Margaritas and Mysteries…..

By: Shawn Warstein

Date: 30th Jun 2021

The echoes of waves crashing along the beach as the sun begins to crest over the horizon. Panning along the near desolate morning, we see a nice little bungalow. It isn’t anything too special. Actually the more you look at it, the more you notice. It’s just a hastily built shack with palm leaves covering it. As the camera peers inside there’s a hammock tied between two posts as it swings back and forth slowly. A faint grumble can be heard, followed but a cough. The sound of an iPhone ringtone begins to play, you know the one… it sounds like the song from American Beauty…. Yeah that’s the one. It’s quickly silenced by our hero as he answers the phone on speaker.

Shawn:
How did you get this number?

????:
I’m looking at the bill…. You know you could’ve done this on Auto-Pay, right?

Shawn:
I’m aware. What do you want and do you have any idea what time it is Noah?

For those of you who don’t know, the man on the phone is none other than Noah Jackson. He is the self proclaimed Sickest Cunt roaming the planet. Hailing from ‘Stralia and having a slight Red Bull addiction, he and I (Like the perspective change? Yeah me too.) have grown very close over these past few years.

Normally I don’t mix or play well with others, but something about him stood out. There was this confidence about him that seemed undeserving. He was for all intents and purposes…. Just like me. Later we would find out that the reason for that, He was in fact my biological offspring. Apparently back in the day on a trip to ‘Stralia his mom and I bumped uglies, forgot to LoJack my junk and boom many moons later I found out I have a son that I didn’t know existed. I felt bad about not knowing him, but the way we came together… I wouldn’t change a thing.

Noah Jackson:
Don’t care cunt. Where are you?

A deep sigh as I sit up from the hammock and stare out over the beach.

Shawn:
Enjoying my time off. I was fired rather rudely.

Noah:
I Right cunt I know. You came to the house packed up a single backpack and we haven’t heard from you since. However, that still doesn’t answer the question.

Shawn:
*Sighs* I’m on a beach in Mexico.

Noah:
Dope. I’m on my way….

Shawn:
Noah don’t…..

Noah:
Hey Dad…. Are there dolphins I can ride there? Nevermind, I’ll find out when I arrive and fuck up the ocean.

I didn’t even have a chance to respond. I was soon met with silence on the other end of the phone. There wasn’t even time to pour myself a cup of coffee before the whirring sound I’m so familiar with radiates from outside.

Shawn:
Fuck me.

Now why would I be so downtrodden about hearing that sound? Simply it’s because Noah had enlisted the help of Betsy Granger and her wonderful box, that is bigger on the inside, to transport him here almost immediately.

The door bursts open as a small cloud of fog pours from the door. After a moment Noah comes running out with full face mask swim goggles and a snorkel hanging out of his mouth. He gives me a quick wave and bolts towards the water. Slowly I turn my eye towards the door as Betsy leans against the side smile on her face.

Betsy:
So this is where you’ve been hiding?

Shawn:
Hey Bets.

Betsy:
*Mockingly* hEy BeTs…. That’s all I get out of you?

Shawn:
Sorry. Where are my manners? Oh wait that’s right, I’m away from the world and don’t want to be bothered…

Betsy:
You know I’ve been worried sick about you right?

Shawn:
I don’t know why.

Betsy:
Well after everything went down, you just kinda disappeared. Even Excellence (That’s the name of her Box) couldn’t locate you.

Shawn:
*Smiling* Well that’s because I took my DNA tracker out of Excellence the last time you transported us to the prohibition era and made me wear a fucking fedora.

Betsy:
So you knew this was coming then?

Shawn:
You’re the one with the magic box that can travel through space and time…. You tell me.

Now you might be confused about my friendship with Betsy, and you know what? That’s fair. She is the significant other to James Raven. Oh you know him. She is one of those people that I’ll fight to protect but won’t sugar coat anything for. For as long as I’ve known her all she’s wanted was the best for Me and the rest of Legacy, which is why when we call, no matter the time or place…. She’s there.

As for the two of us? We are a duo who shouldn’t get along but we somehow do. We are the exact opposites of one another. With me being willing to do everything and anything to get ahead, while she prefers a more tactful approach. For this reason, we have grown to have a kind of sibling rivalry, and she will forever be known as..

