By:

Date: 12th Jun 2021

Breathless. Thatís how I felt, as I slid out from under the bottom rope, victorious over Crash Rodriguez and Kayla Richards. Two weeks out of two, Iíd found a way to victory, a path to success. And let us get something straight. I donít have a lack of belief in myself at all. But I am acutely aware that I am young, naive, inexperienced and each week Iíve been put in there with people that Iím not expected to beat, because theyíve been around longer, theyíre bigger, theyíre stronger. And a month ago, I wasnít a wrestler. I was just a girl helping her best friend find his feet in the business. But I hopped in, and I didnít just dip my toe, I didnít just sign up for a couple house shows on the indies, I used my contacts to get a contract at Project Honor, of all places. Top of the food chain. So yeah. Iím proud of myself. Iím kinda feeling myself, if Iím honest. Because Iíve never been the kind of person to put myself in a position to fail. In my childhood, I was constantly beaten down emotionally, I was constantly called a failure. I was traumatised by the idea of failing so much so that I didnít take risks anymore. Because if I didnít risk failure, Iíd never feel like that again. So why did I take this risk? This massive, unbelievable risk, which carried with it a huge possibility of failure? Fade in. We are focused on the face of Pixie, her eyes wide, staring at the ceiling. As we pan back a little, we see her subtle black eyeliner creeping out from behind her eyelashes, and extending out toward her eyebrows which were red, the same colour as her hair was this week. Her lips were pursed, an incisor snagging on the bottom lip as she seemed in thought. Our protagonist is laid on her bed, if you can call it that, in her stripped down bedroom in the apartment she shared with the other members of the Fetal Four.

PIXIE SLOANE
I have to front my fears. [ she said, smirking wryly. ]

The shot fades a little further, and we can see JJ Starfire sitting cross-legged at the side of her mattress, picking at a loose thread in his sock as he idly looks across at the prone Pixie.

JJ STARFIRE
Youíre not afraid of anything, man.

PIXIE SLOANE
Yeah, thatís what I let you think. But thereís a reason I keep you around, and it isnít your irresistible banter [ she laughs and makes air quotes ]. Youíre my security blanket, when I feel small, or worried, or anxious, I know that weíre in it together.

JJ STARFIRE
Did you just roast me and say somethiní nice at the same time? [ he frowns ] The shade. Donít think I didnít clock that, Miss Marf. Anyway, you do front your fear, you do it every week. You beat their champion last week, bro.

PIXIE SLOANE
She seems to think I didnít.

JJ STARFIRE
She can seem to think whatever she wants. She wasnít able to stop you, because she was face down eatiní splinters, yes or no?

PIXIE SLOANE
People always think they can just push me around, its actually a little upsetting. Or it would be, if I gave a shit. Iím over it. Kayla can flap her yellow British teeth until they fall out about how it wasnít her fault she lost.

JJ STARFIRE
First place is the winner, and everyone else is a loser. If the belt was on the line, youíd have the belt.

PIXIE SLOANE
I donít even want her belt. I mean, Iíd totally take it from her just because sheís a twatwaffle. But then someone else can have it. Whatís the point of a belt, anyway?

JJ STARFIRE
Recognition?

PIXIE SLOANE
Recognition of what? That I beat an idiot? The record book already clearly states that I am better than her, I donít need to prove anything against her.

JJ STARFIRE
But like, other people, you know?

PIXIE SLOANE
I donít want the pity belt. Forget about it.

JJ STARFIRE
But like, [ he sighs, starting to stand up. ] At least itís something.

PIXIE SLOANE
Like I said, every fan of Project Honor already knows that I am on a level above her, and I heard the shit that fell out of her mouth over the last week. Sheís so angry, like it is my fault that I won. Maybe because Iím new in the game, she expects kudos to be paid. Sheís gonna be fuckiní hungry for a long time, though, because I donít jump when people say jump. So, if she wants to get up in her feelings about it, fine. Iíll take her belt off her, just to teach her a lesson in humility.

