“What do you think, Kent?” Batman’s implacable eyes assess me while I examine the writer’s corpse. It has two red pens stuck in its ruined eyeballs. Jelly and blood are running down its face from both wounds. It’s a sad sight, but one I’ve seen all too often as an author. I shake my head and say, “Open and shut case. Who else kills with red pens aside from Grammar Nazis?” Bats grunts and leans close to the body. He dips his fingers into the gore of this fellow’s right eyeball, raises them to his nose for a sniff, then dabs them onto his tongue. I cringe in disgust. “Jesus.” He grunts, smiles, and mutters something under his breath (I think he just called me a pussy). He wipes his fingers on the ground and straightens up. “This wasn’t a Grammar Nazi—not a pure one anyway. You don’t need to fire up a mass spectrometer to detect the copious amounts of Axe body spray mixed into the wounds. This was a—” Suddenly we hear, “NOW!” A legion of Douche Bros coming pouring out from the shadows of the alley we’re in: from behind dumpsters, out from windows, down the fire escapes…they’re everywhere! Batman and I get to work, chopping throats, smashing nuts, blowing dudes’ knees out with oblique kicks…things are going well until one of them raises his arm and slathers his armpit sauce across Batman’s face. Batman slaps a tactical rebreather onto his mouth but it’s too late—he’s received a full dose of Bro Juice. (If you didn’t already know, this horrid concoction is made up of week-old pizza remnants, cheap beer, and tears cried silently into a pillow as the Bro in question ponders how he’ll soon be trapped in a corporatized hamster-wheel existence where he’s cursed with a dad-bod, a wife who wears the pants, and a passel of surly emo kids that take great pleasure in pointing out his receding hairline and lack of muscle tone. These tears are produced while said Bro masturbates desperately throughout the night in a fervent attempt to ignore the encroaching entropy that will expose his stupidity and devour his vitality.) Batman begins hacking uncontrollably. The Bros take advantage of his disorientation and start landing hits. “*COUGH* *COUGH* Ah God! KENT! HELP ME!” He grunts as one of the Bros blatters him across the face with an X-Box controller. Oh cripes—there’s no way I can take on the remaining three dozen or so Bros. Only one option left. I reach into my costume, withdraw my eReader, and open it to Echo. Magic flash. A choir of angels voice an impossibly harmonious melody, the gloomy Gotham skies parts, and Neil De Grasse Tyson slowly descends to the ground. He doesn’t have to say anything; he simply looks at the Douche Bros. They stare back at him, their eyes wide with fear. One of them says, “Critical thinking scientific acumen and the adept use of logic holy balls GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!!!!” Mr. Tyson begins reciting some of that beautiful quantum theory he’s famous for, that sonic honey that could double as poetry, and some of the Douche Bros closest to him clutch their ears and scream—right before their heads explode into showers of gore. The rest scramble off into the night, yelping and erupting with panicked hoots and hollers. Neil nods at Batman, who’s staggering to the Batmobile. “He needs to get to an emergency room, post haste.” I blurt out a brief thanks before helping rushing over to the Dark Knight and helping him into the Batmobile. As we race toward the Batcave, I call up Alfred and tell him to enact toxic trauma protocols.
Are you about to be overwhelmed by a legion of dickhead douche dummies? 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