“Feeling the Christmas Spirit…”

By: Dane Preston

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 3rd Dec 2021

FALLOUT: RAVEN

“Godsdammit!” I kicked the door to my locker room open and threw my boots and pads in the locker. Allison and Bella followed me the second I walked back through the curtains. “I swear I kicked out before the three count!” I punched the side of the locker, cracking it inward. Pacing back and forth, it took several minutes for the adrenaline to wear off, and I was about to plop down on the couch when Allison spun me around, “Hey, we all lose matches sometimes. He got me last week, don’t let it get to you.” Then she kissed me and pointed me toward the shower with a smack on the ass. I looked back at her with a glare and she blew me another kiss.

I tend to spend a while in the shower after a loss. I tend to over analyze what went wrong, where I slipped up, what I could have done differently. I was focused on my breathing, trying to lower my heart rate and blood pressure at the same time. I had my eyes closed with my head and forearms against the wall, when I felt a pair of arms — no, two pairs of arms — wrap around me. I turned to face my girls, both giddy with devious looks plastered across their faces. “We thought you needed some cheering up.”

After our unexpected shower romp, we took a cab back to our apartment building. Along the way I shot Xavier a text to ask that someone repair my locker, and to either dock me or send me a bill for the repairs. All I got was a thumbs up emoji in response. Better than nothing I guess. When we got back to the apartment, I was wide awake and the girls wanted to have some wine and sit by the fire on the terrace. I listened to some voicemails while I sliced a lime in half and grabbed a glass and a bottle of tequila before heading out to join the girls. I noticed a voicemail from Ophelia, I didn’t even realize she had called.

“Hey Dane, it’s Pheely. I’m sure you’ve heard that I’m stepping away from competing in the ring. Well, FIGHT! was awesome enough to give me my own talk show! Can you believe it?! So, I wanted to extend an invitation to you to be one of my guests. Drop me a line and let me know if you’re interested. Talk soon!”

Well I’ll be dipped, good fortune is smiling on Ophelia. I have to set a reminder to get back to her tomorrow. I slid my phone in my pocket before plopping half a lime into the glass and grabbing the tequila on my way out to the terrace. Allie and Bella were snuggled up next to each other, giggling about something when I walked out. They separated and Allie gestured for me to come sit between them. I set the glass and bottle down and situated myself on the loveseat before pouring myself a drink.

ARP
“So, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

DANE
“Oh? What evil little secret have you been keeping from me…” I playfully quip back. When I looked at her, I saw that she wasn’t smiling or giggling. She was dead serious and pulled a card from her bra — what is it with women using their bras like wallets?

ARP
As she hands me the card she begins to explain. “A couple weeks ago, Brandon asked me to come by. He said it was time that we start looking to mend the fracture in our family. Dad told me that he reached out to him a few weeks prior, Brandon told me Dad said that he wouldn’t be the messenger and that Brandon needed to go to you. We both know that wouldn’t happen…” She hesitated for a moment. “I went to see him without you.”

DANE
“Okay.” I downed my drink and poured myself another.

ARP
“Please don’t be mad. He is family, whether you like it or not. He was very sincere. And with you two tagging together at Silent Fight, I think it’s time for the two of you to settle your differences.”

I downed my second glass of tequila and turned toward her. This man was once as close as a brother to me. Our relationship was very much love and hate. We were always at one another’s throats. At one point we were going to take over for Damon when he finally retired. But Brandon was reckless and his vices got us both into hot water. It ended up with Damon kicking Brandon off the estate and no longer training him.

I became thee guy to assume the mantle when Damon retired, making me public enemy number 1 to Brandon. He wanted nothing more than to destroy me and prove that he is the better of the two of us. All I wanted was to show him that I belong. That I earned my place. In this business. As Damon’s successor at Allison’s side, at least until DJ and JJ come of age and cut their teeth in the business. I rubbed at my stubbly cheek for a moment.

ARP
“Say something.”

DANE
“I don’t know what you want me to say. You know how I feel about him, especially after what he did to your father a few months back.”

ARP
“And you think I’m not still angry about that? There will be time to grind the axe with him, and then bury it. Right now though, I think you need to meet with him.”

DANE
“You know where he is? Give me the address and I’ll head straight over.”

