Kor’Thank: Chapter 1

 

 

1

 

 

Peter heard a loud series of knocks.

“Peter!”

He rolled over in his bed, half-asleep, and threw a forearm across his eyes.

“Go’wayI’llkillyou.”

“PETER!”

He buried his face in his pillow.

“Iwillfuckstartyourfacefuckoff…”

His front door snicked open. Footsteps echoed from the downstairs living room.

Maybe she’ll go away, he thought. Maybe she’ll leave me—

“Peter!” Another series of knocks—right on his bedroom door.

Be absolutely still. You’re a fucking genius that can take down warlords. You can—

The door swung open.

“Peeeeeeter…time for school.”

“There is no Peter,” he grumbled through a clump of pillow. “There is only Fucklor, the thousand-cocked demon king. So unless you want to fend off an army of barbed dicks, I suggest you—”

Eun Yin marched over to the window and yanked back the curtains, filling the room with dazzling light.

“AHHHH!” Peter sat straight up and threw his pillow at Eun. She side-stepped, caught it in mid-air, and flowed into a graceful spin, sending the pillow rocketing back at Peter. It hit him in the face; his head snapped up and he fell back on his bed, clutching at his nose.

“FUCK!” he yelled. “Why the fuck did you—”

“Peter, you threw the pillow.”

“Goddamn aikido.” Peter threw his sheets off and swung his legs over the side of the bed. “Do you realize you’re the only person in the world who can use that shit? You could destroy your instructors without breaking a sweat.”

She shrugged. “I’m talented. It doesn’t make me better than anybody else.”

Peter snorted. “The fuck it doesn’t.”

“Peter—”

He glared at her. “My real name is Chongha.”

“—do you know what the Han is?”

He kept glaring. Finally, he said: “No.”

She clicked on her phone and tapped at its screen. “According to Wikipedia: ‘Han is a theorized culture-bound syndrome among Koreans that denotes a collective feeling of oppression and isolation in the face of insurmountable odds, the overcoming of which is beyond the nation’s own capabilities. It connotes aspects of lament and unavenged justice.’ ”

She clicked the phone off and gave him a weighted look.

He scoffed. “So? I was born here—I’m American, not Korean.”

“There’s compelling evidence that certain behaviors are correlated with our genes—that they’re independent of nurture.”

Peter scoffed. “That’s ridiculous Eun—nothing’s beyond my control. All it takes is training and resources.”

“Is Atherton beyond your control?”

Peter fell silent and stared at the floor. After a long while, he muttered, “The Fuckrising.”

“What was that?”

“Nothing.” He shook his head. “You wanna get something to eat?”

“There’s no time—we’re gonna be late.”

“Right.” Peter slipped into a pair of wrinkled jeans, coated himself in Axe body spray, and threw on a t-shirt.

“I’ll find food along the way.”

 

 

When Peter was five, his parents had died in a horrendous car accident.

Despite the lack of family, Peter had gotten along just fine; he was a genius, after all. The government had recognized his intelligence when he was four years old, and asked him for help on multiple occasions. In return, he’d asked to be left the hell alone. Consequently, the feds had turned a blind eye to the fact that he was a high-school minor who lived by himself. Apparently, rescuing the world from Insectoid invasions earned you a little peace and quiet.

Money wasn’t a problem. Peter had a unique skill, one that allowed him to manufacture career-killing skeletons, and know the exact location of each and every one.

Peter Lee was a blowjob king.

Through the dark web, the teen genius solicited deviant men who wanted a toe-curling slob-job. He’d screen their financials, set the meeting up at a nameless truck stop, and secretly film them as they were getting blown by an underage minor.

Over the years, he’d assembled a vast collection of incriminating evidence. Powerful CEOs were beholden to Peter; they provided him with a steady flow of cash that would blow the socks off Warren Buffet (figuratively, in this instance; Warren wasn’t one to indulge in oral deviance, as far as Peter knew).

