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 Reflection in the Manor

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Join date : 2010-10-10

PostSubject: Reflection in the Manor   Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:20 pm

February 13th, 2011.

It was strange, getting in contact with one of his friends after what happened. It didn’t feel right, actually. Still, I didn’t reach out to her; in fact it was the other way around.

I woke up at my friend Tina’s place, where I’d been staying to make sure I didn’t get any unwanted visits, to the sound of my mobile phone announcing that I’d received another text message. I cursed aloud upon hearing that, hoping it wasn’t another one from him. Not that he’d tried talking to me for a few weeks, but I was still wary.

Turns out it was from a woman named Karen Winshetta, though in the wrestling business she used the moniker “Kizara”. Yeah, another former wrestler. These days she was in marketing, but apparently still had plenty of connections to that world should she need them. It was through those connections that she’d found out about me.

I called her back, albeit guardedly, mostly out of concern as to how she discovered my number. The word “connections” came up again and that didn’t make me feel any better. I was half-tempted to hang up, worried that since she was a friend of Chris’s, she’d try to convince me to talk to him again.

But it never happened. Apparently she heard of my desire to take on Soudouki. I was about to ask how she knew about that until Parko’s name came up. Guess we have another mutual friend.

She said that if I was really serious about it, noting the fact that I’d been learning how to wrestle under Dan Kildel for two years and that I was already an experienced capoeirista, she could introduce me to someone who could apply the finishing touches to my training. Someone who would really give me that necessary edge I’d need in a match against Soudouki.

At first I showed little interest; the incident at the tail end of last year had really let the wind out of my sails in regards to that. I had abandoned further training after Soudouki said what she said about Chris – it suddenly didn’t seem like a priority any more - I still hated her guts despite what had happened; she still got up my nose just as she always did - I just felt no motivation to fight her.

Karen seemed surprised when I told her that. She’d asked if I were keeping up to date with wrestling news. I had to admit that I wasn’t.

Upon her prompting, I loaded up my laptop and went to Pro Wrestling Pulse. A quick scan later, I found the article in question, dated January 20th.

Another embedded video of Soudouki.

”Oh, I heard there’s going to be a whole bunch of worthless diva wannabes at the show. Good for them, I’m sure they could use the payday. Only one can win, though, and we all know who that’s going to be. I’ve been dispatching every possible contender left and right, after all, both in and out of the ring. All those women out there think they can hold a candle to Soudouki Kobayashi, but I’ll just shove the damn thing right in their hideous faces! One way or another, I will prove my superiority over them. That’s just how it goes, ne?”

Again my blood boiled. I could tell it was directed at me. That bitch.

That’s why I found myself meeting Karen, and taking a ride in her car as she drove us to our destination. It had all come to the forefront again when I watched that video. I remembered why I wanted this match to begin with; it wasn’t for Chris’s sake, it was for my own. Sure I’d almost felt sorry for Soudouki upon that revelation she’d made, but I could never forgive her for how she treated other people, and certainly not for how she treated me.

“I have to hurt her,” I told Karen without a hint of inhibition, “I’ve buried these feelings for two months now, but no longer.”

Karen seemed a little taken aback by my earnest (and I’ll admit; scary) words, just as she was when I first let loose on the phone. Ordinarily I wouldn’t say such things to a person I barely knew, but I was just so riled up by that video.

“Yikes, Miss Riggs,” the cheery-voiced Karen said with a nervous chuckle, “How about you keep it bottled up a little until we meet my friend, eh?”

The other reason I took her up on her offer was that friend in question. Of course, as I followed the wrestling business, I knew exactly who that person was. In fact, I was a fan. I was aware that she lived in this town, but she didn’t exactly welcome visitors. Today I’d be getting the chance to meet that reclusive woman, so I was quite nervous on top of everything else.

We were travelling through a part of Torquay I was unfamiliar with, high upon the grassy hills that I could only ever see skirting the horizon in my time living here. It felt as though the road shouldn’t continue up this way, but still it led us up into a place secluded by what I could swear was a forest. I wasn’t even aware that this place even existed in this town.

The foliage gave way lightly to an opening, and I felt the gravel crackle underneath the car as we pulled into a residential area, almost completely closed off by a horseshoe of trees. Before us stood a large old building and its appearance reminded me of the locations in period pieces. Its antiquity was very much evident, but it was still well-maintained. You could tell it was still occupied.

Finally, I was able to bear witness to the centuries-old Kortial Manor.

Karen nodded towards it with a grin, “Pretty nice, eh?”

“That’s an understatement,” I shook my head, “It’s beautiful.”

“Let’s go take a closer look.”

With that we both exited the vehicle. The shorter Karen walked besides me, and again I became very much aware of my height. Granted, I do tend to be taller than a lot of women - owing to my pretty impressive height of 5’10” - so this was nothing unusual. However, I’d particularly noticed my size advantage when I encountered Soudouki that day; and it did nothing to help me against her.