ARP
“Not exactly. When I was brought to him, they had a hood over my head. I couldn’t see where we were going, but we can reach out and he will send a car for us.”

DANE
“What the fuck is it with this family and hoods?”

ARP
Allison started to laugh hysterically. “I said the same thing!!”

DANE
I extended my hand out, “Let me see your phone for a minute.”

ARP
“Okay,” she hands me her phone. “Stay outta My Bitches chat, women’s eyes only!”

Shaking my head as I walk inside the apartment, I head to the foyer. There’s a closet where I keep all my gear ready on the off chance I get a call from Bishop for some evac driving gigs. Additionally, I have a bunch of toys that have come in handy over the years. One of which is a device that you plug into a phone and you can download GPS tracking history. After a few minutes I head back out to the girls and hand Allie’s phone back to her.

ARP
As Allie reaches for her phone, she stares at me with a curious look on her face. “What did you do?”

DANE
“Found Brandon. I’ll head over to his Island stronghold tomorrow.”

ARP
“I’ll go with you…”

DANE
“It’s better that you don’t. He and I need to have a serious chat. His mind distracts him enough as it is.”

The next morning I rode my motorcycle to a small airstrip and a quick helicopter hop later, I’m approaching what appears to be a lair similar to what you’d find in the movies. Complete with armed henchmen, who are stalking toward me with less than kind thoughts in their minds. The first one makes the mistake of actually trying to put his hands on me, and winds up meeting the point of my knee, nose first. Another rushes me with a retractable baton, only to drop it into my freehand after I tear him to the ground using only his wrist and his momentum. As another pair of lackeys rush toward me, I raise the baton as I prepare to strike, when a voice calls out.

“STAND DOWN! He’s not an enemy. At least, not right now, right, Dane?”

DANE
I collapse the baton and slip it into my back pocket, “That all depends on you B, I’ll keep the baton for now, if it’s all the same.” With an impressed look on his face, Brandon nods. “Nice place you’ve got here. It’s got that evil villain’s lair vibe, quite the step up from the murder shed…”

BRANDON
“It took you long enough Dane. You sure did always know how to keep them waiting and wanting. Welcome, my friend, to Eulogeo Island. Where only family is allowed to freely roam it’s small space. But this island has become more than just a home Dane, just take a look around. Don’t speak it aloud. Just accept it into your heart and understand that you are not one who has to worry about my master plan unfolding at hand. I’ve been sitting at the front of a large table that continues to fill, for a while now, with all of my needs and wants fetched. This has left me a lot of time to take special quests to the spiritual place some dare to ever peek at, let alone dive head strong along with the river of madness.”

The henchmen, who are all oddly dressed in similar clothing, usher me with numbers behind Brandon Moore where he leads them to a clearing in the middle of the crater where the Statue of Liberty used to be, right into the middle of a circle of at least 3o people all dressed in the same plain all black clothing.

BRANDON
“And something happened to me that night with the old man. Dane.. I.. I came to the realization that I had been taking out my pain and sorrow on everyone around me, personal or professional. And it has come to a point where legacies are running the chance of becoming one’s that exist in a lower level of the sports hierarchy. Something has to be done, and there’s only a handful of us who have professional reasons but also personal reasons to do what we should have never let bullshit petty differences prevent us from doing in the first place. And you know exactly what I am talking about.”

DANE
“Man when you go on about this deep, dark, broody shit, my brain goes to sleep. Listen. Allison talked to me, said you had her brought here to talk to her. Why didn’t you just reach out to me in the first place?”

BRANDON
“Always quick with some recycled quips like the usual Dane. I had tried to instigate communications with you. But you weren’t having it. You’ve held a grudge against me for the longest of times and I invited you here to tell you that it is time to let the past go. It is time to move on. I have already talked to the old man, and he agrees that the family must come back together, if just for this one task.”

DANE
“Dude, you freak me the fuck out, okay? Your mind is shattered. You are not the same guy I trained with all those years ago. So you’ll have to forgive me if I try to keep myself safe and sane. I came here to talk business. Can we get on with it?”

