MDM – I came this far to come this far.

By: Murphy Doyle Maher

Date: 11th Oct 2021

Flashes of different scenes of Fight’s history break the darkness of the Fight Network, and at the end of it a logo appears. It is three letters and it burns slowly into the screen, before turning to ash and crumbling into a pile. The pile of ash begins to stir. And those three letters burst out, glowing red, yellow, and orange. The title card then flashes. FYA: Rises.

 

As footage of the original FYA is displayed, a voice over begins. The person speaking is gruff sounding, but amused in tone.

 

The first FYA was a group of people that wereThere is a space here. It is only a second, but the tone of voice and the speaking pattern is off. Almost as if an entire word was taken out in post production. Tough as hell. We had to be. We were rejects. Max Burden, who had to run to Canada to get some sort of respect. Mutante who fled Mexico to avoid being killed, Christine who came from Canada to find success, Ang who was shamed out of Japan, and then you had me. The guy who saw the worth in all of them, and somehow banded us together. That’s what FYA was about. Was about being the ones nobody wanted, and showing them that they might be right, but we’d be here anyway. It’s changed…but not that much. While it may not be those rejected by this business, each of them know rejecting real well. And it’s made this group tougher, than even the original, in my opinion.

 

A construction site is always moving. It’s not a small city but it could be used as an example of one. Like New York or other major cities, sites like this never stop. Concrete tumbles in it’s mixing drum on the back of trucks, and tar is lifted in rope supported buckets to the roof above. Gear is moved from one place to the other and a symphony of power drills play against each other for the most audible. So audible are these tools that the F150 pulling up to the site surprises the man at the gate, despite its overcharged engine. It’s black as night and loud as hell, just the way the driver likes it. The driver, Kalvin Wolf, looks out the window at the guard, and slaps his own door a few times to get his attention. The two men go back and forth. The guard telling him he doesn’t have clearance, Kal saying he does. The guard suddenly realizing who Kal is, and Kal calming down to the point of muted anger. Lifting the security gate, The guard apologizes but it is drowned by the tires burning out into the loose dirt of the driveway. At the end of the day, Kal wouldn’t fire someone for doing their job, even if it wasn’t supposed to be done to them.

 

Pulling into a spot, Kal jumped out of the truck which was raised so much it could probably pass right over him and not even touch him. He’d scour the entire lot from front to back before he finally stopped and asked someone for who he was looking for. The older black gentleman smiled, and pointed up to one of the buildings in the center of the site. And to the Irishmen standing on the roof of said building, applying tar to the shingles, proofing the cracks between them in an effort to keep out the water. Water, as any homeowner will tell you, is the enemy. You stop it from coming in one way and it’ll do its best to find another. All you can do is to hope to make it more difficult.

 

Kal, who was as even keeled as a dog with a tooth ache and one paw in a trap, waved his arms about trying to get the Irishman’s attention. But like most men with a craft or trade, Murphy was oblivious to Kal’s presence. All he knew was that he loved the way the tar looked when it settled in after he brushed it on. It was satisfying, having a job that would be here, and be useful, more than just a beating handed out and forgotten the week after. Kal looked around and found a small rock. He rubbed it with his thumb while gripping it to his palm tightly. His eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened. And then; it flew.

 

It curved through the air, rising up above Murphy and then coming down with a satisfying(for Kal)thud on the back of Murphy’s head. He stood up, and looked around at who could or would have. And then he saw Kal. For a moment he was happy to see him. Surely he would have seen who threw that rock. And then it occurred to him; it might have been him who threw it.

 

M D M

you throw that rock ’t me?

 

Kal Wolf 

What are you doing??

 

M D M

I’m roofing!

 

Kal Wolf 

Come down here!

 

M D M

Can’t!

 

Kal Wolf 

Why?

 

M D M

This is where the roof is!

 

Kal Wolf 

MURPHY.

 

Murphy waved his hand, and walked slowly and carefully over to the ladder at the edge of the roof. As anyone who works in these sorts of surroundings will tell you, these aren’t the kind of ladders you fall off. It’s the smaller ones that usually lay you out. Murphy felt that it was because the bigger ones like this didn’t hurt you, they killed you, so it was worth being careful just the same. Getting to the ground and being visibly glad to have done so successfully, he walked toward Kal slowly. The trepidation in his mannerisms spoke volumes about how little he wanted to have this conversation. The tenseness in Kal spoke twice as many about how little he gave a fuck what Murphy wanted.

 

M D M

Alright, what?

 

Kal Wolf 

Don’t what me. What the fuck!? I got you the job as a foreman!

