Fighting the (un)Known…

By: VooDoo

Date: 4th Jul 2021

The scene fades in as it usually does and we find ourselves at LaGuardia Airport in New York, as four Wolves, two Wrights and a One walked through the airport to the helipad where they would take a 15 minute chopper ride to the 30th street heliport. As usual, VooDoo led the way, she was dressed head to toe in black leather and lace, behind her two twin redheads excitedly chattering to themselves and telling their little brother, Call and Marie to keep up; following up on the rear was Roger Wright, carrying his and Marie’s bags and One carrying VooDoo and the kids’ bags. The group always received quite a few stares when they were traveling like this, VooDoo looking much like a black mother swan with her colorful little brood of babies trailing behind. Once they made it to the helicopter, VooDoo quickly got the kids in, each seated in one of the window seats and belted up, while Roger and One stowed the bags in the rear. She took a seat in between Call and Marie just as Roger and One were getting in and taking the rear seat. As soon as the pilot made sure everyone was buckled in, they lifted off and immediately the twins had their cells out and started taking pictures. They were 10 going on 20.

VooDoo leaned her head back against the seat and closed her eyes for a moment. Really she hadn’t thought she would be looking for a place to stay in New York City on the weekends; she also didn’t think she would be stepping in the ring again either. But with FIGHT! Arena being there, it only made sense. VooDoo had figured it out to where they would stay at the Compound during the week and fly to the city on Friday night and return Sunday night. She did hate cooping the kids up in an apartment on the weekends though. She had made arrangements with ReDacted School, where the kids’ went to school, to where the kids can do online class Fridays and in class the rest of the week. She had spent the last month looking for an apartment around Central Park, but couldn’t find the right one; and she really didn’t want to spend the weekend in a hotel with the kids but she also didn’t want to spend 3 days without them. The apartments were either too small for the seven of them or large enough to where twenty-seven of them could have lived there. As a matter of fact, it’s what they were doing now, going to look at an apartment; and not just any apartment but one that Anicka Swan had picked out just for them in her building.

VooDoo opened her eyes and looked to the rear seats where Roger Wright was sitting, she didn’t know how well that was going to go. Anicka and Roger dated for almost a year and then… Well, we’ll just say that Ani was Ani and if you know Ani, you know what that means. But Roger had assured her that he was good and that it was water under the bridge, everyone had warned him about her M.O., he didn’t pay attention. He had been blinded by the way she treated Marie and thought just maybe… but no dice. VooDoo has often wondered if the whole contract and making Ani work for Syndicate hadn’t happened, would Ani and Roger still be together? VooDoo glanced over at Marie, she’d like to think they would have; Marie was good for Ani. Maybe it was time for VooDoo to give full custody back to Roger now? He has jumped through every damned hoop that she has asked him to with his daughter. He’s stopped drinking except for a beer here and there. He’s made sure that Marie is back on track with her schooling and she’s picked up her grades, he’s got her back in her extracurricular activities and doing the things they used to do together; hell, they even got Call to go fishing with them. He is doing what VooDoo wanted him to do and that was to start being the father his child needed and deserved. It’s Ani!! As soon as the chopper started to land, the door to a black limo opened up and former Immortal champion, Anicka Swan stepped out. She was dressed down in a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt and a big smile and with both hands up she started to wave. All four kids reached for their seat belts.

Don’t. You. Dare. Was all VooDoo needed to say and the kids stopped; both Roger and One behind them put their hands up, too; they had been reaching for their seatbelts as well. Not until we have completely landed. We went over the rules before we left, just because we see Ani doesn’t mean the rules go out the window.

Yes, Maam. The six said in unison causing VooDoo to press her lips together to try and hide the smile as the kids looked back at the guys and giggled.