JJ STARFIRE
I mean, sure. Whatever helps you sleep at night. I know you want a shiny belt.

PIXIE SLOANE
Youíre right. I do. I want Elenaís.

Starfire, now standing above Pixie, laughs aloud.

PIXIE SLOANE
Hey, motherfucker. I could.

JJ STARFIRE
Maybe in your dreams.

PIXIE SLOANE
At least I have dreams.

The pair of them start making their way towards the kitchen, specifically the pink and green handpainted oven. It really did look like clown vomit and none of the Fetal Four had any idea how it came to appear like this. It was likely Vhodka Marie, because her brain had certainly been re-wired by a member of the 4chan community, or something. Pixie was trying to open the top cupboard, but even on her tiptoes, it was uncomfortable, and thus she went about directing JJ Starfire like an air traffic controller through finding ingredients and implements from the various cupboards.

JJ STARFIRE
Have you invited the others? Iím sure theyíd enjoy baking..

PIXIE SLOANE
JJ, sweetie. You have met the others. He canít be trusted to crack an egg supervised, heíll somehow figure a way to fuck us over. And she? I donít know who or what broke her, but they did a number and she ainít coming out of that darkness anytime soon. You know what, JJ?

JJ STARFIRE
What?

PIXIE SLOANE
When Iím on the road with Project Honor, listening to Kaylaís bleating like an old fuckiní sheep non-stop, I sit and think to myself that I canít wait to be home. Then I get her, and see her miserable wasp-chewing face and it makes me want to hug Kayla and tell her to never leave. Iím pretty sure its why I actually donít care for Kaylaís belt. Compared to Noelle and her hostility, Kaylaís just not that big of a deal.

JJ STARFIRE
LOL. And week by week Kayla just fails further down the card. Now sheís fighting the other Marf, the backup Marf, secondary Marf, see if thatís her level.

PIXIE SLOANE
Sheís failing downwards, trying to find her level. Devaluing that title week by week. By the time I get my hands on it, if I ever do, itíll be a whole ordeal to try and make it worth something.

