Fight back.

By: Tara Fenix

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 24th Jan 2022

MY NAME.

 

Tara Fenix…

This is the name– my name– that would take over the world.

That is not just my name.

That is my reputation.

 

That is a reputation that I have built over twenty-one-years in this business because people know that if they saw my name on the marquee that they were going to witness the best to ever step inside the ring! 

 

That is respect.

 

The respect that I have earned, not only from the fans… Pay close attention when I am coming down to the ring, because I know that there are so many people who cheer against me in the same fashion that they root against Tom Brady; because we are just too damn good at what we do, and they can root against me; they can root against me because they know that they will never be me. They can root against me because they will never accomplish what I have. They can root against me because they wish they were me, but no matter how much they may root against me: they cannot deny the respect that I have earned. 

This is a respect that I have earned from my peers. A respect that I have earned from them because of what I have accomplished inside of the ring, because of what I do in the ring. Everybody who has been in the ring with me knows that I am likely the toughest motherfucker they have ever been in the ring with. Everybody knows that I am one of those few people…you just do not count out. Ever.

 

They have seen me dig deep.

They have seen me lay it all on the line.

They have seen me breaking my own body to secure a victory.

They know what I am willing to do to win.

And I have earned their respect for it.

 

That is a legacy.

Seth Evans.

Jessé Trevant.

My son: Wraith.

MYŌJIN.

These are just a few of the names that I have assisted in training, or trained…solely…and these are just the names of the people that are actually making a name for themselves in the industry. Let me just say this: I know my students. I know what they are capable of doing. I know that Seth Evans could step back into the ring and be in the main event in the matter of days…you all see a reporter, I see a beast that knows what he’s doing. Jessé Trevant is taking the tag team division by storm at the IWF! There is Wraith, my dear son, my eldest son, who is still in his first year in the business and do you know how close he came to becoming the number one contender for the PWE Excellence Championship? Do you know he’s battling for another World Championship later this month? That boy is going to do everything I did, and more. I am quite certain that people do not need to hear about the accolades of MYŌJIN. 

Even Jennie…Jinxie…whatever it is she wants to be called. She is the only person that I have trained or helped train that I would call: a failure. A disgrace. I did everything for her, absolutely everything! I gave her everything! I took her in. I trained her. I wanted her to be a big part of the family legacy. I wanted people to just hear the name FENIX and tremble! I know that I have said it before, and I will say it again: I want them to fear the legacy…not just me. That is her problem: people do not fear her. She does not instill fear; she does not command it. She does not have the respect of her peers. She is simply…Jennie. The Family Jinx

 

That is superiority.

There is something that nobody can deny that I have brought to the ring every single time that I have stepped between those ropes: I have brought my best. I have brought the best. It is another aspect that I have earned. I bring a certain something to the ring that some people just cannot. When I enter the ring, there is a feeling that I get…it’s not just a feeling: it’s a fact. What I bring to that ring is a confidence; a confidence that I know I am better than the person standing across from me, whether it is one poor soul, or many, that are standing between my goal and I.

The goal: Blood Money.

The people in my way: Everybody

There is a reason that I am one of the favorites to walk out as the winner of this entire thing. Even with everybody else that is entering Blood Money…all the who’s who in the industry, all of the people that are clawing their way for some relevance. They want to make a name for themselves. Can you imagine the sort of publicity they would get if they could eliminate someone like me? But let me just go ahead and say: better people have tried.

This aura that I have about me, though…

This confidence.

It came at a price.

 


THE FALL.

I was thirteen…

They were murmuring amongst themselves and I just had the feeling that I should have walked away, but before I could commit to that gut instinct, I felt one of them grab me around the waist. Every instinct I should have followed went haywire and all I could do was panic. I froze. I felt myself trembling as they clawed at me like animals, grabbing whatever they could; I felt the collar of my shirt stretch before tearing, and they argued amongst themselves of who would go first. 

I tried to clench my hands but felt one of them holding my hands down. It took everything out of me to scream; I did. I screamed as loud as I could but was only able to let it out for a moment when one of them put their hand over my mouth to silence me. I closed my eyes…I didn’t want to look at any of them. I couldn’t look at any of them. Everything was cold.

 

You’re stronger than this.

Why are you letting them do this?

Why aren’t you fighting back?

Swing! Hit them! Do something!

 

Wishing them away is not going to do you any good…

You should’ve walked away. Why didn’t you walk away?

 

Why didn’t you stay with the girls? This wouldn’t have happened if you would have just stayed with them… You could explain to Mom that it was just too late, and too dangerous to go home. You could tell her a fucking moose was blocking the path! You could have lied to her like you’ve done before!

 

Why was it so important not to do it tonight? Because she said she wanted you home.

