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 sat silently on the couch staring at the television watching a scene unfold that she was all too familiar with. The image on her friend Lana Sinclair’s LCD screen broadcast the images of Sonya Redding, the woman known as B.A.B.E. “Next Best Thing,” being pummeled around the ring by the menacing figure of Rayne. Lana had left for the kitchen halfway through the first round feigning she had to check on the chili and had never returned. Penelope knew that Lana had quickly figured where this match was heading and still couldn’t bear to watch such destruction after her own vicious defeat to Jade. Good thing too thought Penelope as she saw Sonya blasted into the ropes by a right hook, practically out on her feet, blood streaming from a cut above her right eye and her broken nose.
“Is it over yet?” yelled Lana from the kitchen.
“Almost!” answered Penelope, and then quickly added, “Stay in there!” Penelope was looking at Sonya Redding sagging in the ropes barely holding herself up, looking at Rayne with pleading eyes.
Penelope saw Redding looking exactly like Lana had looked prior to Jade’s final blow, and she wanted to keep the image away from her still fragile friend. After what seemed like an eternity, Rayne finally delivered the final blow to Redding and the “Next Big Thing” crumpled face first into the canvas. Penelope winced at Sonya’s predicament. She had felt the power of Rayne, and remembered the shocked silence of the arena when she regained consciousness. The B.A.B.E. arena had that same silence as they waited for any movement from the felled Sonya. Remembering Lana she yelled, “It’s over!” and followed that with a mumbled “…already.”
“Penny! You want a bowl or cup,” yelled Lana in return.
“I’ll take a bowl of course . . . and another pint if you don’t mind,” responded Penelope. She turned back to the T.V. and watched as Rayne was declared the winner as she stood over the comatose Sonya. Penelope didn’t want to watch anymore and she turned off the television just as Lana returned with the chili and beer.
“Yes! Nothing like your chili to get through a long night, thank you.” Penelope watched as Lana set the plates down. Lana was still having more bad days than good with her headaches and nausea, but today she seemed to be doing well, and had her wits about her when she saw where the Sonya bout was heading. Ignoring her own softening and toneless shape following the events of recent weeks, Penelope remarked to herself that physically, despite her fuller figure brought on by idleness, Lana looked good. It was than that Penelope was struck by how quick things can change in the world of Foxy Boxing. Four months ago she, Lana and Sonya were all being showcased and hyped for their appealing super-stardom prior to and during the B.A.B.E. championship tournament. And now, Lana’s career was all but over giving her severe concussion issues, she was out of the league following an embarrassing fight at Trixie’s, and now Sonya sat in a puddle of defeat which had no doubt removed whatever luster Sonya had had.
“Just like that . . .” Penelope muttered.
“What?” replied Lana.
“Oh nothing. I was just thinking.”
“Whether we’ll see Sonya fight again . . . hell, or any of us! Didn’t it just seem like yesterday we were chatting and training in the gym at the start of that tourney. Now look at us. Out of the league, sitting here on the couch instead of the arena . . .” Penelope’s words faded.
“Penny, you’ll surely fight again. Sonya too. You’ve recovered nicely so . . .”
“Yeah, my nose and shoulder are healed up, but it is still embarrassing what happened. It’s all they’ll ever talk about now, ‘There goes Penelope, the champion fighter beat up in a fight at a club.’ The pictures and comments, it’s all been difficult to deal with.”
Lana knew she should continue trying to soothe the ruffled feathers of her friend. The negative publicity surrounding ‘Trixie-gate’ had angered Raquel Balboa, and it was still a hot topic of conversation. Penelope looked bad in the pictures and few grainy clips – clumsy, sloshed, disoriented, and clad in nothing but her thong and boots at the end. It was the outfit now known as the “Primrose,” and women from B.A.B.E heels in the locker room, to strippers on the poles were ‘sporting the look.’ Lana changed her tact, “Well, at least there won’t be any legal setback, right? That’s been settled.
“Yeah,” responded Penny sullenly. Something called ‘mutual affray.’”
“Something to do with the evidence -the security feeds and whatever – showing that we were all equally at fault for the fight. No one is to blame, we all just come off looking like stupid drunk girls brawling.”
“Well that’s good . . . not the brawling, but no more legal action. Which means?”
“Which means what?”
“You know Penny! It means you are free to get out of here. Take a break. Take a vacation. Go back to England. Get back in the ring there and do what you do best. Get away from this place. There is nothing keeping you here now.”
“I know. But the affairs of ‘Trixie-gate’ have a life back there too. How do I face that?”
“You face that by destroying some one in the ring. Show them who they loved and why they fell in love with them.”
“You’re right . . . but you’re more right about the vacation. Mallorca sounds nice! And enough talk, let’s eat this chili before it gets too cold.”
