“There is love in me the likes of which you've never seen. There is rage in me the likes of which should never escape. If I am not satisfied in the one, I will indulge the other.”
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
We find Amber Keys wearing a white apron, standing in a kitchen, looking over a cutting board positioned next to a stove. She wears her hair up in a high ponytail, whips of her hair falling over her eyes as she slams with all her might a sharp machete into a skinned and bloodied leg of a hog, trying her hardest to butcher the piece of fresh-killed pork. Of course, this is an unusual experience for both the Dirti Diva and the EAW Universe, as we know Amber Keys is a die-hard vegetarian. She seems to gain a strong sense of enjoyment, however, as she hacks the meat with her machete over and over again, giggling with each chop, obviously not hoping to make any clean cuts in the hog leg, or preventing any blood from splattering over her apron. As the camera comes closer, she sets her machete down, reaching over to the stove next to her without wiping her hands and turning on an empty pot of boiling water. She repositions herself in front of the camera, placing her hands on the counter and leaning inward as she speaks.
“This generational gap that exists amongst Elitists of the EAW locker room leaves me in a unique position. I don't necessarily fit in with either the young or the old. I manage play the role of 'big sis' and 'little sis' all at once. Of course, nobody thinks of me as a rookie, or a newcomer. But I’ve also not exactly earned the ‘trailblazer’ or ‘legendary’ title from some of you even though I know that I deserve to have that recognition. Yes, it had been ten whole fucking years before you all saw my face around here, I know. But when did absence become a good reason to diminish the hard work and effort of one of the very woman who started it all? I said it before, I will say it again, and I will continue to say it for the rest of eternity, Empire could not have existed without me and my earliest accomplishments. I care so little for Kendra’s claims, I don’t give a fat fuck about how much Cameron Ella Ava’s and—” Amber shivers. “—Cleopatra’s Pain 4 Pride match for the Vixen’s Championship did for the division. Because before there was a Universal Women’s Championship, before there was an Empire, a Women’s World Title, a Freeweight Division, an Iconic Cup, or a Vixen’s Championship…”
“There was Amber Keys.
“And I’m sure by now you’re all exhausted of me bringing up my history and my legacy, but frankly, I don’t give a damn. See, before Revolt, before EAW, there was the Answers Wrestling Federation. And it was with that very company that I became the inaugural, indisputable AWF Women’s Champion. And when the entire wrestling universe saw my face and my story at the helm of the largest sports entertainment company in the world, there was never any question that I had a ‘bright future’ ahead of me, that I was anything less than a future Hall of Famer, a multi-time world champion, hell, maybe even a business owner. But my story, my reigns, my hold over the hearts and ears and minds of wrestling fans across the globe, it all came to a screeching halt because—well, you all know what happened next. And in my absence, plenty of other ‘stars’ rose to the top of their respective divisions, women’s wrestling had new faces in and out of the doors of these companies than I could care to ever count. And there was always one question that raked the minds of the truly dedicated fans and followers of the product: ‘whatever happened to Amber Keys?’ ‘How would Amber Keys have held up in this modern world?’ ‘Will she ever make history again?’
She lifts her hands from the counter, pointing both pointer fingers at herself. “She’s right here. Just fine, actually. And abso-fucking-loutely.
“For Amber Keys, the ‘good old days’ are still yet to come; I still have so much left in me—hell, about ten year’s worth that need to be put to good use—and so much more that I want to accomplish as a member of this roster. A Hall of Fame ring is the least of my concerns right now in actuality. Even though one would be nice, I look for world titles. I look for golden opportunities. I look for redemption. Blood. Pain and suffering beyond the limited comprehension of the audiences I address each week. And I’m going to fucking get it, mark my words. Consider this a fair warning to the roster of any of the three brands that I end up on post-Pain for Pride. No matter where I go, my drive will remain the same. My legacy will be fulfilled, by any means, and at any expense. It begins in less than a week. It begins when I put a stake in the heart of the scrawny bitch who stands in my way, who dares to step up to me, who thinks she has a shot at ending my career. A legend in her own feeble way. A Hall of Famer despite the mediocrity and laziness that courses through her veins. One of the ‘leaders’ of this locker room, a woman admired by many, yet feared by none. Cleopatra. The Sleeze of the Nile. The Most Powerless Vixen to Ever Live, and that ever would live.”
