How the hell did this happen? It’s Bring Your Kid to Work Day and I’m stuck in an elevator packed full of parents and their spawn. My office is on the fiftieth floor and there’s some kind of glitch in the elevator today, so we ascend at a snail’s pace. I see that a bevy of half-humans are riding with us. They’re attached to my coworkers, who work on the same floor as me, so I know I’m in for a long, looong ride. While they gabble inanities at their parents (to which the parents respond with soul-deadened utterances of “not now,” and distracted “yes, that’s very interesting,”) I’m staring dead-ahead at the elevator’s double doors, counting down the beeps as the floors pass by. There must be like ten kids in here, and I have no doubt that their systems are pumped full of high fructose corn syrup and adderall; who knows what these little terrors might do? Another thing that gives me no comfort whatsoever is the strong probability that they possess a budding sense of Sheer Fury and Existential Resignation, from the years they’ve spent around their office-drone parents. But that’s not what I’m focused on as we inch our way upwards. I’m repeating a three word mantra in my head addressed at the kids: Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t you DARE fart, you little—and then one of the parents taps the back of my shoulder. I turn around. “I know what you’re thinking, Kent.” These words come from a dad-bodded middle-manager-type named Herb. “And I want to say that this is intentional.” I’m about to ask what he means when his eyes gleam. “This is a trap.” He turns to the others and yells, “NOW!” Rips of flatulence ring through the elevator like artillery hitting Omaha beach on D-Day. There’s a visible distortion in the air; I’m actually able to SEE the green-tinged stink lines as the kids clench their fists and squinch their eyes, pushing back with their hips so they can force as much Evil and Death as they can through their Demonite anuses. The parents slap on gas masks and I instinctively hold my breath but a little has gotten through. Oh god, I can feel it in my brain; that stench of disappointment of marrying an uber hot spouse, and then seeing your soul seep out of your pores as the years pass by in an office, only to later give birth to a cherub-faced, sociopathic vampire that gifts you with diapers filled with enough feces to have a heft comparable to that of a bowling ball…the parents’ laughter is maniacal, and as it is distorted by my fart-hazed senses, it seems to be the same kind of laughter you’d imagine from a murderous clown after they’d injected you with a toxic barbiturate. Everything goes into slo-motion. My eyes flick to the kids, who are still squinching their faces and clenching their fists, pushing out nonstop streams of putrid fog. I hear strains of Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna,” the part in the beginning that could be used to herald the arrival of Lucifer. Out of options, I throw my head back and scream, “PALAMEDES PUBLISHING!” Magic flash. Suddenly, the kids cycle in seconds through their inevitable fate: Affluenza-affected teen, college bro/brah, eager young entry-level twenty-something who validates their existence by being unnecessarily quirky, and finally…soul-crushed office drone. Now there are no more children, just shells of humanity, all looking at each other with deadened eyes. The former kids realize what has just happened and drop to their knees, pulling the same move that jackass Vader did at the end of the Shitlogy (that’s my name for the three that Lucas made after he went insane and did his level best to destroy the original masterpieces). They turn their heads upwards and scream “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” The elevator finally dings, and I get off and smile weakly before passing out, my ears graced by my enemies’ sobbing entreaties for someone to help them commit seppuku.
Have you been betrayed in an elevator by filthy dastards who’ve weaponized their methane reserves? Not a problem. 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