Shawn:
Sister Mine, why did you bring him here?

Betsy:
I told you Brother Mine, we were worried about you.

Shawn:
Alright. Well you see I’m fine. I’m breathing and alive. Now piss off.

Betsy walks into the bungalow and sees the empty bottles of tequila and bourbon strewn about on the floor.

Betsy:
That’s a lot of liquor Shawn. Almost too much for just one person.

Shawn:
What can I say…. It’s hot here and I got thirsty.

Betsy:
Where is she?

Shawn:
Why do you automatically assume someone is here with me?

Betsy:
*Raising her eyebrow towards Shawn* Because you’re you, and I’m me. Plus I don’t think you’re fitting in this anytime soon.

Betsy pulls from the ground a pair of shorts that are so very obviously not his. Betsy walks over and pretends to place them over his hips.

Betsy:
Sorry doll face but I think you’ve gone up a few sizes.

Shawn:
*Snatching the shorts away* Okay fine. You caught me. Kasey is here, she’s out by the beach relaxing. She’s had it just as bad as Raven and myself.

Betsy:
*Looks out over the beach* Oh she’s here?!?

Shawn:
Please don’t do this now Bets.

Betsy:
Do what?

Shawn:
*Rolling his wrist* This. Getting excited over all of this.

Betsy:
Fine. *Grumbles to herself* Well, have you two…. Ya know?

Shawn:
Bets…… come on.

Betsy:
Are you two together, together?

Shawn:
I don’t know Betsy.

Betsy:
Well what’s not to know? Do you like her?

Shawn:
Obviously.

Betsy:
Does she like you?

Shawn:
I dunno, I guess so…

Betsy:
Wow… good ole Warstein making things way more complicated than they need to be. I’ll go talk to her.

Betsy turns and begins to walk towards the beach when I reach out and grab her by the arm. Stopping her in her tracks.

Shawn:
Don’t.

Betsy:
Why not? *She pulls her arm away* You’re clearly not going to do anything….

Shawn:
We are taking it slow okay? As much as I love your go get em attitude, and everything will work out mindset…. I just need you to let us…. Be us for a little bit.

Betsy:
And if that’s not what I want?

Shawn:
Then you are free to go in the future and point out every mistake I’ve made to get there and I’ll stay and listen.

Betsy:
*Shaking her head* Shawn…. You’re an ass, you know that right?

Shawn:
*Slowly nodding* Yeah I’m aware.

No sooner than the words leave my mouth we both turn to the beach to see Kasey Winterborn walking towards the bungalow. She smiles and waves towards Betsy as she gets closer. My heart flutters at the sight of her, and her voice alone brings a smile to my face.

Kasey:
Shawn…. You didn’t tell me Betsy was coming! *She playfully slaps Shawn on the shoulder*

Shawn:
It’s a surprise to me as well.

Kasey:
Well get dressed for the water girl… you can’t go in like that. You could help me get rid of that rude man who leapt in screaming about how he’s going to ride a dolphin.

Betsy:
*Glares at Shawn for a moment and then smiles towards Kasey* Dear I would love nothing more, however I have to grab Noah and we must be off. We will have to get together soon. The four of us. You, Me, James and Brother Mine.

Kasey:
Sounds like a plan. I’m just going to go dry off. Shawn’s taking me someplace special for lunch.

Betsy:
Is he now?….

Shawn:
Drop it.

Betsy:
Fine. *Turning towards the beach and cupping her hands around her mouth.* NOAHHHHH LET’SSSSS GOOOO!

Noah’s head pops up from the other side of a dune and his shoulders slump. Much like a scolded child he walks towards the bungalow.

Noah:
Didn’t find a dolphin to ride.

Shawn:
No shit. Who would’ve guessed?

Noah:
Dream killer.

Shawn:
I tried telling you.

Betsy:
Shawn, be nice. Let’s go Noah, your father wants to be left alone.

Noah:
Bullshit, I saw Kasey out there. He’s not alone.

Shawn:
How do you know…..

Noah:
Twitter cunt, and R.B. over here wouldn’t stop gushing about it the entire ride here.

Betsy:
R.B.?

