(Note: This post is part 5 in the 2016 Dinosaur
Christmas story. If you missed parts 1 - 4, scroll
on down and read them first! Merry Christmas,
The Masked Man's Christmas (Part 5)
"So how about it?" asked the promoter. "One more
match before you leave town -- a special championship
match on Christmas Eve?"
The masked man paused and thought it over.
"Who wins?" he asked.
The promoter chuckled.
"Why -- the champ, of course! It's a Loser Leave Town
Match. You're leaving town. The champ's staying."
"How do we play it?"
"You guys do whatever you want for 30 or 40 minutes.
Get lots of heat going. I want the fans going crazy.
And then you give him one of those great big body
slams you do -- but don't knock him out, okay?"
"You slap on the old figure four leg-lock while he's
lying there stunned -- but he reverses it -- and that's
how he wins!"
"That sounds easy enough."
"The fans will love it! Just sell it really good. Make
them think he's broke your leg."
"They'll like that, won't they?"
"Absolutely! You're the most hated man in the territory!"
The masked man nodded. He was used to being hated
wherever he went.
"Give me the contract," he said.
The promoter slid the standard sheet of paper across the desk.
The masked man read it carefully -- and then signed it.
He handed the paper back to the promoter.
"There you go," he said.
The promoter took the contract, glanced at the signature, and
smiled in satisfaction.
"Is that your real name?" he asked.
The masked man shrugged.
"Maybe," he said.
"I knew a guy with that name once. He lived down the street.
Something happened when he was a kid -- what was it?"
"Must have been something pretty bad if you remember it after
all these years."
"Yeah, it was -- it was. Heck, I remember, It was a fire. That's
right, a fire. Killed his parents. He and his brother ended up
in the county home. He stayed there until he finished school, I
"Most kids in the county home don't finish school."
"Yeah, but this guy was different. Big guy. Real strong. Used
to work out all the time. Played football. Wrestled, too. He
was pretty good, too. All Conference."
"What happened to him?"
"He joined the army, I think. Or maybe the Marines."
"Ever see him again?"
"Nope. Guy's never come back."
"Some guys never do."
"Yeah, I guess that's right."
The promoter sat back in his chair and looked at his watch. He
had another meeting scheduled in five minutes.
"So -- we're all set, right?"
The masked man nodded.
"Yeah, sure," he said.
He stood up and walked to the door -- then stopped, and turned
back to the promoter.
"They say that championship belt is made of real gold -- with
real diamonds. Is that true?"
"It's true. It's the best damn belt anywhere. I had it made
"You think maybe I could look at it -- or even just hold it?
After the match, I mean."
The promoter looked back with a twisted smile.
"Sure, pal -- you can do whatever you want to do -- after the
match is over."
"If you feel up to it, I mean."
The masked man nodded, opened the door, and left the promoter
sitting behind him.
LATER -- ON CHRISTMAS EVE --
As Pete walked to his squad car, he passed a Salvation Army
volunteer, standing in back of his kettle, ringing his bell
and calling "Merry Christmas" to everyone who passed by --
and a "Thank you!" to everyone who tossed a coin into the
"Hey, Pete -- you got a second?"
"Sure, Bill -- what's up?"
"I gotta tell you about something -- something I heard."
"What is it?"
"You know that masked wrestler -- the guy that's been knocking
everyone out? The one that started the riot last week?"
"What about him?"
"Well, two things. First off, I know who he is. And I know
him. So do you. We were all in the Home together."
Pete's jaw dropped in amazement.
"Of course!" he said. "It's Frankie! That's how he knew my name!"
"Well, there's something else."
"You know the big match tonight at the auditorium? Where Frankie's
wrestling the Champ?"
"Sure, I'm heading over there right now. They're expecting the
biggest crowd ever."
"Yeah, while I heard some guys talking about it -- the promoter
is paying the Champ to break his leg!"
"Break which leg?"
"No, he's paying him to break Frankie's leg!"
Pete swore under his breath.
"The hell he is!" he said.
"No, really -- that's the plan. They have it all figured out. Some
special ending where Frankie is working him over -- and then he
fights back and gets Frankie in some kind of leg hold -- and they
told Frankie to make like the Champ breaks his leg -- but they're
gonna do it for real. Break his leg, I mean!"
Peter shook his head.
"No, they're not!" he promised.
He slammed his hands together. It sounded like an explosion.
"Come on!" he said, grabbing the kettle and turning toward the
squad car. "We gotta go find Frankie!"
TO BE CONTINUED.
(Note: I had planned on finishing the story in 5 installments, but
we're running over -- so be looking for part 6 later today or
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P.S. 3. Thought for the Day: "If I were running things,
every kid over the age of 11 or 12 would get a barbell for
Christmas." -- Brooks Kubik