MDM – Show neh Tell

By: Murphy Doyle Maher

Date: 28th Jun 2021

Murphyís hand raised up from under the pillow and blindly slapped around the area of the nightstand. Unable to locate his phone which was making an awful racket for as early as it must be. Slamming his hand down on the end table where his wireless charging base was, he felt around for the phone but found no sign of it. Was he still asleep? How could the phone be so long, and so close, but not where he could reach? He had to make a difficult decision. He was either going to let whomever this was leave a voicemail, or he was going to have to open his eyes and actually look around the room. That was what they called Ďwaking upí and by god, Murphy was just not ready for that yet. So he dropped his hand and dangled it and the arm it was connected to off the bed. Before long the sound had faded away, and he was able to drift back into s-

Son of a bitch they called back. He wondered who in their right mind would call this early in the morning, get a voicemail, and then call back immediately? Was it even the same inconsiderate person, or perhaps was it TWO different people, with no social…what was the wordÖ.couth? To figure out that whatever time it was, was not the time to call. People were sleeping. He was sleeping. He was the aforementioned Ďpeople.í It occurred to him then and there that he was technically already awake. All that was really left was to open his eyes and roll over. But what kind of price would he pay for that? Think of all the bad days youíve ever had. All of them started with waking up. Thatís called a pattern.

With a grunt and whispered expletive, Murphy pushed his arms into the mattress and got himself up onto his knees. His eyes open but his bearings not yet about him, he searched the room for the answers to the great mysteries. Such as Ďwhere is my phone?í ĎWhat time is it?í and ĎWhy am I getting a third call at…what time is it?í Grabbing for the phone Murphy still found nothing where something, the phone, was supposed to be. Itís then that he realized that he was actually on the wrong side of the bed. At some point in his sleep, heíd tossed and/or turned and ended up where Sarah had been sleeping for the small amount of time that Sarah slept. Even before all that happened, she was in bed late and up early. She had that thing where she loved her job and couldnít wait to get back to it. Weirdo.

Spinning on his knees, he flopped down onto the bed and reached into the drawer of their captains bed. Pulling out a pair of socks, then a shirt, and then a bandana, he finally found his phone. Looking at the 3 missed calls from one Kal Wolf, he took a second to gain his composure before he answered the 4th one that would be incoming any second. Sitting up, he placed a butterfly beret into his hair to keep it from his eyes, and stood up. Dragging ass into the kitchen at the kind of speed one expects a zombie to be capable of, and not a full grown man who exercises. I meanÖíexercises.í

His mug with the name Ďbillyí on it was left on the counter, next to a container of instant coffee. Having spent most of his adult life in jail, he had become accustomed to the taste of Folgers, despite having access to truly advanced forms of caffeine. Such as Maxwell House, and the kind that has the nuts and is chock full of them. No sooner than he hit the button on the electric kettle did that expect 4th phone call come through. Still the same caller, still the same angry ringtone. Not that ringtones have emotions, but they do and we all know it. Swiping the green button, he hits the speaker function and prepares himself for the inevitable need for the mutue function.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Kalvin sans hobbes, what can I do ya for?

Kal Wolf
I need you to fucking come to my place. I got something for you and time is not on our fucking side.

Murphy wanted to sing Ďyes it isssssíÖbut was stopped by his growing dread of traveling all the way to Parts quasi-known. He was still comfortable in his pajamas. Traveling was not comforting to him. In fact, as far as heights went, he was as friendly toward them as he was toward most other people. Not very but also not mean, No reason for that.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Kal, Forgive me, but Iím not in teh spirits to be getting there from here, or versa vice. Iíve got plans today that involve doing little to nothing atíll. And doing something like that, or something at all, Ďs just gonna get in teh way of an otherwise successful endeavor, eh?

Kal Wolf
I get it. But itís important. I wouldíve come to you but you told me no more surprise visits.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Well, yeah but if itís this important I donít see why-..yeh here already, arenít yeh?

Kal Wolf
I am. Come outside.

Murphy Doyle Maher
fookin Ďell. Coming.

Murphy swiped the call away, or thought he did, and grabbed the cup of folgers. Throwing it down his throat, and shooting it out immediately into the sink, he cough and choked as hot water came out of his nose, tears came from his eyes, and a cloud of unstirred, unabsorbed folger crystals exploded into the air. As he wretched from the crystals burning into his esophagus, he could hear the laughter coming from the phone, as well as the window that Kal was standing in, witnessing his misery first hand.

