NOTHINGEWA World Heavyweight ChampionJuly 7, 2018 at 1:09 am
The moon hangs low over the crowded woods surrounding the House of HATE. Long gone are the days and nights of constant, repetitive snowfall blanketing all that the eye could see in a blanket of white. At times it was so hard to see any meaningful distance as the sun shining off of the gleaming surface could catch the eye just right and cause momentary blindness.
That glimmer is gone.
The white softness has melted and faded away leading to the resurgence of the true beauty of these woods. Grass is growing once again while flowers and plants bloom and blossom. The once craggy arms of the gigantic trees are no longer bare but rather bear the fruits of the rain, the sun, and the nature of all things.
On this night, and on many nights just like it, true nature is easy to see. The moon shines unhindered by clouds so much so that porch lights aren’t a requirement to see one’s way from the house to their car and vice versa. And, on this night, one individual in particular is finding her way toward the front steps of the hulking beast of a House standing in front of her.
The Crimson Queen herself, Sahara, steps out of her vehicle and closes the door shut… well, slams the door shut with enough force to threaten the trees around her to drop their leaves. She stuffs the car keys into the back pocket of her jeans and pulls her phone out of the front right pocket. With a flick of the finger the screen illuminates with its blue glow as she mindlessly makes her way forward. She steps loudly, routinely cracking twigs strewn about the path along the way, and adds to the noise by audibly responding to the items she sees on her phones with loud sighs, laughter, and groans.
She reaches the base of the steps leading toward the porch and stops in her tracks as she hears a voice – “I think it’s time we had a little talk.”
Startled, she jumps back a step and whips her head up in the direction of the porch. She furrows her brow as she stuffs her phone into her pocket before letting out a deep breath and shaking her head, “Gonna give a girl a goddamn heart attack jumping out of the shadows like that! You and that husband of yours… you’re a sneaky pair.”
The Matriarch of the House of HATE looks down from her position on the porch, leaned up against one of the posts with her arms crossed, as Sahara begins to regain her composure. “You’re the expert on that, though, aren’t you? Sneaking around, making deals in back rooms and dark hallways. Or, I guess I should say… trying to make deals.”
Sahara furrows her brow once more, this time with a slight look of confusion as she runs the tip of her tongue along the bottoms of her upper teeth attempting to formulate a response. She takes a step forward, placing a foot on the bottom step as she begins to ascend. “Listen, we can have a chat – let’s just get inside and you can brew up som–”
Serena stands up straight on the porch and reaches her arm out in front of her motioning for Sahara to stop. “No, I don’t think you understand. You’re going to get your foot off of that step and we’re going to have a conversation right here. Don’t worry, darling… it won’t take long to say what I need to say.”
Sahara slowly takes her foot off of the step before mumbling an agitated confirmation toward Serena and crosses her arms as she gazes back up at the woman. “Alright, cool – outside’s fine too. Could always use a bit more fresh air in our lives anyway, right?”
Serena leans back into her original position against the post as a wry smile spreads across her face. “You know all about the fresh air out in these woods, don’t you? You ran here when you were being hunted and escaped through these very same woods when Ike finally showed up on our doorstep. Showed up on our doorstep and this House was nearly burned to the ground trying to save someone who wasn’t even accepted into the fold just yet. We were trying to do our best by Indrid and show you what this family could offer one another. I don’t think that message ever truly broke through, though.
“We even battled Michael and Maggie for you. My husband and I… we had no stake in that battle. But it was important to you which meant it was important to Indrid which meant it was important to us. So we fought that fight and we broke those bones and we tried to show you what this family could offer one another. But, again… I don’t think that message broke through with you either, did it?
“And now, here we are… standing more powerful than we have in quite some time. Though, if I’m being honest, we’d be standing even more powerfully if we hadn’t just lost the Tag Team Titles. Nonetheless, we are on top of the mountain and in command of this entire company and then you waltz into the house doing all of the Sahara things you do best. Flaunting your body at every opportunity, trying to make every moment and every conversation center back on you, and… and what you’ve done most recently, Sahara… it makes me sick to even think about.”
