“I see a red door, and I want it painted black…

…No colors anymore, I want them to turn black.”

May 26th, 2016

Taking Hold of the Flame banquet

I sit in my rental car, unsure of where I really am. It’s night time and plastered on the side of this building, I see the SCW logo as well as the Taking Hold of the Flame advertisement. I see the faces.

Red Rayne.

Reagan Street.

Eli D’Angelo

The list goes on and on, yet I don’t see mine. Once again, forgotten amongst the so called “stars” roaming the land of Supreme. I shake my head, telling myself that I shouldn’t be surprised. I’m not. I don’t even feel angry about being left off of the marquee poster. I just feel like destroying them all. I feel it in the most casual way. Like I could see myself shrugging my shoulders and calmly stating that I would love to take a knife to Red Rayne’s throat, or a gun to David Miller’s head.

I chuckle at the thought.

“Paint it Black” by the Stones is coming through the radio station and it makes me want to do just that. Put black spots where the faces were at one point. At one point? I chuckle again as I reach into the backseat, grabbing my gym bag and pulling it up front. I unzip and my hands reach in, gripping it. I then pull it out of the bag and stare at it in amazement for a few moments. It’s an Uzi that I paid cash for from a local thug in New York. I bought it two days before the go home edition of Breakdown. I was planning on doing it there, but I decided against it. I feel like the very definition of lethal, like I am close to going postal or snapping. I don’t know how far I am going to go. I have stated and thought to myself that I am willing to go farther than anyone in the SCW. If I do that, I have a feeling that I will sink lower than lower, finding myself in the mud, the blood, and the guts all in the honor of glory.

I will go to Hell and kick the Devil’s ass out of my way because he truly has nothing on me. I close my eyes and picture it all going down. Walking in there, seeing all of them. All of them that I detest. All of them that I hate. All of them that I wish to destroy. I see them sitting there in their various groups, and cliques, chatting with their partners, friends and family, retired legends, doing what they normally do which is ignore me. I see myself sitting down at a table by myself, watching them, wishing them to choke on their drinks, on their food, hell on the very air that we have to share.

And just when I have had enough, I flip the table over, wielding my weapon of choice. I see them looking at me, some with looks of concern, some with looks of indifference. I took one final look at them before taking aim and squeezing the trigger. I can hear my wild laughter over the sound of the shooting and the screaming.

I see myself taking great pleasure in all of the chaos and death I am creating.

I open my eyes then stare down at the gun for a few more moments before looking over at the building, releasing a sigh.

“What are you waiting for?” I look in the rearview mirror and I see Kismet sitting in the backseat, looking confused and disappointed, “You bought the damn gun. Now is your time to make a mark. Just slip on your mask, go in there and wreak havoc. Scare the piss out of them. Injure a few of them. Hurt the SCW in a way that they will more than likely never recover from.”

I go to answer but before the words can come out, another voice can be heard. It is not mine nor is it Kismet’s. I look to my right and I see my father sitting there, casually lighting up a cigarette, “You can tell him what he needs to do or should do all night long, but my son James here…” He pauses, taking a drag off of his cig, “He’s a stubborn little bastard. He gets it honest. James takes after his mother.”

I glare at my father, “Don’t bring up my mother. I am like you. You heard voices too. You can just add it up to another thing you did to fuck my life up,” I then turn and face Kismet, “I want to Kismet. I do. But if I am going to beat them, to destroy them, I would rather do it in the ring. I would rather everyone be at full strength. Otherwise, I won’t feel complete. I won’t feel accomplished. And to me, that is much more important.”

Another voice chimes in, coming from the backseat. I look the right of Kismet and I see my grandmother, glaring at me, scolding me through the lenses of her glasses, her arms crossed, “Look at you, James. You can see things a bit clearer for once. You want to feel accomplished, but you know that if you do what you are going to do, what these two…” She pauses, pointing an angry finger at my father and my Kismet, before returning her attention to me, “If you do what they want then you will not get that feeling. Besides, let’s be honest, if you go in there, shoot up the place then you will more than likely end up in jail, missing out on the opportunity to show that you are as ever bit as good as others claim to be.”

