The Holiday Spirit
By: Shawn Warstein
Writing Prompt: Yes
Date: 3rd Dec 2021
~~**~~ Get It In ~~**~~
“Shouldn’t you be getting ready?” The black haired beauty, Kasey Winterborn, asked as she leaned out of the bathroom door. A towel covering her body and her makeup half done. Shawn laid there on the bed aimlessly staring at the ceiling.
“I told you.” Shawn rolls over to his side and perches his head upon his hand, his focus now on his better half. “It’s pointless for me to go there.“
Kasey dips back into the bathroom, but her voice still carries. “It’s not pointless Shawn. It’s an opportunity for all of us to…“
Shawn quickly cuts her off. “Opportunity for what? For all of us to get along and glandhand with the people that have been trying to take our collective heads off since day one?” A deep sigh from Shawn as he allows his head to fall flat on the mattress. His voice is muffled but still clear enough to understand. “I don’t like these people. I’m never going to like these people.“
“Shawn, you need to stop it.” Kasey’s voice is a tad bit more stern in tone. “You really need to get over yourself. Eventually you need to admit it to yourself, but you’re not a bad guy.“
“Whatever you say babe.” Shawn, much like a petulant child throws a mini tantrum and flips over onto his back. “It’s just when you’ve been perceived as such for so long, eventually it becomes fact.“
“Stop it.” Kasey once again peers around the corner of the bathroom door. “If you’re such a bad guy, why did you help me? Why would you sacrifice anything for anyone else? Just because people say something…“
“It doesn’t make it true.” He finishes her statement before she can. “As for helping you. I thought you were cute and I could get it in.“
“Really? That’s all that was?” A small eye roll from Kasey to go along with a slight scoff.
“Well no. Not only that.” A slight shrug from Shawn. “There were multiple factors for that, it just so happened that you said yes when I asked you out on a date.“
“Wouldn’t call asking me to come to Mexico with you, a date dear.” A sly smile from Kasey as she once again dips back behind the threshold. “If you would’ve waited just one more day, I might’ve said no.“
“Impossible.” Shawn said, while shooting up from the bed. “You were captivated by my cool demeanor and tough guy attitude.“
“Nah, not really.” A muffled laugh. “It wasn’t until you got me some stuff for my birthday….“
“Ohhh so materialistic reasons then?” Shawn responded quickly.
“Shut up. That’s not what I meant.” Kasey finally steps out of the bathroom completely. Towel still covering all her bits and pieces. “What it meant was. We were just acquaintances at the time, and you didn’t have to do that. Yet you did.“
“Again…” Shawn holds his hands out. “Thought I could get it in.“
“Okay. Fine. Your initial fleeting thought was that.” Kasey turns around and smiles at Shawn. “What was your second one?“
“Shut up.” Shawn responded playfully.
“Now get dressed. We don’t wanna be late.” Kasey said while dropping the towel and walking into the closet.
“You can’t just drop the towel and not let me get it in!” Shawn said while standing up from the bed and taking a few steps towards the closet.
“I can. I did. Now get dressed, as much as I love your hoodies we aren’t going into a street war. That battle has been won already.” Shuffling is heard inside the closet briefly. “I want you to wear something I can show you off in.”
“We aren’t at war, you’re right. But they sure as fuck are.“
Shawn reluctantly acquiesced to his love and got dressed for the Annual Fight NYC Holiday Party.
**~~** War **~~**
When I said we weren’t at war but y’all were. I meant that. This isn’t your ordinary war mind you. No, no, no. Now this war has become something greater than even any of you could possibly imagine.
This is the beginning of the new caste system here in Fight. We broke down the walls you put up. We stormed the front gates. We shattered everyone’s and anyone’s expectations. We did exactly what we told you we were going to do. We did so with a smile and a wink.
Not a single one of you were capable of derailing the train once it was on the tracks. You tried so valiantly and failed.
You shout from the rooftops, that you will be the one to cast The New Status Quo aside. Treat us like ants and you’re holding the magnifying glass. The problem is we overshadowed you, and your methods are as played out as they were in 2010. You keep trying.
