I turn in my short story to my English professor and hold my breath. Because I’m a goofy nerd, Star Wars dogfighting music begins playing in my mind. Just like always when I think of or hear orchestral music, I resist the urge to furiously mime playing a violin.
“I know what you really are,” I whisper to him.
His eyes widen for a brief instant, then his pale, bloodless lips spread in a smile. He locks eyes with me and whispers back, “Well aren’t you special.”
The red pen comes out and etches evil crimson trails across my paper, forming notes like: “Telepathic communication is not cued by italicized words in brackets,” and “Too many sentence fragments,” and “onomatopoeias are crass and low-brow.” The marks on my paper begin to merge together into a voluminous mess of pedantic commentary, devoid of actual feeling or any true novelty. I watch Grammar Nazi Prime continue indulging in his guise of “English Professor” and gleefully scribble ugly red criticisms all across my story.
Exactly as I’ve planned.
As his smile grows wider, the vitamin-D deprived whorebag before me etches a final condemnation onto the top of my story. It reads: F+. POOR EXECUTION, POOR ATTENTION TO THE RULEBOOK. “THE RULEBOOK” is triple-underlined. Big surprise.
He looks up at me and his smile turns shark-like.
“If you know what I really am, then you know that you draw your last breath today, Kent Wayne.”
My gaze stays steady. “I am a writer. Like Stephen King before me.”
He lets out a hideous Palpatine-like cackle. “So be it…Writer.”
He claps his hands twice and his thralls (all posing as earnest English students) reach into their backpacks. Everything goes slo-mo as they shoulder a variety of automatic weapons and begin firing at me. Drywall and plaster dissolve into a furious storm of confetti-like scraps and fragments as dozens of barrels chatter mercilessly in my direction, lighting the room with countless muzzle blasts. My heightened slo-mo perception renders every one of my movements into some kind of super-glamorous, super-sexy cinematic opus as I turn towards the classroom entrance and hunch down, running toward the exit. Before I leave, I see the professor pull a belt-fed M60 machine gun and start firing at me, eyes wide with hate as he screams like some kind of eighties action villain. One of his star ass-kissers runs to his side and helps feed the ammo belt into the gun’s receiving port. Miracle upon miracles, I make it out into the hallway without getting shot.
But as soon as I start running past rooms, their doors burst open and Grammar Nazis pour out, firing machine guns or drum-fed assault rifles. The air is filled with a symphony of pings and chimes as rounds impact against windows, lockers, and glass-encased bulletin boards. Everything’s still happening in slo-mo, and I take this golden opportunity to let out a protracted, Sylvester Stallone-style scream as I sprint through the building (remember when every explosion had to be accompanied by the hero flying through the air in slo-mo and letting loose a testosterone-stuffed yell? I kinda miss those days).
Time snaps back to normal and I shout into my two-way wrist comms-device that’s disguised as a watch: “BITEFIGHTER! ANY TIME NOW!”
Bitefighter—my loyal buddy and 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire—races into the building on a modified Radio Flyer red wagon (when did kids stop using those things?), working a gear-shift that connects to the rocketry on the back. His tactical doggles flash with blazing muzzle flashes and hateful faces as he zooms between killer Grammar Nazis, deftly avoiding chunks of debris and larger shards of glass. Through the haze of bullet-soaked air, I see him zipping closer.
He yells, “ROOF ROWF MCBARKSKIES!”
I yell back, “YEAH YEAH I’M READY! JUST GET ME THE HELL OUT OF—”
And before I can finish the sentence, the front of the wagon slams into the backs of my knees, collapsing them and tumbling me into the main compartment. I almost squish Bitefighter in the process, and he lets out an angry “ARF!”
I clamber into a sitting position, yelling, “INSULT MY MOTHER LATER! TRANSFORM THIS THING AND LET’S GET THE HELL OUT OF DODGE!!!!”
He whips out an eReader and opens it to Echo. Magic flash.
The wagon begins folding and clanking, still maintaining its breakneck speed, and in a matter of seconds, we’re seated in a fully-formed X-Wing, the tips of the S-foils raking across the outer edges of the hallway. A hail of automatic weapons fire plinks off our deflector shields.
“START CLIMBING!” I scream.
Bitefighter looks at me through the blast visor of the Rebel Alliance pilot helmet that’s formed over his tiny face. He extends a paw, gives me a tiny thumbs-up, and pulls back on the steering column. The world goes topsy-turvy as we bust through the school ceiling into the clear sunny blue. I scrabble for purchase as g-forces tumble me around in the co-pilot’s seat.
“WHOOAAAAWAHAHEYYY!!!” My initial yell of panic gives way to a delighted exclamation.
Bitefighter banks around and I see that on the ground below, Grammar Nazis are streaming out from the school, hissing and spitting as they revert to their Reptoid forms (yes, the rumors are true: their cocks are nonexistent—the region between their legs is as smooth as a Ken doll’s). Bitefighter keys a series of dials on the X-Wing’s console, then flips the red-paneled cover off an inch-long switch.
He yells back at me, “ARF ROOF ARF BARK!”
I yell back, “AIRSTRIKE APPROVED! FIRE NOVELTY TORPEDOES!”
Bitefighter flips the switch and I see a pair of luminescent missiles streak out from our underbelly and race toward the gathered Grammar Nazis. When the ordnance impacts, it transforms into giant blazes of light that are filled with comics, action figures, squat racks, laser guns, laser SWORDS (hell yeah!), and a random scatter of Bat-stuff. The reptoid Grammar Nazis disappear in winking flares of anti-matter discharge, screaming things like “Damn you Kent Wayne!” and “You won’t get away with this!”
Music to my Man Child ears.
I scratch Bitefighter’s back and grin. “Come on little buddy, let’s take this thing out for a cruise and pick up some soccer moms.”
He grins back at me. “Roof bark arfskies!”
I sigh and refrain from burying my face in my hands.
“Yes, you can hump their legs after I’m done.”
Perhaps you too would like to set a Batman-esque trap for Grammar Nazis where they think they hold all the cards when in reality they’re about to experience an unpleasant ramming sensation concentrated directly within their metaphorical anus. In that case, make sure you have a copy of Echo on hand to transform your getaway vehicle into a fully-fitted X-Wing! 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 #sciencefiction #scifi #books #novel #book