Once the chopper was down and the flight crew opened the door, the four of them shot out of the helicopter like they were little screaming banshees and went straight for her. VooDoo stood next to the pilot and they watched as the twins hit her full speed at the waist causing her to falter just a little bit in her step and wasn’t quite enough to put her down; but then Call and Marie hit her and it was all over, Anicka was lost in a pile of children. Cute kids.

They always are. She cast a sideways glance at him, she knew the reputation her brood had and was quite proud of it. Until they turn on you.

The three adults made their way over to where Ani was now squatting down in front of the kids, she put three fingers up on each hand and put them to her head like they were wolf ears.

Little Wolfpack… And she howls into the air… and all four kids do the same.

You’re looking good, Ani.

Thanks, Voo, so are you. She looked back at Roger and One as they came up the rear carrying the bags again. She nodded to them both. Roger, One.

Ani. Roger gave a nod her way and half a smile. One just gave a nod.

Ani’s so excited, she can’t wait to show you the apartment. She thinks it’s perfect. She looked at the kids. Load up.

Less than 30 mins later, they were pulling in front of Anicka’s Tower at 111 West 57th Street, the Sterling building that was once Marke Imports, was now Swan Imports. Lower floors were business offices and the upper ones were residential dwellings. The doorman at the rear of the building where the entrance to the apartments were greeted them with a smile and grabbed the door, opening it. Inside they were met with the concierge who told them when they were ready for the grand tour of the building to let him know.

You really didn’t have to do this, Ani. She told her friend with a smile. She knew Ani felt bad for -turning against- her and the family and this was her way of making up for it. Really Ani didn’t have to but VooDoo knew that if she turned it down it would break Ani’s heart.

But Ani wanted to. She smiled; she felt like the VooDoo had taken care of her for years, now it was her turn to give back.

When the elevator doors opened and they stepped out into a marble foyer where there was a marble pedestal with a dozen roses down the hall to the right they could see two white couches and to the left was another hall with a set of closed double doors. The place was immaculate and they hadn’t even made it out of the entrance way. Welcome to Casa de la Pequeña Manada de Lobos. Anicka smiled real big, quite pleased with herself just by the look of awe on the Femme Fatale’s face. She grabbed Voo’s hand and pulled her into the direction of the Great Hall that faced Central Park, while the kids went the other way. There were three different areas, the main area with two white sofas, to one side was a large dining table and chairs facing a marble fireplace almost big enough to walk in, and the other was the kitchen. VooDoo walked over to the floor to ceiling window and looked out onto all of Central Park and almost the whole city after a few moments she turned around and opened her mouth.

No give backs. Ani said as quickly as she could. It’s a done deal. In your room on the desk you will find all you need, door passcodes and things like that. Ani’s passcode to her place is in there if you want to visit. It’s kinda small. One can crash at Ani’s place… Roger, too, if he wants.

Ani… I just… VooDoo started again but was interrupted as four kids came screaming into the Great Hall; three of them excitedly went to VooDoo and one went to Roger; all four talking 100 miles a minute. Calm down. Heel.

Omg, Mom!! Have you seen this place? Daddy, this place is so shiny.

Can you set a zipline up to the Park? Call was standing over at the window with his hands against the glass, looking back at them with that devious smile of his fathers.

Absolutely not! And get your fingers off the glass. She turned to Anicka who was still all smiles. Ani… I can’t…

La, la, la.. Ani can’t hear you. Her voice came out in a sing-songy voice and she put her fingers in her ears. Ani’s got to go now. You guys have fun, Ani will be back later and we will go to dinner. Get the passcode from Voo, One.

They all watched as Anicka made her way back to the elevator, fingers still in her ears still singing “la la la, can’t hear you” over and over.

How old is Ani, again? VooDoo’s mini-me said from beside her.

I am thinking ten, since she’s acting like you. She teased her daughter. Come on, let’s see what this palace in the sky looks like.

