Man of Ruin_Episode One, page 1
Man of Ruin: Episode One
(Extra Special Pre-Release Edition)
First published by Darkside Fiction Press in 2018
Copyright © Oliver Franks, 2018
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning, or otherwise without written permission from the publisher. It is illegal to copy this book, post it to a website, or distribute it by any other means without permission.
This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author's imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.
Oliver Franks asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.
Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed as trademarks. All brand names and product names used in this book and on its cover are trade names, service marks, trademarks and registered trademarks of their respective owners. The publishers and the book are not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. None of the companies referenced within the book have endorsed the book.
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A note from the author
Forward from Dave
Another note from the author
A note from the author
Hello there readers! Welcome to Man of Ruin: Episode One, an Extra Special Pre-Release Edition. In this edition you are getting eleven chapters and close to 30,000 words from Man of Ruin, the as yet unreleased first book in my forthcoming Junk Food Dynamo trilogy. There is plenty of action here and it all reaches a natural cut-off point where I have er… cut it off. Hence I am calling it ‘Episode One’. Anyway, just to say that the full book will be out VERY soon (as in weeks), so this really is an extra special preview you are getting, and you wont have long to wait to read the rest of it. That is, if you want to of course. I am praying that you don’t curse the day you ever laid eyes on this book. No, no, silly thought. Why would you possibly do that?
I’ll shut up now.
PS: I have a website if you’re interested to read more about me and my books: https://oliverfranksauthor.com/
Forward from Dave
Firstly, I should tell you I’ve never written anything before. Or dictated, as I am doing now. Sure, I’ve written all kinds of bollocks for school, and sent plenty of work related emails in my time. But that’s not the same at all. So excuse me if my style is a little rough around the edges. That’s just me. I’m not a writer, OK.
This is my story, my testament. What really happened and how I ended up who and where I am today. As much as I hate writing, I couldn’t let anyone else tell it for me. They’d only mess it up. Over-do it. Under-do it. Or make me look like a twat.
Yes, by the way, I was a twat. Am a twat. But it all happened to me, so I figure I should be the one to tell it. You all need to know who the real Dave is. The legend is bollocks, mostly. Some details might be public record, but to be honest, no one has a clue what I’ve been through. Not really. How could they? But it’s all true, everything I tell you here really happened to me.
A little warning before I launch into it. I won’t be mincing words. I’ll be giving you the full picture. There are plenty of parts that aren’t pretty. This is definitely not the tidiest tale ever told. A lot of it is just gross. But I’ve promised to tell it like it was, how it was. So you’ll be getting all the gory details, straight from the horse’s mouth.
In a nutshell, this is your final warning. If you don’t think you can handle it, I suggest you stop reading now. If you’re game for it, cool. Listen up. Listen good.
Signed: Dave Smith
It started with the mother of all hangovers. A real stinker. Like when the world spins around you and it’s not real somehow, almost in black and white, and you don’t even know who or where you are but you don’t give a monkey’s either ‘cos your head is thumping so hard, banging away, metal scratching on metal. All you want is to live, and to do that, you need liquid, lots of it, preferably cold and fizzy and sweet, and some pills, maybe a splash of water on your face. But more basically, firstly, you just need to stay still, very still, and horizontal, and just let it all spin around you. It could be the end of the world outside for all you care.
Eventually, I opened my eyes. My face was kissing the pillow, my lips were parched and my throat was dry and crinkly like scrunched paper, like ashtrays left out in the rain. My stomach rumbled with the toxic sludge of the previous night’s excesses. It was still just a blur to me, that night, not such an unusual position to find myself in on a Saturday morning. Yet somehow this morning, it was different. Something niggled at me. Something bad. I couldn’t say what, why or how, yet I had the strong feeling that things weren’t quite right. Alarm bells were ringing in my head.
I dragged myself out of bed and opened the curtains. I did this purely on instinct, and though the sky was cloudy it was still more than bright enough to stun my fragile eyes. I stood there rubbing them, wondering what the devil it was that had happened the night before? That disturbing feeling gnawed. I sensed there had been some kind of anarchy, something of my causing. It wasn’t unusual for me to cause mayhem on a Friday night, but this felt different. Was it Alice, perhaps? Had I bumped into her again? Said something I shouldn’t?
