Martin White (@MartinWhite14)
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“Oh, come on,” she said enticingly, “Don’t look so shocked - you enjoyed your enemies a little while ago - wouldn’t a friend taste even better?”
Most of us have had rough nights out - but I'd venture few of us have ended up as inadvertent cannibals... Welcome to Club Medusa, this is not your average after-hours venue and for Gerry and Paul, it is going to be a wild place of unforeseen horror!?
It all begins harmlessly enough, the ex-military men agree to meet up in Edinburgh’s Old Town, visit some old haunts, drink beer, talk things through - then go home. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, funny you ask. After a violent altercation outside a nightclub, both men soon find themselves running for their lives - taking refuge in a high-class private club - which might be a very bad idea!! Martin White brings a fast-paced tale, initially of bromance and banter before taking the reader on an express elevator to hell. This could do for visiting pubs and clubs in Scotland what Jaws did for beaches in California. It's a compelling and gritty read, you'll be highly engaged throughout, just make sure you bring a strong stomach for some violent delights.
It's fun, it's scary and it'll keep you hooked to the grisly end.
I got Martin to answer some questions in order to get to know the sick mind behind this tale - which would make a brilliant black mirror episode btw...
The Infamous Darkmatters ‘10’ Interview Questions:
Matt: If scientists ever managed to create a giant mecha version of you – who or what would be your nemesis?
Martin: Right now, my arch nemesis would be a similarly giant, menacing figure made up of all the characters in my current work in progress, squeezing together, interlocking to form a gigantic, composite, fleshy behemoth. Most of them in there are handy with blades of one sort or another so I’d expect a somewhat bristly outer armour and a mouth full of flailing Ghurkha knives for teeth, as well as a borderline supernatural resistance to being edited, spell checked or condensed. This Bruckheimer-style showdown (complete with photogenic sunset) would most likely happen in a major city, evacuated just in the nick of time (as happens), with lots of tall, pointy buildings and upwardly facing sharp things deemed to be health and safety hazards to composite, fleshy behemoths. I would expect much stompiness and posturing to make it worth watching, but ultimately I would triumph by frying, reducing and super-editing my evil nemesis with lasers that shoot out of my eyes. I do get those, don’t I? Just checking… The found footage from the battle alone would probably keep Netflix and Prime going in monster movies for years.
Matt: What is the most disturbing fictional scene you’ve ever read or watched in a book / film of any genre?
Martin: One disturbing book that really stood out for me was ‘Johnny Got his Gun’ by Dalton Trumbo. The ultimate horror of isolation – of being a prisoner in your own mind and body with no way to move or communicate with the outside world - as a consequence of fighting a war that meant little to you in the first place. It’s terrifying stuff. It should be prescribed reading for all people and politicians who think war is just history or something you see on CNN.
For movies, I would go for a few choice moments – the first time I saw the montage of scares that lead up to Regan’s head spinning in the Exorcist – that moment in Communion when the Grey eases his head around the bedroom door in full view of the paralysed, bedridden main character – and then the reanimation of Frank in Hellraiser. All terrifying, yet fond, fluffy memories.
Matt: If you were hired to throw a parade of any scale or theme through the centre of London what type of parade would it be?
Martin: Please ignore if you don’t want to get political – but you did ask! I’d arrange some sort of massive, flamboyant affair, ideally sponsored and presented by YouTube and TikTok stars in a way that would grab the attention in our current black mirror generation. All the floats and handouts would present snazzy, engaging, yet true examples of lies, incompetence, nepotism and self-serving buffoonery demonstrated by the people this country have elected to govern them over the last umpteen years. We really need to find a way to help people identify and question the massive amount of marketing and spin media we have thrown at us every day and to start thinking as individuals about what we should be looking for from our leaders. And, also how we should hold them to account when they flaunt their own rules, ignore qualified advice which results in people dying unnecessarily or line their own pockets whilst sticking their middle fingers up at the electorate. Okay, pass me that ‘V’ mask now please…
Matt: You’re in a strange town with £100,000 that you have to spend in a single evening – talk me through what you get up to…
Martin: I’d probably be all disappointingly grown up about it. I guess I’d look up as many voluntary crises support organisations as I could in the town and give them all a decent split. Our emergency services do an incredible job with the rock bottom budgets and resources they’re given, but there are so many people out there giving their own time, talent and headspace to those who need it for zero return and on zero budget – these people and organisations deserve more. Having said that, I’d probably keep a few pounds to have a quiet beer afterwards. Okay, I’m maybe not that grown up then…
Matt: You’re asked for a line of ‘Wisdom’ that will be taught to every citizen on earth - what is your line??
Martin: ‘Always treat other people the way you would want to be treated in their situation (unless they’re trying to sell you something of course...)’. It used to be ‘With great power comes great responsibility, which was good - but then Spiderman nicked that one off me. Ahem.
Matt: There’s a masked assailant with a gun to your head, who is most likely to be under the mask? Martin: Probably a composite me from my own past and future, mightily hacked off about bad decisions I’ve previously made and spectacularly failed to learn from – and then been doomed to repeat in both my own past and future. I don’t much fancy the present me’s chances. If someone in 80s combat gear mysteriously appears and says, ‘Come with me if you want to live,’ then I’ll be off…
Matt: What is the meaning of life?
Martin: To keep going in the face of everything thrown at you and help others do the same. To love and look after your own and to aim to leave the world it a bit better and happier than the way it was when you first came in. Plus music, books and nachos. There’s also the stock answer of ‘42’, but strangely, that’s not the first result returned by Google.
Matt: What was the best gift you’ve ever been given?
Martin: Not technically a gift as it was declared a ‘family item’, but when I was around 11, my Dad brought a guitar home from work which he gave someone the princely sum of 20 cigarettes for. I had no idea how to play it but couldn’t leave it alone. I think it took me six months to even work out that chords were actually a thing, and I only discovered that because I found the one book my local library had on guitars. From there on, guitars, music and being in bands were huge things for me as I grew up. It certainly kept me away from hanging about outside the local chippy shouting abuse at folk. Mostly. Until of course, I failed at getting anywhere professionally in music and had to get a real job. Having said that, even now in stoatery middle age I still go out most weekends with a couple of bands to crank things up and cause temporary deafness to the masses.
Matt: If you could have a sidekick robot – what would it be able to do for you?
Martin: Manipulate time and space, preferably by expanding it to allow more naps and time to write books and to listen to music, as well as give me more chances to do things with my family without me feeling like there’s some ominous doomsday clock ticking away behind me. Also, if it had decent coffee-making skills that would be nice.
Matt: What would you like written on your tombstone?
Martin: A weblink leading to decent books on reanimation spells as I doubt I’ll have finished everything on my ‘to do’ list. Maybe some air fresheners too, I doubt I’d smell too good…