Title: Off the Wagon
Featuring: Shooter Landell
Date: 8/10/2020
Location: New Orleans

Ochsner Hospital for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
New Orleans, Louisiana
2 July 2020


He took in the sterile ambience. All of these offices seemed to be the same: off-white walls, characterless landscape photographs, and that ever-present medicinal smell. As he scanned around the office, the doctor’s voice droned on, taking on a kind of distant buzzing in his mind. Turning his gaze toward his heavily bandaged knee, Shooter Landell could feel the all-too-familiar pangs of anger and depression creeping to the front of his mind.

He really needed a drink.

He had spent decades in the wrestling business, living rough on the road, meticulously saving his money and forgoing any semblance of comfort for the sake of retiring securely. How many nights had he traded the comfort of a hotel room for the backseat of his car? How many cheap cans of tuna replaced even the most modest restaurant meals?

And for what?

He lost nearly all of it in his divorce. His wife had moved on. Remarried. Happy.

He scoffed. “Happy,” he grunted quietly to himself.

Now, rapidly approaching the back end of his 50’s, here he sat. Still in the wrestling business no closer to retirement, barely edging by as a henchman for a younger, more talented, more motivated wrestler in Gage Blackwood.

He didn't hate Gage. In fact, he respected him. And, though he rarely admitted it to himself, he knew that if Gage hadn't given him the opportunity, he would've never lasted this long in DEFIANCE in the first place.

Still, he was angry. Angry at himself, mostly.

“Mr. Landell?” Her voice didn’t quite register through his internal self-pity.

“Mr. Landell?” More forcefully this time, jarring his attention back to her.

He shook his head sharply. “Hm.”

Short, guttural.

“I need you to write down an emergency contact on this form – you’ve left it blank,” she said, pushing a clipboard with a contact form, tapping her finger on the blank spot for emphasis.

Emergency Contact

He stared down stupidly at the words, his eyes glazing over them until it was just a jumble of ink. A sudden jolt of pain in his knee caused him to wince and grasp at the bandaging.

"It's going to take some time for that to heal. You have a lot of recurrent damage in that knee, so I'd anticipate at least a few more weeks of those types of spasms," the doctor said as she rummaged through a drawer on her desk. She retreivied a small note pad. "I can write you a prescription to help with the pain."

"I can't," Landell started to say. "I'm an alc-"

He stopped suddenly. The doctor continued to scribble on the pad, stopped, and raised her head.

"What was that?"

He shook his head, averting his eyes.

"No, nothing." he stammered. "That would be great."

She gave him a quick smile and finished writing. She tore the prescription from the pad and slid it across the desk.

"This should help for a couple of weeks while you heal up." She offered another smile, completely oblivious to what she had done. "With some rest and a little PT, you should be back to normal soon!"

He reached a callused hand over and crumpled the paper into his palm. He stood as quickly as his knee would allow.

"Thanks, doc." 

He exited the office abruptly, not wanting to test his luck. After he left, the doctor reached across the desk to retreive her clipboard. She frowned: the emergency contact box was still blank.



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