Private: C. Mortgomery Byrnes
We open in a small room. Small being a relative term. Rebecca “Becky Mack” MacDonald, the number one realtor in Horace, North Dakota, would call it, in her slight, albeit endearing, Southern drawl, “cozy”. But this is a trailer and the home for C. Mortgomery Byrnes. For Morty Byrnes, it is “fuckin’ tiny”.
The newly crowned Alias Champion, was sporting a gold velvet tracksuit that only George Costanza would love, has a small set of tweezers in his hand. He looked at them as he opened and closed them as he pressed down on them between his fingers. He looked down at the small round dinner table, a Walmart special, where there is a piece of sticky paper in the center and a cockroach struggling to break free. The Alias Championship (also referred to as “The Gamble Championship” in honor of the man who led him to the title) rested over his shoulder as he glared at the unwanted intruder that had fallen into his trap with disgust as if were not just a common cockroach but a cockroach reeking of New York City sewage and cow dung.
Mortgomery Byrnes began making a clicking noise with mouth and bounced his head from side to side.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Well, you’re pretty much fucked, ain’t you? You can struggle all you want, you ain’t gettin’ away. See, I come home from Oklahoma City, expectin’ to do some laundry, eat some Jimmy’s Johns, pop in “Clueless” and sit in my chair to enjoy ninety-seven minutes of Alicia Silverstone perfection. Instead, I’m forced to deal with you. Not my idea of a fantastical Sunday night.
The masked PRIME wrestler reached down and picked up an open Honey Nut Cheerios box and placed it on the table.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: You picked the the wrong fuckin’ house. See, what you and your kind fail to realize isn’t what you’re tryin’ to take what’s not yours, per se, it’s just, you know, you’re tryin’ to take shit that belongs to me. These Cheerios? Mine. The Cheez-Its in the cupboard? Mine. Those bland fuckin’ Stouffers mac and cheeses in my freezer? Well, they’re in my fuckin’ freezer so they’re mine. What? You think you can just waltz your way into my home and take my shit? I don’t fuckin’ think so! Which brings me to you….
Mortgomery Byrnes swiveled his head towards the small (although slightly larger than the dining area) living room, which revealed a hogtied (from his wrists to his ankles) young man whose mouth his duct taped shut. The area under his left eye had swollen to the size of a baseball, there was blood running down his nose, it had trickled over the silver tape around his gullet.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Same soliloquy but you’re doubly fucked….
The Gamble Champion walked, almost a strut, over to the trespasser and reached into the man’s pocket and retrieved his wallet. He opened it up, no cash. If there had been a fly in the wallet it would have buzzed out, escaping it’s confines.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: What the actual fuck? No one carry cash anymore? Fuckin’ apps and technology. You know, there are two occupations I could never master: That of the magician and the pickpocket. The whole, whaddyacallit, sight of hand was very elusionary to me. But let’s see…..
Morty Byrnes pulled out the young man’s driver’s license. The photo showed that of an unenthused young man who may or may not have had the flu on the day it had been taken. Morty leaned forward and yanked the Chicago Cubs cap off his head. The young man’s brown hair flopped out. With his foot, Morty shoved his prisoner onto his side, crouched down, and then looked at the license and then to his captive then back at the license and then back at the captive before feeling some sense of satisfaction that the man that the intruder was the same lad in the identification that was in his hands.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: “Sinwell, Graham J.” Graham? Jesus, kid. Your parents didn’t do you any favors, did they? Shit. “Twelve-Thirty-Two Addison Wells Drive Oakport, North Dakota”. Well, Graham….
Morty said the name insultingly, the same way he would call him “Asshole” or “Prick” or “Weasely Shitfucker”. That was the least of Graham’s worries. He violated the sanctity of Morty’s home. His Fortress of Solitude. Sure, it needed a new roof. Yeah, it had a water stain on the ceiling that now resembled Washington crossing the Potomac. It most assuredly needed some form of repellent for the raccoons that get into his garbage. And of course, it was way too small for his needs. Becky Mack sure oversold this dump to those who exiled him to this hellhole. But it did not change the fact that this was his dump and his hellhole.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: I don’t know what your deal is. Maybe you’re a sick fuck that likes jerkin’ off in other people’s homes, maybe you’re some serial killer lookin’ for someone to put lotion in a basket, or maybe you’re just some mixed up kid that caught up in a bad situation. Maybe your mother is sick and you need to make ends meet by robbin’ empty homes, don’t know, don’t fuckin’ care. No matter how thin you slice it, it’s still sopressata. In other words, you’re no fuckin’ different than that cockroach over there.
Morty could almost see himself in Graham. Young kid, a mother whose mind was deteriorating before his eyes, had a low paying job but had big dreams of maybe one day playing Brick in a Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” but familial obligations got in the way. On the other hand, maybe not.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: I never did any B and E’s. I was more of a debt collector, repo man, and, for lack of a more concisive term, muscle. I hated the thought of goin’ into some schlub’s house while he was asleep. What if he woke up? Would he deserve the beatin’ I would be forced to give him? It’s unethical. Boostin’ a car from some rich prick who takes advantage of the little guy or breakin’ the arm of some degenerate gambler? Completely different story.
