“Do you understand, Kent, what it means to be a CPA?”
I rub my neck and look around. I sure as hell don’t think it means I need to be surrounded by dudes in masks in what appears to be some medieval torture dungeon, which is exactly what’s happened to me, but I keep my mouth shut.
“No professor,” I reply.
He nods as if my ignorance is to be expected, folds his hands behind his back, and begins pacing to his left. After a few seconds, he gestures at the robed figures surrounding me.
“These are Certified Public Accountants,” he says. “The very best of them. All men, all forged by immense sacrifice and pain.” He pauses, then says, “IMMENSE sacrifice.”
The thirty or so figures pound their hearts with their right fists, and yell in unison: “ALL HAIL SAINT ASMODEUS!”
I raise a meek finger into the air. “Asmodeus isn’t a saint, professor, he’s—”
“—a small hairy demon that’s said to make men perform cruel acts,” he finishes. “Yes I know. Those are lies, Kent. Just as creativity is a lie. Just as puppies are lies.”
“Puppies?” I raise an eyebrow.
He snorts. “Foul little beasts who use elementary glamours to leech money and food from worthy humans. Indeed—they’re the greatest liars of all.”
This is too much; I honestly love dogs more than people.
I rise from my seat. “I don’t think I want to be an accountant anymore, professor. Now if you’ll excuse me—”
“Oh it’s too late for that, Kent. You WILL be an accountant. You WILL bow before Asmodeus. You WILL scream thanks as faceless corporations ravage your anus. And let me show you what I mean by ‘immense sacrifice and pain.’ ” he claps his hands and the robed figures shrug their shoulders, letting their clothes slide off. I turn slowly in place, horrified, as I gaze upon dozens of withered, pale bodies that make Gollum look like a juiced-up WWE Wrestlemania champion by comparison. Between their legs are gothic-looking, steampunk apparatuses that bear a faint resemblance to mechanical spiders.
“What are those?” I whisper, pointing at the spider-like machines.
My professor grins. “Once you’re an accountant, your penis collapses in on itself and forms into a black hole. The mechanisms on their crotches contain the gravitational pull of the singularity housed between their legs.”
“You’re not just castrated,” I murmur with growing horror, “You’ve torn holes in space-time itself with your infinitesimally small dicks.”
His grin widens. “Exactly. Now take off your clothes, Kent. It’s time for you to experience the same blessings we have.”
“NO!” I scream as they rush at me. The next instant they’re piled on top of me, pawing at my clothes. They may LOOK like vitamin D-deprived gumbies, but the strength of Asmodeus flows through their stick-thin limbs and skinny fat; I have no chance against thirty of these bastards.
One option left. I reach in my pocket and open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash.
“HALT YOU FUCKS!” Though the words are harsh, the voice behind them isn’t; it rings with all the glory of the Elysian Fields. Dozens of accountants shield their eyes with their forearms as an extra-dimensional choir rings through the air. A mix of white and blue light shines across the dungeon.
My professor stammers, “Who…who…”
An iridescent outline forms. Through the blinding glare, I can make out that it belongs to a man who’s wearing a T-shirt with a Batman symbol on it.
“ ’TIS I—KOR’THANK! THE SAINT OF ALL THAT IS MAN! GET THEE AWAY FROM KENT WAYNE!”
My professor snarls, “Not a chance. Leave this plane, lest I invoke magicks that will lock you in purgatory for the next 500 eons!”
Kor’Thank turns to me. “Drop your pants, Kent.”
“Did I stutter?”
I drop my pants, unable to keep the doubt off my face. Kor’Thank turns to the accountants and screams, “BEHOLD! NOT ONLY DOES HE HAVE A GORGEOUS MUSHROOM HEAD, BUT HE IS ALSO WIELDER OF THE UNSTOPPABLE PLEASURE-INDUCER KNOWN AS THE ‘UPCURVE!’ NEVER BEFORE HAS THIS FLESH-HAMMER FAILED TO HIT THE SPOT! BOW BEFORE EXQUISITE SANCTITY, YE FOUL DEMONS BORNE OF RULEBOOKS AND NEGATIVE AMORTIZATION LOANS!”
My professors eyes go wide as eldritch glow shines from my piece. A second later, he and his cohorts begin clawing at their chests and their throats. Dark, foul-smelling smoke streams off their skin. Then they emit harpy-like screeches and implode into piles of ember-laden ash.
Kor’Thank stops shining and morphs into a regular-looking guy. He raises a hand.
I meet his palm with my own, staring at him in utter disbelief. He smacks me in the chest with the back of his hand.
“Come on man. Let’s get blazed and maow down on pizza.”
It snaps me out of my trance. I zip up, we exit the dungeon, and get our pizza-maowing on. Who says that engaging in holy works has to be boring? 😉
Get blazed. Eat pizza. Along the way, destroy a passel of demons by weaponizing your unspeakably gorgeous genitals. 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