Keys in hand, Carl Scott left his small office, the only private office space in the sports training facility he’d run for nearly 20 long years. He’d been buried in paperwork long into the evening and hoped his favorite local restaurant hadn’t closed for the night by the time he made his rounds to lock the place up.
As he walked down the hall to the utility closet, he stopped as a banging noise echoed through the empty building. He waited, quietly, until it repeated again after a moment, and again, the same sound. Shaking his head, he passed the closet and turned a corner into the facility’s combination boxing and wrestling training ring.
There, alone in the ring, a tall, muscular but slim figure climbed quickly to the top rope, his back turned to the door. Lying on the mat, a training dummy looked skyward from its back, oblivious to the time of night. The man balanced, standing tall, his arms raised to an imaginary crowd, before his powerful legs flexed, launching himself into the air.
Arms still spread, he arced downward toward the dummy, the picture of a championship diver executing a swan dive into a clear pool. At the last instant, the man’s shoulders tucked, arms snapping in, landing with his back on the dummy and rolling up to his feet. It was a nearly perfect Senton Bomb, but he stumbled slightly coming back to his feet, almost pitching forward into the far ropes.
“Ahem,” Carl cleared his throat, getting the man’s attention. “You know we closed hours ago. Just like last week. And the week before that.”
“I know,” the wrestler answered, walking forward and grabbing a towel hanging from the rope, swiping it across his face and bronze, toned bare chest. “Sorry Carl, gotta get this right. Auditions next week…”
“Right, right,” Carl nodded, inwardly proud of the athletes who called his training center home over the years. Some people called pro wrestling ‘fake’ but he knew better. The best wrestlers put in countless hours honing their craft. “So, you come up with a name yet?”
“Yes,” the wrestler replied curtly, giving his face one more pass with the towel.
“Well? For the move? Or for yourself? At least give me that for the extra hours.”
“Obsidian Jaguar, that’s what I’ll wrestle as. I think it does honor to my ancestors. For the move, I’ve called it ‘Ultimate Sacrifice.’”
Carl chuckled a little, but also nodded in appreciation. “Still going with the whole Mayan priest bit, are ya? Well, the names fit, good as any I can imagine.”
Jaguar stopped and turned, glaring Carl’s way, not saying a word for an uncomfortable minute. Carl returned the gaze as long as he could before looking away.
“Look, sorry. I know you come from Central America,” he said, as the wrestler began to climb the ropes again. “You may even have some Mayan ancestors. Just, you know, nobody’s given a shit about the Mayans since nothin’ happened in 2012. Thought you might find a better gimmick than that.”
Seeming to not hear Carl’s explanation, Jaguar raised his hands again to the ceiling, steady on the top ropes, and dove, landing on the dummy and rolling with perfect agility to his feet. He turned, his scowl turning to a satisfied smile, and climbed down out of the ring, clapping Carl on the arm.
“I guess I just need to be angry to get it right. Come on, it’s late. I’ll buy your dinner for everything you’ve done. It may be awhile before I’m around again.”
Pulling on his shirt, Jaguar led the way out of the gym, pausing a moment to let Carl shut the lights off on the way out of the building.