STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES
From the commercial, we see a door simply with the PRIME logo on it. Matt Mills waits outside with a microphone, awaiting whoever’s on the other side. The door creaks open and out from the inside walks The Anglo Luchador, in jeans, sneakers, his lucha mask (regular purple and green since the gold and white one is clearly at the dry cleaners), and a custom-made gray t-shirt that merely reads “OUCH!” in black block letters. Mills runs over immediately to greet him.
Matt Mills: TAL, TAL, to whom were you speaking in there?
TAL: Whoa, whoa, man, let me breathe a little bit. My body’s still making all the blood I lost last night, and having to talk to lawyers and executives didn’t help matters any.
Matt Mills: Executives? Like, juniors or are we talking Lindsay Troy or Killean Sirrajin here?
TAL: Look at you, playing senior reporter. Where’s Ange anyway? She’s usually got my beat.
Matt Mills: She’s standing by with Nate Colton next.
TAL: Ah, okay. At least it’s him and not someone like Jiles or Artie P.
Mills shakes his head.
TAL: Relax, buddy. I will tell you that I do have an announcement at least. I know there’s some rumors floating around about me, and I just wanted to say that I’ve agreed to stay on until December 17 at the very least.
Matt Mills: So you’re here through Colossus?
A “RRAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!” can be heard from the crowd.
Matt Mills: So the rumors are true that you’re at least considering negotiating a buyout of your contract?
TAL: sighing Yeah. It’s no secret that I’ve not been running at peak performance lately, and it’s not like it’s the young guys sprinting past me either. It’s the older guys too. I’m starting to feel out of place, but my original contract was for two years. I figure, let’s stick it out, give it the full two-year shot, and hey, maybe I catch a little more fire in the second annual Almasy, right?
Matt Mills: Wow, well, that’s a big scoop, I guess…
Mills is interrupted by a courier carrying a long box. He is, for some reason, wearing a pair of black shades in the backstage area. Even with the black shades, it’s clear his eyes are focused on TAL.
Courier: Excuse me, but I have a gift for Mr. Battaglia.
TAL: Whoa, whoa, whoa cameras on, man, ixnay on the ootshay amenay.
Courier: (ignoring that last statement) Here, take this. It’s for you.
The courier hands him the box.
Matt Mills: Well, this is odd.
Courier: You can go now, sir.
Matt Mills: What? Well I…
TAL: Bud, just do what he says, okay?
The junior reporter indignantly walks off the scene.
Courier: Okay, now open the box.
TAL: Huh? Aren’t you just a delivery guy?
Courier: Well, yes, but I must admit, I enjoy seeing my clients revel in what they’ve been delivered.
He opens the box to find a single long-stemmed red rose.
TAL: This is like the tenth rose I’ve gotten in the last three months. What the hell? Who keeps sending these to me?
Courier: I don’t know, but I think you ought to take some time to stop and smell the roses, Mr. Battaglia. I mean, you’ve had a really rough year so far. You might want to take some time to yourself.
The Luchador’s eyes narrow as he looks at the courier.
TAL: Who… who are you?
Courier: Oh, I’m just a courier, sir. Please though, you should take my advice.
The Luchador shakes his head as the courier backs away slowly. He looks at the rose quizzically before shrugging.
TAL: Guy’s right. Maybe I do need to smell the roses.
He takes a big whiff of the rose and smiles before taking a beat and collapsing to the floor.
Nick Stuart: What the hell? Someone get back there!
Richard Parker: Jesus, I don’t like the guy either, but he lost enough blood to supply an army regiment last night!
As the camera focuses on the fallen Luchador, the courier reaches down and grabs The Anglo Luchador before he knocks down the camera. We see static before it cuts to Angie and Nate.