 

“Please… Stop.”

 

Your voice is weak. It’s pathetic. Maybe you’ll be lucky, and they’ll just kill you when they’re done. Rid the world of the shame that you are.

 

It seemed to drag on forever… There was no use in fighting. Just…go home. I just want to go home.

 


 

That is the thing about life: It is going to take everything from you. It is going to knock you down time after time after time, and every time that you think you are finally getting it together: it is going to knock you down again. Simply because it can.

I know what it is like to feel like you have nothing… 

I know what it is like to feel like life has taken everything.

I know that feeling all too well of not wanting to bother getting up because you are tired of getting knocked down.

I had to be…broken…to rise.

I had to go as low as I possibly could to be able to rise from the ashes of my former self and become who I am– to become what I am– to take this world, just as it was taken from me. It was not something that I asked for. It was not something that I desired. It was something that was done, and I was not going to be the person to let it break me. I was not going to be the person to lie in self-pity and crumble to the cruelty of the world. 

 


 

August 1998

Anchorage, AK

BROKEN.

 

The streetlight came in through the window with the curtains drawn back… The thirteen-year-old Tara sat her back against the wall, and hugged her knees toward her chest; she had a blank stare. Her make-up was smeared. Her hair appeared more like a rat’s nest.

How could you let this happen? You know how to defend yourself! What’s the fucking point in all of those martial art classes if you’re just going to freeze when you’re attacked? She thought to herself. Her hands were the first to begin trembling, followed by the rest of her body as she reached first for the collar of her shirt; it had been stretched and ripped. She grazed her hand against her leg through the hole that was now there, another part of the assault that she had endured.

Why are you so weak? She asked in continuation of berating herself.

The silence remained for several seconds before she felt a hand grip her shoulder; she couldn’t help but jump and scramble for the other wall whilst simultaneously pushing the hand away. The piercing blue eyes would shoot a glare toward the individual that shook her from the constraints of her mind; it was Liliana, her older adopted sister.

“What happened?” Liliana asked.

There was no hiding the puffiness beneath her eyes, and even the shade of blue that her eyes had seemed to transition to… That was one thing that Liliana had been envious of from her adopted sister; she always thought that she had the prettiest eyes, but they would transition based on her mood. Liliana had never seen this shade before. Liliana’s own eyes had a glint to them even when she squinted slightly as if to study Tara’s expression further.

“I–” Tara stuttered, and pulled herself back, turning her head in the process while stifling a sob, “I don’t want to talk about it.” Tara said. She had tried to dismiss Liliana, but Liliana had a way with her; Liliana cocked her head to the side and she knew…Tara didn’t have to tell her what had happened, but she knew. Tara shifted her focus back and forth with just her eyes. She could see Liliana’s facial features constrict; she wrinkled her nose and gritted her teeth behind her lips. 

“Please don’t tell…” Tara muttered.

Liliana sat back on the bed but didn’t take her eyes off of Tara. She nodded. Liliana could feel herself trembling from the anger she felt for her sister; she wanted justice for her…legal justice or street justice, she really did not care which. She had a temper of her own. 

“You know I’m going to hurt him, right?” Liliana said.

Tara could not bring herself to speak, but she did give a subtle nod.

Liliana’s blood had been boiling from the news. She scooted toward the edge of the bed before finally standing up, and walked over to the light switch to flick it on; she pried the door open and glanced both ways to ensure that her parents had not been awakened and were not coming their way before closing the door again. She was careful not to slam it to not erase her reasoning for even ensuring that they had not come. After what felt like forever, Liliana had laid her eyes back on Tara who still seemed…emotionless…as if she had not fully grasped what had happened to her, but she knew; she knew all too well.

“Come on…” Liliana said in a gentler tone. “Let’s get you cleaned up.”

Liliana took Tara by the hand and pulled her toward the edge of the bed and to her feet. She dusted her shoulders for her and feigned her own smile almost in hopes that the smile would trigger one from Tara. 

 


THE GREAT PHOENIX.

The mythological bird that is viewed as a symbol of rebirth, a symbol of renewal; a symbol that has represented to me as something else… What it represented to me along with rebirth and renewal, is strength; no matter how many times the Phoenix would burst in flames, it would always rise from its own ashes. It would always rise. 

There was something that occurred to me when I was learning about the phoenix, all the way from the time that I was young. I realized how much it connected with me my entire life. That is something that I feel I have in common with the company…with FIGHT. It could be what really drew me to FIGHT because I was teasing the idea of me joining for a long time…but the spark was there from day one. From the day that they announced the first-ever Blood Money, I wanted to be part of it. Most of us wish that we had taken that initial step from day one and signed up when the offer was on the table. This was a company that was doing something grand! Like me– like the phoenix– it would rise from the ashes of its predecessor. When everyone under the former Outlaw Pro Wrestling was wondering what would become of them; where they would go; what they would do…

FIGHT! answered. 

