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Book: Rise of the Dough Monster
Chapter 1: Filth Bucket

Earth Reference Year 2392.21 AD

"That be smelly that be." Martha Raisindough said, removing her boot from a jumbo-sized and corrosive grunk dropping. She wiped the boot on a clump of grass, almost vomiting at the pungent stench that found its way up into her nostrils. "Those dumb creatures always be shitin' on my plantation."

Martha looked around, scanning the tree-filled skyline for any sign of movement. A muffled roar filtered through the air.

"I hear yer, yer great plump defecator." She shouted. Martha thought about going after it but quickly decided against that idea. Apart from the fact that it sounded too far away to catch, grunks weighed over seventeen tonnes and had an annoying habit of sitting on people that came too close. They were also one of the few life forms in the galaxy with a hide thick enough to repel a blast from an energy weapon. Not an easy beast to kill.

Martha noticed that the excrement had started to smoulder. "I better be cleanin' that up." She said, annoyed. "Before it dissolves my crop." She walked back towards her tool shed were she kept a dung shovel and wheelbarrow. "One of these days I'll get me some o' those spiky fence things. They'll keep the shitters out!"

Martha reached the shed and pulled open its flimsy wooden door. It was difficult; its hinges were suffering from an extreme rust infection. She waddled inside. Another nauseating smell found its way into her nostrils, this time of rotting wood and damp mould.

"Everywhere I go there be a pukey smell." Martha mumbled as she looked around for the spade and wheelbarrow. Her lifestyle had become really tedious lately. Belch-berry cultivation had developed into an intensely boring occupation, especially over the last decade. "Maybe if the next harvest be profitable I'll move into the village. There be less stink down there in the valley. And no grunks!"

Martha spotted the spade resting against a drainage pipe in the corner and made her way over to it. It was rattling to itself very quietly. Strange, thought Martha. She grabbed hold of its handle. Gentle vibrations were undulating through its shaft. "My spade be aquirin' a life of its own!" She said, dropping it.

Looking around, Martha noticed that her rake, pitch-fork, and platinum Mutanoid Blood-Sabre were also rattling. "All of my tools be possessed!" She screamed. Martha ran back outside, slammed the shed door, and then whacked the bolt, locking it tightly. "That'll keep those demonic death fiends at bay!"

Martha leaned her back against the door and breathed heavily. She was not used to moving so quickly. She suddenly realised that the door was vibrating. "Now the shed itself be possessed!" She yelled, moving quickly away from it. Martha was becoming highly distressed. This sort of thing had never happened before.

After reaching the centre of her plantation, she stopped. A chill shivered its way down her spine. "No!" Martha exclaimed with despair. She looked down. "Now the soil be shakin'." She could see and feel the vibrations around her feet. "My entire plantation be possessed!"

A powerful, deep rumble caught Martha's attention. She looked at the haze shrouded hills to the east, the direction that the sound seemed to be coming from, and noticed that an eerie, red glow had appeared behind the clouds. "That be strange," she said. "It be evenin' not mornin'. The sun ain't meant to be over there."

The vibrations increased in intensity.

"Maybe I be goin' insane!"

Martha looked down. Her boots were shaking so much that all she could see was a blur. Now she was highly distressed. "Maybe I be goin' to wobble apart!" She said as the vibrations reached her gut. Martha's flabby midsection began to quiver underneath her purple dungarees.

The rumbling grew rapidly more thunderous, the red glow expanded and turned orange. Martha thought about screaming but decided against it. The sound had risen to a deafening roar.

"Maybe I be goin' to die!"

A speeding yellow ball of flame blasted into view and thundered towards the ground. Blue arcs of electrical discharge ionised the air as it made its rapid descent.

"God be wrathful!" Martha exclaimed with horror. She dropped to her knees and buried her head in the earth. "Please forgive me!" She warbled as the ground shook her face. "Whatever it is I be doin' wrong, please forgive me!"

Martha sat up, coughed deeply, and then spat out the soil from her mouth. "Ewww! Worms in my teeth!"

The appalling racket from above quickly returned her attention to the more pressing problem. A bright golden light illuminated the plantation. Martha looked up. Her lower jaw almost hit the dirt. A fire ball blasted overhead, its intense heat penetrating Martha's soul like super-heated inanimate carbon rods. Martha buried her head back into the soil. Less than a second later, the fire ball ploughed into the tool shed at phenomenal speed, vaporising it completely. The huge explosion that followed showered molten debris high into the air, spreading it over most of the plantation. Martha shuddered with terror as the reverberation of the blast jiggled at her plump torso.

Thirty seconds later, calm returned. All that Martha could hear was the gentle crackle of flames. She sat up and brushed the soil, dust, and debris from her cloths and matted hair.

"I be alive!" She said with more than a touch of relief. "I be spared the sufferin' of eternal damnation within the wailin' confines of the abyss of the doomed ogres of fraudulent conduct!"

Martha's happiness quickly evaporated as the damage to her property became apparent. "I be ruined."

