By: Tara Fenix

Writing Prompt: No

Date: 1st Apr 2022

February 08, 2022
Hartford, CT

Tara sits on the edge of her bed in the pitch black bedroom; her hands grip the edge of the bed while her eyes stare toward the carpet, and she places her feet onto the floor. Center… Tara thinks to herself. She keeps her eyes open throughout the ordeal. You have to focus on something, she tells herself, and breathes heavily but is trying to control her breathing. Her hands grip a bit tighter, and she holds for several seconds…until the alarm clock begins to blare. Along with the sound of the alarm came a clear mind. Tara releases the grip she had on the bed, and takes one final deep breath before resuming normal breathing, and she leans forward to take the phone and shut the alarm off.

Time to get started, Tara says again to herself as a self-motivation, but takes a moment to type a message into her phone to her eldest son, Sabin; he was already known in the industry and had a match that he, too, had to prepare for against Dean Harper, Tara’s stepson, at the Denzel Porter Invitational. 

She finally does stand up, but she could feel her legs already giving out from under her so she leans against the bed to keep herself supported, and the feeling does go away rather quickly.

It only takes Tara a couple of minutes to change into her gear, and as she heads for the door, she stops momentarily while placing a hand on the doorframe and the other against her head. “Whew–” she says aloud, and shakes her head in an attempt to regain her bearings. When she does, she presses herself forward. I just need some coffee… Tara thinks to herself, and then wanders throughout the house and is turning the lights off to give life to the home! She was up before the sun on most days, and today was no different. The rest of the morning was rather uneventful. The kitchen is the final room that she goes to, and immediately to the coffee pot where a fresh pot already waits for her. Thank the maker of the alarm clock setting on coffee machines! She is hardly able to stomach her morning coffee, so opts to go to the gym.

“Good morning,” Tara says as she props the door open to the home gym. She flicks the light switch bringing light to the room, and she takes her first step inside and surveys the room as if to figure out where she would start, but with that first step came the sensation: the room was spinning. Tara reaches for the closest object to her to attempt to regain her balance, Why is everything spinning? She asks herself, and her hands are scrambling for something– anything– to steady herself.

Focus on something– focus on something– Tara continuously tells herself. It was like a rollercoaster: closing your eyes would only make the tossing and turning worse. Focus– she thinks one more time before trailing away, and then everything went black.

“Are you sure?” Tara asks.

Following her collapse, Tara had woken up inside of a private hospital room. Doctor Schaaf is the doctor who was tending to Tara; he was another professional who had become friends with Tara over the years of her in the business. He was the one that she trusted with all of her medical needs. The rhythmic beeping from the EKG machine stands out amongst the room that is suddenly quiet…until the doctor finally answers, “I’m positive, Tara,” he says, and now time seems to stand absolutely still. Tara just has a blank look on her face; she is staring forward with millions of thoughts flooding her mind.

The door swings open, and Seth Evans enters the room. He was Tara’s first pupil to enter the ring, but he has since moved on to sitting behind a desk and doing administration work at the Imperial Wrestling Federation, but he was still not afraid to get his hands dirty inside of the ring. He is a close family friend to the Docherty family. His voice penetrates the tension that has filled the room, “How are you feeling?” Seth asks, but he gets no response from Tara whilst she is still not focused on anything in particular.

“Good morning, Seth,” Doctor Schaaf says, and extends his hand, “Always great to see you.”

“Good morning, Victor,” Seth says with a genuine smile, and shakes his hand. He does not stop there, though, and continues toward his friend and trainer, Tara, as she still has not noticed that Seth has even entered the room; he stands in front of her and waves his hand several times, “Earth to Tara. Come in, Tara!” Seth says with some enthusiasm.

Tara blinks her eyes several times, finally getting out of the dream world that she was lost in. She smiles at him and sighs, “Good morning. I didn’t know you were coming by,” Tara says while Seth leans in and greets her with a la bise.

“I heard about the fall and was on the first flight here. How are you feeling?” Seth asks.

Tara shrugs her shoulders and cannot help but snicker over the fact that she was stuck in a hospital bed first thing in the morning, and all the people that were undoubtedly concerned for her wellbeing, “I’m great! Victor was just saying that I should probably take it easy for a little bit…said that my recent string of matches just got to me, and to slow down. All that stress–” Tara says while rolling her eyes at the end.

“You do push yourself a bit too hard at times,” Seth confirms, “You really do need to sit back every so often and let someone else take the reins. You don’t have to do everything. You could even give Jennie–” Seth is starting to say, but Tara cuts him off.

“No,” Tara says sternly.