She smiles, as she continues to fold her spoon through the butter, egg and flour mixture, before holding out a narrow, black-tipped index finger, pointed towards some cocoa powder. She begins to sprinkle in the cocoa into the yellowed base, folding with the other hand, thickening the mixture twist by twist. They are baking some kind of chocolate cake, that much is obvious. There is a scented aura hanging over the kitchen, a lingering one that Noelle had complained about, and Asher had asked a lot of questions about, when they were infusing the butter earlier on in the day. Frankly, the whole place reeked of cannabis and theyíd initially felt self-conscious about it but by now most of their feelings on the matter were somewhere way below them. They were riding the crest of the wave of the joint theyíd shared in the bed whilst they waited for the butter to cool and set. As she finished pouring out the mixture into the baking tray and started tilting it to ensure an even distribution of the mix, JJ slinked away to where their shared bathroom was. Pixie propped herself up on the counter, her shoulder leaning against the wall, and legs far up from the floor, swinging freely. The camera pivots to follow her focus and we notice that she is staring intently at nothing in particular, and her fingers are circling one another in a repetitive motion, pushing into the opposite palm, and then back again. I guess Iíve mastered the triple threat by now, I know when to take advantage of others misgivings, twice in a row Iíve managed to make my mark. And its funny, because somehow it always feels like Iím opportunistic. Like I didnít deserve to win, or something. Like, I won because someone else fucked up. Maybe its the substances, maybe its the Ďreal meí seeping out with the little self-confidence that these wins afford me, Iím not entirely sure, but Iím kinda over it. I mean, I couldnít have made it clearer with the win against Kayla and Crash. Soon enough, though, there will be no more denying it. Iíll take what Iíve learned and apply it to the match at Fallout V, the battle royal match. I guess Iíve learned enough about how to manage unmanageable situations, to stay calm and cool when under pressure, when there are things that are not in my ability to change. Adapting on the fly, being adaptable, having more than a Plan A. So the lockerroom guys can snicker when they see me lacing up my boots, or they can overlook me and minimise the accomplishments Iíve put under my belt so far if they want, itíll be to their own detriment, though. I donít think I can be clearer. Iím only just getting started and I know I can manifest this into more for myself, what are they going to do when I really hit my stride and find my comfort zone? Still ignore the inevitable, until I start embarrassing more of the champions. If thatís what it takes. Like I said, I donít believe in glass ceilings. Let other people be happy with their achievements. If I donít win the battle royal, itíll be because enough people are finally starting to acknowledge the discomfort I cause among my peers. Theyíre starting to realise that they uncorked something that they canít keep in the bottle anymore. Theyíre starting to realise just how bad they fucked up. Thirteen other people are involved in the shenanigans I find myself wrapped up in for this weekís edition of Fallout. There are so many variables and intangibles that I canít honestly predict how its going to shake out. There are some scalps Iíd like to take, Iím going to try to take. Former champions, future champions. Its an opportunity, hopefully, to really see how I shake out in the wash. You know what I think the problem I have is, with people underestimating me and belittling me? It is the arrogance, because they think they know better, and that nobody could ever attain the heights that they ascended to. So lets have a little thought process, okay? In sport we always throw around the word GOAT, the Michael Jordanís of the world, the Wayne Gretzkyís of the world. The best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be. You know what I mean, right? But then the world moves on, man. Put Prime Gretzky on the ice today, and heís not posting record-breaking numbers. Youíre measured not against the ďall-timeĒ, but against the field of the day. And donít get me wrong, I am not saying that we place false worship and praise at the feet of the people that came before us. On the contrary, what they did completely changed the shape and fabric of what is to come next. Put the wrestlers of today in the ring without the pioneering work of those that came before us and weíre nothing. We stand on the shoulders of giants. Of the ones that paved the way before us, of the ones from whoís lessons we learned. From the glass ceilings that were already shattered, and then we have to go forth and continue to break new ground, smash new glass above us, and be the giants that lift, propel and give life to the ones that will follow us. Better or wor– The sound of beeping from the oven jolts Pixie from her daydreaming abruptly, so much so that she almost loses her balance sitting on the countertop. She can hear a poor stifling of laughter come from the adjacent room, followed by muttering, and she knew that Noelle had noticed her. Throughout the apartment, the wafting ripple of weed and baked chocolate chocolate was overwhelming and suffocating. The sound of the fridge opening, the same fridge which she was leaning up against, startled her. JJís face curled from the edge of the door, his dilated pupils meeting hers, and then she hopped down.

PIXIE SLOANE
Damnit, where did you come from?

JJ STARFIRE
The bathroom. I told you I was going to the bathroom.

PIXIE SLOANE
But.. [ pausing momentarily ] I cooked those things for like, twenty minutes. You were shitting for twenty minutes?

JJ STARFIRE
No, I was uh.. [ he looks off to the side ] Yeah. Actually, thatís what I was doing, yeah.

PIXIE SLOANE
Wanna help decorate?

JJ STARFIRE
What do you think Iím doing here?

PIXIE SLOANE
Honestly, I just assumed you were here like a vulture to consume the carcass of the brownieís remains.

JJ STARFIRE
Well, that too. But no, I want to make fun of Noelle by decorating a brownie with a fuckiní unibrow.

PIXIE SLOANE
She is very frowny.

JJ STARFIRE
What about Asher?

PIXIE SLOANE
Hmm. Hadnít thought about it. Maybe a lightning bolt. He looks like he puts his finger in an outlet every morning.

JJ STARFIRE
I quite like his style. At least he isnít a copycat of every other tattooed wannabe viking cosplayer that seems to be in wrestling now.

