Jezebel - In The Glorification Of Youth

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Description: Rainbow Mika, hot off of her match with Hitomi in determining the strongest bottom in the history of Zack Ilsand, comes across a chance encounter along the shores of Tranquil Beach. Jezebel, hot off her match in the Volcano with Munin, is consorting with the meerkats. The old meets the new as both Rainbow Mika and the Former Lightning Spangles quickly learn just how much they have in common... and just how different they are.

"I didn't win my fight, you know."

Jezebel's words wise at the remains of Tranquil Beach. Long ago, before the hurricane struck, it was a peaceful place. Once the storm struck, it was only barely shielded by a wall-like rock formation that is hollowed out by erosion. The volleyball court that was once here... wasn't. The sands were not scoured though. The trees? In perfect order, unnaturally planted back. Amongst one of the trees, where a swing once laid, Jezebel sat at the base of it, wrapped in tattered blankets she procured from the remains of a hotel. They didn't have a tent for her. And the ship wasn't leaving yet. She was just back here. It hurt. It hurt so much.

But there was the strong to bring it back to order.

Jezebel had been here before, with her animals. Her audience to speak to. The small creatures were huddled aroudn her, as she rambled on. "The opponent I was facing, she was Munin. She was a cold, and dominating person. She spared me! She could have killed me, and she spared me! I could have killed her, and I didn't spare her. In my head at least. But that doesn't make me a killer! She was probably a killer. It was strange, you know?" She waited for a response. There was none.

But the meerkats loved her.

The meerkats were all in tight formation, pure and aryan in their breed and stature. All look alike, identical in fur, in height, in health. There were no lame, weak, or infirm meerkats, to leech off meerkat society like the parasites they were. There were only the strong. And the weak would be eliminated. Meerkat society had come into contact with Lightning Spangles, and her apparent husband, the Hoedown Dillo. For such a strong and powerful woman to dominate nature was the natural order. It was the divine right for the strong and powerful Jezebel to be a living goddess for the simple animals.

Their dear leader ensured it.

The leader of the meerkats had long ago seen Jezebel in her match upon the island. The national hero of the noble meerkat people, who inspired them into a blonde-haired and blue eyed race of meerkat supremancy. When the hurricane struck, that terrible storm, it nearly wiped out the meerkats. The meerkats needed a strong centralizing leader.

And they had to purge out the undesirables.

2 years later, the meerkat society was strong. Pure. And listening intently to a blanket-wrapped Jezebel, who stared bruised and blearly eyed at her animal companions.

"I said, it was strange, you know?"

It takes a lot to discourage Mika Nanakawa. Perhaps from the time she first decided that her career--no, her life--rested in pro-wrestling she has battled far more than just other wrestlers. Indeed, Mika has dealt with her share of naysayers both inside and outside of the sport. Even so, Mika's boundless determination--and the support of what confidants she has, like her trainer Youko Harmageddon, has carried her through even the most difficult of situations.

One of those situations has been the latest visit to Zack Island. Here Mika expected a nice beach trip and a victory against her opponent Hitomi. Instead, she got an trip to an awful, hurricane-damaged beach resort and a loss to Hitomi at her own game! It took her several hours to find adequate enough supplies to fully get the smell from the pool out, but she's finally reached a level at which she's comfortable going into public.

But Mika soldiers on, undiscouraged. She makes her way to Tranquil Beach at a steady jog. By the time Jezebel sees her, it's clear that she's dressed in a spare t-shirt (it looks to be cheap souvenir), what is probably a spare bathing suit, and her distinctive mask. She is presently lugging a spare tire over her shoulder, apparently using it as a training weight as she makes her laps around the island. When she passes Jezebel, she seems unaware of the meerkats--or Jezebel for that matter.

At least, for a moment, she suddenly stops, still jogging in place with that tire. "HEY!" she calls out, "Are you okay over there??" A pause. "What's with all the--" Mika seems to be looking for the right word.

They look at her.