BRANDON
“Wayminute, so you just believe the gimmick then huh? Cuz guess what bud, I am the same ole guy you had met all those years ago. Except for one thing. I don’t care what even comes out of my mouth. I don’t care about what he said, she said. All I care about is the bloodshed. Because of what has happened to me that I caused myself in most cases, violence is all I care to know and seek. And you wanna sit there and act like that makes me some kind of freak or what the fuck ever, then that just proves you’re as much a sucker as these maggots that surround us. Guess the old man was right all those years ago when he told me to leave you out of the real shit. You just don’t have it in ya to be the killer lurking the streets that makes everyone stay inside tucked under their beds at night. So don’t you dare come to my world and try and get off a wise crack that I’ve already heard five times before. Hit me or something. Fuck man. Just don’t you ever fuckin judge me. Because I will fucking kill you. Understood? Wanna pass judgement? Go join a church.”

Brandon scoffs, not used to having to face judgement head on and care enough to explain himself.

DANE
“Okay look, if this is why you called me here, I’ll be more than happy to head back home. I’ve dealt with more than enough of your god complex than I care to.”

BRANDON
Shaking his head, “Still so uptight. You’re here to talk business dummy. Now let’s go chat in the House. You’re going to wanna sit down for what we’re about to discuss. This is an offer you won’t turn down. I put my trust in that, you’re going to leave here a different man. Towards me, and me towards you. So please bro, just come on inside.”

As if I had much choice, Brandon had amassed quite the following, there were masked cultists all over the island and they were swarming me. So I followed Brandon into his secret lair, not at all sure what to expect…

SHOOT FIRST

“Last week didn’t go how I wanted it to. I came up just short against James Raven. So far I’m 1-2 against NSQ, this week I find myself squaring off with Watson and Warstein. My partner? A dude I once called my brother in arms, partner in crime, and friend. But that was such a long time ago. He’s made a career making life hell for me, teaming with some of my worst enemies. I don’t know what it is that Miss F is trying to accomplish here, but pairing me with Brandon Moore is almost as bad as when I had to team with Joe Montuori. That said, we owned the fuck out of Toxic Tag… And it just so happens to have been my current partner that I pinned to win that tournament. So please excuse me if I’m not particularly keen on the idea of climbing in the ring with ‘the enemy’ and having an ‘enemy’ stand at my side.”

“As the old saying goes, when you fall off the horse, you gotta dust yourself off and climb right the fuck back on. Despite not walking away with the W against James Raven last week, I proved to the world that I can go toe to toe with the best this business has to offer. That in and of itself is a victory in my mind. So stepping into the ring with Dickie who is no slouch in the ring whatsoever, but someone I have already beaten once before. I know that he’d like nothing more than to settle the score, yet I’m sure he’d agree with me that this is not the appropriate time or place to even things out. Later this month we’re due to go one on one for his Empire Championship, a championship the likes of which I’ve only chased once before, and it has eluded me ever since.”

“It’s just a matter of time before I rise up and take the ultimate prize. Will Dickie fall to me, only time will tell. But then there’s good old Shawn Warstein. Before I had a clue what you fucks in NSQ had planned, I tried to welcome you to FIGHT!. Talent recognizes talent and there is no denying that you and your crew are fucking loaded to the gills with it. Well, shame on me for trying. I’m just glad that NSQ’s agenda was revealed before we actually became friends. That’s a level of betrayal I simply will not tolerate. So thanks for not making a sucker outta me. I’m actually surprised that you backed down from bidding for Dickie’s championship. I bet you didn’t think I’d have people willing to back me to go after the title, did you?”

SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER!
…I’ve got friends in low places too…

“Oddly enough, it was Brandon Moore who threw Blood Money my way to outbid you Shawn. Much like Raven has with me, you have earned yourself quite the enemy in good old Brandon. But what do you have to worry about, right? You’ve beaten him a couple times already. That right there is where you made your first mistake, never, ever count Moore out. He’s like a disease that plagues you for the rest of your career. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. While I’m not excited to rely on him as a tag partner in this match, I will take solace in the fact that he wants to tear you limb from limb as badly as I want to relieve Dickie of the Empire title. So maybe it ain’t gonna be all that bad. At least, not for me.”

