We open with a shot of a large mansion-like home. Large open fields dotted the landscape surrounding the fenced backyard. The view being taken from up a hill a good distance away while a lone van would next be seen pulling into the long drive under a sign reading ‘The Duke Ranch’.
The footage flashed forward cutting to one of being on the move from a handheld while drawing near to the door ahead.
V/O: “My dear Sean, you have me all wrong. While I do find it interesting you visited my old pit of despair, you have me wrong my dear.”
We see Zhalia Fears wearing a baseball cap and a taller male next to her walking across the driveway, being recorded from a lower angle from a third person behind. A knock on the door, several seconds passed and then it pulled open. The person at the door conversing with the male who showed him his clipboard, pointing back at the van and his shirt. His explanation was inaudible however with the Google logo on his shirt and van, likely a scheduled appointment, so they were let in -- his face however unfortunately out of frame due to the angling.
V/O: “You see, I love my family. I love my friends. I love my fans. I help them out whenever I can be of assistance. Even go on jobs with them.”
The door pulled open and the trio were led inside. Zhalia looked back over her shoulder and smiled before joining into the conversation with the house’s owner. They all took in the sight before them. The large living room, the high ceilings. Lots of furniture and accompaniments but still room for their ladders if needed.
V/O: “While I have no idea what you were informed by the other residents at Broadmoor, April’s father filled me in with what you were after. Those questions you and that slime ball had asked him and the staff. Trying to get into my head before our match I bet. The footage you wanted to film, and had denied, as well as what you were allowed. Interesting place, hmm?”
The footage was spliced together at this point to show various moments of work such as Zhalia carrying a ladder inside, not easily thanks to the cast on her arm, the trio checking the television sets, surveying the grounds.
V/O: “Oh, I do mean Broadmoor of course. But this place, pretty awesome house!”
Zhalia was then shown walking into another room, running measurements. Her attention on the various pinball machines lining the walls and a nice pool table in the center of the room. That focus however quickly had averted toward the outer wall. Feeling a bit stuffy she called out, inaudibly, likely to see about opening the window for some air because a moment later she opened it in full.
V/O: “If I was not on the clock, I might even have asked to try out some of those machines, dude. Used to be quite the pinball wizard myself. Pretty sure I saw a classic The Addams Family pinball machine next to that Creature from the Black Lagoon in the corner. But… woe is me.”
Alone, aside from April or whomever was still filming off the hip, she set her sights on what looked to be a trophy display. Accomplishments are always great for home owners to showcase. Her prep work and measurements would take this into account should they need to drill any holes later above that cabinet or that outer wall.
Curiosity getting the best of her, Zhalia eyed the trophy case’s handle, testing it and bit shocked and relieved to see it unlocked already and swung open with ease. Reaching in she admired the trophy inside. Nothing like her own back home. Her head turning to the left to check the doorway, she slowly reached in and pulled out the object of her delight.
She raised it up in the air just like a certain character straight out of a video game (spoiler: Legend of Zelda). Lowering her arms again she set it out and took a good look. A championship belt. Not a whole lot different from the one she previously held. Different initials though. NWA. Whatever that meant.
With a shrug she turned and went to put it inside, but oh no! Her knee bumped the case, and she lost her balance tipping forward. Catching herself her good arm braced against the cabinet supporting the case, but that title flew out of her cast encased arm in doing so, straight out the window.
V/O: “I am such a klutz sometimes. But see, this has been a great year for me. A rookie at the start, and I have done so much Sean. So much. I have wrestled the very best that the UTA has. From the creepy to the deranged to the sexist to the gifted. All walks of life. Won some, lost more.”
Her hand palmed against her own face while she looked out the window and then back at the camera. Shrugging, she closed the trophy case and continued out of the room. The footage once more spliced together like a montage showing them running some cabling outside, feeding the fiber, and setting up the setbox, before returning to normal playback where she was shown walking up the stairs and into another room.
This one had a large bed in the middle. Luxurious for sure. And what does every bed need? Someone to sleep on it! And lo and behold a gorgeous woman fast asleep. Zhalia stood there a moment before looking back with a smirk.
V/O: “Oh my. If this were a R rated movie, just imagine what happens next! Buuuuuuuuuut, as much fun as it is to narrate my own actions. Perhaps, it is time to get serious. Eh, Sean?”
Zhalia walked over to the side of the bed, leaning down towards the woman cheek to cheek, but never touching. Simply reached into her own pocket, pulling out her phone and holding it out before her. Classic V sign held up with her cast she smiled for the selfie and the footage came to an abrupt stop.
Only to reopen on the smiling face of Zhalia Fears, sitting outside from presumingly the same hill that the earlier landscape shot was taken from.
“Hi Sean!” Smiling she waved at the camera, “miss me?” Rhetorical of course. Everyone missed Fears. “Now now, before you get too irate. Those veins of yours popping across your forehead. Pulsing over your neck. Sweat at your brow.” She reached into her front pocket and pulled her phone out, holding it up and showing the very selfie she took. “Your wife Pamela is adorable. Rather bad host though, Sean. Here we are trying to get you guys some upgraded internets, and she is passed out drunk from the night before.”
