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Author Topic: Revelation [Kale Tanev II of II vs Corazon]  (Read 262 times)

Matt

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Revelation [Kale Tanev II of II vs Corazon]
« on: September 15, 2014, 10:30:34 PM »
Young Kale Tanev and his young wife, and mother of his child, grind away at each other in the living room, surrounded by dozens of similarly aged teenagers, to the terrible beats of a long-forgotten hit of the mid-2000s.  Not a care in the world.  Tanev’s 6’3 lanky frame stands out in the room, and his former teammates and buddies keep high-fiving him, thrilled to see their friend out from the oppression of child rearing for a night.

Janie throws her head back, hair cascading down her shoulders, screaming: “Shots!” at Tanev.  He shrugs, and takes her hand, leading her into the kitchen.  The kitchen table is littered with empty beer cans and half-full bottles of all kinds of booze.  Tanev grabs the 40 of Jack Daniels and chugs a few gulps of it.  Janie scrunches her face up in disgust, but another of Tanev’s buddies gives him a big hug and lifts him off the ground.

Buddy: KALE IS BACK!  HE’S MOTHER-FUCKING BACK!

A small group of younger girls look over at the commotion, confused.

Buddy: YOU BITCHES DON’T KNOW WHO HE IS?!??!  This’s Kale-mother-fucking-Tanev! 

One of the teens, a red head in an event-inappropriate slutty black cocktail dress starts to slink towards Tanev, recognizing the name.

Buddy: And this lady is his wife. And SHE WILL KICK YOUR LITTLE TART ASS! Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Janie winks at the girl, who shuffles away embarrassed.  Tanev and his friend exchange high fives, Tanev throwing back another few rounds of Jack. 

Buddy: We’re getting fucking waaaaaaaaaaaaaaasted today, buddy!  Like old fucking times! Kay-Tee in the hiz-ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse. Tanev looks over at Janie, slurring his words.

Tanev: Wnnnaana drink?

Janie doesn’t say a word, but grabs the bottle from Tanev’s hand and takes a small swig. 

Janie: Gross!

The friend reaches into the fridge and pulls out a mittful of silver and blue cans. Kokanee.  The local equivalent of Budweiser, or whatever shitty American lager you prefer.  He holds two cans out in each hand at each of Tanev and Janie, a sneaky smile on his face. 

Buddy: Race?

Tanev starts to protest, but Janie sticks her hand out, accepting the two beer. 

Janie: Chicken?

Tanev: C’moooon! This’is alllllways so embrrrassing. 

Buddy: JANIE JANIE JANIE JANIE!

Reluctantly, Tanev takes the Kokanees, towering over his diminutive wife.  They reach into the respective pockets and pull out their key chains.  A small crowd starts to gather around the two of them.  3-2-1, counts the crowd, and it’s on!  They slam a key into the side and pop the top.  In just a few moments, both are dropping the can to the floor, smashing it with their foot.  They repeat the sequence.  Janie’s can hits the floor, and she crushes it.  The crowd goes nuts, Tanev still midway through his second.

Janie: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

She reaches over for the Jack and throws back another pull, as Tanev finally finishes choking down his brew. 

It’s a perfect memory.  Their final one.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It’s a few hours later.  The party has been reduced to a simmer, and Janie’s passed out on a couch, head resting on Tanev’s lap, a Kokanee in his hand.

Buddy: It’s been awesome having you guys out again, bro.

Tanev: It’s be’n fun, Nick.  Awesome.  We mith you guys.  But ye’know…with the baby….

Nick: Yeah man, it’s cool.  When she’s older you’ll be able to chill more.

Tanev: That’d be coo’. 

Nick: What a fucking night.

Tanev: Whadda fuggin’ night.  But I gotta go.  Gotta git’er ‘ome. 

Nick: Yeah man.

Tanev shakes Janie, who barely moves  Gently he pushes her off and stands up.  Scooping her up, Nick follows them outside.  Tanev opens the passenger door of their black car and places Janie into the seat, buckling her up.

