“I wonder if one of those YouTube guys will make a highlight video for me,” Wes Iwundu mused out loud in the Magic locker room after the game. His mood was significantly more upbeat than it usually would be after a loss, considering that his team had just scored forty points in the fourth quarter. “I bet DTB will. He’s got scrubs like me on lock.”
“Nah, probably not, too many LAME-ups,” said D.J. Augustin, who was sitting in the next locker. “Besides, D.J. Augustin pretty much fed you all your looks. All you did was cut to the basket. Nobody wants to watch that. Try making some jumpshots next time.”
Wes furrowed his eyebrows. D.J. didn’t usually refer to himself in the third person. “I bet he will though, I mean, I’m a rookie after all and I just scored a career high.”
“I bet he won’t,” D.J. repeated.
“You don’t gotta be so negative, man,” Wes replied surlily as he wrenched off his shoes. “You might be used to it by now, but I still think it’s cool to have people make highlight videos for me.”
“TOO MANY LAME-UPS,” D.J. said again, but his voice had gotten louder and distorted. Wes looked at him curiously as D.J. began to claw at his face. “NOT ENOUGH JUMPERS. NOBODY WILL WATCH IT.” Now D.J. was literally peeling the skin off his face with agitated movements, but underneath wasn’t muscle and bone, but another, lighter set of skin…
“Yo, what’s going on?” Wes asked, looking around and seeing that none of his remaining teammates had noticed anything amiss, despite how loud D.J. was being.
“DTB REQUIRES MORE JUMPERS,” D.J. said, but now, large patches of the skin on his head had been ripped away, revealing the face of a skinny, white young man. “MORE JUMPERS. FEWER LAME-UPS. MORE JUMPERS. MORE DUNKS. TOO MANY ASSISTS. MORE JUMPERS. DTB COMMANDS IT.”
Wes could only watch in stunned silence as the being he took to be DownToBuck resumed attacking his own face with clawlike hands. Possessing what seemed to be superhuman strength, DownToBuck was gouging out bloody, quivering chunks of flesh and tossing them on the floor. “NOBODY WILL WATCH IT.” he said, his voice gurgling through blood that had entered his throat.
This grotesque display continued for another minute, each successive slab of meat ripped from D.J.’s body increasing the blood loss. Discarded fat, muscle, and even some bones had made a disturbing mess on the floor around him. Finally, the trauma was too much, and DownToBuck/D.J. slumped to the floor face-first and ceased moving. Wes could barely hear the final words, weakly spoken: “Too many lame-ups.”
Wes didn’t move for a while. None of his teammates had even acknowledged the pile for gore on the floor of their locker room. “I wonder if I’ll get a highlight video,” was the thought that repeated itself in his mind.