Still waters don’t thrive. Sure they have their own ecosystem. And things can live there, but once you introduce a new dominant species. It all gets dragged down and forced to bow to the new king of the land.
The people follow me like a prophet. Just open your eyes. No one was clamoring to get into OPW. People weren’t knocking down the doors at Fight Tower, until…
I walked through the doors.
Now you’re all facing stiffer competition. Fighting for air time, inside your own little bubble. It’s not my fault that not a single one have the balls to go toe to toe with anyone that follows me after I part the roster like it’s the Red Sea.
You’re fighting for your lives.
And it’s your fault.
You’re weak. You’re fragile. Since the people of this place seem to be stuck in decades past. I’ll say it in terms you can understand.
You hate us, because you ain’t us.
You may be fighting a war, but I’m always at war. Ready for your pathetic attempts to take us down a peg. And even then, one peg doesn’t dismantle the NSQ.
One peg means we come back full force and take everything you hold near and dear to your hearts. Dickie may be the Empire Champion, and we may have the Island Titles. But now I’ve got my eyes set on a slightly loftier goal.
The Soul of Fight NYC.
~~**~~ Revelations ~~**~~
Shawn, as reluctant as he was, opens the door to the penthouse at the top of Fight Tower and allows Kasey to walk in first. A long black dress, with a slit up the thigh and high heels to match. Shawn, at the behest of Kasey, is wearing a black suit with grey pinstripes, and of course a pair of Jordans. The duo looks around the room and notices Dickie off to the side talking to some people, James and Betsy dancing in the middle of the room, and Aiden face deep in a beer.
Shawn shakes his head. “Why are we here again?“
“To play nice with the other children.” Kasey said smiling. “Now come dance with me.”
“Can I go to the bar first?” Shawn said while slightly pulling his lovely date towards the bar.
“You know I can’t dance for shit until I’ve had a few.” He continues to tug her towards the bar.
“I’m aware.” She releases his hand, as he starts walking towards the bar. “Just don’t overdo it, and play nice.“
Shawn grabs her hand and kisses the backside of it. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
“Mmhmm.” The look of disbelief was present in Kasey’s face. “Just find me when you’re done.“
Shawn walks past a few people, knocking into several of them as he makes his way to the bar. After a brief pause he gets the attention of the bartender. “Bourbon. Neat. None of that low end shit. Aged 25 years minimum or don’t bother.“
A silhouette approaches on Shawn’s Right side.
“25 years? Someone is robbing the cradle.“
Shawn turns his attention to the woman and sees Sahara. “What in the fresh hell is this?“
“I believe it’s called an open bar.” With just her eyes, she looked Shawn up and down as she slid her empty glass toward the bartender. “Don’t you look yummy tonight…“
Shawn looks at Sahara with a puzzled expression on his face. “Open bar yes, open mouth no. Close it girly, people will start to get the wrong impression of you.“
She let out a little laugh, “Oh, I think that ship has sailed. Not that I care. So, Shawn–” She said his name with a bit of unnecessary emphasis. “Where’s the rest of your little get along gang?“
“Around.” Shawn takes a sip from his glass and begins swirling it in the air. “Where’s your new lap dog?“
Sahara laughed, “Which one? This whole fuckin’ room is my lapdog. Well, except maybe your little crew.” She reached out and picked up her refreshed vodka and tonic and took a sip. “Kinda a shame though, watchin’ you take a back seat to boring ass Dickie…biding your time?“
Shawn scratches his temple and sets the glass down. Turning his body towards Sahara. “Back seat? Oh dear you poor misinformed lady. Better to be biding my time that will come, rather than sitting there hoping it will one day come.” Shawn leans toward slightly. “Let me tell you a little secret…” Shawn cautiously looks around before once again facing Sahara. “You were right. You know about us hoarding the cash. Suffocating the market, so we can bid on anything we choose. Even with you shouting it out… no one listened. And now it’s already too late.” Shawn grabs his glass and holds it up. “Cheers. You all lost again.“
