Category Archives: Joshua Rapture
Joshua Rapture is my role-play character in fantasy pro-wrestling site NAPW. These are my promos.
(The tap-tap-tapping of boot heels rap on the linoleum of an empty hallway. White robe shreds sweep over top snakeskin boots as the camera rises up, show Joshua Rapture strolling under ceremonial white robes in the hallway of his fitness center. It is eerily quiet, the only two sounds are the echoes of forward motion and a sort of whistling/humming that escapes Joshua Rapture’s throat. He stops at the awning of the hallway and the camera sweeps to showcase the gymnasium, it is completely empty. Joshua sighs and sets down something heavy, then slowly makes his way to a water cooler on the back wall. Joshua takes a paper Dixie cup from a stack next to the cooler and fills it, drinks it quickly, and fills it again. He kicks over the water cooler.)
Joshua Rapture: Nothing. I have been awarded with nothing. Sacrificing my body at Battlebowl. Nothing.
(Rapture walks over to some personal trainers’ desks, throwing personal computers and stacks of paper on the ground angry precision.)
Rapture: Dog Collar Match with Moonwater. Nothing.
(Rapture picks up a coffee cup off one of the desks and throws into at the back wall of the gym, shards exploding everywhere.)
Rapture: Canada Cup… Nothing! And now my final chance to be redeemed? Nothing.
(Rapture pauses on this thought and slowly makes his way to a boxing ring in the corner. In silence, he hops up onto the apron and makes his way into the ring. His fists start clenching uncontrollably, his anger no longer maintained, he paces back and forth as he addresses the camera directly.)
Rapture: I CHOSE to fight. I GIVE you everything. I get… NOTHING. I did it all for YOU, the people of NAPW.
(Rapture makes his way into a corner and sets his hands on the top turnbuckle, grasping, twisting and ripping it away at it.)
Rapture: Do I get applauded? Do get thanked? Do I get ANYTHING that I deserve?? No! I get get spat on and ignored! I don’t even get a fair chance at NAPW title! I’m told that I’m supposed “just follow along” and do everything “according to plan”. WHO’S Plan? God’s Plan?? Because it seems to me that HE (gesturing upwards) doesn’t want anything to do with me.
What about MY plans, huh? MY success, MY career, that title was MINE. It was MY birthright, and it was taken. That title BELONGS to ME. Even before that metal was forged and the leather tanned, it was MY destiny to be THEE WORLD CHAMPION!
(Rapture leaves the tattered turnbuckle and exit the ring, going back to hallway where he left something on the floor. It turns out to be a jerrycan full of gasoline. Rapture untwists the cap and throws it away, turns the can sideways and start to pour over the floor of his fitness center.)
Rapture: What about me, now? What about Joshua Rapture? Abbey Graves goes on to face some young punk kid, conveniently enough. But me? Well that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? “What to do with Joshua Rapture?” Face another punk kid, maybe that freak who thinks he’s a superhero? Gimme a break.
The only person who has peeked my interest is Jay Deschain. Because at least he STANDS for something. Unlike all the rest, who beg and plead for the fans’ acceptance, Jay gleefully rejects it. He has one goal, the NAPW title. And like me, will do anything to get it. Jay, I don’t know whether to shake your hand or punch you in the face but, if you ever stand in between me and the NAPW title again… I will end you.
And to everybody else? Anyone who thinks they can stop Joshua Rapture? Any AT ALL, whether your an old New Dawn member, hotshot wrestling upstart or an established star, who THINKS that Joshua Rapture is not the rightful heir to NAPW’s Championship. I want you all…
(Rapture, now at the exit doors, lights a match.)
Rapture: To Burn in Hell.
First, focus on the smile. Teeth straight and perfect, gleaming into a picture perfect smile. A practiced smile. See now, how the canines are sharper and the cheeks stretched, how this smile is forced. It is the smile that The Devil would wear. This is no daemon though, no. This is just a man.
See now how his nose veers to one side, where knuckles had one connected with cartilage. A nose that sniff the air of every room and only smells the waft of rotten garbage from a sewer. It is not only a painful reminder that one can not only fail, but be defeated and broken. The nose looks down at the world and knows that it is not so different from the everyday people. It is a constant reminder of mortality.
Eyes sparkle with reverence, with pestilence, pain and also… prostration. A man trapped between two worlds; the gleaming glittering world of stars that shine right behind the iris and the angry broken world that it sees all around. Because the eyes that stand on high see all of the world, and the world is cold.
This is Joshua Rapture.
Rapture: In the cold backroom of a location I wouldn’t dare mention I was given a choice. The choice, seemingly easy for my comrades, but for me plain torture. For all we are in this world is the choices that we continue to make. The choices that YOU make, Abbey Graves.
And for “The Nightmare Queen” Abbey Graves the choices have been quite simple. From Battlebowl, to Petrov, King and Deschain she has had two choices: Fight or Flight. And at every turn, she chooses Fight. That’s what makes her Champion, and makes the people love her. From shining lasers in monster’s eyes to taking on two of the toughest men in NAPW in one night. Abbey Graves chooses Fight. Every. Damn. Time.
What else would make a women like Abigail Graves, with her neon tops and punk rock hoodies become the World Champion, but sheer TENACITY? A tenacity to fight and win at every turn, because losing is not an option for her. Losing is not an option for the woman who took a ring announcing job and turned it into a successful job. Certainly, losing is not an option for the little girl that behinds her steely gaze. The one who promised that… no-one would ever hurt her again.
