I’ve had this character kicking around in my brain for quite awhile now. Today was the day he decided to come out and play. Satan Hampshire: huge, brain-damaged, ex-wrestler; Canadian legend; portable dessert fan; wannabe paranormal investigator; weird dude.
I think I dig him, man.
“Calling Satan fat was a disservice to thirty-five years in the ring. Night after night after night of chair shots and leg drops and elbows off the top rope. He was an umpteen-times champion, with dozens of belts, in every region from Alaska to Japan. He’d been a face and a heel and every part in-between. Satan was a legend… and Satan was fat.
“Gud-dangit-muther-funk! Come on!”
“Satan, you aren’t gonna fit that way.”
“Come on, baby!” Satan groaned. “I say goddamn!”
Sam “Satan” Hampshire twisted his ample gut—which was actually still more muscle than fat—arched his back, and popped his knees forward before dropping hard onto his flat white ass.
“Used to be easier, boy! Whooo!” Satan wheezed, chortles of laughter bouncing around in-between the racking spasms of coughs.
Elliot stood staring, not sure if the current situation was safer, or even more dangerous to Satan’s health than driving the bike himself. He was bulging out of the top of the sidecar like an overstuffed garbage bag; crammed tight into the can on one end, ready to burst out in a mushroom-cloud apocalypse on the other.
“You okay, Satan?” Elliot asked, straddling the bike and ramming his foot down on the kickstarter.
Satan plunked his scarred and dented scooter helmet onto his head, and pulled the goggles out from above the visor, snapping them back against his face the same way he did every time he put the damned thing on.
Every single time he put the damned thing on. That helmet was once a perfectly round, perfectly blue sphere of protection. English style from the 70’s heyday of Quadrophenia and the Mod revival, when Satan was a natty young punk in a skinny-ish suit and checkered pants. He’d been in a ska band in Scarborough—The Replicator Slides—or so the story goes. Elliot still couldn’t really imagine six-foot-two, two-hundred-eighty-pounds of rock-solid man-mountain, crammed into a Rude Boy getup with a bunch of scrawny white kids in Ontario, skanking to the beat. As far as Elliot could conceive, Satan had always been Satan. Samuel Ignacious Hampshire the third, was just a name on the tax forms Elliot filled out once a year, while Satan ate twinkies and plucked at his ukelele with whipped-cream-sticky fingers, caterwauling Creedence songs like nobody’s business. Satan was the man. Satan had hypnotized sixteen thousand people at Maple Leaf Gardens, where he held the World Wrestling League championship high over his head, one foot still firmly pressed into the chest of Kumar The Butcher, bloody and beaten beneath him. Elliot had seen that in person. He was seven at the time.
Satan rolled his big head back, lolled it towards Elliot with that broad, toothless grin tucked away in his three-foot long beard.
“Come on, Big E! Let’s roll, baby!” he shouted over the grumbling of the motorcycles black-smoke roar. He held up a thumb, then rolled that hand around and held up a middle finger in his standard salute.
Elliot smiled and revved the engine, feeling the weight of the big man, so steady that the bike didn’t move an inch as he lifted his feet to the pedals and shifted into gear.
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