(A little rough preview of the next Mr Blank book, hopefully coming out next year… Hope you enjoy – OJ)

 

Welcome to the asshole of nowhere. Population? This fucking idiot.

I don’t like to admit I’ve made a mistake, but let’s be honest, this is pretty high on the list.

Then again, you’d make the same if you were in my shoes. I mean, I can’t exactly be accused of having rational thought right now, heh.

In fact, rationality went out the Goddamn window when I woke up in the desert, all kinds of messed up. No tongue to speak with, no fingertips to point with, and with a skin condition best described as ‘fucked’. Yep, the standard life was scoured clean from me a long time ago, which is probably why my mind isn’t exactly making sound, logical decisions.

Mr Blank, King of the Fucked. Ask me how you can become a violent amnesiac with the body to match.

Hmm.

I mean, I could have stolen a car. Sure, the town of Rattler’s Creek behind me is nothing more than a rolling fire and a cavalcade of people who want me dead, but there must have been one working vehicle for me to borrow. But no, instead I packed up my troubles in my old kit bag, and set off on an abandoned railroad.

Like I say, not exactly making good choices right now.

At least I had the common sense to take some supplies with me. The essentials, you know? Water, food to chew on, and of course a fine supply of smokes to keep me fit and healthy. Yeah, my presence turned your quiet town into the apocalypse, but I’ll be on my way if you just let me have a few bits.

Better than shooting me in the face, I would say.

Then again, I didn’t think walking a train line would take this long. By the time I left the smoulding remains of Rattler’s Creek, I assumed it would be an hour, two hours tops before I found a more lively station.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the moon has done a fine arc in that time, telling me that however long I’ve been walking, I’ve discovered the grand total of F all. Not only that, but I’ve burnt through all my munch, most of my water, and I’m down to my last pack of smokes.

My luck had to run out eventually, I guess.

But as bad as life can get, you can’t stop a man with a goal. Oh, and boy did I have a goal. You see, waking up in my state fuels a lot of vengeance in your mind, and when you add some answers to the questions that tickle you, that vengeance don’t get any smaller. Rattler’s Creek hadn’t just supplied me with water and cigarettes, it had given me a whole load of ammunition in which to store in my chambers. Doctors who knew too much about my mutilated body, crooks who knew too much about my messy situation.

All of whom were nice and easy to pry open.

I had a name, though. And a destination. Compared to a few days ago, I was now swimming in information. One Doctor Jenkins, the man who helped craft the man now known as Mr Blank. Tearing skin away, chopping off digits and removing teeth to make that identification nonsense a whole lot of fun. Jenkins made me a walking puzzle, and I was looking forward to seeing what the answer was.

Of course, there’s no fun in just skipping straight to the answers. No sir, I was excited by the prospect of working this thing out one by one. Go to the police? Sure, sounds like a good idea in theory, but it was one that didn’t sit right in my head. Besides, Sheriff in Rattler’s Creek wasn’t too pleased to see me, so I wonder how many open arms the big boys would present me with.

Nope, Doc Jenkins was my target. Walk the line, get to The City, and get to Doc Jenkins. Simple.

Well, in theory.

Thinking back to Rattler’s Creek, couldn’t help but feel a little guilty. I’d walk in, caused chaos, and walked right back out again without a second thought. No wonder their Sheriff wanted to shoot in the face. Sure, it was rotten to the core, but that weren’t the fault of the folks there.

Then again, bad things happen when good people do nothing. They needed an injection of real bad shit to clean things up. A real nasty piece of work.

Well, I wasn’t a badass, just an asshole having a bad day. Did the job, though.

Heh.

Rattler’s Creek, Doc Jenkins, this whole thing had more layers than I did. And that weren’t even answering the question of who I was and what I was doing left for dead. Just carving up more questions that led to the middle of this Goddamn labyrinth.

And in the middle, some kinda minotaur, ready to rip my head off once again.

Well, bully, bring it on. Walking this desolate track has helped boil my blood with the heat of violence. I want to grab Doc Jenkins, break his teeth like he broke mine, and get him to give me the next piece of the puzzle. I want to find the reason why I’ve been scrubbed clean of a life. I want to know why I’ve been left breathing instead of left in a shallow grave. And most of all, I want to know who the bastards behind this are.

But right now, what is really, really pissing me off, is the fact that I’ve just had my last smoke, and all around me is dust in the wind.

I really should have stolen a fucking car.

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