The Blackheart Folio, Part 3 Dec 19, 2022 17:47:54 GMT -5 Thunder Knuckles and Bobby Bourbon like this
Post by Harmony on Dec 19, 2022 17:47:54 GMT -5
One Year Ago
The freezing ice laden water threatened to steal my breath away as my head was plunged into the tub once more. My eyes opened and through the haze all I could see was water and the grime settling at the bottom. I pinched my mouth shut, wondering if this time they were finally just going to say “fuck it” and drown me. But right as my lungs started to burn for want of oxygen, my head was hoisted out again.
Who helped you find us? Write it, fucker.
A pen was forced into my hand again, and a pad of paper dropped beside me. My teeth chattered a symphony and I started to put pen to paper again to scrawl out my woefully inadequate reply.
And into the drink I went again. Knowing I was thoroughly and irrevocably fucked. This time my captor forced my face into the chipped porcelain at the bottom of the tub. I could see a thin trickle of blood escape my left nostril, a crimson tendril forcing its way to the surface. A symbol of my own desperate designs. But I myself wouldn’t reach the surface. I was held under until the blaze in my lungs forced my mouth open to vainly seek air, and instead suck down water until I succumbed to unconsciousness.
What followed was a patchwork nightmare. One moment I was vaguely aware of vomiting up water. And then a sharp stabbing pain accompanied by an electric sounding crackle. A voice barked at me, but it was for nought. I was unconscious again soon after. I woke one more time as a kick splintered one of my ribs. And then I wouldn’t rouse again until the following day.
I came to as a sliver of sunlight passed through a grime encrusted window and battered my eyes. My hands were cuffed behind me, which only served to exacerbate the pain of my broken rib. Each breath was a little agony. An effervescenent wellspring of torment that nonetheless meant that I was alive. Against all reason I was alive. Which meant they still WANTED me alive.
Which meant that they were afraid of the hell I may be bringing with me.
One small problem. There was no hell at my back. Their fears were unfounded. I had found the Doll’s base of operations completely on my own. And as I excruciatingly splayed my legs out in front of me, drawing ever more protests from my sucking chest, I wondered how long I had until they realized that. That I had been telling the truth all along. I could have lied of course. Painted a picture of some ghost of an enemy that I was but a precursor to. But it would have been an easily provable lie, and in the end, would have bought me little further time at all. No. I preferred the truth. Moreover my EGO preferred the truth. I wanted them to know I had hunted them down and found them out all on my own. That it was solely my dogged determination that brought me here…brought me here…
What a triumph.
No. No. You can’t succumb to bitterness. Harmon you LIVE, damn you! YOU LIVE.
So I started scanning the room to suss out some weak point, some potential shatterpoint where I could make my escape. The grimy window held my attention first, but it was barred. As I roused further, the rest of the scene came into focus. I was in a basement. My arms cuffed behind me and to a pole. There was only the sole window. And a heavy metal door. Some disused crates were piled high in the corner, nothing but rotted wood. Things didn’t bode well. So I decided to work at my cuffs, running the chain back and forth across the pole, hoping for some kind of give. Some weakness. But it wasn’t coming.
About an hour after I awoke, the door opened and she was there. The Doll.
She simply stood there for a moment, studying me. She was just as I remembered her on that fateful night. The angry scar on her cheek. Those soulless depthless eyes that stole away all hope. I remember her stabbing my mother, getting in her licks with a switchblade buried between her ribs. But still my mother had fought. Oh how she had fought.
You’re the boy. Harmon. Her voice was but a strained whisper, but still it dripped with melevolence. She spoke calmly. Matter of factly. As though my fate had already been predetermined. I settled on glowering her, trying to allow for no hint of the fear blossoming within. I would not give her that.
She stepped closer, continuing to study me like a rodent in a glue trap that had already set in on its own limbs to survive. You killed The Poison and The Businessman. That’s where you fucked up. She held a single finger up. One would have been a matter of course. They both had enemies. But two? She held up two fingers. Two is a pattern. A path of destruction headed straight for me. Shake your head if you agree.
I remained still. She didn’t seem perturbed by this.
I think they’re wrong. They keep trying to convince me you had help. But I don’t think you did. Vengeance is a powerful motivator. You know that well. So I think you, finding me, was all YOUR doing. You alone. It would be impressive if you weren’t, well, here…
She took another step closer, sizing me up.
So it begs the question, why are you alive? Well Harmon, you’re alive because I wanted you alive. You’re alive because I wanted to make you an offer. I want to bring you into the fold. I want you to work for me. And I wanted to see your face when I made the offer. She licked her lips, and for a moment the tip of her tongue settled in some ragged flesh in the corner of her mouth. So what do you think?
What do I think? I think I want to tell this bitch to get fucked. I think I want to see her head on a pike. I think I want to burn this whole motherfucking place to the ground.
But I also think I need to stay alive to do any of those things. So I bury my feelings beneath an impassive veneer and nod my head “yes”. I lock eyes with her as I do so, hoping to convey a degree of sincerity.
