The Master Plan, by Michael Chin

Some­times after I lift weights, my shoul­ders broad­est, my chest thick­est, my step a lit­tle slow­er, I pic­ture myself as Kane.

The Big Red Machine. The Demon.

The Undertaker’s lit­tle brother.

The broth­er he left for dead in a child­hood fire. The broth­er who came back to haunt him in 1997, thirsty for revenge. Thirsty for fire and damna­tion. Thirsty for choke slams and piledrivers.

Kane evolved before our eyes, over a decade. Start­ing a masked mon­ster, hell bent on revenge. Becom­ing management’s hired gun. Falling in love and hav­ing his heart bro­ken. When he was forced to unmask, he went a lit­tle cra­zier, set­ting a play-by-play aflame, clamp­ing a jumper cables to anoth­er wrestler’s testicles.

Then, he reunit­ed with his brother—The Broth­ers of Destruction—a team too big, too strong, too super­nat­u­ral­ly insur­mount­able to be challenged.

In 2010, he put his broth­er in the hospital.

It was all a part of Kane’s plan, you see. To scout his broth­er. To test him. To win his trust over years and years and years only to gain the advan­tage. To become unbeat­able when they clashed for the last time.

And though I pic­ture myself like Kane, in biceps, in gait, in inten­si­ty, this may be what appeals most. That my every word, my every tragedy, my every prat­fall, my every triumph—that it all might mean something.

That I might con­vince someone—not least of all myself—it was all part of a mas­ter plan.

michaelchinMichael Chin was born and raised in Uti­ca, New York and is cur­rent­ly an MFA can­di­date in cre­ative writ­ing at Ore­gon State Uni­ver­si­ty. He won the 2014 Jim Knud­sen Editor’s Prize for fic­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of New Orleans and has pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lished or has work forth­com­ing in over thir­ty jour­nals includ­ing The Nor­mal School, Bay­ou Mag­a­zine, Grav­el, and Weave Mag­a­zine. Find him online at miketchin​.com and fol­low him on Twit­ter @miketchin.

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