Continuing the story of Penelope Primrose, taking place during the start of the Beautiful Angels of Boxing Entertainment league.
The author of these stories goes by the DeviantArt handle of thegeorgiapeach. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed his post-match analysis of B.A.B.E. matches very much. But now, he’s covered a year in the life of the former UK Foxy Boxing champion.
Without detracting from the current B.A.B.E. storylines and keeping true to (and in some cases building up) the personalities of B.A.B.E. fighters, this story presented an outsider (UK) view of what was going on with the league. These stories helped make my own fictional world seem more real to me! In fact, as far as I’m concerned, these stories are canon to my own stories.
This doesn’t usually happen but I was so into this storyline, that I actually wanted to help bring some of it to life. And with the author’s permission, I will be re-publishing these stories to the B.A.B.E. blog.
So, (around) every week, you can tune in here for the stories with some associated images. (Not everything will have images… just the action-oriented stuff! And, please, visit thegeorgiapeach‘s DA page for his stories and analysis. It’ll be worth your time!
Story by thegeorgiapeach and art by cpunch . (Please note, some of the images in these stories may have been previously published. Click the highlighted links below for refreshers as you go along.)
Penelope Primrose felt the phone vibrate just as she opened the door to her luxury apartment. She groaned, wanting nothing more than to relax after another hard day’s training with Cindy. Three weeks since she had begun the circuit aerobic training with Cindy she had started feeling the rewards, and in the past week she had starting sparring, speed bagging and heavy bagging it in training. She felt she was finally beginning to shed the sluggishness she had felt post Hannah-bout, but was feeling the pressure of the short interval she had agreed to when Rocky offered her Vanity Vale in a Main Event. She was two weeks away now from the fight and the days were going by fast, and doubts still cursed her thoughts: Will she be ready? She’d been saying all the right things, but she had proclaimed her superiority pre-Ivanna and Hannah only to be have been painfully humbled. And, each time following a bout the recovery seemed longer and the more work she felt she needed to do to get in fighting shape.
So as the phone continued to vibrate and Penelope dropped her things onto the kitchen counter she stressed over everything: Rocky hovering and scrutinizing her training, Vanity mocking her in the press, her own worries on her conditioning, her inability to get her former UK trainer Mac on the phone for help, and her own press obligations eating into her time. The phone, to her, was just another media outlet asking for comment on her next bout. Begrudgingly she glanced at it, and momentarily felt a spark of joy when she saw the UK number. It was not Mac as she had hoped, but Missy Eddington. She frowned.
She had not spoken to Missy since she hung up on her following their last conversation after she lost to Ivanna Payne. Missy had e-mailed and called, but Penelope had ignored them all. She had taken Missy’s sharp criticism of her preparedness and performance as betrayal by her former mentor. Acquiescing to her dark and tired mood she intended to ignore the call, but a sudden urge to hear a familiar voice trumped it. “Fine!”, she mumbled to the couch as she sat, “I gotta talk to you sometime . . .”
“Oh, umm hello Penny. I was just about to leave another message. Thanks for answering.”
“Missy. So, what is it?”
Missy noted the harsh edge in Penelope’s voice and thought how Penelope could be her own worst enemy with her haughty and huffy attitude. “Well, first off, I am sorry for how our call ended last time. I am glad you answered. How is everything? Over the injuries?”
“Why, are you going to lecture me about that fight to? I’ve heard all the rumblings and voices about that fight. I surely don’t need to hear it from you! But all is fine, Missy.”
“No lecture. I learned my lesson Penny,” responded Missy calmly, though it took an effort. She wanted to scream at Penelope that constructive criticism, or just the plain spoken truth were not a bad thing. Penelope had never been able to understand that, and it had started to hurt her career. Missy had another agenda besides trying to patch things up with her friend, she also wanted to get Penelope’s take on her upcoming fight with Vanity as B.S.N. was going to telecast it. Missy knew she had to tread carefully and diplomatically. “Just knew you had taken a good gash in the head. You won, that’s all that matters. It’s good to hear your voice again. You gearing up for Vanity?”
“Yes. Two weeks time – heard you were going to be calling the match for B.S.N.”
