I’m riding a giant were-jackal over the high plains of Leng. Life is good; on a daily basis I kill an evil wizard, three apyodons, and usually acquire a magic amulet or two. I’m chilling by my campfire with my were-jackal—Bitefighter—grilling up some leoptrix steaks. Suddenly, I see a sinister quartet of cloaked wanderers crest a nearby dune. I jump to my feet, holding my greatsword Akanax up in guard position. “Ho, travelers!” I yell at them. “State your business!” They throw back their hoods revealing dyed hair and sallow, metal-filled faces. Emo-poets! The darkest of sorcerers! All of them are bursting with skinny-fat, a cratering of acne that would cow the most ardent lover of pepperoni pizzas, and a distinct lack of muscle tone. Such is the Way of Emo. They begin chanting their evil shit-speech, filling the air with black, miasmic runes that stream from their mouths in winding patterns. I’m slashing at the air with Akanax, briefly slowing their snake-like spells of Pure Shit, but the runes reform and come at me again. Horror upon horrors, I see Bitefighter enveloped by coiling lines of Emo, and he thrashes on the ground, crying in heart-splitting whimpers. I stretch my hand toward him and scream, “BITEFIGHTER!” but then the spells are on me as well. My body tries to reject them; I’m spewing filth both from my mouthhole and butthole, but it’s no use; there is no evil more pervasive than Emo. As the world fades, I reach into my pouch and grasp an enchanted curio that a Hektanian hedge witch once described to me as an “eReader,” and press a button on it labeled “ON.” I see its screen light up with the words ECHO. Magic flash. Lightning crashes down from the sky, forming into a blazing Stephen King. He takes off his glasses, revealing that his visage bears an uncanny resemblance to Michael Whelan’s depiction of Roland Deschain, and unleashes a Cyclops-worthy optic blast from his eyes. The black spell-weaves unwind and disappear in spectacular twists of rainbow light, and King thunders in a triple-toned, dimension-transcendent voice: “You dare to call yourselves writers??? You DARE?” The emo-poets retreat, sobbing out apologies for inflicting their vulgar idiocy upon the world. King gives me a thumbs-up, helps me to my feet, and pats my shoulder. “Keep up the good work,” he says, grinning. “Love the Dark Tower references in Echo.” Before my star-struck eyes, he disappears in a fluttering twinkle.
Quick! You’re enjoying the crap out of a fantasy dreamscape, but you’re suddenly accosted by Emo-poets! What do you do??? Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle