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Edger by David Beem Meet Edger (Ed-jer), a twenty-six-year-old gadget retail dork destined to become the world’s first superhero! His superpower: the ability to channel the Collective Unconscious, a psychic network connecting the living and the dead. In his arsenal are the skills of Bruce Lee, the strength of Samson, the wisdom of the ages...and the dancing chops of Michael Jackson—including that one twisty foot move, crotch grab, and fedora tilt. But there's a catch... Like every psychic superpower to get administered through a hypodermic needle, this one comes with a prick. Someone seems to have misplaced the booster necessary for stabilizing his superpower. Without it, Edger has three days before his brain turns to pudding. Join our Dork of Destiny as he overcomes the world’s greatest butt, two rival Cluck-n-Pray gangs, an evil cow, a Green Bay Defensive Tackle, rifle-toting assassins—and a pair of stoners who inadvertently create the world’s first supervillain after a wild night on Twitter!
The back of her bushy head is shaking. She’s ramming the vacuum into the desk, her hips swinging left and right. The music coming out of her earbuds is going to make her deaf, if they haven’t already. Her humming is deep and guttural, like someone’s punching her in the stomach while she’s trying to find the tune. I don’t believe it. She totally can’t hear me. I’m going to die—and she can’t hear me because her music’s too loud.
I tense up and shove an elbow over the broken glass in the window frame. My body armor crushes it like peanut shells.
Shut up! yells Killmaster, the dead man in my head. What are you doing?!
The cleaning maid lifts a chair, vacuums underneath, sets it back.
The maid continues her salsa dancing and humming and the next message scrolls across my heads-up display: ANCHOR INTEGRITY COMPROMISED BY 92%.
I release the line and heave both elbows over the sill. My feet scramble on the exterior wall—push, slip—push. I’m burning up inside the super suit. Muscles shaking. Elbows and forearms dig in. Pull! Jagged glass—my body-armored stomach rakes over it.
ANCHOR INTEGRITY COMPROMISED BY 100%. GOODBYE.
A slight jerk on the zip-line—it flips and twists like an epileptic Black Mamba snake as it reels itself in. The line flips overhead, slaps me in the butt, snaps into my belt. I’m rocketed the rest of the way into the room. Killmaster seizes control of my body; I tuck and roll, missing the cleaning maid, and then I’m kneeling by the bedroom and rubbing my pulsing butt.
Go, go, go! says Killmaster, urging me out the door.
I grab the Z ring—pull. Warm slime slithers over my face, neck, legs, body and arms, and the super suit vanishes back inside the ring.
What’re you doing? asks Killmaster.
I can’t go out into the hallway dressed like that, I reply, stuffing the ring into my pocket.
Well, how will it look? I’m sure this is fine for a Special Ops ditty in Afghanistan, but it’s a little aggressive for the W, don’tcha think?
What I think, says Killmaster, taking a tone, which, though telepathic, is no less clear, is that any second, that maid is going to be done vacuuming, and if we are still in here when that happens, she is going to freak the hell out.
The vacuum cleaner stops.
Oh shit, oh shit!
Hide! says Killmaster.
I lurch toward the see-through glass coffee table, unthinking.
Are you nuts? demands Killmaster.
The maid snatches a bottle of Windex from her cleaning cart. I freeze. She holds the Windex like a microphone, opens her mouth…and out comes an entire squadron of castrated frogs.
Jesus Christ! exclaims Killmaster. Sounds like she’s got the entire San Diego Zoo down her throat. Pandas! Christ, I think I heard a zebra.
Will you shut up and find me a place to hide?