In a gravelly voice, Steven Seagal intones, “Nobody likes you, Kent.”
He continues to stare at me for a few more seconds, then uses his $10,000 jade chopsticks to hoist a square piece of Tombstone Pizza into his nasty face-hole. (Odin’s ballsack—if I didn’t already know how weird this fucker was, watching him eat pizza with chopsticks would be enough to make me call 911).
He chews noisily, moaning through his nose in pleasure (I’m not sure if any of you find that as disgusting as I do) and continues speaking. “Least of all me. I’ve won 10,000 UFC championships, 20 times that number of Yakuza death matches in the wilds of Asia, and also—”
I interrupt him with, “There have only been a few hundred UFCs, so unless you’re able to time travel, then—”
He bangs his crazy old man fist on the table (I notice every one of his digits is adorned with Asian-looking rings, but I also notice there’s a cheap Captain Crunch decoder ring around the pinkie) “I AM ABLE TO TIME TRAVEL!” he screams. He levels a ruddy, shaking index finger at my eyes. “I’m a black-ops time-traveling scientist who’s also able to ride undersea dragons and throw fireballs!”
Best not to anger this weirdo any further. I stay silent and test the ropes around my wrists. With one hard yank, I should be able to free myself from this chair…
“Harkins!” He claps his hands. A homeless dude who’s dozing in the corner—it looks like Steven’s made him wear an Armani blazer atop his grimy vagrant clothing—wakes up and looks dazedly around.
Steven waves dismissively at what’s left of his Tombstone Pizza. “I am done with my feast, Harkins. Dispose of these leftovers.”
Harkins reaches into his blazer, produces a flask of Captain Morgan’s, and takes a swig. He wipes a dribble of rum from his cheek and mutters, “I already told you: my name’s Jerry. I don’t know why the hell you keep calling me Harkins…” But nevertheless, Harkins shuffles up to the silver platter of half-eaten pizza and walks away with it. He’s not too steady; I see pieces of Tombstone Supreme dropping on to an expensive Persian rug as Harkins hobbles drunkenly into the kitchen.
Steven nods at the pizza on the floor. “See that? Always get supreme; it’s the only flavor that possesses a full nutritional profile: meat and veggies, protein and vitamins…all the things.”
I’m not quite sure what to say.
“Anyways,” he continues, “there’s a reason you’re here. You see…I don’t like critical thinking, I don’t like socioeconomic commentary, I don’t like what you would call ‘humor’ unless it’s true blue stuff like Looney Tunes…I don’t like YOU, Kent.” He leans back and tents his fingers over his ponderous belly. “We’re going to have to do something about that.”
I test my bonds again. Yep—if I have to, I can yank my hands free of these ropes.
He chuckles and picks a piece of week-old pizza out of his neck-beard. He studies it for a second before slipping it between his grease-shined lips. Gross. “So what we’re gonna do is suffocate you in my facial hair. It always has a good dose of MSG, factory-made cheese, and miscellaneous remnants of food, so appreciate the fact that you’re going to enjoy a rather…aromatic death, shall we say.”
Oh my god. This can’t be happ—
He hops onto the banquet table and begins sprinting toward me on all fours, huffing and grunting like a murderous silverback.
Just as he clasps the back of my head with his sweaty, sauce-glazed fingers, I flip my hands out of my restraints and reach into my pocket. I open my eReader to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers.
Chuck Norris busts through a wall, clad in super tight blue jeans and a sleeveless denim jacket. He throws a backfist at Steven Seagal, who manages to stumble sideways just enough to catch Chuck’s fist in the tangle of his gross-ass neck-beard.
“AHHH!” Chuck screams, holding his charred right hand with his still-healthy left. “HE’S GIVEN ME SYPHILIS!” Chuck’s eyes steel over and he rasps, “That’s crossing the line, Steven…even for you. Prepare for a one-way ticket to Roundhouse City.”
And despite the creepy, junk-revealing tightness of his jeans, Chuck manages to throw his signature death-move and knock Steven Seagal’s head clean off his shoulders. I catch a brief glimpse of jagged vertebrae before a fountain of blood geysers up from the neck-stump and obscures my view. The headless corpse that was once Steven Seagal collapses onto its knees, then onto its side with a dry, authoritative-sounding THUNK.
Chuck helps me up.
“Sorry you contracted syphilis,” I say while dusting myself off.
He waves dismissively. Much to my astonishment, I see that his once-blistered and blackened hand is already fully healed. “Don’t worry about it,” he replies. “All I gotta do is meditate on The Power of Denim and my body instantly restores itself to its former glory.”
My mouth opens, then closes. I have no idea what to say to that; old action stars are weird as hell.
But at least I don’t have to worry about being destroyed by a disgustingly foul neck-beard. Thank Odin!
Have you been accosted by a gross old fogey sporting a horrid patch of hair on his neck that has the destructive potential to bring down empires? 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