By: Noelle Rivers

Writing Prompt: No

Date: 23rd Jul 2021

When I was a little girl I used to have a cat. His name was Charlie, after the withered old junkie who bestowed him unto me. You see, one day Uncle Charlie, the junkie not the cat,† showed up on our doorstep with this scared little animal, dropping him off in my arms before he placed a kiss on the top of my head and meandered to the back bedroom to shoot up with my mother.†


This might seem strange to you, but it was a normal occurrence in my house. Strange people would knock on our door and if they looked okay (meaning, if they didnít look like a cop) I would let them pass through to go visit my parents. Most of the people who I let in didnít pay me much mind, maybe a smile as they passed by or the kind of small talk you make with an already world weary six year old on your way to get your fix. Some of them were paranoid, some hostile, some pretended not to see me at all. But then there were people like Uncle Charlie who took the time to try to bring some sort of kindness to the ugly situation. When I was a little girl I thought that Uncle Charlie must do these things because he SEEs me when so many others didnít but now that Iím grown I wonder if he ever really saw me at all or if he just merely saw another face, another child, superimposed over me. I never knew much about who Uncle Charlie really was, honestly, Iím not even sure if that was really his name or just a nickname. Thatís another thing, junkies seemed to always have these absurd nicknames that never really had anything to do with their actual names. There was Cowboy and Gina Bell, Stoney, Skitzy Lisa, the Law Dog (whose last name really was actually Law I later found out) just to name a few of the standouts. Nevertheless, I never knew who Uncle Charlie really was outside of the period that he was in my life. I didnít know where he came from, if he had any family, I didnít even know how old he was though at that age he already seemed really old in my eyes.†


What I did know was that Uncle Charlie seemed to genuinely care for me as much as a transient drug addict is able to care for anyone. He would often show up to the house with a small toy for me, or one time, I remember very clearly that he took me to the store and let me pick one hundred dollars worth of toys which he then proceeded to pay for with a hot check. When Mom was on the run he also made sure that any hotel rooms we stayed in were the kind with the jacuzzi tub right there in the middle of the room so that I could go swimming while the adults did what they did in the bathroom.†


So you have to understand it wasnít at all weird that he showed up one day with this cat and handed it to me. Charlie (the cat) became the best friend a lonely kid living in an uncertain situation could have. He slept with me every night and by day I would walk him around on what I called a leash but what was in actuality a noose tied into a piece of rope by Uncle Charlie. For the better part of a year we were inseparable until one night while I was just about to drift off to sleep on the couch, one of the dope heads that had been hanging out all night stumbled through the living room of the house we were at and stepped on Charlie. More specifically, he stepped on Charlieís neck. You would think that was the end of it but Charlie didnít die right away, instead he laid there on the floor unable to move and yowling at me in what I guess was probably pain and fear. Between Charlieís desperate yowling and my high pitched crying my mother finally emerged from deeper in the house to take stock of the situation, panicking at what she found when she did finally find us. By that time it was past two am and the adult occupants of this house were all very under the influence. Through my tears I remember very specifically the fight that ensued between my mother and the man who had hurt Charlie and his defense that if she was a better mother her child and her cat wouldnít be in a place like this.†


After a bit more back and forth Charlie was placed into a box and handed to me as I sat in the backseat of a car that had mysteriously appeared earlier in the day and had a screwdriver in the steering column. The driver, the aforementioned Stoney, drove through the night for what seemed like forever – I guess looking for a veterinarian that was open at 2am but finding none. While they drove and argued all I could do was wind my fingers though Charlieís hair as he mewed up at me from inside his box. Instead of someone who could help Charlie, we eventually arrived at my paternal grandmother’s house.†


I donít remember much about what was happening around me at this time, only that my mother took me from the car and sat me on the ground to explain that Charlie was in pain and suffering. I didnít exactly understand what she meant by that word but I surmised that it was very very bad and that Charlie was very very hurt and could not be fixed. She told me that if I loved Charlie I needed to tell him goodbye and let him not be in pain anymore. Goodbye was something I was familiar with, something I understood, because it seemed it was something my mother said frequently before disappearing for a few days or weeks every so often. It meant that Charlie was leaving.†


In my young mind I weighed my fear at losing the only friend I had against the same fear that my friend was hurt and with tears rolling down my cheeks I kissed Charlie on his cheek and let him go. My mother took him from his box and laid him on the ground not far away from where I was sitting before moving off through the yard in search of something. When she finally returned to us in her hands she held a large rock from the flagstone around the garden and without a second thought of her crying daughter sitting close by, she smashed in Charlieís head.†


I havenít thought about Charlie in many many years, not until seeing the name Dark Tiger across from my own on the Venom booking. Most people look at Dark Tiger and see a good man, or a giant. But I donít see those things at all, no, when I look at Dark Tiger all I see is Charlie laying in that box and looking up at me with pleading eyes. Begging me, anyone, to put him out of his suffering.†


Dark Tiger has been suffering for a very long time, though Iím sure he would never admit that shit. You see, Dark Tiger thinks that heís some sort of big deal in the wrestling world but by my estimation it doesnít look like heís done jack shit of note in fuck all. He likes to talk like heís some hot shit veteran but, I mean, who gives a shit that youíre a veteran when all you do is fuckiní lose to people some how even more ridiculous and pathetic than you are. The funniest part is how heís conned these absolute curtain jerk idiots like Lisa Marie Ashton into following him around like heís the goddamn pied piper of rejects. The irony is that that Lisa chick spends all her time pissing and moaning about weak links when their whole fuckiní crew is made up of them. And that says something coming from me who is by all accounts a fuckiní nobody in this business who runs with a bunch of other nobodies.


I mean, fuck, the name Asher Jules carries more fear and weight than fuckiní Dark Tigerís and Asher has been at this like, what, six months? Thatís gotta be pretty fuckin embarrassing for someone old as fuck like Tony The Tiger. And seriously, whatís with the name? Dark Tiger? Did he let a computer algorithm pick that shit out? Does anyone even know the guy’s real name? Itís probably Clarence or something. So now here I am, booked to face Clarence the seven foot tall Tiger fucker. But you know what, the sad part is I ainít even sweating it. Tiger boy is bitchmade, day in and day out. I may not have the strength that he has or even the experience but what do I have? Iíve got a big fuckiní rock with his name on it.†