Dented spoons scraped through a cheap dinner of corn and sausage. The chewing was laborious, but the family members seated at the table all had grateful expressions as they ate. "Did you have a good day at school?" asked Donna, looking to her son. "Mm hm," replied Daniel, through a mouthful of dinner. "How about you, kitten?" Donna smiled at her daughter, the older of the two siblings. "Community college isn't 'school', it's post-secondary education," answered Dorothy, sighing. "...went fine," she added, after a guilty pause. Donna grinned, and then grimaced slightly as she turned slightly to stretch her back. "I am still aching from cleaning this house all day," she said, "Would one of you be a dear and bring a plate to your father?" "I will!" said Daniel, immediately snatching a dish and running to the living room. Mother and daughter ate in silence for a little while, until Dorothy cleared her throat. "Gotta work at the library tonight?" asked Dorothy. "Yes, dear," answered Donna. "I'll be leaving at 11." "What a weird time for a shift to start," remarked Dorothy. "A paying job is a paying job," said Donna. "With your father's condition..." "I know, I know," said Dorothy. "You don't have to tell me again." "Dorothy." Donna gave her daughter a look of concern. "Eventually, I won't have to work two jobs to keep us all supported. We're just in a...a rough patch, right now." "I'm in college now," said Dorothy, impatiently. "You don't have to worry about me, just dad and Daniel." "And you're making enough money to get by on your own, already?" Donna reached for her daughter's hand. "You only just started..." "Mom!" Dorothy glared, then sighed. "Just...I dunno." Donna began to speak, but her daughter simply got up and left the room, pausing to give her mother a hug before walking to her room. Donna finished her dinner and began to clean the dishes, forlorn but proud of her daughter's misguided wish to help. In her bedroom, Dorothy sat in bed and stewed, proud of her mother's strength but frustrated that she could not herself do something to give the woman some reprieve. After reading a magazine for a few minutes, the girl turned off her light and sank back into her pillow. Once the house had grown quiet and dark, Donna picked up her bag and opened the front door. She glanced back over her shoulder once, and then headed out into the night. ------- "Entering the pit...Donna Domino!" With a split-down-the-middle palette of white and black on her swimsuit and her facepaint, the mother of two looked anything but maternal as she climbed down into the circular concrete pit. The canvas underfoot was a mere formality, barely softening any harsh landings on its brutal surface. Donna's black hair hung in thick strands whose tips hovered over her shoulders like dark icicles. She was lean and athletic, with the body of a cheerleader who never quite gave up on keeping fit. "Entering the pit...Piper Prada!" Striding to the edge of the pit, a ponytailed british girl made a show of removing her sparkling dress and high-heeled shoes, revealing a similarly-shimmering bright blue ensemble of a spandex tube top and matching briefs. Sitting down on the edge, Piper daintily dropped herself down onto the mat with a wide smile across her face. "Fight!" With flash and flourish, Piper launched an assault of swirling kicks and elbow strikes that pushed Donna's back up against one of the walls of the pit. Grabbing Donna's shoulders, Piper threw four hard knees into her opponent's gut. Watching the woman double over, gasping for breath, Piper grinned and leapt into the air and span down to drive an elbow into the back of Donna's head. Donna fell to the mat hard, curling up slightly as she clutched her stomach and skull. Piper turned around and threw her arms up, grinning and posing over her fallen opponent. Piper's celebration ended in a surprised gasp as she looked down and saw two arms wrapped around her waist. Donna arched back, performing half of a german suplex and driving Piper's head into the wall behind her. Swivelling sideways, Donna then completed the german suplex, folding Piper in half as the british girl was slammed headfirst into the floor. Rolling to one side, Donna rubbed the back of her head and got to her feet, keeping her eyes on Piper's writhing body. After slowly rolling over, Piper leapt forward like a jaguar, snarling loudly. Donna had watched her the entire time, and cut off Piper's vengeful attack with a double-axehandle overhand blow that smashed down onto her head. Piper cried out and collapsed, so stunned that she continued to try to complete her attack by grabbing