PLAYING WITH HOUSE MONEY
We cut backstage. Angelica Brooks has a microphone in hand as she stands next to FLAMBERGE in his ring gear.
Angelica Brooks: Ladies and gentlemen, FLAMBERGE! FLAMBERGE, tonight we see you take on Cancer Jiles in your first ever PRIME main event. This is only your fourth professional match – for many wrestlers, it takes YEARS to headline a show. How are your nerves?
FLAMBO’s outer lip curls upward for a fraction of a second before returning to his normal stoicism.
FLAMBERGE: I am playing with the house’s money, no? There has been much of the foregone conclusion this match. All I will say is, for the fans of PRIME who have been paying attention? You will not be surprised by what happens tonight.
Angelica Brooks: Last time you and I spoke, it seemed like your…marketing manager? Sponsor? Your designated “talking head”, Mr. Darby, seemed like he had a lot to say before your interjection. How are things with you two right now?
FLAMBO rolls his eyes.
FLAMBERGE: I can’t deny the revenue he generates, but let me make this clear…he does not speak for me. Not then, not now, not ever.
Angelica Brooks: And your father, Henri Lavigne…he’s been on this journey with you your whole life, but based on what we saw recently-
FLAMBO holds a hand up to Angelica – not aggressively, but certainly with purpose. He takes a breath before leaning into the microphone.
FLAMBERGE: Dad, I know you’re watching right now. You’re watching and hoping for me to fail tonight. You’re waiting for some vindication, some proof that you were right all along about some imaginary goalposts you’ve set for me that have changed more times than I can count. I want you to look into my eyes right now.
FLAMBO’s gaze is unblinking and piercing as he locks eyes with the camera.
FLAMBERGE: Everything I achieve in PRIME is not BECAUSE of you, it is in SPITE of you. And when I take over the main event scene of PRIME in earnest, when I win my first championship gold? You’re going to be sitting there, rotting on some disgusting old chair somewhere, wishing you could celebrate with your son. You’ll be running through a sleeve of Oreos, pissed at me for another supposed “slight” as I earn the recognition you think belongs to YOU. And I will be here…in PRIME, fighting the best wrestlers on the planet, and so very glad to have you out of my sight.
Angelica’s eyes have been growing wide, but she composes herself as FLAMBERGE finishes speaking.
Angelica Brooks: Strong words from one half of tonight’s main event! Let’s go back to ringside!
FLAMBERGE leans into the camera one last time, warmth in his eyes for maybe the first time ever.
FLAMBERGE: Love you, mom!