Title: The Downward Spiral (pt. 2)
Featuring: Jake Donovan
Date: April 23, 2015
Location: An Apartment somewhere

“Yer an idiot, ya know that?”

The voice is whiskey rough and a little bit muffled, coming from off to the left somewhere, in the darkness of a room lit only by the TV and a small lamp. The TV’s on low, Stanley Cup playoffs in full swing with the Lightning down one to the Red Wings early in the second quarter, but for the moment the conversation isn’t on the game, but rather, on Jake’s ongoing issues with Ray Coltrane.

“So you keep telling me,” Jake grumbled, and turned the TV up a notch higher.

A hand reached out of the shadow, arm covered in a sleeve of tattoos. Fingers snatch the remote from Jake’s grasp, turn the game back down again then retreat from view, taking the remote with them.

“Bastard,” Jake grumbled, slouched a little more in the gray easy chair.

“You can’t seriously intent to fight a fan? You’re supposed to be looking for ways to stop looking like a clown. Going out there and fightin’ the court jester isn’t gonna help that one bit.”

“What it will do is prove a point.”

“And what point would that be? That you can beat up a guy who’s only knowledge of fighting comes from the occasional bar fight and the shit he’s seen on TV?”

Jake sighs, grumbles, and shifts around in the chair uncomfortably before finally bothering to respond. “Then he shouldn’t have agreed.”

A facepalm, you don’t gotta see it, the sound speaks volumes.

“You challenged the idiot, did ya really think he was gonna back down? Yer gonna look like an asshole, no matter what this guy did, he’s one of the people and they’re gonna back him 100%.”

“So. Let ‘em. I’m done tryin’ ta please people who shit on everything I do. I could bleed buckets out there, hurl myself off every turnbuckle, hit the most spectacular moves they’ve ever seen, and they’re still gonna think of me as a joke, a flash in the fuckin’ pan and go on to screaming for their David Nobles and their Henry Keyes”

A heavy sigh from the shadows, fingers tapping out a tune on a wooden table we can barely see. “So yer gonna do what, finally make ‘em hate you?”

Jake turns away from the TV, glares before glancing away again. “It worked for you.”

“You ain’t me. Don’t know if you’ve got enough hate in you ta be all in if you head down that road.”

“Anything’s gotta be better than where I am now.”

“Spoken like a guy who’s never seen the kinds of things ‘anything’ can turn out to be.”

This time when Jake glares he doesn’t return his attention to the TV. The game forgotten, he stares at his friend.

“What the hell is your problem man? Weren’t you JUST tellin’ me that the only choice I had was ta let ‘em laugh or make ‘em hate me? What the hell made you change your mind?”

“You.”

Silence

Crickets

“Me?” Jake blinks as he tries to process the word.  “How?”

“Those old tapes, seein’ who you used ta be. Got ta thinkin’ that maybe I was a little bitter, a little jaded, ya know. Might be skewin’ my advice a little.”

“On the contrary,” Jake grumbled, his voice firm in its convictions as he turned away once more. “It was the best advice you’ve ever given me.”

A snort and the volume starts climbing, but not quick enough to drown out the shadow’s final words. “And you wonder why I call you a dumb son of a bitch.”



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