It had been two days and as long as he could remember since he lost. It was truly and utterly hard to cope with.
Finn Donovan was sitting at the island of his apartment kitchen in downtown Boston with nothing but a blank sheet of paper and Samuel Adams to console him. He wore his green and black suit, though his head was bare, his wild, red hair flying off his various, distressed directions. His feet kick absently in the air as he stared down at the slip of paper, propping his head up on a crooked elbow and twirling a pen through his fingers. He stared and stared but the thoughts racing through his brain just couldn’t transfer onto the paper before him.
A knock came at the door. “It’s open!” Finn yelled, his voice unaltered by cloth, never once looking at the door.
In stepped a stout, pimply man with thick, curly black hair that wouldn’t have been amiss below the waistline of a woman who was going for the natural look. The pubescent man, known by the name Samuel to Finn, who had grown up with the man and was closest friend, did not bother to introduce himself to those watching this scene. Instead, he said simply, “I finally found the address.”
It was the one thing Finn wanted to hear, the one thing he needed to hear. “Are you sure it’s the one I need?” he asked, glancing away from the task before him.
“I made absolutely sure it was the right address, Finn,” Samuel assured him, holding up a slip of paper. “That letter will make it to the right eyes.”
Finn nodded, then turned back to the island counter. And then he wrote this letter, with the camera looking over his shoulder.
Finn almost signed his real name before he caught himself. What use would the letter had been, then? To sign Finn would just tell the poor kid that normal people failed. But El Trébol? It told him that the big men failed too. There was a moral to it that he hoped the kid would see.
Samuel had drawn up beside Finn by the time he put down the pen. Then, hoping out of the chair, Finn begins to move towards the door. “If you could just mail that letter for me, Sam . . .”
“Hey Finn.” The little man turns and sees a green projectile flying at his head. He snatches it out of the air by instinct. “You can’t leave without it.”
It was his mask, which had been sitting untouched by the letter. Finn held it in clenched fists for a few moments before he nodded to Samuel and to himself. “No, I suppose I can’t.”
He slowly slid the mask over the wild, red hair. Then, El Trébol stared at Samuel for the briefest moments before exiting the room. The door swings shut behind him as the scene fades, leaving only the moral of it all hanging in the air: El Trébol was down, but he sure as hell wasn’t out.
While a little more conservative than the coffee houses of Seattle, this Starbucks in the Bronx borough of New York still had its fair share of hipsters and progressives scattered across the brown tiled room. And sitting in one corner of it was a little man in a full-body lucha suit sipping a white chocolate mocha and reading “The Clash of Kings” by one George R.R. Martin. Yes, El Trébol was not your average masked man.
“When you use the phrase wildfire around a man of the world, the common image that comes to mind is probably that of a forest fire, burning up the forests in California. You know, real stuff.” Trébol waves the book towards the camera. “Use that word around someone in this world, though, and you invoke a different image entirely.”
El Trébol looks off in the distance, as if he was suffering from some sort of PTSD episode or something. Or, maybe, he was just being dramatic. “You invoke the image of the Baratheon fleet being consumed by green, all-consuming fire that before were contained in these little, fragile glass vials. So small, yet oh so devastating.”
Trébol looks back at the camera. “You picking up on any similarities there, Scott Stevens? Or was the metaphor not sporty enough for your tastes?”
El Trébol shrugs. “Or maybe on the off-chance you did pick up a book on one of your many excursions to foreign places, you had already read this book. And, having read this book, you have already procured the counterargument to the point I was making. You’d tell me how, eventually, the wildfire, in all of its power and destruction, would burn away to nothing. Thing is, I’m going to save you the trouble and the breath.”
He points to his chest. “I, El Trébol, lost to Kendrix two weeks ago.”
He lets the statement hang in the air for a moment before continuing. “So before you turn to me like you did with Sean Jackson and spout off some tirade about this team or another before reminding me about what I was incapable of doing, I already know. I saw the same lights you saw that night, bud.
Even beneath the mask, viewers see the grin form.
“But not Sean Jackson, though, not that night or the next one when he took that silly briefcase and that losing streak and showed the golden truth that was inside it. So, no Kendrix and no Sean Jackson, Scott, if you don’t mind. I don’t want to talk about our failures, but instead a different trait we both possess.”
El Trébol ran his hand across the empty air like he was casting a rainbow from his green gloves. “Passion.” He nods. “Because despite it all, Scott, you are passionate by the things you consider important. Sports, for instance, is something you follow because it is something that has always spoke to you. Of failure yes, the baseball Phenom never to be, but also success. The stories of men who aren’t you speak to you, remind you that happiness and achievement is out there to be seized, to be conquered.
And then there’s the wrestling itself. You’re a second generation, raised by a father who instilled in you the importance and the power our business had in the world. He helped build the platform on which you now stand, a podium to show off this passion you have for the fans and what they think of you.”
He pauses, looking hard at the camera. “And you start off your speech with two, long fingers held high to the sky, uncaring and unbending.”
El Trébol shakes his head. “You attack CBR and Ron Hall and Cayle Murray for no apparent reason other than the passion struck you. Maybe it’s the primal urge within you, the animalistic tendency to assert your dominance amongst your fellow man. Or maybe, and I’m just spit balling here, you’re trying to make yourself relevant in the eyes of the people, who see the gold on your shoulder but they don’t see the champion anywhere else.” El Trébol tilts his head. “Is that what all of this is, Scott? A cry to be taken serious?”
He shakes the book in his hand to emphasize his next words. “Because to me, it just looks like you’re experiencing a little bit of my world, Scott, the story of my life.”
El Trébol sets the book down beside him. “Because unlike you, Scott, I did beat our now World Champion, only to find myself still stuck in the shadows of ‘bigger’ men. I was underestimated going into my match the next go round and sadly I did not live up to my abilities. I was beaten and left by the black waters to be washed away by the heavy tide of failures.”
He grins again, wider and deeper than before. “Thing is, Scott, this the Blackwater that wildfire like myself utterly thrives on.”
A pause to let that statement sink in, long enough for Scott to open a book and find the literary reference. “People don’t think I should be competing with you, Scott, shouldn’t be competing for gold so soon after losing in my first attempt. They don’t think that I could ever beat the man who toppled Colton Thorpe where all others failed. And you know what I say to that: they’re probably right.”
He nods at the outrageous statement. “But damn if I’m not going to be a part of that minority like I’ve been in since day one. That’s my passion, Scott, to look at reality and say ‘I can be above that.’ I have no doubt my match with you will be daunting. It’s the very environment I’ve grown and thrived in and in all honestly, I wouldn’t want it any one other way.
So bring your best Scott because there is no doubt that I will be doing the same. Let’s make this a match where passions collide and create utter greatness. And then when we’re done, we can share a six pack, talk your sports, and discuss the best place to get a title belt resized for a smaller waist.”
With the strong boast hanging in the air, the scene fades.