They walked back through the main hall towards the hallway at the end of the main hall that led to the three bedrooms. Each room has its own bath and shower, the master bathroom being the only one with a tub and shower. When VooDoo opened the door to the master bedroom, she kind of snarled up her nose. Who in the fuck… Fudge, Aunt Voo, fudge!

Who in the fudge thought it was a good idea to walk through the closet to get to the bedroom?
She corrected herself as they continued on until they found the actual bedroom and then she shrugged a little and kind of nodded. I mean it is a nice bedroom.

Where are we all sleeping? Ciara inquired.

I’d rather hit the couch than… He didn’t say the words but VooDoo knew what he meant, he’d rather sleep on the couch than sleep at Ani’s place. All VooDoo did was nod.

I’m hungry. Rose finally said and then the others chimed in, too.

Find a place to eat while Roger and I talk about sleeping arrangements. No sooner than the words left her mouth, the twins had their cell phones out and were walking away as they scrolled with the two younger ones behind them. Put those girls on a mission and they are on it.

Quality Italian? Ciara scoffed. What kind of a name is that?

It could be good. Call said from behind him.

Not with a name like that. Rose shook her head. Act like you’re Italian.

One, do be a dear and see what, if anything, Ani has in the kitchen for us. One gave a nod and made off to do as she had asked him. She then turned and looked at Roger. Any suggestions?

Like I said, I will take the couch. Nonsense, Roger, no one’s sleeping on the couch. VooDoo turned and walked back through the closet entrance to the master bedroom, shaking her head, and made her way down to the double doors of the center bedroom. Both Roger and her walked inside, stopped and took in the room. Bed’s big enough for the girls, Call can take the other room, and I can crash on the couch. I appreciate you willing to give up the rooms, Roger, but it’s not necessary. The kids can have this room. This bed is big enough for the girls and Call will probably sleep wherever he finally drops. We can figure out something better before the Ninth. Sounds good to me. Let’s go see how things are doing with the kids and picking out someplace for lunch. It was no surprise that the kids picked Angelo’s Pizza that happened to be in the building right next door and since it was there, they opted to have it delivered. They were all sitting around the table, with two large pies, one a white because two little redheads liked those, an order of baked ziti, antipasti, wings and breadsticks. We can get some bunk beds for the kids and they can have the center room. I am sure Ani can have that done for us. Eww, I am not sleeping with the girls. I’d rather sleep in the hallway. No, all I need is for people to come and find you’re sleeping in the foyer.

No, not there. The rear hallway. He ate away at his slice as he told them he could get a hammock and hang it up in the hallway. Get a dresser for his clothes. Put a TV on the wall. And I will be good to go.

I see. She started to ask him if he was crazy, but then at the last moment she wondered if they really did need two hallways? The rear hallway was the service hallway that allowed the maid to travel from her room to the kitchen without having to walk through the rest of the house and be seen by possible guests. That was some rich ass snobby shit. Maybe a loft bed instead of a hammock?

Really, Mom?!?!! His voice was full of excitement.

Really, son. I’ll talk to the building manager and ask them who they use for construction.

Daddy can build us bunk beds again! She picked at a piece of broccoli on a slice of white pizza. Never had broccoli on pizza.

Daddy could, but Daddy has been building you guys stuff all year. VooDoo realized what she was calling Roger and her cheeks flush a light shade of pink, but she was already in too deep to stop now. Give Daddy a break.

VooDoo finally looked up from Marie to find Roger looking intently at his pizza, his cheeks reflecting some of that pink in his cheeks, while One sat between Call and Marie and looked back and forth between VooDoo and Roger. His mask is off but we never see his face but by the way his shoulders and upper body was moving, you could tell he was trying to stifle a laugh.

It’s good, Marie, just try it. Ciara reassured her.

And if you don’t like it, just pick it off, sweetie.

The scene slowly fades to black as VooDoo thought about how thankful she was for children sometimes, they could be a distraction for an awkward situation.

