Agh! Poke to the eyeballs!
Hurk! Punch to the belly!
Nertz! Nutshot! Followed by double nerples!
I spin from assailant to assailant, each one delivering some horrible form of humiliation and pain unto my nine year old body. These buttfaces want my lunch money, but damned if they’re gonna get it. Kent Wayne has been going for the last three months on two meals a day, and there’s no way in hell that a couple of schoolyard bullies are gonna keep me from immersing myself in the glory of cheap cafeteria pizza. Due to my talent with past life recollection and atemporal clairvoyance, I know what I truly am and what I’m destined to be: Kent Wayne—famous author, goofy muscly guy, and prodigious Man Whore.
But for now, I’m just a nine year old boy trying to fight for his right to a gooey, cheesy slice.
“Give us the money, Wayne!” Cody Mcmasterson screams at me. He follows up with a sloppy left hook to the body. Even though he has no technique, he’s a lot bigger than me, and I have to shimmy sideways and tighten my core to protect myself from a liver shot.
“How are you still reading comics and playing Dungeons and Dragons, Kent?” Cole Johnson yells. He shoves me against the wall, and I buffer my impact with bent forearms and a slight sideways tilt, allowing me to redirect some of the force into a spin towards the ground. “Why aren’t you hooting like an ape and charging across the football field, risking chronic traumatic encephalopathy as you seek purpose in life through cliched male bonding and mediocre sex with confused female teenagers???”
I push off the floor, backing myself into the bathroom’s tiled corner. Even though I’m cut off from lateral movement, I can minimize my chances of getting flanked, as well as use the walls as springboards to possibly bust past these cockfaces and make my escape.
“There’s no way I’m giving up my pizza,” I rasp, wiping blood from my nose with the back of my hand. “No fucking way, Mcmasterson.”
Cody gives me an evil grin. “Oh yes there is, Kent. You haven’t paid the toll. And believe me, we ALWAYS collect.”
I reply with a scoff. “Where do you get your lines—the Bridge Troll King from my Forgotten Realms Campaign set? Guess what motherfucker; you’re about to peak in the next ten years. You’ll become weaker in mind, body, and spirit. You’ll work at a soul-draining corporation, and in a desperate effort to infuse your life with meaning, you’ll spawn some rugrats with names even more suburban than yours. Prepare to white-knuckle through an oxycontin addiction while attending lame-ass cookouts where you’re surrounded by adderall crazed children. Eventually, your eyes will possess that same, deadened look that drives your parents to secretly attend Cthulu-themed orgies. What do you think of that, Cod-piece?”
Cody’s jaw drops, and for a blazing instant, his face displays unrestrained panic. Then it turns to rage. “THAT’S NOT TRUE, ASSHOLE! I’M GONNA BE AN ASTRONAUT OR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! I’M GONNA BE—”
Now is the winter of my discontent. I give him an evil smile and wipe another bit of blood that drips from my nose. My blackened left eye gleams with malice. “Both of you shits are gonna be another pair of yuppies that toil mindlessly away, your sanity sliding away an inch at a time. I hope you enjoy wearing Old Navy and listening to elevator music, because that’s all that’ll be left for you in the end. And believe me, the end is coming sooner than you’d like.”
Cody and Cole let loose with furious screams. I dart my hand into my backpack, open my eReader, and inject it with a dose of the acausal psychomagic that roils deep within my soul. Across the eReader screen, I see the cover of the sci fi epic I will one day write.
The one called Echo.
A nine-year-old Bruce Wayne instantiates in the air and high-fives me, just like in the glory days of WWF tag team wrestling. He leg-kicks Cody, collapsing him down to a knee and eliciting a yelp of pain. Cole throws a cross and Bruce jabs his bicep, stealing some of Cole’s force. Future Batman then presses into the jab, riding up Cole’s arm to his shoulder, where Bruce twitch-pushes with his hand and jams Cole’s rotational momentum. In that instant of disorientation, Bruce follows with a headbutt, a clinch, then throws a vicious series of knees into Cole’s nuts. Future Batman ties up tighter, then executes an inside trip. Cole falls to the floor, vomiting in agony and clutching his groin.
As Cody rises off his knee, Bruce spins in place, building momentum and flashing his left leg out in a spectacular tornado kick. It catches Cody flush on the jaw, banging his head off the bathroom mirror and spiderwebbing the glass. My would-be mugger curls into a fetal position, crying for his momma in hitching sobs.
“Thanks Bruce,” I wheeze.
I straighten up and he claps my shoulder.
“No problem,” he says in a miniature version of that scratchy growl that will one day shrivel scrotums and moisten panties.
I reach into a stall and wad up some toilet paper so I can use it to daub blood off my noise. As I clean my face, I flick my eyes at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. “Anything I can do to return the favor?”
He looks off to the side, a little bashful, then locks eyes with me through my reflection. “I’m a little awkward around girls. Think you can help me out?”
I can’t help but grin. I turn around, cross my arms, and lean up against the sink as I look him up and down.
“Dude, we are gonna have some fun.” I extend my hand. “Kent Wayne—future Man Whore at your service.”
He clasps my hand with his own and gives it a firm shake.
A twinkle lights in his eye, and before he can add anything more, I say what we’re both thinking:
“This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.”
Are you sick of future bro-bullies trying to take your cafeteria pizza? Are you mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore? Never fear! 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