My father speaks up before I get a chance to speak, “But what’s wrong with taking the easy way out? Let me tell you. Absolutely nothing! I cut as many corners as I could. I don’t see why you wouldn’t do the same, James.”

Kismet speaks, “Yeah I know that you had issues with your father, but I have to say that I agree with him, James. We both want the best for you and sometimes to get what you want…no, no…to get what you DESERVE, you have to do things you normally wouldn’t do.”

I hear my grandmother’s laughter as I look away from Kismet and focus on her, “You want what’s best for him? Don’t make me laugh. James, do not listen to either of them. They are steering you down the wrong path. You can’t do what they want. You need to look inside of yourself and do what you feel is best for you.”

Smoke is blown in my face as I turn and face my father once again, “Because James doesn’t know what is best for him. He has no idea what he’s doing. The only time he enjoys himself is when he is hurting someone or doping up. He wants to give into that darkness inside of him, but just as he has always been, he’s a coward when it comes to giving into his true self. Deep down mother, James is a cold hearted sadistic son of a bitch. He is afraid of what he is capable of. It’s pretty amusing for me.”

I glare at him, grabbing the cigarette from him and squeezing it in my palm, any pain I should feel is not there, “And what’s so funny about it, Dad? I know that there is a darkness inside of me. Kismet has been pulling it out of me little by little, and I have seen it. It scares me, but it also intrigues me. The constant back and forth I have going on inside of my head is driving me crazy. I am losing my mind and you find it amusing?”

He throws his head back and laughs, “Yes, yes I do my dear boy. I love watching you struggle. I’ve been telling you for ages it seems that you just need to GIVE IN. Give in, James. That is all you have to do. It’s not that fucking difficult.”

Kismet pipes up, “I have been telling him the same thing the last few weeks. He let’s me in, then he pushes me away.”

My father slaps me on the chest, “James has an attachment disorder. And of course, he blames me for that. He has daddy issues. He says that I was never there for him.”

I press my head against the steering wheel, wishing I could do something to end all of it, “You were never there. And when you were…”

Kismet cuts me off, “James, it doesn’t matter now. It is all about you. You need to be here, in this moment. Don’t try and run away from this. You said I was your everything not too long ago. I have been here for you when no one else has. You need to focus on that and stop losing sight of everything.”

I close my eyes, trying to tune them out. I tell myself to focus on Taking Hold of the Flame. I tell myself that I am going to win. But the more I think about it, the more I want to carry out my plan. I see the faces, laughing at me, pointing their fingers at me while I stare up at them from the floor. All of them laughing at me. The crowd joining in, providing a chorus of heckling. I see myself staring at them, feeling my body shake in anger. And then I see my grandmother step out from the crowd. She storms up to me and slaps me across the face.

And I am back in the car, my grandmother voice gently hits my ear, “James, you are a good person and a good man. I know that you have a good heart son. Just focus in on my voice. Remember how I used to rock you to sleep when you had nightmares? Just think back to when you were a boy, James. You were at my house and you would wake up and run into my arms, telling me that you had a bad dream. I would hold you and rock you in my arms, softly singing to you. You would look at me and smile, looking like all was right in the world again. That is all you need to do. If things seem like they are going bad, just close your eyes and picture that. Imagine me singing to you. Let it calm you the way it used to calm you.”

I reply, “I wish it was that simple, grandma. I really do. I am not the same as I used to be. Things have gotten worse for me as time has gone on. My mind has hit rock bottom and then proceeded to sink even lower. I don’t think there is any way to change that.”

I say this, acknowledging the fact that my impulses to go out and hurt others, especially those in the SCW have gotten a lot worse since this time last year. I would rarely see myself strangling one of my opponents. Not like I do now. When I close my eyes, I am strangling Kelcey Wallace before snapping her perfect neck. I am dragging the blade of a knife down the back of Reagan Helms while she screams and begs for me to stop. I see myself fucking Kennedy Street before growing bored and proceeding to beat her face in with my bare hands. I see myself lining up David Miller, AJ Helms, Tommy Valentine, Vixen Cain, Merrick Wiseman and so many more in front of empty graves I have forced them to dig for themselves. They are standing there, challenging me to remove the ropes binding their hands and feet. With each challenge, I put a bullet into their skulls and watch their lifeless bodies fall into the graves. I see all of this and I know that there is something wrong with this, but then there is also the part of me that loves it and wishes it to be a reality.

