Private: Balaam the Mask of Malice
- Open: Interior Apartment, location unknown.
Three men gather around a 54-inch tube television on a tv stand with a tan wall behind it. On the wall hangs a picture of Gary Cooper walking a dusty road in his black hat and vest with gun on his hip as the sheriff in the movie High Noon. A black cat clock with a tick tock in rhythm of a wagging tail and shifty eyes tell us it’s ten minutes after 4 presumably in the PM based on the light shining in through a side window.
The men are recognized as Hoyt Williams, Duke Williams, and Joe Burro. They are watching Rezin’s first interview upon entering PRIME as he has just been tossed out of a van in front of the MGM Grand.
- CUT TO: Promo they are watching.
REZIN (On tape): Well I’m the ugly guy! And I keep getting these jobs, because the rubes keep buying tickets wanting to see a SCUMFUCK like me get his face bashed in! It ain’t flashy, but like all aspects of life, somebody has to do the shit jobs, and in this sport, that somebody is ME!
Rezin turns and holds his arms out wide to the Garden Arena in the background. The PRIME Wrestling banners flutter overhead.
REZIN (On tape) continued: What more can be said?! Chaos is an ocean! I just surf the waves, and PRIME just so happens to be where the tides have taken me!
- CUT TO: Back to Interior Apartment
Hoyt Williams: Siri pause.
The video pauses.
Hoyt mimics surfing with his hands flailing and bent knees.
Hoyt Williams (poorly impersonation) Rezin: Chaos is in the ocean mannnnnnn! Like I just surf waves and stuff, and by faith, I like totally landed in PRIME to be a total loser mannnnn.
The three men laugh.
Hoyt Williams: What an absolute disaster of a human. Ugly, foul, violent but at least he understands his role as a scumfudge loser and bottom feeder. I respect a man who understands their role in life even if it’s the most pathetic of exitances. The world needs janitors, cashiers, news anchors, and social media influencers.
The “Malice Man” Duke Williams walks over to the mini bar and mixes two Manhattan’s properly doing a little dance adding in the bitters.
Duke Williams: I’ll tell you this much I respect wrestling. It’s been my life. This buckaroo Rezin is a disgrace. He’s a garbage wrestler who takes unneeded risks that make our sport seem more violent and crude than it really is. I despise glorified stuntmen. Hit the fucking gym, build some bulk, and learn how to wrestle. Any dim bulb can learn to fall but a man learns to stand and fight. It’s not that hard. He’s lucky I’m not twenty years younger or I’d kick his teeth in and use his broken tooth shards to etch out that stupid pot leaf tattoo on his chest. It’s fine to smoke it but have some fucking respect hoss.
The old cowboy drops two cherries in each Manhattan before handing Joe Burro a glass. The TV screen in the background is now showing an episode of Three’s Company as the theme song can be heard lightly in the background.
“Come and knock on my door….”
Hoyt Williams: Weed is not acceptable at all. Being a sow grazing on the devil’s front lawn is a gateway to a dark dimension of the laziest variety. My father who made art in heaven made the plant smell like a damn skunk, and yet brainless losers still smoke it. Can you imagine something that reeks that bad and people still flock to it? It’s like a fan wearing a cheap mask T-shirt.
Joe Burro: Speaking of stinky I watched Rezin’s other promos and he shit himself in one of them. He now lives by a garbage can after getting booted from the hotel for smoking the Mary Jane.
The pontiff of prime shakes his head in disgust.
Hoyt Williams: Harmless drug they say!! You smoke it and next thing you know you’re perfectly accepting walking around with a defecation in your drawers getting evicted from your domicile. Forget frying eggs to make a point on saying “no” to dope, they should just let kids get a whiff of the retched Rezin. By the way his name is Erick Black. I’m not calling him that stupid other name ever again I’m a grown man.
Joe Burro: Damn Duke, why are your Manhattans so good?
Duke Williams: People use those shitty cherries that are meant for kids Sundays. This is a man’s drink, its sophisticated like one of them I-phones. I use only an adult’s cherry.
The savior of wrestling stops for a minute to look at his biological earth father inquisitively.
Hoyt Williams: What in the name of Oswald the Saint is an adult cherry?
Duke Williams: The Luxardo cherries! Cherries for adults, and hoss they are expensive!! But so worth it! Don’t skimp on quality.
