Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

“Why is this taking so long?” Zyler brooded in the winding Starbucks line.

“Starbucks is popular. Honestly, I just come here for blogging,” the gremlin responded rather nonchalantly.

“Not the line. The virus won’t upload. Nothing ever goes my way. And how did you go to Starbucks? You were in hell before I summoned you.”

“It’s pretty liberal with the vacation days. Most used it to terrorize small families or something. I went to Starbucks. You should…”

“You know what? I don’t care. All I need is the WiFi, right? What aren’t you telling me, minion?”

“I don’t know, oh great and powerful overlord, are you sure you are connected?”

“What do you mean connected? WiFi is supposed to be automatic, though, right? You told me that.”

“No, I didn’t. You…”

“Silence. Fix this problem.” Zyler shoved the phone in the hands of the gremlin when a high pitched voice shattered the moment. He turned his head to find himself at the front of the Starbucks line.

“Hi, what can I get you?” the barista asked, not really caring about what Zyler wanted.

Zyler stood still for a second, unable to answer. He hadn’t really considered what he wanted up until that point.

“Umm, hey, can you order something? We have a long line forming, and I want to get out early. So just get something.”

“Just get me black coffee, like my soul.”

“Would you like a venti, grande, or small?”

“Ugh, I don’t care. All of this will be irrelevant soon.” Zyler was rather exasperated with the barista.

“Well then can you please move out of the line? I have other people waiting.”

“Fine. Minion, follow me.”

“I actually want a green tea. It’s supposed to be really healthy, and I connected to the WiFi.” The gremlin tossed the phone back at Zyler.

“Good, time to take over the world.” Zyler began to look for somewhere to plug in the flash drive that contained the virus. He frowned heavily. “Minion, where do I plug in the virus?”

“Huh? One second.” Hipster gremlin finished putting in his order to the rather relaxed barista, who was nonplussed at his appearance. She had probably welcomed the break from all of the basic college students. The gremlin plodded over slowly. “Well, you can’t plug it in there. You need a laptop.”

“Then why did you tell me to use the phone? I swear to me, you will regret your mistake.”

“Swear to me, like Batman™?” The gremlin looked slightly confused, though only slightly as gremlins are not known for their facial expressions.

“NO! Swear to me as I am a god on this miserable planet whom no one understands on even the most basic level. Everyone else is living a lie!” Some people looked up off of their devices at the person dressed all in black screaming, before shrugging it off as just another fact of life.

“Oh. I get it now,” hipster gremlin casually stated.

“You know what? I don’t care. Just get me a laptop.”

“Sure, here you go. I was hoping to blog so I brought mine.” Hipster gremlin pulled out a laptop he had somehow been concealing the entire time. He took a few moments to log in and get everything booted up and connected.

“Huh, liberal news says that the middle class is shrinking. Someone should do something about that,” hipster gremlin thought out loud.

“Just give me the computer so I can upload the virus and make everyone understand me.” Zyler paused a moment before uploading the virus, for dramatic tension that only he felt. “Now witness the beginning of the end.”

“Isn’t it a new beginning instead?” hipster gremlin inquired.

“NO! It isn’t.”

The virus was then uploaded into the mainframe. Everyone in the Starbucks paused for a second and began to convulse. Chains erupted from all their pockets. Their hair shifted to weird styles that could only have been found in the ’90s. All their clothes became black or some equally dark color. Then, as soon as it began, it was over, and the café was full of angst and scowling.

“Yes!” Zyler proclaimed. He went over to the closest person and asked, “How are you feeling?”

The girl glared at him briefly before rolling her eyes. “Why do you care? You wouldn’t understand anyway.” She turned away from him.

“Exactly. My plan is complete.” He felt a tug on his pants and looked down to see hipster gremlin. “What is it? Don’t ruin this for me with any nonsense.”

“Yeah, just look outside.” Hipster gremlin motioned with his clawed hand to the academic quad.

Zyler turned his gaze to outside the cafe and found himself staring at a bunch of modern day young adults, all happy and ignorant. “Impossible! My evil plan was foolproof! There is only one thing to do.”

“Umm, save the planet with green technology?”

“NO! You are ruining my moment. Just be quiet. No one cares about the environment. Nobody is supposed to care about anything right now. What I was going to say is boost the signal. I need to boost the signal,” Zyler proclaimed, relishing in his villainous cliché.

“How are you going to do that?”

“With a signal booster, of course. Probably on top of a building so I can have a climactic final showdown or something.”

“With who?”

“I don’t know. Some unlikely hero or something who fails at the last minute.”

“Umm, right. That’s how those things turn out,” hipster gremlin rolled his eyes, already picturing how the third act of this story will unfold.

“Silence, minion. Let us leave.” Zyler and hipster gremlin forced their way past all of the grunge and angst to begin preparations for the final part of the evil plan.

Riley McRell is a third-year student majoring in English writings track. He can be reached at

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