Kal Wolf was many things to many people, but to Murphy Doyle Maher, he was most, if not more. Having plucked him from juvenile hall, and given him a purpose in life, Kal had made a difference when everyone else in his life were indifferent at best. And when he went to jail for 5 years, and ended up doing 10, for manslaughter, Kal made sure to put money away for him. Money that ended up being more useful to the people who he left behind than the man it was intended for.

Itís these reasons that Murphy asks no questions, and throws on a sweater before heading out into the Minnesota air. Kal sat at the patio table, eating spring rolls from a white chinese food container. He silently offers one as Murphy sits down, bits of Folgers crystals still remaining in his beard. Kal reaches into a bag at his feet, and slides a very large gathering of papers toward Murphy, nodding at it to silently suggest reading it.

Murphy Doyle Maher
whatís it, then?

Kal Wolf
It’s a contract. For OPW.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Oddly enough, and correct me if Ďm wrong, but I donít think theyíre hiring.

Kal Wolf
Not what I heard.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Right, and whatíd you hear?

Kal Wolf
Nothing compared to what I saw.

Murphy Doyle Maher
jaysus fooking chest, whatíre ya on about?

Kal Wolf
I was at the HQ. I watched as people packed up their desks. They didnít just take their belongings, Murp. They took their paperwork. Their files. They put them in boxes and shit was well organized. This isnít the behavior of people who just lost their job. Itís the behavior of people who are being transferred.

Murphy Doyle Maher
So why hire me?

Kal Wolf
Two Reasons. One, you are literally the only person in this business I can trust anymore. The ingrates have turned, Sarah is…well…But you. I can trust you. Dane, too. But He canít be my man inside alone. So I want you in what it is thatís coming. Representing the Pack the way the ingrates wonít.

Murphy Doyle Maher
They arenít going to be nice that you hired me days before being…are you fired?

Kal Wolf
Yea, Michelle too. But she was given a contract to fight. She told me herself. I wasnít offered. Something about not being able to pass the physical. But I also found out that she hired someone. Her last act as a GM. Canít figure who. But it gave me the idea..

Murphy Doyle Maher
…and what if they fire my arse the second they feel they should? What does that solve?

Kal Wolf
Simple. They fire you, they have to pay you the sum of your fucking contract. As stated with-fucking-in. And when they fire you, the person who signs your pink slip, will be the person who I go after for fucking with me. Either way. Win-win.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Save for me, who itís lose-lose. Or is it Lose-Lose-Lose? How many of us are actually in this place for me to be going teh war with?

Kal Wolf
You worried about my brothers? You a coward now?

Murphy Doyle Maher
No, Kal. Iím worried about your brothers because Iím not fookin stupid. Xavier is at the top of his game with no signs Ďh stopping. And Vin? Vin has been laying low for a reason. Itís only a matter Ďh time before he jumps ta his feet. I ainít planning on being the toes he lands on.

Kal Wolf
Murph. Sign it. Get back at it. If anything you can leverage it for another company on this miserable side of the country. But youíre going to do this for me. Because Iíve never asked for anything from you.

Says the only person whoís ever asked for anything. But Murphy realizes that the man did help save the life of his daughters mother, and for all he did, Murphy repaid him by snogging his sister right after.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Fine. But I nae goní like it. Daneíll fookin love it, but I ainít goní like it.

Kal Wolf
Relax. It probably wonít even be a fucking thing. Theyíll probably just fucking like, pay you and drop it. Look at it like free fucking money. Everyone likes free fucking money.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Thereís no such tíing as free money.

Kal Wolf
What about the money I put away for you while you were in jail?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Canít really refer to that as free, considering if yew hadnít done that, Iíd not have to do this.

Kal Wolf
Murph. Please. This isnít just about…Itís about my legacy.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Yeah, yeah. Because it isnít set in fookin stone aíready. Gimme the pen already.

Kal Wolf
Ok, I promised Bats Iíd not say shit, but you do know youíre itching for a fucking fight, right?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Me? Not even a slight amount, not even a smidge.

Kal Wolf
I heard about the Shoprite story.

Murphy was only confused for a second before he remembered his recent trip to Shoprite for some canned goods. For some reason, Murphy could not buy canned foods anywhere from Shoprite. He didnít know why this was, or how it came to be, but something about Shoprite felt like thatís the place you get your canned goods. He had filled up one of the little hand baskets with preciously 13 cans of Progressoís Minestrone soup, roundly regarded as the best canned soup known to man. Some might disagree and point out that Chunky makes a good minestrone but based on availability of said soup, Progresso wins. Chunky has set its sights on the less traditional soups, such as CHeeseburger, and Pizza rolls, where Progresso delivers a good traditional soup that you can actually find, and enjoy.