Noah:
*Looks towards Shawn waiting for approval, and as soon as he gets it he turns towards Betsy* You know…. R.B. ….. Raven’s Beard.

Shawn:
I mean it’s played out, but…..

Noah:
It’s still funny. And the more we say it, the less it matters when anyone else does. It’s not an attack anymore.

Shawn:
We are looking out for him.

Betsy:
Whatever. Noah get in the box, Shawn… give James a call for Christ sake.

Betsy opens the door to Excellence and Noah trudges inside, Betsy gives me a reassuring smile and once she’s inside she shuts the door behind her. I feel a hand grab at my waist as I look over my shoulder to see the smiling face of Kasey. I spin around as we are face to face. We both begin to lean in when the door bursts open. Startling the both of us as Noah stops right before the two of us and looks back and forth between us.

Shawn:
What do you need now Noah?

Noah:
Sorry Dad, I forgot to give you these.

Noah hands me a large stack of Mail hastily tied with some rope. He gives us both a nod and disappears back inside Excellence. The whirring sound and in the blink of an eye the box was gone. The only thing left was a small imprint left on the sand.

Kasey:
That…. That was the guy trying to ride dolphins.

Shawn:
Yeah. That’s just Noah. You’ll get used to his antics. Betsy will take him to SeaWorld and get him to ride one.

Kasey:
Dad?

Shawn:
Long story that I will happily tell you over lunch. But for now, where were we?

Kasey:
Looks like you are about to go through a month’s worth of Mail.

Shawn:
That can wait.

Kasey:
So can I, don’t worry I’m not going anywhere.

Shawn:
Fine.

As I grab the stack of Mail and untie it as I sit down on the hammock. Kasey hops up and sits to my side.

Shawn:
Junk…..Junk…. OCW. Probably telling me they aren’t accepting applications.

Kasey:
Why would they send that?

Shawn:
Someone has to keep the USPS in service. This one looks promising….. oh it’s Action Wrestling. *Tosses it to the side*

Kasey:
Not for you?

Shawn:
Nope. It’s an overinflated roster and they just add everyone and anyone. Maybe this one?

Kasey:
Where’s that?

Shawn:
*Holding up a very colorful flier* It’s UGWC and their big festival they hold every year. Wrestlestock.

Kasey:
Sounds like fun.

Shawn:
I’ll put this one in the maybe pile. It would be nice to see Sloane again and for you to meet her. *Shawn hands it to Kasey, who looks it over before setting it aside*

Kasey:
Where’s that one from?

Shawn:
Oh this one? Mile High Wrestling. I don’t know how I feel about relocating to Colorado.

Kasey:
I hear it’s nice there.

Shawn:
Yeah sure, but that’s not the draw that will entice me to go there. I need something, I dunno, more than just a location. Then there’s the good ole XWF….

Kasey:
Would be fitting, no?

Shawn:
Yeah but it’s a case of been there, done that. Plus Lane is so desperate to get this stink off of him he’d be willing to do almost anything to change the subject. Maybe I’ll just let him sit with that for a bit longer.

As I reach the end of the pile Kasey notices something odd about all the pieces of mail. As I grab the final piece and hold it in my hand. It is an all black envelope, with no postage on it and a wax seal keeping it closed. It seems as if it was hand delivered or at least brought by a courier.

Kasey:
You know all of these are dated the same day right?

Shawn:
*Glances at the pile* I suppose you’re right.

Kasey:
Yeah the day you were fired and the day I left.

Shawn:
Weird, almost all of them. Then there’s this one. No date, no nothing.

Kasey:
Are you gonna open it?

Shawn:
Obviously. Someone took the time to get this to me, it would be rude if I didn’t.

As I ran my finger over the wax that was holding the envelope closed. Slowly I peel the letter open and pull out a slightly bigger than normal business card out. I inspect it briefly and flip it over.

Kasey:
Where’s this one from?

Shawn:
I honestly don’t have a clue.

Kasey:
Does it say anything?

Shawn:
Just an address, a time and it says we can give you what you want.

Kasey:
That’s weird, no company name? No point of contact?

Shawn:
Not at all. *I toss the card to the side* Clearly they aren’t that serious.

