Progress and Paperwork
The camera settles on a young man standing over a table, his arms full. Judging by his black PRIME polo shirt and nervous expression, he is obviously a backstage worker, responsible for food, or maybe parking, or maybe he’s the guy who has to hide King Blueberry from PRIME executives to keep him from being fired. In any case, he bobbles the items in his arms – a hat, a few coozies, and a handful of stickers, all emblazoned with the letters FFN in connected writing.
Backstage Attendant Mark: Thank you, Mr. Rhine.
The camera pans across the table to Fighting For Nora’s Jonathan Rhine, who is sitting at the table with a huge smile. To the right of him, leaning back with his feet on the table, is Paxton Ray, Rhine’s tag team partner. Ray is tossing a coozie from one hand to the other.
Jonathan Rhine: No, Mark, thank you. Your generous donation will go directly to Nora’s fund. We both appreciate it so much.
Rhine looks back at Ray, who looks up and nods.
Paxton Ray: Thanks.
Jonathan Rhine: Okay, so four coozies, 10 stickers and a hat – that’s forty dollars total.
Backstage Attendant Mark: Right, one second.
With seemingly Herculean effort, Mark is able to balance everything in his arms as he reaches into his wallet, and with two fingers opens it and shakes out three bills. He drops his wallet on the ground as he scoops the three bills up and hands it towards Rhine, who looks at Paxton nervously.
Jonathan Rhine: Do we accept cash, Paxton?
Paxton Ray: Don’t think so.
Backstage Attendant Mark: Why not?
Jonathan Rhine: Tax thing.
Backstage Attendant Mark: Oh.
With another feat of strength, Mark bends down, scoops up his wallet, and is able to pry his credit card out in the same way he had previously. Amazingly, nothing has fallen from his arms. Rhine grabs the card and sticks it in his little portable square thingy.
Jonathan Rhine: Thank you Mark.
He hands Mark back the card, and with one more excruciating display of carpal gymnastics is able to get his wallet back into his pocket. He then turns around and runs directly into Killean Sirrajin, PRIME’s Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.
Backstage Attendant Mark: AHHH!
Coozies, coozies everywhere. Mark hurriedly picks up his bounty as Sirrajin looks from the backstage attendant to Jonathan Rhine.
Killean Sirrajin: Hey Jonathan.
Jonathan Rhine: Mr. Sirrajin! Thanks for stopping by. Interested in making a purchase? We have coozies, stickers, and our newest product as of this morning – bucket hats! All have our Fighting For Nora logo, all proceeds go to the Fighting for Nora fund.
Killean Sirrajin: Maybe later, but I’m here on other business. I wanted to tell you that you and Paxton will have your first match at Revival 4 against the Hollywood Bruvs, Blue Live Crew, and Solid Gold Rock n Roll.
Jonathan Rhine: Wait, didn’t the Bruvs quit?
Killean Sirrajin: I’m sure they think they did.
Jonathan Rhine: Well, whatever. It sounds excellent, I can’t wait.
Killean Sirrajin: Unfortunately, we’re running into an issue. When registering the fight, it appears that Fighting For Nora hasn’t been officially allowed to participate in sanctioned matches in Nevada because one of you didn’t fill out their fighter registration information.
Jonathan Rhine: There must be some sort of mistake, I had mine…
The realization dawns on Rhine as he slowly turns to face his tag team partner. Ray is not looking at him, however; his attention is on the backstage attendant Mark, who is still trying to pick all of his merchandise off of the ground.
Jonathan Rhine: Paxton, have you filled out your paperwork?
Paxton snaps his attention towards Rhine, raising his eyebrows.
Paxton Ray: Paperwork?
Rhine sighs, then looks at Killean as Mark finally has his belongings and stands up.
Jonathan Rhine: It’ll be ready before our match. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Killean opens his mouth to respond but is interrupted by the sound of tires.
And then, some loud-ass Cher.
DO YOU BELIEVE IN LIFE AFTER LOVE (After Love (after love (after love…)))
Behind them, a forklift rolls into view. In the days that follow this episode of ReVival rumors will circulate about where else in the building it was spotted. Employees and patrons alike will swear that they’d seen it in the mezzanine (freight elevator), the resort lobby (elaborate series of ramps), and on the casino floor (magic).
I CAN FEEL SOMETHING INSIDE ME SAY I REALLY DON’T THINK YOU’RE STRONG ENOUGH NO
The entire contraption jostles as it drives over a box of Fighting For Nora merchandise, causing the chocolate fountain it carries between its tynes to splash warm, melty fudge across the floor much to the chagrin of Bobby Dean, who is holding on to the forklift for dear life.
Watching the forklift roll away, Mark nervously looks at Killean.
Backstage Attendant Mark: Sorry Mr. Killean, I’ll go take care of him now.
He takes three steps and steps directly on the chocolate spilled from the fountain, causing him to fly into the air, dropping all of his coozies and stickers once more. Struggling to his feet, he leaves the merch on the ground as he runs, slipping occasionally, after King Blueberry and the abomination he has wrought.
The two members of Fighting For Nora look at each other.
Paxton Ray: He probably shoulda worn the hat. Woulda been less stuff to hold.
Jonathan Rhine shrugs as we go elsewhere.