????*????????*???? ????*????????*???? ????*????????*???? ????*????????*???? ????*????????*????

The scene fades back in VooDoo’s bedroom and it’s in the wee morning hours, she is sitting on the divan as smoke from the blunt she was burning swirled around her before slowly dissipating in the air. VooDoo is doing what she’s been doing a lot of lately, thinking. She was dressed in a pair of light grey sweats and a white tank top, her legs were curled up beside her.

Good for you, you fooled everybody
Good for you, you fooled everyone
Good for you, now youre somebody
Good for you, you fooled everyone

I sit back and think about everyone out there thinking about what’s really going on especially with OpW officially being gone… ever since they were delivered invites to FIGHT! NYC. I was shocked, but also, not shocked when I got one. She took a hit from the blunt, held the smoke and then released it in the air. Maybe Xavier knew something I didn’t know… that although I said I was done with the ring, I wasn’t really done. Maybe he could sense what others could not, that being around the action had started to draw me back in…

Leave your weapon on the table
Wrapped in burlap, barely able
Dont get angry, dont discourage
Take a shot of liquid courage

Or maybe… She smiles that smile of hers, the one that seems to die just as you get to her eyes and you can see the real woman buried and hidden beneath the smiles she gives for her children to see. He knew what was good for business and he knew that I would bring that noise. He knew what the fans were talking about… what the fans were whispering about… what they were thinking about and have since the day they turned on their TVs and found out that I was sitting on the commentary table.

Will she get back in the ring?

The fans asked for this.

The fans wanted this.

The fans called for this.

They will be the ones you will blame. They were the ones who wanted the world to see the one Bitch… that stood out among the others.

Again, another hit from the blunt.

The Bitch that paved the way, for all those bitches that came after her.

The Bitch whose name they feared seeing sitting next to theirs with the word versus in between.

The Bitch that they would rather not even show up to fight because they would rather risk losing their job than losing in a match to me.

The Bitch that your idols look up to.
That’s present tense, not past tense

She smirks a little. All of these unknowns before people and the only -unknown- to me… has become known. I know what I am doing.

I know where I am going.

I know what I am going to do.

I am unmuzzled and unleashed…

And that should scare the fuck out of a lot of you, but you just don’t know it.

All these mother fuckers out thinking that the fucking bar and standard was set by them are about to learn that bar and standard was set a long time ago. I’ve sat and watched as people out there are braggin’ about how good they are and how bad they are in the ring. And the reality of it all is… a lot of you fuckers…

Cant even see the Bar...
...Let alone touch it.
Here, let me put my hands together and give you a boost

She got up from where she was sitting, she picked her empty glass up from the small table and made her way through the master bedroom, shaking her head again at the thought of people having to walk through a closet just to get to the bedroom.

Cause my monsters are real, and theyre trained how to kill
And theres no comin back and they just laughed at how I feel
And these monsters can fight, and theyll never say die
And theres no goin back, if I get trapped Ill never heal
Yeah, my monsters are real

At the first doorway, one of the double doors leading in was open but the other was not, she stepped inside to find the light from the bathroom turned and the door partially shut giving her enough light to see what she needed to. She made her way over to the queen sized bed where three little girls were sound asleep. She immediately walked around to the far side of the bed where Ciara was; she was laying on her stomach completely uncovered but that was quickly changed as VooDoo pulled the blanket up over her. She smiled as she reached down and brushed her hair back over her ear. She made her way back to the other side and pulled the blanket up over Rose. In pulling the blanket up over them, she also covered up Marie, who was nestled in between them. She looked at them and softly smiled.

I am going to go ahead and apologize now for the type of mother I’ve been as well as the type of mother I will be… I love you three but it’s my job to protect you from the world as your moth..er. VooDoo’s hand went to her mouth as she realized what she had just said; only two of the three actually -belonged- to her.

