#NestPitch SJ4: Dead Wrestlers

Manuscript Title: Dead Wrestlers

Category/Genre: Adult Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 90,000

If your MC was an Easter Egg, what flavour would s/he be? Is there a cauliflower flavor, like the ears of my ghosts?  If so, that one.

35-word Pitch: Twelve-year-old Mark kills his little sister in a wrestling accident and, for 20 years after, the ghosts of deceased professional grapplers push him to save the lives of their living peers.

First 300 Words of Manuscript:

                                    November, 1986 – Ashland, MA

                                                

Speechless, motionless, helpless – I tried to break free, tried to scream for help but the bodies surrounding me stifled my every attempt. The muffled sounds of the four of them laughing and shouting on top of me acted as the soundtrack of my imminent suffocation.

 

It will be a game,” my brother said. “We’ll all wrestle Mark in the basement. He has really hard knees and elbows. Don’t let him hit you with them.”

 

The “game” included my younger brother and sister, each with friends from school. Come one, come all. Mark takes on the world in a four-on-one grudge match in an area of the cellar we called the Playroom, where the train set our father built the previous Christmas sat, where we had our birthday parties, where we always played during halftime of Celtics games.

 

Al and his friend started taking me down in a playful manner. Fake punches, fake kicks. I collapsed onto the floor to play along. Then all four of them piled on top of me like those dogs in the Bugs Bunny cartoon. 

 

Dog pile on the rabbit.

Dog pile on the rabbit.

 

A panicking fury of sounds engulfed me: the screaming and laughing of my attackers, our mother’s footsteps upstairs, the heater burning in the room next to us. From that same room came the voice of Bill Mercer, the play-by-play announcer for World Class Championship Wrestling. I listened carefully to his voice as I struggled to break free. 

 

I just wanted to watch the match Mercer called:  the Dynamic Duo – Gino Hernandez and “Gentleman” Chris Adams – versus Kerry and Mike Von Erich, from the Cotton Bowl, the famous stadium in Dallas, two years earlier, before I even knew the term “professional wrestling.” But I knew the term now, just as sure as Gino Hernandez had fallen dead nine months prior from a cocaine overdose.

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