Rough Night

Rough Night

Rough Night

flickr creative commons via Doug Kline

“Death! Death to the Infidel!” The shout blasted through the PA system. The crowd roared and filled the warehouse with their jubilant rage. This was a battle for the home team. The billings posters plastered through town drew them in with shots of the Infidel beaten and broken at the hands of the Grey Guardian. Wrestling Entertainment at its finest, the crowd wanted blood and at this point they didn’t really care who it belonged to. The show was all that really mattered anyway.

Rick popped the top on another beer, pulled from the cooler at his feet. Hometown entertainment demanded that he bring his own supplies. He hated the watery beers sold at concessions and they never questioned his cooler. Funny thing, they didn’t even search his cooler. Never did in the past, didn’t this time around. He walked into the warehouse without a second glance after they took his ticket.

He had a score to settle and he planned for it before the end of the night. The Glock he hid underneath his beer bottles wouldn’t take down many, but he only needed it for one person anyway. The Infidel, real name George Haskill, fucked with the wrong chick a while back. Rick’s sister told him no but he didn’t care. Fucker broke three ribs when he took her down, not too mention the beating to her face. The whole thing wasn’t pretty, just like the pain Rick was going to put the Infidel through.

Security wasn’t too much of a problem really. This was hometown shit. He knew at least half the guys on the security detail. The others didn’t matter. Rick paid in advance. All he had to do was get into the back hallways and wait for the wrestlers to finish their second match. There were still in the middle of the first match and the Grey Guardian hadn’t pummeled him enough just yet.

Big guys but they staged all the hits and falls. Rick knew that much from the time he ran with this show. Used to go by the name the Ghost. He had a few trick moves that he developed into his signatures, lost out when he broke his knee in a fall. Walked with a limp now, but he adjusted. He liked his life outside of the ring. Been living without the lies for a while. Clean living, drug free and settled. He pulled the Glock out of the cooler and slipped it into the back of his pants. Damn thing nearly made him scream as the cold metal pressed against his skin.

He held it together and pulled his shirt and jean jacket over the handle. Didn’t want it sticking out where it could be seen. He grabbed his cane and hobbled around the bleachers. The hall into the locker rooms lay opposite the concession stands. A few hangers on and mat girls mingled around the doorway into the back. His buddy, Robert Johnson stood at the door.

“Where ya headin’, Rick?” Robert said. “I can’t let you back there, you know it.” He stood tall and straight, his hand held out toward Rick to block him.

“I got business back there,” Rick said. “I won’t be long. I cleared it earlier.”

“I don’t care. I know what you want to do and I can’t let you do it.” His shifted on his legs as he found his base. “You can’t do it, not like this.”

“You know what he did,” Rick said. He pulled his sleeves up as he glanced to the left and then the right.

“Let me finish this, I’m not asking for much here. Either let me through or be prepared. Either way I am getting back there.”

“C’mon Rick. If I know what you aim to do, don’t you think he found out and is ready for you?” Robert’s posture softened though he didn’t budge from the doorway.

“Would you back down? If it was your sister, your wife, would you let it go?” He caught Roberts gaze with his own and held it. “You know I can’t just let this go.”

Robert’s gaze dropped down, as he looked intently at Rick’s boots. “There has to be a better way.” He said it and looked up into Rick’s face. “Don’t go out like this.”

“I’m not going out,” Rick said. “I’m going to finish something I should have finished a while ago. Now let me through.”

“I said my peace, but I can’t make your decisions for you.” Robert stepped to the side of the door. “All I can say is, just think about it. Don’t let the animal rule the man.”

“Animal my ass,” said Rick. “I’ve cleaned up a few of your bar fights man. What did they used to call you? Bloody Knuckles. Ya, that wasn’t too long ago either.”

Robert’s face flashed red and splotchy as anger and embarrassment met. He opened his mouth then closed it, then opened it again and said. “Revenge doesn’t fill the void. If you take this as far as I think you want to… You won’t come back from jail the same person.” He turned away from Rick. “Do what you think you need to do. I wash my hands of all of it.”

Rick turned the door-handle and then stepped into the hall. The door closed behind him and cut off the sounds of the match in progress. Lights flooded the hall and blinded Rick for a brief moment. He flashed his eyelids open and closed a few times as his eyes adjusted to the brighter light. Aside from him the hall was empty. The wrestlers had several areas blocked off as changing rooms. It had been set up so that they could move around within the back area and change into the different costumes they wore throughout the night. Some of the masked wrestlers pulled double duty with little more than a wardrobe change for different characters on the stage. The different hallways let them come out of a new side to show which side of the battles they represented.

Short hall, not too much to it really. A couple doors on each side led to the connecting hall to the other entrance and a few rooms on this side of the building. The Infidel’s dressing room would be at the end. One of the bigger stars of this tour garnered him a private space to change and prepare in. Quite hall, no one out and about, no one questioned Rick as he strolled through. The hall extended beyond the last door, to a door that led outside.

Rick planned a quick get away through that door. He tried it earlier but it was locked to the outside. He listened at the door, heard no movement inside the room. This was a simple plan: hide out in the room and put a round into George’s head when he opened the door to the dressing room. Wasn’t much to it but he didn’t need too much to get it all done.

Hell, he could even do a bit of gloating as George died if he hit him in the right spot. The darkness in the room would hide him just enough that he could do it all without being seen. He twisted the door handle and pushed the door open.

Inside the room, everything had gone still and quiet. Darkness spilled out into the hallway. The guy didn’t even bother with a clock, nothing gave off any light, not even the windows. Moonlight had been blocked from the room with blackout curtains.

No sense alerting anyone else to his presence in the room so he stopped short of turning the lights on. The door closed behind him and he stumbled forward in the dark of the room. Moonlight glowed past the edges of the blackout curtains. Not much light filtered into the room but enough to give him a general sense where larger pieces of furniture lay, once his eyes adjusted. He stumbled through the dark to the end of the bed and hunkered down in the shadows and dark.

He didn’t hear it until it was too late. A sharp pain assaulted the center of his back in the darkness. It cut deep through his shirt and his flesh, struck deep into his chest. Sharp searing pain struck him several times. He spun in place to deflect another blow but it was too late. The cuts deep into his back struck something vital. He wobbled and fell from the loss of blood.

His attacker slipped away, stopped at the door and he could hear scraping against the wall. Light burst out from the ceiling. Blood loss and the sudden brightness took his sight, as he blinked several times to clear his eyes. Strength failed him when he tried to speak. His voice little more than a whisper.

His assailant dropped beside him and cradled his head on her lap. It was only when his eyes cleared that he saw his sister’s face staring down at him through tear filled eyes, the last thing he saw before the last of his life’s blood drained out.


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