FIGHT! rose from its ashes and became a place that everyone could call home. 

They took it a step further: they earned all of their recognition. It became the show that nobody could miss! It became the show that everybody wanted to be a part of! It attracted the absolute best that the industry had to offer, and the “who’s who” in the business came flocking out of the shadows to become a part of history.

Life knocked OPW down.

FIGHT! was born.

Every time that life decided to knock me down, I would always get up; every time I got up, life would find a way to hit me even harder but still I would rise. Every time it knocked me down, I would rise, I would become better…and I would dare it to knock me down again, and it would.

Life would knock me down.

I would get up.

I will always get up.

I started wrestling at sixteen-years-old. It was not easy; there were people that were arguing whether a sixteen-year-old should be allowed to compete…there were people asking whether a sixteen-year-old girl should be allowed to wrestle, but the fact of the matter is that when I first stepped into the ring at that young age… I knew that this was what I was born to do. I knew that this business is what I was born to do.

At eighteen-years-old, I am not going to deny: I thought that I had jeopardized my entire future. I thought that I had thrown away my entire career when I let myself fall for a boy, and I became pregnant with my first son, but just one month after giving birth: I was able to step back into the ring and create an entire legacy!

There was not one person in this business that I feared.

There was not one person that I cowered away from.

There still isn’t.

I fought everybody that was placed in front of me, and more often than not, I was able to walk out with my arm raised as the winner. This was a different era; it was unheard of for a woman to enter the ring, much less, it was unheard of for a woman to share the ring with a man, but I went out there and I fought all of them. Men, that doubled my size… I would fight them, and I would beat them.

I would capture championship after championship after championship, until the world would finally recognize me for where I was: the top of the food chain. The top of the mountain. Whatever analogy you would like to use, I was it: I was the one to beat. 

However…

Life… 

It would knock me down.

I would get up.

It would knock me down…

Until…

One day, it didn’t. It couldn’t. No matter how hard it tried, no matter how hard it pushed; I stood my ground against the rest of the world and made the proclamation that this world…is mine.

This world is mine, and not because I cry to everybody that is above me… That is not how you conquer; that is not how you get one of the largest targets on your back with everyone gunning for you. You do not take the throne by crying that everyone else is better, and you do not keep the throne by avoiding the people that could hold a candle to you. You keep it by searching out the best of the best, and showing them…inside of what is sacred to us; inside of the ring…you beat them, and there will never be anyone to doubt you after that. So I looked to everybody who would dare stake a claim to my throne, and I would prove to each and every one of them why that was the biggest mistake that they could have made. I sought out the competition to silence all the naysayers.

To all of the people who might doubt me.

They will not say it aloud.

I know the names.

I know the people who doubt me.

I know the ones who run my name through the mud.

At Blood Money, they will pay for it. 

Throughout season one and season two of FIGHT, people have been talking about the ever-loved New Status Quo. This is who? Dickie Watson, Shawn Warstein, Kasey Winterborn, Betsy Granger, Aiden Reynolds, and of course the gorgeous James Raven. These poor souls have all been harassed and berated, and for what…? Because they are some of the best to do it? That is why they try to claim my throne; because they are capable. 

That is the distinct difference between myself and everyone else on the roster. Everyone else seems to be having some delusion that they are on the level of New Status Quo, and that they should receive that same respect… They are under the delusion that New Status Quo is doing something, anything, to hold them down! Do you want to know the truth? Do you want to hear what you are too stubborn to accept as a fact?

You are not on their level. 

You are not as good as they are.

You will likely never be as good as they are.

And you are not on my level. 

Oh, whoops…

Did I just say that?

Does it hurt?

I hope it does.

I hope you are distraught when someone else…me…comes into this company and does what the rest of you were incapable of doing because you were too busy crying that they were better than you, rather than rising to the challenge and bettering yourselves…all you did was complain.

I am on their level.

I am on their level because every time that life knocked me down…I got back up.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS?

Speaking of New Status Quo, there is no denying that there is a respect that I have for each and every one of them. There is a reason that they came together as one unit. There is a reason that they were able to go into Ascension and walk out more powerful than anyone thought possible, especially in a company so young. There is a reason that the biggest target has been on their backs since the day they came together. Because they have been the strongest, but they have been the strongest…together.

Then there is another new faction on the rise in the industry that has been getting a lot of buzz: CCP Enterprises. Chris Page. It’s rather…crazy…how far we’ve come since I first met you. When I first met you, you were a veteran of twelve years, and you just gave me one of the biggest compliments that anyone of your experience could have given anyone: you admired my work. It was more than just saying that you have seen me, which is something that people liked to throw around back in the day…

But you admired my work. 

