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 alone on a bench in her locker room, deep within the belly of the UK Foxy Boxing Arena. Her hands were taped and gloved, her Union Jack robe over her shoulders and tied at the waste. Two beads of sweat were rolling down her forehead and her left leg was bouncing up and down at a furious rate of speed. Though she had sat in this very spot many times as she prepared to defend her UK Championship Belt, tonight Penelope could not get her nerves under control or stop her mind from wandering over recent events. The stinging words of her friend Missy agreeing with a fighter she loathed during her crushing loss to Ivanna Payne flashed into her mind:
“You can say it Missy, she came to this fight out of shape and she is paying for it!?
“Hate to say it, but you may be right Rose.”
If she wanted to salvage her career she would have to win tonight against journey-woman Sophia Clarke. For years she had entered boxing rings confident and not without a little arrogance, but tonight she felt the true weight of pressure. Many folks in the world of Foxy Boxing were already writing her off – a ‘has been,’ an ‘overrated punching bag,’ a ‘fallen star.’ Penelope got up and headed to the bathroom for what seemed like the upteenth time. The sarcastic, mocking tone of Raqual Balboa chastising her filtered through her clouded mind:
“Been doing a lot of celebrating down at Trixie’s these days, haven’t we?”
As her thoughts began centering on Trixie’s she heard a shout from behind her, “Let’s go Penny, that was your cue!”
Missy’s quick shout brought Penelope back to the present, and she could hear the murmur of the sell out crowd, and the beginning of her entrance music. She lumbered down the hall, Missy right behind her. Her legs were heavy, and she started bouncing up and down to try and shake some life into them, all the while staring blankly at the rafters as she entered to the roars of the arena. The roars quickly faded as images began flashing through her head:
She saw herself stumbling, her face nearly hitting Hurricane Hannah’s shin . . . she saw herself clutching her belly in pain . . . she saw a pool of blood as she raised her head off the canvas, stars pulsating through her eyes . . .
Penelope felt a hard smack on her rear end, “Penny, raise your hands damnit . . . respond to the cheers!”
In a trance Penelope did as she was told, though she couldn’t undo her gaze at arena rafters.
“And Penelope Primrose makes her return to UK Foxy Boxing slowly walking down the aisle to the ring, the crowd roaring their approval at the former champion who had once gained their hearts. Of course, because my usual partner, Missy Eddington, is escorting Primrose to the ring as her coach, I am joined tonight by none other than Connie MacGillicuddy! Who better to comment on Penelope’s return than the trainer who had helped her reach her greatest heights. Mac!”
“Thanks Giles, glad to be here.”
“And, what do you expect tonight out of your former star pupil?”
“Well I . . . that was interesting!”
“Missy just whacked Penelope and yelled something . . . Penelope looks stiff, distracted heading up to that ring . . .”
“Not the usual saunter we’re used to seeing is it . . . well she has lost a lot of the aura she once had, her confidence and swagger have been literally knocked out of her . . .”
“You’re surely right about that . . . Penelope surely isn’t the fighter she once was. I am interested what Missy has been able to do with her during this extended layoff. We haven’t seen her in quite a while.”
“You’ve been a harsh critic of Penelope in many ways since you two parted. In summation, what do you think went wrong with Primrose? What led to her hard fall from the top?
“In short, she became untrainable. In her mind she was the best, and she didn’t feel she had to keep working to stay the best. In short, she got out-of-shape. She was never the strongest, so when she started cutting corners in her training and enjoying the fame and riches that came with her position as champion she got soft and weak and slow – and no fighter can survive on that formula.”
“Well, she’s finally back in the ring – trying to erase the memories of her first UK comeback attempt when she was shockingly overwhelmed by Sydney Smith in seven rounds. To the roar of the crowd Penelope removes her robe from head and shoulders . . . a ha . . interesting . . . new start and new look for Penelope Primrose! The Union Jack top survives, but the trunks are solid blue . . . and her hair is pulled back and slightly reddened.”