“Let’s count off how many rivals you have in the match. Moore, myself, and despite how you’re all clinging to the idea that NSQ is anything more than a conveniently thrown together little army, Dickie Watson is someone you have been itching to get your hands on. I follow the dirt sheets, I’ve asked around. I know the two of you have been looking for some sort of neutral ground to go at one another in an unbiased promotion. But instead of being man enough to throw your Blood Money at the Empire Championship, you’re more comfortable in the role of right-hand to one of your professional rivals. I’ll you right here and now Shawn, there ain’t no way in hell I toe the line with Brandon. If I can’t see him out of my peripheral, he’s too damned close to my back and I know he’s got a knife in hand.”

“It’s really nothing but a matter of time before the egos in NSQ go after one another. So, I’ll continue on my quest to the Top of the Food Chain in FIGHT! and watch as NSQ implodes from within. Say your prayers Shawn, hope that Brandon and I take you out quickly, because if you don’t I promise that you are going to suffer unimaginable pain. And then we will have Dickie to make an example out of. You guys once referred to us as parasites. Well, I also warned you what would happen if we ever stood together. That day has finally come. Brandon and I can’t wait to get our hands on you guys in the ring. It really is a damned shame I gotta wait a few more weeks before Dickie and I step into the ring once on one, to decide which of us deserves to wear that title. I promise you Dickie, our first encounter, our match this week at Silent Fight, neither of them measure up to what lies in store for you at Countdown. Clock’s tickin kid. Let’s see if you guys can work as a cohesive unit without falling to our feet. Best of luck to both you and Shawn. You’re gonna need it.”

PARTY TIME

T’was the eve of FIGHT NYC’s first (of many to come) Christmas party. Allison and Bella were getting ready, and when it came to a gala of this magnitude, they were going all out. I was dressed and ready to go over an hour ago, a custom cut red suit, black tie with a white dress shirt, what I imagine younger Santa would rock to a party. And it’s being wasted on waiting for my two Mrs. Clauses…

DANE
“C’mon girls, we’re going to be late!”

BELLA
“Simmer down, the more you nag us the longer we take! Besides, you get to peel these dresses off of us later.”

ARP
“But not if you keep bitching! And besides,we’re not about to let Aunt Michelle be the best dressed bitch in the building…”

Another half hour goes by when I hear what I can only imagine to be stiletto heels come tapping down the stairs. I turn in time to see Allie and Bellz coming down the stairs with gorgeous sheer dresses hugging every curve, revealing just enough to leave your mind to fill in the rest. Allie was in a glittering gold dress, Bellz a shimmering green, our attires complementing each other perfectly.

DANE
“Good gods, you both look amazing!”

Both of them beamed as I took their hands and raised them up, and they both slowly spun for me, allowing me to take in the view. A lucky man am I. Kissing the back of their hands first, I released their hands and helped them get their winter coats on. The limousine had been waiting this whole time, and we’re only twenty minutes from the venue, but still late to the party.

When we arrived, the girls saw some of the other gals from FIGHT! and immediately bee-lined for them, dragging me along to show me off. There was some playful banter about which of the group looked better and how anyone of them could beat Michelle out for best dressed.

There I was, enjoying the evening with my two ladies when I heard this loud voice behind me, “Oi! Dane! Ya fuckin’ good lookin’ fuck… How’s about a shot with a guy?” Loud, Australian, and clearly three sheets to the wind. Allie and Bella can’t help but giggle, which prompts me to turn around. There standing before me in all his liquid courage fortified glory is Aiden Reynolds, doing a little two step, careful not to spill the shots. Of course, I can’t help but shake my head and smile. “Hell, why not, t’is the season right?”

“Fuckin a, right you are! C’mere!” In the blink of an eye, there’s a shot in my hand and an arm over my shoulder. “Don’t go far ladies, I’ll have him back to ya in one piece after I’m done with him.” Allie blows me a kiss, Bella makes a heart with her hands and mocks me with a pouty lip as Aiden steers me over to the bar. “Oi! Gimme that bottle!” he yelled to the barkeep, who happily obliged him. Then Aiden clinked our shots together and threw his back, urging me to follow his lead. No sooner had I swallowed the shot, my glass was refilled and we drank this pair together.

I had no clue what to think of this. Here was this guy from the opposing team, having a grand ol’ time getting me sauced with him. “Mate, bro, I gotta ask, how…how the fuck…hold on,” Aiden cracks a smile and pours us a couple more shots and downs his as he hands another one to me. After quickly throwing his shot back, he steps toward me pretty wobbly, “What was I sayin? Ah, right. How the fuck are you that good lookin man…” I reach out to steady Aiden so he doesn’t fall over. “C’mon, be farkin honest…you had surgery right?…a nip here…a tuck…a tuck there?…rhino…rhino…rhinopla…rizno…a fuckin nose job?”