If you had asked me on that day if I felt that I would one day be able to stand among you, as an equal, I would have called you crazy! But twenty-one-years in this industry, and that’s exactly what I am to you, and I beg you to try to deny it… 

I stand as your equal.

I stand as someone with as much starpower as you.

You are one of the best at what we do.

I am the best at what we do! 

 


GUARDIAN.

 

I shouldn’t have taken her in… Tara thought to herself as she pressed her foot down on the gas pedal, speeding down the road. Her eyes were fixated on the road in front of her; she would take the occasional glance at the rearview mirror and could not help but take a glance at her son, Sabin, who sat in the child seat. He was looking out the window as everything passed by in a blur. He took a momentary glance when he felt his mother’s eyes fall upon him, and looked up; he had a smile on his face to which Tara returned the smile albeit weakly. 

You’re a single mother…you have no business taking in a teenager. Tara continued to berate herself within the confines of her mind and gripped the steering wheel tight and took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself down. She took one hand from the steering wheel to take a water bottle from the cupholder and take a long drink before setting it back in and letting out another heavy sigh. It was no use to try to calm down.

The drive did not take her long before she skidded into a parking lot, and she could see a group of teenagers on the nearby playground. She saw one group standing nearby and they were constantly pointing to the girl in the middle, before returning to their own conversation; the other group had kept the girl’s attention away from them. It was dark outside for the exception of the street lights that had surrounded the playground for the park, but at this hour, most people were not in a hurry to come out to the park.

Tara took another glance at the rearview mirror before shifting in her seat and looking into Sabin’s eyes, “Baby,” she started, “I need you to stay in the car. Do not unlock the doors for anyone! Understand?” Sabin gave an exaggerated nod and a gentle tug on one of the seatbelt straps. Tara then got out of the car and pressed the button to ensure that the car was locked; even after stepping out of the car, she pressed the button on a remote until she heard the car honk a few times indicating that the doors were locked. 

The horn gathered the attention of the group of teenagers, as they took a step to the side revealing a thirteen-year-old girl in the middle; she seemed oblivious to the situation that she had gotten herself into and actually gave a pleasant smile to Tara as she walked toward the group whilst rubbing her palms together. 

You were helpless; you had nobody. She doesn’t. She has you. She’s your responsibility. You agreed to this. You shouldn’t have, but you did. Tara thought before getting her thoughts interrupted by the voice calling out.

“Tara!” the girl called out as she waved her hand in a greeting fashion.

“Whoa! This is her?” asked one of the boys.

Tara smiled and surveyed the group of boys who were already starting to back away. They had known her name; they had seen her on the television, and they knew that she was not the type of person that should be trifled with. By this time, she had won every championship at the company she worked for, for the exception of the World Championship. She was the first woman in the company to break out from the lower tier, and even the middle tier, and excelled in the main event. She had fought the best that the company had to offer, and defeated them…decisively. There was a coldness to her eyes; she fought the urge to lash out against the gang of boys.

“Jennie, why don’t you go ahead and wait in the car?” Tara called back.

“Okay, let me just say goodbye to my friends–” Jennie said, but Tara snapped back at her.

“Go to the car!” Tara repeated the command with a stern tone.

“Okay…” Jennie answered, and slung her backpack over her shoulder before rushing over to Tara. She held her hand out, and Tara handed the car key over while letting her eyes still watch all of the boys in hopes that one of them would try her. The injustice that was done to her a long time ago; the injustice she felt was going to occur this evening had she not intervened.

Tara waited, and waited until she finally heard the car door open and close. She didn’t have to look back to know that Jennie was sitting in the passenger seat. Ever since Tara had become the legal guardian for Jennie, she had done well with listening to her instructions and to not argue with her on certain aspects, and she knew the tone that Tara had in her voice when she told her to get in the car; it was the one that knew to do as she says without hesitation, and without question.

“She’s thirteen.” Tara said to the group of boys.

“We were just hanging–” one of the boys had tried to chime in.

“I know what the fuck you were doing! Don’t play stupid with me. She’s thirteen-years-old; a freshman in high school. By the looks of the rest of you, you are either juniors or seniors…and I am going to warn you one time: stay the fuck away from her. Do I make myself clear?” Tara stated boldly while still surveying the boys; she was looking for any of them to so much as flinch in an attempt to attack her. Some of them were itching to act badder than they actually were. Some were itching to try to make themselves feel like a big shot, but none of them had the balls to actually say anything. Tara had her hands tucked into her pockets, buried to her knuckles, and cocked her head to the side and gave that smirk that she was famous for; the smirk that she had when she knew she had won. “Good.” Tara said before pivoting on her heel. She walked back to the car and couldn’t keep herself from giving a scornful look toward Jennie, but she still felt that Jennie just didn’t know any better, or felt herself too confident to be able to handle it.

