Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

“Mmm…yeah…now we’ll just add a little bit of green right here…take the scraper and—” [scrape scrape scrape] “Look at that:  What a wonderful treeline.  Just makes you want to get outside and smell those beautiful pine needles…”  I’m relaxing at home, watching “Chilling with Bob Ross,” nodding along to the warm-hearted, goofy-‘fro’d master of the placid arts.  When I watch Bob Ross, I know that there’s no such thing as evil or hate, and that the world will spin on its axis forever and ever; there is no suffering, the world is a wonderland filled with soft-toned voices and the gentlest, most noncreepy mannerisms you could ever imagine (okay—maybe he’s a little creepy).  Ahhhhh….what better way to unwind right?  Bob continues to display his magic, never failing to elicit an astonished “No WAY!  How did he DO that???” from me each time he finishes one of his cozy masterpieces.  But then he does something curious:  he faces away from the camera and starts giggling.  He hunches over and his body spasms with Joker-like laughter.  I sit up straight, my eyes flicking to-and-fro in concern.  What’s going on?  What’s wrong with Bob?  I’m about to dial 911 when suddenly Bob faces the camera, his lips drawn up in a demonic jeer.  He bellows, “HAIL SATAN!”  I scream in panic and scrabble backward over my couch, landing on my backside with a pained OOF!  Bob crawls his way out of the TV, just like Samara from The Ring.  I watch in horror as he throws back his head, spreads his arms wide, and with a hellish screech—RAAAAWWWWK—his torso begins bursting apart in a rain of skin and blood.  A bloated, hairy, bulbous body rips out from underneath his clothes and sprouts eight gigantic, spiny legs.  Bob is now half-spider, and his normally soothing fro cocks sideways in a sinister slant as he skitters across my living room, all the while giggling like a meth-ed up level 40 lich-king.  I scramble out of my apartment, eyes as wide and white as porcelain dinner plates.  Under my breath, I’m half-moaning, half-chanting, “Ohgodohgodohgodpleasepleasedon’teatmeIhaven’tDONEANYTHING—” when I hear the wall of my apartment burst open behind me in a clatter of siding and drywall.  I cast one frightened look over my shoulder and see the Bob-spider leaping over fences and bushes, leaving gigantic, horrid clouds of webbing behind it.  All the while, he’s laughing like an evil kid on Christmas who just found out that one of his presents is a set of torture instruments.  He’s only a few feet behind me now, and I’m out of options.  In sheer desperation, I reach into my pocket, take out my eReader, and open it to Echo.  Magic flash.  Suddenly, game show host and American Hero Bob Barker emerges from thin air, smoking a cigar and holding a gatling cannon.  Mr. Barker begins unloading on the Bob-spider.  Unholy wails assault my ears as I sink into a fetal position, hands firmly clasped over my hears.  Bob-spider begins erupting in a storm of guts and ichor, its afro-topped face screaming in hellish fury, lit by the unrelenting muzzle blasts from Mr. Barker’s death-machine.  Soon, there’s nothing left of Bob-spider but its afro; the rest of it is scattered across the San Francisco suburbs, coating the surrounding streets and lawns with a disgusting coat of red-black gore.  Bob lets off the trigger, letting the cannon’s six-barrel cluster whine to a stop.  For a moment, there’s complete silence.  I look up and see the desolate beauty of gunsmoke slowly drifting off the tips of Mr. Barker’s gatling gun.  He closes his eyes, sighs like he’s just had the best sex of his life, and takes a puff off his stogie.  He takes the cigar out of his mouth with his off-hand, and rasps that timeless line from Happy Gilmore that we all know and love:  “The price is wrong…bitch.”

We all know there’s something hinky about Bob Ross.  Don’t be lured in by his hypnotic lullaby, only to fall victim to the classic I’m-secretly-an-evil-demon-spider-in-disguise trap.  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

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