Sahara steps forward once more, her hands up in front of her, as she begins to respond. “Listen, I know it’s been a rough few… forever, okay? It hasn’t been easy for me, either. All that shit you’re talking about? Yeah, that hits you when it deflects off of the main target – me. And I don’t thi–”
Serena stands up straight again and takes a step down onto the top step as she shakes her head, “Do you ever stop to wonder why exactly it is that you’re the main target of this never-ending shitstorm? Ever stop to recall your own actions and decisions and see what you may have been able to do differently to avoid those particular outcomes? Even better, actually learn something in the end? And don’t start running your mouth again, sweetheart – these are rhetorical questions and I don’t really need your input at this point.
“A lot of who you are and what you do can be swept under the rug. It can be ignored, as frustrating as it is, because of what you stand to offer to this house. In that ring, when you’re focused, you can be unstoppable. But outside of it? And especially within these walls? You’re a loud, arrogant, goddamn mess who needs to keep her mouth, and her legs, shut.”
Sahara takes a step back and twists her neck, the frustration beginning to rise within her. “Look, lady, you need to get your facts straight and–”
“No, Sahara, you need to figure out that you don’t run the game in this house. I know how Indrid likes to talk about how he has eyes and ears everywhere, but I’ve got them in tenfold. And before you start to freak out about an invasion of privacy or you start to worry about even more illicit photos of your escapades being leaked, just relax. The reason I have those eyes and ears, darling, is because of a skill I have in abundance and that you absolutely lack. Communication. Pru and I, we tell each other everything. And I mean ev-er-y-thing. You got that?”
The memories come rushing to Sahara en masse as her eyes begin to dart back and forth in an attempt to begin building her case. Now walking small circles at the base of the steps she looks back up at Serena, “Listen, I don’t know what your husband might’ve told you, but you might want to get both sides of the story. He had his hands all over me! He dragged me into that gaudy trophy room of his and threw me on his desk, and–and I don’t think I’m the only one he’s tried to have his way with! I’ve seen the way he looks at Candice and the other DC girls at the shows when yer not around. I think you need to get your man on a tighter leash and start accepting reality. And another thing, this WE business you keep poppin’ off about? Yer not out there breakin’ bones and winnin’ titles, that’d be US, you know, actual members–”
Serena, her face becoming flush with anger, takes another step down the staircase before throwing her hands into the air. “Would you just shut the fuck up?! If your actions weren’t bad enough to paint you in a negative light, your words more than make up for them. Do you ever stop to even listen to the words you’re saying? Listen to how asinine you actually sound? You know, you really could have been something powerful in this House if you didn’t let your fucking mouth ruin it at every conceivable moment. Why couldn’t you have just shut up every now and again? Why couldn’t you have just paused to enjoy the serenity of this place? Why couldn’t… shit… why couldn’t you have been a bit more like Maggie and a bit less like Lauren?”
Sahara stops in her tracks. Those final words… they strike deep. She turns her head toward Serena, her sapphire eyes darting upward to gaze upon her target with a look of pure rage spreading across her face as she begins to fume. She turns the rest of her body to follow her head and takes one hard, loud step up onto the bottom step of the porch. “You fucking bitch! Don’t you ever compare me to her or even use that fucking cow’s name in the same fucking sentence as me! You’ve got your head so far up your own goddamn arrogant ass that you don’t even see what’s going on here! Your husband puts his grubby little paws all over my body and you wanna defend his sorry ass?! What the fuck is wrong with you peo–” Sahara stops dead in her tracks, her words trailing off as her facial expression softens and she turns her head toward the ground. Her eyes dart back and forth as she begins to recount something she just heard. “Wait… you said I could have been something powerful. What do you mean could have been? What the hell are you talking about?”