The meerkats, in unison, turn to look upon the figure that was jogging towards them. The single perfect unison was required. A single deviance meant an aberration. A potential weak link in the endless chain of meerkat racial superiority. The beady blue eyes all stare at Mika, hungrily, a murderous gleam flickering in their sockets.

A gleam that fades all too soon.

Mika, with her blue eyes and blonde hair, easily satisfy the racial requirements of the simple beast. THey are not alarmed, nor are they offended by the intrusion of the strange woman. They keep their stare, peaceful but alert. Jezebel, looking at the meerkats, finally shifts her gaze upwards. She looks at Mika.

And she smiles.

Jezebel was wrapped up in the tattered blanket, her knees up to her chest. Her hair was tangled, the braid it was tightly bound in hastily redone poorly. Sticks and dust were still in her hair. One eyes was blue, but the other was... mechanical. Artificial. Fake. The mechanical eye held a blue LED light in it, which narrowed as she focused on Mika. The smile on her freckled face. "Howdy pardner!" She pipes up. "I'm Nightmare Spangles, the All American heel! Don't be scared by the meerkats!"

"They are my animal friends!"

Rainbow Mika doesn't stop jogging, not for a second. Despite the tire and the fact she's doing it in place, she keeps up the pace. She seems to consider this for a moment, rolling the name around in your head.

"You're not--a wrestler though, right? I'm pretty saavy with wrestlers.../are/ you?" Heel, to Mika, reads pretty clearly. The terms is so ingrained to her that she doesn't often think about it in other terms other than maybe, on occasion, anatomy.

"Oh, so they're meerkats!" Mika looks at them for a moment, then back at Jezebel. "Uh, nice to meet you! I'm Rainbow Mika. I guess you were here for the tournament too then, huh?" She looks at the meerkats again.

"If they're safe, mind if I sit down for a minute?"

"Oh no, wrestling's fake."

Jezebel says clearly and without restraint. "I'm real! Except my eye! I lost that to a Russian! It wasn't very nice, but there was sheep, so it was okay!" She cocks her head aside. "Anyways, It's very nice to meet you Rainbow Mika!" She says brightly, patting the ground next to her by the base of the tree. Already, the meerkats were clearing a path for you Rainbow Mika to join Jezebel in sitting Mika. "Come take a seat right next to me! I was just telling my animal friends about my fight." She turns her head at the meerkats.

And then she starts talking again!

"See, I was fighting Munin, as part of this! I thoughtit was going to be a different island you know. I was the champion of Zack Island, along with my Hoedown Dillo. My Hoedown Dillo was played by Johnny Cage. He loved me, you know. And he left me! And he rejected me. Because I wasn't young enough, you know. Or talented enough. Or sober enough. I just kind of just screwed everything up you know, even though I was a champion. And I could have fought and beaten Munin to save my reputation again! Did you have a fight here too Rainbow Mika?" She doesn't even know if Mika had taken a seat yet.

"You look like you have an amazing body for fighting Rainbow Mika!"

Mika's jaw drops. A hand goes to her chest, and she takes a step back as though she were just shot. She stands there in shock for several moments, which gives Jezebel plenty of time to talk about her fight with Munin to her animal friends.

It's when her name is said again that Mika snaps back to reality.

"WRESTLING ISN'T FAKE! IT'S AS REAL AS THE HEART YOU PUT INTO IT!" Despite her frustration, Mika speaks with good projection and clarity. She's got a voice that can carry through a crowd even without a microphone. This, too, comes from practice.

I'm going to be the greatest female pro-wrestler the world's ever seen! Just you watch me!" Mika seems to reel herself in for a moment, taking a backstep in her shouting. "--sorry, but I can't handle people smearing my dream like that! Maybe some wrestlers are fake, but I what I bring to the ring is one-hundred percent genuine!"

Wrestling isn't fake?

Jezebel didn't actually know. She thought it was just another form of pretend. She was used to games of pretend. They just drifted. Widow was real though, right? They were all real. As Mika blows up at her, she hides inside the blankets, shuddering, covering herself up. Look what you did, Jezebel. You just shot your mouth off again.

And now she hates you.

