I AM THE WEINER!!
Posted on 09/17/22 at 11:55pm by Tony Gamble
Event: ULTRAVIOLENCE 2022
“You don’t look good.”
The man tied to a chair in the middle of the room struggled to lift his head. Each breath is labored, and the blood dripping from his chin has stained what is left of his shirt. Someone has done a number on the man who will one day be adored by hundreds of PRIMEates, though looking at him at this moment – without his trademark scar – you wouldn’t recognize him.
“What the hell did you do, Tony?”
Frank Monteverdi squatted in front of Tony ‘Pre-Grin’ Gamble. He reached over and lifted Tony’s head by his chin, taking a brief moment to take in how bad of a beating he had already taken. He stood up, wiped the blood off his hand on a handkerchief he pulled out of the back pocket of his black slacks, then tossed it onto Gamble’s lap.
“They’re talking about calling Bruno in,” he said before stuffing his hands in his pockets. “so you need to tell me what the fuck happened and you need to do it now.”
“I don…” he can barely speak, the effort needed to just mutter a few words caused the pain in his chest to increase. “don’t… know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?” Frank’s shoes cause a rustle noise as he walks on the plastic sheet that has been laid out on the floor of the otherwise empty room. “You’re not sitting there bleeding all over yourself like a fucking chump for nothing, Tony, and if I’m going to help you out of this shit… you need to give me a good fucking reason.”
“I’d… tell… you… if I… knew.” Tony had to take a breath after each word, while a tear puddled in the corner of his left eye. The day’s events had replayed over and over in his mind since ‘Poker Face’ Pete Leoni and Willy ‘The Wire’ Pellegrini pulled up to the curb in Petey’s red four door Brougham. Willy was sitting in the back, behind the front passenger seat, when Petey told him they needed him to go with them to do a few pickups. He had already done his runs for the day so he knew something was up, but he also knew he didn’t really have a choice in the matter.
“This is fucked up, man,” Frank shook his head. “It’s like back in the eleventh grade when I ended up saving your ass from those damn skinhead, nazi fucks, instead of getting that blow job from Maryanne McGuiness.”
“You… think… so?” His left eye tightened into a squint, as the slight chuckle that escaped his lips caused a wave of pain to crash against his chest. He remembered that day well, because it was the first time he had met Frank. Sure, he had seen him around the neighborhood, but he was the type of kid that Gamble’s parents had warned him about. The kids that ran the streets after dusk, hanging out in the pool halls instead of doing their homework because school wasn’t a part of their future.
If they could see him now.
Would they ever see him again?
Tony Gamble lifts his head and finds Frank Pastore standing in front of him, a sweat drenched towel draped around his neck. The truth is, Tony was not sure how to answer the question. Physically he was fine, but mentally he was a freaking train wreck. These last few months had been rough, and the match coming up against Mortimer did not seem to be as much of a walk in the park as he had made it out to be either.
“I’m fine,” Tony once again failed to tell the whole truth, and the look on Frank’s face made it clear he was aware of it. “Just wondering what to pick up for dinner later. Not really sure if I should go with Mexican or Mediterranean… I’ve been wanting some Greek Moussaka for a few days now.”
“Bullshit,” Frank replied, as he folded his arms across his bare chest.
“I don’t bullshit about food, Frankie,” Tony answered as he stood up. “Not to mention, I love eggplant.” Gamble’s left eyebrow cocked slightly as he heard the soft chuckle escape the lips of his associate. It was at that moment he knew he had fucked up.
“I bet you do.”
Frank smiled as he shook his head, and Gamble realized this was something Pastore would bring up again when he would least expect it. He honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up on a tee shirt in some way, more than likely a picture of him biting into an eggplant with the words ‘I love this’ somewhere around it.
“Don’t you fucking start with me,” Tony turned his back to Pastore and grabbed a water bottle off the bench he was just seated on. The back of his shirt had a streak of perspiration soaked into the center of it.
“How about you stop lying to me then.”
“Look,” he paused, staring at the puddle of sweat that had formed on the ground below the bench. “I’m not sure I can actually beat Kjedelig. It’s easy to talk a big game when the camera is on and no one is around to call me on my bullshit… and even easier to talk shit on Jabber. But I’m the one who’s fucked if I lose this match and Morty starts running his damn mouth again.”
“You’re being too hard on yourself,” Frank put a hand on Tony’s shoulder. “Sure you haven’t had the same success in the ring like you did back in the day, but it’s been ten damn years. You’re not in the same shape you were in back then, and don’t even get me started on the fact that you probably shouldn’t be wrestling in the first fucking place.”
Tony turned to him, his brow furrowed and his eyes narrowed as he angled his head to look up at the much taller Pastore.
“You’re killing yourself over a damn favor… is it really worth it.”
“I wouldn’t be here right now if Frank didn’t have my back.”
“If he really had your back,” Pastore threw the towel he had draped around his neck toward the bench, but the momentum carried it over the edge and onto the ground. “he wouldn’t be asking you to risk it for his own family bullshit.”