at the floor. The british girl made some confused and worried noises as she tried to right herself, barely able to sit up, let alone stand up. Donna kept a distance and stayed on guard at first, but once she saw Piper get to her knees and then topple over a second time, she stepped forward and raised her fists over her head. Piper was flattened with a confused grunt as Donna clobbered her down to the mat. Firm hands gripped Piper's head and jaw, pulling her to her feet but keeping her bent over. The british girl was yanked forward, and began to regain her senses as she realized her head was clamped between her opponent's thighs. Piper pawed weakly at Donna's thighs before the world whirled around her as she was lifted and turned head over heels. Eyes widening as she looked left and right at the edges around the top of the pit, the british girl began to shake her head as she whimpered, "N-No, no no!" Donna pulled down and powerbombed her opponent into the canvas-covered concrete floor. Piper bounced once, laying spreadeagled on her back with her mouth wide open in a silent and agonized expression. She could barely lift an arm or a leg at a time, each limb flopping weakly after making it barely an inch off the mat. Her back and shoulders felt nearly shattered, and her neck and skull were throbbing with a deafening pain. Piper was almost motionless, lolling her head left and right as she began to moan. Donna loomed over her opponent, standing at ready and looking down at Piper with an intensity in her eyes that was only enhanced by her facepaint. "Piper Prada loses! Now, make her regret it!" One last burst of energy let Piper make a loud and fearful cry as Donna roughly turned her over onto her stomach and climbed on top. Pulling the british girl's arms up and over her knees as she sat down on her back, Donna reached down and chinlocked Piper to fully apply a camel clutch hold. Bending Piper's already-injured back, Donna forced a long and throaty scream from her beaten opponent. Piper's feet kicked on the mat as she howled, begging unintelligibly as Donna shifted her arms down into a chokehold. Donna held Piper tightly, arching the british girl's back as Piper quickly succumbed to the chokehold, convulsing and spitting up some foamy flecks. Donna soon released Piper, leaving her facedown in a shuddering and unconscious sprawl at her feet. "Your winner! Donna Domino!" ------- While, Piper was removed from the pit, Donna took a deep drink of water as she wrapped a towel around her shoulders. She was pleased to have won her match for the evening. Competitors got paid either way, but the bonus for walking away from the pit rather than being dragged out of it meant she could treat her family to some better food for the rest of the week. Considering taking her leave for the night, Donna could not help but pause when she heard the call for the next match. "Entering the pit...Gorilla Gonzales!" The hairy and muscular argentine fighter pounded his chest before leaping down into the pit. Donna turned back to see what happened next, eyes narrowing slightly as she studied Gonzales. She had fought him once, putting up a long fight before finally losing after she and the Gorilla had put each other through an impressive variety of maneuvers. Donna was sore for weeks afterwards, explaining to her family that she had taken a bad fall at work, when in reality she had taken an eight-foot fall after Gonzales finished her with a powerful press slam. She already felt sorry for whoever ended up as his opponent. "Entering the pit...Dollface Dotty!" A raven-haired pigtailed girl came out into the arena, slipping off a black and pink hoodie and dropping it next to her as she arrived at the edge of the pit. Her face was painted white, with pale pink cheeks and bright pink lips. There was a deep shadowing around her eyes, and her lashes were thick and dark. Dotty leapt down into the pit, wearing a small pink tank-top over a black camisole leotard. As Gonzales pumped his arms and worked himself up, Dotty pulled off her slip-on shoes and tossed them up to the edge of the ring. Donna shook her head, turning to leave. She had had enough for one night, and was not in the mood to watch a rookie fighter go up against her own rival. "Good luck, kid," she muttered to herself, heading into the locker room. ------- Laying in the dark of her bedroom, Dorothy sat up as soon as she heard the front door lock shut. She only turned on a dim lamp on her dresser before changing into a leotard she had lifted from the dance program at school. Looking down at the tight and flexible garment, Dorothy decided to