Stepping up to the self check out, Murphy had just put his basket down, when a gentleman clutching a bag of hot dog rolls and mustard quickly steps up in line, and grunts when he sees the amount of soup Murphy has to ring up. Murphy locks eyes on him, and begins to scan the soups, one by one. Carefully placing them on the conveyor belt, never taking his eyes off the man. A worker approaches Murphy, and asks if since itís all the same soup, would he want to have them rung up as a whole, rather than piecemeal. Which Murphy, still locked on Mustard/Buns replies ĎNot even a little bit. Not even at all. One at a time will do just fine.” To which Mustard/Buns huffs and walks to a different check out. Murphy, still ringing up his soup, calls after him ĎAW YOU CANíT WAIT JUST 9 MORE TIMES!? IíM ONLY BUYING SOUP WHEN YOURE HERE FROM NOW ON. LETS EXCHANGE NUMBERS!í

Murphy Doyle Maher
That wasnít me looking for a fight. That was a different situation all together, He did me wrong. See, people only usually do that in the car. You know, the light turns green and they honk 1.5 seconds Ďfter. Not supposed to do that in person. In person I can grab you and give you a good throttle for yo-Ok maybe I am itching just a teeny tiny bit.

Kal Wolf
We scratch those itches. Now sign.

One week later and Murphy is washing Sarahís Harley, when he gets a phone call. The call was automated, the details concise. Be in NYC at this address by this date. Be prepared to fight. And that was it. And then the email came. The confirmation that this first night of whatever was going to be the largest free-for-all anyone had ever seen. The list of names in this thing was the entire roster. And not only was it the entire OPW roster, but it seemed whoever was responsible for this had also done some shopping and bought some very talented names to add to the pot of this new endeavors soup. Whether it would be Progressoís minestrone or some bastard idea of what soup is by adding a protein to a fucking liquid base, was still left to be seen. Judging by this roster and this idea, they were aiming for the latter.

He sat back on the stool and leaned his head on the large bus that shared the barn with the bikes, and found comfort in how cold it was. Of course, it was ironic that the bus itself was a remnant of the last comeback he had made, back where he first met Sahara, his biggest fan, and had cemented his friendship with Dane. This was an issue though, as far as this was concerned. Dane was on this list. Meaning Dane was a potential opponent. Which is how this business goes. Usually itís not right the fuck away, but of course, as you know, Murphyís law saysÖ

Murphy Doyle Maher
Everything you touch turns teh shit, ya know that?

Kal Wolf
Oh! Calm down. Whatís the problem?

Murphy Doyle Maher
I just got one of Ďem e-lec-tronic emails that states not only will I be fighting right off, Iím gonna be fightin pretty much every fookin person in the place. Thatís not scratching an itch, K. Thatís getting skinned.

Kal Wolf
Stop. Itís fucking fine. Itís probably a battle royal sort of thing. You can throw people over a top rope, right?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Kalvin, I ainít been in a ring but for practice in years. Get wise and realize you just signed me death warrant. Some of these names I donít even have a face teh put te. Like who the fuck is Richard Florida?

Kal Wolf
…no idea. Letís google him, hold on.

Murphy listens as the keystrokes on Kalís computer keyboard begin, with almost a full second between each strike. Murphy waits a second, his face expressing a disbelief to what he is hearing, before his mouth leaps open.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Ö.you type like old people fuck, doncha? Are you single digiting that board? Tell me you know what a home key is, please.

Kal Wolf
Shut the fuck up.

The keystrokes continue, as Murphy loses his patience, hits the speaker button, and googles the name himself. He has scrolled past several articles before speaking again.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Ok, so it turns out heís an amatuer. Only fought in F2B for a little bit.

Kal Wolf
Mother fucker I was almost there.

Murphy Doyle Maher
No, Kal. People who hit Georgia are almost in Florida. People who turn sixty three are almost at retirement age. You were on the way to the fuckin moon and were still on the god damn ground.

Kal Wolf
You know what, I was going to fucking help you with this. We could have done some back and forth shit. I say and a name and you talk about them. But fuck you, do it yourself.

Murphy Doyle Maher
First of all, that shit is such old hat Iím surprised you didnít mention the words Ďhouse showí and second, while I sure as fuck didnít get myself intah this situation, Iím glad to know youíll be useless in getting me out of it. Talk to you later.