“Yep – with merry old Giles again. Excited for it. I’m sure you must be too.”
“Vanity is old and slow now, so I am excited to inch her closer to retirement. I’ll bide my time and than take her out when she grows tired, which will probably be the third round for that cow.”
Be careful for what you hope for, thought Missy to herself, and also felt like reminding her friend that it was her who had faded in her last two fights. She remembered her diplomacy. “Well, it is a good match-up for you – much like I was when you put me on my bum two years ago! I couldn’t keep up with you . . .”
“. . . similar yes. Vale is in better shape than you were though Missy.”
Missy sighed and let Penelope have that dig. “Looks as though you’re right. She didn’t look too good her last time out against Sinclair. You worried about your quick turnaround after your last fight? I mean Vale has had a longer layoff, and you’ve had injuries interfering with your prep.”
“Of course not. Not for Vale. Just more time for rust to collect on her old bones. I’ve been working hard. You be sure to let your audience know that Missy.”
“Oh, I will – you just live up to your end and give her hell! I know you will.”
“I will. . . .” Penelope paused. Missy was being nice enough, and she was reaching out to her without a grudge. Penelope needed the support, so decided to offer a kind word back to Missy, “. . . and thanks Missy. I know I’ve cold shouldered you – but thanks for the call.”
“Penny, it’s nothing. We’ve known each other awhile now. I’ll always be in your corner, and there’ll be no McKenna in the booth riling me up.”
“Good! She get the boot from UK Foxy Boxing with all her crap she tries to pull?”
“Not exactly . . . thought you had heard. She just signed with B.A.B.E last week. She’s heading your way in a month or two.”
“Her! Uggh, Rocky must be dredging in deep dark murky ponds for anything that will pass as talent these days. Heard Mace lost the title, she’ll probably be enticed by Rocky too.”
“Ha-ha . . . yeah, Mace was stripped of her title for ‘behavior unbecoming.’ She was suspended. She’s back now but Chantelle is the current champ. It would be a good bout if they fought, Chantelle would probably wear her out though. Chantelle is quick and fast.
Well, Penny. I am glad you picked up. Glad we chatted, and best of luck in your training. Take her down, and remember your lessons from Mac!”
“Will do . . . actually speaking of Mac. I haven’t talked to her since I got over here. She won’t answer or respond . . . I know I have said some nasty things to her. Think you could bug her to call me? I would love her advice . . .”
Missy kew the falling out had been ugly – with Penelope at her primadonna, tantrumy best, but let Penelope know she would try, “I’ll do what I can. She’s stubborn just like you. You know that. You remember that kid Sydney? She’s training her now . . .”
“I remember her . . . wiry lass she was. I know things were bad, but do try would you Missy?”
“I will. Take care, and good luck.”
“Bye Missy . . . thanks for calling . . .” Penelope dropped the phone on her lap and sank back into the couch. She felt better than she had. It felt good having smoothing things over a bit with Missy. Hopefully Mac would call her. She wanted to get up to fix a dinner but her tired body revolted and kept her slumped on the couch. She decided to check on something and picked up her phone and typed in ‘Rose McKenna, BABE” into her google search. She couldn’t believe that nasty little cretin was heading this way. She thumbed the first link, from the Daily Beacon, the publication generally known for the best UK Foxy Boxing coverage. And began reading . . .
‘ . . . Fans of UK Foxy Boxing won’t have the vicious Rose McKenna to boo with delight anymore. It has been confirmed that the conniving bad-seed of the famed McKenna boxing clan will be taking her dastardly and at times abhorrent behavior across the pond to America to the new flourishing Beautiful Angels of Boxing Entertainment. The self proclaimed ‘Irish Rose’ met with plenty of success here in the UK and looks to add to her record in this new league. For UK fans it puts on hold her budding rivalry with current champ Chantelle Daniels. B.A.B.E has landed talent from across the world, and many fighters see it now as the prime destination to prove their boxing bonafides. McKenna will be the second boxer to jump from the UK to B.A.B.E following the departure of former UK champion Penelope Primrose. McKenna may find a less formidable English rival in the former UK superstar Primrose than she had in Daniels. After a few wins early the supple Primrose has struggled against the upper echelon talent in B.A.B.E and has looked a shadow of her former championship form. McKenna hopes to meet with . . .’
