I hear a series of knocks. I look through my peephole and see a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Instead of doing the usual thing—sending them away or pretending they don’t exist—I open the door and give them a friendly smile.
The one on the left says, “Hello sir. Would you like to hear about the word of—”
I wave them inside. “Come in, come in! I’ve got pizza and mountain dew!”
The nicely dressed young men walk into my humble abode. In a matter of seconds, the three of us are arrayed around my TV, sitting on a stool or an office chair. We’re each holding a plate of the finest pizza that San Francisco has to offer (it’s Arinell’s, in case you were wondering), and a World of Warcraft Edition Mountain Dew Game Fuel. Throughout the course of conversation, I learn that their names are Zack and Jeremy. After a few minutes of pleasantries, they take another stab at trying to convert me.
“So. Kent. Would you like to hear about—”
I lean forward, my eyes dancing mischievously. “Can I tell you about MY religion?”
They exchange a glance, then a shrug.
“Okay,” Zack says, a little warily.
“It’s called Awesomenism.”
I proceed to fill them in on Awesomenism’s key beliefs; not only does it incorporate Olympian and Norse mythology, it also leans heavily on superhero lore.
“So let me get this straight,” Zack ventures. “You dress up like Batman, perform ceremonies where you invite Zeus and Odin to fight by your side, then you have sex with their wives, and if you die in battle, you go to Valhalla?”
I take a long draught from my mountain dew, emptying the dregs. Then I crinkle the can and three-point it into the recycling bin. “Exactly! You also have to buy a 10 lb. Terrier and give it a cool name. I call mine Bitefighter.”
At the mention of his name, Bitefighter charges out of my bedroom and jumps on my lap. I give him a scratch and a kiss.
Jeremy leans toward me, his brow crinkling. “Do you have a Satan? Some kind of ultimate evil that you’re sworn to fight?”
I crack open another mountain dew and take a sip. My eyes grow serious. “The Insectoids. Any moment now, they will rise from the Earth and assault humanity. All Awesomenists will be gifted with a battle-trained dinosaur which will serve as their mount. As an Awesomenist, I am sworn to fight those foul dickfaces until my dying breath.”
Zack and Jeremy give each other a bewildered look, then rise in tandem. “I’m sorry, Mr. Wayne,” Zack says hesitantly. “It’s clear that you’re not fit to be a Jehovah’s Witness, just as we aren’t fit to be…um…”
“Right.” He clears his throat. “Awesomenists. Anyways, we have to get going. Thank you for your—”
At that moment, the earth starts shaking. Screams erupt from outside. When the quake stops, a chorus of car horns fills the air.
Zack and Jeremy exchange an uneasy look. I click on the TV and the three of us direct our attention to an ongoing newscast.
“—multiple reports of humanoid insect-beings that are running amuck throughout all of San Francisco. Now they’re—wait: I’ve just received word that it’s not just San Francisco; it’s the entire WORLD! Conventional weapons have no effect on them! They’re—AAAAGHHHH!” The reporter gets knocked off-screen by something huge and chitinous. A splash of blood strikes the camera lens, marking it with lurid red drops. There’s another scream and the camera falls to the ground, tilted up so that the only thing visible is the cloud-swirled sky. Crunching noises are audible in the background, accented by unintelligible moans and low-pitched begging. The TV goes staticky, then resolves into a vertical chain of colored bars displayed on its top half, while its lower half is underscored by the message: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. PLEASE STAND BY.
I turn to Zack and Jeremy and fix them with a grave stare.
“See? Told you.”
They turn to me with widened eyes. “What do we do?” Jeremy whispers.
My eyes steel over. “Do you pledge your life and soul to Awesomenism?”
They exchange an uncertain look. Then, after a few seconds of searching each others’ faces, they give each other a firm nod. They both turn back to me.
“We do,” Zack answers.
“Kneel,” I say.
They both kneel.
I crack open two cans of mountain dew, then proceed to pour holy, fizzing goodness upon my first two disciples.
“O Zeus, Odin, and Grayskull,” I intone, “Channel your might into these blessed souls. Give them the strength to rise up against the evil Insectoids. Help them smash chitin and thorax with their yoked-ass sword arms. Gift them with velociraptor-mounts so they may forever be immortalized in glorious battle. And pretty pretty please, put gatling laser guns on top of our mounts so we may slice through Insectoids like a hot knife through butter.”
The last thing I do is open my eReader to Echo. Magic flash.
Iridescent mandalas form swirling chains around Zack and Jeremy. The light culminates, growing brighter…brighter…BRIGHTER…then eclipses my apartment in a blinding supernova. When the energy clears, I see that Zack and Jeremy have transformed into a pair of brooding-eyed, super-diesel barbarians with shoulder length hair. Two velociraptors trudge up to them, their heads moving in lethal, bird-like jerks. Bitefighter the Terrier has disappeared; in his place is Bitefighter the giant-ass T-Rex.
Our dino-mounts! And they’re all armed with gatling lasers!
“Hells yeah!” I scream, and clamber onto Bitefighter’s back.
Zack and Jeremy leap onto their gatling-laser velociraptors. Just as we finish getting situated on our prehistoric steeds, a battalion of insectoids appear on the crest of the San Francisco street that runs past my apartment.
I take a deep breath, then shout, “Dino-riders…ATTTTTAAAAACKKKK!!!”
We charge forward, firing storms of lethal energy into the foul ranks of these bug-faced bastards.
I scream, “FOR THE ALL-FATHER BATMAN! FOR AWESOMENISM!!!”
Zack and Jeremy repeat my war-cry, and I can’t help but smile.
And that’s how Awesomenism was born: in a glorious mess of tromping dino feet and badass laser guns. OH yeah!
Need to spruce up your life with a belief system that incorporates dinosaur steeds and gatling laser guns? I’ve got just the thing! 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