By: Ashlynn Cassidy
Writing Prompt: Yes
Date: 18th Feb 2022
We open with a first person view of a walk down a hallway, red petals of rose line the hallway. A left turn leads into a bedroom with a fresh, clean, white bed. It’s only other colour being the red from the rose petals. An exposed midriff walks into shot, a hand holding the stem of a single, perfect rose. It twirls for a few moments before it’s brought to a woman’s nose as she sniffs it. A little zoom out confirms it is in fact Ashlynn Cassidy, adorned in nothing but some thin red lingerie familiar to those who may have followed her past photoshoots. She has a bright grin on her lips. She waves a little flirty wave.
“Happy Heart-day to all! Now, I know what might be wondering. ‘Where have you been, Ash? Why weren’t you at Blood Money 2? After all of your anger and bitching and complaining and your declaring that you were going to be a major player in season 3 you ghosted!’”
There’s a mirror on the wall opposite the edge of the bed she lowers herself onto.
“When I first got here? I thought FIGHT! NYC was a place where creative, eccentric, talented athletes could thrive and show how great of a WRESTLER you are. But honestly? After two, maybe three appearances that idea was long gone. Still, I showed up week after week, partaking in all of it.“
The camera lingers on Ash looking in the mirror, she looks devastated, looking not straight at her reflection but as if there were still something beside it.
“You know, I still see myself in that Claus cosplay sometimes when I look in a mirror? I’ve done A LOT of reflecting on just how much I let you all in, how vulnerable I’ve been with all of you, and if it’s all been worth it. All the things I’ve done, all the things that have happened to me. All the mental gymnastics I’ve done to show up and beg for all of your approval. That goes for management, for the locker room, and the FIGHT fans. I think about all that anger and frustration that I’ve had to focus on to drive me forward. I hate it. I hate all of it. I’ve had to mentally mutilate myself just to ultimately be unremarkable. So why wasn’t I at the show at Disney? I already spent time mentally killing myself. I had to draw the line. I wasn’t about to possibly physically kill myself just to maybe star in a gif or two. I came to FIGHT! because I wanted to prove what I could do. I wanted to be remembered. By peers, by friends, by history, by my son.
But not by ending up dead. Thank you, FIGHT!, before you, I was downright pathetic. I saw any opportunity to get noticed and took it. If I carried on that way, it would’ve broken me. Even if because of it I could be the biggest star of the wrestling world, I would have not been long for this Earth. You taught me how to finally say no. So what if I wasn’t there? I wasn’t hit by a boat, or hit anyone with a boat, I didn’t help destroy ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’”
The camera fades in and out of black before we follow another trail of petals, panning up to reveal a small table where Ashlynn is sat at. Her makeup is done up and she wears an elegant little black dress. Her red lingerie top was still slightly visible. You know, what else was she going to wear on a date? There’s the single rose in a vase, and two glasses of red wine on the table
“It’s insane how hard I tried to deny my past, who I was. I thought if I weren’t some intense, violent, bitter bitch I’d never survive out here. In hindsight? Her only…” Ashlynn put two fingers up on either hand, to airquote the next word. “‘crimes’ were I don’t know, smiling? Being allowed to enjoy things? Looking back, did I REALLY thrive? I wouldn’t say for sure. I spent all that time upset, torturing myself and despising my job. I never realized how unhealthy I really was. So from now on? I intend to be a healthier-a healthiest version of me. Besides, the best version of you is the one you want to present on a date, right? I might have up to…” Ashlynn holds her right pointer up as if to say “gimme a sec”. She glances down as she has small blank flashcards in her left hand. She counted them out. “…Nine!?”
By now, all nine cards are laid face down in three rows of three. Her hand hovers over the cards playfully.
“If you’ve seen my promotional work in FIGHT! NYC before, you might not be used to me as a talking head to a camera, where I can cut and edit in post, but what are dates if not picking and choosing what to and not to show, right?“
Ashlynn winks at the camera, and to prove such a point, there’s a very obvious jump cut. She smiles, the camera at a slightly different angle.
“So! Given that it’s dating, even further SPEED dating, I thought I’d give myself about..30 seconds max to pick out one or two of my favourite things about my potential matches-” Ash pauses, cracking herself up. “Wrestling matches, date matches.“
There’s another jump cut, we catch the tail end as Ashlynn shakes her head apologetically. She drums her fingers as if it’s a mini drumroll. The cards are now in a single pile. She flips the first card. There’s a little drawn on jester hat.
“Frenz-y! I mean, who doesn’t want a funny man? Your humour’s a little different, sure, but life with you being boring? Never! I know that you have eyes for Ms. White, but mine might be the last you see tonight!“
Next card, a swan.
