They say that what goes up must come down. Try telling that to the guy
whose back went in mid-bonk in the rear of a Ka. They also say that
the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Now that Marcus Barclay would
Marcus Barclay is not his real name by the way (though his nickname
of Marky is). None of the names in this book is real. Well,
they may be real names but they dont belong to the persons to
whom theyve been attached here. Its to protect the innocent,
or maybe the not so innocent.. But dont get too excited. There
are no juicy court cases here past or pending.
The anonymity is just to prevent identities being discovered and to
avoid embarrassment. If I say that our heros name might appropriately
have been Dick, Willie or maybe Roger, you might get an inkling why.
The pseudonyms have been selected at random, with little rhyme or reason.
Well, no rhyme at all in fact. You wouldnt really have wanted
to see handles like Pat and Matt, or Jill and Phil, would you? On the
other hand, the choice of Lana is deliberate but only because backwards
it is Anal. That has no relevance to the individual concerned or the
story. Its only a personal indulgence. And now you will wonder
what to read into that. Nothing really. Just call it a pervarse - to
coin a phrase - sense of humour.
I havent even used my own name on the cover. But then I never
would, being a shy, sensitive soul. Not all journalists are tabloid
toerags, you know. At least not yet but methinks there might be a lot
more dumbing down still to come in the old, and famously ignoble, profession.So
now you know what I am, if not exactly who I am. You might recognise
me from the byline Francis Driscoll above numerous meaty,
erudite features in our superior Fleet Street publications. (Come to
think of it, Fleet Street itself is now a bit of a misnomer for the
press - how many papers are based there nowadays?). Dont be alienated
if your daily news intake comes from papers with more pictures than
text. I have earned a fair crust from them too, though under another
name which modesty, or shame, forbids my divulging.
Ironically, I suppose you might say that Im a bit lacking in imagination.
I have always been fascinated by written words. Hardly a unique distinction,
I know. Its just that most other people get beyond that and find
other attractions too - like art, engineering, science, drug dealing,
whatever. Not me. So I have had to turn my interest into my occupation.
I had my journalistic baptism on a local rag before graduating to a
regional broadsheet in the same geographical area and then to a daily
national. Never having had an aptitude for doorstep verbal mugging of
the recently bereaved/accused/assaulted, I begged, cajoled, bribed and
even earned my way into feature writing. Well, anyone with half a brain
wants to express an opinion rather than just report the facts,
though it can be difficult to distinguish between them nowadays. Its
hardly original for a writer to say that they used to read everything.
In my case it included the writing on the wall. I credit myself with
having had the foresight to anticipate the cutbacks in permanent newspaper
staff. So I established as many editorial contacts as I could in the
written medium world and launched myself into a freelance career, for
want of a more apposite word.
Between commissions from newspapers and magazines and income from some
comedy writing for radio and TV series - thanks to that pervarse sense
of humour - I have not had to trouble the State for income support,
or whatever the Peoples Party call the dole nowadays. Theres
a lot of competition out there, however, and nothing is guaranteed.
That is why I have been on the lookout for a scoop in the
sense of a story that would make a book and/or a serialised piece for
one of our major publications.
I thought I had it when I got wind of Marcus story from a mutual
friend and then...... well, thats what youre about to find
I have spoken about me partly because Im human and people like
to talk about themselves. More importantly, Im trying to establish
some credentials and credibility because Marcus fate takes some
believing. Ill try to present it as accurately as possible as
it was told to me by those involved. However, this is not a verbatim
report. For one thing, people seldom remember exactly the words which
they used and heard.
For another, there are always little gaps or inconsistencies in witnesses
recollections that have to be judiciously doctored. Also,
for the sake of confidentiality, I have avoided dialect and accent (not
that Ive ever been sure of the difference anyway). So the language
and the grammar are, I hope, a bit more precise than the original but
that does not detract from the essence of the tale. If I told you that
the whole saga started on April 1 and ended on June 24 (Midsummer night
and dreams thereof, in case you dont have one of these significant
dates diaries) you would not believe me. And you would be right.
However, the action occurred over a period between these two dates.
In just a few fraught weeks, Marcus was given, then deprived of, probably
the greatest gift known to man and I was handed, then robbed of, my
Ill have a word again at the end of the book. In the meantime,
away with the first person vein/vain, and on to the main subject.
What follows is not a minute by minute commentary of events. Its
more recorded highlights, if you like. But thats what lifes
mainly about, isnt it?
goes the monster,
It might not have been the worst of times for Marcus but it certainly
was not the best of times. A couple of days earlier he had developed
cold-like symptoms and a slight fever. It was not flu. If it had been,
there would have been no story at all. What was definite was the swelling
round his salivary glands. In medical speak - and for the time being
Marcus could not speak, medical or otherwise - he had contracted epidemic
parotitis, or mumps to the layman.
The experience was not pleasant for three main reasons. First, despite,
or maybe because of, producing more saliva than usual, he found it very
painful to swallow. If you cant swallow properly, you cant
enjoy food. And being a healthy, normal nineteen year old, he enjoyed
food, without there being anything of the Sumo wrestler about him.