“Tell me somethin’ I don’t already know.” Sahara took another sip of her drink and smiled. “I already told ’em all. I ain’t playin’ Paul Revere for these fools forever. I ain’t gonna be runnin’ these halls screaming the NSQ is coming! The NSQ is coming! Like you said, nobody’s gonna listen to me anyway…” Shifting her body, she leaned against the bar and looked at Shawn with a sly little smile. “But you got one thing wrong. It ain’t ‘us’ that lost. We all lost. Including you, Shawn. You just can’t see it yet. The NSQ can already control this place for the next three seasons if my primitive blonde math is correct. So it’s the fans that are gonna lose. And then this place is gonna die of boredom. Cuz Dickie Watson is about as interesting as watching grass grow. And not the good kinda grass. They want you at the top, Shawn. You. And they want someone like me to try to stake your ass to the wall. Whether I can or not? Who knows. But that’s what they wanna see. It’s too bad you’re too much of a pussy to drop this bullshit facade about your little crew to take the fuckin’ reins. So we’re gonna end up with more Dickie vs Dane snoozefests–”
“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Shawn rattles his glass towards the bartender and sets it down. “As for you staking my ass to the wall? Better have tried. Better have failed. I look forward to your upcoming disappointment.” The bartender fills the glass and walks away. Shawn grabs it and toasts towards Sahara. “Until that day. Salud.“
Not getting the rise out of Shawn that she expected, Sahara mockingly toasts back with a glare that most men would shiver towards. Shawn threw her a wink and turned away from his fellow Chicago native. Shawn notices Aiden and Dane Preston getting along, and sees Dickie with a watchful eye over them. Also Brandon Moore has arrived, sulken as usual.
**~~** Here We Go… **~~**
How many times must we go over this? How many times do I have to prove to you, Brandon, that you are nothing more than a stain on this industry? Everything you’re doing right now?
Was done in 2003.
Everything you think is cutting edge.
Was done in 2008.
You’re not and have never been anything special. You are someone who comes into conversations that are way above his pay grade. A person who exudes pure confidence, and somehow fails. Time and time again. Over and over.
It’s pathetic really.
You seem to think that I give a single fuck about you anymore. I don’t. I’m not worried about you. All of your threats are nothing more than idle chatter at this point. You whine and whine and complain.
Let’s get one thing absolutely certain. You are not on my level. You never have been. You’re never going to be.
Not only have you lost to me. Not only have you lost the NSQ. You fucking lost to Chris Page. A guy that is like twenty years your senior, on the last legs of his career. And you pissed down your leg.
A loss to a man that I’ve never lost to in singles competition, doesn’t make me fear you any more. Maybe your hiatus should’ve lasted longer. That way people would possibly forget that your failures are your own. You think you’re using them as motivation, when the harsh reality is, it’s making you look weak. Sad really. Watching the big bad wolf turn into a harmless Pomeranian.
It makes me feel bad for you.
For your family.
~~**~~ House Of M ~~**~~
Shawn is still leaning against the bar top, nearly empty glass of bourbon in his hand as he swirls it around.
Zoned out in his own world, Shawn doesn’t notice the “intrusion” to his left. Slowly he turns his head and sees Michelle Moore. A devious yet unassuming smile on her face.
“Oh god, what now?” Warstein says towards her.
She steps up to the bar and sets her empty glass down, waiting for the bartender to make his way back over.
“Is that really how you greet a lady?” She says to him with a smirk.