 

M D M

Save for teh fact that I dunnae how to fore, man. So I volunteered to do some roof work.

 

Kal Wolf 

You’re afraid of fucking heights.

 

M D M

I’m more afraid of being broke.

 

Kal Wolf 

God dammit. Why can’t you just fucking let me help you?

 

M D M

I’ve done it! Look! Yeh helped me!

 

Kal Wolf 

…what if you get injured? What if you can’t fight?

 

M D M

Kal, who gives a shite?

 

Kal Wolf 

This is your calling!

 

An air horn goes off, and everyone drops their trowels, shovels, hammers and the like, and head to the back of their trucks or to the side where the shade falls with just enough room to sit and eat. Murphy wipes the sweat and dirt from his forehead and nods toward a small hatchback parked to the left of the gigantic truck that Kal just showed up in.

 

M D M

And that’s me lunch callin’.

 

Murphy walked to the car with Kal in tow, still trying to convince him of what no one could convince him. Murphy was a lot of things, but prideful most of all. He didn’t take handouts, he didn’t ask for charity. If he wanted it, he went out and got it. He had taken all the charity in life he’d ever meant to take and not one bit more would be accepted or asked for. He made it clear to Kal, sitting in the bucket seats of the Honda Civic hatchback that was one hard brake away from falling apart at the seams.

 

Murphy pulled his lunch bag out of the back and laid out his buffet. One small container of black olives. One small container of green olives. A casserole of some sort. A ziploc bag of cooked hot dogs, no bread, and a jar of some sort of relish. He also pulls out a water bottle so big it would make Anicka Swan’s dildo look fun sized.

 

M D M

Want any?

 

Kal Wolf 

I don’t even know what I’m fucking looking at.

 

M D M

So this is dorito casserole, made specially by Vhodka for me. This is something called Chowchow which is like a reslish, for the hot dogs, made by Vhodka’s Ma. And the hot dogs have little bits of cheese in ‘em, that supposed to melt when you cook ‘em, but they’re better cold and raw if yeh ask me. Tastes more like the cheese that way, to be fair.

 

Kal Wolf 

This is the most disgusting fucking shit I’ve ever fucking seen, and I’ve seen prison food with fucking glass in it. Come on, lets get the fuck outta here. You finally shed that fucking losers title, now its time to take your rightful fucking place at the top. 

 

Since the very beginning of their relationship Kal has always looked at Murphy as the next big thing. The person who would one day stand at the top of the business and be the beacon of all Kal was, and all Murphy is. He would look down on all others and pronoun he who he was, and who had sent him. And Kal’s legacy, the one shirked by his brothers, would live on in the hands of someone who didn’t associate with him because he had to, or needed to, but because he wanted to. Unfortunately for Kal, that wasn’t at all how Murphy saw it.

 

M D M

You…you have to stop. I am not teh next big name in the game, yeah? I’m never gonna be the guy you want me teh be. I’m a fucking fighter, I’ll always fight. But that’s it. Guys like you, Dickie Warstein, Shawn Watson, they all wanna be at the top of the heap. The last name in the world of fighting for first place, or whatever the fuck yeh all say about yehselfs. I don’t care about teh top o’ teh mountain, Kal. I made it to the moutain. I am standing near the mountain. While that ain’t ‘nough for guys like yeh and Dane and teh rest, I’m fine with it. Motivational bullshit be damned, I did come this far just to get this far. Because unlike teh rest of the fucking roster that thinks they’re one good match away from being the best in teh world, I know the truth. Not everyone get’s lifted up on the shoulders of all teh others. Some of us gotsta do the lifting.

 

Kal Wolf 

That’s a great fucking attitude to have. What about your team?

 

M D M

Team? What team yeh mean, Kal? FYA? Look the fuck around. You see any team here? I don’t. What I see is a fucking three way relationship, a legend who wants one more go attit, and me. It’s a fucking relationship with extra steps. A five wheel tricycle. It’s a dramady. And I don’t find any of it endearing or fuckin’ funny, eh? So I’ll do me part. I’ll bust my ass to get Dane closer to that place he wants to be. Because I’m loyal. Because he’s a good man and a great friend. Because I play my part. But I ain’t gonna sit here on me lunch break, and have you tell me that I need to do this or that or this.

 

Kal Wolf 

If you really don’t want to fuckin’ be the top in the game, why not quit?

 

M D M

Because I don’t need to be world champion to enjoy slapping the teeth off of somebody. That was me goal, Kal. Get paid for getting got. And when that stops being fun, I’ll do that then.

 

Kal Wolf 

Alright, fuck it. You don’t wanna be successful, you don’t fucking want your time..