PIXIE SLOANE
Bruh. There are like three stereotypes. Goth with black makeup. Musclebound tattooed tanned people, and blond chicks with fake tits who think theyíre a viking.

JJ STARFIRE
I love how self-aware you are.

PIXIE SLOANE
What?

JJ pauses, wondering if sheís actually not self-aware that sheís a perfect description of one of those stereotypes. It takes an awkward amount of time, before JJ finally swallows his fear.

JJ STARFIRE
You know, like, sometimes you wear dark purple makeup instead of black, so maybe not.

PIXIE SLOANE
Youíre lucky youíre so big and muscly, and tanned, and tattooed. [ she scowls playfully ] Otherwise Iíd have to fuck you up.

JJ STARFIRE
Man, Iím not a cliche.

PIXIE SLOANE
Sure youíre not. So anyway. What is the likelihood that I get this through security to Brazil?

JJ STARFIRE
Oh I saw this one guy on TikTok last week. He wraps it in saran and hides the smell with the smell from a roll-on anti-perspirant. Plus its not nugs, right? Its chocolate. I canít even smell it.

PIXIE SLOANE
Yeah it probably doesnít even smell. Cool, Iím gonna hand them out at the show.

NOELLE RIVERS
[ from outside of the room ] You fucking idiots. The drug dogs at the airport can smell that ditch weed from here.

PIXIE SLOANE
Whatever, ignore her. Sheís got the sense of smell of a bloodhound because she is probably a former junkie, and sheís definitely a bitch. Itíll be fine. Help me decorate!

JJ STARFIRE
Well there are three that are basically the same thing, weird guys in makeup and or strange masks, who are clearly so crippled by extreme body dysmorphia that they want to by anonymous.

PIXIE SLOANE
I mean, if weíre being reductive, how many beefy buffoons with bad animal tattoos on their neck and entirely too much reliance on cheap laughs do we have to bunch you up with? More than youíd think. But youíre right. A bunch of lost souls. We can just draw a pentagram on the forehead of a skull and Iím sure at least four of them are gonna be like ďoh she knows me so wellĒ, whilst I nod my head and smile, hoping they donít trick me into incorrectly talking about their pet ball python, when it was actually a bearded dragon they had.

JJ STARFIRE
What about the other ones? You know, the guy who nearly beat Kayla at Wired Consequences, and his girlfriend?

PIXIE SLOANE
To be honest, Jason Long is always an enigma. He took Kayla into deep waters at Wired Consequences and I think he has what it takes to go toe to toe with the best of them on any given night. Respect. And he has this girl following him around. I think heís gonna be more concerned about that situation, so lets make them a conjoined brownie.

JJ STARFIRE
You think heís gonna simp for her, donít you?

PIXIE SLOANE
Men usually do. Unfortunately.

JJ writes BIG SIMPIN across two brownies, incredibly pleased with himself.

PIXIE SLOANE
Nah man, it canít be that obvious.

JJ STARFIRE
Okay, I got it.
[ he wipes away the frosting, and gets to work. ]

PIXIE SLOANE
What the everliving..?

JJ STARFIRE
Stickman sex. Woman on top. Heís layiní down for her.

PIXIE SLOANE
And of course a sun in the corner.

JJ STARFIRE
Of course.

PIXIE SLOANE
Youíre an underappreciated talent as an artist.

JJ STARFIRE
When I die, there will be murals, and mourning, and statues.

PIXIE SLOANE
Yeah, people will read about you in art books.

JJ STARFIRE
Then thereíre the two you beat at Wired Consequences.

PIXIE SLOANE
They arenít getting a brownie.

JJ STARFIRE
Hater.

PIXIE SLOANE
Yep. Donít deserve the effort. I get more fight on a daily basis from that scowling succubus in the opposite room.

NOELLE RIVERS
I heard that.