I’ve seen the horrors of this world Miss Graves. My followers told me all about the evil that men do. Wives with bruises instead of flowers, invalids being locked away in asylums to rot and men drowning sorrows in alcohol and drugs. I once read a story about a little girl who was locked away and fed like a dog and I wept. And you may think me as being just as horrible as these people, but I am better. I am good, I know this to be true and I tried to do good in this world. I still can.
The New Dawn has given me an opportunity to redeem myself after all the blood shed that I have caused and come back to The Light, even if I think the Light of God has left me forever. Who am I to squander such an opportunity? Who am I turn my back on all the good that could come from The New Dawn? And yet…
Yet there is this darkness inside of me, this lust that clutches my heart and aims my ambitions at the gold that sags on your waist. There is a dream of mine wherein I have my arm raised and I am standing over your unconscious body, the crowd revelrous and applauding ME. It would be a thing of nightmares to see this dream warped, by The New Dawn OR you Abbey Graves.
For I couldn’t bare the sight of an encounter where I wasn’t giving it my all. I couldn’t stand the sight if YOU won by MY own hands. So I’ll be damned, GOD DAMNED if I go down without a fight.
I sincerely hope that you are ready Abbey, because Christ didn’t die on a wooden cross but at the edge of a blade. You hold the Spear of Destiny, Abbey, I’m begging you to be ready to use it. One us will fall, one of us will stand triumphant, but we will both be changed by this. I hope you choose to Fight, Abbey, with all your heart.
Because before Abbey Graves, before Dark and Light, there was Chaos.
And his name was Joshua Rapture.
There is a dark room being lit by Chinese paper lanterns on each sides. The paper lanterns illuminate the white robes of twelve members of The New Dawn. The Twelve Members of The New Dawn aka. The Twelve sit in a circle facing each other like hands on a clock, or more appropriately, like signs of the Zodiac. The sound of a door slamming sends no reaction through The Twelve as a distraught Joshua Rapture stumbles into the center of the circle. White scrubs have replaced his tights, but his appearance has remained essentially unchanged since leaving NAPW’s “Mayday”, he crosses his arms in some semblance of chagrin. For he knows what this is, this is a trial.
The Twelve all speak in unison, an amalgam of voices with one purpose, though only one mouth seems to move at a time starting with the northern-most figure.
Aries: State your name and profession.
Rapture looks around but cannot determine which one is speaking. He tries to straighten himself up and brush imagined dirt from his arms, but it only make him look more unstable.
Rapture: Joshua Rapture, LEADER of The New Dawn.
The voices repeat.
Taurus: PROFESSION, Mr. Rapture.
Rapture (dejected): Professional Wrestler, Gym Owner and Community Organizer
Gemini: Is it true that you have stated previously that it is your destiny to WIN the New Albert Pro-Wrestling Championship?
Rapture: I- no! It WAS my destiny to win Battlebowl but I was thwarted by interference.
Cancer: Interference, Mr. Rapture?
Rapture: Yes. Interference on the astral plane by the souls and spirits floating in the nether. You must understand that NAPW is a convergence for lost souls and the NAPW championship, people like Abbey Graves shine like beacons!
Leo: Can you save these lost souls?
Rapture: I- I can’t. They reject my ways. They reject OUR community. It would be like giving an infant a book on physics and asking it to build a rocket ship. Simply impossible. So why bother?
Virgo: We BOTHER so that they become better. So that they learn The Light and accept it willingly, not have it forced upon them.
Rapture’s face crinkles in confusion, hands out pleadingly as if to ask if any of The Twelve actually believe what they are saying.
Rapture: That is very easy of THE TWELVE to say. Twelve Knights of the round table right? Doesn’t that make me your King? Perhaps it refers to my twelve most trusted apostles, except that would make you all Judas’s.
The voices boom angrily.
Libra: You DARE compare us to The Betrayer?! It is you that have turned your back to the Lord!
Rapture: NO! HE TURNED HIS BACK ON ME! I was lost as my world crumbled around me and I looked to the heavens and no-one answered! My prayers go answered once again and I am left ALONE, to stand trial in front of a jury that I created! What would you have me do? Hand out pamplets on a street corner again? Eat in the soup kitchens like I did when I was lost? I assure if that’s what must be done to stop this nonsense, then I will abide. Although I will NOT do it in the name of The Lord, but in the name of Joshua Rapture.
A long silence passes.
Scorpio: You are to battle with Abigail Graves for the NAPW Championship at the next event.
Joshua’s face becomes ecstatic at the news he starts hopping around the circle, yet before he can leave the voices stop him.
Sagittarius: You are to lose this match. This is your punishment.
Rapture…. sags. “Lose?” his eyes say, contorted and hurt.
Capricorn: We have determined that your obsession with the championship has become sinful. It must be put to an end if you wish to continue leading The New Dawn.
Rapture: I’m not sure… if I can meet your demands.
Aquarius: You MUST Joshua. The New Dawn is fringing, almost split apart by YOUR own doing. You must prove your devotion to the cause and STOP this inconsequential quest for riches. It’s a fool’s folly!
Rapture: Then I suppose.. I have been a fool all along! I must think on these things…
Rapture goes to leave, head down and sullen but is stopped once more. This time the voice is just one man, almost silently to Joshua a follower speaks. Horned-Rim Glasses shine out from under a white hood.
Pisces: Joshua, are you prepared to do what must be done?
Joshua gives the man a glance and chuckles, giving that old used-car salesman smile.