 

M D M

I do want me time, Kal. But I want it teh stand for what I want it teh stand for. For me, getting up and making ‘em laugh. Being the guy that people comes to see. I dun care about who the best is or who is the sheep or goat or what have you. All I care about is when the silly bastard that signs his name across from mine wakes up day after, he knows he had heself a fight. I don’t know when your perspective changed on that, but boyoh, you’d be hard pressed not to try and get it back.

 

Kal Wolf 

 

M D M

Did I use ‘hard pressed’ right?

 

Kal Wolf 

..I’m not sure.

 

M D M

…way I see it, this entire business is nothing but Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory.

 

Kal Wolf 

Really? You fucking think you can pull this off?

 

M D M

Lemme try. So this business is the chocolate factory, and we’re all here trying to prove that we deserve to take it over. You got your Augustus Gloops, who are gluttons for teh business. Want all they can take and then some, never being satisfied no matter how much they ‘ave. Like yeh Dickie Watson types. Have a belt in yeh hand already? Dive into the milky river of titles and be mad when yeh don’t come out with fifteen more. Nothing is ever enough for guys like him and he’ll go to lengths no one else can even fathom just to try and make the want in his man boy sized chest ache a bit less, knowing it won’t ever will.

 

M D M

You got your Veruca Salts. The ones that have been handed pretty much everything theys ever got on account of who they know, and like the Dickie’s, its never enough, but unlike the Dickie’s they don’t even know what theys want, they just know they want something else. Lord forgive me, but that’s your Allisons, Michelles, and yes, even Danes. Not everyone has a helping hand the likes they did, having someone to look uptah and say ‘oi, i wanna be able to do ‘at.’ And in a day there’s a training facility built for doing just that. They’ve tried their best to do what they’ve done, and i won’t take it away from them, but they also had the deck stacked in their favor way more than a lot of others.

 

M D M

You got your Violet…bow…whatever. You got the blueberry kids. The kids who just want to compete. To prove who they are is better than who you are in every way. The ones who are here for attention, any way they can get it because by accomplishing diserdat, they can feel like they’ve made it. That they deserve to be here and that they belong. People like Sahara, Apathy, Michelle…did I say her? Anyway. But also your Pmonts, your Rickys…But like the dickies, and the salts, it’s never enough. Because the hole in them isn’t about this business. It’s what they lack in their homes. And until they get their house in order, they’re always gonna be one bad move away from swelling up and rolling away.

 

M D M

And of course, you got your Mike Teevee kids. The ones who think they’re smarter than everyone else in this business and at the same time feel like they’re the future of this business. The ones who drink their own kool-aid and believe their own hype. Your Moore’s, Your Warsteins, Your Dane’s, again. The guys who look down on anyone else who operates differently or buys in. The ones who break this whole thing down to some sort of science, hoping it will make them the next biggest thing when truth be known, their attitude toward others in the game and the game itself, just makes them look small.

 

M D M

Everyone in this business is some combination, some mutated version of them kids from that flick. And if yeh really try, yeh can sit down and figure out with almost pinpoint accuracy just who is who. Example; Dickie is by far a major Gloop, but he’s also a Teevee. And while Warstein is clearly a TeeVee, he’s also a Salt. But everyone of them is at least one, if not all of those kids. And all of them are trying to obtain accolades and attention at any cost.

 

Kal Wolf 

And you? What the fuck are you?

 

M D M

Me? Murphy pulled a hot dog out of the package, dipped it into the chowchow, and took a bite. Finishing his sentence with the cheesy cold and raw hot dog and relish visible as he spoke, Kal would later describe it to his wife as watching a front loading washer machine full of vomit. I’m just lucky to be here.

 

Kal Wolf 

I’m sorry you don’t have fucking aspirations, kid. Really.

 

M D M

I had one, Kal. And it was her. I was gonna ask her to marry me. We were gonna have kids. We were gonna open a business, and hand it down to them. Something that wouldn’t fail. Like a medical supply store. Or a pub. Something they could grow up and be proud teh take over. I aspired teh being the best Santa on christmas mornings, and the best Easter bunny on Easter Sunday. I aspired to be her husband, and their father. And that, that’s gone. And unlike the Salt’s and the like, I know nothing is ever gonna fill that void for me. So why bother trying when you only know you’ll fail?

 

Kal Wolf 

In another life, I hope that comes true for you. I’m gonna go. I’ll let you eat in peace and get back to work. Call you tomorrow?

 

M D M

Aye.  Be nice to hear it ring for once.

