I push the button labeled 4 and bob my head along to the soft strains of elevator muzak. When I get to my floor, a sharp DING sounds and the doors slide open. A smiling receptionist beams at me from behind her desk.
“Hello, Mr. Wayne,” she says. “Are you ready for your massage?”
“I am. You guys sure know how to pamper your guests.”
She laughs. “All part of All World Compliance’s new accountant welcome package. Now that you’re about to start working for us in accounts receivable, you deserve nothing but the best.”
Her reply strikes me as a little odd—a little too much like corporate script—but I don’t dwell on it. I’m about to get a massage; what’s there to complain about, right?
“Thank you,” I reply. Then I grimace. “But it IS a vacation, right? I’d appreciate it if you didn’t mention accounting. I’m just collecting a paycheck, you know?”
She laughs again. “Of course, Mr. Wayne. Enjoy your massage.”
I meet with the masseuse—a genial 40-something year old woman—who tells me to get undressed and lie facedown on the table.
She finishes with, “Put the towel over your butt. I’ll be with you in a few minutes.”
I thank her and she leaves.
After getting ready, I close my eyes and let my mind drift. All World Compliance may not have the best sounding name (to be honesty, it sounds like something Emperor Palpatine might choose if he was CEO) but hey—they pay well, and they obviously like to treat their employees. What other company would pay me to go on a two-week getaway in the Bahamas?
The door opens and the masseuse walks in. I hear the squelch of oil as she rubs it between her hands. She spreads it across my back and starts kneading my shoulders. It feels amazing—I’m probably gonna fall asleep in the next few minutes.
She must sense it, because she doesn’t say anything. Just as I’m drifting off, she asks me to turn over. She makes sure the towel stays tastefully draped across my midsection as I flip onto my back.
I close my eyes and wait for her to continue working on me.
What the hell? My eyes fly open and I see that steel manacles have emerged from the table and snapped down on my wrists. I look from side to side with mounting panic.
“What the hell are you—”
She gives me a cold stare and flicks a switch under the table. Manacles snap onto my ankles with merciless-sounding CLANKS.
“Hey!” I yell. “HEY!”
She ignores me and looks at the door. It swings open, and in walk a passel of impeccably exfoliated, severely tweezed, scarf-wearing metrosexuals. They surround the table and look down on me like fucked-up surgeons.
“Mr. Wayne.” The lead one smiles. “It has come to our attention that you will soon be working for All World Compliance. Unfortunately, you don’t meet the grooming standard. Don’t worry—we can fix that.” He nods briskly at the others. “Wax it. All of it.”
“Wait a second, just wait a—” I try to babble out a protest, but they’re not listening. They apply wax strips onto my chest with clockwork precision.
“You don’t have to do this!” I blurt. “I don’t have much body hair—just a small patch between my pecs, and then my happy trail! You don’t have to—”
He gives me a vicious smile and yanks off a strip.
“NYAAAAARGH!!!” My vision goes red as 15% of my masculinity is ripped from my body.
“Don’t worry Mr. Wayne,” he says in a soothing voice. “We all go through this. Afterwards, we’ll give you a testosterone-lowering elixir so we can get rid of those well-toned muscles, as well as help you ditch your boner problem.”
“Problem??? That’s not a PROBLEM motherfucker—”
“Shhh.” He smoothes my hair back from my forehead. “Shush now. It’ll be okay.”
It finally hits me: there’s no reasoning with this hairless half-man. I reach deep into my psyche and activate the telepathic link that I share with my best buddy and 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire: Bitefighter. I sense him perk up in my room. He noses my eReader open to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
My ancestor from eons ago—a prehistoric, ten-foot tall ape that falls under the genus Gigantopithecus blacki—bursts from a magical portal that appears in the air.
For a shocked, silent second, everyone stares at him.
He sweeps his beady gaze across the room.
“ME NAME KUNT!” he roars. “ME NAME KUNT WOG! ME HATE HAIRLESS HALF-MEN!”
Kunt Wog begins tearing through the metrosexuals, crunching through their bones with giant, jagged teeth. Even though he’s coated in fur, I can still see sleek coils of muscle rippling across his frame. He takes one of the metros by the legs and uses him like a weighted whip, smashing the others with the poor fucker’s hairless body.
Chaos erupts. Two of the metros fall on their butts and scrabble against the wall, begging Kunt not to kill them. Another one runs to the door and rattles the knob with shaking hands, desperately trying to get it open. For some reason it’s stuck.
Kunt gallops up to the guy messing with the door and lifts him overhead. One paw is around his right ankle, the other is around his neck. The metro manages a thin, breathy scream before Kunt pulls from both ends. His right paw wrenches the guy’s leg from his hip socket, causing it to grow a few extra inches, while Kunt’s left hand pops the guy’s head clean off. Kunt stuffs the decapitated head into his maw as its eyes are still blinking, and begins chowing down on it with savage enjoyment. Brain and skull squirt from his thick, wrinkled lips.
Kunt mows through the rest of them in short order, using limbs and skulls like clubs and stones. Soon, the screams fall silent. Kunt lopes over to my massage table, takes one of the manacles between his fingers (the gesture strikes me as oddly delicate), and pries it open using his massive strength.
“Unh.” he grunts. He does the same with the three other manacles.
“Unh. Unh. Unh.”
After I’m free, I sit up and rub my wrists, staring at my ancestor with widened eyes. He holds up an enormous paw, fingers spread wide.
“Man Child high five,” he rumbles.
I give him a tentative high five and he responds with a double thumbs-up. Then he knuckle-walks into the interdimensional portal he originally came from—off to play with dinosaurs or mastodons or whatever the hell.
Satan’s ballsack! I guess there’s a benefit to me having a hefty does of ape DNA!
Have you been accosted by an evil gang of corporately sponsored metrosexuals that want to strip you of your body hair and obliterate your t-levels? 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