I figured one of the things I needed to work on was make the very best of my height. Perhaps this person could teach me a few tricks in that department, I thought to myself.

The massive double doors towered in front of us, and Karen pressed the newly-installed doorbell. As we waited for a response, she turned to me and noticed how nervous I looked. She offered me a reassuring smile.

“Don’t be intimidated by this huge place. Miss Kortial’s actually rather nice. Besides, it was her idea for me to contact you.”

This was the first I’d heard of that. Karen slapped herself on the head lightly, realising her folly.

“Doh, my bad. Should’ve mentioned that earlier. Still, doesn’t make much of a difference really.”

It did to me. Why did the owner of this enormous place want from me? I understood that she could supposedly aid my training, but I was a bit thrown by this whole concept. The reality of the situation loomed over me and I could feel my nerves tangle up even more...

The left door creaked open in a manner one would expect from a building this old, and while I’d expected a squinting, grey-haired butler to greet us, instead we came eye to eye with her.

She was tall; even more so than me. I’d swear she was over six feet in height, but it did nothing to hurt her appearance. She was in incredible shape, just as I remember her being in. Perhaps too incredible; it almost felt artificial, which was not helped by her thick eye mascara and bright scarlet lipstick. On top of that her now-shorter hair was a vibrant red; the kind that could come from a bottle. Seeing her in the flesh really drove home how fake it seemed.

The unnatural elements ended there, however. Her skin was pallid, but no amount of make-up could have created that effect. Most importantly, there was an elegance about her that I can’t describe. Her very movements, expressions and even the look she shot me after opening the door just oozed excellence. It must have been hereditary; she was the last living member of the Kortial family, after all.

“Welcome,” she greeted us with her crystal clear English accent, “I’ve been expecting you both.”

Both doors opened, and she walked us inside. The inside of the manor was breathtakingly vast and divinely decorated. If I knew the slightest thing about this subject I could give a detailed description of the wonders that lay inside this historical artefact of a home, but in lieu of that I can tell you the feeling I experienced while following her through it: wonder.

Actually, there was another one, but it only struck me after I began to get used to the splendour that surrounded me: familiarity. I have no idea why, because I’d never been here before, but I became quite overcome with déjà vu.

This feeling was shaken off by the smooth voice of our host, “I’m very glad Karen was able to convince you to visit, Melanie.”

There was a knowing tone to how she said my name. It unsettled me.

“Honestly I’m surprised you wanted me here,” I replied, my nerves settled somewhat after meeting her, “I’m a big fan of yours, Gloria.”

The woman known as Gloria Kortial stopped and turned, her navy blue dress swishing across the polished wooden floor as she did so. Her sky blue eyes locked onto mine.

“Really? I’m flattered to hear that,” she tells me, with no discernible emotion, “Though I have not performed in a very long time.”

“Miss Kortial’s dedicated her time to maintaining this estate,” Karen chimed in, “It gets a lot of visitors interested in its history.”

No surprise there. The Kortials were an entrepreneurial clan who used their vast wealth to support various companies and causes over the past hundreds of years, and I’m sure they made some friends. Gloria, being the only remaining member and heir to the fortune, must have had her hands full accommodating these people.

I did wonder if those people knew of Gloria’s other occupation, however. And I didn’t mean wrestling.

A few minutes navigating across this place and we reached what seemed like a living room, which was a lot lighter and easier on the senses than everything else we’d passed. Though it was still stocked with all manner of antique furniture and other embellishments, the large bay windows allowed natural light to pour in. I felt like I could really relax in a room like this.

Gloria directed Karen and me to a decidedly fancy (and exceptionally comfortable) sofa, and she seated herself opposite in a silver-rimmed armchair. She sat straight while myself and the business suit-clad Karen let ourselves sink into the soft cushioning of the sofa like a couple of couch potatoes. Resistance was futile against it.

“I think it’s best we get this out of the way first,” Gloria began, “I learned of you through Chris.”

My comfort vanished just as quickly as it arrived. I was worried this would come up.

“I really don’t want to talk about that,” I told her straight.

“That’s a shame,” Gloria replied, still lacking the slightest hint of emotion, “All things considered.”

Karen shuffled a little sheepishly, before adding, “We really did hear about you from Chris. Directly, in fact.”

I felt as though I were just punched in the gut. Did they mean...?

“I do so hate to criticise you so early into our meeting, Melanie, but you really shouldn’t judge him so harshly,” Gloria continued, “He obviously cared enough for you to arrange this.”

“I... when did he...” I was struggling for words, “He told you about me?”

“Yes. A few months back, actually,” Gloria confirmed, “I must regretfully admit I’ve only just found the time for this.”