Tara got back into the car, and Sabin and Jennie were in mid-conversation; Sabin still could not create full sentences, but Jennie had no problem understanding what he was trying to tell her. When Tara had gotten settled into the car, Jennie did turn her attention over to her.

“Why did you have to embarrass me in front of my friends?” Jennie asked.

“Those are not your friends.” Tara answered.

“What do you mean?” Jennie asked with a more desperate tone. 

“Just trust me on this, Jennie. Those boys were not your friends. I do not want to see you hanging out with them outside of school, and I do not want to hear about you hanging out with them at school.” Tara’s voice was still quite stern; more as a parent ordering their child to obey, but Tara was not her parent…Tara was her sister.

“Can you just– tell me– tell me what your issue is with them!” Jennie pleaded.

Tara glanced back at the rearview mirror; she did not want to have this conversation in front of Sabin. She let out a heavy sigh as she considered everything that had happened to her when she was Jennie’s age, and shook her head as the memories began to flood her. She managed to keep herself together despite tears welling up in her eyes. It was something that, no matter how many years had passed, she still felt ashamed and hurt by what was taken from her.

“You’re not ready…” Tara answered.

“Don’t!” Jennie glanced over to see Sabin, who just appeared confused by the yelling, and she turned back to Tara and lowered her tone, “Don’t tell me that I’m not ready, Tara. I want to get to know you. That’s why I moved here. So– tell me… I’m your sister. Please tell me.”

Tara grumbled under her breath momentarily. “Fine,” she finally said, “after I put Sabin down for bed.” Tara continued. Jennie nodded in understanding. The rest of the car ride was silent. 

 


THE SISTER AND THE WHITE KNIGHT.

Jennie, Jennie, Jennie…

My dear sister.

When are you going to understand that I am simply looking out for you? When are you going to understand that I am just trying to do what’s best for you? I’ve already told everybody how cruel this world can be, and please…please understand that I have protected you from the cruelties of the world for as long as I could! There were some things that were…outside of my control… But you are still venturing. You are still insisting that you are prepared for this, and you did so by doing what?

By kicking me in the face.

By biting the hand that fed you.

By betraying me!

The smartest thing that you have done since you did that was hide away with Thaddeus and your little boyfriend, who let me go ahead and say he has quite the mouth on him. He seems to have this wild idea that he is going to be the white knight, the hero, in your story and vanquish the evil queen that you convinced them I am, and I am onto your game, Jennifer.

You are still trying to play me…

You want me to do your bidding.

You want me to break Ricky for you.

It would be my absolute pleasure.

The two of you are just absolutely adorable together. The two of you live in some fairytale world where you think that everything is going to somehow come together, and everything is going to work out just if you believe enough! Just if you think you can! Tell me, Ricky: how many times have you fought for a championship and believed that it was your time to shine, only to be disappointed? How about you, Jennifer? How many titles have you held throughout your career? Oh, but you believe in yourself, right? That has to count for something, right?

Let me make myself crystal fucking clear to both of you: both of you are in over your head here, and this is something that Lauren has tried to tell both of you but you wouldn’t listen to her…this is something that Warstein tried to tell you, Jennifer, but you did not want to listen to him. This is something that both of you need to understand: you are not ready for this. You are only going to waste your time. You are only going to get yourselves hurt.

I hope…

For both of your sakes…

That you do not encounter me in Blood Money. 

If you see me: run.

If you have nowhere to run, you better find a damn good hiding spot.

But I know that my advice is falling on deaf ears. Ricky is going to try to fight ever so valiantly against me, and he is going to fail. But what! Chris Page sees something in him! Do you want to know what Chris Page sees in you? A shot at hooking up with my sister, because let’s be real: good genes.

Hope for the best, Ricky.

Fight hard.

But I am going to snuff it out of you at Blood Money.

As far as The Family Jinx goes, I want to go ahead and say that you have done something that I am actually…quite surprised by. This is something that was done to me years ago, and I never thought that my own flesh and blood would betray me! I never thought that my own sister would use something against me that she knew hurt me so well.

You vilified me.

You convinced everybody that I was trying to control you for the worse… You convinced everybody that I was trying to hold you back. Jennifer, my dear sister; I was never trying to control you. I was never trying to hold you back. I was simply trying to protect you…protect you as I always have. Protect you from this world that only sought to hurt you. If you only understood– if you only knew– how much you needed me.

I love you.

I want to protect you.

Let me protect you as I always have.