Fading in slowly from a grey static is Joshua Rapture rocking backing forth in a corner, the only light comes in bars from his office window. A knock comes from the door and Joshua throws a roll of toilet paper at the sound. The latch turns and the light switches on, Joshua grimaces and shield his eyes. His office is a mangled mess of papers, newspaper clippings stuck to the wall with red thread running in lines to and fro.
Joshua: What are YOU doing here?
Joshua spits out his venomous words, dripping spit onto his face that hasn’t seen a razor in weeks. Joshua scratches at his head like a beggar with lice as somebody clears their throat. It’s a woman’s throat. Megan Adams’ throat.
Megan: Mr. Rapture? I requested this time for an interview? There was no-one at the front desk so I let myself in. Is that okay? Do you need some help?
Joshua: QUESTIONS! Ah hah yes the question girl, the first thing you say is a question so you MUST be the question girl. Question girl questions me quizzingly.
Megan: Mr. Rapture aside from the video sent to the NAPW office, you haven’t been seen in a month. There’s no-one in your gym, there is a rumor going around that you’re going through a crisis of faith so excuse me if I’m blunt but what EXACTLY is going on with you?
Joshua: Exactly? Expertly Andellion entrenched and encroached and then took an Exacto Knife and cut out my sinews Megan. And I feel exalted.
The New Dawn? I sent them home for the rest of the day. No, no, they’re on a Group Retreat. Ha! Yes, they are on a Group Retreat and I am not. Because I am above togetherness, I am one-ness and I am alone. Because I feel like being alone. Yes sounds much better than a collective questioning of my leadership since my loss to Moonwater and subsequent disposal of faith. Much better.
Megan: Well Mr. Rapture seeing the current state of your… affairs, is Pat Gordon Jr. even on your mind?
Joshua: MEGAN!! Haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? This is ALL about good ol’ boy PGJR!! hahaha I’m ecstatic to fight Patty! If you want to know why, you have to start clapping. Do it with me now:
He’s Gonna Get His Freaking Head Kicked In!
He’s Gonna Get His Freaking Head Kicked In!
He’s Gonna Get His Freaking Head Kicked In!
…Joshua abruptly stops, jumps up off the floor and starts approaching Megan, Megan recoils partly out of fear and partly due to the stench. Joshua points toward his office wall that is covered in a spider’s web of newspapers.
Joshua: Do you see that? Do you? This is every piece of information I could pull on Andellion Moonwater. I was trying to find out if he was real or not and he turned out to be the most real of us all. I spent my soul into that wall. Ripped up chapters of pages from a book I’ll never read. hahaha Want to know what I see when I look at that wall Megan? Do you?
Joshua gets extremely close to Megan’s personal space, a squeak slips out of her throat. Joshua whispers into Megan’s ear.
Joshua: God is Dead, Long Live Joshua Rapture.
Like a gunshot Joshua turns and rips the clippings off the wall, flinging everything he get a hold on. Megan and crew bolt out the door leaving Joshua Rapture inside his office, screaming at the top of his lungs.
“God is Dead. Long Live Joshua Rapture.”
April 29, 2014, 11:32 pm
Blood. A bloody footprint on the road outside of Polish Hall. The picture shakes and rolls until we see the face of Josh Reynolds, NAPW’s resident roving reporter.
Josh Reynolds: It’s 11:30 pm and House of Cards just let out. These footprints were found outside the locker room emergency exit doors and …well NAPW fans, take a look for yourselves!
Once again the lone reporter flips his handheld camcorder and clicks on a flashlight attachment, illuminating the area outside of Polish Hall.
Josh Reynolds: As you can see, The Royal Alexandria Hospital is right across the street. However these footprints go around the corner and in the complete opposite direction into a neighborhood! NAPW viewers we have a mystery here, we received word that Andellion Moonwater has been administered to The Royal Alex for a precautionary overnight stay. So it MUST be Joshua Rapture’s footprints. The question is… Where did he go?
Suddenly, the footage fast forwards as Josh Reynolds makes his way North on Kingsway, bloody footprints all along the way. The footage stops.
Josh Reynolds: Look at this. The blood not getting much fainter, but even weirder, here’s a bootprint I’m presuming to be the boots Rapture was wearing and next to it ANOTHER set of footprints. Ladies n’ Gents, this just gets weirder.
Again the footage speeds up, double time now. Reynolds squawks like a mouse on helium as they turn onto 105 st and again onto 110 Ave. They continue walking down 110 Ave until they stop at a low-key building, blood going up the steps. Josh puffs and lets out a small sigh.
Josh Reynolds: Well, I don’t know how a man bleeding out could do it but we’re here. Wherever here is.. I’d say we’re about 300 meters away from Po-
The camera pans to a sign outside the building, it reads:
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
The door clicks, realizing that he must’ve caught up to the weakened Rapture, Reynolds races up the stairs and goes through the front doors.
Flanked by not one but two figures, Joshua Rapture looks over his shoulder to the camera. His face…perfectly clean. He smiles.
Joshua Rapture: I knew you would follow.
The two figures he is with are women, adorned with floral pattern ankle length “Hutterite” style dresses. One of the women is also covered with “blood” that she spills from a bucket.
A short old mustachioed man in a black robe stops the group from entering further.
Ukrainian Priest: Ця церква закрита! Боже мій, що трапилося з вашою спиною!
The priest is greatly disturbed by the shirtless, bloodied man with welts and scars going all over his back.
Joshua Rapture: Please… Father. The flogging. It… it didn’t work. I didn’t achieve enlightenment. I… failed.
Rapture’s head sinks, stumbling toward the priest.