Morty almost felt a twinge of regret sharing some of his personal experiences, as vague as they were, with Graham. But it was done. Besides, someone needed to school him on the intricacies of maintaining a certain moral code in a lifestyle where the only mantra was “You’re only as good as you’re last envelope”. Morty studies the young man’s license once more and stares at the bruised, taped up face of Graham Sidwell, just to make sure he was one hundred percent the same person.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: What you should know is I got one of them photogenic memories. I know you are and where you live. See, if this were a year ago, I’d probably kick the ever lovin’ shit outta you. Ah fuck….might be bit too late for that.
Mortimer notices a rather large wet spot on the crotch of Graham Sinwell’s pants and his face, obscured as it was by the luchadore mask, contorted into one of repulsion and pity. And, of course, anger. The young would be thief had essentially pissed on his sandy shag carpeting. MORTGOMERY BYRNES: That’s just sad. All the fucked up shit I’ve done, those handful of times I got pinched, even those times I got my ass kicked, not once did I ever piss myself. That’s pretty fuckin’ weak there, Graham.
Gamble’s favorite member of the “G.A.S.” could only look away, but only for a moment. For all he knew, Graham Sinwell could have soiled himself to invoke some form of sympathy from the man who caught him going through his coveted box of DVD’s. Was Morty really that cynical and distrustful? It also begs the question: How easy would it really be to just pee one’s self after years of holding it in until getting to a toilet? (Of course, age and any medical condition would be exempt from this particular hypothesis.)
MORTIMER BYRNES: Anyway, if this were a year ago, you’d’a been pretty fucked, hardcore fucked. Dependin’ on the day, I might’ve taken a hammer and broken every bone in your right hand. If this were three or four months ago, I had someone in my life that I coulda and maybe shoulda changed for, she was that special, but deep down it woulda been a doomed romantical venture. At that height of personal happiness, with all it’s potential in front of me before the reaization of who I really am, I woulda been a little more receptive to a more passive approach such as lecturin’ you on the dangers of a life of crime and how you should channel such inclinations in more creative ways like macaroni art or paintin’ or stamp collectin’. You, unfortunately, will not be as lucky as to get away from this predicament that you find yourself in currently with a mere slap on the wrist and stern talkin’ to. You broke my door, mind you, it is a pretty shitty door, but it’s still my pretty shitty door, you came in, and you tried to take what’s mine. I want to make something abundantly clear, G-Wizz-Yourself….that’s among the multiverse of name de plums that will forced upon you if, or perchance, when this humiliation is inevitably discovered by your peers….not an intentional use of that word but a somewhat relevant term considerin’ your lack of bladder control, as demonstrated here tonight, and yet ironic since these peers of which I assume you have, to my knowledge, both exist and have not had a proclivity in wettin’ themselves….the thing that you need to understand here, Lord Pampers is thus…..
Mortgomery Byrnes found himself clutching the Alias Championship perhaps tighter than he should have as looked into the fearful globes called “Graham’s Eyes”.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: What’s mine is mine.
Morty could not help but kick Graham in the gut. The young man wheezed and convulsed on the ground. The handcuffs tightly locked in at his wrists dug in even deeper. Mortimer could see the failed scoundrel’s eyes well up with tears. He began screaming and wailing underneath the three layers of duct tape. Mortgomery wondered if he was crying for his mother. But he deserved it. Anything in his home, as sparse as his possessions were, they were his. He earned the money to pay for them. He sacrificed and fought for every last item from his collection of plays by Eugene O’Neill that he found at a garage sale to the Alias Championship over his shoulder. He would be damned if he let anyone, be it some shitty wannabe criminal or Eddie Cross come between him and what is, most assuredly, his.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: The question that presents itself to me at the this very moment is “What do I do with you?” Do I just let you go and act like this never happened? Fuck that. It ain’t happenin’. There will be repercussions for these intrusionary actions. I could continue to kick you. That’d be fun for me. Maybe I just call the cops. They pick you up, you spend a night in jail, maybe you go to trial, maybe you get off or maye you get convicted. You know what some of the more unsavory inmates do to Piss-Pants like yourself? It’s far worse than you can imagine. But here’s what I’m thinkin’…..
Morty pauses as he plays with the tweezers. He had no plan until this moment. It would give him so much pleasure to break this kid’s hand, but those are not the actions of a champion. At least when it came to civilians. One could say pissing himself and getting beaten was punishment enough. That would be letting Graham off too easy.