Second, there was the effect on his appearance. You might not describe
him as drop-dead gorgeous but who wants to make people drop dead, unless
theyre into necrophilia? He was in fact a fairly good-looking
guy. Nearly six feet tall, with thick dark hair, long eyelashes and
Latin-like brown eyes, he could not complain about having been short-changed
in the looks department. His ears, were a bit on the large side, though
no competition for Prince Charles, and he had a slight scar under
his left eye - the result of a childhood accident - but, if anything,
that tended to add to his allure. He was definitely fanciable, to the
opposite sex at least. So it was more than a bit depressing at his age
for him to find his ailment giving him the appearance of having an extended,
almost-square head reminiscent of Frankensteins monster.
Not that he had to worry about being gawped at much. He had been confined
to barracks as soon as his contagious condition had been diagnosed by
the family GP, Dr Urquhart. Besides, his main mates, Brian Wideboy
Douglas, Francis Fourpence OConnor, and Jocko
McLean, had steered well clear of him. Their absence was not so much
a case of mates behaving badly, as fear of the genital misfortunes popularly
associated with the illness.
That was his third concern. Not the absence of his mates - he was a
pretty self-contained individual - but the hazard to the old, or rather
young, meat and two veg. Dr Urquhart had carefully explained to him
that, at his age, there was an outside chance of a swelling and tenderness
- known in the trade as orchitis - occurring in the testicles. It was
unlikely to happen and, if it did, it would be of short duration and
of no serious significance. Besides, the infection usually only affected
one testicle. One thing in his favour was that it was more likely to
affect smokers than non-smokers. Yes, it was just possible for both
gonads to be affected and er, um, yes, there had been cases of impotence
and sterility ensuing. But, och, the likelihood was as remote as the
prospects of the Queen being the next Miss World. And anyway there were
antibiotics and other treatments available, so there was nothing to
Without being ungrateful to the doc, he thought it was easy for him
to be reassuring - he didnt have the mumps. It was pretty unfair,
Marcus thought, to have to suffer the discomforts of the illness and
still have the threat, however remote, of a non-surgical gelding hanging
over, or under, you as well.
It was good that Marcus did not know about some of the opinions being
expressed by his mates; they would have made the hairs on his neck,
and elsewhere, stand on end. Fourpence was convinced that everything
shrivelled and maybe even dropped off. Jocko had heard that there was
a 50/50 chance of impotence. Wideboy was prepared to believe that the
facts lay somewhere between these two dire predictions.
It was left to the Proof to pronounce on the more prosaic truth. The
Proof, or Jervais Cockroft to give him his registered appellation, was
not a full member of the fraternity, though he had gone through comprehensive
school with Marcus and Wideboy. (Fourpence had been at the same school
but a year ahead, though not in intellectual development). Jervais was
different from the others. He was gay. Not that you would instantly
know. He was no raging queen or lisping limp-wrist. Yet there was something
indefinably distinctive about him - perhaps it was his air of cool refinement.
Of slim build with a wan complexion, fine fair hair, pale blue eyes
and drooping eyelids, he had a slight resemblance to the effete, but
straight character Niles in the American TV comedy Frazier.
Nevertheless he was positively homosexually oriented and did not participate
much in the pals general activities.
That did not prevent them from liking him and engaging with him socially,
particularly in their local, The Left Winger. Their relationship
was not hindered by his being some sort of half cousin of Fourpence,
who manifested a protective familial attitude towards him.
With that creative, arty flair not uncommon among gays, Jervais had
headed straight for a career associated with drama and was an assistant
stage manager in the principal local theatre. His sobriquet Proof
was not indicative of any particular occupation or pastime; Jervais
did not have a connection with the law, on either side. Nor did it relate
to his alcohol intake. His nickname was a laddish play on both his extensive
general knowledge and his sexual proclivity; it was an abbreviation
of Professor and Poof.
Despite Jervais explanation of the facts of the matter, the mates
preferred to dwell on the darker possibilities. So Marcus was in no
danger of hearing ribald remarks from them on his bloated appearance.
It is doubtful if they would have watched him through a telescope never
mind touched him with a barge-pole.
Not that Marcus totally escaped the addition of insult to the injury
he was feeling. His father, John, couldnt help making, though
not unkindly, the obvious comparison with the classic film freak. Marcus
slightly younger sister, Susan, made the same comparison but, as is
a siblings way, with malice and a great deal of mirth.
What are you like? she chortled then proceeded to answer
her own question. Marcus gurgling, incoherent attempt at a riposte
just heightened the comparison and made Susan laugh the more.
That is how things stood after two days of Marcus subjugation
by the mumps virus. The third day saw a radical change. When Marcus
awoke he was immediately aware that he could swallow normally. There
was no longer a need to let his saliva collect and try to slide it gingerly
down the back of his throat. That was his first surprise. Then putting
his hands to his neck he found that the swelling had gone - surprise
number two but the biggest had yet to come.
His astonishment at these discoveries had temporarily diverted him from
his normal morning examination of his mildly threatened genitalia. An
incipient smile of relief at his release from the other symptoms of
his ailment became stillborn. Things were not as they should have been
in the basement.