“Interesting, she has gone back to her old blue trunks . . . I like it, a symbol that she is starting over again, yet she still retains her Union Jack presence . . .”
“Take off your robe Penny . . . for Christ’s sake! Get with the program . . .!” Again, Penelope was brought back to the present by the loud voice of Missy slowly drowning out the loud words Mac had had for her months ago:
“A lecture is what you need! That is my advice. Stop ignoring the truth. Stop thinking you have all the answers. . . You have to work that much harder. You won’t do that . . . I’ve got to get back to the gym. I’ve got a new girl who listens and works.”
The words still stung months later. And now she was back in a ring after working harder than she ever thought was possible, but for all her renewed strength, she felt it odd that she couldn’t really feel the canvas she was standing on.
“And her opponent tonight! Hailing from London, England, fighting out of the blue corner, weighing in at 132 pounds, former UK Foxy Boxing champion . . . please welcome Penelope Primrose!!!!!”
Penelope waved to the crowd, acknowledging the cheers, though they didn’t seem to resonate as they once did she thought. She had been away for quite a long time, and only had that embarrassing defeat against Sydney Smith to show for since she’s been back. She made her way to the center of the ring for instructions, the crowd leveling off to an excited murmur, and then the words reached her ears, and not those of the referee.
“Hey Pudgy Bag, show us ‘The Primrose’ you has been!” The comment came from the crowd, and Penelope looked to the direction it came from and scanned the crowd. As the referee droned on about what she and her opponent could and couldn’t do, and before Penelope could even register that she hadn’t even looked over at Sophia Clarke since she’d entered the ring, she drifted off to Trixie’s and the cell phone footage of her infamous brawl:
Penelope saw herself on her knees being jerked forward. An instant later seeing herself slamming into a metal bar stool . . . Two quick kicks to her stomach and she was 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 . . . three successive blows to her face . . .
. . . and than the look of Raquel’s angry and devastated face when she told her that her time at B.A.B.E. was over . . .
“Was that the bell?” Penelope thought to herself. In a flash Penelope felt the presence of another fighter nearby, and she instinctively moved left, cleared her eyes and let a Sophia Clarke jab ricocheted off her shoulder.
“Penny! Wake up! The fight is on!”
“Well, Mac. What do you make of the new Penelope in there” She clearly looks like she has put some work in as she is down to 132 pounds . . . she was a soft 141 against her fighter Smith.”
“She looks bulkier, more muscular in the shoulders and arms. And she has clearly shed the spare tire that had crept around her belly. This will be interesting – she looks strong, she looks in shape, and how will this new body correlate into fighting. She was speed and stamina at her best, does she still have that in this frame.”
“Well, the crowd and our audience is eager to find out as she and Sophia Clarke meet for instructions.”
“Penelope still looks off to me Giles . . .”
“She seems jittery and nervous . . .”
“Well, aren’t all fighters before a fight . . .”
“Of course! But Penelope looks as though she isn’t mentally here. She looks distracted . . . Look at Missy, she is right in her ear talking and Penelope doesn’t even look like she hears it.”
“And there’s the bell . . . Sophia Clarke comes storming out . . . Penelope slow to respond to the bell! Still in her corner . . . and she quickly slides left avoiding an opening jab from Sophia . . .”
“She better get her head right Giles, Penelope is clearly distracted she looks stiff in there . . .”
Penelope tried to bounce left, but her feet seemed cemented in mud . . . she grunted as she took a right hook into her ribs. She paws out a left, keeping Clarke at bay, she sees Mac . . . “Is that Mac sitting next to Giles Watts?” Penelope thought, and she was soon met with another shot to her stomach, and though Penelope slightly recoiled at the impact, her mind registered a quick image of the last time she had seen Mac, also through these very ropes, before the pain hit her:
She crawls to the ropes, she is hurting . . . exhausted . . . still on all fours, she stares vacantly through the ropes . . . at Mac . . . she’s devastated . . . to see her former mentor watching her struggling on all fours, trying to get up on dead legs . . .