pull an old tank-top over her chest to feel slightly less exposed, despite her bared limbs. As she sat at her dresser, Dorothy went over the design she had practiced in her head before she pinned her hair back and began to apply sweat-proof facepaint. The venue was a quirky one that let its fighters maintain their anonymity as long as they fashioned a character around their combat persona. While she had heard rumours about where it was, Dorothy confirmed the location after overhearing another student talk about her aching neck. The girl fought under the name of the Barefoot Butterfly, and Dorothy found it hard to believe that such a whiny art major could even have pitfighting stories to tell. After dusting her cheeks, Dorothy began to darken and shadow her eyes and eyelashes. She was not very worried about peers finding out that she had stepped into the ring, but absolutely did not want her mother to find out. Dorothy and Donna had a lot in common when it came to family. Both believed in sacrifice, and both were opposed to the other having to do anything dangerous. But Dorothy simply could not stand by while her mother worked a second job in the evening, and the Barefoot Butterfly girl had said that even in losing her match, she had earned an amount of money that Dorothy felt was worth the risk of entering an underground fight contest. Standing up with her make-up complete and her hair in pigtails, Dorothy took a deep breath. She turned around and did a quick warm-up of shadowboxing and stance-changes. She reached back and turned off the lights, pulling on a hoodie and a pair of slip-on shoes in the moonlit bedroom. The window quietly opened, and Dorothy climbed out into the night as Dollface Dotty for the first time. ------- "Fight!" Dotty kept her composure as Gonzales beat his chest and roared at her, his muscular form clad only in black briefs and copious body hair. She took a step back as he charged towards her, and avoided his grasp by inches as she leapt back when he reached for her. Pushing off the pit wall behind her, Dotty wrapped her legs around Gonzales' head as she flew towards him. Swivelling around to sit on his shoulders as her legs gripped his skull, Dotty began pounding on Gonzales with both of her hands. The grappler was able to pull his opponent's legs off his head fairly easily, and Dotty reacted by slamming her elbows down onto his scalp. Gonzales shouted in pain, his grip slipping long enough for Dotty to squirm free and land behind him. Dotty darted in and managed to deliver one strike to Gonzales' flank before a sudden mule kick took her completely by surprise. Making a loud and hoarse noise, Dotty doubled over and flew back after Gonzales' foot rammed into her gut, smacking into another wall of the pit. Gasping for breath, the pigtailed girl finally righted herself just in time to see Gonzales' forearm before it smashed into her face. Dotty crumpled forward right into her opponent's arms, and Gonzales wasted no time in lifting her overhead and bodyslamming her into the unforgiving ground behind him. Her teeth gritted as she tried to push through the incredible pain in her back and shoulders, Dotty's eyes opened just as Gonzales leapt up to attack her prone body. She rolled to one side, causing her opponent to slam his fists into the floor and immediately stagger back as the impact shot up both of his arms. Getting to her feet, Dotty ran forward and threw her entire body into a missile kick that connected loudly with Gonzales chest. The grappler fell to one knee, sucking air as he clutched his ribcage. Dotty landed two high kicks against the side of her opponent's head, and looked agog as Gonzales continued to stay upright, if a little wobbly on one knee. Stepping up on the grappler's extended knee, Dotty hopped up and threw a hard kick into the side of his head. Landing and pausing to catch her breath, the pigtailed girl was visibly distraught as Gonzales leaned to one side, almost falling over before waving an arm to keep his balance. With a shrill cry, Dotty ran forward and leapt, planting a foot on Gonzales' knee to execute the move again. However, after she pushed off and turned with her leg curled to strike, Gonzales threw his weight into a lariat with a momentum that caused him to fall to the floor. Dotty was nearly cut in half by the lariat, spinning head-over-heels in mid-air before crashing in a sprawled heap on the mat. There was a lull in the action as both fighters lay on the floor, but Dotty was still trying to find the strength to stand when she heard Gonzales pounding his chest and roaring. Pushing herself up off the