Ukrainian Priest: You need Doctor, no Church. Ви з глузду з’їхали психо
Rapture’s head sinks lower.
Joshua Rapture: Please, I need to speak to Him.
The old priest sighs and moves aside, Josh Reynolds follows closely behind not daring to speak as they make their way to the pulpit. The two women retreat to the first pew as Joshua steps up and collapses immediately. Rapture clasps his hands together tightly and buries his face into the carpet, whispering gibberish. Josh Reynolds makes a involuntary gasp as Rapture starts digging his own fingernails into his flagellation welts. The women shush him.
Josh Reynolds (whispering): Whats… what’s he doing?
One of the women turns her head and gives him an unapproving glare. Her hair, silvery blonde; her eyes; sparkling blue, her cheeks rosy and warm, she can’t be any older than 18.
New Dawn Girl(whispering): He’s… listening.
Joshua Rapture is now sitting on his knees, prostrating himself, rocking back and forth.
Josh Reynolds: But.. why?
New Dawn Girl: Because he’s… unsure.
Josh Reynolds: UNSURE OF WHAT!
Both women shush Reynolds again as Joshua Rapture finishes his ministrations. He looks up to the heavens.
Joshua Rapture: Are you sure? …….. I understand.
Joshua Rapture makes his way up off his knees, waving off the help of his two escorts and spreads his arms wide, adressing all of the church as if it were full.
Joshua Rapture: My children! An epiphany! The path of the Lord has once again shown itself to me. And what a dark and dreadful road it is. It is a road full of spiderwebs and broken splattered chunks of concrete. This path has been abandoned children! Abandoned by the Lord. And why? “Why!“, I ask the Lord, and he does not respond. He does not respond and I’m supposed to take that as a sign of good faith? Am I supposed to assume that the Lord invests in me and then throws impossible obstacles at me?
Impossible odds, friends. Where my enemies are not nearly humans, but super powered freaks. Monsters that exorcisms could not exfoliate from this Earth and yet the Lord beckons forward. I see this dark forest and I call it NAPW and I know what lies through the leaves and it is worse than you can ever imagine. And so I tried, I tried to save them all. I tried to find the light, but the darkness overwhelmed. I failed. I failed Moonwater. I failed God. And now I cannot SEE the end of the path.
Joshua starts punching himself in the temple, blood trickling down.
Joshua Rapture: I cannot see the Light through the forest.
So I will burn the forest to the ground.
God is Dead, Long Live…. ME.
“From Eden” by Hozier
“Babe, there’s something tragic about you
something so magic about you
don’t you agree
Babe, there’s something lonesome about you
something so wholesome about you
Get closer to me
Honey you’re familiar like my mirror years ago
Idealism in prison, chivalry fell on it’s sword
Innocence died screaming, honey ask me I should know
I slithered here from Eden just to sit outside your door”
Two grey eyes peer through the darkness. The growling starts. The eyes get smaller as we zoom out, from the darkness extend a length of steel chain. The chain starts to rumble and the snarls echo through the darkness. Like a bolt, the animal runs out of his enclosure. The camera slams backwards as the cameraman lands with a THUD, showcasing his sneakers in the shot and the chain finally tenses. A barking, snarling, drooling vicious beast is attached to the end of the chain. His name is Wolfie. Part grey wolf, part husky he booms threats directly at the camera. Wolfie snaps at the cameraman’s shoe as the camera backpedals a bit more away from the dog house and white-picket fence.
From a patio on the side of the shot, walks Joshua Rapture walks out. Dressed down in a pair of blue jeans and a New Horizons polo shirt. Despite the deafening barks of the seemingly rabid dog, he is calm. He is serene.
The dog obeys its master and becomes silent. Joshua take a knee and holds out his hand with a treat in it. The dog sniffs but does nothing until Joshua speaks.
The dog eats and Joshua pets his fur.
Joshua: I bought this guy from a shelter in El Paso, he doesn’t take kindly to strangers, he rips up the garden, barks at every bird he sees and only answers to Spanish. But without me he would be dead. Without him, my life wouldn’t be complete. You should take solace in how I treat my pets, Andellion.
Some might say “What kind of creature do we have here?” As to say what exactly are your intentions when you claim you will “Kill” me? Because I believe you don’t have THAT in you. You don’t have that killer instinct like me and Wolfie do. I know you too well, I see your pride and your chivalry and I RAISE you one Killer Instinct.
For months I’ve been finding out what drives your machine little Moonwater, and it’s not vengeance as you think it is. No, your machine is driven by foolishness. You foolishly think you will be the one to upset the big, bad wolf at House of Cards, but you won’t.
You will not and can not defeat me Andellion. You’ve been in your sick bed for too long, with no-one to rub your aching head. How are those scars anyways? I mean, I’ve got a couple, mostly from myself, but you’ve been scalped! Stripped of the very fur you hibernate in! Or do man-otter things not hibernate? No matter, after House of Cards I get the feeling you’ll be going for a very long nap.
I think I know you best when I sleep, Andellion. Did I mention that I dream about you? In fact, you’re the ONLY thing I dream about. I feel like that’s when I “get” what you’re all about the most. Because you are all about dignity right? And what is dignity? Do you have the “dignity” to go through with this match? Will you have a “dignified” explanation for the blood you’ve shed, for the pain you inflict? You seem to be shocked and aghast every single time you bring up your Grandfather Ody or whatever his name is, but yet you seem to be attracted to the same violence and bloodshed that he inflicted all those years ago. Funny isn’t it? How history LOVES to repeat itself.
