The Bird of Prey
May 15th, 2018Raven Roberts is modeling for a camera in Palm Springs, CA, having driven down from Las Vegas early in the morning for a photo shoot with Maybelline. She’s wearing a stylized white top with an ornate necklace, straightened hair, deep red lips and elaborate eye makeup. The photographer is an older man with grey hair wearing a plain black shirt with jeans. A black production van sits off in the distance that reads “Maybelline” in white letters along the side panel. Groups of fans sit behind a guarded rope, watching the photo shoot take place. Raven sits in front of a palm tree, following the photographer’s instructions for various poses and expressions throughout the shoot.
Palm Springs, CA
Palm Springs, CA
“Now let’s try one more with you running your hand through your hair, propped up like— Yes that’s it!” The photographer snaps several images. “Well I think your fans have waited long enough. I have what I need.”
Raven looks over to the large group, her face grows a bit nervous. “I really didn’t expect this big of a turn out when I said I’d sign some autographs after the shoot...”
“You’re becoming famous, dear.” The older man chuckles. “Perhaps posting your location to the public and telling fans to come meet you isn’t always the best idea going forward. Didn’t you have someone you wanted to meet growing up? Maybe someone from EAW, like you are to them now?”
“Well I guess it would’ve been cool to meet Kendra Shamez.” Raven giggles and shakes her head. “Before she went off the rails that is. But so many of the old school people still lump the REVOLT! locker room together so half of them think I’m just another crazy chick like Sienna Jade.”
She stands to her feet and walks over to greet the fans. Ray spends the next hour and a half signing autographs and taking selfies while making goofy faces with the crowd. She stops to take an extra second and give a hug to any of the young children in the crowd while taking pictures with them. As the last few fans trickle out, she walks back over to a nearby picnic table and takes a seat, exhausted. The EAW Network cameras approach her.
“Hey there, Miss Roberts. Anything you’d like to say to the network regarding this photo shoot today?” Asks the young production intern in a grey jacket.
Raven smiles and looks over to watch as a mother straps a young boy into his car seat in the distance. “I’m obviously comfortable in front of a camera for matches, photo shoots, etcetera... But meet and greets give me a seriously nervous stomach. I have no idea why. It’s always such a blast to hang out with fans. But without fail, the nerves hit. It’s kind of ironic really. I grew up being forced to participate in beauty pageants, being out in front of cameras at all hours, and I resented every moment of it. I always just wanted to scrape off the makeup and put on a comfortable hoodie and take a nap. Then I fell in love with wrestling, the competition, the pageantry, the showmanship. Next thing you know, the girl who hated makeup and sparkly outfits, now has a successful career where she willingly wears makeup and sparkly outfits. And now I’m officially a Maybelline model. How’s that for a turn around?” Raven laughs a bit to herself and leans her head back, closing her eyes as her mind wanders.
The intern speaks again. “Is this going to distract you from your upcoming match against the Crowe’s Nest?”
Ray smiles. Without opening her eyes she begins to talk. “Not at all. In fact there’s already some things in motion regarding that. Plus I spent the entire drive this morning listening to breakdown analysis and play-by-play of their recent matches. Tonight I’ll be getting in another workout once I get back to Las Vegas and then tape study all tomorrow as I travel to Chicago.”
“Well...” The intern continued, “do you have anything you’d like to say to the Crowe’s nest?”
She opens her eyes this time. Looking up, she says, “Actually yeah. There is.” Raven looks into the camera. “Jael, after all that discussion the other day, I’m surprised at you. I heard what you said. And you actually went and proved me right. Believe it or not, I do respect you. Perhaps not as much as some others due to your actions, but I respect anyone who holds a title in EAW. And my match with Cloud was not for the belt. It was an exhibition. You claim to be so aware and yet you pay absolutely zero attention. You’ve made my point for me, sweetheart. You’re losing your edge. The gold is going to your head. And come Thursday night, that head of yours is getting dropped flat on the mat, courtesy of my Lost Beauty brainbuster.”
“Anything for April Song?” The intern follows up.
“I mean only so much can really be said. She’s a submission specialist who would rather throw a match away attempting to make someone tap, than to take a victory as it comes. She’ll risk losing the match just to satisfy her own vanity and ego.” Raven shakes her head. “That’s gonna be her downfall. I don’t want to reveal too much but I have a working gameplan designed specifically to neutralize April and her partner. Don’t let this outfit and makeup fool you. I’m still in game mode.” Raven winks to the camera.
The intern continued, “Is there anything else you’d—“
Raven’s cell phone begins to ring and she pulls it out. She looks up at the crew and says, “I’m sorry, I have to take this.”
She gets up and walks away, the camera follows her just long enough to hear “Perfect. Yes tell Elyse 1:45 pm. Thanks.” Raven then hangs up the phone and walks back towards her dressing trailer.