Ashlynn: The Grinch (Hoot Could Steal Christmas)
By: Ashlynn Cassidy
Writing Prompt: Yes
Date: 3rd Dec 2021
Hope you’ve been good this year.
I know you have.
Just woke up from like, a third nap. God, so much traveling the last few days, our world and elseworlds. Gonna need to finally go on vacation for a few days. Then again, there ain’t no rest for the wicked pissed.
Tis the season to be…meh.
Well, it happened. Track three happened. I had one week. One match where I didn’t go in with butterflies in my stomach. One match where I felt secure about my place here…
All the other times, all my other outings, I never felt good enough. I never felt like I fit in. I literally went into every match feeling so nervous that I could pass out and die in the middle of that ring. Fitting end to me, I’d say. You know, someone, maybe Zach, or Serena, could eulogize me and say “At least they could say she died doing what she loved!”
“But not with the ones she loved. She chose her career over family.” I’d think no one who would show up at my funeral would say that. Even if it were true. I think that people would like to remember me fondly…
Unless they didn’t, and everyone secretly hated me. Or worse, no one mourned me at all.
Would that be worse? I guess for me it would be? That’s my whole schtick. That’s my deal. I want to leave a mark, I won’t let myself have any doubt that I was ever even here. I’m not just gonna let myself disappear from history.
Ha, bit of a funny story, for a little later.
ALSO, never actually strive to be remembered as a bad guy. Be better than your mama, I know you can be.
If you couldn’t already tell? I’m not self editing this time. You’re getting every single thought, every single word.
Because what’s the point? I don’t have any-
There I go again. There’s my problem. I put too much effort into being friendly and fitting in. I had it all wrong. I came into FIGHT! looking for respect AND a need to be liked.
But when I lost?
When I had the nervous breakdown AFTER the match?
No one. No one was there to pat me on the back. No one checked on me.
I sound bitter now, but I swear, I tried to play nice. Hell, after Jennie lost in the main event, I was there to reassure her. Before she could say anything to me, there were members of the roster who offered to go with her to cheer her up. Everyone was so proud of her, everyone was so quick to tell her she put in a good effort.
Where was that for me?
Okay, so maybe Ricky? But I mean, he was the one who beat me, so of course he’s happy about my failure.
I can’t blame him? I guess?
In a way, I should be thanking Ricky, because now that I’ve lost? In FIGHT! at least? I have nothing to lose. Now I get to prove that I won’t retreat and run away, crying because I lost. I get to show the world you can’t get rid of me so easy.
I know what this all sounds like. I know that if I looked at things a certain way, the lesson in all of this could be to revert to who I was. A nervous, anxious ball of nerves who uses her primal survival instincts in that ring to not collapse in that ring, who despite all of that, wins. Maybe I shouldn’t be this new angry, cocky, confident boss bitch type.
But you know what?
I am STILL that bullet train, I’m still full speed ahead. Yes, I got derailed, and maybe I am a trainwreck. That coal Ricky just put in my stocking will only be used to drive me harder. If I am a trainwreck, I’m gonna make sure I crash and wreck Alice Knight’s house, too.
Maybe instead I’d have preferred the next Undeniable Express stop to be in Greenwich Village and not Grinch Village, but here we are.
Alice Knight, she’s… positive. She’s sweet, she’s innocent. She grinds every day! She tries her best! She’s just so gosh darn happy to be here! She’s a lot like who I was, as R****** B**** was.
Ashlynn, throughout her rebrand often treated the mention of her past identity akin to profanity.
I don’t have an affinity for owls, though. So there’s that.
As I’m pushing forward, at Silent Fight, I face someone who reminds me a lot of someone just like who I used to be. Someone who wanted to be everyone’s friend, someone who was afraid to rock the boats too hard.
Everyone likes to go on about “what would you say to your past self if you had the chance?” You know, it might not be EXACTLY true, but I have that chance. Someone like her won’t survive. I look at Silent Fight as my chance to be like a mentor to her. I look at Silent Fight as a chance to pay my knowledge forward. I hope that she appreciates it like I will. I hope that if and when she loses, she sees it as more than a loss. For the holidays, my gift to her is a lesson. FIGHT! isn’t about good vs. evil. FIGHT! isn’t about nice always winning like some fairytale. In the end, FIGHT! doesn’t care who, or if anyone at all likes you. FIGHT! is about winners and losers. Now that I’ve lost, there’s no ticking time bomb to ruin and destroy my perfection. Now I am the explosive, now I get to destroy.
Oh yeah, there was this holiday party. We all had to go. I wasn’t in the mood, but I put on the red dress and my best smile.
You never know who you might run into, and even still they can teach you important lessons. I had just come from the airport, Michelle was nice enough to send Poptart to give me a ride over. She also gave me the green light to toke up. I think she had a feeling I was tense. I even dropped Ricky a kind word. For a short time, I got over the frustration he was the catalyst for.
(Remember, Zeke, if you’re gonna get high someday, do it safely. God, I hope you get to read this when you’re like, 15, and not like, 10.)
Michelle got me to lighten up, just for a while. Here’s the thing though- ultimately? Marijuana is a downer. Soon enough, I was a tad grumpier from when I got there to start with. For a little while, I was distracted, I was giddy and giggly, but the sad truth is that distractions are temporary, and they won’t fix your issues.
So after a while, there I was, back to my miserable Grinch mood. The bubbly, happy, “quirky” Alice energy I personally found she gave off still made my skin crawl. I still wanted to teach her firsthand that Sometimes, you have to fight with a little edge to you to thrive. I found a wall, leaning against it, and just sort of watching everything, and everyone.
