It’s cold outside.
We’re talking “brass bra” territory here.
So cold, in fact, that were a certain rambunctious redneck from the deep woods of the Great Smokys romping and stomping around in overalls with no shirt and no shoes, he’d likely be on the verge of hypothermia.
One might even expect to see frost encrusted into that tangled mess of a beard that he wears like some sort of badge of broken-toothed honor. You could even be forgiven for assuming that the cold should have some sort of slowing effect on the lumbering giant in question. As it were, maybe you’ve forgotten just exactly who in tarnation it is that you were dealing with.
Similarly, one could be excused for assuming that something like a rough night at the office with Holo Make could possibly be enough to slow said Barefoot Brawler down, maybe even leave him laying in a heap like a pile of scrap.
That is to say, easy pickings.
I mean, we’re not really supposed to dumb-shame people anymore here in the year of our Lord 2022. However, anybody that believes any of that bunch of bullcrap is either simple, or they’re stupid. King Kong Frank is anything but afraid of losing a fight. Holo Make is a future champion in Classic Wrestling, and as far as Frank is concerned he can’t wait to mix it up with the big Islander again someday.
Any time. Any place.
However, that’s then.
This is now.
Frank stalks through the forest with stubborn determination etched into the scars and age lines that criss-cross his giant forehead. He snorts, steam rushes from nostrils the size of quarters, filtered through a wiry tangle of facial hair. After a time, the Mastadon comes to an obfuscated opening into the wall of one of the mountains that Frank had called home since the day he’d been born.
It was cold that night, too.
Frank presses his massive frame through, fighting a tinge of claustrophobia. Having been built like a horse with awkwardly long limbs and bulky size before he grew into it with puberty, Frank had absolutely never been comfortable in tight spaces. The phobia barely slows him down anymore, abject stubborn willpower doesn’t allow for the kind of fear that paralyzes a lesser man in the face of adversity.
To be blunt, King Kong Frank ain’t afear’d of nothin’, nobody, and nothin’ else. But those small, enclosed spaces…
Electricity dances up his spine as the cave finally opens into a cavern with enough open space that Frank can stretch his full six-foot nine-inch frame up to its full height. He rolls giant shoulders, bones pop as air is released by the stretch. It’s dark, but his eyes adjust as he moves forward through what quite possibly had been the home of his ancient kin.
He hasn’t gone far before he’s met with what you or I might perceive as an odd sight. An old man, with a leathery face that draws a mighty resemblance to the Smokey Mountain Nightmare himself except for his long bald head and the obvious age discrepancy. His beard, as wild and wiry as Frank’s is the yellowed white of generations of growth and not the first thought had been given to modern beard grooming.
He wore a brown robe.
This is all very… familiar.
Is that Frank’s ol’ Grandpappy?
Above the old man’s head, a mason jar hovers, glowing just enough to shed a little light on the situation. The family resemblance is clear now more than ever.
“It’s dangerous to go alone,” the old man starts.
Frank furrows his brow.
First, one eyebrow raises, then the other. Frank catches a whiff of the potent potable and snorts, lost somewhere between shocked and appalled.
This was, indeed, his Grandpappy’s signature Mountain Dew, and I’m not talking about the yellow sugar-water version that Coca-Cola sells. I’m talking about the real deal.
Frank takes the jar and greedily swallows down the brew, his innards immediately go to tingling and his head goes all funny. He tries to shake it loose, but this may be the finest ‘shine that’d ever seen the light of…
A dank, abandoned, darkened cave.
He hiccups and smiles.
“It’s pert-near rasslin’ time again, fellas.”
The smile widens. Frank is after all an affable, yet terrifying specimen.
“Reckon I’ll see y’all on Broadway, heh-heh!”
Everything goes wobbly, then black.