Post by Sahara on Dec 29, 2022 9:15:03 GMT -5
“And watching you die was the worst moment of my life…” -Some Crazy Old Man
DREAMIN’ IN A WINTER WONDERLAND?
Am I dreaming?
Because if not, this is insane.
A man, from the future, plucks me out of my family Christmas festivities and tells me I’m about to die just days from now at Hardwired to Self Destruct… I mean, talk about taking the name of an event to a whole new level!
“And before you ask, yes, you have to wrestle in that match. While skipping it seems like the easy fix, time has a way of noticing unanticipated drastic changes to its fabric. Every choice you make leads to the next, which leads to the next, and even the smallest change puts us at risk of changing everything–”
“Are you talking about the butterfly effect?”
He both smiled and half-laughed in reaction to my words, but I couldn't tell if it was out of condescension or not–
“Very good, I’m surprised you know that. But yes… it’s a ripple effect. Throw a pebble in calm waters, and the corresponding ripples that emanate from the source get bigger and bigger as they expand outward. This can lead to unintended or even catastrophic consequences down the line. Trying to explain the fabric of time is an incomprehensible notion for most. Usually, when people describe it, it’s like a linear thing, and when a change is made, they simply skew out a new timeline – an alternate timeline – and any changes after that moment only take place in that new timeline. That’s the rather simplistic Back to the Future explanation. But that’s not how it really works. Time is more like a jumbled mess of intersecting lines.
“It’s not linear as most assume.
“Think of it like a loosely wound ball of string, at certain times, threads touch other threads, they intercede, and loose ends hang everywhere. But the thing is, if you start tugging on any of those loose ends, the whole thing can unravel. This is how we get things like the Mandela effect–”
“The what effect?”
“Nevermind, it’s not important and the clock is ticking.”
As I stood there, mostly dumbfounded by this overly convoluted explanation, listening to him try to explain the intricacies of time, is when I finally noticed it. It would explain everything. How he knows so much about me… why he’d bother doing anything so insane in the first place… and the way I’ve caught him looking at me–
“Thaddeus? Is that you?”
The old man looked at me and smiled, “I am not my father, no.”
I could almost feel my jaw drop in disbelief. Francis. My precious boy! I reached out and touched his weathered face, “Frankie…”
Taking my hand in his, he held it against his cheek as tears welled up in his eyes, but he shook his head.
My brow furrowed. “No?!” Was it one of the twins?!
But again, he shook his head.
“This is where time can get confusing, and even nonsensical for most. I am your son, but I’ve not yet been born…”
Now I was utterly confused. I can’t have children–
“I knew this was a dream. Hah! I can’t even have kids!”
He laughed, “Not yet you can’t. But I assure you, you do. Hopefully anyway.”
“But how is that even possible? If I died in that match, I wouldn’t have been alive to have had you.” I stopped to ponder my words for a moment, “Wait. Have had had you? Or is it have had you? Sometimes this time vernacular is confusing. Whatever! Ya see?! None of this time bullshit ever makes any goddamn sense in movies, and this is why–”
“It’s called a paradox–”
“I knew you were gonna say that!”
“Yeah, yeah. I get it. It’s like the global explanation we use when none of it makes any sense. And as I’ve told you, time isn’t linear… I’ve always existed. So have you. So has everyone else. The proper choices just have to be made in order for it to manifest. I’m simply trying to make sure that choice is made, so the reality that manifests in the annals of time is the one where you live… and thus I am born.
“Now take a look here–”
He pointed back to that opaque pane of glass with the archival footage of my match at Hardwired to Self Destruct–
Smith: This place has gone absolutely insane! Sahara and Shane are climbing the steel scaffolding up the side of the jumbotron and they’re blasting each other with shots on their way up!
Hood: But where are they doing?! This is why OCW is the place to be, Smithy! There isn’t action like this anywhere else!
Holding on for dear life, both Sahara and her opponent – Shane Donovan – lay it all on the line, blasting each other with shots as they dangle from the cold, unforgiving steel structure
Sahara with a blow to the ribs!
Donovan with a shot to the head!
Smith: My God, they’re trying to kill each other!
Momentarily losing her grip, she grabs a handful of Donovan’s tights, dangling in the air while looking out high above the crowd–
Hood: That was a close one, she almost fell!
The room suddenly rumbles and the image is paused–
“We’re almost outta time, the temporal field is starting to collapse.
“I need you to listen to me…
“You’ll be fighting every instinct you’ve ever known when it comes to changing whatever decision you make in this match that ultimately leads to your death. You’ve long been known as someone that goes for broke… high risk, high reward and all that. You can start by not climbing that damn structure. I’m not saying go out there and lay down, as that can have its own set of unintended consequences–”
“Then what are you saying? Because it seems like no matter what I do, time is gonna shift around and change and become something else – something we haven’t anticipated – and the very decision I make to not kill myself could be the decision that actually does it! This is like finding a needle in a stack of needles–”
“I know it’s fucked, mom, but I also know what doing nothing leads to… so I had to try.”
I stopped and looked upon this old man, knowing I was looking at my future son. I could see the desperation in his eyes, and hear it in his voice…
“So you have no idea if this is gonna work…”
He shook his head.
