View Full Version : Hanging at the S-Mart (warning: overt references to works I like abound)

March 27th, 2013, 10:05 PM
Its ears, face, fingers and toes were a deep blue. The rest of its body was coated in silvery fur, from its pointed head, to the vast expanse of its back and down its massive arms and legs. It also smelled. Not bad, at least not to KnightMask (or rather Tyrone Gunder, given that he'd left his mask in the car).

But its odor was strong.

He actually thought it was kind of a wholesome odor, like that of a big friendly dog. And there was something about the way it was earnestly burying its head into those boxes of ice cream in the S-Mart freezer that immediately endeared Tyrone to the behemoth. There was a creature that really appreciated his ice cream. A lot of time, he took food for granted...and there was this fellow, completely unabashed in his love and enjoyment of food. His blue face emerged from the box it'd been buried in, smeared with the light brown of melted chocolate ice cream. Round, kobalt eyes gleamed unmitigated joy as it discarded the box into the heaping pile behind it and promptly went face first into another.

Tyrone realized that, as much as he appreciated the beast's enthusiasm, S-Mart's supply of ice cream was fading fast. He had planned on buying some of the chocolate Carb Smart ice cream that Breyers made, just something to take his mind off the fact that a man had just recently died in his arms and the woman he loved--or something--picked that as a good time to declare her intent to kill him or at least really beat the crap out of him. It had thrown him into a sort of existential crisis, as supporting those two was his whole reason for entering the XWF. It turned out they didn't want his charity and in fact, wanted to, in the father's case, die fighting him and in the daughter's case, kill him or something.

As he watched the silver-furred monster discard yet another box, he considered that he'd probably be better off exorcising his demons on the mat or by throwing some iron around, instead of wasting the little money he had (he had spent nearly all of it on Natalia and Jorge) on ice cream that wasn't good for him anyway. He began to walk away when he bumped into Ashley James Williams--A.J. for short--the S-Mart day manager, who'd apparently been standing right behind him.

"So, whatcha think, huh?" A.J. nudged him. "Eh? Eh?"

The pile of emptied ice cream boxes now stood taller than the creature himself.

"Doesn't it...you know...?" A.J. asked, smacking his stomach as he did.

Suddenly, an ice cream box was hurtling at Tyrone's head. He just managed to catch the box, which was, in fact, a chocolate flavored Carb-Smart. The silver and blue monster, now staring at Tyrone with its kobalt eyes, bellowed, "Swallow it whole!"

A.J. patted Tyrone on the back. "Come get some," he whispered in his ear conspiratorially. "First one's on the house. That's what you get for shopping smart...shopping S-Mart."

The next thing he knew, Tyrone Gunder was sitting in the S-Mart break room, eating Carb-Smart and chugging protein shakes along side the day manager, A.J., and what it turned out was a Yeti who'd immigrated to Michigan from the Himalayas.

"Tell me that this guy is not the best in-store marketing tool you have ever seen, eh? And the thing is that it is 100% genuine."

"I love food man...and I love to share that joy with others," commented the Yeti, looking up from another box of ice cream.

The Yeti, whose name was Casey, had originally come over to try and make his fortune as, incidentally, a professional wrestler, but his career seemed to reach a impasse at the indy level. With money running out and no desire to return to the Himalayas, A.J., who'd struck up a friendship with him during a botched ghost hunting expedition, decided to try using Casey's voracious enthusiasm for the act of eating to make both his friend and the then struggling S-Mart location some money.

Casey's role, A.J. had explained, was to, by his example, infect S-Mart customers with a deeper, less self-conscious, more unbridled love and appreciation for food. Essentially, they'd realize how good the product was when they saw how much Casey loved it. And maybe they'd spend a little more money. And maybe, just maybe, lead happier lives in general.

"Normally, I would definitely not do this," Ash began, Casey looking up and nodding his furry head in agreement, "But brother, I can tell that you need it right now. You are in a bad way."

"Well, I guess its been a rough few days."

Casey the Yeti's eyes widened with understanding. "Woman. Been there."

"Haven't we all?" asked A.J.

"Last relationship I was in, well, I'd been mixed business with pleasure, and was actually seeing my own manager, Stephanie Weinberg...her sister works for the XWF, total psycho, by the way," Casey shook his head, then continued, "So she says she's gonna use her connections, advocate for me, get me into the big leagues...so she ends up you know, spending a lot of time at their offices, she's at the shows, talking in managements ears...so I think."

"Listen to this, listen to this," A.J. said, shaking his finger. "You won't believe it."

"Girl talks in her sleep, man. Talks loud. So, you know, one night, I'm up late doing my usual nightly ritual, cursing the Elder Gods and what not...and I hear her going on about SWEAT CHEAP SHOTS! I mean, she was vivid, she was graphic...girl confessed to me, not even conscious...! Either she's delusional, or she was bedding up with the biggest sleaze in professional wrestling...and then I find out, she was never even talking to management...she's actually the president of the Sweat Cheap Shots fan club...and she was there for one reason and one reason only. I shave my hair for that girl, man. All of it!"