Tony watched as the big man turned and walked away from him. He knew why Frank was so upset, having been the one to find Tony passed out in their hotel room all those years ago. He didn’t want him to go through that again, more importantly he didn’t want to go through that again. To most people, the stipulation he suggested for UltraViolence was just another one of his jokes… another way to amuse the crowd with the ridiculous name he had chosen.
At first, Tony saw this as his way out of a tough situation. If he let Mortimer win, he would have to keep his end of the bargain and let shit with him drop and they could go their separate ways. That was when he received the visit from Mikey and Dom, who had been sent to inform him that if he was no longer in control of the situation… his services would no longer be needed.
They made it perfectly clear what that meant, and they didn’t really say much else..
Tony knew they were just a couple of punks that he could take easily if it was just a fight, but this would be anything but fair… it would hardly be a fight at all. He’d be lucky if he even saw it coming, and that was something he had to avoid because anyone with him would be looked at as collateral damage. No one else needed to get hurt because of the bad choices he made in his past.
Maybe just Mortimer, because it was his fault Tony was in this mess to begin with.
Well, maybe not all his fault.
The sudden sting of the back of someone’s hand striking him against the cheek startled him awake. Which would be funny since it was someone’s fist that had knocked him unconscious to begin with, but there is no sort of amusement Tony could find in this situation at the moment. At least not on this end of the strike.
“Did you hear me, you son of a bitch?”
As hard as he tried, Tony’s chin would not pull away from his chest. He just sat there limp, the ropes tied to the chair he is seated on the only thing keeping him from making out with the ground. The person speaking to Tony grabbed him by the chin and lifted his head, but he couldn’t tell who it was through the blood, sweat, and tears that had crusted up on his left eye.
The right one was swollen shut.
“You think you can steal from us, you little shit?”
He couldn’t quite place it, but the raspiness in the voice was slightly familiar. What he said though, it made absolutely no sense. Tony never stole anything from anyone, he knew better than to do something that stupid.
“One way or another, you’re going to tell me where the fuck you stashed it.”
“I… didun… still… shii…” The words spilled out of Tony’s mouth in a mumbled mess.
“Don’t you fucking lie to me,” Tony’s cheek was assaulted once again, this time by a clenched fist. “Louie and Mike already told us they left you with the money when they went in to collect from Lindy’s bakery. That was the last stop on your route, Tony, so quit the bullshit.”
Tony knew now what the hell was going on, he also knew that he was not going to be making it out of this room alive. It didn’t matter that he had nothing to do with the missing money, because at this point there was nothing he could say that was going to convince anyone that he was innocent. He could barely complete a damn sentence.
“Let’s see if this jogs your damn memory.”
Tony felt the cold blade press against the left side of his mouth. He wanted to cry out, wanted to lift his head and bash it against the face of the son of a bitch that was across from him. He couldn’t do a damn thing though, and in a few moments he never would again.
The gargled scream scratched its way through his throat, echoing out through chapped lips as he felt the blade slice through the left side of his cheek. The copper taste filled his mouth, a warm coating along an otherwise dry tongue as what did not slowly dribble down his throat ran down the side of his neck and onto his shoulder.
“You still having trouble remembering where our money is, mother fucker!?”
The words ran through his mind, but nothing came out of his mouth. There was no longer any pain, just rage. He prayed that ghosts were real so he could: step out of his body, find out who the son of a bitch that had just ripped apart his damn cheek was, then haunt the bastard for the rest of his damned life.
“Well now your face doesn’t look symmetrical,” the voice whispered into his ear. “Can’t have that now, can we.”
Tony felt the blade press against the right side of his mouth, and there was nothing he could do about it. He just sat there limp, what else could he do.
“I wanna hear you scream like a bitch again, Tony.” The bastard chuckled heartily. “Hope you don’t disappoint.”
“That’s enough!” A familiar voice yelled out from behind the man that was about to rip apart the right side of Tony’s cheek.
“You’re not the fucking boss yet, Frank.”
“But he sent me, Lucci,” Frank replied, his voice sounded closer this time. “So if you don’t drop that damn knife right now and step away from Tony, you’re not going to be around when I am.”
Tommy fucking Lucci…Tony recognized the name, and knew he was a ruthless son of a bitch that they sent to visit people when they didn’t pay their tithes.
“What the fuck, Frank?”
“Tony didn’t have shit to do with the missing money, Tommy.” he heard Frank on his left, and assumed he was the one pressing something against his cheek. “Louie and Mike were in on it together, dumbfucks got caught at the track betting on some horses.”
“Yeah, Tommy, you are.” Tony felt something tug at the ropes, then felt them lose their tension as his body slumped against what he assumed was Frank’s shoulder. “Now get over here and help me get Tony to his feet. We need to get him to the doc.”
Tony felt Tommy lift his right arm and drape it around his neck to lift him up. He wanted to tighten his arm around Tommy’s neck and choke him the hell out, but he was too weak and on the verge of death so that was going to have to wait.
If he survived the night, of course.