Now she knows what a useless, hateful whore you are. How pathetic you are. You sad, and sick, and worhtless woman. As Mika calms down though, she pokes her head out again. She didn't stop smiling. She wasn't happy on the inside. But as long as she was happy on the outside, it was almost the same thing. She had to mend bridges. She had to make this right. And she remembered someone who could fix this.

"Did I ever tell you how I met the Ultimate Warrior?"

Mika pauses for a moment. She sees Jezebel withdraw for a moment, and, fortunately, Mika is not so horrible a person that she keeps on the offensive. The wheels seem to be turning. Perhaps she didn't know better? Mika has heard this one a lot, so SOMEONE must be starting these rumors. She considers for another moment.

The tire is dropped heavily. Mika makes her way over and plops down weightly next to Jezebel. "Sorry, but I can't let that go! I don't know who started that rumor, but I'm always running into it." Mika huffs, arms crossed. "You're not the only one who's said it, but lemme reemphasize--wrestling is very real! At least, I wrestle for real and so does everyone I fight!" Yeah. You tell her Mika.

"--whoa, did you say you met the Ultimate Warrior?? Do you wanna tell me about it??" A pause. "Sorry I got excited there. I'm /very serious/ about wrestling. It's my dream!"


The mechanical eye of Jezebel dims. "I remember it was in Hong Kong! It was after I ruined everything, we met at the same coke dealer! I mean, coca-cola dealer!" Jezebel smiles blithly. "He didn't give me his real name, but like, who needs to know his real name? He was the Ultimate Warrior. Anyways, while he was enjoying his coke- his coca-cola off my legs, he decided to share with me some wisdom and understanding!" Jezebel leans over to Mika, putting a hand on her shoulder. The blanket slips off her shoulder a bit. "And you know what he said to me, Rainbow Mika?" And Jezebel nods sagely.

"Queering... doesn't make the world work."

Jezebel's eyes almost brighten as she begins to explain. "He warned me not only about the homosexual propaganda films, but also how Martin Luther King was a lazy, womanizing idiot who stumbled into greatness. He even told me how both Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon were FreeMasons, working for the Illuminati! But the biggest thing he told me, Rainbow Mika, was how homosexuality is worse than the bubonic plague!" Jezebel smiles softly as she nods her head again. "The Ultimate Warrior was a real friend. That's why he never wrestled with Zangief, you know!"

At this point, it might be obvious that she is wearing nothing under the blanket.

Mika listens to the story. There's a moment when Jezebel corrects herself from "coke" to "coca-cola" Mika narrows her eyes. She listens more closely. Maybe she lost something in the mental gymnastics of translating from English to Japanese. She doesn't push away when the hand goes on her shoulder, but instead listens intently. Maybe she hopes that by listening more closely, she'll figure out where something was lost in translation.

Her head tilts at the second part, as by then she's completely lost. The comment about Zangief starts to get her riled again, but for better or worse, Mika's common sense gets the better of her.

"Hey, uh, Nightmare Spangles, right?" Mika puts a hand on Jezebel's shoulder. "You had a match here, right? Why don't you tell me about that?"

Maybe she has brain damage, Mika thinks. That's horrible! She may need a doctor. What was it Youko told her to do if someone wasn't thinking straight...

"Yeah! My match!"

Jezebel was going to go into how she first experience Hulkmania, but her fight! She was just telling her animal friends about that. "I was just telling my animal friends about that! I was fighting a swords woman named Munin, and she was so cold, she was almost like a boyfriend! We fought in the volcano. I was just waiting for her to slap me, and put out her cigarettes on me, but she had a sword, and didn't smoke. I pinned her down, and destroyed my clothing in the fight, but she eventually overpowered me, and she even spared me instead of killing me! It was wonderful! And then I fell asleep."

"That's when the shadow people came.

Jezebel's grip was tightening, as her gaze drifted further and further away, out into sea. "And then I woke up, and they were all around me! Jabbing needles in me, and stringing me up with thread, and polluting my precious body with disgusting drugs. So then I fought them, I beat them off and screamed, and I ran, Mika! I ran away Rainbow Mika, and I went back to the hotel room where I dreamed about my Hoedown Dillo! And then I took the blankets I wrapped myself around, and I came out here to meet with my animal friends, to love me, and protect me, and guard me until my ship comes. And maybe, maybe even." She sniffles a bit.