A Falcon flies overhead, both Joshua and Wolfie look up. After an uncomfortable silence, Wolfie barks and turns to the camera, looking a bit disheveled.
Joshua: History loves to repeat itself, and how it has because for the last few months it has been. Rapture versus Moonwater, Moonwater versus Rapture in Battlebowl, Moonwater and Xristus versu Ouja and Rapture, on and on and ON. Night filled with anarchy, I awoke. The mornings came, stiff with rain. I thought the sun would never shine again. But now I can see it peeking through the clouds, I see myself FREE from the burden that is Andellion Moonwater. I see nights filled with silent sleep, and roosters crowing in the morn. Such is the life I will enjoy in a post-Moonwater era.
But first we meet, Andellion. First, you and I must fight and I believe we will both leave changed by the events that will occur. We will be chained at the neck, like dogs! And I just have one request, Moonwater.
TAKE ME TO CHURCH!
Beat the holy hell out of me Moonwater, give me all that you got. Because when the bell rings, when it’s finally over, I want it to mean something. I want to know that you gave me everything you got, EVERY SINGLE THING! And then, I want you to know… it wasn’t good enough. And don’t worry, I’m not going to KILL you… not when my dog could use you as a new squeaky toy.
The dog starts growling again.
Joshua: This, Andellion Moonwater.
This is my design.
Wolfie, el Lobo debe permanecer en estado latente.
The dog stops growling and start panting, tongue lolling, Joshua Rapture smiles and in the background. In the background, the sun sets.
“A delusional freak who lives inside his own fantasy world.”
“These people have chosen you as their hero, they’ve chosen you as their KING, but guess what? THEY’RE WRONG!”
“Moonwater? The freaks are running rampant in NAPW.”
“He is too brave and too stupid to stay away.”
“There is someone out there worse than Joshua Rapture. There is a blight in NAPW that only I can remove.”
There is a hustle and bustle about the gym floor of New Horizons Fitness Center. Men and woman slamming weights and running in motion on treadmills and ellipticals, but there is no noise. There is only silence. Muted, the camera pans through the floor and slowly a whine rises. Like feedback from an amplifier, the whine grows and we come closer to our main attraction. Like razor blades on a cello, the noise grows and focuses on Joshua Rapture. In the centre of a boxing ring, thumb and index finger connected in a perfect circle, he sits cross-legged. He opens his eyes, the noise stops.
Joshua: Everybody hates me and I know it. I know. Do you know what that does to a person? To have an entire stadium of people not booing, but loathing? Of course you don’t.
What can I say? Do I have everybodies attention now?
I hate this feeling I have, this black boiling heat coming from my heart. I have been to confession and I’ve said my Hail Mary’s for the things I’ve done, but this hate doesn’t go away.
I can’t deal with hatred I have for Andellion Moonwater, I never have been and I can’t control it any longer.
Sometimes I think how things could’ve differed if I had faced someone else in my debut. I was supposed to win Battlebowl, I was supposed to win Canada Cup… I once claimed to see the future, but now my mind is so hazy. I’m clouded by the fog that is Andellion Moonwater.
I don’t want to care anymore Moonwater, that’s how much I hate you. I don’t want to care about The New Dawn, I don’t want to care about New Horizons. I just want to get my hands on you. We’re getting so close to House of Cards now. I count the hours.
And you may think that this feud between myself and Moonwater is just about The New Dawn versus the Honor and Royalty of Crystalwood, but it’s not. It’s about something more deeprooted than that, it’s about looking up to somebody and seeing everything you believed in shattered and broken in front of your own eyes. It’s about fallen heroes.
I’ve been praying again and again and again because I knew one day I would be face to face, chained at the throat with my nemesis. And when you look into my eyes I will see not only you but the people you represent. The people who sit eating their popcorn and drinking their sodas who think they’re better than me. Know what I do to you, I also do to them. I do it for their own good. I do it because I love them. But sometimes love hurts, oh yes.
I am born of your poisoned society so I will become a monster to fight the monsters of this world. Your time in NAPW will be done. And know the men like me will come out of the woodwork. Know that a minority of people are starting to bask in the glow of The New Dawn. The cogs are starting to become disenchanting with the machine, just… like… ME.
There are people just like me in the world, some of you may hate what I believe in but there are those out there that submit to the glory of The New Dawn, and they are better than each and every member of NAPW. Most of you are too weak to bear the weight of it. I will take the responsibility of taking the brunt of your misplaced anger Andellion.
That is all I have to say right now.
Joshua closes his eyes. Fade…
We open to a crackling fire and zoom out slowly to a large audacious lounge chair. In the chair lazes Joshua Rapture, his knees up to his chest, he is clutching a steaming mug of Hot Cocoa sipping it slowly. He inhales the aroma and sighs. He stares at the camera with spite.
Joshua: What was it I said all those moons ago? That light was the most important thing in the world, The Light of The New Dawn that is. And it still is, oh yes. But I watch that first video and am shocked at how much I am changed. NAPW has changed me. Because I came here with a mission to spread the Light, and I did. I spread it like a virus out into the corners of the universe, but you rejected it. You rejected ME.
Joshua sips his Cocoa
Joshua: And what was it that I did that made you reject me? Was it when I went to Battlebowl and came out more scarred than anybody else? Do you reject me because of Andellion Moonwater? Well let me tell you something about Andellion Moonwater. I hate him. I hate how OBSESSED I’ve become with him. At first I thought it was because a GOPHER doesn’t belong in a wrestling ring. But now… Now I can’t open my eyes without seeing him, I can’t eating without hearing his weasily whine. I hate the fact that all I do is talk about Andellion Moonwater and he doesn’t have the decency to respond. Canada Cup or no, we will meet once more and this WILL end Moonwater.