I hated it, almost all of it, all it turned out to be was the roster socializing with each other. Even though some of them were definitely fake. Half, maybe more than half of them only really liked or cared about themselves. For example, Sahara was one of the busiest, most talkative of the lot. She despised everyone, besides Ricky, since they were…together. (For now, anyway.) Regardless of what some projected, some folks didn’t care for anyone else, not really. Or else someone would have made an effort to reach out when I clearly needed it.
I made an effort though, I still tried to speak to SOME people. Like Tara Fenix for instance. She was so worried about who else but her little sister, Jennie. Of course. The one loser who I saw get all the support.
Anyway, I tried to be nice. All I did was reassure her that there was nothing to worry about. That, if any big incident would happen to Jennie she’d get up and learn on her own. And that if Tara kept her head on a swivel looking out for Jennie, she could get her head knocked off. (You’ll get why I giggled writing this in a bit.)
…Or something like that, in different terms. Nicer terms? Harsher terms?
Yeah, had it right, different terms.
Despite my polite tone about it, Tara was all grumpy and confrontational. Yet another reminder I paid too much attention to people.
As I walked away to leave her to her panic, I kept picturing Alice’s head, spinning like one of her owls and how much I wanted to cut it off (metaphorically).
And then? The funniest thing happened…
Depending on if you inherit my love of musical theatre, or history. You’ll know about Henry VII and his VI wives. I’m not sure exactly how, but shortly after I had a drink at that drink table, and a few more puffs, I was transported, and everyone but a few of us were full-on Ye Olde England. I looked around and I thought I understood how I got there, I was in close proximity to Betsy Granger. One of my wrestling idols, as you’ve read in my previous letters. She’s a time traveller, after all.
My anxiety has tricked me before, but deep down I know I couldn’t have just imagined it all…Right? There were even like those old-style breads and cakes you’d see on Great British Bake Off sometimes. And I mean, 7/10.
I had quite a lot of time to think about the future in my brief time in the past. I was standing in a time period where crimes could be minor but punishment was always drastic. For instance, beheading was a thing. (See? Payoff!)
Alice Knight at Silent Fight will just be the wrong person at the wrong time. I intend to go into that match and make all the noise that I can. I’ve felt the silent loneliness of defeat and it made me more ruthless and angry. I want her head, and I’ll put it on a pike and have it be the star topping my tree. As 2021 draws to a close, I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe I’ll cool off, maybe I’ll come to my senses and make up with friends, maybe I’ll make new ones. I look to learn every day. If the lesson FIGHT! wants me to learn is that it’s going to be Ash against the World? I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready to burn it all down, starting with Alice Knight. Last time out, I wished my adversaries well, where did that get me? It got me pinned, and one of them didn’t even show up.
This time around, I won’t give a hoot about what happens after our match. I don’t care if we don’t ever hear another thing about Alice. She could quit wrestling forever because of what happens, she could despise me. She could go on to be the greatest of all time. I don’t care what she does, how she feels, or what her destiny is. All I care about is me. It’s all about me.
If I don’t make it about me, no one else will.
These were all thoughts I had stuck in what I thought was I wanna say 1534. But they stuck with me, because honestly? History is where I belong.
2021 or 2022, hell even 2034.
I have already made history elsewhere , and I will in FIGHT! someday soon. I’ve said it before, I will say it all again. I will speak it into existence a million times until it’s true.
My name is Ashlynn Cassidy.
I am UNDENIABLE.
My name will live forever.
Huh. Guess it was all the strange drinks. Or some laced joints. I was learning it was hard to trust anyone or anything in FIGHT!. I woke up out of it, stumbled into a closet or something? I guess Betsy did actually find me.
Well, sorta. She hid there too. She seemed out of it at the time. I had to bring her down to Earth first. Then we…went to space?
I remember actually floating! But hell if I know if it actually happened, the last fever dream felt so real too.
I think we almost bonded? Kinda? It was all kinds of surreal. I met myself a living legend. I got to see her be vulnerable, and honest. I got to see that even those I admire as being decorated and one of the greatest of all time can be bothered. They too can be super bitter about losing too. Then…there was a lot of panic. And…running? In all the chaos, my feelings were validated, even if they were resentful, and mean. After a loss, even Betsy freaking Granger was angry and had that same “World-Burn” energy that I had. I take that as a great sign. that I’m going into this fight with the right attitude. Despite, and in spite of my loss, I will be but a greater force. My road to superstardom and legendary status resumes again at Silent Fight. The Undeniable star that I am is brighter than ever, determined to shine through my loneliness and victorious over the (K)night sky.
Thanks, Betsy. From what I can remember from our adventure. it was just what I needed. Still sorta seemed strange, some of the ways she’d been acting. I hope she’s okay.
Michelle taught me anger all of the time was no way to be, but just using distractions ultimately isn’t going to fix anything.
Tara taught me that even when you mean well, people can still paint you as an enemy. It’s not worth the stress.
Betsy taught me that it was natural to react the way I am reacting. Even the best, perhaps even EXCLUSIVELY the best thrive because they’re angry with a chip on their shoulder.
Again, not even sure any of it was real, but BOTH trips, space AND time. They were both real to me.
Everything that happened at that party was real to me.
For Alice, I’m about to be a REAL problem.
…And Zeke, honey?
I hope you get everything on your list this year, I love you, and you’ll always be on my nice list, and I’ll always have you on my Christmas gift wish-list.
Mom, The Grinch Hoot Could Steal Alice’s Christmas.