Hoyt Williams: Oh, a brand! I don’t know why I thought you had some actual wisdom to bestow.
Duke Williams: You don’t drink, you wouldn’t understand.
In the background on the TV Jack Tripper falls over the sofa which catches Duke’s eye. He chuckles ever so slightly.
Joe Burro: What if this Rezin…
Hoyt Williams: Erick Black.
Joe Burro: What if this Erick Black guy smells like the poops, do we still have to have the fight?
Duke Williams: Joe you’re really concerned about this guy’s smell. I don’t think Balaam will mind.
Joe Burro: I must be near the ring sides. Don’t seem fair?
Duke Williams: You know in my day if a wrestler didn’t maintain a civil odor, we would pay off the fire marshal with a ring rat and some salad. In exchange they would hook up a fire hose and we would spray down the offender in the parking lot. Ha! It knocked over ole “Long Beach” Veech Moline at the Hulman Center in Terre Haute, Indiana. It was like a silent movie with him slipping and sliding trying to stand up and not drown. Took a layer of skin off Veech’s ass he couldn’t take a bump for a month. But I tell you this much he never missed a shower again and stopped snacking on those garlic anchovies.
Hoyt Williams: A holy water cleansing actually could be a good idea if we had a water source and hose. Baptize Eric Black and clean him off in the process. Do you think we can lure him into the parking lot?
Duke Williams: He lives there!! We can tell him his box is on fire.
The three men laugh.
Hoyt Williams: Ok, Joe you’re in charge of getting us a hose. I’ll bless the water. This is actually plan “B” as I’m going to make a formal request to PRIME requiring them to make this “man” bathe as that seems reasonable.
Duke Williams: Them managers can care less if they don’t have to deal with it. You got to fight a shit smell with shit smell if you’re going to win. We can turd in Tchu’s office on his desk!!
“Your Personal Jesus” does not seem amused at the idea instead rather repulsed.
Hoyt Williams: I will not engage in this filth. I will call the president lady and tell her its unhygienic. If they are fair, they will require him to bathe. I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. First, I have to request that an official doesn’t wear war make up and now I have to ask that a competitor bathes. You see why I’m retired? This is insanely unprofessional. I had such high hopes for a female President, but I guess they really belong in the back holding microphones. To think religious oppression still happening in 2022. It’s obscene. If that Brandon Youngpug asked the president to have Erick Black take a bath, they would call the Calgon man to come take Black away. It’s just unfair.
Duke Williams: I feel your pain hoss! The man held me back in the day because of my charming southern drawl. Seems the Wo-man is no different than the man. It’s like that old Who song; the new boss, is the same as the old boss.
Joe Burro: Who?
PRIME’S savior taps his temple with his pointer finger.
Hoyt Williams: We’re not going to fully destroy Erick Black. Oh yes. He deserves it. He needs to pay a mighty price for simply existing. I spoke to his mother in hell the other day. A real skell of a soul, who is a garbage drug addict, and as patterns often repeat, she produced a garbage drug addict for a son. Scum breeds scum and the Black family is no exception. I couldn’t talk to her for more than five minutes before she offered to, you know me, for a crack rock.
The protological son raises an eyebrow.
Joe Burro: You know you? I don’t know you, what you are saying? What does he mean you know me? I’m lost?
Duke Williams: She offered to slurp the gherkin!
The Malice man points at his crotch than makes a blowjob motion with his fist near his mouth.
Joe Burro: Oh. OHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Hoyt Williams: Yea. Horrible. She wanted to mouth rape me for a drug, in the afterlife to boot!!! I ended the conversation right there. Anyway. This is a game of 3D chess management is playing with me for stealing John Kennedy Royko for my own intentions, and out of their marketing hands. It’s a game. They want us to take out Erick Black.
The Malice Man takes a good chug of his Manhattan.
Duke Williams: Help an old cowboy out here!! What are you saying? You think they want us to hurt Black?
Hoyt Williams: Why is Balaam fighting Erick Black? Neither is popular with the fans. There is no real heat between us. This isn’t part of my open challenge for the 50k. So why make the match?
Duke Williams: To take out Rez…Erick Black.