Penelope threw the phone down. The contentment she had just felt after her Missy chat ran away from her: “less formidable” than Daniels . . . “supple” . . . “struggling” . . . “a shadow of her former self!” Is this what the UK papers thought of her now? Another pressing concern had been added to her mental battles. Her image in the UK was everything to her, for that is where she became their biggest star. Now she was taking shots by writers in articles not even about her. She forgot her tired body and bolted from the couch to the kitchen and grabbed the whiskey from the shelf . . .
The next day had been a long one for Penelope. She had ran at dawn, and followed it with a late morning training session. That had been followed by a promotional press conference for the the next B.A.B.E. episode where she had to listen to the insufferable Vanity Vale and take question after question about her bouts with Ivanna and Hannah. And now she was readying for an evening gala event in which Rocky was expecting all the B.A.B.E. stars to attend as she was unveiling her new ‘Babe Fund,’ a charitable foundation aimed at linking B.A.B.E. to pediatric cancer research. Penelope thought it was a great cause and supported it even if she wished the timing of the event was better. She was tired, and the extra promotional appearances weren’t helping.
And although Penelope felt she was slowly getting into better physical shape she honestly knew her mental state was shorting out. The increased questioning of her performances, her fitness, her work ethic, and her decisions coupled with her shrunken support system in America was keeping Penelope on edge. Not to mention that she was finding the five week training window proving less than adequate and closing fast, and thus the mandatory publicity added that extra level of stress. Having to listen to Vanity stirring things up at the press conference calling her a ‘pretender,’ and daring to call her a ‘soft twig’ when Penelope saw Vanity as the one who has gone to seed was biting because it was the narrative that was gaining steam. Everytime Vanity mentioned Penelope she referred to her as the ‘pudgy bag’ because she is ‘softer than a punching bag,’ and the press was eating it up and egging her on. It made for good publicity but Penelope’s recent mental fragility was letting it get to her. All this was on her mind as she dressed for the charity event.
The early evening was still very warm so Penelope had decided on a navy blue, off shoulder, loose chiffon mini dress, and though she preferred flats she decided on her new black suede leather over the knee heeled boots. If she was going to this event she wanted to look good. As she prepared to leave she heard her phone vibrate in her hand purse. “Now what?” she grunted to the ceiling. When she saw who it was a new level of nervous anxiety overcame her for it was her former long time trainer Mac. “That was fast Missy,” she muttered. She didn’t expect the call, especially not the next day.
“Hello . . . Mac?” she answered.
“Yes, it is me Penelope. So, you want to talk?”
“Umm, yes Mac . . . How have you been?”
“Let’s get to it Penelope. I am making this call because Missy asked me to, not to throw water under the bridge and toss around niceties. Not ready for that. Not now. Not on the phone.”
That time had not healed the wounds her cutting remarks had left on Mac was evident and the terse tone flustered Penelope. “Allright . . . um . . .” Penelope stuttered. She wanted to say sorry but still couldn’t do it.
“Well?” prompted Mac.
“I wanted to ask if there was anything . . . any way . . . you thought I could attack Vanity Vale . . .”
“What makes you think I know anything about Vanity Vale?”
“You . . . you know everything about everyone Mac . . . surely you can . . .”
“Listen Penelope. You’re going to do what you want to do no matter what anyone tells you. It is how you’ve become, and maybe always had been.”
“That’s not fair . . .”
“Isn’t it? You still avoiding two-a-days in your training? Partying and drinking your nights away? Not doing. . .”
“Listen Mac, I wasn’t looking for a lecture, just some tips . . .”
“A lecture is what you need! That is my advice. Stop ignoring the truth. Stop thinking you have all the answers. Fine, you became champion, but that was the easy part. No one really knew you and they were captivated by her looks and charisma and skill. But you became arrogant, and no matter how many times I told you, or Missy for that matter told you, staying on top is even harder . . .
“But . . .”