"Maybe my fishy friend will come for me too!"

Yes, Mika resolves. This woman definitely has hit in the head a few too many times. She doesn't say so though, because in a moment of wisdom, she realizes maybe that's not the best thing to say to someone struggling with this kind of problem.

"Wow! That sounds like quite a match! --why were you fighting in a volcano? Isn't that dangerous? Was it active?" A pause. "And here I thought it was bad enough fighting over that gross pool..."

"Are--are you okay?" Mika asks again, "--did someone kidnap you?" Mika looks around. "If you need help, I'll help you defend yourself!" Another pause.

"What's a Hoedown Dillo?"

Rainbow Mika might have felt the line she stepped over.

It wasn't a boundary, or a more, or something rude. It was a tripwire. A trap. A line in the sand that she just trounced over. Yes, Jezebel was a bit out of her mind. But that moment of empathy seems to backfire a moment, as Nightmare Spangles' jaw just drops. She stares at Rainbow Mika, twitching slightly. Those words. Those words. Jezebel just repeats back to Rainbow Mika, scratching the corner of her mechanical eye.

What's a Hoedown Dillo?"

And then music begins to play.

Where does the music come from? Why are the meerkats bounce in an alternating power?

"What's a Hoedown Dillo, you say?" Jezebel stands up, letting the blanket fall off her naked, battered form, still fresh from the abrasions and cuts from her match. She staggers out into the sands of the beach, posture erect. She puts her hands on her hips as she stands amongst the meerkats, who were still bouncing up and down in an alternating pattern, as the -music continues to play-. She transfixes her eyes upon Rainbow Mika.

And she begins to sing.

"./' ~A Hoedown Dillo is a special friend~ ./'
./' ~That sticks with you till the bitter end~ ./'
./' ~A big old armadillo, with a big old shell ./'
./' ~Who always stands by you no matter the tell~ ./'
./' ~The Hoedown Dillo was with me through thin and thick~ ./'
./' ~And gives me everything with that big old trick~ ./'
./' ~But the question I get, to the end of my days~ ./'
./' ~Is how did the Dillo come by my ways?~ ./'

And then she begins to dance.

Line dance, for the matter, as the meerkats join her. Step, step, step to the side and clap. Step, step, step to the her side and clap. All part of tasteful western dancing. In clothing. This was not in clothing. And she keeps singing.

"./' ~One day out in the west where~ ./'
./' ~While I was out by the campfire~ ./'
./' ~I heard a sound out over the sands~ ./'
./' ~I took out my guns and my hands~ ./'
./' ~Prepared for the worst but then I listened~ ./'
./' ~As from the light a critter did glisten~ ./'
./' ~It was an armadillo, all round and rough~ ./'
./' ~It was as big as a man, and narely as tough!~ ./'

The meerkats were now dancing from partner to partner, as Jezebel heel toe dances, the smiling burning at the corners of her lips. There was clapping now. Not from the meerkats, or from Jezebel. But from somewhere. Somewhere from the jungle. What was happening. Why was it happening. Jezebel's mechanical eye burns brighter.

"./' ~But strangest of all, was the sound that came by~ ./'
./' ~And did something that I had to try!~ ./'
./' ~Right on its paws, there was something a-diddling~ ./'
./' ~And looking in the darkness, I saw it was a-fiddling!~ ./'
./' ~A-fiddling a-diddling, Hoedown a-Dillo it was!~ ./'
./' ~Holding a fiddle right between its paws!~ ./'
./' ~And around the campfire it pranced~ ./'
./' ~And I myself saw myself going to danced!~ ./'"

The entire scene swirls around, as the dancing grows more manic. There was a fiddling in the air, consuming everything. The meerkats were jerking like marrionates, like dolls, forced into the unnatural state of dancing. And she smiled, oh how Jezebel did smile.