"Eh, except for that strip going across your head..." A.J. interjected as he munched a Peppermint Patty. Casey dug into his fur and pulled out a photo of himself, hairless and blue all over but for a silvery Mohawk. He was wearing a blue t-shirt that declared, 'Cuckold courtesy of SCS!' with an arrow pointing up from the letters. He thrust the photo into Tyrone's eyes for emphasis.

"What does SCS stand for?"

"Oh, I don't know. I don't even like that shirt. Stephanie just wanted me to wear it."

"Well, hey, you don't know, fan club presidents can be a pretty nutty bunch can't they? Maybe she just dreamed the whole thing up...but even if she didn't, why not just use that as fuel to push yourself to get into the XWF and make things right with Cheapshots in the ring?"

Casey spit out the Rocky Road ice cream in a huge, geyser-like spray, blasting into Tyrone and knocking him out of his chair with its raw force.

"Sweat Cheapshots...? Are you nuts? That's like taking on the mob or something...that guys got more treachery up his sleeve than Kwame Kilpatrick's campaign consultant...besides...who could deal with losing to someone that....obnoxious....? Only thing worse than getting hit with the Sugar Shock...would be watching that clown's post-match celebration...and living with the knowledge that his study of you pre-match was probably was about as extensive as learning your name."

As A.J. chewed on a S-Mart Brand Insta-Burger, he held up a finger, signally that he was going to speak as soon as he jerked the food down.

"His boss...though...Natalie Foxx...talk about a babe. I mean, the way she wears that business and smokes those cigars..."

"But you know what, man...? I don't even worry about Sweat Cheap Shots. I mean, getting mad at him is like a Texas oil magnate getting pissed at J.R. Ewing. Manipulation and trickeration is the guy's stock in trade, you'll just end up going round in circles. Besides, say I did beat him, where would that take me? I mean, I got a job I love...and I get to share my love of that job with people five days a week. Can't beat that, can you?"

"The job I've got now, you know, I only took it up so I could support this woman and her father...but I guess the whole time they took it as an insult that I was trying to support them...and now...I really don't know what I'm going to do. I mean, I thought I had a good reason to work the job...but now..."

"Ha! Typical broad. Waste all your best pillow talk on her, then she gets real ugly...and bleeds you dry," commented A.J. as he sucked on a S-Mart Imitation SPAM stick.

"Well, hey, if you don't want to tell me what you do for a living, I ain't gonna ask...but you know, I think you're looking at things backward. Its not whether or not what you're doing is some kinda saintly activity in and of itself. I mean, look at me. I'm a big, a glutton. Ain't nothing noble about that--"

Tyrone began to speak, but Casey lifted a blue palm to stop him.

"--but the thing is that, you know, its a heckuva lot better than being taken away by the cops 'cause I broke into your mom's house at 4 AM on account of smelling the left over cornbread, black-eyed peas and tuna crochets from a mile away. Its not about whether what you do is noble or not, its whether its ennobling for you, you know? I mean, I got a belly that needs feeding...how can I take those passions, that hunger, and steer them in the right direction. Its like these guys that are crying about how boxing needs to be banned...what, so then where'd Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins be? Instead of the greatest middleweight who ever lived...the guy'd probably be the greatest criminal mastermind of the 20th century and if I ever wanted a Philly Cheese steak, I'd probably have to pay some kind of tribute to his organization, the Ex-Men or something..."

As Tyrone staggered his way home, his belly full of S-Mart protein drinks, he held his KnightMask in his hands, staring down into its vizor. He had told himself that he was going into the XWF for the sole purpose of supporting Natalia and Jorge. But maybe that was just a lie he was feeding himself, a way of glorifying what he was really destined to wind up doing regardless of Jorge and Natalia. Lifting weights, training fighting, wrestling...a perfect man didn't need any of those things...a perfect man didn't have limitations in need of transcending or demons to exorcise. A perfect man didn't have aggressive and savage impulses that he had to somehow, some way master and anchor towards a productive purpose.

He was no angel...but through the fire of combat, maybe he could at least, by the Grace of God, avoid being a demon.

He needed the XWF. Not Natalia, not Jorge, not Slam Master's gym. Him. Tyrone Gunder. KnightMask.

Maybe it was his way of working out...his salvation...through Hell or high water...with fear and trembling.

April 2nd, 2013, 12:56 PM
Wow. That was different. I can't say I didn't like it. I thought it wa quite good in fact, however maybe its just me, but I found it terribly hard to follow who was talking in the dialogue.
Also I'm fairly sure kobalt blue is spelt cobalt.
Also there was a lot of names of people and places and things and found it quite confusing. Maybe just me though.