Reluctantly, Martha rose to her feet and wandered over to the smouldering pile of wood and stone that was once a fine tool shed. Thoughts of brutal suicide filtered through her mind. "My life be over." She whimpered. "Why didn't I get insurance?"

Martha scrambled into the crater left by the fire ball. The smell of incinerated wood filled her nasal passageways. "More bad smells." She shouted with irritation. Looking around made her even more depressed. "I don't be seein' any of my tools. All is destroyed."

Martha looked towards the centre of the crater. Something was there, something new. "I wonder what that be?" she said curiously.

Stumbling and tumbling, Martha made her way over to the silver, cylindrical object that she had spotted half buried in the rubble. "I don't be rememberin' this tool?"

Martha cautiously touched the cylinder. "It be cool!" She said. "And smooth." She wiped away the dust that covered its top side, revealing some large lettering. Unfortunately, Martha was completely illiterate.

The plump little lady wiped away more dust. "There be a window!" she exclaimed. She peered inside. Martha fell backwards with shock and smashed her head onto a small fungal ferret that had been scurrying by. Its skull was crushed to a bloody pulp. Martha wiped the blood stained cerebellum from her hair and got to her feet. She went back to the window and looked inside once again. "I not be halucifyin', there do be a face inside." Martha took a closer look. "It be a man, and he looks pale blue and ill."

Martha took a step back and thought for a few seconds. "He must be arivin' inside that glowin' thing." She said excitedly. "He be a spaceman!"

The planet on which Martha dwelt was called Mud-Paq, a quiet, often cloud-shrouded world of dense forests, giant lakes, frozen continents, and low IQs. Due to its location on the very edge of the galaxy, and its backwards technology-shunning inhabitants, it was rarely visited by other worlds and generally ignored to the point at which even manufacturers of star-maps failed to include it on their charts. If it was included, it was usually mentioned simply as something to avoid crashing into.

Although Mud-Paq's occupants lead a simple, old-fashioned lifestyle, they were aware of the high-tech worlds that existed beyond there own, even Martha.

"Maybe he be dead." Martha said, looking through the window again. "I should bury this thing and let him rest in peace."

Several red lights began to blink inside the capsule. A bleeper sounded. Martha was startled, and stepped back. "Maybe he be not dead!"

An ear piercing hiss accompanied by a deep, resonant 'thud' echoed around the crater. Without warning, the top half of the capsule launched several metres into the air and flew out of sight across the plantation.

All was quiet again, apart from the bleeping noise. Martha walked tentatively over to the opened capsule. A black haired, black cloaked man lay there, motionless. A soft, monotonal voice was speaking.

"CONSCIOUS AWARENESS IN FIFTEEN SECONDS." The voice announced. "BIO-READINGS NORMAL."

Martha was confused. "You be talkin' without movin' yer mouth!" She said. "How can that be?"

The man didn't reply. His face had lost its pale blue colour and was now a pleasant shade of light brown.

"Who are y..."

Martha was interrupted.

"CONSCIOUS AWARENESS IN FIVE SECONDS. BIO-READINGS NORMAL."

The man's fists began to clench and relax rhythmically. Martha watched intently.

The man sat up abruptly.

Martha gasped and took a step back.

"RE-ANIMATION COMPLETE." Announced the voice.

The man looked at Martha, an evil glare filled his face. "Who are you?" He asked coldly.

Martha was too shocked to answer.

"Answer me, bitch!"

She gulped a reply. "Martha Raisindough."

"What a sad name!" The man said, frowning hard.

"What be your name?" She asked.

"Shut up!"

Martha took another cautious step back.

"What planet is this?" The man asked, his voice suddenly calm.

"This be Mud-Paq."

A look of disbelief encapsulated his face. "Where?"

"Mud-Paq."

"How, in fudge-packing hell, did I end up on this pungent, underdeveloped ball of faeces!"

"You be fallin' down in that…"

"Shut up!" The man shrieked.

Martha shut up.

The man turned his attention to the capsule. "Tell me our total journey time."

"FOUR YEARS, THREE MONTHS, TWELVE DAYS, SEVEN HOURS..."

"Silence!" The man ordered. The voice stopped.

"Four years." Martha heard him say quietly. "How could this be?"

Without warning, the man jumped out of the capsule and stood in front of Martha. He towered over her one-metre tall body. Martha started to tremble as the muzzle of a gun was placed between her eyes.

"I must leave this planet." The man said. "Take me to a spaceport."

Martha spoke weakly. "I don't think that there be a spaceport here."

The man was becoming dangerously impatient. "Then show me how I can get off this filth bucket."

"I don't be knowin' of any way to..."

"Tell me!" The man pushed the gun hard into Martha's face.

Martha shuddered and thought for a moment. "Maybe the wise man of the village be able to help you."

"You will take me to him now. Go!"

Martha did as she was told and made her way out of the crater, closely followed by the man. She paused for a moment and looked back at him. He glared at her, the potent might of Mephistopheles shimmering deep within his eyes. "Move it, fat woman." He said sharply. "Or I'll fry you from behind."

Martha turned and continued out over the crater rim. He be a very rude spaceman, she thought.

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