He loved the irony of it: they thought they were paying to fuck his mouth, but they ended up paying him to keep his mouth shut.

It was goddamn beautiful.

Peter had tried to target higher echelon players, but it hadn’t gone well. The true predators were meticulous and careful, and kept a tight lid on their unsavory behaviors. They’d sent tier one teams after Eun and Reptar and held them hostage. After a terse standoff in an abandoned warehouse, everyone had gone their separate ways. Later, Peter realized that the assholes he’d been targeting were nothing more than front men. Decoys. Somewhere out there, there was a secret cabal of shadow players. An enormously powerful handful of unrequited cunts.

They were still watching him—he knew it through a twice-monthly from an untraceable server. Its subject line was always blank. Its body was comprised of a single sentence.

DON’T FUCK WITH US.

And it was driving him fucking insane.

Despite his unmatchable mind, despite his enormous, pendulous balls, despite the vast fortune in his offshore accounts, Peter Lee—for all intents and purposes— was trapped in a prison. There was nothing he could do. Shit, if the president couldn’t change things, then—

“Peter, you need to eat.”

“Huh?” He gave Eun an irritated look. “Why didn’t you say something back at the house?”

She rolled her eyes. “I did. You didn’t listen.”

“The Fuckrising,” he muttered. “Once I complete the Fuckrising, it’ll all be—”

“Peter!”

“Huh?” He snapped out of his reverie and nearly fell; he pinwheeled his arms, regaining his balance on his weighty unicycle, and looked at her again. “What?”

“Food. You need to eat.”

Peter looked around and scratched his head. Now that she mentioned it, he was hungry.

What to eat, what to eat… Hmmm…

His gaze locked on a two-story Victorian a dozen yards ahead.

“Check it out—Ms. Powolski’s flower garden.”

She cocked her head, puzzled. “What are you—”

He took off, cycling towards the garden.

Eun Yin shot her hand out. “PETER!”

It was too late—Peter was pedaling like mad, pushing the Bitemobile to its prothagonous limits. Sweat sprang from his brow as he pistoned his legs up and down, forcing the machine to creak faster up the pavement. His breaths morphed into ragged, labored huffs. Eun Yin easily caught up to him; she wasn’t encumbered by a heavy-ass unicycle.

“What are you doing???”

Peter dismounted the Bitemobile and hurdled over Ms. Powolski’s fence. He looked around with manic intensity.

“What to eat what to eat what to eat…” He muttered under his breath as he trod through Ms. Powolski’s yard, tersely scanning rows of flowers. Then he became still.

Directly in front of him was a beautiful row of red-pink blossoms. A small tinge of white graced their edges. His lips split into an evil grin.

He began shoveling carnations into his mouth. His eyes bugged out in cartoonish rage as his cheeks bulged with gorgeous blooms.

Eun ran up to him. “Peter! Why the hell are you ripping flowers out from—” Then she glimpsed his bulging cheeks. “Are you eating them?”

He kept chewing, meeting her gaze with a pair of Han-filled eyes. “Fucking delicious!” (It came out as fuffing dilisha!) He stumbled over to a double-row of chrysanthemums; they were his next victims. The air became dotted with colorful plant matter, infusing Peter’s gluttonous actions with an odd beauty.

“HEY!” Ms. Powolski slid a window open and Peter looked up.

“WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”

Peter grabbed one last fistful of petals—this time from a pot of sun-bright marigolds—and jammed them down his throat. Ms. Powolski burst out her door as Peter hurdled the fence. Eun Yin began sprinting down the street, both hands hooked in the straps of her backpack.

Peter mounted the Bitemobile and began pedaling. Due to the Bitemobile’s massive, weighty frame, Eun Yin easily caught up to Peter.

Ms. Powolski pursued them for a dozen yards and stopped in the middle of the street, shaking her fist like an old-school caricature of a thwarted villain. After pedaling madly through the suburbs for a few more blocks, a sweat-soaked Peter arrived at Atherton High, his face marked by the colorful remains of pulverized flowers.

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