“When one shows up I’ll let you know.” Shawn returns the smirk with one of his own. “But I guess since you’re here, what’s your poison? This guy makes a mean Sex on the Beach I hear.“
“Aren’t you just so funny?” She said, rolling her eyes very dramatically. “Not really in the mood for sex on the beach though, thanks for the offer. I will, however, take a Jack and coke.“
“The fuck you telling me for?” Shawn grabs the bartender’s attention. “The whor…. Lady would like a Jack and Coke.” He nods and gets to work on making the drink as Shawn turns towards Michelle. “So tell me, there had to be a reason why you came over here. So just out with it already.“
“To be honest, I didn’t even see you sitting there until you turned your head and spoke.” She shrugs her shoulders. “I really came over here to get another drink, I’m trying to make these people a little less boring but I’m starting to think, no amount of alcohol is gonna make that possible.“
Shawn chuckles to himself. “Well you’re not wrong there. Most of these people couldn’t garner my attention if they were screaming in my face.” He holds up his glass and waves it at the bartender. “Let’s play a quick game. It’s called ‘Who is that?’ I point someone out and you guess. And vice versa. Ready?“
She grabs up the glass that the bartender sat down for her and takes a sip before nodding at what he said. “I’m down.“
Shawn surveys the room before zeroing in on the random person in the corner. A gentleman who could be seen as handsome in some circles, but clearly Shawn doesn’t see it. They are by themselves, not talking to anyone and generally being unnoticed by anyone. “Him. Who is that tall drink of water right there?“
She stares out in the direction Shawn was looking, trying to figure out who the hell he was looking at.
“Tall drink of water? What does that even mean?” She said, still unsure of what or even who he was talking about. “All I see is a bunch of losers who couldn’t win a spelling bee..“
“Tall drink of….” Befuddled Shawn gives Michelle a slight side eye. “How do you not… you know what it doesn’t matter. I was pointing to Dane. See?” Shawn points at the guy who clearly isn’t Dane. “See the ring on his finger? Clearly his wife is out banging other dudes. Also notice how no ladies are around him? It’s that overwhelming stench of failure. As for the spelling bee, I’m not sure Dane passed the fifth grade so you are probably right on that one.” Shawn finishes his drink and sets the glass down on the bar. “Okay House of Wax, you’re up, who ya got for me?“
“House of Wax? Really?” She put her free hand up onto her hip. “I don’t know why I expected a little more from you, that insult was, kinda like the movie and your career, you know a ‘D’ at best.” She took another swig from the glass while glancing around the room. “Okay, I got one. Over there.” She pointed off over into the crowd, dancing close to where the DJ was playing and most definitely trying to have all eyes on her. “Who do you think that is?“
Shawn rubs his chin for a moment, squints and shrugs. “I dunno I could be anyone capable of beating Brandon. Like that person.” Shawn points to a busboy carrying a tray of empty glasses. “Or them.” Shawn points to a random security officer. “Or her.” He points to a blonde dry heaving in a garbage can. “Pretty sure that’s Sahara, but the point remains the same. Everyone is looking at her, and no one is looking at your man anymore.” Shawn turns around and points to his empty glass. “Listen Michelle, you’re alright. I don’t have anything bad to say about you, but when you go home tonight. Hold baby Ezra extra close. Tell him Godfather Shawn is going to make sure daddy spends much more time at home. That he’s going to make his last hissy fit where he left and had to find himself, stick…Permanently. Can ya do that for me? Or are the instructions too difficult to understand?” Michelle stares blankly at Shawn. Clearly upset over one of the many things he’s said. As is usual with him, an arrogant smile smeared across his face, as he picked up his drink and toasts in the air. Shawn walks down to the other end of the bar paying no attention to Michelle.
**~~** The Man In The Mirror **~~**
Then there’s pretty boy Dane.
Honestly I don’t see what Aiden sees. You’re nothing more than a copy paste of any other man on the planet that claims to be….
But you’re not, are you? So much drama follows you around like a bad stench. Notice how during any of my relationships, there were never any questions. Looking for a way out weren’t you? Of course you were.
“I was taken advantage of!”
It takes two to tango killer. That’s the difference. I have many friends who would suspect things have happened, but unlike you and your brood.
I’ve got morals.
I’ve got self confidence.
I don’t need to stick my dick in everything that moves to prove that I can. You’re fucking married for Christ sake and still you put your dip stick in in a different oil tank. Like what kind of man, who claims to love someone and then does that?
How many times are people going to bring it up?
Once a piece of shit, always a piece of shit. I don’t give a fuck if you think you’re turning a over new leaf. I don’t care that you are bettering yourself. A cheetah can’t change their spots.
Notice the double?