 

Kal and Murphy hug goodbye, and Murphy turns his back, eating his lunch slowly and carefully, as Kal pulls out backwards, and vanishes up the road. When his engine is no longer at an audible distance, Murphy walks over to the drivers side door, and picks up his cellphone. He looks at the screen and sees the he’s missed 15 calls. Names like Sahara, Dane, and Vhodka are visible before he tosses it back into the cup holder and returns to his lunch. His eyes peering off into the distance, a cold stare for a cold world.

 

Murphy has always had a great imagination, but he tries to stifle it as to make room for far more serious, and more important thoughts, but it persists and as he always does, he gives in. He imagines what it must be like for people like Dane, who was rejected from NASCAR for his past, to find something greater in this business. Or Sahara, who was rejected from her family, only to find a new family in this business. Or even Allison, who like Sahara, felt rejected by her family because of her want to be in this business, but didn’t make a new one, just made the original one aware of how good she really was. But then there was him. Murphy, who had been rejected by his family, by society, and by this business. Murphy, who had found the one thing he’d always wanted, and for a blink of an eye had absolute and perfect happiness. Until society, and this business, and his so called family got him ejected from him, leaving him with nothing but the very things that cost him his world. He knew for sure how good they must feel. And he hoped against his better judgement that none of them, not one of them, would ever know exactly what this pain, his pain, was like.

 

_______

 

By the time Murphy got home, it was 9:15 at night, and the dirt that had accumulated on his skin during the day felt more a part of him than his own appendages. His shoulders hurt, his elbows stung, and his back roared at him with every twist of his hips. He looked forward to a long short, a small sand which, and a good nights sleep. But when the elevator door to the suite he shared with Vhodka and Vincent Black opened, he found them sitting in the living room, holding hands and looking at him with concern. A concern that this broke Irishman would pay any amount of money to have them to ignore.

 

Vhodka Black

” Hey Biff. We need to talk, ok? “

 

M D M

…I learned it from watching you, alright!? I learned it from watching you!!

 

Vincent Black

” How…how did you know he was going to say that? “

 

Vhodka Black

” That’s what I’d say. Sit. Seriously. “

 

M D M

Listen, I just got home, I just wanna take a shower, have a bite, maybe a pint, and get some sleep. I just had to listen to the new doorman tell me about how he doesn’t like all the polyamory in this business because he’s a…i dunno, a Scientologist or something. That’s enough talk for one night, nae?

 

Vincent Black

” Well, that’s what we want to talk to you about.”

 

M D M

Listen. So. I. While I. See. I’m catholic, right. And. So. I appreciate. But. I mean. I can’t really. You know. No thanks?

 

Vhodka Black

” That is not what we’re talking about…right? “

 

Vincent Black

” Right.”

 

Vhodka Black

” I mean, if we were gonna, you’re the top of that list.”

 

Vincent Black

” You’re a very pretty man. “

 

Vhodka Black

” So pretty. Are we doing this? “

 

M D M

Guys. Please. I’ll frow up.

 

Vincent Black

” Frow up so Hard.”

 

Vhodka Black

” Frow up so bad.”

 

M D M

Ok. So what’s this about, then? Did I not flush?

 

Vincent Black

” No. We’re concerned. You are a good man, Murphy. And It bothers me that my sister has left you in such a way that your life seems to have paused. I want to try and facilitate your ability to return to your former mindset.”

 

Vhodka Black

” Jesus, we think you should get laid and clear your head of the nut job and we’d like to try and set you up with some people. There’s a lot of fish in this sea. Some of them even have teeth. Did you guys know some fish have teeth?”

 

M D M

I saw that! ‘Was like people teeth! Like you could pluck them out of their mouth and just put it in yeh own and none would be any wiser for it.

 

Vincent Black

” Murphy. You’ve got to start dating again. I am sure you believe my sister was the end all, be all, etc. But she is gone. And you can’t live the rest of your life on pause. We’re not getting any younger..”

 

Vhodka Black

or older.

 

Vincent Black

WHAT?

 

Vhodka Black

” nuffin.”

 

M D M

Listen, I appreciate it and all. But I’m fine. Really. I’m in a great place. Settled an old score with that fathead fuck Joe Montouri, worked things out with Kal. Got a good job for the week that’s gonna help me cover the tuition situation. I don’t even have time to date. Let alone, have you guys noticed that everyone in this business is fucking at least two other people? Like how does one even navigate that?

 

Vincent Black

” We’d like to help.”

 

Vhodka Black

” As in pay for it. “

 

M D M

WHAT?

 

Vincent Black

” NO! “

 

Vhodka Black

” I meant the date, not the vagina. Jesus. This way you can take them someplace nice. Someplace they’d like enough to let you touch their genitals and maybe even touch yours back. Like at the doctors office.”