I want to tell Dr. Vaughn to lock me the fuck up and throw away the key. I also want to see how long I can let it ride. I fear that if I were to actually attack someone and maim them then I would thoroughly enjoy it. I’m afraid that I would feel a sense of happiness.

My grandmother speaks, “Remember what the doctor said, James.”

My father responds, “Don’t pay attention to that quack, James. There is no need. He’s not helped you before, so I don’t believe he’ll start now.”

Kismet speaks as well, “Yeah, just remember that he is trying to keep you and me apart. You need me. Remember that I said to you and you agreed to it.”

I press my face into my hands, and begin to shake my head from side to side, hoping that the voices will go away as my mind wanders to a few days before, at my last visit with Dr. Vaughn.

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May 23rd, 2016

New York City, New York

“So, James how are you feeling?” Dr. Vaughn asks, as I lie down on his couch, staring up at the tiny fragment of light shining on the ceiling of his office. He has it dimly, saying he is going to try a different approach with my therapy.

Kismet is highly pissed that I am here. I told her that I had to go in order to keep up appearances, but she also knows that there is a part of me that wants help, that wants to gain control. A part of me that wants the voices to go away.

Kismet says, “Tell him that you’re feeling good. Tell him that you don’t see the point in coming back.”

I close my eyes and let out a deep breath, “I don’t know Dr. Vaughn. I guess the best way to describe it is to say that I feel…torn.”

“How so?”

“You are not doing what you said you would,” Kismet angrily whispers into my ear.

Another deep breath and then I say, “My mind wants me to do bad things. Very bad things. But my heart tells me to stop. To not listen to the voices. But it’s hard.”

He scribbles a bit, “You say it’s hard. Can you elaborate on that for me, James?”

“Stop, James, please stop,” I hear Kismet plead.

I say, “The things the voices tell me to do…they are against those I work with…”

He cuts in, “You’re talking about wrestling, correct?”


He scribbles some more, “And what are the voices telling you to do?”

I shake my head, “They are telling me to do stuff that I want to do to them most of the time. They are telling me to hurt them very badly. To maim them, torture them, and sometimes…to even kill them.”

I look over and see Kismet shaking her head. She looks up at me, anger in her eyes, “I can’t believe you just told him that.”

I hear Dr. Vaughn say, “So you say that you want to do the things the voices are telling you to do. You want to maim and possibly kill those who work with? Why is that, James? Is there a specific reason as to why you think you’d want to do that?”

Kismet chimes in again, the anger is lingering in her voice, “How could you be so stupid?”

I shrug my shoulders, “To be honest, doc…there are things about them that I cannot stand. They always seem to be things better than me. When they win, they look better, or stronger I should say, than I ever do when I win a match. They talk better than me. They always manage to get their points across in a better manner than I could ever imagine doing. They are presented better than I am.”

“And you are jealous of them coming off as better than you?”


I put my hand up as if telling her to calm down. She rolls her eyes and turns away from me in a furious manner. I then look over at Vaughn before replying, “I guess you could say that. I mean, that makes sense. But I don’t think I should be jealous to the point where I want to cripple them or worse…kill them. I mean that’s just not fucking normal.”

Vaughn closes his notepad then locks eyes with me, “You’re right James that isn’t normal. But you’re suffering from some pretty severe stuff. And that is why I want to try something with you. But only if you are okay with it. And if you are, it is something that I want to record,” He says, pointing over to a camcorder in the corner of his office. I stare at it for a few moments, feeling uneasy about it, before our eyes meet once more, “So, James do you think you’d be okay with that?”

Before I can even speak, I hear Kismet’s voice, “No, James you are not okay with this. I am not okay with this. We don’t need to do this. He is trying to trick us. Don’t believe him, James. He is only out to hurt you and make you look crazy. You don’t deserve that James. Say no. Say no…please say no…”

“Yes…yes I’m okay with it…”

Vaughn stands up and locks his office door then dims the lights bit more before grabbing an old pocket watch out of his desk drawer. He then looks at me, “James, I am going to hypnotize you and when I do, I am going to talk to all of the voices you are hearing. But only if they’ll talk to me.”