Penelope finds herself in the ropes, moving her body in and out. She tries throwing a jab to stop the pressure, and takes another shot to her ribs.
“Penny! Move!” She can hear the screams from Missy, but her legs can’t react. She feels her legs going, the same feeling she remembers from her last fight. Another right from Sophia hits it’s mark and Penelope grunts.
“Get off the ropes! Penelope fight!” She can sense a murmur in the crowd, and buzzing confusion. And then everything explodes into noise and light as Penelope feels something explode off her left cheek and nose.
She stumbles to her right and catches herself on the ropes, and quickly ducks a pink glove flying at her head. Penelope twists herself off the ropes and bounds to the center of the ring. She’s teetering, but quickly checks her momentum and thinks, “What the hell is going on! My legs . . . move Penny!” Penelope quickly moves to her left and sees Sophia Clarke coming at her, and quickly bounds to her right and darts out to quick jabs that bounce off Clarke’s face.
“Keep moving Penny! That’s it!” She hears the clear instructions of Missy, and starts bounding around the ring firing off crisp jabs. Clarke keeps charging but can’t close the gap. Penelope sees Clarke coil for a right and slams a quick left hook into the softness of clarke’s exposed belly, and follows it with a right to Clarke’s forehead and she hears the roar of the crowd.
“That’s it Penny!” She heard Missy yell. She easily dodged an uppercut from Clarke, tip toed left and connected with another jab. Penelope had a quick thought, “I am in control! She’s slow . . . already!”
Penelope sauntered over to her corner and quickly took a seat. She felt strong, though she felt the pain from those shots to her ribs and stomach she had taken.
“I don’t know what that was, but you finally woke up! What the hell Penny! You looked like you’d never been in a ring before! Keep moving, you can hit her. Clearly she’s aiming at your mid-section . . . you’re prepared for that, sh won’t hurt you there!”
“I couldn’t feel my legs . . . distracted . . . feel good now . . .”
“We’ll see . . . hell I am glad she woke you up with that right hook, because I certainly wasn’t waking you up with all my screaming! Move left, move right, power to the body and that through her skull. Finish this now Penny. Put her to bed!”
“Well . . . Penelope averts disaster in there Mac, and finishes the round quite strong. Your thoughts?”
“Clearly she woke up! My goodness, she was flat early, not legs, no emotion . . . dare I say, I thought, here we go again. Was she succumbed by the moment? Nerves? She was all out of sorts . . . I think Clarke sensed that and dominated Penelope early . . . but there . . . that replay . . . .”
“Sophia nails her with that right hook, Penelope almost goes down, but uses the ropes and bounds back to the center . . . a big ooh from the crowd . . . but it seems to have been the thing to knock Penelope out of her reverie.”
“Mac, I too said ‘ooh’ . . . as I thought we were about to see Primrose knocked to the canvas in round one. That would have been truly shocking! What now?”
“Well, despite the quick finish, I’d have to say Sophia took that round, but the end showed the class we know Penelope has and she easily controlled the ring and fight those last thirty seconds.”
Penelope bounded up at the sound of the bell and met the charging Clarke in the center of the ring, ducked a right hook and slammed a left-right combination into her ribs.
As Clarke came up to respond, Penelope had already move to safety. Clarke kept coming, as to her nature, but Clarke was slow. Penelope saw it, and every time she saw Sophia Clarke prepare to launch, she was on her with a flurry.
“Move . . . good . . . keep at at!!” Missy was screaming above the throng of the cowd.
Penelope felt good. For the first time in a long time she felt in complete control in a boxing ring – she was landing first, finding her movement fluid and easy, and didn’t feel as though she expending much energy.
As the round progressed, Penelope freed her hands and was landing with force to every part of Sophia Clarke’s body. She could see the effects on Clarke.