“No buts Penelope. Why do you think every champion eventually loses. Because it is hard to stay on top. You have to work that much harder. You won’t do that. You’ve hit some adversity now. It’s clear to see. You have to work to get out of it or you’ll washout. I’ve nothing else to say. I’ve got to get back to the gym. I’ve got a new girl who listens and works.”
“Mac . . .”
“Protect your body Penelope, and attack hers. The fight will be one right there . . . that is all I have for you.” And with that there was a click and Mac was gone.
Penelope just stood in her door way. That was not how she hoped that would go. The dark cloud was growing above her head. The concierge buzzing from the lobby that her cab was here brought Penelope out of her swimming thoughts. “Be . . . be right down Joe.”
She strode across the sidewalk to the cab, the warm air adding to her heated body. Her heart rate was up following the talk with Mac. She had to calm down. She slowly lowered herself into the cab as both the booted heels and her flimsy dress made it hard to maneuver into the cab unexposed. When she had managed the feat she asked the driver to take her to Trixie’s instead of the Ritz. In her current state she wasn’t planning on hitting the charity gala with frazzled nerves.
On most occasions Penelope would plant herself in the comfy confines of one of the VIP rooms at Trixie’s but tonight she settled at the VIP bar. There was a slight breeze there, she could hear the music and she was planning on not being there too long for she had the gala to get to. Having finished off one long island ice tea in an attempt to cool herself down she decided on another to than settle her into nerves. She decided to nurse the second one, for the drink was noted to get one loaded quickly if not too careful.
Trixie’s wasn’t yet at peak capacity for the night, as it was early yet. It was an establishment that had long catered to B.A.B.E. fighters given it’s proximity to the arena where all the B.A.B.E. action occurred. Penelope had enjoyed many a pints here over the months, and she thought on how the place had become her solace from the pressures she felt from her Foxy Boxing career. As she began to feel the effects of her drinks, she began to consider that Trixie’s may have become the greatest source of support for her in America, especially since what had happened to Lana Sinclair.
Half way through her second drink she figured it was time to call a cab to pick her up in fifteen minutes. She reached for her purse to retrieve her phone and cursed herself when she clumsily dropped it onto the floor. She slid off her stool, heels clacking on the hard floor and quickly bent to pick it up. She’d move too quickly and a quick head rush caused her to teeter on her heels and stumble to her right where she awkwardly stumbled into a couple of women drinking and chatting.
“Woh there, lady!” one cried as she spilt her drink on herself.
“Sorry . . . excuse me,” mumbled Penelope as she stood up embarrassed.
“Hey! Aren’t you that british boxer lady?” said the women who had remained dry.
“Umm . . . well . . .”
“Yeah she is!“ said the woman with the the new stain on her dress. She laughed and continued, “Hell, you’re as wobbly outside the ring as you are in it.” Than to her friend muttered, “Like her last fight against that Hannah girl.”
Penelope turned away, embarrassed at the little scene for the two women were talking very loud. This, she did not need.
“Umm, excuse me Miss British Boxing lady! Don’t turn away, you gotta let me know how you are going to fix this stain in my dress.”
Penelope ignored the woman and began digging for her phone.
“She’s ignoring you Sue!”
“She won’t ignore this!”And the woman with the stain knocked the purse form Penelope’s hand. “Excuse me lady, I am talking to you. You don’t just cause a spill on someone and then walk away! This is a very expensive dress!”
Penelope turned and faced both woman, “Looks cheap to me. I’ll give you a twenty for a new dress. Now be a good girl and pick up my purse.”
“Wow! You hear that Kate! Pick it up she says. Why? You don’t want to stumble again Penelope Primrose?”
Before Penelope could respond, the dry woman, now known as Kate, muttered, “Primrose – what kind of prissy name is that?”
“Listen, just pick it up and I will give you some money to pay for whatever you think that . . . thing you’re wearing will cost to clean.”
“You know Sue, it took me a second to realize it was that ‘Pudgy Bag’ Primrose. Couldn’t recognize her out of the prone position.” Kate laughed at her own joke, as did Sue.
