Bitefighter (my best buddy and 10 lb. Terrier Extraordinaire) and I are staring raptly at our monitors. Our computer screens cast eerie glows across our faces. This time, I’m gonna beat him; I don’t give a damn if he IS an 83rd level intellect and I’m like a…I’m like a…(I think I’m a negative two, but don’t quote me on that). I’ve got a dozen battle cruisers closing in on his base and they’re about to open a can of spacebound whupass all over his little—
NO! He’s just used dark archons to mind control my fleet! Within minutes, he turns my battlecruisers against me and cuts through my defenses. My base falls under a rain of Yamoto cannons. As my entire outpost crumbles, I can’t help but clutch the air like Darth Vader in the third shitty prequel and let loose with a raging scream.
I point a finger at him and narrow my eyes. “You’ll pay for this you Ewok-looking—”
He jumps up from his chair, balances on his hind legs, and levels a forepaw at me. “ARF ROWF ROOF!” (Don’t be racist, you dickfaced asshole!)
I straighten up and show him both palms in a conciliatory gesture. “Sorry little buddy…you know how it is—Starcraft gets me riled up.”
He settles down in his chair and gives me a suspicious look. “Mcbarkskies,” he mutters. (Yeah, I’m sure that’s what it is, dumb two-legs.)
We gaze menacingly at each other for a few more seconds, then I spread my arms wide and beam at him. “C’mere, you goofy little genius!”
He springs off his chair and jumps into my arms. I turn him over and give his belly a storm of scratchies. His eyes slit halfway closed and his right leg begins kicking the air. He also starts licking his chops, despite the fact that there’s nothing tasty around; it’s just part of his scratchies-induced trance-state.
I give him a good fifteen minutes or so of Scratchies Nirvana, then slow my tempo so we can have a conversation.
“So what do you wanna do tonight? Harass some labradors? Hit up the doggy bake shop? More Starcraft?”
He strokes his chin with a tiny paw. His brow wrinkles as he considers his options.
And that’s when they attack.
I experience a moment of pure disorientation as a slip-slide of fabric descends over my head. The next thing I know, I’m peering at Bitefighter’s faint outline through the pink mesh of a shirt. Bitefighter jumps out of my lap. My attackers tip my chair back so that it clunks against the floor.
“Quick!” I hear one of them say. “Get that shirt on before he fights back! This guy can deadlift well over two times his bodyweight; don’t fuck around bros!”
Douche-bros! I should have known.
I try to scramble out of their clutches, but there’s too many of them. They finish putting the shirt on and I’m left wondering: what’s the big deal with the shirt? How does forcing a pink shirt on me benefit them in any possible way?
And then I find out: one of them pops the collar.
I instantly feel my IQ drop by a factor of 10. I try to tell Bitefighter to get the hell out of here, to save himself, but what comes out of my mouth is:
“Yo this is a sick shirt, brahs! Wassup playas, y’all down to play some X-box?”
I feel the Douche-bro personality taking over my psyche. It’s killing me from the inside out, crushing my identity into paste. I struggle to remember who I am. My name is no longer Kent; now it’s something much more suburban and whitebread, now my name is…what IS my name? Possibilities flash through my consciousness…I could be [connor/tanner/logan/dustin/garrett]…
“Hunter,” I hear myself say. “Call me Hunter, bros.”
I see their doofy faces light up with smiles, rejoicing in the fact that they can revel with another Douche-bro for a few short years before they’re slowly devoured by the black-hole entropy of corporate life. They hook their arms under my pits and lift me up. I see Bitefighter staring at me, his tiny eyes wide and afraid. My heart breaks a little, but only a little.
Because I am no longer Kent. Now I am Hunter the Douche-bro.
But then his eyes steel over and he runs to my eReader. He noses it open to Echo, activating its reality-distortion powers. Magic flash.
My collar flips down and I regain my sanity. A quick glance around. I see the bros staring at me with widened eyes, now frightened out of their motherfucking minds.
“Get him!” the lead one yells. “Pop his fucking collar!”
“FAT FUCKING CHANCE!” I roar. I turn to Bitefighter, who’s assumed a Tiny Dog Fighting Stance, and give him a savage smile. “TONIGHT WE DINE IN HELL!”
Me and my best bud begin beating the shit out of these treacherous slackjaws, mowing through them with deadly combinations of joint locks, punches, and well-placed paw-strikes. Bitefighter doesn’t fail to live up to his name. In the midst of the chaos, he throws his head back and screams:
“ARF ROOF ROWF ARFARFSKIES!” (That’s Terrier for: “My name is Bitefighter! I fight with bites!”) Then he chomps onto a pair of unguarded nuts, eliciting an agonized scream from one of these jager-chugging numbskulls.
A few seconds later, my apartment is clear of trend-worshipping douche-machines, and I strip the shirt off my hirsute frame, careful to keep the collar unpopped. I’m breathing heavy, but the flush in my cheeks is as much from triumph as it is from exertion. I turn to Bitefighter and we share an interspecies high-five, paw to palm.
I will NEVER be a Douche-bro!
Have a bunch of trend-worshipping dickfaces attempted to coerce you into their ranks through the use of their unholy relics? 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