"./' ~So on that late night, out on the west~ ./'
./' ~That's when I met my friend that is best!~ ./'
./' ~The Hoedown Dillo, a fiddling friend~ ./'
./' ~Going to stick with me to the end!~ ./'
./' ~With a hat that just dangles~ ./'
./' ~Or else I'm not..."

"... I'm not..."

And the dancing stops.

From Jezebel, at least, Everything was still dancing. She pauses a moment, a dazed look over her. She sticks her finger in her mechanical eyeball. And the music stops.Everything stops, as Jezebel turns back at Mika, stark naked, body growing limp. And there, she shakes her head. Her eyes were trembling. Her body was shivering. And the smile was gone.

"... I'm not Lightning Spangles."

"Yeah, what's a Hoedown D--" Mika starts to repeat, up until the music starts. She blinks and looks around when it does, trying to track down the source. When it's not immediately apparent, she turns her attention to Jezebel instead. Unfortunately, since Jezebel is now buck naked, this is probably a mistake.

Mika's jaw drops. She's dancing naked. There are meerkats dancing with her. This is a lot to take in. Mika can only sit there, entranced and speechless, as the music number continues with surprisingly detailed choreography. Mika, for a moment, is not sure whether she should clap, or cheer, cover her face, or offer Jezebel her blanket.

"Uh....right!" she says in response to Jezebel's last comment. Looking away now, Mika holds up the blanket. "Do you...want this? Since you're missing your clothes and all."

She wasn't Lightning Spangles.

Jezebel was supposed to have move past that stage in her life. It was gone. She was never going to be Lightning Spangles ever again. She already tried to kill herself over it, she already rotted and diseased herself over it. And she moved past it. That's what the whole Shadaloo journey was about. Moving past that chapter. And here she was, singing and dancing with her animal friends because that's what makes her happy. That's what makes her happy and alive. More than the pain, more than being hurt and being stronger than the pain. Lightning Spangles still made her happy.

More than Nightmare Spangles ever would.

"What I want, Rainbow Mika," Jezebel says coldly, numbed, as she takes the blanket with both hands. She doesn't put it on. "What I want is this island to be buried under the ocean, and every on it who remembers me to be with it. I want every mistake to be buried under the sea. I want it all to sink so deep and so dark that nobody remembers. Not even me." Jezebel falls silent again, as she falls into a sit in the sands amongst the meerkats. She folds the blanket in front of her, holding it. She stares quietly at her feet, her mechanical eye glowing a faint blue LED. "Rainbow Mika?" She says softly, breaking the silence as she looks up at the wrestler. There is tears in one good eye.

"Do you ever think about death, Rainbow Mika?"

Rainbow Mika is no philosopher. She is a young woman whose was drawn to a sport about big characters and big attitudes. It's a mixture of fighting and theatre, where rivalries are start and stop in the ring. In many ways, it can be a place that's mostly playacting, even if there are people like Mika and Zangief who treat it with a seriousness that takes it beyond that into something more genuine. Something real.

Mika Nanakawa is that kind of person. She's still an immature, if passionate young person whose dreams are often larger than life and often bigger than anything practical. Even so, it takes a certain stout-heartedness and positivity to stick with a dream like hers when everyone tells you that you're being silly. So far, it has carried her through the naysaying into a modicum of success. Perhaps, with time, it will carry her much further. For the moment? It has brought her into the path of a broken, beaten woman who has fought dealt with a great deal more than Mika ever has. Some of it may have been deserved, even, but Mika does not know that. All Mika knows is that this woman is sad, and Mika doesn't know what to do about it.

For better or worse, there's a lot out there that Mika doesn't handle well. That has never stopped her from trying. Damaged or not, damnit, Mika is going to do something!

"Hey," Mika says, "hey, hey, hey! I don't know what you did that you want forgotten, but I bet there's someone out there that wants to remember you! Isn't there someone you'd miss if they forgot all about you?" Mika sprints over toward Jezebel and plops herself in the sand, almost right on top of her. She tosses an arm around the smaller woman's shoulders, pulling her over into a burly sidehug. "I thought your dance number there was pretty awesome, and I bet you put up an awesome fight earlier!"