DANE
“Nope, I’m au naturale, what you see is good genetics and a ton of time in the gym…”

I don’t think my reply even registered with the Aussie, he was wobbling more than he had been previously. Aiden’s eyes were rolling around and he couldn’t keep his eyes open. Unbeknownst to me, Dickie had been keeping a watchful eye on our conversation. He came up and apologized for Aiden being drunk and escorted him back to their side of the party. I went back to the barkeep and asked for a couple bottles of water, then I flagged down one of the servers with the little tea sandwiches.

I walked straight into enemy territory, “Hey Dickie,” the look on his face was two parts shocked, one part gratitude as I extended a small plate of tea sandwiches and the waters. “This should sober him up a bit. At least enough so he can stand on his own without falling.”

WARSTEIN
“Yo Dickie, why are you talking to this waste of oxygen? He doesn’t even realize he’s in this match because WE allowed it.”

WATSON
“Shawn, not now mate. Let’s just keep it civil…”

DANE
“Nah, it’s okay.” I stepped right up to Shawn’s face, to his credit, he didn’t even flinch. “You think you have anything to do with the trajectory of MY career, that’s cute. You do know the only reason NSQ has possession of the Islands Tag titles is because MY WIFE AND I ALLOWED IT. If we actually wanted to carry that toxic piece of shit, Joe Montuori, we’d still be rocking those straps. And so we’re clear, if you call you pussing out from bidding to face Dickie allowing me to be in this match, you’ve got a really distorted view of reality.” At this point, Brandon Moore walks up to my side, rolling his sleeves up looking like he was ready to unload on NSQ. “What’s up B?”

MOORE
“Sup Dane? Fraternizing with the enemy?”

WARSTEIN
“Hey Brandon! How’s my godson? I mean, after I’ve made you look even more pathetic than usual, it’s the least you could give me. Considering I’ve taken everything else of merit from you.”

MOORE
“And yet, here I stand with my dick in my hand, jerkin in y’alls general direction. I’d think I was hot shit too, if I slayed beasts who weren’t at full power. Heard your ass was better than that. Shame on your name…”

DANE
“Guys, come on. We’re at a Christmas party, let’s dial it back…”

WARSTEIN
“Lowering yourself to the competition? Walks like a Moore, talks like a Moore. Still pathetic, anything more?”

MOORE
“I’ll slap your whore and sell her to the lowest bidder. Calling someone pathetic incorrectly, what the fuck is this even about anymore? I’d tell ya, but then I’d have ta kill ya, and I don’t wanna do that to ya. Yet. But I will and by golly little buddy, what a thrill it is to be back in the thralls of the kill. Mangle and tip tap two step tango until everybody inevitably asks ‘where did that loser man go?’ Welp, he’s just out there slaying the slats of the punks he leaves laying on the mats. And wherever else the talkin’ but not walkin’ fools be at. What? Fuck. I forgot the plot. Oh well, I suck anyways.”

WARSTEIN
“Talk, talk, talk. That’s all you’re good for anymore. Why don’t you go back on Twitter and wax poetic? Woe is me. I’m useless. I’ll kill you. Weak threats from an even weaker individual.”

MOORE
“And yet he can’t keep my name outta his mouth, ladies and gents, boys and girls. Woowee, give me all that sympathy. Come one and come all. Maggot, please.”

WARSTEIN
“You get no sympathy from the devil, you get no clout from the world around you. I already shattered your bubble, made you insignificant and it kills you that you aren’t what you once were. This isn’t hypocrisy, these are the facts.”

DANE
“Alright B, I think this shootfest has brought the party to a screeching halt.” Looking around, there were eyes fixated upon us. “Everyone’s watching us right now. This is the last thing any of us need…”

WARSTEIN
“Well this is new, Dane cucking someone else. I guess there really is a first time for anyth-“

!!!CRACK!!!

I didn’t even think, I just swung and tagged Warstein in the mouth and it was on like Donkey Kong. Shawn rushed me, trying to take me down with a double leg, I nailed him on the back with a double axe handle chop. But it didn’t phase him in the least, he just drove my back into the bar.