Serena takes another step down, just one single step separating the two women, as the devious smile once again spreads across her face. “All good things must come to an end, sweetheart. Though I think this thing did much more good for you than it did for any of us. We accepted you into this House and put a roof over your head when you didn’t have one. We tried to build you up, to protect you, and to make you stronger. But you… you pissed it all away. So, this is it. This is the end of the line for you. You’re no longer welcome in this House… you’re no longer a Pillar… and you’re no longer privy to the same protections and benefits offered to the members of this family who actually appreciate what we have here. You are gone, Sahara. Gone.”
The Crimson Queen takes a moment to process what she’s just heard, every word in the English language flooding to her brain as she attempts to find a way to sort them out and respond. She shakes her head as she looks back up at Serena with a bit of a devious smile. “Who died and put you in charge, sweetheart? You don’t get to make that call! Who in the hell do you think you are?! Indrid would never go for this… and your husband?! You know, the one who thinks he runs this place? There is no WAY he’s going to want to say goodbye to me and this body and everything that comes along with it. He needs me if he wants to keep my title around his waist. Y’know, for every time he tried to ravage me in his little trophy room… how many times do ya think I actually went along with it to feed his oversized ego? And I’ll tell you right now, sweetie, I feel sorry for you – he’s not half the man Indrid is in any possible way. So, no – I don’t accept yer offer. So step aside, because I’m stepping back into that House and there’s not a goddamn thing you can do abou–”
“Just go, Sahara.”
A deeper voice than the one attached to Serena booms out from the darkened recesses of the unlit porch. Sahara cranes her neck to look behind Serena and her eyes grow wide as she watches The Purveyor step out from the shadows to join his wife in the light. He takes several slow steps forward before stopping at the top of the stairs, reluctant to join Serena or Sahara on the steps.
“Did you truly think that you could play that game with us, Sahara? That my wife would buy into these petty little notions you’re so good at planting into the minds of other, weaker individuals? It might’ve been easy, even a game, to drive your wedges between Michael and Maggie time after time but that… that just doesn’t work here. We operate on a different level. A level void of the insecurities and jealousies that plague you and your past lovers. I thought you would have seen that and decided to leave your sad, childish games at the door… but I was wrong.
“I wanted to see you succeed here, you know? I truly did. I always enjoy when one of Indrid’s projects gets off of the ground and truly turns everything upside down. All you’ve done, though, is made a fool of yourself in front of every Pillar who wanted to stand by your side. And this display? All of the garbage that just spewed out of your mouth? Hell, if our minds weren’t already made up before then tonight sealed the deal.
“Whether the words come from Serena or from myself, the decision is final. Indrid will be fine with it because Indrid will have to be fine with it. You’ve made your choices, Sahara… and now we’ve made ours. So get yourself back into your car, turn the key, drive out of these woods, and never come back.
Sahara’s mouth hangs open for a moment, her eyes darting back and forth between Serena and Pru as she attempts to regain her composure. The words simply aren’t coming to her, and even if they did, she’s not sure how she could spin this one back around. With a nod of acceptance, she slowly steps backward off of the bottom step for the very last time, her shoes hitting the soil as she begins to slowly backpedal toward her car.
“Did ya feel that?” The question was rhetorical. “The Titanic just hit the iceberg…”
She turns around and continues the trek to her vehicle while the House of HATE looms behind her. Reaching into her back pocket she pulls out her keys and hits the button on the fob to unlock her door. She enters and wastes no time in starting the car as she turns once more toward the house. Serena and Pru are still in their positions, their eyes fixated on The Crimson Queen as her car idles momentarily while she stares back at them in silence. With a sigh, she finally turns her head forward once more before putting the car into reverse, backing up, and then beginning the long drive down the private road out of the woods.
She is alone.
She is banished.
And she is already planning.
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