I’m hiking around Golden Gate park with my confidant and buddy, my 10 lb. terrier Bitefighter, when suddenly, in the loom of the evening sunlight, I see the shadows of strollers stretch across my path. A chill goes up my spine, and down by my ankles, Bitefighter lets out a querulous, worried grumble. Suddenly I hear: “That’s him! The writer-guy that keeps insulting our husbands’ micro-phalluses!” I’m about to yell back that I don’t talk smack, that it’s their husbands who keep surreptitiously pee-checking me in the bathroom thinking that I don’t notice, but I bite my tongue as I see them slinging packs of raw, dripping organs into the cavities of their strollers. I hear their infants’ voices rise in an unholy chorus, and one of the soccer moms scream: “BRING ME HIS ENTRAILS!” Suddenly the trees are rustling as little wiry demon-babies are pursuing me and Bitefighter like chimps after colubus monkeys. I’ve seen the documentaries; I am NOT gonna go out like that—that’s like being the token minority in a horror movie! I start running like a bat out of hell. The trees are erupting with demon-baby screeches, the last rays of the dwindling sun dance across the trail, and Bitefighter is trying to keep up as best he can, but ragged, oxygen-starved pants are flying from his whiskered face. Only one option left: I open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash. A holopanel time dilator appears in front of me; apparently, by twisting its central knob, I can speed the lifespans of these demon-babies. I fast-forward their life, and they start dropping from the trees, instantly transformed into Dilbert lookalikes. Their expressions are vacant, beaten down by years of officework. I fast-forward a bit more, and now they’re mid-level managers, faces drawn and haggard from decades of powerpoints and TPS reports. They all collapse, sobbing, screaming one word: “SEPPUKU!” If I had a wakizashi, I’d give it to them. I almost feel sorry for ’em as me and Bitefighter beat feet and make our escape.
Sometime within your life, according to Statistics, you risk a 78% chance of being accosted by demon-babies in the park. Make sure you have a holographic time-dilator at the ready. Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle