“I know it ain’t yer fault, Bobby.”
King Kong Frank paces, vibrating with reckless energy.
“I mean it is, cuz yer a rotten piece-a’ trash of a partner, but I already knew that an’ I shoulda knowed better than t’think yer big backside wouldn’t weigh me down just like you weighed Lunchbox Larry down all this time!”
Behind Frank is the familiar lean-to out back of the RBTV Studios. Frank’s grandpappy’s firewater bubbles in the expertly crafted whiskey still designed and built by the Smoky Mountain Madman himself.
“So, what happens at CLASSICMANIA ain’t on you, Bobbo. It’s on me. I take full responsibility for the hunnerd pounds’a flesh I’mma take outta yer hind-end when I get my hands on you next week! Reckon you gotta enough flesh to pay fer the sins of Scott Hunter, them REPOSSESSED boys, an anybody else I might owe me a butt-whoopin’ to!”
Frank comes to an abrupt stop front and center.
“I guess this is me apologizin’ to ya, Bobbo. But once we get in there an’ this here…”
He pats the center plate of the Premier American Championship. As has become habit, the belt is stuffed down the front of Frank’s overalls and swings to and fro as the Mastodon of the Mountain undulates pure Appalachian fury from every pore in his giant body.
“…is on the line! HUSS! Reckon I’mma tear yer head offa yer shoulders, Bobbo.”
How much time has passed remains undetermined. Assume days.
The air atop a mountain is crisp, no matter the time of year.
Frank ignores the cold, remaining bare-footed and clothed in a beaten pair of overalls. He sits in the spot where once he’d battled a mighty bear over a nest of American Bald Eagles. Today the nest sents empty, mother and chicks must be out hunting.
Frank appears at peace.
If you’re anything but terrified at that then consider yourself ill-informed. King Kong Frank has made a career out of barely containable hillbilly rage and all of the shenanigans you’d expect to go along with that.
Somewhere out in the aether, the pounding of drums creeps into the back of your consciousness. It’s faint at first, but there will be a crescendo at an unspecified time in the future.
A barbaric and butcherous crescendo. Of that, there can be no doubt.
Frank’s eyes snap open.
The rage is gone, replaced by something a bit… more?
But more what? Awareness maybe? Is that even possible?
If it is, is it safe?
Try not to make the mistake of thinking of an aware King Kong Frank as somehow a lesser-than version of the Premier American Champion. Or do, and watch along in terror as Frank takes apart a man who may or may not be more of a danger to himself than anybody else inside of a wrestling ring.
Bobby Dean may have fumbled and bumbled his way into success at CLASSIC Wrestling, but nothing in his decades-long career can possibly prepare him for the nightmare that a focused and agitated King Kong Frank is going to be.
There will be no running.
Certainly there will be no hiding.
No remorse. That much should be clear from the outset.
After a few thoughtful moments, Frank finally opens his mouth to speak.
“Lis’sen here, Bobby.”
The rage isn’t gone so much as it’s tempered.
Like Damascus steel.
“Things ain’t exactly been goin’ the way ol’ Frank’d prefer ‘em to here lately.”
He allows himself a moment for reflection.
“Mayhap it ain’t obvious to the likes of you, big’un. Maybe it ain’t obvious to nobody. I don’t reckon it matters none anyhow, before long ever’body gone get a big heapin’ helpin’ of understandin’! UNNARSTANNIT?”
The outburst is gone as abruptly as it was blurted.
“So I came up here to the top of the world. Reckon I been here a couple-a-few days ‘er more now. No matter which way I try to lookit all’a this rasslin’ mess, I keep comin’ to the same conclusion. There’s gotta be a better way.”
He pauses, danger flashing quickly in the backs of those big brown eyes of his.
“An older way.”
Eyes flicker with a manic awareness that cannot and will not be explained in the tongues of modern man. Frank continues.
“I figure mayhap it’s time I get back to my roots.”
“Remember what puts the King Kong in Frank Dylan James.”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.”