Joshua sips his Cocoa
Joshua: Did you reject me because I warped Xristus? That’s right, I WARPED YOU XRISTUS! I paid off The Order, the good that does me now that Ouja isn’t returning my phone calls. I paid them for knowledge, for glory and for CHANGE. They changed you Xristus, when they hauled you off. Maybe you realize it, maybe you don’t. But I think you do, oh yes. I think you can feel that anger and hatred boiling in your bones and you don’t know where it’s come from. I came from me! I’m IN you now, Xristus. I mean, spouting religious nonsense? Using the innocent to further your own agenda? [Rapture hisses] THAT’S MY GIMMICK.
And YOU J.C. Chapman, you’re one of the worst THINGS I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean, you come to the ring claiming you’re a “Jesus Freak” but you look like a Devil’s Reject. How dare you even claim your faith, how DARE you. Because tattooing yourself up and drinking watered down concert beers is NOT how to celebrate one’s faith. At least not where I come from. In fact, growing up in the heart of Texas could have done a lot of good for you and you’re Uncle because the first time you came home with an ear piercing your daddy would’ve whipped you sideways! I guess I’ll just have to whip you for him and ruin your “glorious debut” that you don’t seem to care about.
Joshua sips his Cocoa
Joshua: Team Not of This World? Oh look another team that’s stealing my schtick! How many God’s are there? Just one my children, and HE is angry. Does anybody wonder what happened to The Hands and what their “mission” was? I do. And whatever happened to Nathan Vibe? He was supposed to enter Battlebowl but somebody made sure that didn’t happen. [Joshua hisses again] I WONDER WHO.
Terry Brandon threatened to fire me. But he won’t. Want to know why? Ok. I’ll tell you. Because i-Pay-Per-View buys are up when NAPW brings me in. Because ticket sales are up when I take a railroad spike and try to drive it through the other side of somebody’s head. Because of bloodlust and insanity. Because I’ll take the bumps everybody else is scared to take. Because I’ll bring the barbed wire if you bring the cash.
Because I’m crazy.
Because I’m what’s best for business.
Because it was preordained for me to win the NAPW World Title, and all I have to do now is wait.
Because I’M JOSHUA RAPTURE.
Joshua’s eyes finally leave the camera, looking down he has spilt some Cocoa on his shirt.
Joshua: Now look what you made me do? I spilt my Cocoa.
Joshua starts unbuttoning his shirt, looking at the camera with ferocity. The Camera zooms to his face.
Joshua:….What is it that the Goat-Masked Man says again? Oh yes.
Fade to black.
February 14, 2014
The room is silent except for the creaking door in which Joshua Rapture opens and walks in. He is wearing a three-piece suit holding a large bouquet of roses.
Joshua exclaims: Pearl!
Directly in his line of sight is an old frail white-haired woman in a wheelchair. There is something familiar about her face. She smiles.
Pearl: Hubert! Oh my, you shaved!
Joshua contemplates this exchange whilst subconsciously rubbing his clean-shaven face. He smiles back.
Joshua: Well it’s been said that I look like Grandpa without the signature beard! These, my dear, are the finest roses. For the finest women I know!
Joshua presents the flowers to Pearl, she blushes and fans herself with her hand.
Pearl: Oh, Hubert. Have you come to take me dancing?
Joshua once again studies this woman again, before picking her out of her chair gently but with ease.
Joshua: Yes, my dear. I do believe I have!
Joshua takes her hand a spins her slowly, her feet resting on top of his. Echoes of giggles and quiet shrieks of happiness ring through the room as other tenants watch dreamily thinking of past dances danced and songs sung. But soon the dance is done and Joshua places Pearl back in her chair, dropping next to her in a rocking chair. She places her fingertips on her temples, her face an expression of pure joy.
Pearl: Ahh hahaha hehe, my world has gone all topsy-turvy!
Joshua: Hehe, yes, that seems be going around.
They share a glance then, but nothing is said. Pearl’s eyes sparkle, Joshua’s eyes sparkle. They have the same eyes. Pearl breaks the silence and gaze with a loud yawn.
Pearl: Ahhhhhh. Please forgive me, but I’m rather tired now and would like to get to bed.
Pearl motions to man in a white coat and he comes to take her away. Joshua hands her the flowers again and she sighs another “Thank You, Hubert.” Sleep almost taking her now. Joshua kisses her forehead and nods to the man in white. An insignia of a Sun can briefly be seen tattooed on the man’s hand, in between the thumb and forefinger.
Joshua sighs and smiles, rocking back and forth in his chair. Rubbing his chin, he thinks of growing a beard.
Joshua: Happy Valentine’s… Grandma
February 26, 2014, Moments After Xristus/Moonwater vs. Ouja/Rapture
The black curtains of NAPW whip open as two large men with the word “Security” pasted in white on their black t-shirts escort Joshua Rapture. He smiles as he brushes them off and heads to the back of the NAPW locker-room. The locker-room is buzzes with noise as the only man in a suit gets into the face of Joshua Rapture. Terry Brandon is beating red.
Terry Brandon: Where’s Ouja??
Terry grits his teeth, angrily. Joshua shrugs, smiling and holds out one hand palm up. Terry takes out an envelope and shoves it into Joshua’s chest.
Terry Brandon: I should fire you for what you did out there.
Joshua stuffs the envelope into the waistband of his tights and calls out at Terry, who is storming off.
