Thunder splits the sky. I’m spending the weekend in a cabin with some buddies when we hear a knock. We all flinch but try to hide it. I get up and walk slowly toward the door. My hands grasps the knob and I look back at my friends; they’re all looking at me with widened eyes. I crack a smile and say, “Someone might need shelter, right?” Wordless stares, then slow nods. One of my buddies says in a quivering voice, “Yeah. Maybe they need our help.” I nod back, open the door and—MOONS OF MEGAN FOX! A hand shoots past the gap, propelled by an elongating arm that looks like it’s been freshly skinned. I duck as it waves around the inside of the cabin, decapitating my friends with bony fingers that are as sharp as katanas. The door bangs open, sending me flying into the opposite wall, and I see the owner of the arm. A grinning, eyeless face peers at me, its overly large teeth gnashing in glee.”What are you?” I whisper. And it hisses back: “I’m your future self, the one that’s just seen his thousandth Powerpoint presentation. Check it out.” The thing looks down and circles his featureless crotch with a spindly claw. “Smooth as a Ken doll.” As it looks up and grins, a flash of lightning reflects off its teeth, highlighting a row of needle-like fangs. “NO!” I scream, and open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash. Time stops, and existence unfolds around me in a series of floating icons that look like Tony Stark’s holographic workshop. I swipe through them, looking for something useful—squat rack; no. X-wing; no. Velociraptor….maybe (come on—name an instance when you WOULDN’T want a velociraptor ally). Then I see the sultry smile of my childhood crush…Yes! I tap the icon before me and Jessica Rabbit instantiates in a whirl of colored light. My future self looks lost for a second (as lost as any demonic, eyeless monster can look) and looks down at his useless groin. He sinks to his knees and bursts into tears. Jessica grimaces and kicks Future Self’s head off in a game-winning punt. She gives me a smile and extends a hand. I grasp it, rise, and we have ourselves a ball at the nearest In-N-Out (makes for the best dates, I’m telling you).
Avoid those powerpoints. Don’t transform into a needle-mouthed monster that can’t enjoy the company of your childhood crush. 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