In the deep dark butthole of the Earth, there lies a hidden city that goes by many names. In earlier ages, the very mention of it was forbidden. Then, for hundreds of years, it was referred to by an extra dimensional harmonic that could only be uttered by diamond-minded monks who’d undergone decades of rigorous training. The latest iteration of this name is “Agartha.” I’ve been searching for this place for eight long years in the bowels of Earth, stumbling through a prehistoric wonderland of subterranean marvels and monstrosities. Now, my trembling legs threaten to betray me with every step. My gnarled walking stick is noticeably shorter from when I first started my journey, due to the countless times I’ve tamped it against the ground, knocking away tiny fractions of petrified wood. The beard on my face is wild and tangled, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the chitin of long-dead insects could be found within its woolly mass. And suddenly…the city appears before me! As I breast a sheer cliff made of igneous rock, I gaze downwards and see the air shimmer with sorcerous haze, clarifying into an impossible valley of breathtaking greenery. In the middle of this emerald jewel is a perfectly preserved city made up of pearly-walled minarets and nacreous streets. What beauty! What splendor! I begin making my way down toward it, my hoary, ragged breath puffing out from my lips as I try not to shed tears of gratitude. After an hour or so, I find myself standing before the main archway leading into this fantastical wonderland. But I pause for a second and cock my head to the side. Something’s…off. Something’s not right. There’s no sound here—the city is eerily quiet. And then I hear, “Woot woot! Sick burn, brah!” Before my disbelieving eyes, I see scores of tank-top clad meatheads lumbering down the streets of Agartha, cocky smiles plastered on their faces below their designer-brand shades, exchanging high-fives like they were in that suspiciously over-subtexted volleyball scene from Top Gun. They stop and stare at me. The Bro-Leader lowers his shades a millimeter and peers over top of them, chewing his gum with loud, sloppy smacks. “What up brah? Can I help you?” I stutter, “The monks, the magical items…where are they?” My voice rises in piteous anger and confusion. “What did you DO WITH THEM???” Bro-Leader laughs that annoying bray that only Bros can pull off, and smacks his gum some more. “We chased them off. Used their magic stuff to brew some sick-ass beer, supercharge our x-boxes, as well as our subtle bodies. Cheeeeck it ouuuut braaaah!” Bro-Leader lowers his hands to his sides and eldritch flames shoot out from them. He flies around like a glitchy version of Iron Man, then settles back down on the streets. He curls his lip at me and flaps a dismissive hand in my direction. “You look like a nerd. Best go back to the surface.” Bro-leader turns to his bro-cronies and starts exchanging more high fives and laughs, interspersing them with “Sick burn!” to which they respond, “SO sick!” My eyes throb with rage. A thick, pulsing blue vein stands out in stark relief on my forehead as I throw my head back and roar “PALAMEDES PUBLISHING!” Magic flash. Suddenly blue fire erupts from the edges of my body, and my eyes go completely white as power electrifies every cell within me. In a booming, double-toned voice I say, “YOU BROS…WITH YOUR DENIAL OF YOUR IDIOCY AND YOUR CONSTANT WAR AGAINST CRITICAL THINKING…I DESPISE YOU! WERE I FEELING MERCIFUL, I WOULD LET YOU CONTINUE YOUR SLIDE INTO YOUR INEVITABLE TWILIGHT AS UNDERSEXED, DAD-BODDED OFFICE DRONES! BUT GUESS WHAT DICKFACES—IT ENDS NOW!!!” Bro-Leader screams, “LET HIM HAVE IT!” An army of Bros raise their hands and project a storm of arcane energies at me. It dissipates harmlessly into the force field that projects from my body, a nifty little trick I picked up after spending 2 years studying with the mystical race of extradimensional creatures known as Eluthians. My magic-charged jaw opens impossibly wide, nearly touching the ground with my chin. A blazing series of multicolored lightning bolts erupt from my maw, enveloping the Bros in a Force 10 Nuclear Shit Storm. All around me, Bros are screaming in agony as their heads either pop like oversized zits or they turn into unrecognizably charred corpses. After I inflict terrible divine vengeance on every last Bro within the city, I traipse into Agartha’s royal hall, my shoes sounding out deafeningly loud clops against the polished marble floor. I ascend the Throne of Wonders, close my eyes—and with a brief flex of will—use the magic of the Throne to bring back the monks…as well as thousands of happy-faced dogs. I spend the rest of eternity partying with some down-ass thinkers and four-leggeds…with only one small change that I insist be imposed upon Agartha: Pizza nights every Friday.
The Bros are ruining all that is holy. You know it and I know it. Fight back with a blast of unstoppable eldritch energy from your supercharged face. And maow down on some bomb-ass pizza every Friday. Palamedes Publishing. Check out their poetry here: Machu Picchu Me They are assisting me with the process of getting Echo Volumes 1 & 2 in paperback. For now, 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