 


 

October 31, 2021

Tara Fenix Charity Cruise

MY RESPONSIBILITY.

 

Tara stood beside her sister on the balcony belonging to her suite on the cruise ship that she had rented out for her birthday event, the Tara Fenix Charity Cruise. Both of them were in one of their costumes for the evening…it’s Halloween, and you have time, they liked to switch costumes mid-party! Tara was dressed as Maleficent, and Jennie as Anna from Frozen.

“You are in over your head…” Tara grumbled at Jennie. Her hand gripped the railing on the balcony, and her eyes were locked on her sister.

Despite the accusation from Tara, Jennie kept a beaming sense of pride inside of her. She had been successful against Korrupt; she had been successful against The Enforcer; she had even been successful outside of FIGHT! with her recent matches in PWV. There was no denying that Jennie was on a high, and could feel the same blood pumping in her veins that pumped through Tara, Chris, and Sabin. The Docherty bloodline.

“I know that I can beat her!” Jennie said as a retaliation to the accusation.

“Jennie,” Tara said while taking a step forward and placing a hand on Jennie’s shoulder, “you have not been in the ring for years, and even when you were in the ring, you did not take this that seriously. I think you really need to call off your match against Michelle, because you are not going to win.” Tara tried to reason.

Jennie huffed at the response and pulled herself away from Tara. Tara tried to reach back out to her, but Jennie took a step further. “You…of all people…don’t think that I can do this. You’re the one person that’s supposed to have my back! You’re the one person that is supposed to believe in me! You trained me! You know what I can do!”

“That was years ago! You disappeared because of all that bullshit with Angel–” Tara argued, but was cut off by Jennie.

“Because you gave up! Because you refused to fight for Eddy! You were being dragged down, and you were dragging everybody else with you…I needed to get away, but I’m here now, and y’know what: it’s like riding a bike. You don’t forget.” Jennie said, “Besides…you haven’t been back a full year, and look at everything you’ve done. Why don’t you think that I can do this?”

There is a short pause between the two sisters. Their eyes are locked on one another’s; Jennie’s eyes almost begging for Tara to just believe in her, while Tara’s eyes unfaltering from her stance that she felt that Jennie was digging a hole too deep for herself.

Because you are not me… I wanted to say it aloud to her, but I hesitated. Maybe…maybe she needed some tough love. There was a weight that I have felt for the longest time, a weight that I have felt ever since I found out that I had a family outside of the family that adopted me. Chris was not all that spectacular when I first encountered him; I had to work with him, and he got better for it…he was committed. He wanted what I wanted: to create a legacy. He wanted to become better. My son is another one; I wanted only the best for him, but he grew up in the family business and always challenged himself from the moment he could walk to follow in my footsteps. There was no doubt in my mind that he would one day be stepping inside the ring, and that he would carry on the family legacy. Then there is Jennie; she never seemed to want this…not until recently…and by now, I cannot help but feel that it is too late for her.

The silence had only ensued for a couple of seconds, and Jennie had begun rambling again incoherently to Tara as she studied her sister to find what was different about her. What had inspired her? Tara cocked her head to the side before finally interrupting Jennie’s ramblings.

“You are not going to be ready simply by saying you are ready, Jennifer.” Tara stated the full first name as an added flair. “I know you want to say that you are because you want to believe in yourself, but it’s just a fact…confidence is not going to win this for you. Luck…is not going to win this for you. Our name…is not going to win this for you. Skill is everything. There is that whole cliché that people like to say because of The Fast and the Furious: ‘It doesn’t matter if you win by an inch or a mile…winning’s winning.’ And do you know how sick I am of hearing that? I win, and depending on how heavily contested it was, I am in the gym looking for everything that I did wrong! I am watching the tapes to see what I could have done differently so that the next time I step into the ring with anybody, it’s not going to be close.” Tara licked her lips, and could not stop herself from taking a couple steps forward, “You are not me.”

Tara took a deep breath while she tried to let that settle in.

“You cannot beat a person you’re not prepared for, Jennifer.” Tara said, her tone much more relaxed now. She felt like she may have finally gotten through to her.

“You can if you believe in yourself.” Jennie insisted. She was stubborn in that sense. 

“What do you know about believing in yourself?” Tara fired back.

“More than you.” Jennie said. This time she pivoted on her feet and walked to the door. The door creaked open before slamming shut as Jennie made her departure.

Tara grumbled under her breath and hit her hand against the railing in frustration that she did not get through to her. Jennie’s title fight against Miss Michelle would take place the next evening, and Tara still knew in her heart that Jennie was not ready…and moreso, she was concerned that the loss she would suffer would break her more than she would admit.

 


 

THE EAGLE FLIES ALONE.

