My name is Kent Wayne. I’m an infant.
I mean that in the literal sense of the word. Although I am merely 12 months old, let me assure you, my mental capacities far exceed those of most adults. I will soon have to relinquish much of my IQ in order to carve new pathways throughout my neurons. This is a necessary sacrifice that will allow wondrous stories to foment within my mind. As an adult I will be known as a blithering Man Child, but in the end it’ll be well worth it.
We need stories to remind us of who we truly are.
For now though, I am an unappreciated genius trapped in a one-year-old’s body. My soft, unfused skull plates are vulnerable to stray impacts. My short, stubby limbs—while pliable and flexible—lack the strength to fend off an array of attacks; anything from rudimentary strikes to sophisticated joint locks.
If anybody above the age of two decides to sink a rear naked choke on me, I am FUCKED.
I do not enjoy this. I would rather be dumb, if being dumb meant that I would be capable of defending myself. Indeed, given my available resources, my supra-intelligence turns out to be a disadvantage—in my current circumstance, my intellect only serves to highlight my insipid helplessness. I require maternal assistance for activities as simple as cleaning my rectum, and am unable to communicate with others except through a chain of nonsensical burbles. I am also capable of emitting an unpleasant howl if I wish for food, water, or other basic necessities. I am loath to express myself this way, however, as it is a brutish and uncouth form of human speech. It is a similar method of elocution employed by the mouth-breathing population of humanoid dunces known collectively as Douche-bros. To further compound my problems, my genitals are incapable of being employed for carnal pleasure. Excreting urine and feces must be done into a synthetic harness that swaddles my bum. Any comfort derived from such activities is not only nullified, but turned into a harrowing annoyance; when I relieve myself, I am unsure of how long I must wallow in my own filth before mother decides to change my diaper.
Two of life’s greatest pleasures—playing with my hardened flesh-tentacle and taking a dook—are denied to me. Is it any wonder that I spend most of my days in a dour mood?
Oh and here’s another problem: my mother’s friend also has a child—he goes by the unbelievably suburban name of Taylor—whom she insists that I play with. He’s about three months older than me, and has learned the basic process of two-legged ambulation. Even though he can walk, he is a dull and uninspired creature. I wish that he would leave me alone, but as we are both placed inside a gladiatorial playpen, I know that this cannot be the case. There are a limited number of toys in here, and I’ll be damned if I give up mine because Taylor has some size on me.
Taylor waddles up to me on two stumpy legs. “Goo ga urk blork,” he says. (Translation: give me your toys, bitch, before I cut you.)
I give him a level stare and reply, “Ya na koo ork goo.” (Translation: Fuck off, asshole. You think just because your skull plates can withstand more damage than mine, you think just because you can walk and have three months of growth on me, that you can gank my motherfucking stuff? I will DIE before I bow to you, you fascist piece of shit!)
He begins pawing at my face. I try to resist, but he’s got more muscle fibers than I do, and he eventually takes my back and wraps his chubby arms around my neck. He hisses, “Ga go urk thphthphthhhh…[he just blew a raspberry, in case those letters failed to convey].” (Translation: Die now, impudent creature. The last thing you will feel is my 15-month-old arm squeezing down on your diminutive airway.)
I try to resist; I try to slap free of the soft mass of flesh squeezing down on my neck…but it’s no use—Taylor’s choke is locked in tight. Sunspots bloom across my vision. Black walls begin shrinking my sight. This is it. Goodbye cruel world…even though being a baby sucked, I’m sure this will spare me from decades of inanity that I’d have to endure as an adult. Next time I incarnate, I hope to be born into better circumstances…
Then, my tiny eyes open wide. NO. I was MEANT for something—there are books to write, dammit!
I reach deep into my psyche, digging into the intricate well of stories that fall under the title of Echo, and somehow realize that just CONCEPTUALIZING them allows me to distort reality. Magic flash.
The strength of a three-year-old surges through me. I execute some basic choke-defense—dig my chin into the crook of Taylor’s elbow, secure it with both hands and crab-walk out of his hold—then buck my hips out, protecting my back from his nasty little arms. I get the better of the ensuing scramble, and now I have HIS back. I unwrap my diaper from around my waist and whip it tight across his neck, using it as a makeshift garrote.
I hiss, “Pledge allegiance to me, half-wit. Pledge allegiance to me or you’ll never enjoy another mouthful of apple sauce.”
“What was that?” I whisper, letting up on the choke and allowing him to speak. “What did you just say?”
“I. Pledge. Allegiance!” he gasps. “Please—just let me live!”
I release him from the choke and he stumbles away, gagging and spitting. I hear our mothers coming toward us, chatting about George Clooney and the latest deal at the Container Store. Before they catch sight of me, I quickly clip my diaper around my waist, making sure that they have no inkling as to what just occurred.
Taylor’s mom says, “Okay little ones…time for applesauce! You guys like applesauce?”
As we’re both lifted out of the playpen I fix Taylor with a narrowed gaze. I point my index and middle finger at both my eyes, then point my fingers directly at his face—just like Robert De Niro did with Ben Stiller in “Meet the Parents.”
I say, “Goo urk blurg.” (Translation: I want half your applesauce, thrall. Defy me at your peril.)
He replies with a frightened nod, and: “Ork nog thph. Urf.” (Translation: As you wish, my liege.)
I relax into my mother’s hands. This baby thing might not be so bad after all.
At least I get plenty of applesauce. 😉
Are you an infant who’s in danger of other idiot-babies ganking your toys and snacks? 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