“She is lovely,” added April to the nod from Zhalia.
“I suppose at this moment you are looking at your phone. Considering if you should call Marshall or Pamela, or perhaps Dallas’s finest?” She shrugged. “First, relax and unclench. Second, your groundskeeper slash butler guy invited us into your home, Sean. Not my fault.” Reaching over to her left she dragged her duffelbag over and placed it her feet. “The documentation is all there. The residence survey is on file. See, Google is in an interesting place right now. In order to get those rollouts completed as quickly as possible they contract out their technicians, much like AT&T and Cox do. Except these techs also can bring temporary assistants.” Smiling again, she unzipped the duffel. “All done by the book, good sir!”
Reaching in Zhalia pulled out a black cloth, carefully lifting it from the bag, then unwrapping the cloth. She turned it around and rested it up against her own waist.
“So, been wondering. What is it that this NWA stands for?” She smirked knowingly. Every chance that Sean was still watching this after her earlier statements, something was likely boiling and it was no pot. “I mean, I know the NRA. The NBA. Also NBC, home of the best show ever, The Blacklist!” Zhalia grinned and fist pumped the air, clearly entertained. “But the NWA? I thought you wrestled in the NeWA? Not that it matters, still finely crafted.”
“Maybe the E fell away?”
“Nah. Pristine condition. Even after that topple out the window.” She smiled, “Sorry about that. Like I said, klutz. Sometimes. Bad arm and all due to that fellow former Dynasty honcho of yours.”
Shrugging Zhalia looked down at the title again and then carefully wrapped it back in the cloth, taking great care before placing it in the duffel again.
“Here is the thing Sean. You can visit my old home, you can visit my brother. As long as you leave it at that. Visiting. Anything more and well…” she paused and let out a deep breath, “I suppose we may just have a problem.” She glanced back down at the title and over at the camera. “No worries, I will give this back to you. I would hate to be called a thief, after all. I simply picked it up accidentally while retrieving our equipment and loading back up. No crime in that. Better that than say your groundskeepers mowing it over after we left!”
Smiling wide Zhalia looked back over her shoulder, letting the camera focus in on the same view she saw. The nice well kept ranch house and its grounds.
“Lovely place Sean. Really. Lovely.” Turning back she leaned forward and gazed into the lens. “It really is a helpless feeling Sean. Having someone invade your privacy. Your safety. Can we not leave that for the wrestling ring? Why must personal lives be brought into play? Is it because you are a mental rapist?” Zhalia chuckled, “Truth be told, I really do not like mind games. They irritate me. Some may say, they … well, they may just light a fire that is hard to douse.”
As if on cue, behind her accompanied by a loud sounding explosion the house erupted into flames.
“Oh dear,” she tilted her head to the right and looked back over the land as the flames roared with life. “I sure hope your wife Pamela woke up by now.” Zhalia spoke with sincerity in her voice as she sat there looking forward once more, quietly and unnerved.
Seconds passing by. She could picture Jackson in a panic at this point. She went too far. This was arson, and not only that. Forget their match, she would never step foot into Vancouver after this night.
“Sean, I do look forward to seeing you Monday. Our last encounter should have showed you that I really, really... just refuse to back down. But more than that, I really… despise mental games.” With a shrug she stood up and dusted her shorts off. “You know my history Sean. You may feel the need to spout it off to whomever will listen, and that is your prerogative but just remember.”
Zhalia stepped forward and leaned down while the camera focused in on her.
“Just like that Ace in the Hole briefcase,” she held her thumb and finger apart, “I was mere inches away from what you hold most dear.”
With an ever-lasting smirk she turned on her heel and looked back at the burning ranch. The camera footage fading off with the smoke rising into the clouds. And then…
Few seconds later, laughter.
“Okay okay, pull your hand away. He has had enough.” The darkness is lifted while the camera is in focus again no longer obscured. “Hi again,” Zhalia smiled and stepped back towards the hills edge, overlooking the burning house.
“Sorry Sean. You should know I am not REALLY that vindictive.” Reaching into her pocket she pulled out a small remote, turning back to the camera and clicked it. “I mean really, I am not insane.” Suddenly behind her the landscape vanished and had been replaced with nothing but green. With that the camera zoomed out and pulled back while she stepped forward. “I hope you understand now what I mean. Leave my brother, my personal life, out of it.”
With a smile she pointed forward and April spun the camera around to focus back on the ranch house again to show it in perfect condition.
“See, all good. Wonders of the green screen! Pamela is safe. Your home, safe. Your title-” April spun back around and focused on her again, standing in front of the green screen, as she strapped the duffel bag over her shoulder, “will be returned here shortly by a very eager and polite young woman just doing a good deed.”
Zhalia gave that same ever-lasting smirk, “See you in Vancouver, Sean! And enjoy those new blazing fast internet speeds!”
"Numba One: Duke Dibbins. Numba Too: Luke Dibbins, Numba Tree: Ellie Dibbins, Numba Fore: Justun Dibbins, and Numba Fore: Nuke Dibbins."
- Duke Dibbins