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» Kingdom of Destruction XLX: Something that I never Lost
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Never was and never will be again Empty Never was and never will be again

Post by krzy on Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:15 am

Long after Ascendance has gone off the air, a cameraman finds Brett Angel sitting in an empty hallway, empty bottles neatly lined up, empty eyes staring back at the approaching employee.

ANGEL: This war with Shay Hoxton has been ugly. It drained me so badly that I don't even feel close to whole now that it's over.

Angel dryly chuckles.

ANGEL: I shouldn't say over.

I'd reckon it's only on pause for now.

See, this battle didn't begin when the bell rang tonight in front of thousands here in Chicago. Nor did it begin when Shay phoned into a radio station and said I was a husk.

It began when he turned on the television years ago and thought to himself, "Hey, there's something about this Brett Angel fella that I can really get behind."

That began the great conflict every human must face: living with the aftermath when fiction clashes with reality. That's why they say don't meet your heroes...because some people romanticize their character and mythologize their accomplishments to the point where that hero becomes larger than life.

Then you see them in the flesh and their flaws become blasphemous and their missteps, catastrophic.

I can never be the Brett Angel you idolized. I never was that man, and I never will be again.

Angel brushes loose strands of hair out of his eyes.

ANGEL: The man I am today is a warrior, a survivor. The kinda guy who steps into the ring with everything to lose, who stands face to face with insurmountable odds looking failure and disaster dead in the eyes then finds a way to pull victory out of thin air.

That's how I made it this far, and that's how I'm gonna keep pushing forward until my dying breath. On my hands and on my knees I will crawl to the finish line because not a damn person will ever tell me when my time is up until I say there's nothing left for me to do here.

And there's plenty left for me to do here.

Angel's voice trails off, but when he starts to speak again, his voice has renewed vigor and strength.

ANGEL: The issue is that the moment I have the audacity to step into the light there's a man waiting to pull me back into the darkness.

Not anymore.

I mean it this time.

As spectacular of a talent Shay Hoxton is, he thought he had me read like a book. He missed what was written between the lines. He missed that no matter how much footage you watch, how much you train, how much you psych yourself up, how much you tell me that I'm half the man I once was, that's still more than enough to get the job done, and I promise the next man who comes to my side of town running his mouth from dusk to dawn: I won't wait for things to get brought to the ring.

That's been my mistake.

That's been the trap of insanity I've fallen victim to, thinking that sooner or later folks will see that between the ropes I'm as dangerous as ever.

He shakes his head.

ANGEL: From Furious Frank to Xander Slate to Shay Hoxton a lot of my time, too much of my time, has been exhausted trying to be some kind of moral beacon when everyone else was chasing gold.

Toughest part of the cycle isn't recognizing you're in one, but taking the steps to break it. I didn't have the strength to do that until tonight. It's been cathartic. After that battle, there's nothing more I can say, and there's nothing more I can do.

Angel pushes himself off the ground and gets to his feet.

ANGEL: After wading through the Blackest Night for so long, I see the sun poking its head through the clouds, and I feel its warmth as it shines down on me.

It's been so long, yet it's just as I remember.

I can finally take that first step.

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