Karen jumped in to clarify, “We’re not here to lecture you, though. We really want to help you in reaching your goal.”

I had to sit back. I wasn’t expecting this. I thought they’d found out about me second-hand. I had no idea one of Karen’s “connections” was Chris himself.

Chris. Back in December I abandoned him. I regretted it right afterwards to be honest, but I had to stick to my guns. My image of him changed drastically when Soudouki said what she did and he had no objections. I was convinced that he really was a harmless idiot, but his infatuation with another woman led him to stringing along another. I was more than just disappointed with him; I was hurt.

Especially since it explained so much. Like why he was unable to commit to me. It wasn’t just Soudouki or pro wrestling; it was somebody so closely linked to it. It was that Teresa.

“I care about him too,” I admitted aloud to these strangers, surprising myself in the process, “But I won’t be able to look at him the same way. Not after that.”

“People make mistakes, Melanie,” Gloria was quick to inform me, and gave me a knowing look, “I’m sure that you’re aware of that.”

Before I could even register my confusion at that comment, Karen jumped in again, “Well, we can’t dwell on this all day! We’ve got business to discuss.”

“That is true,” Gloria agreed, crossing her legs and sitting forward, “Karen has no doubt informed you as to the purpose of this meeting.”

“I wouldn’t have come here otherwise,” I replied, and my tone was harsher than I planned it to be. It was strange; I was there in front of one of my favourite wrestlers, but something about the way she spoke to me was rubbing me the wrong way.

“You’re quite proficient at capoeira, aren’t you?” Gloria asked, “On top of that, you’ve received wrestling training. I find this... intriguing.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to this. Again her face and voice gave not a single clue as to what she was feeling. That was until she rose to her feet, removed her high heels and gestured to me expectantly.

“W-wait... do you...” I stuttered, my nerves flaring up.

“Clearly,” she said calmly, “Demonstrate your abilities for me.”

“Um, Miss Kortial,” Karen piped in pleadingly, “Perhaps it would be best to discuss the matter before you go ahead with...”

“Not now, Karen,” Gloria cut in sharply, before turning back to me, “Show me, Melanie.”

Before I knew it, I was already up to my feet. My brain didn’t want me to do this, but my body had forced itself up ready, almost instinctively.

“You mean, right here? In this room?”

Her reply was a forward thrust, grabbing me around the waist. She spun around me with remarkable speed, grasping me from behind, and proceeded to throw me over her head. Sparks flew in my eyes as I crashed into the wooden floor, and the expensive rug did nothing to cushion my fall.

I gasped for breath, as the impact winded me, but I was given no opportunity to inhale as Gloria’s large arm wrapped across my throat. I tried to pull it away, only to have my arm yanked backwards, and I felt a sharp jolt of pain rush from my elbow right to my brain. I recognised what she was doing instantly: the buffalo sleeper she called “Kortially Invited”.

“I shall be very disappointed if this is all you have, Melanie,” she spoke close to my ear, this time showing some subtle emotion.

It’s a good thing that I’m a fan of hers; otherwise I never would have reversed out of that hold. Twisting around and elbowing out in a fashion I’d seen executed in her matches, I drove my head into her midsection with a cabeçada to create some distance. She was knocked back, and it gave me the time I needed to prepare. I slipped into the ginga motion and I was ready for her.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see Karen wincing; not that she would be unused to violence, but she was obviously hoping for this to be handled diplomatically. I didn’t blame her: fighting Gloria Kortial wasn’t what I’d planned on doing today, though I’ll admit I was enjoying the opportunity.

Her height was intimidating for certain, making me feel short in comparison. There was only a four inch difference, but it didn’t matter: she still seemed to bear over me like a skyscraper, however I did wonder if her former celebrity status added to that feeling. I was at least fortunate enough to have good reach on my kicks, lest I be unable to do any real damage to her.

I swung forward with a bênção kick, which she swatted away effortlessly. I used the momentum to twist down and attempt a rasteira sweep, but she showed great agility for a woman of her size by leaping over it.

I hoped third time would be a charm and continued the offence with a meia lua de frente - a side-swinging kick – and this time I paid for it. She hooked my foot and kicked the other out underneath me before I could try anything else. Again I hit the floor hard, and grabbing my other foot, she began to attempt another hold. Thankfully I regained my bearings quickly, and using some of my own exceptional agility and by pressing my hands against the floor, I quickly shifted my body around in a corkscrew motion, the force freeing my legs from her grip. I was able to transition back into the ginga again, and even Gloria was unable to mask how impressed she was by that.

“Very good,” she praised me, “Now let’s see some wrestling.”

