(Inspired by GK’s comment) I’m going to get a haircut at the nearby strip mall, and as I walk past the Scientology desk I pass one that’s manned by a handful of peppy looking tween girls. I nod politely at them and walk past, when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn and see a tween hold an upturned hand in front of her face. She blows into it, releasing a cloud of sparkling dust. I cough and swear, then the world goes black. The next thing I know, I’m tied to a chair in a dank, unfinished basement. A single naked bulb shines harshly down on my captors—a dozen or so girls wearing blank, Children of the Corn style expressions. “What are you?” I ask in a tremulous whisper. The lead girl—the one who attacked me with that weird-ass dust—smiles, revealing a toothless maw that appears to be a giant, oozing scab. I squinch my eyes shut and turn away, biting my lip and stifling a scream. I hear her say, “We’re Beliebers.” The rest erupt in hissing assent. Lead Belieber nods at a subordinate and the testosterone-free strains of JB—in some circles referred to as the Dark Lord of Astaroth—drift out from a speaker. I shudder, jerk, and cough up a splash of blood. My mind is unwinding like a safety tether attached to a falling climber. My head feels like it’s being squeezed by an angry gorilla. I turn red-rimmed, tear-washed eyes up to my captor and say, “Not like this. Not like this…” She replies with a soulless smile. Out of sheer desperation, I open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash. A plate of ribeye lands before me and I tip the chair over, mashing my face into the manliest of foods. I rip free of my bonds and see a loaded squat rack. I squirt under the bar and begin knocking out reps, regaining my t-levels. Ethereal light pours from my mouth and eyes. The Beliebers are stumbling back and shrieking, shading their faces with their forearms. Swirling radiance cyclones out from my body, disintegrating my enemies and launching me through the roof. I’m transformed into a living, comet-like energy-being, and as I streak through the sky, I leave behind trails of ionic blaze.
If you’re ever captured by Beliebers, the only way to free yourself is to become a cosmic force of vengeance. Get Echo Vol. 1 on Kindle here: Vol. 1 on Kindle. Vol. 2 on Kindle here: Vol.2 on Kindle Vol. 3 on Kindle here: Vol. 3 on Kindle