floor, Dotty squeaked as she felt a hand grab her ankle and drag her away away from the nearby pit wall. The pigtailed girl scrambled to try and get free, managing to crawl a foot away from Gonzales after he released her ankle before the grappler reached down and got ahold of her body. Dotty twisted and squirmed, trying to lock in a desperate triangle hold before Gonzales could pick her up. She managed to get her legs around his neck before the large fighter bellowed and heaved her off the mat, powerbombing her twice with two thunderous impacts before the hold came loose, and Dotty was left dazed and helpless at his feet. Two large hands clamped around Dotty's head, hauling her into a standing position and then raising her up into the air. Squeezing her head as she kicked wildly to try and smack one of her feet against his head, Gonzales ran towards the opposing pit wall and threw Dotty back-first right into it. Hitting the concrete wall with a loud slap, Dotty began to fall to the floor, but was rammed back into the wall as Gonzales crushed her with a full-body splash. The grappler took a step back, watching as Dotty peeled off the concrete and slumped forward. She fell into her opponent's waiting arms, knock-kneed and struggling to stand. Dotty looked up to see Gonzales glaring down at her. A slow and deliberate headbutt struck Dotty with enough impact to throw her back into the wall once again. Gonzales reached forward and yanked Dotty back, pulling her up into the air and spinning her around. The pigtailed girl's spiralling journey ended with her screaming in agony as Gonzales performed a brutal backbreaker on her. Still bent over her opponent's knee, Dotty choked out some pitiful chirps as one of Gonzales' large hands wrapped around her throat. She slapped at his arm with both hands, realizing she had no way out of the pit other than defeat. Her strength was sapped, her back was battered, and her body felt broken. Gonzales pulled Dotty up off of his knee with both hands, and slowly raised her overhead. After walking back to the center of the ring, Gonzales let his struggling opponent's fear build as he pumped her up and down. As the crowd cheered in anticipation of Gonzales' signature gorilla press slam, Dotty's legs flailed uselessly in the air as a wide-eyed look of fear set in on her face. She shook her head weakly, protesting and surrendering all at once in tired and choked whimpers. Finally, Gonzales threw her belly-first into the mat. Dotty shrieked as the long fall began, her voice cut off when she hit the floor loudly. The pigtailed girl bounced once, and lay facedown and splayed out. Her body bucked every now and then as she fought to breathe, slowly curling into a ball and clutching her stomach with both arms. "Dollface Dotty loses! Now, make her regret it!" Palming Dotty's head in one hand, Gonzales slowly pulled his opponent up to her feet. Dotty was still gasping for breath, both arms wrapped around her stomach and eyes barely open as she looked utterly defeated. Gonzales pounded his free fist against his chest, roaring in her face as she shakily held up a hand in surrender. Then, he pushed Dotty's face right into his chest and wrapped his arms around her head and neck. Suspended just a few inches off the floor, Dotty began beating wildly against Gonzales as he squeezed his forearms and biceps together. Dotty's head and neck were being crushed in a modified bearhug, and her muffled screaming only lasted a few seconds. Her arms and legs flailed wildly, her toes only brushing the mat a few times as Gonzales leaned back and roared again. The final squeeze overcame Dotty, and she soon went limp. Gonzales dumped her on the floor in front of him, and immediately stomped a foot onto her spreadeagled body before pounding his chest and bellowing a victory cry. "Your winner! Gorilla Gonzales!" ------- Donna quietly unlocked the front door and stepped inside her home, opening the nearby closet and storing her bag in an alcove on the top shelf. She was exhausted, and enjoyed the mercy of a hot shower before turning in for a few hours of sleep before her day job began in the morning. 2 hours later, Dorothy slipped in through her bedroom window and closed it behind her with a click, before collapsing onto her bed. She crawled to her dresser, pulling herself onto a seat to quickly remove her flaked makeup. Some of it had peeled off onto Gonzales' chest when he bearhugged her head to finish her off , and that made the removal process a bit more easy. But, still clad in her leotard, Dorothy climbed under the covers and let unconsciousness consume her one more time.