Mortimer thought about the road that led him here. There was a part of him, in that moment, that thought even though he earned the Alias Championship, he would still be considered a joke. All those losses. Eddie Cross (in between Contra or Ninja Gaiden or whatever video games he plays) could look at Morty’s matches….Flamberge, Ivan Stanislav, Anna Daniels, Ria, Angelo Luchaoray, Tony Fucking Gamble, that prick with the stupid bear…..and consider Mortgomery Byrnes, at his very core, a loser….someone he could steamroll over. More importantly, that Eddie Cross could even fathom taking what’s Morty’s. Morty had sacrificed too much to get where he is and he will not project an image of weakness, Eddie Cross will need to pry the Alias Championship, the GAMBLE Championship from Morty’s cold dead hands. No matter what Morty thinks of Abe Lipschitz, Abe eliminated him from the battle royal and earned his shot, Eddie Cross earned jackshit. As far as Graham is concerned, Morty had made a decision, the only decision that could be made under the circumstances and all he had to do was ask himself one question: “What would Tony Gamble do?”
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: ….and I take no pleasure for what is about to happen to you….but an example needs to be made it’s just your bad fuckin’ luck that it’s gotta be you.
Morty Byrnes unwrapped the tape around Graham’s gullet, leaving just enough on to keep him quiet. He then walked over to the cheap, plastic dining room table, and placed his Alias/Gamble Championship on the seat of one of his chairs. With the tweezers, Morty gingerly gripped the cockroach and slowly began removing it from the pad. Sadly, the roach lost two of it’s hairy looking legs. On the plus side, it was an injury that was not fatal for the insect. Monty carefully walked over to Graham.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: The way I see it, one of you ain’t walkin’ outta this house.
Graham, seemingly understanding where Morty is going, started to shake his head in objection, ignoring the pain in his wrists and ankles, almost pleading with Morty not to do what he was planning on doing. Through the tape, he was promising he would never do anything criminal again. It all came out as mumbling and grumbling through the tape.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: So, Graham Sinwell from Oakport, here’s what’s gonna happen: I’m gonna remove the tape and shove this roach…let’s call it “Eddie”…in your mouth. Now, it’s gonna be disturbin’ feelin’ little Eddie’s legs scamperin’ in your mouth, so I recommend you bite down quick and much like Thomas the Tank Train, chew-chew-chew. It’s probably gonna be the foulest shit you ever tasted but there’s worse things that I can do than make you eat this.
Morty crouched down and placed his free hand on the tape as the roach flailed it’s remaining legs looking for an escape that would not come.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: So, once you have chewed Eddie up and swallowed him, I will uncuff you, let you walk out that door, you get to live your life, play video games, watch movies, whatever the fuck….and, and this is important, we never see each other again. And equally of importance is the trust that I have that you won’t say shit about shit to anyone to as what you have undergone here tonight due to your own fuckin’ stupidity, might I intersect, cuz if you do….
Mortimer shrugged as if to tell Graham that he would not be held responsible for what might happen if…….
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Capice?
Graham nods in agreement. Morty looks at Eddie the Roach betwixt the tweezers.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Ciao la cock-a-roach-a.
Mortgomery Byrnes grabs the tape and pulls it away. Instead of complying, Graham screams.
GRAHAM: NO!!!! HELP!!!! HELP MEEEEEEE!!!!!
Mortgomery did not get upset. There was no anger. He has been through this before. How many people has he brutalized in his life while they were begging for their lives? Two dozen? Three dozen? Morty knew his closest neighbor was an elderly man, Jim, who believed that “Hobo With A Shotgun” was an unauthorized biography of his life.
The Gamble-Alias Champion took one deep breath before forcibly grabbing Graham’s face and holding it still, as Graham, who was panicked and probably did not think it through, screamed. Considering how Graham’s mouth was open anyway, Morty dropped Eddie the Roach into his mouth and immediately covered his mouth with both hands.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: There ya go! Just chew-chew-chew and it’ll all be over!
Morty could feel it as Graham began to convulse.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Don’t you fuckin’ puke on me!
As Mortgomery placed more pressure on Graham’s face, he could almost feel his captive’s resignation. As tears trickled down from his eyes, Graham began chewing.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Keep it down!
The PRIME wrestler could hear Graham gagging, his body desperately wanted to expunge it from his digestive tract. To Graham’s credit he kept it down, but Mortimer realized that within minutes of leaving his residence, Graham’s index and middle fingers would find their way down his throat. Morty removed his hands from Graham’s face. There was no screaming, just weeping.
Morty ruffled the young lad’s sweaty, floppy hair (and then immediately wiped it on his carpet which he needed to clean anyway) before reaching into his pocket and pulling out the key to his handcuffs. He unlocked the cuffs connecting Graham’s arms and legs first, followed by the cuffs around his ankles, and finally unlocked the handcuffs around his wrists.
MORTGOMERY BYRNES: Now fuck off.
GRAHAM: YOU’RE CRAZY, THERE, YOU!
Graham immediately scampered off into the night. Mortimer attempted to close the door behind him but it had fallen off it’s hinges. All Morty could do was mutter some incoherent obscenities before placing the door against the wall.
Morty turned towards the Alias-Gamble Championship on the chair. The symbol of both his success and the respect that he has fucking earned over the last year. His first title defense was coming up in Kansas City in less than two weeks. That belt was his, he earned, he deserved it. The stipulations were created by him. Fuck Eddie Cross if he thinks he will take that away. The good news? Once Morty beats Eddie Cross, that prick will never get another shot. There is some solace in that. End Scene.