“Listen you floozies. Not sure how you got in here – especially with that cheap get up, but you should maybe head back to the gutter you crawled out from before I get the manager and he does it for you,” Penelope responded, fully aware of the eyes in the VIP area looking in the direction of the three woman.
“Uh-huh, whatever. Shouldn’t you be training and not drinking? Aren’t you fighting in like a week or something? Is this why you keep losing?” teased Sue, the wet one.
Meanwhile Kate, the dry one, ushered over to the other side of Penelope and whispered, “Nice dress – if that is what you call that flimsy thing. Maybe you can just donate that to my friend”
“You best be backing away, if you know what is best,” hissed Penelope. Already on edge these past six weeks, she now felt her control leaving her.
“Here, let me take that,” offered Sue, reaching for what remained of Penelope’s drink, “you shouldn’t be drinking this.”
Before Sue got hold of the drink, Penelope reached out and flung it in her face, “You want it, here it is!”
Sue cried out as the drink stung her eyes and grabbed Penelope’s arm before Penelope could recoil. Tilting forward on her heels Penelope stumbled forward and threw out her left to push Sue off her. Having done that she continued towards Sue, intent on delivering a left, but had barely taken a second step when she felt herself trip on something and fall forward.
In her rage at Sue, Penelope was unaware that from behind Kate had reacted by pulling her off shoulder loose chiffon mini dress down below her knees. Penelope crashed to the floor, and barely registered her exposed breasts before she felt a kick to her ribs.
Penelope tried to crumple up, both to protect from another kick and to cover herself up but soon felt her hair being grabbed. Penelope was yanked backwards and dragged across the floor, her booted legs kicking out desperately for footing. Another kick in the side had she grunted in pain. With one hand grappling for the attackers hand in her hair, she again tried to get up on her feet only to trip on her dress again that was now wrapped around her ankles.
Now on her knees, Penelope felt herself being jerked forward. An instant later she felt herself slamming into a metal bar stool, a shot of pain going through her wrenched shoulder. Two more kicks to her stomach and she found herself on her back, her hair still being held, and her half naked self kicking at air. One of the attackers was soon on top of her and before she could protect herself felt three successive blows to her face. Her eyes watered, and she felt her equilibrium withdrawing.
Soon, with what was left of her senses, Penelope felt a collision of bodies, and she felt as though a thousand pounds had fallen on her chest and she couldn’t breath. And just as quickly as the skirmish had started, it had ended as bodies began rising from the floor. Both Sue and Kate were dragged away from the barely coherent Penelope who lay on her back under a bar stool. Blood was pouring from her nose, her booted legs splayed out, and she had only her navy thong protecting her from full exposure. In the distance she heard a voice scream and waving some flimsy blue cloth, “I’ll keep this dress, bitch!”
She tried to sit up, but could only lift her head up. A couple patrons covered her with a couple towels and began stemming the blood from her nose. She blinked a few times, but the grogginess didn’t abate. She heard voices, and sirens, and maybe the worst of all, the click of cameras. One thing was certain, Penelope Primrose wasn’t making it to the B.A.B.E charity gala at the Ritz.
Rocky Balboa slammed down her copy of Foxy Boxing Weekly atop the pile of other publications. Across the top blared the headline “B.A.B.E Star Incites Nightclub Brawl.”
Below was a large picture of Penelope Primrose laying on the floor with other various feet and arms and legs. Her exposed breasts were covered with censor markers, but nonetheless she was depicted in just her thong and knee high boots. The article followed that. Nowhere on the front page was there any mention of the B.A.B.E charity gala. It was to be a big night of exposure for Rocky and her new league, and yet it was being overshadowed by whatever happened at Trixie’s.
Rocky was enraged. Primrose had been arrested and booked after a visit to the emergency room, as had two other patrons. A broken nose and clavicle was the damage to Penelope Primrose. So not only had Rocky lost unfiltered coverage of her B.A.B.E linkage to a pediatric cancer charity, she had also lost her Main Event bout that was supposed to take place in a mere ten days. The image of the league was everything for Rocky Balboa, and something like this she could not abide. And despite her star status, and her popularity and appeal across the pond, Penelope Primrose’s time at B.A.B.E had come to an unceremonious ending . . .
(To Be continued)