Hoyt Williams: Bingo. Here is a man…a filthy…horrible wrestler…and an even worse person…but a man none the less who gets under the skin of PRIME management. He’s embarrassed them, he’s cost them money, he’s even been suspended. They know the great Balaam is a hell raising terror that is only going to get stronger. Erick Black is from Indiana where they grow corn feed so that the cows can get big and fat for us to feast on. Black even said it himself, his job is to be fed to monsters on their way up in the world while he collects a paycheck and toils in the bowels. PRIME management wants us to destroy him so that he’s out of their hair. He’s openly antiestablishment. He’s destroyed equipment. Our interests of bringing Chaos and disorder to PRIME are far more aligned than naught. They don’t want us friends they want us enemies hoping for mutual destruction.
Duke Williams: I like that word “naught”, it’s like a classy version of naughty. I reckon you’re right PRIME is using us. You know I would just say talk to this Black kid, and see if we can get him to join our side, but given the fact he listens to that punk music, his hearing is all but gone. I bet he’s as dense as the air at a Wille Nelson concert.
Hoyt Williams: After talking with his dead mother, I can tell you there is no conversation to be had with this sinner. He’s a dead man walking as his soul is damaged beyond the point of salvation and one day he will be found over-dosed in an alley wearing dirty clothes completely forgotten by history. Time will be his ultimate demise but yes, he must be punished now. He must feel the wrath of God. We don’t want to appear weak after the injustice of the “cheap mask” and the Samoan Crowd Silencer and the Las Vegas screw job. So, Balaam must beat him, but we will consciously come short of destroying him. Let the punk go on to create more chaos in the future. For disorder and distraction is when we keep a calm head and move forward with our agenda. His existence is beneficial to our cause.
Joe Burro: Can I get another Manhattan?
The Malice man moves to the bar and works on round two.
Hoyt Williams: So, Aurora’s father is some big shot lawyer down in Alabama. I got served with some papers that we’re going to have to let Balaam speak to the authorities. I have a plan with one of those two-way baby monitors.
Duke Williams: Oh, like the movie Born in East La where Javier thinks the picture of Jesus is talking to him but it’s really the answering machine behind it? Ain’t that the bull’s tits.
Hoyt thinks about it for a moment trying to think of a response.
Hoyt Williams: Actually yes, exactly like that.
Duke Williams: I can call Cheech and get him to voice Balaam!! He owes me a favor for that thing that happened in Juarez on a triple A tour with the little person and the turtle race.
Hoyt Williams: No. We don’t need Cheech, or Chong, or the Count of Monte Cristo. What in the name of my heavenly father are you even talking about with a turtle race? You know!?! I have too much stuff to deal with right now.
Hoyt looks at his Movado watch and grabs his briefcase.
Hoyt Williams: You’ll be informed when I’m done planning it. Right now, I need to meet with the lawyers over this issue with Balaams order to appear. After that, I have a dinner meeting with Elon Musk regarding my return to TWITTER. I will also stop at the factory and feed Balaam, he’s still recovering from the floggings. Can you two drunkards not burn the place down while I’m gone?
In the background on the TV Norman Fell as Stanly Roper dead pans the camera and breaks the third wall with a big goofy smile on his face after making a limp wrist and wagging his pinky after talking with Jack. Duke cracks up, while Joe Burro plays with the cherry he pulled out of his glass. Hoyt puts on a raincoat and leaves in a rush. Duke stares at the door for what seems like an eternity although it’s only a minute.
Duke Williams: Little mister sunshine is gone, time to get down to brass tacks and let the skunk out.
Joe Burro: Party time tis is!!
Duke walks over to the kitchen unit in the small apartment and pulls out a bong from under the sink.
Duke Williams: Alexa play “Handful of Gimmie” by Fred Neil.
The song starts to play as Joe Burro pushes “4:20” and then “Start” on the microwave before walking over and taking a pull on the bong. Duke takes one of his own as he spills out his collection of dominos on the kitchen table while coughing hard. The two men sit down and start playing.
Duke Williams (singing):
I’d spend the last of my last ten cents
On a nickel bag of candy
And if I had just ten more cents
I think I would take a ride
On the Staten Island ferryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
Joe Burro: Hey Duke, why tis Hoyt so high strung and you know….
Duke Williams: Kinda’ov a dick?
Joe Burro: Yes….the gherkin as you say.
