Don't Feed the Trolls
by Erica Kudisch
Date Released: April 3, 2017
About Don't Feed the Trolls
Gaming while female is enough to incur the wrath of the dude-bros, and they’ve come for me. Instead of fighting back, I’ve created an alternate account. Male name, male pronouns. And I’ve met this girl. I’ve always liked girls, and Laura’s adorable and smart and never gives up, and she likes me back. Or rather, she likes the man I’m pretending to be. But I can’t tell her I’m a woman without the mob coming after her too.
And besides: I might not be a woman, not really.
The truth is, I don’t know what I am anymore. I’ve spent my whole life being told how I’m supposed to act and what I’m supposed to be, but none of it feels right. And my lie is starting to feel truer than anything I’ve ever been.
There’s a convention coming up, but the closer it gets, the more I have to choose: lie or fight. But if I don’t stand my ground as a girl, am I letting the haters win?
Then again, those aren’t the only two ways to live.
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An Excerpt from Don't Feed the Trolls
Jackie answers before I can: “Seattle, usually November.”
Of course she knows. Jackie’s been to more conventions than me and Alain combined, since she does panels as Lady Francois, fanfiction author and smut peddler extraordinaire. As double lives go, hers might be the least embarrassing of all of ours. She writes millions of words about magical girls in love and saves teenagers from a life bereft of female sexuality. Alain performs in drag clubs around the city as Ivy LeVine—well, that’s not embarrassing, just hard to talk about with new people. Not that there are many new people, since Alain meets far more new people as Ivy than he does as himself.
And I, um. When I’m not Daphne Benoit, perpetually struggling actress, I’m the Duchess Fatiguee of Altestis, in the fictional world of Eternal Reign. Also known as Daphne Benoit, MMORPG addict.
“Dinner’s on me,” Jackie says, disengaging from the hug pile to head to her room and get her phone. And possibly underwear.
I swear it’s reflexive. “You don’t have to—”
“Let her,” Alain says. He bounds back to the couch (bounding in seven-inch pumps is a feat known only to epic-level drag queens) and picks up the PS3 controller again. “If she doesn’t, Orin will. And if Orin doesn’t call within five minutes, I’ll buy the beer myself.”
I sit down on the armchair, since Alain takes up pretty much the entire couch with his legs stretched out like this. I don’t know how he plays sitting less than bullet-straight with his feet on the floor. Then again, Alain doesn’t do anything bullet-straight. “I’m not taking that bet.”
Alain grins. “You won’t have to. Your phone’s ringing.”
No, it’s not, that’s a text tone. Same difference, though. And once I read it, I’m glad I have the prudence not to make bets about Orin.
Provisions en route, Your Grace. The magic of Seamless conveys gifts of pizza and beer from far-off Rochester. Celebrate as befits a benevolent despot! (Also congrats, you.)
God, Orin’s a dork. But a dork that’s mostly made me smile for, what now, eight years? Fuck I’m old. Well, we’re all old. And fed, apparently. I text back, Your tithe is accepted, my loyal Sachem. And then, for good measure, so he doesn’t get the wrong idea, (Thanks! Couldn’t have done it without you.) Which may not be quite enough to dissuade him from the wrong idea. But it’s too late now, and I should warn Jackie not to order too much food.
I take care of all that—can’t stop Jackie from ordering entirely, but she can afford it and leftovers aren’t a crime. And then there’s nothing to do but wait, and celebrate a little.
I head back into my room, sit down at the computer. It’s real. I’m really going to meet with the creators of Eternal Reign. I really impressed someone, won something, for the first time in ages. I can relax. I can gloat. I can scroll through the announcement websites and tweets and maybe even post it on Facebook for all my people who don’t want to read it in English. I tilt back the chair until it creaks, just breathe for a while.
Something good. Finally, something real is also something good.
I should log in and announce it to my knights. It’s their story too, after all. I boot up Eternal Reign, skip the auto-updates and head straight for the messaging system. I last logged on about three hours ago and it’s not a campaign night, so most of these new messages are probably about the contest. Good to see the knights are in line—
GONNA FUCK YOUR FACE BITCH WRITE ABOUT THAT
go home u fake cunt
gtfo feminazi scum
How about you put my dick in your fucking Anals of Allthesetits?
looks like someone got a facial from Summers!!
Congratulations, whore. Gonna show my appreciation for your fucking trash romance novel by pillaging your ass, just like you want it.
WRITE ABOUT ME CLIMBING IN YOUR WINDOW AND RAPING YOU TO DEATH BITCH
. . . Holy shit.
A Note from Erica Kudisch
Hey, nerds! Erica Kudisch here promoting my novel, Don't Feed the Trolls, a genderqueer romp through internet drama. And if you keep up with the blog tour and its bonus DLC, there's a $50 prize package achievement for you to unlock. Have fun!
About Erica Kudisch
Erica Kudisch lives, writes, sings, and often trips over things in New York City. When not in pursuit of about five different creative vocations, none of which pay her nearly enough, you can usually find her pontificating about dead gay video games, shopping for thigh-high socks, and making her beleaguered characters wait forty thousand words before they get in the sack.
In addition to publishing novellas and short stories as fantastika-focused alter-ego Kaye Chazan (What Aelister Found Here and The Ashkenazi Candidate, both available at Candlemark & Gleam), Erica is responsible for the BDSM musical Dogboy & Justine, and serves as creative director and co-founder of Treble Entendre Productions.
She also has issues with authority. And curses too fucking much.
Connect with Erica
To celebrate the release of Don’t Feed the Trolls, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Riptide credit and a $20 Steam gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 8, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
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