Kal Wolf
Now Wa-

Murphy knew that whatever was to come out of Kalís mouth was going to be a rearranging of facts. Facts that he knew could be rearranged and catered to the need for them to be. He wasnít a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but Kal was as manipulative as they could get. And now Murphy was in some kind of way just because Kal had to have his. Murphy tried to go back to washing the bike. Sarah loved this thing, and she never had time to wash it anymore. Itís a hassle washing a bike, if you didnít know. But since he thought he would never see her again, it was far less a hassle than it’s ever been. He took a cloth and wiped away the beads of water from the gas tank, and saw his face in itís reflection. He also saw the form of his girlfriend enter the barn, holding two cups of coffee. Neither instant, because that was a habit she was sure he had to break.

Sarah Wolf
Looks great. Whatís it going to cost me?

Murphy Doyle Maher
This is actually payment for services already received. That thing you did with your mouth last night.

Sarah Wolf
…thing I did with…Oh you mean shut up and let you sleep?

Murphy Doyle Maher
So good.

Sarah Wolf
Funny. Whoíd you hang up on?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Yer brother. The one yeh still like, that is.

Sarah Wolf
Thank you for specifying. Can you take this, now? or?

Murphy grabbed the cup of coffee and scooted over on the stool, leaving Sarah some room to sit as well. Sitting she rests her head on his shoulder and looks the bike up and down. Her mouth curves into a smile as she observes the level of dedication heís put into it. His own bike, a few feet away, was filthy. But hers was sparkling as if it was brand new. And even thought he told her every five minutes, she could see that he loved her and it made her warmer than coffee, or a can of soup ever could.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Yeh cuddly this morning.

Sarah Wolf
My run was fantastic. You should come tomorrow. The pond is teeming with angry birds. Like a phone 7 years ago.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Donít get it.

Sarah Wolf
It was a game for phones. I forgot you were in prison.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Out of all the things you could forget about me, thatís the one I prefer.

Sarah Wolf
You did a really good job on this. Dane would be proud. I bet heíd even get a little misty.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Oddly enough that was me nickname in prison.

Sarah had a belly laugh so abrupt she spilt her coffee, his coffee, and kicked the bucket of water with her foot in a spasm of hilarity. She buried her face into his shoulder to muffle the snort that she knew was incoming, only to have him make the noise at the same time and over exaggerate it. She bites him just enough to leave a mark and make him yelp, but not quite enough to draw blood.

Sarah Wolf
Iím going to go take a shower.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Want some company?

Sarah Wolf
No, I wanna go for a ride later and you got work to do.

Murphy Doyle Maher
My bike can wait to be clean, I want teh make sure yeh are.

Sarah Wolf
Iím not letting my bike be seen with your bike, sir. Clean it or you ride bitch.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Fine, fine. Enjoy teh shower. Iíll be done with mine in about an hour or so.

Truth be told it was done in no time at all. Not because the bike wasnít filthy, it was. Murphy simply had different standards for his bike than he did for hers. His he just turned a hose toward and made sure to not soak anything that shouldnít be wet. It helped that he didnít have chrome on his bike, where as Sarahís was so chrome it looked like King Midas touched it…but like, the chrome…version?

But while he cleaned the black powder coated bike, he thought of the days behind, and the days ahead.

I frist entered this business back when I was but 17. My ma and dah moved me to from the shithole we inhabited in iríland to the states because of the options it supplied us. We could live with me grandfather and maybe not starve to death, or we could not, and do. It was difficult choice for me father to make, living with his in-law. But for this kids, heíd do practically nothing, and this made it quite easy to do even less. It wasnít long before I fell in with the wrong crowd, to be quite honest, they kinda fell in with me. See these kids were the kinda waists that got panties on Ďem, and they didnít really know what tough was. So I showed them. And then the law shoed me.

I ended up in juvie, and then one day, a guy came to talk to me. Not the biggest guy I ever done seen but about the toughest. Told me he was friend of teh family. Teh family being precisely me grandfather. Says ĎIím gonna straighten you up. Because I owes him.í I laughs and says Ďsure, ok mister white guy with dreadlocksí and forgets all Ďbouts him. Well donít you guess but 30 days later when I finally got out, dirty olí white boy was waiting fer me. Told me he had a good way for me to get my aggression out, that might reduce the amount of times I get arrested. Not wipe the chances off complete, mind you. But reduce. Though, he needed to know I had the brass bits to make it work. That I didnít just fake it to make it so to speak. He wanted to see what I had in the way Ďf spine. So I showed him. And then he showed me.