Joshua: Hey Terry! Tell me again what those iPay-Per-View numbers are again? What number are we again in Federation Rankings? Was it Ninth? No, I remember. It was SIXTH!
The room is silent now, all attention on Joshua Rapture. Silently, Joshua raises his arm high over his head. Fist clenched, his hand is covered in blood that isn’t his. At the centre of the fist, a TUFT OF HAIR. The locker-room is silent no-more as someone lobs a roll of wrist tape, hitting Joshua in the cheek. Joshua gets the message and heads out the Fire-Exit door, picking up a New Horizons gym bag that has been thrown outside in the snow.
March 2, 2014, A Small Cafe, Noon
At a table in a small cafe Joshua Rapture sits across from his Grandmother Pearl, playing cards and laughing. Joshua clears his throat and stares at Pearl intensely.
Joshua: Grandma… Do you remember that story you used to tell me when I was young?
Pearl: I… I think so, yes. Oh, how did it go again? “Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Carbondale”…
Joshua: Hmm…No, i don’t think it was Carbondale, Grandma. At least that’s not what I remember.
Pearl: Oh, of course. Not Carbondale, it was Clovertown. ..Or was it Campington? I …uhh… Hubert? Joshua?
Beads of sweat escape from Pearl’s brow, as she stares off trying to focus. Joshua looks worried.
Pearl: I ..uhh. Oh I get so confused sometimes, Hubert.
Joshua pats Pearl on the hand and consoles his Grandmother.
Joshua: It’s alright Grandma, don’t worry.
Joshua waves his hand and Pearl’s caretaker comes to wheel the Alzheimer’s patient away. Joshua kisses her hand, signaling the end of the Lunch. The Caretaker starts to roll Pearl away, but Pearl turns her head to speak with Joshua once more.
Pearl: Joshua? The name of the Kingdom? ….Was it Crystalwood?
Joshua packs up the cards and smiles.
Joshua: Yes, Grandma. I believe it was.
March 3, 2014, Garden of Memories Cemetery, Sweetwater, Texas
Joshua Rapture stands at the front of a pathway going through The Garden of Memories Cemetery. He inhales deeply and exhales, heading down the path slowly.
Rapture: In the cold mornings of the Spring my grandfather would take me fishing on the Colorado River, half an hour away from Sweetwater. We would go out on his rickety boat, him with his thermos of coffee and a smaller thermos of Hot Cocao for me. We would fish for hours on that river, he would tell me the secrets of the universe. I miss him more now than ever.
I was twelve when my Grandfather stopped taking me fishing, the visits became less and less frequent and eventually they just stopped. There was a burger place we frequently would visit after fishing, there was this one waitress. After a burger my Grandfather would finish off his coffee with a slice of pie, I guess the waitress was offering up more than Key Lime. At 16 my Grandparents divorced, just too fed up with fighting.
Joshua pauses at a headstone, collecting his thoughts for a moment and then moves on.
Rapture: What I did was box, from 16 on. At first it was just something to pass the time, one of the few interesting courses they offered. I was a natural athlete already doing a bit of track & basketball, but I really sunk my teeth into boxing. The sweet science, the ebb and flow, Boxing just came naturally to me.
Boxing was FUN, i could run circles around my opponents and I KNEW it, everyone else knew it too. By 18 I was a top prospect in the United States, and I was GOING places. I left the town of Sweetwater behind, the streets I played in as a child, ALL of it.
The National Boxing Grand Prix, 21 years old. Finally, a chance to prove myself as a REAL force in Pugilism. I made it to the Finals, I roped the dopes and knocked out blockheads. Round 1 of the Finals were in my favour, anyone who watches the footage can see that, my form perfect, my strategy solid. Then, Round Two, eight seconds in, a right hook I wasn’t expecting. Knockout.
Joshua stops and sits on a bench, admiring the flowers growing naturally next to a headstone and turns to the camera.
Joshua: Now I admit, I’ve watched the footage thousands of times, and not for the reasons you think. Not because that was the day my boxing career ended, no. But because that was the moment I saw the face of God. I slumped to the canvas with a crowd that let out a sigh of collective pity, and I laughed. And in those fleeting moments I saw the strings that connect us all. I saw myself puking my guts out and working relentlessly to be the best athlete I could be, I saw my Grandparents screaming at each other, I saw myself as a boy looking up at my Grandfather sipping coffee and behind him the Sun was rising from the horizon and the face behind the stars whose hands that pluck the puppets strings. I had seen HIM, and the how all these choices that everybody makes all around us make an unchangeable Destiny that we must follow. I had seen a NEW DAWN.
Joshua leaves the bench and continues down a row of gravestones, off the beaten path.
Rapture: I’m the same age that my grandfather had his son, my father. In the past I’ve made if very clear about myself, the boxing and the New Dawn. My grandfather was the one who taught me that it was never too old to make a new start in life. To start over again, a lovely thought.
With The New Dawn, I provide a service, I offer a choice. The offer is this: A lifestyle change. In the arms of The New Dawn we provide wayward and lost beings with a new perspective on life, a positive perspective. Whether you’re a 40 something whose tried every diet and weight loss plan known and just can’t seem to shed those shameful pounds. Maybe you’re a person who has turned away from the lies that our society tries to shove down your throat. You see The New Dawn isn’t one thing, it’s a web of goals and support systems ensuring that you succeed in whatever aspect of your life. The New Dawn is a community.
Joshua stops at a headstone, it sits on top of an especially thick base. The name on the grave is Hubert, the surname has been blurred.
