“Whatcha doing, Kent?” I glance to my left and see Gror, my mountain gorilla troopmate, lumbering toward me on all fours. I turn back to the stone tablet in my hand and keep etching pictures into it with my favorite piece of sky-rock. “Oh nothing,” I reply, “Just making some pretty pictures.” Gror looks over my shoulder and huffs approval. “Machine-gun toting gorillas with treads for legs. Cool!” Suddenly, the bushes to my right rustle apart and in walks Doosh, the piece of crocodile dung who’s always trying to steal everyone’s bananas and larvae. “Ooooh look!” he exclaims, “Kent’s trying to be HUMAN! Him and his anaconda phallus! What a joke! AHAHAHA!!!” My cheeks burn. Gorillas normally have a one-inch dong, but for some reason, mine could pass for a full-grown kapok tree. I level my piece of sky-rock at Doosh. “I’m about to straight up humanize your face with this rock, Doosh. Go play with Mokele Mbembe.” Doosh responds with a cocky smile and lumbers over. Over the years, he’s collected an entourage of thirty or so chimps, and they follow behind, all of them parroting Doosh and chirping out mindless affirmations. Dirty little ass-eaters. Doosh looks at the pictures I’ve been etching, and says, “You got this all wrong, Kent. Flies before bees, except after fleas.” I narrow my eyes and jerk my tablet behind my back. Rage erupts in my skull, momentarily sending my mind beyond the confines of my primate psyche, through all the knowledge of my future incarnations, and I realize that Doosh is what will one day be known as a “Grammar Nazi.” I throw a series of hostile huffs at Doosh, bare my fangs, and snarl, “I hope you accidentally eat fire ants, you poop them out, and then accidentally eat the poop, all the while having your insides gnawed by a mess of angry, bitey bugs.” (That’s one of the worst insults us gorillas can give each other). Doosh’s eyes widen in shock, then fury. “Why you—GIMME THAT!” He tries to reach behind my back for my tablet, but I shove him away. Suddenly his entourage of Grammar Nazi chimps converge on me, hooting and hollering. I immediately begin punching faces, smashing heads together like coconuts, screaming, “COME AT ME YOU DIRTY LITTLE DUNG-SNIFFERS! RAAAAHHHH!!!” I hit a few of ’em so hard that they fly skyward, disappearing from view, but there’s too many of them; I’m about to end up in the bellies of these filthy dickfaces. Suddenly I have an idea; I snatch up one of the tablets I’ve been working on for years, one that I’ve etched metal-wearing humans on. As I feel dozens of fists descending on my face and chest, and fangs sinking deep into my buttocks, I painstakingly mouth the title I have in mind for this particular tablet: “E-cho.” Magic flash. Ground-shaking tromps ring through the forest. A giant shadow falls on us and when the trees part, I see a wonder upon wonders: A T-rex with a cyborg head and a Chuck Norris beard. It trumpets out a soul-rattling roar, and chimps start attacking my saurian savior. The Rex reaches to its chest with its tiny arms, and unsheathes two katanas from a pair of pectoral scabbards. It starts slicing into the chimps, moving with the balletic grace of a jungle panther. Doosh tries to run but the Rex charges at him and kicks hard, sending wicked-looking talons straight through my enemy’s backside and out his sternum. The Rex shakes its foot in annoyance, unable to get Doosh off, then kicks again, harder this time. The abrupt lurch causes Doosh to fly off the dinosaur’s foot and ricochet off a series of trees before collapsing into a bloody mess. Once it’s finished wreaking havoc, the Rex looks at me with beady little eyes and says, “Keep telling stories, bro. I’m a big fan.” Then it lumbers back into the brush from whence it came.
Grammar Nazis can be found anywhere in the animal kingdom. Join me in cursing their black-hearted souls, and let us pray that they all are set upon by cyborg-faced, dual-katana-wielding Tyrannosaurs. 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