We went to this bar, and he pointed at a guy, and said Ďgo give him a little tickle right about the face area.í And I did. And this guy picked me up easy and put me down hard. Not like that ya perv. In a way more masculine, pain inducing, bone reducing, sort Ďf way. I laid there for a minute looking up at this mook with the missing eye, and thinking, am I about to get killed by a genuine cyclops? Is this a mythical land Iíve entered? And then the walking mop came over and showed me what true strength was, and then he showed six others to boot. So I got up and showed him I wasnít like the girl you took to the prom that was gonna go down easy. And then he showed me that he wasnít going down at all.

Say what ya want when ya want about the guy, But Kal Wolf can take a punch better than some of you guys take criticism. And I watched as he laid into and laid out guys bigger, stronger, and smarter…the one group heís got more of…than him time and time after. And as these moments came and went, I realized that I didnít want to be like him, I wanted to be better than him. I wanted to surpass what he was and become something greater. I was gonna prove that I was the next best, better than the rest. And I also wanted him to know he could count on me. So I showed him this. And they showed me that…

Footage of Kal Wolf being attacked by Focus in the middle of the WFNW ring plays, and shortly after the footage begins, A skinny irish kid slides under the ropes and immediately gets laid out with a single punch. The screen pauses, and dissipates.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. I thought, iíve had fights before. Itís not different. They have faces, I have a fist. How hard could it be. Well, the same way you donít go to a person on the street who calls themselves a doctor, you go to a professional one, you canít say you ever fought a real fighter until you done so against a professional one. And the boys in Focus, they sure were professional. In fact, thatís all anyone ever said about them back in the day. How professional they were. At being fucking arseholes. I was told Iíd get better, and then Iíd get good, and then Iíd get good enough. And for awhile, it seemed to be going right. But something happened. Something I canít even begin to explain how badly it change me to me core. But it took a large chunk of me life away. And iím just starting to catch up. And things, things with me are a lot different than they were. Iím not…

Listen to me, talking about how bad ass I am. Getting ready to ramble on like black better and her bambalamb. I donít want to do all that just yet. Tell ya, and talk at ya, and exclaim and so on about how Iíve not been the stringbean version for some time, and how I was about to be at the top of this game when the game came crashing down. Or how Iím coming back to prove meself to the likes of you who tried to prove I wasnít what I am, or couldnít be what I shouldíve always been. Nah, I ainít gonna tell yeh none of Ďat. Iím gonna fooking show ya.

Murphy looked at the bike before him and felt it was clean enough. He stepped back and as he did, he bumped into the bus behind him. A neon sign along the length of the bus lit up, with the letters FYA flashing quickly and constantly.

huh. Wonder why that happened.

As he came up the stairs, he could hear Sarah in the bathroom. She was talking, no yelling, and she was angry. He knocked on the door, and the door opened, and she looked at him, the phone in her hand. She pointed to it with the other hand and closed the door, to which he stood there, still naked, waiting for her to get off the phone so she could get off. Get it?

At the most inopportune time, his phone, which was in the back pocket of his discarded pants began to ring, almost exactly at the same time that hers did, which he heard from behind the bathroom door. Answering his, he gets the secretary of Jackson Wolf, asking for a meeting at the compound of parts unknown. He can hear Sarah agreeing to the other secretary of Jack for the same meeting. Sarah emerges from the bathroom, a towel over tight around her head and a black terrycloth robe around her body. She kisses Murphy on the cheek, and looks at the sadness in his eyes.

Sarah Wolf
Sorry lover. Weíll have to have that ride later. Jack wants to see me.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Us. I got teh call, te.

Sarah Wolf
Oh? Well then, maybe we can have that ride to the airport…and on the airplane.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Who were you on the phone with by the way?

Sarah Wolf
..Jack? Oh, no. New client. Theyíre terrible at promos so I was trying to help them. Iím not even taking money off this one, such a waste.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Above and beyond always, eh?

Sarah Wolf
Youíve no idea. Go take a shower. Iíll grab your stuff.

Murphy slipped into the bathroom and turned the hot water back on. Standing in the shower he watched as the water built up at the drain. Running his foot over the drain, some black bits of crud rose from the drain, and sucked back down along with the water. He shook his head as the plumbing is precisely the kind of thing you want to have concerns about right before you leave town. Of course, it wasnít the only concern he had. Somewhere between now and then, Murphy was going to have to tell his lovely girlfriend that he had indeed signed up to fight again under the promise that he wouldnít have to actually do so. Only to find out he absolutely would. He was sure sheíd be just fine about it, as what reason would she ever have to be otherwise?