Rapture: My Grandfather went out to the Colorado River again. I suppose he would’ve said we went to fish, but I think it’s more likely that he went out there to reflect. Anyways…well… Do you really want to know the rest? The proper scientific term for what happened? What I will tell you is this: It wasn’t his heavy heart that took him, it wasn’t his fuzzy-brained memory. It was the river that washed him away…
…And I know that one day, I will walk into that river wearing a sheet of pure white. I will wade into the crystal blue rivers where I once fished and I will simply drift away. All that I hope is that by that time I will have left a positive influence in this world, in NAPW. It’s all I’ve wanted since the beginning.
Joshua kicks the base of the grave and curiously it slides out. Joshua takes a knee and grabs something from the compartment.
Joshua: What you don’t understand, what you have to understand is that my Grandfather wasn’t a farmer or factory worker, is that my Grandfather was a writer. This is the book I was meant to find.
I’m not crazy, to whomever is watching this. Abbey Graves, Clancy King, J.C. Chapman, Terry Brandon and other members of NAPW, know that I’m not crazy. Know my story and know the truth, because there is someone out there worse than Joshua Rapture. There is someone in this world who has lied more than anybody else. There is a blight in NAPW that only I can remove, and I’m not done yet. I won’t be done until I’m holding The World Championship.
Joshua opens the book, sending dust flying out everywhere. He begins.
“Once upon a time, there was a kingdom called Crystalwood”
Fade to black.
The automatic doors of New Horizons Fitness Center slide open; the camera is focused on the back of a cloaked figure. He approaches the Front Foyer Check-In counter. Looking up from a computer, a girl in a New Horizons polo-shirt is shocked to see the man in front of her. The man hisses, no words need to be said and she quickly points to an office in the back. The Serpent King leads the way, camera following behind.
Inside the office, Joshua Rapture has his feet propped up on a small cluttered desk. He is wearing the Brad Maddox special of a long sleeve dress shirt, pleats, a tie and a one-size-too-small suit vest. He points his index finger up, indicating Ouja to wait as he chats on his cell in the other hand.
Joshua: Yessir Mr. Winchell! Thank you again!
Joshua hangs up the phone and turns to Ouja, scattering more papers around his desk. Joshua gets up and starts making his way to Ouja, hand extended.
Joshua: Wee-GEE!! My fellow master of the squared circle! Come in! Would you like anything? Water? Coffee? Lamb’s blood in a Ram’s horn? Ha-ha! I kid! Take a seat.
Ouja does not shake this man’s hand.
Joshua: You know, in Texas, they have a saying: Don’t offer your hand to a rattlesnake, unless you’re willing to get bit.
Joshua walks away from Ouja and closes the office doors, shutting the blinds as well.
Joshua: I assure you Ouja, when I came looking for you on the night of Battlebowl, I was ready for you to refuse. Yes, I was delirious from Miss Graves’ assault [Ouja hisses at the name]. And desperate for knowledge that would defeat Xristus. [Again, Ouja hisses] But I know that you are the smartest in The Order of Orochi. I know exactly what The Order IS. … And most importantly… I know that without that envelope I gave to you that night, that you would have a useless talisman in that cloak of yours…
Ouja slithers his hand into his cloak, grasping something and whispers under his breath. Joshua stares a hole right through him, leaning on the edge of his desk.
Joshua: There’s no need for hypnotism here, Ouja. I’m already proving myself to be an affable ally aren’t I? I broke and bloodied Moonwater. And there’s only one man in this room with a victory over Xristus.
Ouja: Xristusssss…-[Rapture cuts off Ouja]
Rapture: XRISTUS is a threat. Plain and simple. He’s a giant of a man with a chip on his shoulder. He THINKS he’s doing the right thing, but the people of NAPW have warped him into their own little puppet. Oh, but the potential in that boy! The potential to be a soldier in my –Ahem- OUR war on the twisted minds of New Alberta’s fanbase.
Ouja: He issss not alone. As I told you, Missio Dei supportssss its ssssoldiers. They’ve been a thorn in the Order’s sssside since the 1940’ssss…
Joshua: But just imagine what we could do with inside information into the group? If I – WE – could bring him onside, he could lead the charge to dismantling them.
Ouja thinks for a long moment, slowly walking to one of the windows and pulling down a blind to peek through.
Ouja: And the Otter Prince(sssss)?
Joshua: Andellion, quite simply, is a boy who should be practicing his curtsy and not anywhere near a wrestling ring. But he is brave and too stupid to stay away. But there are cracks in their armour after our last encounter at TLC. Cracks that we must exploit if we are to move forward, yes?
You and I, Ouja, stand ready to reveal the true faces of the so-called heroes. We stand ready to strip the masks off of monsters and burn their kingdoms to the ground. And in the ashes of our enemies, in the ash, we will stand above all. We will stand like beacons of hope, ready to bring in the wayward souls and give them faith in a New World Order! We will rob the kings and give to the people!
These people think there’s power in chanting a name, or changing a channel, but we will show them REAL power Ouja! With your Heart and my Light, we will blind the heretics and embrace the feeble. There is so much to discuss, Ouja, but not here. Here we are still men, but I know a place where we can research that stone of yours a little more in depth. Just one second.
Joshua taps a button on the underside of his desk and a bookshelf on the wall slides open revealing a staircase going down into darkness.
Joshua: Now, Mr. Ouja. Would you like to see MY library?
Ouja looks at the staircase, then to Joshua, then cackles with evil glee.
*This was co-written with my fellow RPer Ouja: The Sepent King, from NAPW*