Nick: Nice seeing you bro.  Soon kay?

Tanev: Soon. 

The two clasp hands and embrace, Tanev unsteadily pulling open the driver side door, slamming it behind him.  The engine turns on, the taillights blinking. Slowly the car pulls out of the driveway.

Fade to black.




Congratulations, Mr. Stein. 

I didn’t know you were going to matter to me. 

I didn’t think much of it when you fucked up Eli Storm’s shoulder after I beat him in the first round of the Master of the Mat tournament.  It didn’t mean anything to me.  Storm was just a number in the ledger.  I don’t have anything against the guy or anything.  He just didn’t matter.  We had business.  Then business was over.

So when you came out, I just left. 

I guess I should have paid a bit more attention.  You were already talking about completing your so-called SHOOT Project Grand Slam.  I just had more important things to deal with.

But here we are.  You’ve earned yourself the official number one contender status for the Rule of Surrender championship. 

Suddenly, you matter a lot to me.

I don’t want to disappoint you, but you’re going to have to wait for a while.  My dance card is a little full. 

Unlike you, I’m still in Master of the Mat.  I’ve got to take care of Adrian Corazon next weekend.  And then two shows after that, I need to beat somebody else up to win the tournament.  You know what I didn’t mention in my calendar?

Dan Stein. 

But I’ll make you a deal, Danny.  When I’m ready to deal with you, when that time comes, I’ll send an e-mail to Molly, and we’ll put that in your calendar. And then I’ll whip the self-entitlement right out of you. 



Tanev stands outside of another ridiculous Las Vegas mansion. He’s dressed in what’s become his “work uniform” – mostly clean jeans and a slightly too small plain black t-shirt.  He’s pacing on the front lawn, his phone pressed to his ear. He seems agitated.

Tanev: What do you mean we’re running out of time?

Pause, listening to the other side of the conversation.

Tanev: I’m trying to get the money! They said we had at least a year.  Now just a few months…man…

Chatter on the other end of the line.

Tanev: Okay, I’m on it.  I’m doing everything I can.  I just need…I need a few things to fall my way down here.  I’m not trying to take it out on you. You know I really appreciate you keeping me in the loop.  I mean, with how things are…without you I wouldn’t even know that I need to be doing this.

Pause.

Tanev: Cool. Talk soon, Nick.

Tanev starts to head towards the front door when it pops open.  Amie stands in the doorway, a little dishevelled in a little red dress that goes great with her skin tone.  She’s carrying her big purse over a shoulder.

Tanev: Ready to go?

Amie: Yup, let’s get to Walmart to get you some stuff for your place.  Oh yeah, I meant to give this to you…

She reaches into her purse, causing Tanev to make a face.  She pulls out a black polo shirt and hands it to him.

 Tanev: What’s this?

Amie: A present, dummy.  You own like two shirts. And they’re both those ghetto Hanes two for $7 shirts.  So I bought you something nice.  Try it on.

Tanev: Now? Here?

Amie: You shy?  You wrestle in pretty much your underwear in front of thousands of people.  It’s not like you’re showing me anything I haven’t already seen.

Tanev pulls the polo on. It’s a well-fitting, slim fit with an understated collar. Amie eyes him up appraisingly, nodding her head in approval.

Amie: Better.  Once we get your place set up, your wardrobe is next on the list.  Now let’s get going. We want to beat the after-work rush.



Well Adrian, I guess we have a bit of an issue we should address.

I keep hearing about how you’re the guy who is supposed to win this thing.

Everywhere I go, I keep hearing all about how it’s going to be Adrian Corazon vs Isaac Entragian at Master of the Mat. 

That this was the plan from the start. It’s what headquarters wants to see.  The whole tournament was set up to culminate in this epic battle of long-standing SHOOT Project Soldiers, pitting evil against newfound good.  Allies turned enemies for the sake of glory.

There’s only one problem.

Kale Tanev.

