It’s been decades since the sky ripped open and fell daemons swarmed the Earth. Since then, my beard has grown long and white, and my once-gleaming blade is now pitted and notched. Martha Stewart, beloved Food Network icon (and ages ago, a secret crush of mine), has been chosen as the avatar for dark forces that have lain dormant since the beginning of time, but have now awakened to unleash hell. Every middle-management corporate drone has been forced into servitude as one of her Shadow Hounds—they wear outfits like the Gimp did in Pulp Fiction and pull war-sleighs upon which Martha’s army of tennis moms fire deadly green missiles labeled “Wilson” at us with their Yonex death-bringers.
Perhaps I once knew who “Wilson” and “Yonex” were, but my battle-scarred mind can barely recall what happened before The Turning, and I can honestly say that I wish the most hideous sodomy upon those two scumbags whose foul names now emblazon our enemies’ weapons.
I am the leader of a ragtag band of desperate holdouts. I once served as the premier harlot for hordes of soccer moms, but now they return the favor by serving as my valiant warriors. Our mounts are cybernetically augmented velociraptors, born from a motley combination of science and magicks. We are few in number, but just one of our velociraptors is equal to ten of their war-sleighs.
Right now we’re facing off in dusty badlands which are every so often interrupted by mesas. The sky roils black and gray, a result of Martha convincing the world’s leaders to unleash nuclear fire through a brilliant campaign of flash subliminals she’d inserted into YouTube videos informing people how to bake the optimal cupcake, or how to balance crispiness and mealiness within the perfect pierogi.
This blasted wasteland used to be part of a region called “Arizona,” but is now referred to as The Dessicate. Bolts of glaring white lightning fork across the sky, highlighting the grim line of soccer moms astride their velociraptor mounts. Some two hundred yards away, a legion of tennis moms sit astride their war-sleighs, their Shadow Hounds snarling and spitting. They outnumber us a thousand to one.
I cluck my tongue and Bitefighter, my raptor steed, breaks ranks and strides forward. Hundreds of yards opposite me, Martha Stewart does the same. I’m clad in light armor—small graphene plates cover my sternum and back, but my limbs and joints have minimal shielding in order to preserve my mobility. By contrast, she’s decked out in a full suit of Sauron armor. I can’t see her face; all I see are two glowing red orbs that serve as her eyes.
We stop when we’re ten yards away from each other.
Her helmet retracts in a series of intricate whirs and servo-powered folds. The familiar blond bob still adorns her skull, but due to her use of vampiric psionics, she appears to be a healthy woman in her late forties, even though she’s well over a hundred years old.
She smiles at me.
“Kent,” she oozes. “The fun we’ve had, eh? I remember when I paid you to pleasure me during my lunch break. As I recall, you were the top rated Man Whore for years on end. Sometimes I wish we could return to those innocent, simpler days.”
Bitefighter snarls and tries to lunge at her but I pull on his reigns, keeping him in place. I level a steady gaze at her. “Don’t lie to me, witch. There were once hundreds of academy-trained Man Whores; now they lie still beneath the soil, or you’ve wiped their minds and forced them into service as one of your cursed Shadow Hounds.”
Her smile grows reptilian. “I would make an exception for you, dear. Keep you as a curio of sorts. Kent Wayne: the last true Man Whore.” She shrugs. “But your followers would have to die, of course.”
“Don’t play games with me, Martha. You’ve made your choice long ago.”
She studies me for a long moment, then says, “It looks like you’ve made yours as well. I won’t take it easy on you.”
I turn to the side and spit on the cracked, desolate earth. “I wouldn’t expect you to.”
Her helmet clanks back into place, coating her face with wicked jags of pitch-black armor. The only color that bleeds off it comes from the malevolent red orbs that serve as her eyes. Her voice resounds with double-toned thunder:
“PREPARE TO HAVE THE FLESH STRIPPED FROM YOUR BONES. AND BEFORE YOU PASS FROM THIS LIFE, KNOW THAT YOUR ANUS WILL EXPERIENCE THE SHEER AGONY OF BEING SPLIT BY MY DILDO-SWORD. I WILL FUCK YOU IN HALF, KENT.”
I spit on the ground once again. We both turn our mounts and ride back to our front lines.
My soccer mom legionnaires unsheathe their weapons. One by one, they trot by and plant a firm kiss on my lips. I respond with passion, thanking each one by name.
“Thank you Taylor Swift. I love you.”
“Thank you Elizabeth Hurley. I love you.”
“Thank you Kate Upton. I love you.”
And so it goes. I make sure to savor these precious kisses from my beautiful army of crazy-ass soccer moms. When they’re finished, we draw our weapons—mine is a psionically charged, multi-bladed scimitar, but my legionnaires are equipped with a variety of different armaments—and let loose with a thundering war cry. Hundreds of yards across from us, Martha’s tennis moms do the same.
And then we charge.
Dust kicks up into a giant cloud, blanketing the sky in a lifeless brown haze. Our forces meet in the middle, and unfathomable chaos erupts around me. Teeth, fangs, and glowing blades clash in a ferocious melee of spilt blood and dismembered limbs. Blood streaks my face and torso; I have no idea whether it’s mine or someone else’s. As unearthly howls rend the air, it goes as expected: my forces dwindle, falling beneath the eldritch-limned curves of those cursed Yonexes.
Only one option left. I open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash.
The ground blazes with tendrils of blue-cored energy, all drawing towards me. At the same time, a booming pillar of light rockets down from the heavens, ensconcing me in a raging bombardment of blinding radiance. Everyone close to me is instantly reduced to a charred skeleton, then dissipated into glowing particulate.
“THE POWER!” I scream. I throw my head back and fling my arms wide. “THE POWERRRR!!!!”
Suddenly my piece rips through my trousers, only now it’s over a mile long. I use my newly formed powers to telekinetically levitate the dozen or so soccer moms off the field of battle, and hold them there with a flex of my mind. Then I grab the base of my junk with both hands, and begin spinning in a circle. The enormous trunk of my yogurt-slinger starts bashing through Martha’s forces, squishing them into broken piles of disjointed bones and gushing wounds. A primal scream erupts from my throat as I continue spinning, destroying thousands upon thousands of evil tennis moms.
A short while later, my piece returns to its normal fourteen-inch length and I see that everyone’s dead. Everyone except the last few soccer moms. They levitate down to the earth, their eyes wide with wonder, their lips parted in awe.
Eventually one of them asks, “What will we do? What will we do now that Martha’s defeated?”
“Guess we better start repopulating the Earth.”
*70s porn music*
When you find yourself the leader of the last band of post-apocalyptic warriors, make sure you’re not taken out by the dildo-sword wielding face of Evil! 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