I look up at him, feeling uncertain, “Are you sure this is a good idea?”

Vaughn shrugs, “I don’t know James, but I want to help you. We have tried things before in the past. This is a radical next step, but from what you’re telling me, it is a necessary step.”

I nod, “Okay…I trust you…”

Kismet says, “No James…don’t say that. Don’t you dare trust him…”

I think to myself, only where Kismet can hear me and I say that I am sorry, as Vaughn begins to talk to me, counting down from ten…

10, 9, 8, 7, 6…he tells me that I am getting very sleepy. Very very…sleepy…

Kismet tells me that I am hurting her. That I am breaking her heart.


I tell her I’m sorry. I tell her that I swear to God I am so…


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May 26th, 2016

Taking Hold of the Flame banquet

I come back to reality and I look in the backseat at my grandmother, concern in her eyes. Kismet appears angry, and sad as tears rolls down her cheeks. I glance at my father, as he shakes his head, puffing away on his cigarette. I then look back at my grandmother, “I remember…what he said…”

She smiles, “That’s good. Just remember what he said. Tell me what he said.”

I smile as well, “He…he told me that he would help me.”

I feel her hand as it grazes my face, “That’s good James and I know that he will…”

She goes to speak, but I cut her off by grabbing her hand and glaring at her, “But he hasn’t, Grandma. He hasn’t fucking helped me at all. No one helps me. No one does a goddamn thing for me. Those fuckers in that building…they all make me fun of me and make me out to be some piece of shit. And where have you been when all of that has been happening? You haven’t been around to help me. You never truly were. And Dad…Kismet, they have been here all along, giving me advice, telling me to not worry about them. That I can punish them. That I can hurt them. That I can make them pay. I can make all of them fucking pay.”

I shove her hand away from me as I continue to glare at her. She looks at Kismet who has a smile on her face, and then she looks at my dad who seems to be nodding in approval. She then turns and we lock eyes with me once more, “James, I am sorry. For everything. I wanted to help you. I wanted to be there for you, but you never let me in. And now, I can’t help you. You are too far gone, James. I cannot save you. I hope to God…”

I cut her off once again, “God? You bringing up God? If God is real then why the big man upstairs allowing me to hear voices? Why is he torturing me with all of this? Why can’t I just be normal? Why can’t I just live a peaceful, happy life? Because your God is a joke. He is such a fucking joke that he allows my “cousin” to walk around, claiming to be God. His claims, just as your beliefs were, are delusions. God wants to come after me…heh, well…” I pause for a moment and grab the gun, pointing it at my grandmother, “I can fix him. I can blow him away and send him to whatever Heaven or Hell is truly out there.”

My grandmother’s eye fill with sadness as she lowers her head and shakes it for a few moments, before looking back up at me, “James, you don’t mean that. I know there is good in you. I know there is. I’ve seen it. I saw it when you were a little boy…”

I point the gun at her, “That part of me is dead, Grandma. It’s been dead for a very long time. It’s been walking around like you and Dad…walking around like a ghost. It’s time that I bury it once and for all. Along with you…” I say, squeezing the trigger. The gun clicks and I watch as my grandmother’s head explodes. I blink, hearing my rapid breathing. I look and she has gone. I then turn to my father, “And you…I have told you and I have told you to leave me be…”

My father puts out his cigarette and shakes his head, “I don’t think you have the balls James. If you did then you would have done it a long time ago.”

I press the gun to his head, “You know…I am beyond fucking sick of you putting me down. You and everyone else in this fucking world, bad mouthing me on television, bad mouthing me on social media, bad mouthing me to my fucking face…” I cock the gun, “You represent the world Dad and everything that I fucking hate. Just as grandmother represented everything that I was clinging to, everything that made me fucking soft. I have had enough of it all. I am tired of drowning in it…And I’m tired…” I lock my eyes on his, as I smirk, speaking once more to him before pulling the trigger, “Of you…”

I close my eyes as I fire the shot. I let out a sigh of relief before opening my eyes, seeing that my father is no longer around. I then turn and look at Kismet, who fakes a smile at me, but a look of concern in her eyes, “James…it’s me…Kismet…your everything remember?”