Grabbing Shawn by his shoulders, I drove my knees into his chest. Using all of my weight, I force Warstein to the ground on his back and slap a front choke on him. With Shawn’s arms flailing in the air, I see Brandon in my peripheral brawling with Dickie. Somehow we wound up with the wrong dance partners.

Frantically searching the ground for something, anything, Shawn resorts to grabbing me by the back of the head and repeatedly jamming the top of his skull into my jaw. Prying my hands apart, he escaped the hold.

Scrambling on the ground, we trade a few more shots before security and several members of the roster step in to separate us. I see blood dripping from a cut on Shawn’s eyebrow. An involuntary smirk crosses my face, pissing Shawn off even more.

WARSTEIN
“Pleased with yourself are ya? You’re just like everyone else when Raven and I walk in the doors… Scared.”

DANE
“You think either of us are scared? GET OFF ME MOTHERFUCKER!” I tried desperately to shake the security guards. “We ain’t scared of shit, we’re fucking LIVID. Big difference motherfucker. You just got a taste of me…”

In trying to break free of security, who was focused on keeping Warstein and me separated, I felt my elbow meet someone’s face. I spin around as much as I can, just in time to catch a fist to the mouth from Dickie Watson, who was within my reach.

We started trading blows until security split us all apart, Shawn being dragged out a door with Dickie being hauled out right behind him with the rest of NSQ in tow. Of course, James Raven is smiling and kissing babies, placating security with his charisma, telling them that NSQ will handle it from there. Suddenly Warstein pops his head back in…

WARSTEIN
“Remember ladies, security won’t be here forever. Next time…it’s on sight!”

As quickly as he appeared, Shawn was yanked out of sight. Shaking my head, I walked into someone and almost bowled them over. On instinct I reached down and helped them get back to their feet. And instantly regretted doing so.

DANE
“Really? You of all people?”

PINKSTON
“What can I say? Oh, yeah. I needta apologize to you once again about the whole LC show mix-ups. So many interns fired, so much paperwork. Good help is SO hard to find. You get it?–“

Once again letting the thrill take over, my hand was firmly gripping LC by the throat before I even realized it. Seconds later I sent LC crashing through a nearby table. He laid there moaning and cursing me, in the remnants of the table, covered in various appetizers and Vhodka’s spiked punch. I straighten out my suit and fix my tie as I begin to walk away, when I see Ophelia marching her way over.

DANE
“Oh hey Pheelz, I meant to call you back earlier about your invitation. I’d love to be on your show, I’ll shoot over the info you requested as soon as I can. Just do me a solid,” I glanced down at LC who’s been calling me a fuckin bitch the whole time he’s been down there. “And keep Murder muzzled or intoxicated. I’m looking forward to it!”

Before Ophelia had a chance to respond, I walked back to the bar, where Allie and Bella met back up with me. I could see it on her face, Allie was livid with me. Bella asked the barkeep to grab some ice, and she snatched a cloth napkin from a server passing by. Quickly dumping the ice onto the napkin, she did some origami-like folds and twists and handed me a homemade ice pack for the knot on my forehead. I hold up two fingers and the barkeep brings me a couple beers. Holding the ice pack with one hand I chug a beer with the other.

DANE
“Thanks babe.”

BELLA
“Mmhmm.”

ARP
“Babe, what in the fuck were you thinking?”

DANE
“You’ll have to be more specific, a lot just went down…” I quipped as I looked at her with one eye, my arm covering the other as I held the ice to my knocked around noggin.

ARP
“You attacked Warstein and caused a mini riot at the Christmas party, I was mortified. And then LC! You slammed him through the table! This is SO you, like the holiday dinner at my parent’s house when you spinebustered my father onto his mahogany dining table…”

BELLA
“Wait, what?”

ARP
“Yup, typical Dane tantrum, daddy said something that triggered Dane and they started fighting, one thing led to another and daddy went through the table. It collapsed and the tabletop split down the grains.”

DANE
“Which I paid to replace…”

ARP
“Yeah, well Xavier texted me after your display here and said he’ll take the charges for repairing that table out of your next check, along with the busted locker…”

DANE
“Glad to see our old friend can spare any time to pay attention.”

…to be continued