“Kent Wayne, reporting for Hell.”
The Demogorgon behind the cinder-and-ash desk scribbles something down in his human-hide notebook, then shoves a moldy burlap sack into my arms.
“After you clean these severed dicks off with the flat of your tongue, head over to room 378.”
“What’s in room 37—”
“A un-dissolvable cloud of Rush Limbaugh’s Breakup Fart. You’ll spend a few lifetimes in there before we settle you in at your permanent destination.”
“ ‘Permanent destination?’ ”
Demogorgon gives me a wicked grin. “You’ll see.”
SEVERAL LIFETIMES AND COUNTLESS PUKE-SESSIONS LATER:
“Guhhh….” I stagger out from room 378, a wasted shell of what I used to be.
A couple Sowers of Discord (they look like gargoyles tattooed with screamy-faced spirals) grip my arms and guide me across a flaming stone catwalk. I don’t even notice the burns on my feet; I’m just glad that I’m not gulping down another lungful of Rush’s Breakup Fart.
“Where are we going?” I ask weakly.
“You’ll see,” one of them murmurs.
The Sower’s respectful tone triggers a flash of unease; I expect demons to laugh and cackle at my misery, not convey a muted sentiment of unexpressed pity.
What the FUCK have they got in store for—
Carmina Burana’s “O Fortuna” blasts through the air. The giant cliff at the end of the catwalk begins shaking and rumbling, and parts down the middle. Beyond its magma-lit face, I see the cold, sterile confines of a college classroom. And behind a lectern, I see the sworn enemy of all writers: a pedantic eunuch with no muscle tone, thick, coke-bottle glasses, and no dick (obviously).
Grammar Nazi Prime. He smiles and winks.
“Welcome, Kent. Let us pore over the intricacies of grammar whilst correcting a bevy of soul-deadened essays.”
I begin twisting and screaming, but the Sowers maintain an ironclad grip on both my arms. “No—NO! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME, YOU FUCKING PIECES OF—”
“I’M SORRY KENT!” one of them wails, tears streaming down his blasted, Hell-twisted visage. “IT’S OUR JOB! WE HAVE TO!”
“I CAN’T! I CAN’T DO IT! LET GO OF ME! LEMME GO YOU—”
No options left. I reach into my pocket and open my eReader to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
BACK IN KENT’S STUDIO:
“AAAAAHHHHH!!!!” I bolt straight up in bed, wide-eyed and drenched in sweat. “aHUH! aHUH! aHUH!” I clutch my chest, trying to will my adrenaline-jacked heart into slowing down.
Grammar Nazi Prime’s evil, cackling face blooms to life in my mind’s eye. An involuntary gasp flies from my lips. There’s only one thing to do in situations like this.
I watch five hours of Justice League Unlimited, stuffing slice after slice of mushroom-n-olive pizza down my suck-hole, then cry myself to sleep as I rub one out, thanking the stars that I’m not a Grammar Nazi.
Have you screwed up big time, and somehow ended up in the Ninth Ring? 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 Also, my buddy Jumar Balacy has made a supercool microsite at kentwaynebrain.com! Go check out his computer-based wizardry 🙂 🙂 😀
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