You see, back in February and March and April when the suits were orchestrating the latest revival of the SHOOT Project, nobody had heard of Kale Tanev.  And when I showed up, nobody thought much about me.  Sure, I had some fighting skills, a bit of BJJ, a bit of striking talent.  But hell, there have been legitimate former MMA fighters who have never really managed to find much success when it came to America’s squared circle. And I was far from that level of talent. 

Kale Tanev was just a homeless guy. One of those talents that thinks he can make something of himself in SHOOT, only to inevitably discover he doesn’t have what it takes and disappear to wherever he came from.  Just like all the rest.  That’s how it works here, after all, right?  The rest of them just can’t hack it.  If they could, they’d already be here. 

But I was different.

I’m not the best wrestler in the SHOOT Project. I might even be the worst.  But I’m fighting for something that means something.

Adrian, you fight to enshrine and protect your legacy as “evil.”  You’re the Baddest Man Alive.  Black Death, and such and such.  That’s what keeps you going.  Those three punks who keep jumping people…they’re covering for some kind of insecurity. Maybe they don’t like who they are.  They just haven’t figured out how to channel that energy in a better way.  Jonny Johnson “fights” so he can keep hearing the sound of his own voice.  We all have our motivation.

Mine’s just not as frivolous as “legacy.”  I fight for life.

At the end of the day, Corazon, my problems are more important than the whims of some corporate executives. 

Here’s the thing.  I think they lined this up all wrong.  And on Sunday night, I’m going to prove that to you, and the rest of the SHOOT world.  After I’ve locked you into Descender, and you’ve cried uncle, I’m going to move on.  No hard feelings, Adrian.  But the simple truth is that you stand between me and my goal.  My quest. 

When it’s a matter of life and death, my will is greater than yours. 

So go ahead, Corazon.  Light me on fire.  Stick a screwdriver in my eye.  Do whatever it is you think you’ve done to earn your list of nicknames and monikers.  God knows I deserve no better.  If anything, I’ve earned every inhumane act you’ve done in the past, and some that you’ve only conspired to imagine in the darkest depths of your mind.

But don’t be surprised when I rise from those ashes.  I am driven by something much greater than fear. My motivation is the most primal instinct we have as men.

On Sunday night, the SHOOT Project will know a new truth.

Kale Tanev may not be good enough to win this tournament.

But I’m going to anyway.




Tanev and Amie are in her black Mercedes convertible, Tanev clad in his new black polo shirt, his lap covered with a number of boxes and shopping bags from Walmart. They’re full of the necessities he needs to stock his new apartment – a cheap set of dishes, eight glasses, a couple towels, a pot, a pan and some cleaning supplies.

The scene would seem completely absurd, had Tanev not looked equally ridiculously pleased.  For the first time since we met Kale Tanev, he looks happy.  There is an unfamiliar look of contentment on his face as they navigate the streets of Vegas en route to his home. 


Amie: You know, I’ve seen a lot of happy men, but I’ve never seen a guy so pleased to buy some cheap glasses and tea towels.

Tanev: Come on, now!  Can’t a guy be happy that he has something to drink out of?  Beats cupping my hands under the faucet like I had to all week.  I was a few days away from drinking straight out of the tap.

Amie: Ewwww, gross.  Well, when you’re ready to decorate the place, let me know.  I love shopping for house stuff.  And I’ve already filled up my place.

Tanev: I don’t think I really need anything else.

Amie: Are you kidding?  You don’t have any real furniture. Or a TV. Or a computer.  Or a bed!  What are you sleeping on anyhow?

Tanev: The floor.

Amie: You CANNOT be serious!

Tanev: I dunno. I just sort of got used to it.  But maybe I should pick up an air mattress or something cheap.  After some of these SHOOT matches, the carpet IS a bit tough on my back, I guess.  But nothing fancy! I still need to save every penny I can.

They pull up to the exterior of Tanev’s building.

Amie: Speaking of which, I was meaning to ask.  I’m not saying that I mind giving you a lift and all. I, we, all the girls, really appreciate what you do.  We know it’s not easy.  But are you planning on getting your own ride? To make things easier on yourself I mean. You don’t need to be taking the bus.  Jimmy pays us well.