The plane was half way across the Atlantic and Penelope was still wide awake. There were so many thoughts whirling around in her head, and not even a couple drinks were settling them down. She wondered if she would ever be back in America, or had her big chance been thwarted by poor performance and poor decisions. She had disappointed her UK supporters, Balboa and herself. She thought on the ridicule that had come her way following the fight at Trixie’s and she only had herself to blame. All the tabloids and newspapers and talk shows asking for interviews, and not letting the incident go had weighed her down. Clearing out her locker had been one of the worst parts of her departure – made worse for her run in with Rose McKenna who had sauntered in by chance.
“Leaving so soon? But I just got here,” had been the remark from Rose. She ignored the remark, but it was hard to ignore what Rose did next when she dropped her green dress, and standing in her thong and boots, purred, “So do I wear your look well Penelope? What do you think? I think I do. Do I need more boot or more belly though?” Penelope had stormed out of the locker than, but she could still hear Rose’s snickering. That she was out of B.A.B.E. and that untalented fraud was in made her gag.
Worst of all may have been her talks with Missy and Mac. Missy had called, all supportive and asking what she could do to help, but Penelope clearly heard the pity in her voice and she didn’t need or want pity. Though she tried to be appreciative of Missy, she didn’t need all the motherly advice and had ended the call with a somewhat curt “I am fine.” She regretted that, and had sent a note of apology via e-mail, saying she was just ‘stressed and angry, but thank you for having called.’ Missy, for her part, had responded and said she was always here for her if she needed it. Right now, Penelope just needed the beaches of Mallorca.
The Mac call had stung. When mac called, Penelope had instantly gone on the defensive, “Oh, alright Mac, now you call!”
“Just want to make sure you are alright. We’ve had our differences, but I still care for your well being and . . . ”
“Bullshit Mac! You’ve called to let me know how right you were! To say “I told you so’s” and all that crap. I had asked for your help and you gave me the cold-shoulder. Now you’re my friend again . . . my mentor with sage advice and counsel. Screw you, Mac!”
“Even on your way down, Penelope, you can’t take some help . . . Okay, if that’s the way . . .”
“That’s the way Mac! At least not from you. You had your chance . . . we had our chance to make up . . . but you . . . you . . . you know what, just go back to that scrawny East End jobber you’re working with and feed her all your crap. Spare me another lecture. Remember who made who Mac!”
“Be mad all you want at me Penny, and leave all your harsh words at my feet, but be careful on what you say about Sydney – she listens, and she learns. You clearly have not . . .”
“Whatever Mac! I am coming back, you wait. You will not ride my coattails this time . . . thanks for your call I guess, but leave it be Mac!”
“As you wish Penny . . . wouldn’t want to ride those coattails . . . at least not in the direction they are headed . . . take c . . .” And with that Penelope had hung up on her former trainer before she could finish.
Other thoughts swirled in her head – Lana’s welfare, how superb the talents of Jade and Ashley were and how awesome and eye opening their bout had been. As she sat in her first class seat, she tried to gain some comfort in the fact that B.A.B.E. had given her sight of the best Foxy Boxers in the world. She could and would take that knowledge back to UK Foxy Boxing and remind them all that Penelope Primrose was and is their greatest champion. Of that she had no doubt.
Missy Eddington padded over to her porch chair and laid down her coffee and toast. She unfurled her copy of The Daily Beacon. She leafed through the paper to get to the sports section, looking for the latest write ups on the UK Foxy Boxing league. Last night had been another big night in the arena, and Missy had called the fights and was looking to see if the columnists thought as highly of the fight card as she had: Champion Chantelle Daniels had survived a stunning first round knock down to reclaim her title with a 4th round KO defeat of the hard punching Scottish veteran Mairead MacGrath…
…former champ Morgan Mace had made shockingly easy time of former Nigerian champion Kamilah Kuti with a 1st round knockout…
…and Mac’s young fighter Sydney Smith had won a thrilling test of wills winning an 8th round decision over another young exciting fighter Shayla Darling.
Missy finally found the front page of the sports section and was pleased that it featured Foxy Boxing. There were two pictures of Chantelle; one showing her shocked expression at being on the canvas in the first round and the other her right hook that put MacGrath away. There was what looked like a long article with the pictures. Missy’s attention eventually drifted quickly to the other picture and headline on the front page, and she stared in shock at a paparazzi picture of Penelope Primrose standing on a Mallorca beach in her bikini with the accompanying headline: Penelope’s New Found Belly Keeps Fans Guessing.