“Anicka! Who knows how many dates you’ve been on. I’m not shaming or anything, I just mean having a lineup of people wanting to spend time with you? Nothing new to you. The line of broken bones, broken hearts, broken hymens and dicks. Long. I don’t plan on being on that list just yet. In fact, you’ve been on my list for a while and I can’t wait to finally cross you off!” Ashlynn beams, crossing her arms over her heart. “Oh, I won’t bring ANY chips. I swear.“
Ash again drums her fingers on the third card. Flipping it reveals a beer bottle drawing.
“Bam! I mean, first off, I can’t say that I ever met any other Bam, so you’ve definitely got that going for you. You got Ani to settle down and Chris Page’s attention. All three of us can see how hard you work and that you’re a rocket soon to take off. I just don’t know if I can let you take off juuuust yet. You get it, I know you do.“
Card number four:–A cactus.
“Sahara, you’re consistent and persistent. Regardless of what slander or brutality cones your way, you stand firm, if not grow more and more every show. Oh, and of course, I have to thank you for thinking of me for the event. Even if that version of me was so full of angst she may as well have never left 00s emo. Don’t you worry though! Season 3 Ashlynn? Better than ever, you’ll see!” Ashlynn giggles, flipping a fifth card.
“Druscilla, babes! There’s so much to love about you. I’m so glad you didn’t stay dead. Every time I read or see your name, my Buffyverse heart smiles. You’re fierce as fuck. If you have a goal in mind. You go get it! I mean, not even death can keep you down! For three seconds? I can manage that at least, then you can pop right back up, like a hot biker chick pogo stick. Or you know, a vampire.“
Next card: An Irish tricolor flag.
“Big Fella! Can I call you that for now? I don’t want to say your name wrong, a name should be said properly. So just in case, you know? You’re brutal, and brutally honest. In my time here, I’ve seen you sniff gold. You WILL be a champ this season, I’m sure. Do I, like, probably everyone will bring up the killer hair? I mean, guess I just did. If we lock up, can I touch it?“
Next card-just Apathy written down.
“I’ll stick to Apathy, haven’t earned first name privilege. We haven’t met yet, but I’m really proud of your growth. Fella seems lovely, too. Happy for you both. I’ve just learned to say no, too! I’ll let you down nicely, promise.”
Next up- a star.
“Girrrrrl, I adore you! The T-Rs endure! They never quit, neither does that ass! You SHINE in that ring. This is my season debut, maybe even a re-debut. I NEED to shine just a little bit more!“
Ashlynn puckered up, blowing a kiss. After a moment, she quickly blows seven more.
A smirk forms on her lips.
“So that leaves you, Joe.” Ash takes a moment to collect her thoughts. She nods, she’s ready.
“Joe, you’re really good, you look real good too, like Miller, you landed a ten and Chris Page. That’s not just luck. Sure, you’re super intense, but you know what you also are? One of the most passionate, loyal folks ANY-DAMN-WHERE. I refused to take part in the savage chaos of Blood Money 2. You? I have no doubts. For your friends? For Mia? You WOULD die for them. I have to respect that.“
Ashlynn finally takes one of the glasses and gulps it down in one go.
The camera fades to black. Even still, Ashlynn speaks.
“Let’s see, you got your surprise, you got you romantic wine chat. Where else is the perfect date supposed to end?“
The screen returns to the bedroom, the black dress and the lingerie laid on the floor. Finally we see Ash, head on her pillow and wrapped up in a sheet covering some of her cleavage.
“Like I said, I have a lot to prove. I wasn’t at Blood Money 2, this is the Ashlynn Cassidy Season debut! Look, you can be mad at me for sitting out the Orlando circus, I don’t need to look for anyone to tell me I’m great. I can just BE great. The Ashlynn you knew? Sure, her results were okay, but she was torturing herself to be mediocre. Season 3 Ashlynn understands. She’s learned success through misery just isn’t worth it. She understands that she doesn’t have to kill herself for cheers. This Valentine’s Day, FIGHT! NYC learns that Ashlynn Cassidy FINALLY loves herself. I am going to step in that ring for the first time this season not with a ring-rust disadvantage but with a crucial advantage. Physically I’m as capable as I always have been. Now that I’m letting myself not be miserable? I’m ready to run this town.“
Ashlynn grabs the rose, now cut. She sniffs it before placing it in her hair. She, and the camera find the mirror from earlier. She smiles genuinely.
“See? I could have gone to BM2, you could’ve cheered me, but I’d have a black eye, broken ribs, who knows! Instead? I made a choice for MYSELF and I’ve never felt better. Let’s be honest, admit it, I AM GLOWING. I’ve never looked better! I’m thankful, and no matter what you say, I know you all are too. Oh! Of course I’m still UN-DE-NI-ABLE!
I mean… just look at me!“
Like before, Ashlynn’s eyes fix on the mirror, but this time she does look right at her reflection. Maybe a bit too long and a little too in love with who she sees.