My short story challenge continues with a significantly less serious story.
Not everything I write has to be serious short fiction, right?
Down On The Wrestler Farm
Well, howdy there, folks, and welcome to wrestler farm. We are, as the sign proclaims, the premiere establishment for growing crop after crop of superstars since 1937.
What brings you folks out this way with your big van?
Oh, your champion suffered an accident, and you’re after some fresh blood to face off in the squared circle?
Not a worry, folks, not a worry at all, now, lemme see… do you mind me asking as to how your champion came to be injured?
Makes it easier for me to recommend the right type of wrassler for your needs, you see.
Off a ladder, you say?
Through plate glass, you say?
Piranha tank, you say?
Thumbtacks, you say?
On fire… wait, how did the piranha tank catch on… oh, filled with petrol, you say?
Well, that’s a new one by me. And they say there’s nothing new in the professional grappling game!
So, was your champion a big man, technical grappler, luchador? A big man, right, got it, I think I’ve got just what you need.
Now, if you’ll follow me down past the luchador pens… hey, while you’re here, I should tell you about our weekly special!
Sign up two or more luchadors, and we’ll throw in the valets for free! See that fella over there?
That’s one of our top developing prospects, El Promedio, he’s going to be very big one day.
Lovely mask feathers, well developed abs and a twinkle in his eye that all the lady fans are bound to swoon over, that’s what you get with El Promedio.
You could have El Promedio, and say… ooh, now, who would feud well with El Promedio… oh, yes, you can’t go past Hijo De Sosa, a cannot miss rudo. All for this low, low price, you won’t find better in those international breeding farms, no sir, you won’t.
So can I interest you? I can, excellent.
Phil… Phil… PHIL! Put down the mop and bucket, I’ve got some better work for you to do.
Phil, could you pop El Promedio and Hijo De Sosa into separate cages with some water and needles and a pair of valets for these nice folks while we mosey over to the heavyweight pens?
Make sure you hose them off before you drop them in there, Phil. I think I saw El Promedio rolling around in something unpleasant last night, so he’ll need a bit of a clean up.
Excellent, just sign here folks, you won’t regret this, Phil here will get them both wrapped up for you and hitch them to the back of your van.
Just remember to allow for a little settling in time, especially if your ring’s using ropes rather than cables. Also, don’t let them chew on the cables, they’re right little sods for that kind of thing.
Now, watch your step here, we’ve got to go past the hardcore pens, and it can get a bit on the sticky side, due to all the bleeding that they do.
The missus, lovely woman, she calls them her “little bleeders”, they’re her passion, you know.
She’s got a real thing for slightly flabby men with huge scars on their foreheads, in here night and day sewing up their wounds and giving them fresh barbed wire to hit each other with.
You’re not sensitive about language, are you? I mean, you’re promoters, you probably hear worse during the contract negotiations, it’s just that the hardcore lads can get a little… fruity, know what I mean?
Oh, a clean show, you say?
Right then, we’ll skip right past those lads. Now, do you do any women’s wrestling on your shows?
We’re a little light on talent there, although we are developing a few young ladies that I could let you have at a really competitive rate if you wanted to build out a division, on account of the fact that they are pretty green.
Still, they all start out green, don’t they, and you never know if you’ll end up making a fortune from them, do you?
Susan there, the bigger lady, she’s from Alaska, you could easily build her up as a monster heel with a little fake fur on the shoulders and a plastic battle axe.
Just pause here a second, and she’ll show you what she can do in the ring.
She’s very nearly mastered that moonsault, probably won’t hurt young Alice with it.
Well, not again, we think Alice has figured out rolling out of the way in time.
At least we hope so.
Yes, that’s why her face is that way.
Yeah, that pen is quite large for just the two ladies.
Problem is you see that the lady wrestlers are just that bit smarter than the fellas.
They have a tendency to escape on the regular, and then you have to track them down to whichever fitness modelling contest they find themselves in.
Messy business, which is why we subtly brand all our stock in a very special place that other promoters won’t think to look.
No, it’s a very humane branding process. Very humane. Ignore that screaming sound, that’s probably just someone working on their promo skills.
Ah, here we are, our thoroughbred heavyweight stock. You’re going to love this folks, because just last week we took in a delivery of fresh young studs for you to pick from.
Over there, that lad, only 22 and no prior convictions that we know of, Steele Armington. Yes, that’s the one, the lad in the torn jorts with the scar over his left eye.
Steele is so keen, they told me he jumped into the stray wrestler van without even needing to be offered a tranquiliser…
Not your type, you say? Too small? Well, he’s small, but he’s scrappy, but you do know your own territory, so I won’t quibble.
How about THE BRUTE? He’s an older model, a few more matches on his bump card to be sure, but an absolute professional, don’t believe those stories you may have heard about his habit of…?
Oh, you’ve heard those stories, have you?
He got to your grandmother, you say? Is she… OK now?
Well, then I can see how he wouldn’t fit into your particular locker room.
I can see you’re quite the discerning type.
I do have one rather… unusual offer… I could make you.
Bit of an off-the-books prospect, if you follow me?
Let’s step into this side barn, if you would.
If you look across there, in that ring by himself.
Why yes, that is him.
Yes, really. That’s not an imitation, not a parody. That’s the real deal.
That haircut and the sculpted body are a dead giveway, as is the tattoo.
I can see you’re surprised, he’s said to be “out injured”, right?
Well, it ain’t so.
We were able to capture him from that company he was wrestling for, ’cause he escaped, you see.
Saw him down the highway one day, wrestling in the street against anyone who strayed too close. We were lucky to grab him, really.
And well, the missus was a big fan of his work, so we kept feeding him and providing him young wrestlers to keep the ring rust off, so he’s primed and ready to go. Ignore the bandages on his left arm, that’s just for show.
Only problem is, of course, he’s still under contract, technically speaking. If you’re fussed about that kind of thing, and really, isn’t a handshake as good as a contract these days?
Exactly. So, here’s what we can do.
We’ll grab a spare mask, got a few left over from that nasty bout of luchador mites that took out the class of ’22, drop it on him and pop him on a tanning bed for a few hours.
That’ll keep the lawyers away, because they won’t be able to prove that it’s him if he pops up on your show, now will they? Even if they did, easy grudge match to promote as mask vs hair or mask vs career before he leaves your territory, everybody wins even if he loses.
How much, you say?
Clearly, he’s prime stock, so I can’t let you have him for the same price as I’d be able to let Steele go for. But I’m sure we can work out something mutually beneficial.
Phil! PHIL? Oh, where is that lad, we’ve got to get this one off the property before the cops come… ahahhahah, no, nothing, forget I said that…
For those coming in late, I’m once again doing a year long challenge to write short fiction pieces, one per week. As it’s now week 21, that means you’ve got 20 other stories to pick from if you fancy a quick read:
If you click on the short story challenge tag you should be able to find everything that I’ve written so far, no matter when you’re reading this.
If you’d prefer the to-date-when-I’m-writing-version:
This isn’t my first crack at a year long writing challenge, either.
The last time I did one of these challenges, it ended up being an eBook all of its own, called Fifty-Two:
And if you want something entirely different, there’s also my B-movie novel, Sharksplosion. Yeah, it’s pretty much exactly what you’d think a book with that title might be like: