Title: The Scourge Welcomes Its NEWEST member...!!
Featuring: "The Provocateur" Arthur Pleasant
Date: 03/01/2021
Location: Secluded Location Somewhere in the Bayou; Shut Down Drive-In

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“It’s here!! It’s finally here!!” exclaims Arthur like an eight-year-old boy waiting for his Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. Before we get into what has our Provocateur so excited though, let’s take a moment to review the scenery that surrounds us, shall we? 

Our shaky, handheld camera shot widens from a medium close-up to a makeshift “cowboy shot”; which is essentially just an extended medium-shot cut off just above the knees. A stopgap, of course, because of the limitations from shooting with a handheld camera; like someone is doing right now. This rough and unsettling framework surrenders to three figures who often bear the chilling motifs of famous comedians. Whether it’s by donning the mask of “Joan Rivers”, “George Carlin”, or “Richard Pryor”, these three interlopers find a way into the vapid psyche of the Faithful and DEFIANTS alike. 

Right now, though? Their heads are digitally pixelated from post-production to prevent their identities from being revealed to the ever meddlesome masses that fancy themselves as “The Faithful”. What nearly betrays their identities in full though is a visual match to their physical characteristics. One is slender, short, and displays an hourglass figure, thereby suggesting that this is our “Joan Rivers” or “Sarah Silverman” of the bunch. The other two clearly have a male physique, with one being medium-to-average height and the other one a pure towering brute of a monster. These familiarities to the naked eye are to be expected when The Comedians often, if not always, accompany our Provocateur to a DEFIANCE Wrestling event.

Once again the camera shot widens— as best as it can from the hands of what is presumably a paid-under-the-table, freelance amateur— uncovering quite the revelatory sight. A large, blank drive-in screen stands about twenty feet off the ground and about seventy-five feet, end to end. Age has not been kind to this wooden structure, as large splotches of missing paint have chipped to the ground below and metastasized half-way across the screen. Despite this weathered appearance, a light shines on its imposing façade, missing sections of paint be damned. Speckles of mist illuminate a path from the projector’s beam, suggesting a rainy evening is behind and remains ahead of us at the undisclosed drive-in.

Two cars sit parallel to one another on the cracked pavement of an unkempt parking lot, bedraggled by its unfortunate closing some three (or more) decades ago. Blades of grass weave their way up from each crevice in the broken blacktop, while fireflies blink intermittently underneath the field of view from the projection’s perpetual glow. On the screen self, we see the chronophotographic classic “Horse in Motion” playing on a seemingly endless loop. With this playing in the background, Arthur Pleasant sits criss-cross on top of a canary yellow, 1970 Ford Maverick, complete with black racing stripes placed across both sides of the car. 

Now is when we get into what Arthur is so excited about.

Like a scene stolen right out of the Lion King, Arthur holds up a rectangular shaped box for the Comedians to see from the lawn chairs they are seated in. Their attentions, however, remain split between the “Horse in Motion” and their fearless leader of the Scourge. Placing the box on the hood of the car, he pulls out a box-cutter from his suit jacket’s innermost pocket; a disturbing thought indeed that a man as disturbed and unhinged as Arthur Pleasant would have such a sharp and deadly weapon on their person at any given moment.

With the flick of his thumb, the blade protrudes well beyond the “safety zone” of the plastic sheathe. Then, with both hands In a downward stabbing motion, he buries the blade into the middle of the brown packaging tape. In a display of needless force, Arthur sinks the blade deep into the box until his hands and the plastic sheathe disappear altogether. Pulling up on the blade ever so slightly, he runs the blade along the rest of the tape as easily as a scalpel could carve up some fresh flesh on the operating table.

Taking a moment or two to sift through the box, he pulls out what made him so excited to begin with.

“Friends! Family! Fellows of the Cause! I have gathered you all here today at this wonderfully secluded location, away from all prying eyes in law enforcement, for one reason and one reason only!”, he says, catching his breath. 

“I want you to say hello to the newest member of the Scourge!” says Arthur with such reverence and joy as he holds up a shock baton that has been customized with a pattern of blood splotches and a yellow smiley face at the top. “Friends? This… is Mr. Zappenstein. Mr. Zappenstein? These… are my friends!” he says as it has become clear that the pixelated faces of the Comedians have looked at one another in… wait for it… absolute shock.

Arthur presses a button on the staff of the baton, allowing an electrical current to run through the top. Cackling maniacally, Arthur then points Mr. Zappenstein at the Comedians.

“Now, shake his hand. All of you. One at a time, please.” says Arthur as his tone goes from jocular to grim-faced on the smallest of dimes. Climbing down from the vehicle’s roof and slithering the rest of the way down the hood like a makeshift slide, Arthur points Mr. Zappenstein at each one of the Comedians. Needless to say, none of them move an inch as they know full well what this means for each of them.

“Oh, I see. You’re all too good to properly introduce yourselves. Is that right? WELL THEN. Good to know that you’re all too prim and proper to show respect to the newest addition to COMPLIANCE Wrestling. How… disappointed you’re all making me. And you know how I get… when I’m disappointed. Heh.”

Suddenly, the largest of the Comedians stands up from his respective lawn chair. As the “Horse in Motion'' chronophotographic picture perambulates in place on an infinite loop across the gigantic Drive-In movie screen, he poses a question for the Denizen of Decay. The voice that escapes his pixelated lips alters into a Stephen Hawking-esque robotic voice to further protect his identity.

““DOTH_THOU_PROMISE_NOT_TO_SHOCKETH_THY_TRIBUTE_?!”

Arthur laughs, “Of COURSE! I promise not to shock ANY of you! What kind of horrible person do you take me for?!” Arthur responds indignantly with a devilish demeanor about him.

“_THY_SHALL_SHAKE_MISTER_ZAPPENSTEEEN’S_HAND_”

“ZAPPEN-STIIIIINE!” corrects Arthur, who is visibly irritated at the mistake in a very Gene Wilder kind of way.

The lumbering, monstrous figure reaches out with his black latex covered sausage fingers annnnd-

ZZZZZzzzzzzzZZZZZtttttttttt!!

The large, imposing, Stephen Hawking cured of Lou Gherig's disease, Shakespearian mammoth goes down harder than Muriel Puddings during a conjugal visit, convulsing and foaming at the mouth from the 30,000 volts charging through his body. Arthur simply covers his mouth out of feigned horror while kneeling down next to the downed Comedian. The image of “Horse In Motion” plays over his shoulder, adding to the already bizarre imagery of their “isolated in the backwoods of the Bayou” Drive-In Pow-Wow. Arthur looks around as if he had not expected that to happen and scratches his long, dark, greasy hair.

“Of course, I cannot speak for Mr. Zappenstein… hehehe.”

Prodding the giant with the shock baton like a stick poking a corpse, Arthur shrugs and looks out at the remaining two Comedians sitting in their lawn chairs.

“Sooooo… who’s next?”, asks our beloved Provocateur as he twirls Mr. Zappenstein.   


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