“This locker room isn’t big enough for the two of us.
“All you’ve done to this place since the dawn of your career, since the earliest stages of your run through this company has plague us with your insolence, your nastiness, your pestilence. I could never imagine what it must have felt like living in a world where the name ‘Cleopatra’ instilled fear into the hearts of her competitors, when she was actually a legitimate threat to the handful of women who competed in that ring with her. It’s a sickness. The concept of Cleopatra as a women’s champion is as fucked up as it gets, and these brainless fools can’t help but to remain addicted to the infection you’ve been spreading. But have no fear, for I hold the antidote. I am the rehab, Cleopatra. And you’re the drugs. And I have my methods of keeping this division clean, of attaining purity and wholesomeness, and restoring this division to its former glory once again. It troubles me to know that you even walk these halls, Cleo, that you live and breathe and walk and talk amongst all these people that need to be rid of you and your pollution, once and for all. You’re the source of the infection that plagues this division, one of the main reasons why women's wrestling has fallen to such a low point. You’re the good for nothing wretch that I’ve always secretly known you to be and I’m looking forward to the weekend where I finally can tear your flesh apart, take back the blood that you still owe me after all that I’ve split at your expense, and for your gain. I can’t believe that I ever entrusted you to love and cherish this business the way I do. I should have known that you weren’t going to fulfill the high expectations that I set for myself and yet, for whatever reason, I still lowered my standards, decided to lower to allow you into my life, gave you all inclusive access to the Amber Keys experience as undeserving as you were.” Amber scoffs.
“I wish I never fucking met you.
“I wish I had listened to the whispers sooner. They were all right about you, you know. Every last one of them. Chelsea. Jael. Raven. Celes. Karina. Sienna. Kassidy. Whether they know it or not, they had each warned me so early on to be more careful, to be more responsible. I should have paid closer attention to the words they spoke to us both instead of blindly defending you each time they critiqued you. They turned to me and got one glimpse of my genius and ability and they said it with their own tongue: that Amber Keys was the star of the Queen’s Court. The uncrowned queen, the unnamed LEADER of that fucking group, and it all happened so naturally. I never asked to become the focal point, I never wanted to be the one who had to carry your burdens for you, but it became clearer as time went on that Amber Keys was only being held back by her needy, wormy partners. That Amber Keys outshined Cleopatra in ways The Queen of the Nile had never thought possible.” Clearly experiencing some strong emotions, she pauses and takes a deep breath in. She blinks slowly and exhales. “You failed me, Cleo. In more ways than one. My biggest regret to this day is joining up with you and Maddie when I knew from the get go what my focus should have been. You all did nothing but break my fucking heart, I had my plan set in stone. But damn my good natured heart. Curse my insufferable giving spirit. My course was altered, all my efforts were put to a halt when I instead opted to serve as a lackey for the flaky, shitty, nonsensical Champion Madison turned out to be, when I wasted the better half of my EAW career working alongside you and watching as you gave sub par performances week after week, FPV after Supershow. You fucking disgust me. I can’t believe I ever loved or cared or cherished either of you, you both took so much away from me. I put myself on the line, tirelessly, time and time again, I never thought there would be any of my left after all that I gave to you both, after all that I had sacrificed, all that I had let go for the sake of the fucking Queen’s Court. In an attempt to make you both look good, to save this brand from its inevitable demise, I lost myself. My attempts to better the lives and the careers that I molded and created only caused me to punish in the end. I damn near drove myself insane with purpose, with necessity, with false hope.”
Amber puts her hands on her hips, bloody hand print staining either side of her formerly pristine white apron. She begins to pace back and forth briskly. She stops in front of the camera, biting her bottom lip. She blinks back tears, quickly wipes one away that makes its way down her cheek, a blood smear now on her face. She takes a few deep breaths, in and out, as she collects herself.
“And now, I’m finally doing something for myself. Fuck everyone else. With no one else in mind, this is my moment, my victory, not one to share with anyone else or have them benefit from. I’m taking back the life and the energy that you fucking stole from me for months on end.