“Tara, you know that she cares about you… They said that–” Seth hesitates when he considers Tara’s reaction to the mentioning of Jennie. Seth zones out. He knew about the report; they had seen the vehicle that she had fled in that belonged to Thaddeus Duke, and he knew that it was outside of the Docherty property. Seth draws in a deep breath and chooses to keep that information to himself, “You know that if she hears you’re in the hospital, she would be here in a heartbeat to make sure that you are doing okay.” Seth says. 

Tara looks away from Seth while shaking her head. After the last time that she and Jennie had been together, she did not know how to handle the situation… Jennie had wanted to get a little bit of freedom from Tara, and even went so far as to proclaim Tara as overbearing. It stung.

Tara shakes her head again, “Maybe one day, Seth, but I think she needs more time before coming around… She wants to prove herself, and I don’t want to stop her.”

Seth nods his head. “Alright,” he says, and then points toward the door, “Sabin– Dean– Ashley, and Warren– they’re all out there. I’m sure that they would like to see you. Do you want me to send them in?”

“No!” Tara shouts, saying it louder than she intended, so she clears her throat, “I mean– no. I just– I need to talk to Dr. Schaaf first, and then I– I’ll call them. Just please, tell them I’m okay, and tell them to go home,” Tara says and finishes with a nod.

Seth nods his understanding and walks out of the room. The moment the door closes all of the way, Doctor Schaaf steps forward, “I said no such thing,” he says with a chuckle.

“Are you going to tell him differently?” Tara asks while cocking her head to the side.

“It’s not my place,” he answers, while dropping eye contact away from her and looking down. He shuffles his feet a bit nervously, and tilts his head to give off an impression of his own remiss, “I do not believe that your in ring ability at this stage is going to be drastically hindered, for now; however, I do want to have you start seeing me weekly for a check-up… It is–” Dr. Schaaf bobs his head back and forth as if to weigh the options, “–a little bit early to begin with weekly check-ups, but in your line of work, I do believe that this is for the best. Let’s just call them safety measures, yeah? And I do know that you like to maintain your privacy, so I can make some house calls for you, or go with you at times.” Dr. Schaaf says and gives a weak smile.

“Yeah, I would rather that we keep all of this between us…” Tara says.

“How long do you think you can hide it for?” he asks in retaliation.

“I–” Tara stutters, and snorts out a short laughter under her breath, “I don’t know.”

Tara lies her head down on the hospital bed, and just looks upward for several lingering seconds until she closes her eyes… She lets out a sigh, one that was riddled with content; disbelief, but a certain joy hidden behind that single sigh. I was wrong– she thinks to herself, And this is one time that I really don’t mind.

April 04, 2022
Hartford, CT

Today was the day that Tara would fly to Nashville to do something that she has been waiting to do since the year began: she was going to put her sister in her place. She knew that there were people within the industry that did not understand what was racing through Tara’s mind for this particular incident… They did not understand why Tara had to establish her dominance. Jennie was not just Tara’s sister; she was her student…she was part of her legacy, and Tara could not help but feel that Jennie damaged her legacy with her recent failures. 

A new day… Tara thinks to herself while sitting on the front porch, swinging gently back and forth; beside her is Angel and she has her head leaning against his shoulder, and their hands interlocked, while both of them look toward the sunrise. The sunrise is just beginning; a red hue comes along with it.

A premonition… Tara thought to herself while sitting beside Angel, and she clasps his hand a little tighter. Is this for me? Is this for her? Tara continues to ask herself while knowing that the red sun was sometimes viewed traditionally as a bad omen; it clicks in her mind right away…something was going to happen at Venom between her and her sister. But what? Despite the reddened sky, it was the perfect morning.

“My love,” Angel finally breaks the silence between them, “Something is bothering you.” He says in a manner that she knows he is not asking; he knows that something is wrong.

Tara does not move her head, but sighs, “I just– I want to get tonight over with. I want to get this fight over with, and then– maybe things will go back to normal. Maybe she and I can be sisters again.” Tara finally does pull herself away to straighten her posture,  “–I do have to tell you something. Something important, but after my match tonight.”

“Focus… Whatever it is that you need to tell me can wait until you are ready. Focus on your sister. Do what you have to do. Do what you feel is right.” Angel says.

Tara gave a half-smile from the response… There is the part of her that wants to cease the fight with her sister, but there’s the alpha part of her that always comes out stronger. Tara has not backed down from a fight before, and she was not going to start now. Not against her sister. Tara nods her head, “She did her best…” Tara says. There is a hint of regret in her voice, as if Tara were second guessing this decision. As if she wanted to let her sister off with one more final warning, and the tone did not go unnoticed by Angel.

“You can still back out…” Angel says. His own tone changes at the same time; he could sense that Tara did not want to be in this fight anymore. “If you want.” Angel finishes.

“I can’t…” Tara answers, “But– I’ll just be quick.” Tara says.