Clarke was quickly slowing down, no longer charging forward, merely shuffling side to side now and again. Clarke fired off a jab, and quickly Penelope retaliated with a left-right combo to Clarke’s midsection. She felt the air go out of Clarke’s yielding body, and fired off a jab to Clarke’s open mouth.
“That’s it Penny! Keep at her!” came the cries from her corner.
Though she had taken some punishment to her mid-section in round 1, she felt no pain now. Clarke landed a left into her ribs just as she finished her thoughts, and Penelope responded immediately as she thundered a right uppercut straight through Clarke’s defenses directly into her chin.
Clarke immediately teetered to her side, and with her full body behind her landed a left flush on Clarke’s chin.
Clarke hit the canvas with a thud, the only movement was her body settling into slumber.
“Yess!! . . . No, Penny! Go to a neutral corner.”
“1 . . .2 . . . 3 . . .4 . . .5 . . .”
Penelope stared down at the limp body of Sophia Clarke, and the rise and fall of Clarke’s soft, supple belly. Instinctively she padded her own firm abdomen in response, her thoughts reflecting on the pictures of her own demise at the hands of Sydney Smith and the comments that had accompanied them mocking her own soft body as she lay slumped in the corner.
“ . . .6 . . .7 . . . 8 . . . 9 . . . 10 . . . OUT!”
“Not anymore!” Penelope shouted. “I’m back!” And she quickly jumped into the arms of Missy Eddington.
“Your winner, by 2nd round knockout . . . Penelope Primrose!!”
“As you predicted MAc, Penelope has found her legs and she is darting around Clarke, and peppering her at will . . .”
“The movement of Penelope has always been her strength. When she doesn’t do it she gets in trouble . . . another nice combo, set up again by her misdirection.”
“Clarke is feeling those shots to her belly . . . and another . . . a little glimpse to the Penelope of old here!”
Yes . . . she seems to have more pop in her punches, movement better than it has been . . .”
“ . . . and a massive uppercut by Primrose . . . a left . . . and down goes Clarke . . . the famous Penelope uppercut strikes again . . . Clarke is not stirring . . . Penelope has gotten a small measure of redemption . . . the count hits 10 . . . Penelope Primrose has her first win in the UK in two years! Quite the flurry, and after a slow start, and fantastic flurry to finish this off quickly!”
“We’ve had our differences, but it is good to see Penelope back in some good form. A good win . . . “
“Sounds like you want to follow that with a ‘but’ . . .”
“Well not really . . . well, she took care of Clarke easily . . . but she still has more to go if she wants to contend with Morgan Mace or Chantelle Daniels, or this very impressive Kelly Fairchild girl. Clarke was a good match to fend off the rust, but she’s not as quick as she was with the bulk, stronger yeas and in shape . . . but I am not so sure she has the same speed and pop as those other fighters.”
“That remains to be seen of course, and I am sure we’ll see her in the ring with one or all at some point. But tonight, a good night for UK boxing as Penelope Primrose makes her return with a 2nd round knockout win. And now, back to the studio and Davis Kent.”
Penny leaned against the tile as the hot water cascaded down from above. It felt good on her body, which was aching probably more from the nervous tension she had felt all day than from any damage Sophia Clarke had done. She smirked, and muttered, ‘I’m back . . . I’m back . . . I’m back!” It had been a long time since she tasted victory. She thought briefly about her downward spiral, but quickly forced it out of her mind. This was a night to celebrate. And than her mind turned to images of her future, and she mumbled to herself, “I’ll show Chantelle who’s ‘a mess,’ and I’ll take the UK Championship back from that lug Mace, and show Mac I am not finished as a fighter, and shut that mouth of Rose McKenna and all those other snide bitches who mocked me, and maybe even make Raquel miss what she lost”
With those final thoughts, Penelope turned off the shower, grabbed her towel and padded off to her locker. Just as she arrived, her phone buzzed. It was a message from Lana Sinclair:
“Congratulations Penny! You did it! Happy 4 u! You’re back!”
“Yes I am,” thought Penny, “Yes I am.”
(To be continued)