I’m tumbling through the astral realm, weaving in and out of tunnels of fractalized light. Eventually, I arrive at a dream-lit glade of forest straight out of Lord of the Rings. “Welcome, fair Kent,” the beautiful elf-woman in front of me says. She sweeps an arm behind her. “This is the Enchanted Booty Forest. We’ve noticed that you’ve been pretty on point with your squats and biking, and we’ve made a decision to let you frolic and play in our magical paradise with an assortment of magical creatures. You and other good-bootied folk will be treated like gods.” I widen my eyes like a child: All around me are tiny sprites and gnomes chasing each other and having a grand old time. Delicious smells and entrancing harp music drifts out from the trees. I’m about to accept the elf-lady’s offer when she smiles mischievously and says, “Oh, but one other thing—we’ll need you to be a little more respectful of the laws of grammar when you write. Aside from that—” I shake my head in resolute denial. “Sorry lady—I write to please. Not to get golf claps from pedantic academics.” Her eyes light with terrible red and suddenly she morphs into a crimson-skinned, fifty foot tall demon. Goat legs, winding horns, a wide, pug-ugly face….the works. “YOU DARE??? YOU DARE TO REFUSE A LIFETIME OF DECADENCE WITHIN THE ENCHANTED BOOTY FOREST?? PREPARE TO HAVE YOUR ORGANS RIPPED FROM YOUR THROAT AND FORCED UP YOUR ANUS, SPECK!” Without knowing what I’m doing or how I’m doing it, I trace a magic sigil in the air that looks like a cross between a Viking rune and a character from shodo calligraphy. It shines brightly for a second, then disappears. Suddenly, my eReader appears in my hand, and I open it to Echo. Magic flash. Gandalf appears on a lawn chair, dressed in a stripey tank top, short shorts, and a giant pair of gaudy shades. Mai tai in his left hand, and a copy of Kor’Thank, Barbarian Valley Girl in the other (that’s what I’m gonna write after I finish Echo 4). He’s obviously in the midst of a tropical vacation. “What madness is this?” he asks in an annoyed voice, looking over the tops of his shades. He sees the fifty foot tall demon and jumps to his feet. “HOBBITS’ HAIRY NECESSARIES! A GRAMMAR NAZI IN PIT-LORD FORM!” He works his staff in frantic motions, each one creating glowing contrails that blaze through the air, leaving a network of luminescent swoops hanging in space. A pile of comics by Snyder, Bendis, and Ennis, Dark Tower books, Elmore Leonard novels, and other top-quality stories swamps the Grammar Demon. Each time one of these magic tomes (come on—read the Dark Tower and tell me that’s not a parallel dimension) makes contact with the demon they burn its hellish skin, leaving behind a gross-looking patch of vesicles and liquefied tissue. The hellspawn throws its head back and bellows in pain. After a few seconds of this, it turns into a flutter of bats which scatter in every direction. I exchange looks with Gandalf. My expression is something along the lines of “Did that just happen?” while his is like, “Just another day at the office.” A few seconds of silence follows, and then he says, “So….Enchanted Booty Forest, eh? Care to explore this hedonistic wonder land with me, Kent?” I grin and say, “Let no booty go unappreciated.” And that’s how me and Gandalf teamed up and went on to have myriad adventures, both wild and marvelous.
3.8% of those who visit the Enchanted Booty Forest are accosted by Grammar Nazi Pit-Fiends. Make sure that if you’re one of them, you’re able to call on a Maiar with powers to rival a demigod. 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