After a herky-jerky back-and-forth sway which I’m guessing is caused by my shipping container being hoisted onto the ground by a crane, I feel it touch down with a shudder. The rest of the occupants—there’s a dozen others in here besides me—break out into frightened whispers.
“What are they going to DO to us—”
“I just read the ad and signed the papers, I didn’t know it was going to be like this—”
“Who IS Mr. K??? He’s the one who financed this whole thing—”
“Man I just wanted to get that 3 million; I didn’t realize I’d be locked up and transported to—”
The retaining pins on the outer doors sound with a series of clanks, then they sprawl open. We find ourselves staring at lush jungle. The air is filled with the noises of chirping birds and trilling insects. We cautiously make our way out, then we hear the squelch of a megaphone:
“IF YOU MANAGE TO SURVIVE THREE DAYS WITHOUT GETTING PEE ON YOU, YOU WILL WIN THE CONTEST AND COLLECT THE PRIZE MONEY. GOOD LUCK, CONTESTANTS. NOW START RUNNING.”
The sounds of gunfire fill the air, and everyone in the container screams and flees into the jungle. I don’t, because I figure if they wanted to kill me, they would’ve done it at any point during our 11 hour journey. They’re just trying to herd us out and get us moving.
The other contestants disappear into the treeline. I pad cautiously forward and let my senses adjust. My sight and hearing magnify as I deliberately slow my breath, letting my eyes shake off the stress-induced tunnel vision and start absorbing details. My nostrils fill with the rich scent of damp soil.
Suddenly I hear, “NO BRO NO! KEEP YOUR MONEY; THIS ISN’T WHAT I SIGNED ON F—”
Then I hear a sinister laugh and a sound that I associate with plunging deluge that is the Niagara Falls. The protesting contestant makes furious gurgling noises, as if he’s being waterboarded.
It continues for about a minute, then abruptly ceases.
I need a weapon. I pick up a craggy section of wood that looks to be approximately six feet long and continue trudging carefully forward. Then it happens again.
“AH CHRIST PLEASE! NO MAN, I DON’T WANT TO—”
PSSSHHHHHHHHGLUKGLUKGLUK and then silence. Same as before.
I keep walking forward, and it keeps happening. My mind ticks off each instance and I realize that whatever happened to the rest of the contestants is about to happen to me. I’m the only one left.
Twilight looms across the sky, lengthening the shadows into pools of darkness. I try to control the rapid jolts of fear that race through my body. My fingers tighten around my improvised weapon.
And then I hear a singing voice break out from the mess of trees:
“I believe I can fly…I believe I can touch the sky…”
I hear a swish of foliage to my rear and turn in a quick twitch, my eyes darting back and forth.
“Think about it every night and day…spread my wings and fly away…”
A swish to my left. I jump in place so my body squares up with it, holding my staff at the ready.
“I believe I can soar…”
There’s the massive crack of breaking trees, then I see a hunched shape rushing toward me. The dimming sky briefly illuminates it: I glimpse long, gangly limbs, and a giant penis flopping about the ankles.
I also recognize the face. Suddenly it all makes sense.
Mr. K. “I Believe I Can Fly.”
R. Motherfucking Kelly.
“FUCK YOU!” I swing my staff and bat him out of the air. He rockets ten yards left into the trunk of a tree and rebounds off it, snarling like I just slapped him on the shoulder instead of hit him full-force with a big ol’ stick. He hits the ground, scrabbles his hands and feet against the underbrush, and charges toward me on all fours. I start running through foliage, wildly brushing it away as my legs and arms pump madly under the uncaring glare of the moon. I cast a quick look behind me.
Christ he’s fast! His unblinking eyes are locked onto mine, and he’s leaping like a gargoyle from tree to tree. There’s no way I can evade him. Not unless….
I turn and face him and stumble onto my back. He leaps high above me, holding his dick in his hand, obviously intending to deluge my face with piss. Just before rank urine connects with my face, I reach in my pocket and open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash.
Taylor Swift appears above me. She does some Tai Chi-like movements in the air with her hands, instantiating a glowing red plane of force that deflects the firehose splatter emerging from R. Kelly. Her lips peel back and her eyes steel with deadly hate as she keeps her arms extended and the force-field in place.
R. Kelly smacks off the force-field, flies backward, and crumples into a heap. As he sits up and clutches his head, Taylor uses her black-magic skills to blur forward and punch through his chest. Her arm blows out his mid-back, clutching his still-beating heart. He looks disbelievingly at her, at me, then emits a choking cough as a thin line of blood drips from the right corner of his mouth.
Then he dies, his lifeless face slumping against the inner crease of Taylor’s elbow. She retracts her arm, and it slides out from R. Kelly’s torso with a wet SHHLLLLK.
She turns to me and says, “You owe me a piece of your essence, Man Whore. Enjoy the rest of your time until then…there will come a day when you see me again, and on that day…”
She smiles maliciously. “On that day I’ll collect what’s mine.”
Her eyes glow with bright flame. A second later, she disappears in a violet flash of light and a flutter of bats. The last thing that fades is her shrieking laughter.
Cripes! Another close one for your favorite author and perennial Man Child Kent Wayne!
Are you being hunted down by a super-powered R. Kelly in a twisted version of “The Most Dangerous Game”? Never fear! Use Echo to summon a just-as-super-powered black magic-savvy version of T. Swift! 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 #kindle #kindleunlimited