Tanev doesn’t answer, getting out of the car, setting his prized boxes carefully on the ground before turning around to quietly close the car door.

Amie: Don’t be mad, Kale.  I’m not saying I won’t drive you.  I like hanging out. You’re a chill guy.  You’re the only guy I spend any time with who isn’t trying to fuck me.  But don’t you want a car?

Tanev: I’m okay.  I manage alright.  I can get to work okay.  You don’t need to drive me everywhere Amie.  I’m fine on my own.

Amie: Don’t do that. Don’t be like that. Don’t crawl back into your shell. You know that’s not what I mean.  It’s just weird…I mean, everyone in Vegas drives.

Tanev: Not me. I just…I just don’t need it. I really appreciate everything you’ve done for me Amie. But I’m not going to –

Amie: No offence, but…do you not know how?  Did you never get your license?  It’s okay if so…I’ll teach you. You don’t need to be ashamed. I don’t know how to ride a bike!

Tanev: I know how to drive.

Amie: Then what’s the problem? The bus is disgusting and –

Tanev: It’s complicated.

Amie: Come on. Biggest guy cop-out answer ever.  We’re all complicated Kale.  That’s why I do what I do for a living. That’s why you do what you do.  Complicated isn’t an answer, it’s an excuse.

Tanev straightens up a bit with that off-hand remark.  He starts to pick up his boxes of dishes before standing back up.

Tanev: I’m – it’s complicated. It just, it really is. 

His voice cracks. Amie doesn’t miss it.

Amie: Is it anything I can do to help, Kale?

Tanev: I know how to drive Amie.

His voice raises an octave.  Defensive. But more whiney than aggressive.

Amie: Well, if you ever change your –

Tanev: It’ll never change Amie. It’ll never change.  I’m not…I’m not allowed to drive.

Tanev physically shrinks.  He turns away from Amie and the camera, his body trembling.  She slowly gets out of the car and walks around it, standing in front of him.  Slowly, carefully, she wraps her arms around him.  His body shakes with a convulsion.  She leans against him.  He begins to move, but doesn’t pull away.



Kale Tanev’s apartment has been ransacked.

Something has went terribly wrong.

The boxes that previously contained his precious dishware and glasses have been torn apart, shredding disbursed across the small kitchen and living room into a hundred pieces. 

There are shards of plates and bowls everywhere. 

There are divots in the wall from where plates cashed into them. Thick, ugly gouges out of the wall, craters of plaster.

The drywall has been pockmarked like an acme scarred face by uneven, rounded holes.  There are traces of blood thinly splattered against the delicate eggshell white paint.

There is glass everywhere. 

The camera pans across to the patio overlooking the desert.  The sliding glass door has been smashed.  There is blood smeared on the inside wall of the deck.

Kale Tanev is slumped against the side wall of the deck, sobbing uncontrollably.

The hands and arms which shield his face from the camera’s peering gaze are covered in dozens of cuts, creating a patchwork of raw human flesh and blood. 

He’s covered in sweat.  Sweat is almost the wrong way to describe it.  His body is covered in a thick layer of perspiration, soaking his longish hair, some of which has wicked across his forehead, plastering it to his skull. 

He rocks back and forth in this seated position, silent except for the moans coming from his buried face. A fist suddenly darts out, smashing against the side wall, leaving a trail of gore, breaking a few chips of paint from the surface. When he speaks, he voice carried a strained tone of remorse and deep shame.


I never said I was a good guy. 

I warned you that I wasn’t who you thought I was.

I wasn’t a charity case getting my life back together. 

I wasn’t a nice guy who got unlucky and fell on bad times. 

I deserved it all.  I did this to myself.  I did so much worse.

She’s gone because of me. 

I extinguished the flame of my true love.


A primal, guttural groan emerges from the protective arms obscuring his face.  Slowly Tanev lifts his head.

My Janie.

It’s all my fault.

I did it. 

I killed my wife.