in the Ultratitle Tournament. And it just so happens that I ooze
He wrapped his arm around Karla. That’s HER cue.
“We’ve said it once. We’ve said it twice. There’s no denying...” she paused for dramatic effect and looked up at Edmunds, “We’re SENSATIONAL.”
Edmunds smiled back at her. “So here we are .. ROUND THREE .. and, wouldn’t you know it, the cat dropped another writhing carcass at my foot. The Phantom Republican.” Edmunds sneered behind his smile. “I’ve read somewhere that people think you have what it takes to go all the way.”
Karla rolled her eyes. “I guess when you’re practically handed a spot in the “Thexy” Thirty-Two people exaggerate your chances.”
Edmunds jumped on her comment with ease. “I’m sure the Phantom Republican trained incredibly, incredibly hard for his match against… Henderson Bramble,” he shook his head in disbelief, “and I’m sure he struggled with the unknown against Shane Rothenstein. I mean, considering Rothenstein hadn’t wrestled since 2004 .. the Phantom Republican must have had to prepare for everything and anything!”
Karla pondered. “I guess I stand corrected. Phantom Republican is entirely deserving of the heaps of praise being thrown at him.”
The two looked at each other and then at the camera, their eyebrows arched in unison.
Edmunds planted his hands on his hips and seethed into the camera. “Listen up and listen up good,” he snarled. “I couldn’t care less that you’ve played this tournament like some sketchy 503(c) organization with Citizens United. I couldn’t care less that you’re as qualified to be standing across that ring from me as Christine O’Donnell is to be the United States Senator from Delaware. I get it, GOP. You are not a witch. But you’re also not a WINNER.”
Karla huffed, “It’s almost as if it is a sick joke .. Phantom Republican getting the welfare entrance to the third round.”
“Either way, Karla, his free ride ends here. It ends with me.” Edmunds pointed at himself. “I’ve already ended Jackson’s hopes and dreams. Last round, hell, people thought that Cancer Jiles was Jesus himself.”
“And you put his tournament dreams six feet under,” Karla quipped.
“Three days later he was back in that hellhole DEFIANCE.. with no chance for a resurrection.” He ran his tongue over his top lip and smiled again. “I’ve already proven myself to be the BRACKET BUSTER, GOP. I tamed Jackson. I …. cured Cancer. And now .. now it is time for me to send the Phantom Republican packing in a LANDSLIDE.”
Karla chuckled. “Time to close the Big Tent.”
Edmunds winked. “Change His Course!”
Karla squinted her eyes, clearly preparing for battle. “Put an End to his Mediocre Party…”
Edmunds squinted back. “Put the elephant down.”
Karla squinted more … and finally balled her fist. “Dammit.”
Edmunds tossed his head back and laughed. “I win!” He quickly regained himself and looked dead on into the camera. “I always win.” The sneer returned. “I hope you’ve had your fun, GOP. Because I’m coming in red-hot. I’m going to prove ONCE MORE that determination, dedication, and most importantly, PURE ATHLETICISM is what sets me apart from everyone else. There’ll be no mistake. There’ll be no excuses. There’ll be nothing more to take away from me. I will win.”
He wraps his arm around Karla’s waist and pulls her in tight. The both of them smirk.
“Don’t adjust your television sets,” they say together, “we ARE
“Wait, have you ever been here before?” her eyes squinted at Edmunds as they walked through the newly refurbished CSWA Headquarters’ doorway. The scene seems … familiar.
He shrugged. “I don’t remember. My career has been a whirlwind.” No, Edmunds was never in the CSWA. Despite it being the granddaddy of them all, and despite his illustrious career, the call never came from Greensboro. “Maybe the new management will rip their heads from their asses unlike Merritt.”
“Welcome to CS Towers,” drawled a frumpy woman with thick-rimmed glasses. “May I help you?”
Sean Edmunds smiled.
“I would like to talk with the new management,” he paused. Glancing at Karla, he continued, “Tell them the future Ultratitle Tournament winner is here.”
The woman frowned, pushed her glasses back up her nose with a single finger, and folded her hands. “Do you have an appointment?”
Edmunds was waiting for that question. He propped his elbows on the count and placed his chin in his hands. He grinned sheepishly. “Nope.”
She wasn’t falling for it. “Then, no, I’m sorry.” She cut him off before he could protest further. “We are on a strict schedule, as I’m sure you could guess.” She grabbed a business card from beside her phone and slid it underneath his elbow. “Please call and make an appointment.”
Karla pulled gently on Edmunds and slid in front of him. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this is important.”
The woman mumbled something under her breath before looking at Karla. “When you call you can have them make a note of that. Thank you.”
The woman, obviously drunk with power (at least Edmunds thought so!) pushed back from the desk, quickly gathered papers in her arms, and turned to head through the door. As she backed into the next room, she looked at the two standing dumbfounded. “Have a good day.”
Edmunds and Karla stared as the door slowly shut, leaving them in silence.
“What the hell just happened?” Edmunds huffed.
Karla grabbed the business card off the counter. “Here. Call now.”
The VWF superstar fumbled around in his pant pocket, his eyes still locked on the golden door. Finally he freed his cell phone and punched in the number. After a few seconds, a muffled voice.
“Yes,” he replied shortly. “This is Sean Edmunds. VWF Superstar. Future Ultratitle Tournament Victor. I would like to make an appointment.”
More muffled sounds as the person on the other end asked what the appointment would be in reference to.
“To get the respect I deserve.”
Edmunds took the phone from his ear and ended the call.
“And god damn it, if I have to rip through the Phantom Republican like I’ve ripped through everyone else in this tournament to get some respect, then that’s EXACTLY what I’ll do.”
Edmunds tore the business card in half and tossed the pieces in the air before turning and walking out. As the camera followed the two pieces fluttering through the air, it slowly Faded. To. Black.