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March 11, 2018

13. Super Finisher, pt. II

“One!” The referee shouted. His voice sounded distant and echoed. “Two!”

Jonny’s head was splitting in pain. He was on his belly, face down. Wait. He was here. He was back. Vesuvius was back.

He flopped up right before the three-count pinfall. Seth Gates was stunned. He had just dropped Hell’s Gates on this kid. How was he not completely knocked out?

Vesuvius looked around. A crowded theater cheered him on—the underdog. Adrenaline pumped through his tired veins and sore body. Gates looked across the ring at him and sneered.

“Good, kid. You’re doing good,” Gates said.

Seth Gates was one of those old types that completely hid his identity. Jonny didn’t care who knew he was Vesuvius. It didn’t matter either way. But Seth was ego. He was a character and a persona. He carried the act from somewhere backstage to the public arena to his lonely bed at somewhere within a fifty mile radius.

Jonny looked around the audience once more. Only a minute ago it was he and a mythological green man in the ring and now he was back wrestling this old guy, Seth Gates. In the audience a man caught his eye: his belly protruded around his vest and too-short tie. He made direct eye contact with Jonny. The Producer winked. Chills rushed down Jonny’s back. But how?

In that moment Seth Gates ran from one end of the ropes to another and delivered a leaping clothesline. Vesuvius was stunned on his back. White flashes crossed his vision. Gates had made clean and powerful contact. Vesuvius was still dazed from seeing the Producer. Gates wasted no time in climbing the turnbuckle for a corkscrew elbow drop, dubbed the Devil’s Trident by Gates. In a brief moment of clarity, Vesuvius rolled over and dodged the merciless elbow. Gates landed hard on the plywood mat and shook the stadium. The ropes rattled/wavered on their lines in fear.

“Blast you. We’ve been through this already.” Gates was panting now, balancing himself on a knee to catch his breath. His energy had been exhausted in the first ten minutes. He played his hand early and was running out of steam. “I win this match. You lose.” His eyes narrowed.

Vesuvius took the moment. This was it. He caught Seth Gates by the ears and shoved his head between his knees. In a flash he locked his arms around Gates’s waist and pulled him into a crucifix powerbomb—The Eruption. He fought gravity and his own muscles to lift the mass of flesh but prevailed. Seth Gates ascended toward heaven. He quickly fell back to earth under the control of Vesuvius and hit hard. The mat was less forgiving this time—a crack sound whipped through the arena. The crowd gasped in unison. Gates’s limp form melted into the mat in slow motion.

The referee ducked down and checked instantly. He grabbed Gates’s wrist and it fell immediately to mat a slop of sweat. Gates was out cold, a knockout was called, and Vesuvius had won his debut match. The crowd was near silent. Gates was no fan favorite but he had been around long enough to be known and preferred over this new nobody, Vesuvius who had just completely knocked out Gates with a massive finisher. Once again Seth Gates ascended toward heaven.

Vesuvius was baffled and did not flinch when the ref pulled his hand up to announce his victory. He glanced where the Producer had been sitting and only found an empty seat. The match was decided and the announcer prepared the next match. Vesuvius slouched out of the ring and down the aisle.

As he walked back to the dressing room Vesuvius took off his mask and resumed his identity as Jonny. It was all soaking in as minutes passed after the traumatic bout. What had happened that put him in the ring of an empty stadium and wrestling a green man with a floating boat? And who was the Producer that was in both worlds? His heart began to pound a little harder.

After only a moment of grace, someone knocked on the door to the dressing room. Before Jonny could answer the door opened and there stood the stout figure. The Producer with his mustache and tie and vest all stretched across his taut paunch. He swaggered in relaxed and intimidating. The oar clutched in his grip pounded hard on the polished concrete floor.

“Jonny, we’ve got to talk.”

Here is the sequel to the much anticipated part one of “Super Finisher”. I’d still like to refine all of the whole narrative to be little easier to read. Maybe some backstory. Something that makes it more enjoyable. For now, this is it.