The Malice Man stares into his drink for a moment while the song plays in the background. He has a solemn look on his face as he searches for an answer.
Duke Williams: I wasn’t around a lot when he was a kid. I was a wrestler, and it’s not like today where all the dorks sit around a casino and provoke the one-eyed bandit between trips to the buffet and hot tub. We traveled, and we traveled a lot. Far and away from coast to coast, border to border, and every stop along the way. Cheap hotels, cheaper women, and even cheaper whiskey. I wasn’t a saint, like his mother was.
The old man reflects fondly of a long-lost love and her hair blowing across her face hanging laundry outside amongst all the sheets Duke left in the wind.
Joe Burro: His mother? He’s never talked about her.
The stone-grey eyes of Duke Williams get a shade darker like a rain drop staining a tombstone as his eyes well up.
Duke Williams: Sade. She was a great woman who made one mistake in her life and that was sleeping with a feckless melancholy cowboy on a bender at a house show stop in the windy city.
Joe Burro: Who was that!?
Duke Williams: Me hoss, pay attention!
Joe Burro: Oh.
Duke Williams: Sade was a church secretary who found me passed out on the street in front of the church where she worked. I was having a come to Christ moment in a drunken stupor the night before yelling at a stain glass Jesus before doing the job to the pavement. Busted my head on a church house step. She mended my broken wing. I seduced her. Found out years later of Hoyt’s existence. He was a good kid. Happy. I would visit him and her, whenever I was in Chicago. She wouldn’t take my hand in marriage unless I changed my unruly ways. Wasn’t going to happen hoss. So, we remained friends and I had a son while taking on no responsibility. Don’t get me wrong I sent her money and shit.
Joe Burro: You American’s and your shits.
Duke Williams: HA! You’re telling me. Things were good. Hoyt wanted to be an astronaut. He’s intelligent. Wanted to go to the moon. I bought him some of that space ice-cream from the museum of Science and Industry whenever I passed through.
The father smiles a fond fatherly smile thinking of his young boy and a future that never came.
Joe Burro: So what happened?
The smile vanishes and Duke takes a long draw on the bong as the sound of bubbling water is deafening in the moment.
Duke Williams: Aww fuck. When Hoyt was about 14, he was out with his friends doing whatever it is 14-year old’s do. I was coked up and half in the bag at the Yee Ole Inn in Waco, Texas on a southwest house loop. Anyway. Sade was working late at the church.
Struggling to talk, Duke swallows the Manhattan like a shot.
Duke Williams: Some thugs broke in to rob the collection box. She tried to stop them. They raped her.
Almost silence lingers. As the tick tock of the cat clock is all that’s heard as the big man, feeling oh so small fights his feelings to finish the story without a total breakdown of emotion.
Duke Williams: Cut her throat. Let her bleed out under the crucifixion of Jesus.
The homely man puts his hand on the back of the big old wrestler to comfort him as a tear drop falls into his empty whiskey glass.
Duke Williams: This woman was a real saint. Hoyt found her there when she wasn’t at home for dinner. You don’t recover from that. It destroys you. It destroyed him.
The father of the savior takes another hit.
Duke Williams: I couldn’t stop what I was doing. I was near the peak of my career and about to get my first world title. Sade’s parents a very religious type took custody of Hoyt. His grades tanked. You don’t recover from what he saw. He got involved with the church and almost became a priest until he had a break down and they rubber roomed him for a year. He worked out while in the asylum and got into tremendous shape which he still maintains.
Duke pushes the bong away. The microwave dings announcing its completion.
Duke Williams: God damn. The doctors told me he developed a god complex. Probably schizophrenic. I came out of retirement to spend time with him now before I go to that great unknown. So, yea he’s a little fucked up. Living in a world of delusion. What’s in the microwave?
The old man tries to change the subject.
Joe Burro: Stuffers mac and cheese. Tis you say its all an illusion than where do I come from?
The malice man arches an eyebrow.
Duke Williams: Mexico?
Joe Burro: The afterlife. I am the talking donkey from Balaam’s story in the bible. Plus, the mask how do you explain? Would you know if God really returned amongst us and would you believe him?
Duke Williams: I don’t know what to believe. I need to lay down my head is spinning.
Joe Burro: Rest now for we have work to do tomorrow with Balaam. Rest and fade to the void.