Mika squeezes Jezebel tightly, even if this isn't a good idea. "So why are you so down and out and asking about death, huh??"

Jezebel couldn't even feel pain.

She wanted to. Just to feel something. Not to fall into the dark abyss. She would take the endless eternity of pain over the numbness. Oh, she deserved pain. But nothing deserved nothinginess. She wanted it to end. Death would end it. The thought was swirling around her, as Mika just... just hugged her, tried to pour hope and optimism and everything. But Jezebel doesn't react to it. She was just a doll, a thing to pour someone's love into. Someone's love into. Yeah, she could perform. Her body was trembling. And she speaks quickly. "Yeah, yeah, there would be people who miss me. You know who would miss me?"


Jezebel's face began to turn red. She doesn't even look at Mika "I hate them. I hate them so much. You know them, right Mika? You see them online. They take pictures of you, they draw pictures of you, and they make you into their plaything of their depraved imaginations. They oversize your chest, your butt, your... your everything. Those disgusting fans who, who pretend me into things. They pretend me to be a whore, or like, innocent or like, pretend innocent. They make me and exploit me. Pair me their fantasies, no matter what. With women, even with children, and, and animals. You know what they make me do in their stories?"

"Beastiality, Mika."

She tries to make the shape of it with her hands, as if it could mean something. "With horses, and dogs, and even pokemon. Children's pokemon, Mika. Like Pikachu, or Mankey, or like, this like of dog pokemon with like a spike here?" Jezebel gestures in the middle of her chest. "And you know what the worst part is, Mika? With all these things that they want me to be, to pretend into, to shape myself into?"

"I just tolerate it."

"I mean, you're young Mika. You have a future, I mean, past this wrestling phase." Wrestling phase. "You'll settle down, have a family, raise beautiful children, and maybe they'll see some of your old pictures, and ask you about your wrestling days. And you will be proud of them, because there is nothing you need to be but proud of what you were. What you are now. Maybe you'll inspire them to be just like you."

"And me?"

"There is no future like that." Jezebel says, staring into nothinginess, as she just brings her hands to the sides of her face. "There is no doting husband for me in the future. There is no loving family, no children. There is no family. And even if they were? They would search for me online, they will dig up my movies, they will have my entire life time of shame and regret to pick from, and they will just ask me 'why mommy? why did you do this mommy? why are you doing this with dora the explorer? WHY DID YOU KILL THOSE CHILDREN?!'" Jezebel's voice raises into a scream as she digs her nails deeper into her cheeks, drawing blood down the side of her face. Her body was trembling again and she just shakes her head. "I have nothing that hasn't been violated or desecrated now. I have had the full celebrity experience, I have had everything exposed and rolled out. I will never have a normal life. I will never have a happy life. Unless I pretend that everything that has happened to me at this point makes me happy. I have to pretend I'm happy, Mika. Because you know what's left? That's why I'm asking about death. That's what you have left, what everyone else has left. Normal people are at least strong enough to end it all when the pain becomes too much. I'm not even strong enough to kill myself. So what else can I do, Rainbow Mika?" And she just throws her arms into the air.

"What else can I do but just exist?"

It takes Mika a moment to react. There's a deer-in-the-headlights look when Jezebel explodes, her pent up frustrations erupting outward in a geyser of bile and regret. Perhaps Mika recognizes her now and it sets in exactly who she is and what's going on here. Or maybe she doesn't. Either way, she doesn't comment.

The emotion, however, is real. Mika can't ignore that. She may not know what to do here, but again, Mika refuses to let that stop her from ramming herself into the problem, even if the effort may be Sisyphean. When Jezebel starts to claw into face, Mika reacts by trying to grab Jezebel closer hand and pull it away.

"Hey," Mika says, "I have no idea what that's like, but I'm sorry." A pause. "Hell, I can't imagine. I've got a few weird fans, but--" Mika starts to say something that would probably make it worse, but seems to get sidetracked before she can.

"But suicide is never the answer!" Mika says. That much she's sure of. Perhaps somewhere, she is asking herself what Zangief would say. Zangief would have wisdom here.