Oh my, Candice Victoria-Katherine Wolf, did you just say what I think you said? She smiled a little. That is not your child and you have to give her back to her father. She thought about Marie’s mother. Over her dead body with that one. And VooDoo wasn’t talking about hers, she was talking about Marie’s egg donor, as ARP calls her birth mother. VooDoo was pretty sure she’d fight that woman to Hell and back. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that; it might be hard to be on the run with four kids.

But she doesn’t have to worry about that tonight. She turned back around and made her way back out the door she had come in. She padded across the marble floor on bare feet and into the great hall and stopped in her tracks and cocked her brow just slightly. The boy-child was missing, she would have been worried if the couch cushions hadn’t been gone, too. Oh where, oh where can he be? VooDoo had a feeling she knew where he was.

She made her way into the kitchen and refilled her glass and then walked over to the door to the rear hallway. Halfway down the hall on three couch cushions, wrapped up in a blanket like he was in a cocoon with his iPad plugged into the wall with some sort of cartoon on, was her son.

You hardheaded little… She chuckled and shook her head as she started down the hallway towards him. I TOLD you not until the bed was built. She reached over and picked up the bottle of water and lid and screwed it back on and sat it back down; all she needed was for him to accidently knock it over and get everything wet. You’re so hardheaded like your father… She tsk’ed and then corrected herself. Like your parents… remember the pot and kettle story, Candice.

She stood back up and continued down the hallway that her son had deemed his territory and could see the closed door to Roger’s room. It’s been long known, once you’ve gotten to know the real VooDoo, the woman behind the stage name… Candice, that she has one of the biggest hearts; especially when it comes to children. It was one of the reasons Shane, Roger’s best friend, had called her in the first place and since then VooDoo’s been taking care of Roger’s daughter for the past 8 months. Marie took it like a champ, there were a couple of times she asked what was wrong with her that her parents didn’t want her. VooDoo would wipe away her tears and hug her and tell her that there was nothing wrong with her, it was her parents. Ironically, the same thing she had told her children when their -happy home- fell apart. It did get easier for Marie when the kids decided that Roger should stay with Marie.

VooDoo chuckled as she turned left at the doorway and continued to her room and thought… those meddling kids. When the kids first suggested it, VooDoo just knew it was going to turn out bad all around. That with what had happened between Roger and her would make things awkward living in the same house, but it had in fact been quite the opposite. They acknowledged that it happened, even if he didn’t remember it. She snickered to herself. That’ll teach you to drink, Mr. Roger Wright. They have never talked about it since. Although the truth was, it was probably the best thing for Marie, she had one of her parents back and she wasn’t alone in this world; not that she was alone, not with the twins around. Her girls swept that little girl up under their wing just like they did their brother when he was born. Would Ripley have done the same thing to her sisters? If things hadn’t gone down between Vincent and Vhodka Marie the way they did, would she even have her twins? So many unknowns… to all the things she thought she once knew.

You know it’s time…

She entered her room and rolled her eyes, again she was glad this wasn’t her -home- because this would never work, mirrored doors or not. She made her way back over to the divan and picked up staring out the window.

You are not that child’s mother, that child deserves a mother of her own and it’s hard for Roger to find her one if he’s living at the compound.

VooDoo reached over on the table and picked the half smoked blunt up and lit it. She inhaled the sweet smoke and held it as long as she could before she released it into the air.

Have you stopped thinking about Marie’s needs and are thinking about your own? You told yourself not to get attached and look at you; fucking attached. And if you’re getting attached, who else do you think is getting attached? Mhm, that’s right, your children. Not only to her, but to her father.

She took another hit and thought about all the times she’s watched Roger with her kids; helping them with homework, playing video games with Call, taking the girls into town; all three of them at once, she doesn’t even do that. Dare she say he’s almost been acting like a father to her own? The longer she waits the harder it’s going to be on her kids.

She sighed softly and made her decision, when they got back from the photoshoot she would give Roger the news.