PIXIE SLOANE
Come get your brownie, then, bitch.

NOELLE RIVERS
As if Iíd ever consume anything made by you. It carries all the saccharin scent of your childhood trauma and abandonment issues, itíd probably give me depression. In fact, Iíd probably slit my wrists and start an emo band by the third bite.

Both JJ and Pixie look at each other, raising their eyebrows at the purity of the venom that gets volley through doorways in this establishment.

PIXIE SLOANE
We can repurpose her one, anyway.

JJ STARFIRE
Turn the unibrow into a beak. Hoot hoot, motherfucker.

PIXIE SLOANE
Ah yeah, sheís really about that brand, isnít she? I canít say I really get it. I mean, I donít get her, if Iím honest. I spent plenty of time people watching and seeing the others in the organisation begin orbiting her, because why wouldnít you want to be in the orbit of somebody so completely batshit bonkers that it made you seem normal?

JJ STARFIRE
Fallhoot!

PIXIE SLOANE
Right, and Iím on that hype train. Its interesting to me, the way different people approach the same problem. We are both new to the whole frickiní organisation, we know nobody here, and have taken completely separate paths, and yet we both find ourselves in the same position, right?

JJ STARFIRE
Well, no. She has friends.

PIXIE SLOANE
I legit went out with the former Grand Champion, the longest serving champion in Project Honor history, to smash some shit up. Donít tell me I donít have friends in Project Honor!

JJ STARFIRE
Does he know your name?

PIXIE SLOANE
Jerk.

JJ STARFIRE
Thanks!

PIXIE SLOANE
Sheís taken the strange social butterfly route, it suits her. Iím excited by her. I only spoke to her a little, and I think she has what it takes to help push the envelope for all of us. I was thinkiní earlier about how we all have to use each other to get better. Sheís someone I see myself intersecting with often. And I love how much detail you put into that owl. How about some red paint on her talons?

JJ STARFIRE
Slut it up a little?

PIXIE SLOANE
Make her pretty for her friends, yaaas kween.

JJ STARFIRE
Yaaaaassss—

PIXIE SLOANE
Detect the irony, Jay.

He takes a deep breath, and continues drawing. He pushes the owl brownie back onto the tray to dry, and then starts drawing a dope ass goatee and some infuriated looking eyes in the middle of the next square.

PIXIE SLOANE
Oh shit, Julius. I love that motherfucker. He just makes me happy to watch, man. Like, when he gets on a roll, when he gets on the end of an idea and lets the creativity go, thereís nothing like it.

JJ STARFIRE
He was always my favourite before you went to Fallout. Actually, heís probably still my favourite.

PIXIE SLOANE
Yeah. I like him more than me, too.

JJ STARFIRE
I mean apart from you.

PIXIE SLOANE
Of course you did. Itís fine. I legit like him more than I like myself. But if it comes down to it, Iíll dump him on his head without even the hint of hesitation.

JJ STARFIRE
Iíll definitely pout at you. Just know that.

JJ looks up, finished with drawing the final brownie. Pixie grabs a hold of the Julius brownie, and takes a big bite out of his head, further causing JJ to frown. The pattering sound of bare feet walking across a sticky wooden floor lets them know that one of their housemates is on the move and it isnít a few seconds before a haystack of split black and red frazzled, back-combed hair moves through the kitchen, attached to a lithe, pale young man with smeared makeup around his eyes.

ASHER JULES
Oi.

Pixie steps in front of the tray of brownies.

JJ STARFIRE
Hey roomie! Looks like youíve been napping, do you want some of our special [
air quotes ] ďspaceĒ cookies?

ASHER JULES
Move ouía tha way dickíead, Iím gettiní a glass a waía. And Iím Ďavin one square oí drugs or else Iím telliní your dad that you need to go reíab. Like Wineíouse. But heís big, and Ďard, and you wonít say Ďno no noí.

HAPPY 420 // Fade.