Gulpa gulp gulp! Eat some magic mushrooms to induce some neurogenesis, head to the gym, and start slinging some iron. WHOO! While I’m hitting up some cleans, I see sprites and pixies appearing amongst the meatheads and roid-monkeys. I acknowledge them with a grin and a nod, and continue jacking steel.
When Mandy Moore’s “Candy” comes on my Playlist of Shame (we all have one; let’s not bullshit each other) the door opens, and I see—holy crapoly!—Mandy fucking Moore walking into the gym! Oh shiz-holio!
“Hey Kent.” She throws me a wink and a smile.
“Mandy!” I remove my earbuds. “Are you real? Or are you a hallucination caused by the—”
“Does it matter? Come on—let’s dance.” She extends her hand.
How can I refuse? We start bopping, clapping, shucking, and sliding across the weight room. I’m in the middle of belting out the refrain—“SO BABY COME TO ME…BABY SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE (YEAH YEAH YEAH)”—when Mandy vanishes, leaving me surrounded by a bunch of glaring jocks.
I cast a furtive glance around. There’s like forty of them. “Uh…what’s up guys?”
One of them steps forward, smacking his fist with an open palm. “You’ve broken the guy code. The only stuff we can listen to is metal, gangsta rap…maybe some 90s era grunge, if our dog or child happens to die in a horrific accident.”
“No Mandy Moore?” I flash an awkward smile.
A snippet from a powerful poem bubbles to the fore of my mind: Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out…because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Mandy Moore fans, and I did not speak out…because—
Sudden resolve flashes through my mind. “FUCK YOU!” I clap my hands, slide across the rubberized floor, and bust out in early 2000s pop dance, belting out Mandy with renewed vigor. “SO BABY COME TO ME…BABY SHOW ME WHO YOU—”
“RUAAAAHHH!!!” The meatheads rush me, swamping me in gel-ed hair and affliction wife-beaters.
No options left. So I open my eReader to Echo, activating its reality distortion powers. Magic flash.
My Playlist of Shame ejects three of my hidden favorites—Christina Aguilera, Mandy, and Jessica Simpson—from the surface of my phone, all dressed in Protoss battle armor. They start mowing through my attackers, stabbing them through their chests with glowing psi-blades or ripping them in twain with searing blasts of weaponized light. In a matter of seconds, they reduce forty men to less then a dozen.
The last one tries to turn and flee, but Christina blurs toward him and powers into a rising uppercut, bisecting him at the anus with a sizzling slat of star-forged metal that’s affixed to the side of her circuitry-threaded gauntlet.
“En Taro Adun,” she intones, standing over his smoking corpse.
“Uh…I’m gonna go now.” I start tiptoeing towards the door.
Jessica grabs me by the hair and slings me over her shoulder. “Not so fast, Kent.”
Christina drums my buttocks—pittapittaPAT! “We heard you were the best damn Man Whore to ever walk the Earth.”
Her blood-streaked face widens into a smile.
“Let’s see if that’s true.”
Have you accidentally revealed your Playlist of Shame to a gang of roided-out, overcompensating bastards? 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 Vol.4 on Kindle here: Vol. 4 on Kindle Echo Omnibus here: Echo Omnibus Echo Vol. 1 & 2 Combined Edition here: Combined Edition If you wanna hear me babble on about anything and everything, and strain my FREAKIN’ BRAIN, then here’s a link to my podcast: Strained Brains! It is on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play! Please give it a listen and a five-star review! Here’s the miscellaneous gear that I use to try and become an uber-human: Optimization, and last but not least, my buddy Jumar Balacy has made a supercool microsite at kentwaynebrain.com! Go check out his computer-based wizardry 🙂 🙂 😀
Hold on! I just got approved to be an Amazon affiliate! If you’re going to buy ANY product from Amazon, and you’d like to support my efforts for absolutely free, then simply click on one of the Echo links I’ve provided—they’ll send you to Echo’s Amazon page—and THEN buy whatever product you wish. Amazon gives me a small referral fee each time this happens! In this manner you can support my books, musings, podcast, zany ads, or my adventures along the noble path known as The Way of The Man Child WITHOUT spending any more money than you were already going to! Should you do this, I vow to send you a silent blessing, causing your genitals to adopt the optimum size, shape, smell, and death-ray attachment of choice that paralyzes your enemies with fear and envy! Entire worlds will bow before your nether parts! 😲💪 😜