"Can't you--leave that behind? Make something new for yourself? Like, don't celebrities do that all the time? Either make new careers or disappear to do their own thing somewhere?"

"I thought I could Mika."

It was a slow process. But the meerkats were leaving, one by one. A trickle of animals. A creeping loneliness. Jezebel could feel the empathy, the concern, the care. She could feel it. But she couldn't see another person on the other end of it. Just herself, in the midst of a scoundral's island. "I thought I could leave it all behind, and become someone new. That's what I did at first, you know? When Disney got rid of me like the dieased and twisted person I am. I wanted to go to Hong Kong, and be an actress again. I could forget it all. I could forget about how I lost Lightning Spangles. Just like how I forgot everything else. And it almost worked. I was an actress, I was beautiful, and there was people who still loved me. I could almost feel happy, I could almost stop hurting, Mika."

"But you know, sometimes it just hurt so much."

"So I started drinking more, Mika. Because when I was drunk, I couldn't feel pain. I wouldn't feel pain. I couldn't act when drunk, but I couldn't feel pain. So I went from, you know, taking roles where I needed to be a person, to taking roles where all I needed to be was a prop. I'd fight, where about as much as I wear now, and I could get paid doing what I loved. I liked Tae Kwo nDo, I liked fighting, I liked being a martial artist. I mean, I wasn't Lightning Spangles, but people loved me. I just had to drink to stop thinking about all the mistakes I made. I was making a new career, I was disappearing to do my own thing.

"And you know what happened then, Mika?"

"I stopped loving it."

"Do you know what's it's like being what you used to love? To go from doing something because you love it, into doing it because that's all you know? No, no you wouldn't, you're still young enough to love what your doing." She gives a pathetic smirk, shaking her head. "I just was hurting more and more. So I needed -more- to stop the pain. Heroin made me useless, coke was expensive but when you had friends, you could always get it cheaper, and then there was always the pills. The pills worked best, with the shaojiu. But I couldn't be a fighting prop when I was strung out. But I had most of my looks, I still had my body, so they just found me different roles where I could still be a prop. Where they could use me, and use me, and use me, and recycle me, and it was cheaper and cheaper to pay me. Sometimes, they would just give me my shaojiu for payment, maybe to shoot three movies in a row back to back. They didn't even need me to roll off the mattress, Mika. And you know what that was, Mika?"

"That was me leaving it all behind."

"All it took for me to sober up was to stare into the mirror. All it took was for me to stare into the mirror, and hate the woman I saw. To hate me, for what I was. And all I had to do is pretend what I wanted to be, what made me actually happy, what made me a pure and clean girl. All I had to do was be Lightning Spangles again. And I went cold turkey. I met up with some of my old Tae Kwon Do trainers again. I... I washed myself out. I made myself Lightning Spangles. All I had to do was be Lightning Spangles again, and I didn't have to be to worthless whore actress that was Jezebel."

"But I can't be Lightning Spangles anymore Mika."

"I'm just... Jezebel."

It's hard to determine whether Mika's expression is more of depression or of horror. It's something like a frown, with a slight gape to it that goes beyond simple disappointment.

Mika's head droops. She rubs the back of her neck nervously, then rests her hands on her thighs. To say that Mika is at a lost for words might be an understatement. She didn't sign up for this part of the job. Is this what it's like for wrestling washouts too? She chases the thought from her mind. She keeps listening, but it's like watching the play-by-play of a horrible accident.

Mika starts to speak, but she stops again. She sits there and tries to think of the words. It takes her several moments to put something together.

"Look," she starts, then stops again. It's almost like trying to crank a car with a flooded engine. "I--I want to help, because I don't think you should have to go through that, but--I don't really know what to do?" Mika asks as much as she tells. "But if you need someone to train with, or some connections, maybe I can do something??" She's still asking, not telling.

"You... want to help?"