Again she made a thrust forwards, and was able to waistlock me again. I was ready for her this time, and remembered what Dan had taught me. I slipped through and underneath, and she obviously wasn’t expecting that. I swiftly intercepted her left foot as she tried to kick me, wrapped both legs around her calf muscle, and was able to bring that mountain of a woman down. She hit the floor face first, and I clearly heard Karen gasp with shock. Not letting up for a second, I grasped her by the ankle and twisted her foot to an unnatural angle.

It was then that I realised I was putting her in an ankle lock: a move that Chris used.

It was that second of distraction that cost me - and cost me big – as Gloria was able to get her leg free and kicked me directly in the face. The power behind her leg, even in her prone position, was unbelievable. As was the pain.

I cradled my nose in agony; worrying that she had broken it (she hadn’t, but at the time it felt that way). I was still sat on the floor and Gloria had already stood back up. She reminded me of this fact by kicking me hard right in the chest. I was winded again, and felt completely helpless.

Gloria, smeared make-up and all, took this moment to go in for the kill. She took my arm and leg and with strength unlike any I’d witnessed in real life, hoisted me upwards. I was completely unable to fight back. I was lifted onto her shoulders, my neck and right leg restrained and pulled hard by her arms. Only supported by her body, gravity drove my midsection hard into her deceptively defined trapezius muscle with insurmountable pressure. I don’t think I’d ever felt pain quite like this before.

There’s a reason this move was called the “Torture Rack”.

“I believe our game ends here, Melanie,” Gloria declared, and I could’ve sworn I heard pleasure in her voice, “Submit. It is your only option.”

At that moment I remembered: Gloria Kortial was a sadist. It was one of the reasons her name was infamous in professional wrestling. She really was enjoying this.

I didn’t want to cater to her sick fetish, but I couldn’t do anything else. I was in so much pain I could hardly think straight. As much as it killed me, I was going to have to give in...

Suddenly, a memory struck me. It was when Soudouki made that big revelation two months ago. I was in as helpless a position then as I was this moment.

That recollection made the pain fade away; replaced was searing fury. The nerve of that woman – of anyone – to think they could subjugate me. I’d fought against odds that would have broken a lesser person, all throughout my life, just so I wouldn’t be some submissive coward like so many friends of mine. I refused to shut my trap and let the world walk over me.

The same went for Soudouki, and it certainly went for Gloria Kortial. Fan or not, I was not going to roll over for her.

I struggled like I’d never struggled before. I pushed myself relentlessly. Gloria responded by tightening her grip, but it did her no good. I pulled my leg free, drove my knee into the back of her head, and she was unable to hold me any longer. I dropped to my feet, but I was weak from exertion.

“I’m quite impressed,” she told me, and from the hand on her head I could tell that I had hurt her, “Let’s see what reserves you possess.”

She charged me, aiming for a grapple. Probably another hold. I knew that if she got me this time, it would be all over.

Then I saw an opening.

It all seemed to happen in slow motion. Without even thinking, I reared my head and torso backwards. Gloria was a few inches away from me, and gaining fast. Too fast.

In one sharp motion, I brought the entirety of my upper body forward. My head crashed into the speeding Gloria’s chest – the size difference now a non-factor - and the impact sent her flying. She stumbled dramatically and fell into the armchair she had used but a few minutes ago. The piece of antique furniture toppled over, Gloria with it.

Karen simply stared, utterly speechless. I dropped to my knees, completely exhausted and now in possession of a sore head from that monstrous cabeçada.

A moment later, Gloria was back up. I groaned in frustration. I had nothing left.

“Well then,” her hand went out, and I simply looked at it in disbelief, “I’d say you’ve significantly proven yourself. Wouldn’t you, Karen?”

Karen continued to stare, before stuttering skittishly , “O-oh, d-definitely...”

After a few seconds of hesitation, I gripped her hand. She aided me to a vertical base, and with the make-up that once covered her features now ruined, I could detect a genuine look of happiness.

“You want to embarrass her, don’t you?” she asked me directly, “You want to humble Soudouki Kobayashi.”

“I... yes,” I answer, my words interrupted by short breaths, “I... I need to break that... that arrogant little bitch.”

Gloria’s eyes widened in delight, “Very well then. I think you need a crash course in submission wrestling, Melanie.”

The very mention of that made me feel wonderful. It made sense to me. I didn’t just want to beat Soudouki at her game; I didn’t just want to prove I was better than her - I wanted Soudouki to admit it herself.

“I’ll teach you everything I know,” Gloria purred, and that was when I saw it.

Beneath the false veneer that she painted upon her face, there was something eerily familiar about Gloria Kortial.

It was almost like looking in a mirror.

Last edited by TheChio on Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Reflection in the Manor   Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:47 pm

The plot thickens! I wondered how long it would be until we saw Gloria again
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PostSubject: Re: Reflection in the Manor   Sun Mar 13, 2011 4:37 pm

ooc: As always, excellent.

I'm not climbing to the top of the mountain. I am the damn mountain!
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