“It’s my fucking right to have this victory over you. I put you in this position to feast on Empire and I will gladly allow you to starve once I put an end to your career. I birthed you, Cleo. Straight out of my metaphorical womb, you emerged. I carried you and your name to new heights since they very day that you returned. A return that so evidently turned out to be a waste of your own time as well. See, Cleo, you came back and you set one intention, you made one thing very clear in your first address to the EAW Universe since your return from retirement, you wanted to stake your claim to this division again. You wanted to take down Cloud Matsuda by your lonesome, you wanted to be the top dog, the main champion of the Empire brand again. Come to think of it, maybe that’s what drew me to you, it was that tenacity, that sense of confidence, your strength that I saw radiating from you when you stepped out with that Vixen’s Championship and had that audience at the edge of their seats, everyone was playing right into your hands, Cleo. I remember it, it was breathtaking. But look at what you allowed to happen. You let yourself be fucked over, manipulated into suffering by Madison Kaline of all people, a woman who was only a slight fraction of the woman that Cleopatra ever was in her earlier years, even less so when compared to me. And you latched onto me, a lazy effort, hoped and prayed that maybe I'd pick up your slack, that you could just get by on doing less, minimal effort, and build a new career off of my efforts, you selfish bitch. Every single victory we shared together, they were MINE! And I should have NEVER let you reap the benefits. I’d have made a better Tag Team Champion all by my fucking self. It was me who put all the work in, it was me who got ALL the pinfall victories, I’m the one who grabbed and secured our belts the first time. And see, it was always Cleopatra who kept eating the losses, who kept underperforming and no-showing. Hell, she’s doing it again right now! Pathetic! You shouldn’t even have been in that Grand Rampage spot, I can’t believe I stepped aside and cost myself an opportunity to Main Event the biggest event of the fucking year just so that you could get yourself thrown out and eventually lose that precious Hall of Fame ring because of your carelessness—shows you right, you never fucking deserved it in the first place.”
Amber lets out another heavy exhale, glaring into the camera lens as her nostrils flare.
“You’re going to die by my hands. In my arms. I’m going to hold and caress you, guide you into your eternal rest and relish in the moments of your last dying breaths. You’ll never see the light of day again, you will never achieve the eternal glory you think you somehow managed to escape with already, you aren’t worthy of it. Your career is going to expire at Pain for Pride, and there’s nothing you’re going to be able to do to prevent it, Cleo. You’re going to die in that ring, wishing that you would have been able to destroy the monster that you created, but you won’t be able to. I will be standing over your body, laughing heartily from knowing that even after all these years, you haven’t learned a damn thing. Cleopatra’s legacy will die never knowing or understanding this truth. One mistake after the other, and it started and began with me, Cleo. You’ll only find your demise in your pursuit of me, in trying to end my career. Kinda cute, actually, that you think you could ever hold a candle to me. You couldn't even wipe my ass properly if I needed you to, Cleopatra. And I fucking love to see you hurt. You think that I’m the monster? I’m the source of all evil in this little story? Look inward, Cleo. Your lack of ambition, your selfishness, your inability to make a distinct connection between your in-ring work and your connection with the EAW Universe only alienates you from the rest of the real talent we’ve seen in our time together on Empire. Now, look at you. Overcome by, absolutely consumed by this obsessive hatred you have directed towards me. For your very own creation. But the difference between you and I is that I won't let my emotions overshadow my performance in that ring. You're a weakling, a 'peabrain,' a gutless fucking maggot who doesn't even know where to begin when it comes to handling me in that ring. And you have no one to blame but yourself for your inability to perform. See, in the same way I created the level of importance and relevance in the modern era of Women’s wrestling, you created this monster, Cleo. You’re the very reason that I am the animal that I’ve manifested into today. You’re the reason that I’m preoccupied with ruination, with your destruction. There's nothing that's going to stop me, no more distractions that will stand in the way of me putting an end to your dreadful life experience.
“You failed to satisfy my needs the way I required, Cleo. You failed to serve me effectively, you were never the right partner for me, never someone I could or should have counted on to help fulfill my purpose in EAW. And if I am not satisfied in love, then I have no choice but to indulge my temper, my rage, my appetite for violence. Maybe the blood of yours that I will spill, perhaps watching your body flail and quiver in harrowing pain and agony will satisfy my needs, will douse my hunger for carnage and bloodshed. Maybe then, you’ll finally serve as useful.”
Amber lifts her machete up from the table, ignoring the camera and continuing to hack away at the slab of meat on the counter in front of her. The sounds of her sniffling and chopping are accompanied by the bubbling of her pot of boiling water as the camera fades to black.