Kasey:
Aren’t you just a little bit curious? Like what do they mean, give you what you want?

Shawn:
Nope…. The only thing I want right now is your undivided attention.

Kasey smiles and buries her head into my shoulder, as I run my hand through her hair. We both stare off over the horizon as the waves roll in. A stolen smile here, a kiss on the cheek there. Both of us lost to the solitude of the beach and the ambiance surrounding the two of us. It was as if she knew something was off as she peeled her head from my shoulder and looked sternly into my eyes.

Kasey:
You’re thinking about the card aren’t you?

Shawn:
Maybe.

Although I won’t lie to myself, I was curious. Who, or what, thinks that they know what I want. It’s been a long time in this business where I truly coveted anything, the only thing I am certain of, at this time, is that I want this trip with Kasey to last as long as possible. I’ll deal with that mystery business card when this dream ends.

———Time is Simply a Construct———

When you have a friend with a magical box that can traverse time and space, days and times tend to not matter any more.

When I eventually returned to the states and Kasey went back home to take care of some things, I was left with the business card and time on my hands. I sat at the house for a few days. The thought of this business card just wouldn’t leave my brain. Every time I tried to distract myself it would creep in. Deep down I knew that it was some company trying to allure me there with a bit of mystery… and Dammit it was working. It wasn’t long before I had made my mind up. Although my brownstone in New York was currently occupied it wasn’t going to stop me from getting to the bottom of this.

After a few days passed watching the building like some low rent Private Detective and nothing to show for it, I’m starting to think this was all a ruse to get me out and about again. It could’ve been Betsy, or Raven or anyone really trying to get me back into the real world and not stuck on some beach somewhere completely adrift of everything going on. However I was determined to find out what this was all about. If I had to stay right here for the foreseeable future I would. It wasn’t until my fourth day watching the building that something finally caught my eye.

I was seated on a bench in New York, right across the street from the address provided. I sip my coffee as I watch the faceless and nameless masses walk right past the towering building. Paying no attention to anyone but themselves. The steady stream of people coming in and out of the Dunkin Donuts, keeps me secluded from the masses. As I sip my Starbucks coffee a huddled mass comes around the corner.

Paparazzi surrounding an individual. The camera flashes going off in all directions and questions thrown at them faster than an ad for Erectile Dysfunction pills. As the mass gets closer I see James Raven (What? You think you weren’t going see my hetero-life mate?) squeeze through and take a seat next to me on the bench. The photographers see this and disperse, only slightly annoyed that I was there.

Raven:
Really? A Starbucks in front of a Dunkin? Are you trying to start a gang war?

Shawn:
*Shrugs* I like their coffee better. *Shawn reaches over and grabs a drink and hands it to Raven.* Here I got this for you.

Raven:
Seriously? A Unicorn Frappe?

Shawn:
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I had to go off the menu for that.

Raven:
So what’s up? Why are we here?

Shawn:
Just touching base. Betsy said to call you, and we all know I don’t do phone calls.

Raven:
I’m aware. You know, just doing my thing. Fought in Action….

Shawn:
Yeah I saw that. Sorry by the way.

Raven:
Nothing to be sorry about, Dude can go.

I glance across the street and notice a few people walking into the building. No one really sticks out. You could tell they were athletes of some sort.

Shawn:
Tell me about this building. *Shawn points towards the door.* There have been people going in and out all day. All of them look like wrestlers.

Raven:
I’m not fucking Wikipedia. I don’t know everything.

Shawn:
Yeah, but when it comes to this industry, you’ve got your finger firmly on the pulse. Nothing about this place has registered on your radar?

Raven:
*Taking a sip of his drink* No. I mean I got an envelope and I can see that you did too.

Shawn:
So you’re not the least bit curious?

Raven:
*Wiping his lips with the back of his hand* Well yeah, but you know how I operate….

Shawn:
Yeah you send me in first to get a lay of the land.

Raven:
Right you are.

Shawn:
You know just once….

Raven:
Hold up. Look who it is.

Raven points towards the door, as we both see Thad Duke walking by with a small child in lock step. Raven stands up and attempts to yell but I quickly grab him and pull him back to a seated position.

Shawn:
Come on man. I don’t want to deal with Thad right now.

