THE WRITING ON THE WALL
Hey look, we’ve got a Colton!
Nate Colton walks down the hall, still dressed in a PRIME polo (hey, the polos are back!) and blue jeans. He’s engaged in conversation with…oh my.
It seems our initial report grossly underestimated the number of Coltons in attendance. There’s no fewer than four satin ring jackets on display, all in different colors.
Nate’s in the middle of conversation with the fellow in the green jacket. That’s his cousin, Dennis. Dennis is the largest member of the family, and one half of the SHOOT Project Tag Team Champions, although he doesn’t have his belt right now. That’s because he lost it while getting chased all over the arena by a motorcycle gang.
It’s a whole thing.
Nate Colton: Yeah, she told me if I screwed it up again she’d beat me to death with that flat wooden stick thing.
Dennis Colton: Mom takes her tomatoes seriously. So what did you do?
Nate Colton: I stopped screwing it up! I remember the stories you used to tell about that stick; I want no part of it.
Dennis Colton: Good call.
They keep going, passing one of the countless Ivan Stanislav posters lining the walls tonight. Every few steps, another poster of the Universal Champion staring boldly into the future and inspiring the people. Or making them ill, YMMV.
A few steps behind is an older gentleman in a blue jacket, identical to the one Nate used to wear apart from the name on the front. That’s Jake Colton, patriarch of the Colton wrestling family. He’s got the biggest smile in the world on his face, and it’s obvious how much he’s missed this kind of thing.
Jake Colton: Y’know, I never enjoyed visiting the boss’ office when I was workin’…but damned if that wasn’t a great time. Ain’t seen Wade Elliott in a dog’s age. I ever tell you about the time we fought in Biloxi?
Nate Colton: Did you win?
Jake Colton: Christ no, that tough ol’ bastard whipped my ass all over town. Good times.
They walk past yet another Stanislav poster; Nate glances at it briefly and shakes his head.
Nate Colton: Already sick of seein’ that guy.
The other two Coltons on the scene are Benjamin and Jennifer–in red and purple, respectively. They’re much farther down the hallway, facing the wall and giggling. I’m sure it’s fine.
Dennis Colton: I liked that visit too. Had a great talk with Dametreyus, and he invited me to his philosophy Discord.
Nate Colton: Very cool! I bet you didn’t mind seeing the Flynn Cup up close and personal, either.
Dennis Colton: Next year, cousin. Next year.
Another poster, only this one looks a little different. Ivan is now wearing glasses, and his tongue is sticking out. The tongue and glasses are definitely real and not drawn with permanent marker, no sir.
Nate Colton: I hate to cut this short, but I should probably start getting ready. Big match tonight and all.
Jake Colton: I suppose. Thanks for giving us the tour, son. I really enjoyed it.
On another poster, Ivan has an arrow through his head, and someone has stuck a pair of googly eyes on him.
Nate Colton: Me too. I…I think I needed this. Thank you for being here…all of you.
Jake Colton: Hey now. My boy’s first solo main event, against a former Universal Champion…in a suite with an open bar? Wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Nate Colton: Open bar? Oh God, that won’t be a disaster at all.
The next Stanislav comes with a speech bubble, in which the Universal Champion shares the secret of his success: “I EAT FARTS!”
Jake Colton: It’s probably fine. How about you, son? You ready for this?
Nate Colton: As much as I can be. Gotta keep your head on a swivel with Jiles…and this fight won’t be anything like the last one. This is gonna be the hungriest he’s been all year.
Ivan has a thought balloon over his head. Inside the balloon is a stick figure wearing a cowboy hat, which has helpfully been labeled “Morgan Wallen.” It is surrounded by hearts.
Nate Colton: Any last-minute advice?
His father thinks for a moment, as the group goes past more vandalized posters. Ivan makes a series of declarations, such as “Alexei! I demand a piggyback ride!” or “Jared Sykes is my hero!” or “Spoooooooooooonnnnnnnge?”
Jake Colton: No…I think you know what to do. Just try to win with wrestling this time, and not hitting him in the crotch.
Nate chuckles at his father, and not of a crying Stansilav getting dunked on by Boomer, the mascot of the Indiana Pacers.
Nate Colton: Don’t worry about that, Dad. I’ll do you proud.
The older man throws an arm around his son’s shoulder.
Jake Colton: You always do. These two, on the other hand…
The group has finally caught up with Benjamin and Jennifer, who are still giggling as they stand in front of yet another poster. Jeez, how many of these things are there?
Jake Colton: Don’t s’pose I can get you to behave for a minute.
The siblings turn around and hide their hands behind their backs. If they were holding any markers, that’s where they’d hide them…but of course, they would never.
Benjamin Colton: What are you talking about? We are bein’ have.
Jennifer Colton: The most have.
See, they’re pronouncing it like “Dave,” and…you know, maybe this isn’t the best medium for a joke like that.
Jake Colton: All right, you honyockers. Let’s give Nate some space.
Benjamin Colton: “Honyocker?” Careful dad, your redneck is showing.
Jennifer Colton: What’s a honyocker?
Benjamin Colton: I think you get ‘em at the State Fair, with your choice of caramel or strawberry drizzle.
Jake, becoming progressively more annoyed with these damn kids, waves them down the hall.
Jake Colton: Go on, shoo. Nate…tear it up out there tonight.
He gives a quick hug to his son, which Benny and Jenny join in on. Dennis hangs back a little, but nods in approval when he catches Nate’s eye.
After the hugs and a few rounds of “good luck” and “kick ass,” the rest of the Colton brood leaves the scene, leaving Nate alone.
Nate Colton: I wonder what those two were doing…eh. I’m sure I’ll hear about it later.
He turns the other way and heads to the locker room, leaving the scene empty except for a poster for what appears to be PRIME’s new sponsor. It looks like a cereal box, with Ivan Stanislav as the spokesman/mascot. Apparently it’s very nutritious, with 10 ASS-ential vitamins and minerals.
ReVival 36 is brought to you by FARTS: Breakfast of Champions!
Cut. To the new Glue Boy.