Echo: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel

After class, my English professor asks me to stay; apparently, he’s got something personal he wants to discuss with me.

“Sure,” I shrug.  

He nods and smiles.  “Come with me.”

I gather my books and follow him through the hall.  He leads me down into the university basement, into a small, cement room.  The walls are bare and unfinished, and in the center of the room is a plain steel desk with two plastic chairs.  There’s a large mirror running across a wall.  A bare bulb shines brightly overhead.  Its filaments emit an insistent buzz, tiny but harsh.

“Have a seat.”  Professor Ricketti takes off his blazer, adjusts his tie, and rolls his sleeves halfway up his forearms.

I sit down, uncomfortably aware that this room could double as an interrogation chamber.

“So Kent,” the professor slouch-sits on the radiator.  “Do you mind if I call you ‘Kent?’ “

“Sure Profes—”

He waves a dismissive hand.  “Please—call me Ricketti.”

“Ah, okay…Ricketti.”

He waves at the mirror, then walks to the door.  It cracks open, and someone hands him two mugs of coffee.  He places one in front of me, then sips from the other.  “Ahhh…” he expresses a contented sigh, then puts the cup down onto the table.  A pack of smokes comes out of his left breast pocket, and he fits one to his lips.  He offers me a smoke with a raised eyebrow.  When I refuse, he shrugs as if to say “your loss” and lights his cigarette.  Once it’s lit, he takes a deep drag, exhales, and gazes steadily at me through a cloud of gray.

“Where do you get it, Kent?”

I twiddle my fingers, looking nervously around.  “Um…what are you talking about?”

He blows smoke into my eyes and I cough and wave, trying to disperse the fumes.  Asshole.

“Where do you get your creativity?”

I scoot my chair back and try to get up, but a heavyset giant with a ruddy alcoholic face bursts into the room.  He bangs my head off the table, causing me to yelp in pain and clutch my bloody nose.

“WHERE DO YOU GET IT???  WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR CREATIVITY, YOU WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT???”

Through tear-bleared eyes I lock eyes with my attacker and manage, “Professor Stry—”

He slashes the air with a hand.  “I’M NOT A PROFESSOR—NOT IN HERE!  AND YOU’RE NOT A STUDENT!  YOU’RE A LOW-DOWN, NO-GOOD PERP WHO’S ABOUT TO FACE THE WRATH OF—”

Ricketti raises a warning hand.  “Ease up, Stryker.”

Stryker takes off his blazer, staring me down the whole time.  He loosens his tie, then rolls his sleeves halfway up.  “Try and test me, asshole—see how far you get.”

“Okay okay…” I raise both hands, conveying compliance.  “Believe it or not, I get it from a magic bullfrog.  But you’re gonna have to let me stand up so I can pull it out, alright?”

Ricketti and Stryker exchange an unreadable look…then a quick nod.  “Okay,” Ricketti says.  “But no funny business—you get out of line, and Stryker’s gonna have his way with you.”

“Right,” I reply.  I get up and walk to the corner of the room, facing away from Ricketti, Stryker, and the one-way (obviously) mirror.  I unzip my fly, push my undies to the side, and pull my giant, pendulous nuts out through the hole.  I juggle them a bit to get the blood flowing, making them all nice and full and turgid.  Bingo—that’s my “magic bullfrog.”  (Come on—you never thought a scrotum looked like a ribbiting bullfrog?  For comedic purposes, I also like to refer to them as cat-brains)

Then I turn around, put my hands on my hips, and beam proudly at them.

“See?  Check out my bullfrog, you sack-gazing fucks.  Choke on your cheap coffee and nasty cigarettes; I hope you both drown in a sea of herpes.”

Ricketti shakes his head, his face darkening, while Stryker loses his shit.  He strides up to me, fists clenched.  “WHY YOU—”

Then I reach into my pocket, withdraw my eReader, and open it to Echo.  Magic flash.

I hold my hands out, and pure novelty erupts from my palms.  Light-woven funnels of Bat symbols, Hemingway heads (the cranky old man version sporting a rakish grin and an old-timey pipe), along with figures like Calvin and Hobbes, Barry Ween, Jesse Custer, and other groundbreaking characters fill the air.  Ricketti and Stryker stumble back in shock, covering their faces and voicing pained screams.

“Please!” Stryker gasps.  “It’s too much!  Shut it off!  PLEASE!”

Fuck these guys.  Academics ask for novelty…but they can’t handle it.  I run out from the room and through the halls, my “magic bullfrog” dangling from my pants, a mile-wide grin affixed to my face.  No one can restrain the likes of Man Child Kent Wayne—not when he’s slinging his magic bullfrog!  Bwahahaha!

The adventures of your favorite author (and perennial Man Child) Kent Wayne continue!  😀

 

Are you stuck in a dank cell, being interrogated by caricatures of 70s cops who are intent on stealing your creative mojo?  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  Echo Vol. 1 & 2 Combined Edition here:  Combined Edition  #kindle #kindleunlimited #sciencefiction #scifi #books #novel #book

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