“No. I don’t. But I have faith in you… a mother that’d been wishing for me her entire adult life. If anyone can make it happen, you can.”
“When I’m out there, and I’m staring at my opponent, I only have one gear… it’s pedal to the metal, go for broke–”
“And I’d never ask you to change that… but when you reach that event horizon and you’re about to do something completely insane.
I just stood there, staring at this man, and wondered if I’d ever see him again? If I’d be there to raise him? If I’d be there so he could even exist? Unlike most in this business, I have no idea what I’m doing half the time… my whole career has been based on my unpredictability… the fact I’m not a polished wrestler, and my unorthodox style is one of the only things that sets me apart from anyone else…
Now I’m being asked to change that. To become more predictable, which inevitably plays right into my opponents hands.
I don’t know much about Shane Donovan, hell, I don’t know much about anything anymore… but I know he’s dangerous or he wouldn’t be in OCW. And if I can’t figure out what I did… or what I do… I’m supposedly gonna die in my match against him, and who knows what that’ll do to him. Sure, he’ll go on to become the Paradigm champion, but what then?! He lives out his career knowing he ended someone's life?!
There are times when we know we’re dreaming, and we don’t wanna wake up.
This was not one of those times–
“Mom, if I never see you again… I want you to know the time we just spent together was my favorite moment in time…”
His words hit like a truck.
The room suddenly shook again, only this time it was something like an earthquake. Pieces of reality seemed to fall off and crumble around me. I braced myself–
He lifted a hand as if to wave.
To say goodbye.
“Tell the family I said hi–”
I reached out as even pieces of my unborn son fell apart–
“Wait… I don’t even know your na–”
I felt that static again, causing my hair to stand on end. I looked at my hands, front and back, as the world around me suddenly snapped back into focus. I could hear Christmas music playing in the background–
Someday soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through, somehow–
I looked up as my son, Frankie, was saying something. I violently shook my head to clear the cobwebs and fell to my knees, hugging him tightly…
“Mom… are you alright?”
Grabbing him by his cute little face, I kissed him on the forehead and hugged him again. Right there, in the middle of Home Depot, and I didn’t care. I reached up and grabbed my husband by his jacket and pulled him in, hugging him, too.
“Why’s mom acting so weird?”
“That’s what she does… what the hell is going on here?!”, Thaddeus remarked.
“The weirdest thing just happened to me. I was… taken. I thought I was dreaming, but if I was… how the hell am I still here?!”
“Taken? Here? To Home Depot? You said you wanted to go do Christmas things, and then you insisted we take a walk through this place… that’s–”
“No, I mean, I expected to wake up in bed, from a dream, not find myself standing in the exact spot where he took me from–”
“What? Who took you from where? You’ve been here the whole time!”
When I saw the look on my husband’s face, I realized how ridiculous this little Christmas miracle sounded. There was no way I could tell him – or anyone else – anything more about this or I’d probably find myself in a mental institution.
My future son warned me this would all feel like a dream. He failed to warn me that I couldn't tell anyone about it…
Was I simply daydreaming?
Or was that warning real?
And if so, have I finally lost it?!
Now comes for my least favorite part… the part where I have to talk about wrestling instead of the insane ordeal I just had. Trust me, you wouldn’t believe me if I told ya, so I won’t bother.
No offense intended to you, you’re where you are in the OCW for a damn good reason. And in case you’ve forgotten, so am I.
It’s just this whole shoot-promo thing that’s like a directive where I gotta spend a certain amount of time talking about wrestling.
Which is kinda boring.
So here we go. Blah blah blah. I’m unlike anything you’ve encountered, and I’m nothing like what you’ve heard. Blah blah. People like to pat themselves on the back and pretend I got to where I am because of my husband, or because of friends, or because the stars aligned and I’m really good at sucking dick… blah… but in the end, I’m where I am because I deserve to be here. Blah.
Do I win ‘em all?
But that’s not the question you should be asking. Blah blah. A lot of people win. Blah. Some of the all time biggest winners in this sport have compiled unbelievable records… and all of that meant nothing when it mattered most. Blah blah.
When everything was on the line…
Don’t tell me how much you win.
Tell me when.
Do I win when it matters?
Hell yes I do.
Wanna say it with me this time?
They call that comin’ in clutch, Shane. Blah. And I’m the clutchiest of the clutchers, dawg. Blah, blah. That’s why I’m the Paradigm champion… always and forever. Blah. And I’m not sayin’ you can’t get it done… if anyone can, you can. Blah blah. You got my respect, and that’s why this title matters. Blah. It’s why it matters more than any other title in all of wrestling, offense intended.
This title didn’t make me who I am.
I made this title what it is.
Blah blah blah, blah blah… bla-de-di-blah, blah blah. Sorry, I’m just trying to fill the rest of my quota, and since this is what all wrestling trash talk sounds like these days, cuz it’s all been said a million times over in various ways, so I figured I’d just show you all what you sound like when I have to listen to it.
Blah blah… blah blah blah.
Give me story or give me death.
Blah blah blah… almost there guys and gals, don’t fret.
I know this may sound crazy, Shane, but I got one favor to ask of you…
Don’t let me die out there…