Peter heard a loud series of knocks.
He rolled over in his bed, half-asleep, and threw a forearm across his eyes.
He buried his face in his pillow.
The front door’s lock 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—this time on his bedroom door.
Be absolutely still. You’re a fucking genius that’s taken down warlords. You can—
The door swung open.
Eun Yin’s voice resonated in his ears: “Peeeeeeter…time for school.”
“There is no Peter,” Peter grumbled through a clump of pillow. “There is only Fucklor, the thousand-cocked demon king. So unless you want to fend off a legion of barbed dicks, then I suggest you—”
Eun Yin marched over to the window and yanked back the curtains, filling the room with dazzling light.
Even though Peter had his face in a pillow, slivers of sunlight crept through the cushion and past his eyelids. Hateful warmth lapped at his skin.
“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. The pillow came rocketing back at Peter’s 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 at me.”
“Goddamn aikido,” Peter muttered, throwing his sheets off and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He looked at Eun. “Do you realize you’re the only person who can actually use that shit? If you wanted to, you could destroy your instructors.”
She shrugged. “I have a talent. It doesn’t make me better than others.”
Peter snorted. “The fuck it doesn’t. Anyone who’s gifted has a duty to unfuck the world and protect it from the fucksticks who—”
“That’s my slave name!” he snapped. He glared at her. “My real name is Chongha.”
“—do you know what the Han is?”
Peter 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.”
“But what if you’re not in control of how you act? There’s compelling evidence that certain behaviors are correlated with genetics—that they’re independent of nurture.”
Peter scoffed. “That’s ridiculous Eun—nothing’s beyond my control. All it takes is training and resources. Time and dedication.”
“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 and looked at her. “You want something to eat?”
“We’re going to be late—we need to get going.”
“Right.” Peter slipped into some jeans, coated himself in Axe body spray, and threw on a shirt.
“I’ll find food along the way.”
When Peter was five, his parents had died in a horrendous car crash. According to Homeland’s database, Peter had a brother named Kyle who had been given up for adoption. Kyle had done a short stint in the military, then disappeared into the woods and become a professional blogger. Curiously enough, the CURRENT WHEREABOUTS section in Kyle’s dossier was classified top secret, and locked with extra compartmentalization. No matter what Peter did, he couldn’t crack it. Peter didn’t know if Kyle was alive, or if he was, where he lived.
Despite the adversity and lack of family, Peter got along just fine. The government had recognized his skills when he was four years old, and asked him for help on multiple occasions. Peter had provided invaluable assistance in defeating interdimensional threats, and he’d also served as a data facilitator on high-stakes operations. In return, he had asked to be left alone. Consequently, the feds ignored 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.
As far as his finances went…Peter knew where a lot of skeletons were buried. That was how he maintained a constant influx of loot and favors.
He was a blowjob king.
When it came to cradling the balls and working the shaft, everyone else was a distant second. Through the dark web, Peter solicited deviant men who wanted a toe-curling slob-job. He’d screen their financials, set the meeting up at some nameless truck stop, and secretly film them as they were getting blown by a seventeen-year-old boy.
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 Yin and Reptar and held them both hostage. After a terse standoff in an abandoned warehouse, everyone had went their separate ways. Peter had been unable to ascertain their true identities. Later, he 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-men, one that was comprised of unrequited cunts.
They were still watching him, still keeping tabs on him, 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 no escaping it. Shit, if the president couldn’t change things, then—
“Peter, you need to eat something.”
“Huh?” He gave Eun an irritated look. “Why didn’t you say so when we were back at the house?”
She adjusted her backpack and rolled her eyes. “I did. You didn’t listen.”
“The Fuckrising,” he muttered. “Once I complete the Fuckrising, it’ll all be—”
“Huh?” He snapped out of his reverie and almost fell. He pinwheeled his arms, regaining his balance on the weighty unicycle he was currently standing on, and looked again at Eun Yin. “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. His eyes lit up.
“Check it out—Ms. Powolski’s flower garden.”
She cocked her head, puzzled. “What are you—”
He took off, cycling towards Ms. Powolski’s. Eun Yin shot her hand out.
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 clunky machine to pick up speed and creak faster up the pavement. His breaths morphed into ragged, labored huffs. Eun Yin easily caught up to him, as she wasn’t encumbered by a ginormously heavy unicycle.
“Peter! What are you doing???”
Peter jumped off the Bitemobile and hurdled Ms. Powolski’s fence. He looked around with manic intensity, muttering heatedly under his breath.
“What to eat what to eat what to eat…” 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 he stuffed his cheeks full of gorgeous blooms.
Eun ran up to him. “Peter! Why the hell are you ripping out flowers from—” Then she glimpsed his bulging cheeks. “Are you eating them?”
He kept chewing, meeting her gaze with Han-filled eyes. “Field expedient snack—fucking delicious!” (It came out as fillexpent snaa—fuffing dilisha!) Peter turned back to the flowers, ripping them up and jamming them in his maw.
The carnations were churned into dirt, stems, and dismembered petals. Peter stumbled over to a double-row of chrysanthemums; they were his next victims. The air became dotted with chrysanthemum fragments, infusing Peter’s gluttony with an odd beauty, one reminiscent of falling cherry blossoms.
“HEY!” Ms. Powolski’s angry face shone in a window.
She slid the glass open and Peter looked up.
“HEY! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”
“Oh FUCK!” Peter managed around a mouthful of flowers. He turned to Eun Yin. “Cheese it!”
He 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, his teeth gnashing fragments of chrysanthemum that were caught between his teeth. Due to the Bitemobile’s massive, weighty frame, Eun Yin easily caught up to Peter. She squirted past him and he raised a hand, desperately reaching out for her.
“EUN! WAIT FOR ME!”
Ms. Powolski pursued them for a dozen yards and stopped in the middle of the street, screaming in rage, 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.