 

Vincent Black

” wait, what? “

 

Vhodka Black

” Nevermind. Murph, bestie. Please. Don’t let her ruin life for you. “

 

M D M

I appreciate the concern. Really. But you’ve got some nerve even trying to talk to me about it. Yeh, who when he chose something other than yeh, who ran away and vanished. And yeh who married a woman you loved differently, because of some confused feelings that yeh weren’t smart enough to figure. Well, I ain’t gonna run away, and I’m not gonna wake up ten years from here with some poor woman who thinks she’s my world, only to find out i been pining for another all the while. So while I appreciate the concern, I’d appreciate the leaving me the fuck alone a whole lot more. I climbed my mountain, and you and everyone else in this world took it out from under beneath me. So let me stay in the god damn rubble where I fuckin’ belong. Goodnight.

 

Vincent Black

” Murph, If I had a time machine, I would change it. But I can’t. All I can do is offer you the advice someone should have offered me.”

 

Vhodka Black

” Don’t frost your tips or wear padlocks as necklaces!”

 

Vincent Black

” …Don’t wait until it’s too late to change.”

 

Vhodka Black

“yeah that too.”

 

M D M

Tell me something, Vin. Do yeh think Sarah was more upset that she got pulled into this whole mess with X’s dah because yeh lied, or…yeh know what, I already know. Thanks for this, guys. Really. I feel much better. See yeh in the morning.

 

Murphy stood up, stopped by the fridge, grabbed two cans of beer, and slunk down the hall, his work boots tied together by the laces and thrown over his shoulder like a pair of Nike’s over a telephone wire. The shower he took would be hot, steamy, and in the end, it didn’t just clean the dirt from his body, but the cobwebs from his brain. 

 

The next morning Murphy woke up with a renewed interest. Not in dating, nor in the business of Fighting. But in the only topic anyone has ever known him to care about. Everyone has their special interest that they known in and out. Dane has his engines. Kal has his motorcycles. Vhodka has weird foods. Vincent has music and art. But Murphy, Murphy only has one interest, and like the others, he is well versed in all aspect of it. And there was a major part of his that he had entirely overlooked. It was the same as Dane not making sure there was fuel, or Vhodka not making sure to include spray cheese, or Vincent not using a guitar. Only worse. His mistake had made everyone believe he was wrong. They were convinced he was wrong, and it was time to set that right.

 

With two phone calls he arranged for two of the smartest people he knew in the way of computer thingies that he knew. Thomas Sullivan, Vincent’s wheelchair bound best friend, and Anicka Swan, an otherwise entirely busy woman with both business, and business if you get the drift. There was a third phone call to Eurich, the IT tech for Fight, but that call went straight to voicemail.

 

They told him it was a waste of time, and he swore he’d pay back that time. They told him that it didn’t make sense, he said he knew that, but had to be sure. They told him it would take days, and he told them he would wait years. That he was sure this was something of merit. And they both agreed to help. One might think they agreed to do so because of the friendship they had with Murphy, but one would be mistaken because Murphy had hardly ever talked to either. One might think they did it for Sarah, but Anicka was quite upset with her at the time for, you know, everything. And Thomas barely knew her, save for a few conversations. What was in fact the reason for both agreeing to spend their time doing anything for Sarah Wolf was the fact that Murphy, a good and upstanding person in the family, had lied through his fucking teeth.

 

He didn’t even have to really push the biggest lie possible with either of them. All he did was look at them both, and say ‘it’s for him.’

 

One thought he meant Xavier, the others thought he meant Vin, and both agreed to do it on the spot. He had another line set up in case they asked what he meant, or why ‘he’ didn’t come to them himself, but neither asked. They just went right to work, doing what they did, whatever that was, and he went back to work. On Tuesday he spent all day texting Thomas, asking for status updates. On Wednesday, he switched to Anicka. And on Thursday, he finally got the response he was looking for from Thomas. He thought he probably got four speeding tickets on the way there, but he only got 2.

 

When he arrived at Thomas’s house, he found out what he had been looking for, what he should have been looking for the entire time, was not only possible. It was real. And there was proof. He smiled knowing that this knowledge would most likely cost him everything. Because in order to make it worth anything, he would have to forsake so much. Forget training for guys like Warstein and Winterborn and Watson and White and sWan. Which i mean, its understandable that someone could get so many W names confused at least once, right? But yea, Murphy was going to have to stop worrying about all of those W’s and concentrate on the only G that mattered. And ironically, he was going to need a W to do so,