Free Press Fiction: The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne

Free Press Fiction
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On sale February 5, 2013

 An excerpt from The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Later on, while I played The Secret Land of Zenon, I could hear the vibrations of Mi$ter $mith taking the stage and kicking into his first song, which was supposed to be “I Loves Me Dat Ho, Don’t You Know” but he had to change for our tour to “I Loves Dat Girl-O, Don’t You Know,” and I took some liquid Pepto for my preshow butterflies, which were worse than normal because it was L.A. I couldn’t get past Level 64’s minion, and when he damaged me to zero percent the third time in a row from my saved game, I yelled at the screen, “You fucking motherfucker!” and Walter ran in quickly from outside and asked what was wrong, and I said, “Sorry, I was just screaming at the minion,” and he said, “Whatever the hell you’re talking about, let’s save the screaming for the show, brother, or Rog is gonna get pissed about you wasting your voice.”

I invited Walter to sit inside with me and I showed him what I meant about the minion. Walter still didn’t know what the hell I meant, since the last time he played video games was when he was a teenager and he spends his free time either watching sports or reading mystery books, but when I was describing the way the minion kept deflecting my side attacks and how I couldn’t figure out his Major Vulnerability, I accidentally attacked him straight at the middle of his body with a sword-punch-kick combo. Usually a Major Vulnerability is an attack from an angle that’s hard to reach, but with this guy, he was vulnerable to an attack right in front of him, where you’d think he’d be most protected. I damaged him and advanced to Level 65 and explained to Walter how it was like when soccer goalies jump to one side on penalty shots, so sometimes the smart move is to kick it straight ahead. He understood it, and I said, “Make sure Nadine gives me credit for doing my first Teachable Moment this month,” and he said, “I don’t think video games count.” She gives credit for stuff that’s not always about school subjects, though.


Ready to read more? Read the full excerpt here.

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