May 29, 2019
Candi Bratton is filling up her new truck with gas at the filling station. She’s been very happy with the way her new truck is running and has had no complaints as of yet, which is highly unusual for her. She finishes pumping her gas and then heads inside to pay.
“Hey, Candi! Heading out to Denver?”
“Yeah, what’s it to you? You my secretary?”
“No, but I figured with the championship on the line, you’re probably heading out early so you have some time to relax before bell time.”
“Fuck off, Henry. Ain’t none of your goddamned business what I’m doing. Here, take my money.”
Henry swipes Candi’s card and pays for the purchase while Candi picks up a few snacks. Some beef jerky, a few bottles of Mountain Dew and some assorted candies that she tosses on the counter as Henry looks at her. “So, you know you have a match in a couple of days?”
Candi gives him the evil eye and flips him the bird. “I wasn’t asking your opinion, fucker. I gotta stay awake on the drive down there, you piece of crap. Just ring this shit up and let me get on my way. My mom died years ago and you for sure ain’t man enough to tell me what to do, so do your goddamned job.”
Henry just lifts his hands in submission and rings up the items, swipes her card and places everything in a bag, handing it and the receipt to the wrestler. “Don’t know why you gotta give me shit about my life. I’ve been doing just fine on my own, fucker. If I wanted advice, I’d hired a motherfucking advisor not a goddamned gas attendant.” She grabs the bag and heads out of the store and climbs into her truck. She reaches over and places the cold items in her cooler and everything else stays in the bag in the center of the seat.
She revs up her truck and pulls out when her phone goes off. “Goddamnit,” she mutters under her breath. Probably one of her goddamned kids needing something for their brats. “What,” she asks into the phone as she puts it on speaker as she pulls out into the road.
Oh. It’s Lara. The productive one. “On my way to Denver. Whaddya want?”
“So, Fight Union closed. I’m outta work.”
“Well, fuck. What are you going to do?”
“Well, first I’m keeping this shiny little belt I earned with my blood, sweat and everyone else’s tears.”
Candi laughs. “I’d keep it at least until they issue the court order for you to return it.”
“I’m looking at San Diego, actually.”
Candi has to think for a moment, “WWH?”
“Yeah. I sent them some tapes already.”
Candi nods her head, “I haven’t heard that much about it. Just know of it, but a gig is a gig is a gig.”
“You ready for your match? Maybe we can both end up with titles by the time Wednesday night is over.”
Candi snorts as she reaches for some Twizzlers and cracks them open and pulls one out, “Fuck. I’m always ready. That man-let Hamilton thinks she’s hot shit, but I’m going to knock her crooked-smiled ass down a few pegs. She has no idea who the fuck she’s talking to and I’m gonna beat her worse than I beat Anya last week.” Candi pulls a bite off the vine and reaches to turn up the volume on the phone.
“What about that other guy? The Masterbator or whatever the fuck his name is?”
“Grape Ape? I’m gonna send him back to Saturday mornings faster than his feet can take the 57 seconds it’ll take him to cross the ring just to meet me face to face. I’m gonna slap him so many times he’ll never show his motherfucking face on TV again. When I’m done, he’ll think he’s the lost member of Streetz and form Men to Boyz or whatever the fucking name of that goddamned group was.”
“You’re so old, mom.”
“Fuck off. The goddamned boss is gonna be the referee now. He’s said so on that Twitter thing earlier today.”
“Oh, shit. Is that going to be a problem?”
Candi shrugs, then realizes that her daughter can’t hear that on the phone. “Fuck if I know. All I know is that if he tries to protect his ex, I have no problem knocking his lights out either.”
“You think he’d do that?”
“I have no fucking clue, but men have done far more for a piece of pussy. He’s probably still trying to get into her panties,” Candi mutters around another piece of Twizzler.
“Well, be careful and I know you’ll win. Every week, they underestimate you. And every week, you kick ass. I’ll definitely be watching.”
“Thanks, kid. Let me know how it goes with San Diego. I’m sure you won’t be out of work for very long. I’ll chat at you later.” Candi reaches over and hangs up the phone.
She enjoys these trips. The long quiet drive. She’d rather do that any day than take a fucking flight. Gives her time to think. Scheme. Whatever. It’ll take her a couple of days, but it’ll be worth it. She reaches over and flips on the radio to a country station and grins, “Mother fucking satelite radio.”
She might sing off key, but when you’re singing to Merle Haggard, it doesn’t really matter.
The first thing I remember knowing was a lonesome whistle blowing And a youngun's dream of growing up to ride On a freight train leaving town not knowing where I'm bound And no one could change my mind but Mama Tried One and only Rebel child from a family meek and mild My mama seemed to know what lay in store Spite all my Sunday learning with the bad I kept on turning Till mama couldn't hold me anymore And I turned twenty-one in prison doing life without parole No one could steer me right but Mama Tried Mama Tried Mama Tried to raise me better but her pleading I denied And that leaves only me to blame cause Mama Tried