I press the gun against her head as well, “Of course I remember. You’ve only brought it up I don’t know how many fucking times. How many times do you feel that you need to say it?”

She looks up at the barrel of the gun then down at me, “I guess as many times as I need to until you understand it.”

I shake my head at her, “Don’t get cocky, Kismet.”

She goes to speak, but I cut her off, “What are you going to say? That you only want what is best for me? That you’re trying to help me? I am sick of everyone telling me that yet never actually proving it or actually showing it. They are only telling me what they want me to do. You’re the voice telling me that I need to go into the banquet and shoot people. You’re the voice that finds joy in it for me. I know that now…it’s all becoming oh so clear, Kismet.”

She throws her hands up in the air, “What do you want, James? What do you want? I have only been telling you what you’ve been thinking in the back of your mind…the part of you try to ignore. But your dad was right. There is a darkness in you. You said it yourself. Sooner or later, no matter how much you ignore it, it is going to come out. I am here to ease you into it. I’ve been pushy, I know and I’m sorry.”

“Oh you’re sorry? You want to ease me into it? What is wrong with just letting it happen naturally?”

Kismet replies, “Because you keep fighting it. You fear it when there is no need to fear who you really are.”

I grab her by the hair and press my forehead against hers, “So you know who I really am, huh? Why don’t I know who I really am? Tell me that! Since you seem to know everything else about me…tell me why?!?!?”

She closes her eyes and shakes her head, causing me to shout, “TELL ME!!! TELL ME NOW!!!”

She softly says, “Because you have never forgiven yourself for what you did…for what you did to me…”

My grip on the gun loosens and I lower it away. I look down from Kismet, trying to make sense of things, trying to understand what she meant with what she said, but I can’t. I look back up at her, “What the hell do you mean by that? What do you mean? What did I do to you?”

Kismet just stares at me, “You really don’t remember me do you?”

I point the gun back at her face, “No…No I don’t. You have told me over and over again that I know who you are….but I don’t. If I do know you, I don’t remember it. Tell me…tell me who you are,” I shout, hearing my own voice break little by little. I drop the gun and press my face into my hands.

“Are you sure you want me to tell you?”

I nod my head, trying my best to keep myself together, but I can tell that things are slipping. My mind, my body…feels like my soul is evacuating as well.

I feel her fingers slide through my hair as her words enter my ears, “We were friends, James. We grew up together. We would play together every single afternoon. I always enjoyed coming to your big house and eating snacks with you that your mother prepared. We would always play hide and seek. We would also play with your Batman action figures. But my favorite part was going to the waterfall in the woods behind your house, where we would build forts and pretend to be a married couple.”

As her words echo in my ears, my mind begins to conjure up memories and everything begins to play out like a movie, going right along with her narration. I see us as she says, running around my old house, sitting at the kitchen table eating freshly baked cookies that my mother had just pulled out of the oven. I see us playing Batman, with me wearing my mom’s blue housecoat and me pretending to save her from the bad guys. And then I see us standing on a few logs draped across a waterfall. We both take turns walking back and forth it, going ever so slowly at first, but building up confidence to pick up speed each time we’d race across.

“We were always happy when we were together, James…but then we got a little older and things started to change for the both of us. You wanted me to really be yours. You didn’t want to pretend anymore. I didn’t like that…” Her words bring tears to my eyes. I ask her to stop but she doesn’t, insisting that I listen because I need to know the truth, “One day James, we went to our little home away from home as we called it…well that’s what I called it. You called it out escape. You asked me to be yours again and I told you know. You got mad…”

She continues as it plays. I see myself, at a young age, I can’t remember how old I was, but I see myself walking to the middle of one of the logs, standing there. I can tell by the expression on my face that I am mad at the world. I then see Kismet walk out there after me. She tells me she was pleading with me to forgive her, to not be mad at her. She tells me that she told me she loved me no matter what and that when I turned around and…

“You pushed me, James. I fell. I grabbed onto part of the log. I looked up at you as you looked down at me and I asked you to help me. But you didn’t. All you did was stare. Before I lost my grip, you finally spoke…”

She utters the words as I remember it all. I say them with her, “You’ll never love anyone else…”

And then she fell.

All I did was watch.

She died that day.

The little boy in me died that day too.

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