That is the whole idea: a strength in numbers. You surround yourself with the best of the best; the best people you know, and you think that maybe…just maybe…you are going to be safe. Maybe…just maybe…you are going to be recognized as one of the greats.

That is one of the differences between myself and everybody else.

I have been in groups in the past. I have been part of The Young Guns. I have been part of The Family. I have been part of the Enmity. Believe me when I say that in the span of my twenty-one-year career, I am no stranger to being part of groups or factions, and trying to surround myself with like-minded people with the same goal.

But it is something that I outgrew…

It was something that I acquired a different view for: it makes you weak.

Some of you might be asking why… Some of you are looking for that justification that you are doing fine on your own, but I stand by my statement: it makes you weak. It makes you weak because you are now relying on others to have your back and this is not the business for friends! All of us– none of us excluded– have the same goal at the end of the day…and that is ascending to the top of the mountain. That is becoming the Empire Champion. When I am standing across from Pheely, my dear friend, she is not going to recognize me. She is not going to recognize that look that I have in my eye, because anytime something is a business decision…

I become an apex predator, and all I see in front of me is prey.

MY KEY PLAYERS.

The first-ever Blood Money accomplished one of the greatest feats throughout the history of professional wrestling. In one night, it put a brand new company at the top of the map and made everybody a star overnight. It was an event that everybody just wished they would have signed up for when they had the opportunity, and now: that opportunity returns with Blood Money 2. Many people flocked for the opportunity to compete in this event after what had transpired on the first one.

There are some people entering that are…lesser. They may not necessarily be looking to win the entire event, but they are looking to do something big and maybe get a few key eliminations to give themselves a bit of recognition.

Then there are those with their eyes on the prize.

Those that have been preparing themselves for this ever since it was confirmed that this was what was going to happen.

Dickie Watson… I have nothing but love and respect for Dickie Watson. Dickie is one of the best to do it, and he constantly proves it every time he steps into the ring… Ever since FIGHT! began, ever since FIGHT! announced their first Empire Champion, Dickie has been proving why he won the belt, and why he is the champion… Dickie is not someone that shies away from competition. There have been some people that stepped up to the plate, and Dickie met them. Dickie beat them. When the day comes that Dickie and I finally do meet in the ring, I know that it is not going to be an easy fight…he knows he would not have an easy fight. 

Shawn Warstein… one of the people that everyone looks at and knows that he is going to deliver. Someone who puts his eyes on the top prize and seems to always find a way to get there, and someone who…speaks his mind. Someone who does not let things go unchecked. If you have something to say to him, you should say it to him. I do admire that about him. 

Atara Themis… This is a woman that I once called my bestie, but ever since our little spat, there has been something off. There has been something different between us, and I do not like to mince words, darling, so I am going to go ahead and tell it to you straight: it still does not feel the same. It makes me question whether I have the luxury of having friends, or whether I am wired to always see the competition and always aspire to be the best of the competition. The last time that we stepped foot into an octagon together– not even a ring– an octagon– I could not help but feel that you did not give me everything you had. I could not help but feel that you held back. Do you know how insulting that is to me? Do you know how badly I wanted to beat you at your best? I did not want there to be doubt in my mind when I defeated you, but it is there.

I hope that you train hard for this, Atara.

I hope that you walk into Disney with it set in your mind that you are going to win… Because that is the Atara that I want to encounter. That is the Atara that I want to cross paths with. That is the Atara that I want to crush! I do not fully understand what it is about you that captivated me, but it was something. I felt a connection. I think that is why I wanted to prove it to the world that I am…better than you.

If there is one person that I am going to be looking for, it is going to be you…above everybody else. It is going to be you. Because I still have something to prove.

James Raven… Yes, yes, we all know James Raven; we all know how extraordinarily gorgeous he is, and the attention he garners from everybody… What can I say? I have eyes. But I do want to see beyond that, James; I do not want to look at you and see the pretty boy that has everybody infatuated… I want to see one of the best to step foot in the ring. Like Dickie, there is a respect that I have for you because of your ability inside of the ring. There is a reason that you were the first person I thought of when I was putting together the main event of the Tara Fenix Charity Cruise. I wanted two of the best people that I personally recognized in the business to put together their dream team, and fight in the name of charity, and you were the first name that came to my mind. The reason for that was simple: greatness. It is the respect that I have for you that I can assure you…should our paths cross…you are going to look at me and you are going to know what is in front of you: a warrior. A fighter. A competitor. A professional. I hope that this is not the last time that we could cross paths, James, because that is the thing about me…I look for a fight. I want a fight. I want to be in the ring with the people that I perceive as the best; the people that I perceive as worthy of my time. I want to be in the ring with you. For no other reason than to prove to myself that I am better. 

KNOWING MYSELF.