Of course you didn’t. You’re too fucking stupid.
I know you’re just licking your chops at the thought of you being the Empire Champion, but again it’s just a thought isn’t it?
You need to manifest it into reality.
You need to tell yourself that you’re better than Dickie. Look deep into the mirror, and find that man. Find the man capable of beating Watson. Then realize that…
He’s just not looking back at you in the mirror.
~~**~~ Let’s Have a Scrap ~~**~~
Shawn sets down his glass on the bar top and turns towards the rest of the gathering. Elbows leaning up against the top he scopes out the room. Kasey had joined Betsy in dancing, Raven was nowhere to be seen and then something curious caught his eye. Dane and Dickie, being cordial. ‘Not on my watch’ He thought to himself.
Shawn takes his suit coat off and drapes it over the edge of a chair and approaches the two men. Cutting in between them. “Yo Dickie, why are you talking to this waste of oxygen? He doesn’t even realize he’s in this match because WE allowed it.” Shawn smirks towards Dane.
Dane’s reply was quick. “That’s cute, considering the only reason you even have the Islands titles is because my wife and I allowed it. If we had wanted to remain a team with that toxic POS Montuori, we’d still be rocking those straps. And, if you call pussing out from bidding to face Dickie you guys allowing me to be in this match, you’ve got a really distorted view of things.“
Shawn balls his fist ready to strike when Dickie gets between them. “Listen, we are all supposed to be having a good time right now.” Dickie turns towards Shawn. “That means you too.“
Just then out of the crowd comes Brandon Moore. With a look of fire in his eyes. Shawn waits for Brandon to be within earshot. “Hey Brandon, how’s my godson? I mean after I’ve made you look even more pathetic than usual, it’s the least you could give me. Considering I’ve taken everything else of merit from you.“
“And yet, here I still am with my dick in hand jerkin’ in y’all general direction. I’d think I was hot shit too if I slayed beasts who weren’t at full power. Heard your ass was better than that. Shame on your name.” Brandon responds as Shawn simply rolls his eyes.
Then with a small chuckle to himself, Shawn elbows Dickie. “Lowering yourself to the competition? Sounds like a Moore, talks like a Moore. Still pathetic, anything more?“
“I’ll slap your whore and sell her to the lowest bidder. Calling someone pathetically incorrect what the fuck is this even about any more? I’ll tell ya. But then I’ll have to kill ya, and I don’t wanna do that to ya. But I will. And by golly little buddy, what a thrill it is to be back in the thralls of the kill. Mangle and tip tap two step tango until everybody inevitably asks where did that loser man go? Welp, he’s just out there slaying the slats of the punks he leaves laying on their backs on the mats. And wherever else the talkin’ But not walkin’ fools be at. What? Fuck. I forgot the plot. Oh well though. I suck anyway.” The entire time Brandon was going on his ridiculous monologue Shawn held his hand up and feigned talking with it, which drew even more ire from Moore.
“Talk talk talk. That’s all you’re good for anymore. Why don’t you go back on Twitter and wax poetic. Woe is me. I’m useless. I’ll kill you. Weak threats, from a weaker individual.” Shawn takes a step towards Brandon but Dickie places a hand on his chest, and as Brandon advances on Shawn, Dane holds him back.
Brandon stares daggers at Shawn and is met with a wink and side smile. “And yet he can’t keep my name outta his mouth ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. Woo wee, give me all that sympathy. Come one and come all. Maggot, please.” Brandon takes Danes hand off of his chest and takes a deep breath.
“You get no sympathy from the devil. You get no clout from the world around you. I shattered your bubble, made you insignificant and it kills you that you aren’t what you once were. This isn’t hypothetical. These are facts.” Shawn callously knocks Dickie’s hand from his chest. The four men stare at each other, cooler heads seemingly prevailing. Dane talking down Moore and Dickie trying to pull Shawn away.