I scratched my neck, then my chest, thigh and finally, my arse. I always get scratchy in the morning, especially on a hangover and especially when something’s bugging me.
Whatever had happened, I desperately needed water, so I padded over to the box-like space that served as living room cum dining room cum kitchen in the small, ex council flat I called home. I poured myself a glass, looking out the window over the dull suburban houses. My block stood out like a sore thumb from the outside, but afforded nice little toy box views from within. As I drank down the precious liquid, I watched a car wind its way up the road, a right old banger spewing out black smoke from its exhaust. Disgusted, I leaned against the counter and stared at the milky way poster on the wall above my telly. I wondered about the millions of little green men we’d yet to meet out there in that big wide galaxy. I bet they didn’t drive sooty old bangers. What were they doing right now? Were any of them scratching, anxious, thirsty like me?
When I’d finished the water my bladder pinged me with that little tightening feeling. I needed to pee. Something flashed momentarily in my mind, a vague sense of danger. Perhaps I had pissed on the neighbours front door again? I groaned and tried to push that nasty little thought out of mind as I headed to the loo.
Pulling the toilet seat up, the alarm bells in my head still hadn’t stopped. In fact, they grew louder. I knew there was something I desperately needed to figure out, yet the night before was still all just blurs and flashes.
Only when my wee hit the water and it starting fizzing violently, when the bowl cracked from its impact and water started running over my feet, only then did it all start tumbling back. Then of course the whole memory stormed through my mind like the fist in your face of some bastard you wished you’d never met.
It was a Friday night, a classic
The lads and I ended up in the Dog and Whistle and as per usual I was more than a little bit pissed. That’s where it happened. The awful moment came back to me, hazy but clear enough.
“Do you know what, sod it!” I remembered saying, with the intention to buy yet another round of Jaeger-bombs. Then my body shuddered, my bladder pushing on my scrotum like an overblown balloon. “Wait, do you know what, I’m bursting here!” I said, before running to the bogs with the piss to end all pisses.
I staggered and bumped my way to the urinal, my belly bouncing. When I unzipped my jeans I could barely see my penis under that bulging hairy flab. That’s where the rocket fuel was churning and mixing, for this week had been a good one, a reckless one. McDonald’s followed by KFC followed by Burger King followed by full gut-buster English followed by… well let’s just say every day I did what I wanted, consumed all I wanted. And that day was a Friday, and I’ve already explained what that meant.
When the pee finally came it spewed out thickly, like a power hose, like one of those water cannons the police use to batter down protesters. It smashed vigorously against the urinal and everything was as it should be except that upon impact I noticed it was making this fizzing, bubbling sound and there was this odd yellow-grey smoke where it was somehow going straight through the thick metal plating.
It was a shock of course but I was drunk and didn’t have time to think. The pee just kept on coming. Not knowing what else to do, I wiggled left and right. The liquid cut deep lines all over the urinal. Soon it had melted away entirely into a slimy and smoky mess, and the whole wall split apart. Before I knew it I was looking directly onto the patio outside where people were sitting, open jawed - me watching them watching me standing there pee. The strangest of moments. It was only broken by a creaking sound above, the roof about to cave in!
I jumped back just in time to see a cloud of dust and water squirting out from the now exposed plumbing.
Dusting myself off, I zipped up.
People watched me in amazement from the patio. A woman giggled and some guy said: “Mate, what the hell are you doing?”
“I don’t know mate,” I said, looking all around at the scene of destruction. “I’ve never had any beef with this wall before.”
They laughed, but I knew I had caused serious damage. As soon as I could I grabbed the lads from inside. Me Martin, James, Tony, Brian. We legged it from the place.
The lads seemed to think it was just made-up nonsense. They didn’t believe me when I told them how my pee had turned into some kind of super strong acid.
“Davey what are you on mate?” they said. “More like you’ve taken acid!”
Perhaps if it had been any other night I might have stopped, gone home, but it was still a Friday night and those were almost holy for me, I never wanted them to end.