There are just too many people entering this competition to try to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each and every single one of them, which is why this is the type of thing that you have to enter knowing…yourself.

I know that I am one of those people that people like Denzel Porter do not typically count out. I am one of those people that when you think there is nothing left in the tank, I am going to be able to dig even deeper… I am going to fight even harder, even fiercer, and with the stakes of this type of match: I am not going to be taking any prisoners! Like I said before, there are people who are going to be looking to build allegiances with other people in this match just to narrow it down, and as we start dwindling down, they are going to start turning on each other, but I am not one of those people. I am not here to look for an allegiance. I am not here to be your friend.

I am here to be the winner.

I am here to be the champion.

I am here to be the absolute best.

So please… Please listen to me when I say: do not try to be my friend. Do not try to give me a high five and think that we are going to skip along merrily inside of the happiest place on Earth, and ride Space Mountain until we puke. Look at me and see that I am your superior. Look at me and see that I am your enemy. Look at me and see that I am going to take everything you dreamed of having.

I do not care to see you crying that I stabbed you in the back in the middle of a match that is every person for themself. I want you to see the knife coming your way when I simply tell you: this is mine. I am an open book for you here and now! I know myself, and just know…

THIS IS MINE

 


 

January 26, 2022

Orlando, FL

MAGIC KINGDOM.

 

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort was one of the most iconic settings known in the modern world: Cinderella’s Castle. It was a sight to behold, a sight that could be enjoyed before you even stepped foot in the park, but it was still a sight that you had to take in for yourself from the end of Main Street…the road that you would first find yourself on after you had passed the train station from the world’s most beloved theme park. Pictures did not do it justice; videos did not do it justice; it was something that you had to see, in person, to truly be able to revel in it. It was a sight that inspired many before, and would inspire many more.

The children giggled amongst themselves as they attempted to run freely; the parents would beckon them if they got too far. Every restaurant along Main Street had already been filled with guests that were looking to get their morning caffeine, or even something to sustain the energy that they would undoubtedly burn in just a few short hours with the sun beating down on them all day. The Starbucks– yes…Starbucks in Disney–line was already outside the door and stretching further and further down the sidewalk until it had blocked off people from being able to enter other establishments. Parents with strollers would use the strollers as weapons to force their way through the crowd. People in motorized scooters would do their best to navigate through the crowd, although most of them would act less concerned with anybody outside of their party.

It was already a madhouse.

Even if everyone in the park would feign joy, it was clear that they were less concerned with everyone enjoying themselves, and more concerned for their own enjoyment. As if their own enjoyment had somehow mattered more than the other guests.

However, there were people that had already paid their dues to the rest of the world… People that did not have to mingle among the rest of the crowd. Standing atop the balcony to Cinderella’s Castle and overlooking the park that filled was Tara Docherty, more famously known by Tara Fenix; she was leaning against the railing with her hands folded neatly on top.

She had a smile on her face which only widened when she peered over her shoulder to see her youngest son and grandson that were inside the suite; Edward had a custom built yellow lightsaber replica, and Damian had a custom built red lightsaber replica. The two were imitating a battle amongst themselves by jumping on and off the sofa, and to the bed before finally landing on the floor and swinging at each other. Even while watching them, Tara couldn’t keep herself from zoning out as she looked at all the intricate details of the suite. 

I never dreamed that I would ever be in a place like this… Tara thought to herself, and shifted back to look forward. As she glanced below, she could see some of the crowd occasionally looking up to give her a wave; the lesser people just wanting one brief moment of acknowledgment from someone that has far surpassed them. Unbeknownst to her, Jennie and Ricky were amongst the crowd below and they had spotted her. Tara continued overlooking everything but not with the same mindset that she would have for this day. No. She was plotting.

All of these people look so happy to be here, and I am not going to deny that I absolutely adore it here… It’s going to be an interesting change of pace when I have to use everything here at my disposal. This is going to become a battlefield; nothing will be off-limits. Nobody will be safe. Tara thought to herself before finally turning away from the balcony and walking back into the suite. She clapped her hands together while looking toward them. “Where do you want to start?”

Both of the children immediately became giddy with more excitement with overlapping voices. 

“Can we ride Splash Mountain?!” 

“I want to go on the Jungle Cruise!” 

“Oh! Buzz Lightyear!”

“The Haunted Mansion!”

“Space Mountain!”

It was hard for Tara to really understand what either child was trying to say, but she played along with it anyway. “Get your shoes on!” Upon the request, both cheered and there was no hesitation in grabbing their shoes and beginning to put them on. Edward as the elder of the two helped Damien with getting his shoes on, while Tara took one more gander toward the balcony.

Like a premonition, she could see the destruction and carnage that would come to this place in just a few more days’ time.