“Hey Dane!” Shawn yells at Preston who turns around and takes a few steps towards Shawn. “Wow this is new…Dane cucking someone else. First time for everyth—“
Before Shawn could even finish Dane had rocked Shawn’s jaw. He stumbles backwards into Dickie, who holds him upright. Shawn grabs his jaw and spits a small amount of blood onto the floor. “Here we go…“
Shawn rushes at Dane and tries to take him down with a double leg, Dane axe handles Shawn in the spine but it doesn’t stop Shawn from driving Preston into the bar. Dane grabs Shawn by the shoulders and begins driving knees into his chest. Dane uses all of his weight and drives Shawn onto the floor and begins choking him out. Shawn’s arms flail in the air. Wondering where Dickie is in all of this, it seems as if he was preoccupied with Brandon who took it upon himself to go after Watson.
Shawn frantically searches the ground for something… anything. Resorting to grabbing Dane by the back of the head and repeatedly jamming the top of his skull into the jaw of Preston. Doing this Shawn was able to pry Preston’s hands apart and release the hold. The two men scramble on the ground for a bit more before security and several members of the roster peel them apart. Blood trickled down Shawn’s face from a cut above his eyebrow.
Shawn tries to escape their grasp but there were too many of them. Shawn is dragged out a side door, fighting every step of the way. He is shoved back and that’s when Dickie was soon to follow. Then the rest of NSQ walked in behind them. Raven talking to the guard about how they would handle it.
“Where the fuck were you Dickie?!?” Shawn begins dabbing the blood from his face.
“Do you have any idea….” Dickie starts but is cut off by Shawn.
“If you didn’t….” The favor was returned.
“If I didn’t, what? Stop you? Dammit Shawn!” A clearly frustrated Dickie turns to the group. “Can you give us a minute?” Confused, the four of them begrudgingly walk out of the hallway. Dickie turns towards Shawn. “We need to talk.“
**~~** House of W & Broken Men **~~**
So here we finally are. The end of our journey. We each sit here hoping that we will come out on top. Salivating at the opportunity to get our hands on the other.
Well except for maybe Dane and Dickie. Those two want to keep it somewhat cordial.
Dane, I’m here for one reason only. One sole inherent purpose. To kick your fucking head off, stake it on a pike, and let it be a warning to the rest of the roster.
Don’t Fuck With
This is our playground. It’s much akin to the teenagers showing up. The bigger, badder and meaner kids stake their claim, only watch all the little kids flee. Running towards their mommies and daddies.
“Mommy, the big kids are here!”
“They are so mean!”
“I can’t possibly beat them all by myself!”
And your mom will look at you for what you are. A little bitch. You were thought to be challenging. You were supposed to bring balance to Fight. Yet,like you have so many times before, you have failed. Time and time again.
All you’ve managed to do is bring NSQ closer. There are cracks to be exposed, but not a single one of you is smart enough to look at the board and put the pieces together.
But of course management has decided that AGAIN I have to show the world that Brandon Moore is nothing to me.
Word of advice Brandon. Stop swinging out of your weight class. I’m not like everyone else you’ve ever faced before. I’m a differ breed. You said that I picked on someone who wasn’t at full strength? You picked the fight. Maybe you shouldn’t go into war half cocked and without a plan.
Maybe you should use that lump three feet above your ass for more than holding a stupid fucking mask over your face and think. Even if for just one moment and ponder this question.
What makes you think I don’t have another gear? What makes you think that what you’ve seen is me at my full potential? If you weren’t prepared for me like that, what the fuck makes you think you want me at my absolute best?
Take a small bit of advice from me. I know, I’m a maggot. I’m the dirt under your shoe. Blah Blah Blah. Just listen for once in your miserable existence.
You need to pick fights with people who are more your speed. You know, like the Bam Miller’s of the world. Or Graham Cla[redacted]. You know people you have a chance to beat but it isn’t quite the foregone conclusion you had once thought.
I took the ‘House of M’ and turned that miserable dump into the ‘House Of W’, make sure you take your shoes off before walking on my carpet.
No one is tuning in to watch Dane and Brandon team up. Everyone is watching, waiting with palpable anticipation. Hanging on every last breath. Sitting on the edge of their seats.
Only not for what you’re going to do.
But for what I Do Next.