ACHETER DE LA COLLE
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: three men relax by a pool.
One man swims – splashes with giddy excitement, more like – for that matter, one Hank splashes with giddy excitement, more like – inside said pool.
Something, something, set-up, punchline – Phil Atken has the Universal Championship around his waist by the pool.
It’s not a good joke. It’s also not a joke at all.
“Six minutes left, Hank,” calls Cecilworth Farthington, seated farthest right of the poolside trio. Hank vigorously nods and takes a deep breath before going underwater. Have you ever done that thing in the pool where you practice doing flips by spinning over and over and over underwater until you’re out of breath? Hank learned that trick this week. He’s getting pretty good at it. Cute little giant Sonic the Hedgehog over there.
Phil Atken sits in the middle, his better-defined-than-you-might-expect chest soaking in some rays while PRIME’s Universal Championship is on full display. He’s got bruises all over and bandages on his face – but with his calm expression, you wouldn’t know that he has a pain in the world.
On the left, sticking out in a striking way…it’s the kid. FLAMBERGE. He beckons the camera towards him as he glistens in the sun, wearing teal swim trunks and gold-rimmed shades.
FLAMBERGE: Oh la la, PRIME. It seems like you are upset. My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing since the main event of ReVival 13 – tags in Jabber, texts, angry voicemails – I had to invest in a portable charger to absorb the new activity.
FLAMBERGE: Maybe I should send that bill to the bitch, Nate Colton, too. By the way, coward, I still await the check for the damages you caused my FLAMBO.
FLAMBERGE stretches his arms over his head and lets out a deep, relaxed breath.
FLAMBERGE: Monsieur Atken, it is a wonder no one answered your call sooner. The grass, it is certainly very green here.
Atken also wears sunglasses as he lays out – though they are so thick and dark that one would have been forgiven if they thought he might have been asleep this whole time. Or blind. He ever-so-slightly turns in the camera’s direction.
Phil Atken: I take my offers of mentorship seriously. I offered Mr. FLAMBERGE a chance to see the two best competitors in PRIME up close and personally. It is hardly his, mine, or the Glue Factory’s fault that Brandon lost his focus. It is not FLAMBERGE’s fault that his eagerness to see brutality up close allowed me to lock in a tight choke. Brandon Youngblood had a mental blip, a millisecond of distraction, and he needs to own that.
Phil returns to his original position, and before long, tiny snores are audible. Hank pops out of the water, gasping for breath.
Cecilworth Farthington: Three minutes, Hank!
Hank nods vigorously, his face flush pink. After a few seconds, he feels confident once again to take the plunge – this time, attempting a handstand on the pool floor. It’s going about as well as you might expect.
FLAMBERGE reaches into his pocket and pulls out his omni-buzzing phone, giving it a chuckle.
FLAMBERGE: So many people are the pissed. So many people blame me for the pain they now feel – Youngblood, Anglo, Ria, and that dog child Nate Colton in particular these days. Look inward, mon fils. You are upset because you are not the me – and you were NEVER the me. I am now PRIME’s Most Wanted, and where THAT title goes, so goes la fortune et la chance. And if you STILL don’t understand?
FLAMBERGE reclines deeply, hands behind his head. Bubbles blurp over where we assume Hank may be.
FLAMBERGE: Acheter de la colle, bitches.