“WHOOOO!!!” My accounting professor snorts a line of pure Columbian off his desk, getting chalky dust all over his thick, horn-rimmed glasses. He rubs at his nose with the back of his hand, sniffs a few more times, then offers me the rolled up hundo. “Want some?” I shake my head, looking nervously around his office. “No thank you. What did you want to see me about, professor?” He sniffs a few more times, then blood begins leaking from his right nostril. “Goddammit,” he grunts. He dabs at the red with a wadded up kerchief. “Only one cure for this,” he mumbles. He lays out a line of China White and then snnnnooooOOORRRTT! His pupils dilate, their black cores nearly eclipsing the whites of his eyes. He throws his head back and howls again. “WHOOOO!!!” I get to my feet and stammer, “Ah, I think I better get going, sir. I have an appointment with—” He reaches in his desk, takes out a .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol, and clunks it down. He glowers at me and says, “Sit.” I take a seat. “What, you think you’re too good for us Kent? Can’t take a bump? Do it Kent. All the cool accountants do it. Do it.” I shake my head. “Um…no thank you. I’m not sure if I want to be an accountant anymore. I—“ He snatches the gun off the desk and bolts to his feet. He cocks his head and screams, “WHAT? WHAT, FOOL?” He raises the gun and stabs the air with it in my general direction. “Once you’re accepted into the college of business, concentration in accounting, you’re an accountant for LIFE! You understand? DO. YOU. UN. DER. STAND.” He gives me Crazy Eyes. At this point I’m sweating buckets, running scenarios in my mind and counting exits. An evil grin spreads across his face and he says, “Kent, have you ever had your shit pushed in?” Oh my god. I’ve seen Training Day like a dozen times—this is not going to end well. I play dumb: “What?” He licks his lips and his eyes gleam. “Have. You. Had. Your. Pooper. Ravaged.” He clutches the Desert Eagle’s barrel with his off-hand and makes an obscene copulatory gesture. My mouth goes dry. Before I can answer, he says, “Because I have. Not just from my job, but by life. And before you get the full-on accountant experience, I think you deserve a preview of what you’re in for. Drop your pants.” When I stay fixed to my seat, he levels the gun at my head. “DROP. YOUR. PANTS!” Crapskies. No options left—I reach in my pocket and open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash. A fistful of protein powder appears in my left hand. I know what happens to nerds when they OD on protein, so without hesitation, I raise my hand to my face and blow, enveloping my professor in a dust of Optimum Nutrition’s best-tasting chocolate supplement. He coughs and swears, and I manage to roll out of the way—BANG BANG BANG—as he fires off three wild shots. He drops the gun, then begins clawing at his chest, screaming all the while. “AAAAH! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!” His sternum bulges outward, then he throws back his head, projectile-vomiting a stream of bloody goop. One of the chest-bursters from Aliens worms its way out of my professor’s heart, making weird, inhuman mewls as it wriggles and squirms. After it exits the gaping hole of my professor’s remains, it turns toward me and goes “bucaw!” and then scrabbles down the hallway. Ho-lee BALLS that was a close one!
Are you being forced into a life of cubicles and passive-aggressivity by vengeful nerds? Never fear; Echo will save you. Right now I’m in the middle of reworking Echo 1, trying to get all my noob mistakes out. If you refrain from buying it due to my amateurish writing style, a product of my first ventures into fiction, then I totally understand, and I’ll announce when I re-upload an updated version. If you buy it anyways, then many thanks! 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