His head swiftly pursued his hand under the sheet to verify that his
manhood, as the tabloids coyly describe it, was extraordinarily swollen.
This was not the result of matinal self-abuse; bed was not one of the
locations Marcus favoured for that indulgence, even unconsciously. No,
this was something pretty abnormal.
Marcus eyes had dilated like a cervix with a heavyweight child
coming through. His mind was accelerating in auto drive, prey to a confused
mixture of excitement and fear. He had been suddenly endowed with the
sexual equivalent of the holy grail. But what if there was a downside?
Maybe it wouldnt function properly in all respects; or even in
any respect. Maybe it was the harbinger of some great malfunction of
his body in general. Bloody hell! What if it was only the start of something
big? What if the inexplicable growth continued? He seemed to recall
some childhood tale, maybe it was about Pinocchio though he didnt
think so, in which some poor sod had had to carry his nose around in
a wheelbarrow because of its exceptional size. God forbid that he would
have to wheel his hose around! If that was the price of his new-found
fortune, he couldnt afford it.
In times of stress a lads first thoughts turn to his resident
social worker, his mother. But, even in these liberated times, a major
augmentation of the crown jewels was not a subject that could casually
be broached with the old girl. Besides, he thought with a sinking feeling,
it might only be a fleeting phenomenon. Maybe it was just a swelling,
though it was on the scale of a hot air balloon swelling. Maybe he had
been bitten by something - but there was no pain or heat in it.
With fear descending and hope climbing in his emotional chart, Marcus
decided to test out his dimensional development. Shrugging on his dressing
gown, he hurried down into the kitchen of their three bedroom semi,
grabbed a bag of ice cubes from the fridge and shot out again. His father,
who had a very early start in the morning, was long gone to his Post
Office work. His mother was lingering over her second cup of caffeine
stimulant before heading for her receptionist job at the local medical
centre. She vaguely sensed through her maternal radar where, but not
exactly what, he was at and said something encouraging about his trying
to reduce the swelling, though she did not mean the kind that preoccupied
Marcus. Susan, displaying her usual sisterly concern, whooped, never
realising how appropriate her words were. In their early morning lethargy
neither noticed that his face had regained its normal contours.
Having scuttled back up to his room, Marcus suppressed a yelp as he
applied the ice bag to his distended dick. After the initial shock of
the low temperature, he found the quaint tourniquet induced a mildly
sensual sensation. Another time, he might have been keen to prolong
that feeling but he had something to sort out here urgently. Apart from
the normal initial effect which cold temporarily has on the male genitalia,
nothing extraordinary occurred. Once the freeze-inducing agent was removed,
the appendage regained its new amplitude. Soaring hope suddenly reached
number one in the emotion chart.
While the rest of the family spent the day uneventfully at work, Marcus
was engaged in research on his personal growth. You could say he had
his hands full. Measurement confirmed almost a doubling in limpid length
to 9 inches. (We may have gone all metric in other ways but thats
one item for which imperial measure remains sacrosanct). Remarkably,
Marcus had not plotted his circumference before mainly because he had
never had a tape measure handy and he did not have one now. He couldnt
help noticing that while the meat had expanded, the two veg did not
seem to have altered significantly. He was worried in case they might
have shrunk but concluded that that was a false impression from the
comparison with the new monster.
What mattered was that the equipment as a whole performed just fine
on a test of both its essential functions. The real bonus was that when
the monster was made to stand to attention it gained nearly another
third in length. It meant that Marcus now had to wield a two-handed
broadsword instead of a rapier, but he wasnt complaining.
Marcus wondered briefly whether his altered state was a divine recompense
for the discomfort and worry induced by the mumps, which were rapidly
becoming a diminishing memory. His mood was jubilant but he knew that
what had developed was hardly normal and might yet have untoward repercussions
His altered state would have to be looked at physically and metaphorically.
Not being sure quite what to do, he consulted his father on his return
from his postal duties. John Barclay just managed to suppress an exclamation
of Are you sure, son? realising that this was not the kind
of issue on which any lad was going to make a casual mistake. He had
not been called upon to testify to the well-being of his sons
genitalia for many a year now. So he was almost as embarrassed as Marcus
when the monster made its first public appearance specially for him.
I see what you mean, son. In his voice could be detected
awe, wonder, a touch of pride and a little amusement. Its
a whopper right enough. John asked the kind of questions laymen
do, as if they could do anything about it anyway, about the fall of
the mumps and the rise of the monster. He then concluded unsurprisingly
that the family medical adviser, Dr Urquhart, should be apprised of
the situation to be on the safe side.
John made the call to the surgery on Marcus behalf and asked for
his wife. With some difficulty, he persuaded her of the genuineness
of the matter without her becoming hysterical with mirth or fear, or
both. It was clear that professional medicine men would be even more
sceptical so they agreed that she would simply report that there had
been complications, involving a growth, arising from the mumps. Despite
the common view about delays inherent in NHS services - and having nothing
to do with the perks of Mrs Barclays employment, of course - it
was arranged that Dr Urquhart would call that very evening.
© Walter Roberts 2001
More fiction at First Chapters