“Alright, buy me a couple more pints and I’ll show you!” I said.
So we went to another pub and they did.
Now, I was drunk, yes, but I wasn’t crazy. I knew something strange was up, so for my demonstration I resolved on an empty playground rather than another pub. I thought of the swings and the slides and the climbing frame. No people, lots of metal, big fun!
“Right, up you go,” I directed Tony onto the climbing frame.
Once he’d climbed to the top I called out: “Now hold on tight mate and be prepared to jump the moment this baby goes down!”
He laughed at me.
I peed all over that thing. Once again there was the fizz and the yellowish-grey smoke and then there was this creaking and shuddering and soon enough the juddering sharp slippage of metal bars disconnecting and sliding into each other as the structure lost its shape and fell all in on itself.
Martin jumped off just in time.
“Shit Dave, you’re a freak!” he cried. “What’ve you been drinking? What’ve you been doing with your knob?”
They all laughed but it was half-heartedly, confused.
And that was pretty much it. It was late already and we were drunk as skunks so we all just decided to head home, swearing each other to secrecy. I think. The memory got more sketchy the deeper I tried to probe. I did remember passing out in a flop on my bed. It was shocking, to be sure, but booze can take the edge off anything. At that point it all just seemed like some kind of silly dream.
Picture the moment now. There I was, all of this nonsense running through my head, my brain aching like buggery anyway, what with all the hangover and everything. The toilet before me was completely broken, falling apart like some kind of plastic toy. Without even thinking, I continued to pee into what was left of it, lines of my golden liquid slicing it up like it was papier mache, the plumbing underneath squirting up streams of water with God knows what else besides floating in there.
I was stunned. My jaw dropped. My legs wobbled. My whole body shook.
I finished my wee and stumbled backwards in a daze, back to the living room.
I leaned against the sofa and just breathed.
“What the hell? What the absolute hell?”
I said these words out loud, to no one in particular.
“What the bastard is going on?”
I went to the window and looked down to the frosty street.
“What has happened to my member?”
Todge! Knob! Weiner! All the silly words in the universe for that little organ streamed through my mind. I stared down at the little bump in my underpants where he was, shaking my head again and again. It was as if he was looking back, shrugging his shoulders and saying “Be damned if I’ve got a clue mate.”
It was crazy. Insane. Bonkers. The whole room span around me in fractals of this madness. I kept running through the night before in my mind, all the terrible details. The pub, the playground. Serious damage I’d caused. And the lads were there to witness it weren’t they?
A loud crack from the bathroom jolted me. The sink had given way now, smashing down onto the tiles, widening the gaping hole in the floor.
Christ, I thought, the neighbours’ll be getting up in a mo’, and then how will I explain things?
All the while I had this horrid little voice barking at me, sort of like my dad when he was in a mood, telling me to sort myself out. But there was no sorting this bugger out. I was pissing what appeared to be acid. Not just any acid, but some kind of super strong acid that could cut through stuff. Even metal. It was like one of those alien movies. Somehow, I was the alien.
Yet everything else about me was perfectly normal. Fat, pudgy, soft, round. Stupid. The chubby lad everyone loved, or maybe just tolerated. Only now there was this incy wincy teeny weeny difference that could wreck your toilet. And God knows what else besides.
What the bloody hell would I do?
“Mate,” I croaked down the mobile to Martin.
“Davey?” he said.
“Yeah, it’s me.”
He sounded just as croaky as me and I took some comfort in that. Good old Martin, he’d help me get my head together. It was early morning, but this was an emergency.
“No mate, not really,” I said.
“What’s the matter?”
“Not sure exactly. You remember last night don’t you?”
I could hear him yawning. “It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest mate. A bit of a mad one wasn’t it?”
He chuckled in that laddish way of his, yet his laughter was tainted by what I suspected to be the same uneasy niggling suspicion I’d felt earlier.
“Can I come over mate?” I said.
“Wot, now?” he said, not sounding overly keen.
“Yeah. I need to go somewhere, got some issues in the flat here. It’d be easier to tal
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