Want to help. But don't know how. It's like a fresh lash of pain across the withered scars of the actress. Everyone wanted to help Jezebel. Every single person who was part of her career wanted to help her. From the smiling Disney executives and coactors, to the toothless director rubbing her with vaseline between shots. Everyone wanted to help her. Every single person. But the fact of the matter was that nobody did. Nobody helped her. Every single person who offered her help just ended up doing the exact same thing. Using her. Abusing her. Wringing her out. And when they were done? Throwing her away like the piece of garbage they ultimately saw her as. Nobody wanted to help a person. They only wanted to help a thing, a puppet, a doll, a prop. That's all that help was.

Just another way to make Jezebel hurt.

A biting bitterness escapes her lips. "Go away." She Rasps at first. "Go away, because you can't help me. Nobody can help me, except men who love... I'll just bring you down. I'll just ruin your career, just like how I ruined... I ruined..." She wanted to say Honoka? Donald Trump? Anybody else. But nobody -else- was ruined by Jezebel. Only Jezebel ruined Jezebel. A resentful scream boils under her breath. "I'll ruin you. I'LL MAKE YOU LIKE ME!"

I'll make you like me.

Jezebel grabs a fistful of sand in her bloodied hand, and throws it at Mika. "GO AWAY! Or you'll be a whore of the internet! You'll be drawn to show off your chest, or your bottom, or be hypnotized by snakes and computers, or just drawn to wrestle other girls, so men can get off on you! I'll corrupt you! Because I'm Nightmare Spangles now! That's what I do! I RUIN PEOPLE! I RUIN EVERYONE!" She reaches to grab another fistful of sand, or maybe a meerkat.

But there were no more meerkats around now.

Rainbow Mika looks hopeful for a moment. She hopes that maybe the offer will be enough and that she can go from there. Maybe Youko knows a therapist or an agent. Maybe they can help Jezebel get back on her feet. Maybe she's interested in starting a new career as a wrestler! That would be perfect, Mika thinks ... for a brief moment. Then Jezebel lashes out at her. Mika stands there at first, but it starts a fire in her belly. She takes it for a moment, but then retaliates.

"I WON'T LET ANYONE TEAR ME DOWN!!!" Mika says, "I don't care who they are!!!" She turns, in a huff, stomping off back to toward what counts for civilization. She takes her tire with her, undeterred from her training.

"BUT IF YOU CHANGE YOUR MIND, CALL MY AGENT!!" It's sort of pathetic, really, but Mika doesn't give up. It's a less desperate shot in the dark as she takes off. Perhaps she doesn't know what else to do. Maybe it simply puts the ball in Jezebel's court. "But I won't be made anything but what I make myself, even if you do come along! BELIEVE IT!"

She wouldn't let anybody tear her down.

Jezebel imagines if she was like Rainbow Mika. If she had the enduring spirit. But Jezebel already did. If she had the incredible body. But she already did. If she had that unyielding optimism, that hope, that can do to keep anybody from tearing her down.

But Jezebel already did.

Jezebel didn't have a response. She just drove another person away. Someone who wanted to help. Pretended to help? Jezebel just couldn't, wouldn't let another person use her and hurt her. Like her Fishy Friend. Like the Hoedown Dillo. Like everyone else in the world who just took advantage of her. She was once just like rainbow Mika. Just like her, when she was young. Maybe if Jezebel was a better human being, if Jezebel was worth being Lightning Spangles, she could have been the one to help Rainbow Mika, instead of the other way around. She unfolds the blanket, and throws it over her. This was happiness. This was her new normal, as Rainbow Mika walks away.

She was completely alone now.

Jezebel just stands up on the shore, to inventory what was left. She felt blood on her chin, the tearing of her own face still bearing a presence. Nothing wanted to be around her, not even the meerkats will join her. Alone. She was not afraid. She turns towards the shore, staring at the water. The lapping along the shore. She begins to take her steps, the blanket draped over her shoulders. She steps into the water, letting the warm waters come up to her ankles. She stares out to the horizon. She wondered how far she could walk before she would be too tired to move. How long she could hold her breath. How long she could fight like Rainbow Mika fights.

Jezebel takes another step.

Log created on 13:58:01 05/26/2017 by Jezebel, and last modified on 19:19:48 05/30/2017.