Event: ReVival 27
Event Date: 05/05/2023
We continue the corral of backstage moments as we are now elsewhere backstage.
The chair damn near takes his head off as Jared Sykes steps into the small locker room he shares with his partner.
Had he been paying attention he would have heard the hurried sounds of rubber soles on tile or the metallic twang of the metal folding chair being clamped shut, but in the wake of an extended conversation with PRIME officials about what transpired at the end of Ivan Stanislav’s match with Nova the Dragonslayer’s mind is elsewhere. And were it not for the last-second attempt to duck out of the way, his mind may very well be splattered across the walls and tile. It’s a near miss, but the throw was still strong enough to punch a hole by the door.
Jared Sykes: Jesus fucking Christ!
Across the room Justine Calvin stands with her feet shoulder width apart and both hands balled into fists. Until a few seconds ago she had been sitting on the chair that now lays at her partner’s feet.
Jared Sykes: The hell was that about?
Her eyes dart to an object resting on a bench not far: a red and yellow tulip whose bulb has been carefully wrapped in damp cloth to preserve the soil within. Her posture softens a little when she turns her attention back to her partner. Just as she did earlier in the night, she reaches toward her palm with her thumb and slowly rotates the ring on her left hand so that once again the stone is facing out.
Justine Calvin: Fuck, I’m sorry. It’s been… Ummm…
She inhales deep and tries to steady herself. The night has shaken her, of that there is no doubt. Two weeks ago she sat on the sidelines and watched her partner stand defiant in the face of thinly veiled malice. Tonight it was her turn in the crosshairs, and the threats were far less subtle.
Anxiety gives way to anger.
Justine Calvin: And where the hell have you been? It’s been almost a goddamn half-hour since you stepped out. What’s so fucking important that you had to deal with?
Jared recoils. Her words might as well be another chair.
Jared Sykes: There was an incident after Nova’s match. Ivan kinda lost it. The son of a bitch went completely overboard, just hit after hit after hit. The way he had Caesar compromised it… It kinda reminded me of last fall, and what it was like to be in that position.
Vickie Hall. The Love Convoy. A symphony of rusted nails, molten chocolate, and scars that don’t heal.
Jared Sykes: I couldn’t just let that happen. I couldn’t. So I tried to help, but I don’t think it did much good. Bastard tried to hang a man in the ropes, Cal.
Justine Calvin: Jesus.
Jared Sykes: So, yeah. That’s where I was. And then checking in with the Doc’s team to make sure Caesar was going to be okay, and then there was the debriefing with Dam. Those are always fun.
Justine simply nods.
Jared Sykes: Why? What’d I miss that’s got you trigger-happy with the chairs?
He leans over to pick up the one by his feet, dusting it off as he prepares to unfold it.
Justine Calvin: You should maybe shut the door. There are… Well…
Justine Calvin: The problem might be bigger than you think.
The door to the room closes with a soft click, and we go elsewhere backstage.