Raven:
What’s wrong with Thad?

Shawn:
Usually nothing, but he’s been getting on my nerves lately. Plus he’s with his kid. Let him be.

Raven:
Well I’m not the one that bought a townhome fifteen minutes away from him. If anything it’s your own fault.

Shawn:
*Rolling my eyes* Yeah, but also I’m not staying there right now.

Raven:
Why not? Kasey not like New York?

Shawn:
First off, I don’t know, and secondly I lent it to someone while they look for their own place.

Raven:
Aren’t there like a million rooms in the brownstone?

Shawn:
No, it’s not that big plus I’m staying at the Hotel down the road. It’s cozy and I can come and go as I please. Also my mystery board wouldn’t fit with the aesthetic of the brownstone.

Raven:
So is that why we are here? To gather information?

Shawn:
Yup…. Pretty much.

Raven and I sat there for a little bit. Catching up with one another. Which was odd considering it’s only been a few weeks but it was like nothing changed. Legacy was still intact, even if it was in shambles. We are both set on making sure it doesn’t die at the hands of someone else.

Shawn:
Is that who I think it is?

Raven looks up and spits his drink out of his mouth slightly.

Raven:
No, no way…. He wouldn’t.

Shawn:
Dude, I’m positive that’s who I think it is.

I get up from the bench as Raven tries to stop me.

Raven:
What the fuck are you doing?

Shawn:
If he’s there it can’t be all that bad.

Raven:
And what are you going to do when you find out it’s a tight pant store?

Shawn:
Wow them with the size of my…..

Raven:
Seriously.

Shawn:
He’s not going to just go anywhere. Plus, if you got the message, he got the message and Thad didn’t? That means…..

Raven:
Fuck…. Sherlock Warstein makes an appearance.

Shawn:
Right-o chap. That’s a wrestling company. And one with taste since they didn’t gather the attention of Duke, but they did get it from the Molotov.

Raven:
So what, you go in there and what exactly?

Shawn:
*Pondering the question for a brief moment* I go in there and get signed. I fight. That’s what we do. We fight.

Raven:
Him?

Shawn:
Why not? It’s what you always wanted. It’s what I always wanted.

Raven:
Yeah but we want them to join Legacy….

Shawn:
And what better way than to have us fight? Or at least have one of us go in there and gauge the interest.

Raven:
Why would we send you, and not me or Betsy? It doesn’t make any sense.

Shawn:
Doesn’t it tho? Like you and I know we can fight. I know Noah can, you know Jax can. Betsy is a beast in her own right.

Raven:
Yeah but you KNOW he can.

Shawn:
Do I really tho? The competition where I’ve seen him was to say the least, lackluster. And the last place wouldn’t dare put us in the ring together…. Here….

Raven:
It looks like you’ve got that opportunity.

Shawn:
It’s all I wanted…..

Raven:
Are you sure?

And there it was. The fucking card was right. They could give me what I wanted. As I begged and pleaded with other places for the opportunity to blow the roof off of a building. For a chance to put so many asses in the seats, sell so much merchandise, and they pushed it away.

The one man I’ve been chasing for the better part of a year is now firmly in my sights. As Raven said we want them in Legacy, but I’ve always lived by the motto…

Steel Sharpens Steel.

Will we fight? Will they come to Legacy? I don’t know but the only thing for certain is that I’m not going to get the answer standing outside the building. I get up and march across the street. Surprisingly there wasn’t much traffic to deal with as I made my way across and to the front doors. Raven wasn’t far behind as he walked up behind and stopped me by the arm.

Raven:
Are you sure this is what you want?

Shawn:
*Hand already grasping the handle* Much like how I know you operate, you know how I do.

Raven:
Yeah, shoot first then ask questions later.

Shawn:
You know it.

Raven:
Well go on then. I’ll wait out here for you.

With that I open the door and walk inside. I stand there on the other side of the door for a brief moment and as I look back towards Raven he’s sipping his Unicorn Frappe and beginning to get bombarded by a mass of people. I turn back towards the near empty lobby and see a single receptionist sitting at a large desk in the middle of the room. I take a deep breath.

Shawn:
This will all work out…..It has to.

Fade To Black