MaxBarry.com
a/s/l?
Machine Man

Get the Machine Man serial

1 page per day — the way it was meant to be

Next Page
Page 1.
Machine Man (serial)
CHAPTER ONE

One Tuesday afternoon my left leg was severed. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Well, it was. It was agonizing. There was a lot of screaming and flopping around and trying to tear my shirt into pieces to stem the bleeding. While I was busy with this, my co-workers stared through two-inch polycarbonate security glass and beat on the door. They couldn’t get in. It was sealed for their safety. I had to apply my own tourniquet and try not to pass out for eight minutes. While I lay there, waiting for the time-release, I could see the top of what used to be my leg poking out from between two thick slabs of steel, gently dripping blood to the floor. I felt sorry for it. My leg hadn’t asked for this. It had been a good leg. A faithful leg. And now look at it.

But in the weeks afterward, as I lay in my hospital bed, I came to see the bright side. I remembered that expression: A setback is just an opportunity in disguise. I decided that was true. Because while I was sad to lose my leg, now I could build a better one.

1.

Next Page

Comments

This is where site members post comments. If you're not a member, you can join here. There are all kinds of benefits, including moral superiority!

Rene (#2458)

Location: Austria
Quote: "To live is to die - Cliff Burton"
Posted: 2115 days ago

[Quote]My leg hadn’t asked for this. It had been a good leg. A faithful leg. And now look at it.[/quote]

I tell you, that sentence could have been out of Tony Hawks's "'Round Ireland With A Fridge", if you replace "leg" with "fridge"...

Machine Man subscriber Jeff (#787)

Location: Cleveland, OH
Quote: "Give a man a match and he'll stay warm for the rest of the day; Set a man on fire and he'll stay warm for the rest of his life."
Posted: 2115 days ago

Very good start! I'm already hooked.

Yenzo (#829)

Location: Secret underwater pyramid base in the Pacific
Quote: "In order to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe (Carl Sagan)"
Posted: 2103 days ago

Dismemberment in the first frickin sentence. This is gonna be good. Feels a bit like Kafka's The Trial, for no particular reason.

Machine Man subscriber Xpovos (#958)

Location: Washington D.C.
Quote: "Time not important, only life important"
Posted: 2102 days ago

Maybe it's just because I've watched and re-read Watchmen recently but the terrible accident behind the timelock door feels a little cliche'd.

Thomas (#1221)

Location: Germany
Quote: "One more, and I'm going to consider you my penpal."
Posted: 2102 days ago

Also, it's just the right length to work in this format, I think. I can sneakily read it while working, and still pretend I don't know any bald people from Australia, should I be pressed about it.

Jeffers0n (#3865)

Location: Maryland, USA
Posted: 2102 days ago

Seems like a great start to me, makes me want to read the next page.

DomPody (#3867)

Location: DC
Posted: 2102 days ago

No idea how excited this has made me, I've been missing your writings. Good luck :)

Machine Man subscriber Toby O (#2900)

Location: Sydney
Quote: "You can't sell your soul to the devil if he's not buying"
Posted: 2102 days ago

The phantom itching started approx day 20

David (#3868)

Location: NJ
Posted: 2102 days ago

I've missed your writing style and am very excited to follow along on this journey!

David (#3868)

Location: NJ
Posted: 2102 days ago

oh - and Happy Birthday!

Machine Man subscriber Eddie Hilton (#184)

Location: Rochester, NY
Posted: 2101 days ago

Happy Birthday! And I cannot wait to see where this goes!

Machine Man subscriber Joe M. (#3183)

Location: Texas
Quote: "Grooviness is essential"
Posted: 2101 days ago

Hm. The unreliable narrator is a wonderful device, but I'm not certain that's what we have here. The shallow irony of the style certainly seems appropriate to the medium, at least.

Machine Man subscriber David (#1456)

Location: Sydney, Australia
Quote: "Why are the pretty ones always insane?"
Posted: 2101 days ago

When you said it was going to start on the 18th you failed to mention that was US time, i.e. the 19th here in the more chronologically advanced regions of the world. All day yesterday forlornly checking my RSS feed wondering if Max had suddenly chickened out or gone on a bender. Finally, a day late, to receive a two paragraph "page", a mere teaser, the literary equivalent of a pilot episode that got cut off by a power failure. You are a cruel, cruel man.

Machine Man subscriber Paul Haggerty (#3189)

Location: Bloomington
Quote: "Does the sky look orange to you as well?"
Posted: 2101 days ago

well, so far i like what i see, and i'm excited to see what there is to come

Machine Man subscriber Katie Ellert (#207)

Location: Calgary AB Canada
Quote: "Where's Lola? WHERE'S LOLA?!?!"
Posted: 2101 days ago

I want to keep reading.
:(



(also, happy birthday)

Jared Squared (#3446)

Location: Boulder, CO
Quote: ""Never turned my back on society, society turned its back on me.""
Posted: 2100 days ago

I don't know why other people think this is cliche in any way? Unless they are just visualizing what they know....ie. what images the media has implanted in them. Knowing your past sado-masochistic exploits, (John Nike was sadistic, Scat was so masochistic; the biggest glutton for punishment) I would say this character severed his leg on purpose. There is no real sign of an accident after all. It seems the protagonist has planned this carefully. It also seems that he didn't want anyone stopping him. It also seems that I have written more words in this comment than Max has on his first page.

Machine Man subscriber Julie Totsch (#1341)

Location: Racine, WI
Quote: ""The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them." - Robert Frost"
Posted: 1953 days ago

The description of losing the left leg has made my right leg start hurting. My left leg seems strangely not to care.

Machine Man subscriber Geoffrey Atkins (#858)

Location: Omaha, NE
Quote: "these nights are already long. and if i last through the winter. i swear to you now i won't call. --Circa Survive"
Posted: 1953 days ago

I'm totally psyched about this. I look forward to continuing!

Sara Allred (#4423)

Location: Paris, Texas
Quote: ""the only difference between a mad man and me is I am not mad" "
Posted: 1933 days ago

"I felt sorry for it. My leg hadn’t asked for this. It had been a good leg. A faithful leg. And now look at it." This is my favorite line. I am new to your writing but I LOVE your humor, it is brilliant!

Machine Man subscriber Lucano (#5307)

Location: Brazil
Quote: "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work... I want to achieve it through not dying."
Posted: 1366 days ago

Very good start! I hope the other pages are just as good...

To post a comment, login or sign up!

Next Page