Missy stared at the picture, aware she was stunned by the flabby and toneless condition of the former UK champion. The bulge of her protruding belly left little doubt to the fact that Penelope was out-of-shape. Missy knew Penelope’s recent fights had shown her condition trending in this way, but the recent dormancy caused by injury and the affairs of “Trixiegate” had clearly taken a toll. The article to the headline was small, more or less a caption: Former UK Champion and Foxy Boxing superstar Penelope Primrose was spotted Friday enjoying the sun on Alcudia Beach in Mallorca. Primrose was spotted larking around the beach in a strapless white bikini, showing off a fuller figure that will no doubt surprise fans of the former champion. Primrose, most recently in the news for her role in a nightclub brawl that ended her time in the American B.A.B.E. league, oozed confidence as she walked along the beach. Many fans will be guessing as to the current condition of Primrose, who has not been seen a UK ring since losing her title late last year to Morgan Mace. Rumors of the former champion returning to UK Foxy Boxing have not been confirmed.
“Hopefully not returning in that condition,” muttered Missy to herself, “Penny what have you been doing?” Missy’s concern for Penelope had grown deeper now, in light of this picture. Penelope had grown soft, and if she hoped to rejoin UK Foxy Boxing, she’d better get in shape. Missy hoped Penelope wouldn’t storm headstrong into a UK return, but knowing Penelope, that was a likely scenario. Missy picked up the phone. On the third ring Penelope picked up.
“Hey Missy, how are you?”
“Great, how are you? Enjoying Mallorca I hear and see.”
“Oh yeah, been at the beach all day yesterday and today. A much needed get away before returning to UK Boxing!”
“Really! So it is true. You are coming back to the league? I had heard only rumors . . .”
“Yep, just got off the phone with Mr. Johnson! I am signed and delivered. He gave me what I wanted and I am back!”
“That’s great,” though Missy didn’t really believe her own words, fearing what it was Penelope wanted Mr. Johnson to give her. “How soon do you think you’ll be back in the ring?”
“I said the sooner the better. I need to fight again. This stupid nightclub bullshit will only go away if I get back in the ring and win. That is what I plan to do. He said in six or seven weeks time I could be back, depends on the other fighter.”
“The other fighter? Who?” Missy was instantly worried that she was going straight for Chantelle Daniels, and given what Missy had seen in today’s paper, that would be a big error.
“”Mac’s new girl, what’s-her-name . . .”
“Sydney? Really? You think Mac would agree to that? You really want to go against Mac?” Missy was bewildered. Syd was young, and Mac was Penelope’s former trainer and mentor.
“Yeah – I need to show Mac what she lost when we fell out. We’ve had a couple of less than cordial phone calls, and she needs a reminder as to who made her the trainer she’s now so acclaimed to being. Mr. Johnson said that if she is ready to come back in seven weeks I’ve got the fight I want. Apparently she won last night by decision.”
Missy had watched that fight, and though Sydney lacked power, she was fast, quick and full of energy, nearly a copy of what Penelope was when she had come up. Penelope was clearly stronger. “Penny, you don’t think you should slow down. Make sure you are strong and fit after you latest injuries. Six weeks isn’t much time.”
“It’ll be enough time for a return bout. It’s not like I am taking on Ivanna or Mace or this new champion Chantelle. This will be a good match to warm up with, and than go after my belt. I need a good win.”
“Not sure Sydney is the pushover you think. She is a smaller fighter without much bite, but she is a scrapper. You’ll have to work hard for that win.”
“Oh I will. I am back in the UK on Wednesday. Say, you want to help me train.”
“Would love to Penny, and am flattered you would ask, but I’ve got prior engagements I can’t get out of. Work for the network.”
“Figured as much. I know it is a quick turnaround from what happened in B.A.B.E, but I have to get back in the ring. I learned a lot there against that top end competition. I am ready to be UK champ again.”
“Well, Penny take care. And work hard! UK Boxing is stronger top to bottom than when you left it thanks to you. You inspired a lot of young girls, the ranks are filling up nicely.”
“Will do Missy. And thanks for the call. I am excited!”
Missy hung up the phone, and her fears for her friend remained. Penelope was so headstrong, she was diving right back into UK Boxing. And she wants to take it to Mac. Missy shook her head. Penelope was so stubborn, and although some of her arrogance had dissipated after her B.A.B.E humbling and the Trixie embarrassment, clearly as it related to UK Foxy Boxing it was still there. Penelope glanced again at the picture of Penelope on the beach, and continued shaking her head. She recalled now what Chantelle Daniels had said to her when she asked her after her fight last night about the prospects of Penelope Primrose returning to UK Foxy Boxing, and whether she was worried about the threat, “Oh please, she’s a hot mess now that one!” Missy frowned, as she may have to agree with that assessment.
TO BE CONTINUED