She remains quiet for an agonizing minute. Her eyes never leave mine the whole time, and once again I feel like that pest caught in a trap. The woman had a way of making you feel small and vulnerable without saying a word. She may have been the most frightening of all my mother’s killers.
My heart bucked in my chest.
The Doll shook her head and smiled. The eyes have it Harmon. But I needed to see for myself. You’ll slit my throat the first chance you get. And I don’t understand it, Harmon. As far as I’m concerned we did you a favor. What kind of life did you have with her? Huh? What kind of life…?
She moved so fast. Maybe my senses were dulled because of the pain. Maybe she had lulled me into some kind of false sense of security. But before I knew it, her switchblade was buried in my leg. I gasped in pain and could barely track her speech as she continued.
It’s buried in your femoral artery. As soon as it’s removed you will bleed out quickly. I…
And that was when the explosion sounded in the near distance. The Doll’s head whipped around as gunfire started rattling at the front of the building, followed by a profusion of shouts and death cries. Her head swiveled back towards me, eyes wide with concern.
What the fuck did you do?
I sat on the weight bench and absent mindedly rain my thumb over the puckered scar on my thigh. I could feel it even through the material in my shorts. A forever reminder of my second brush with death. Corey had to call out to me three times before he finally had my attention.
Earth to Harmon?
I looked up at him as he waved his palm in front of my face.
You there buddy?
I nodded, forcing on a smile as the bitter memory faded into the ether. Time to get back to the here and now. Florida. Corey’s palatial home. Training room.
Not even two weeks out from my next title defense.
Corey clapped my shoulder good naturedly. Hey man, I get it. Sometimes shit creeps up on you. Buuuuuut…he gestured dramatically at the entrance to the training room as an OCW camera crew filed in. I cursed inwardly. I hadn’t prepared anything.
No worries mein freundin. You keep that writing hand at rest. I, Corey Smith, manager to the stars, have got this covered! All I need you to do is sit there and look pretty and/or menacing. Whatever mood strikes you.
I glanced at Corey, and then at the camera as it was being prepped. Corey reentered my field of vision, smiling wide. I got this!
He’s got this. I rallied inwardly, despite the fact that I wasn’t used to having others do my talking for me. Well…”talking”, at any rate.
You boys ready?
The camera operator shoots Corey a thumbs up as that eponymous red light turns on. And suddenly, I am very, very aware of how sweaty I am. But while I’m busying myself with self doubt, Corey is…well, the only word for it is “ON”.
Corey Smith here, with THE hardest working man in OCW, Harmon Egan. “Hardest working”? You bet your sweet bippy. Because while Pic is taking off weekends and every other pay per view, my mans here just defended his Craze Championship in back to back shows. Right Harmon?
I nod and awkwardly wave at the camera.
That’s right. Even now this man has no chill. He’s been busting his ass preparing for Scott Syren night, day, and everywhen in between. Because make no mistake, while Harmon is still undefeated at 11 and 0, he is not sleeping on Scott Syren. After all, the man is a Hall of Famer, is he not?
I gave you that pause so you could all confirm it for yourselves that Scott’s in the Hall of Fame, because somehow despite being a HOF’er I can’t find a soul who knows who the fuck this guy is. Corey throws his hands up. I kid…I kid. Of course we know who Scott is. Of course we do. How can you miss him? What with those mountainous “brought to you by human growth hormone” peaks he’s rockin’. That guy is JACKED as SHIT. Corey starts snapping his fingers. Who else did we know who was jacked like that? It’s on the tip of my tongue. Iiiiiiit’s….oh yeah, Mike Mason. And Harmon, just how much did being jacked as shit help good ol’ Mike both times you went over him?
I shake my head with a smile.
That’s right. It didn’t help at all. Not a bit. So it’s got me begging the question, aside from his status as an OCW Hall of Famer, which, lets be real, is the smallest of small ponds as far as Hall’s of Fames go, what exactly is Scott bringing that you haven’t already beaten? Don’t get me wrong, this guy has accolades on top of accolades. I did the research. But Harmon has been beating people in the primes of their careers NOW. Scott Syren hasn’t done a damn thing in literal years. And if his performance in the Rumble was anything to go by, I’m thinking that maybe Scott’s best has passed him by.
I get it Scott. You were a big deal in OCW. Key word: WERE. The peak of your career happened over 15 years ago. So how do you plan to stop somebody who’s hungry NOW? How do you plan to stop somebody who is younger, faster, and more technically proficient than you? How do you plan to stop a man who never needed a “steroid guy” on speed dial? Cheap shot? Maybe! But just look at this mother fucker.
Scott Syren. You OLD. You old as hell. And your geriatric self is the last one that’s gonna stop the Harmon Egan pain train from rolling. Feel me?
But good on you for scoring that one last pay day.
Up high, Harmony. Corey holds his hand up for a high five and I oblige him. Damn this boy can talk.
Maybe he’s just what I needed after all.