i

How it's made

This story is illustrated using only CSS. Every picture is built from layers of HTML. HTML elements which are normally rectangular have been stretched, skewed, angled and rounded to build up illustrations for each page. The Platitudinous Adventures of Deman Drawkcab is entirely drawn with CSS. This isn't necessarily a good idea, but that's what happened.

new_releases Now featuring the amazing music provided by Bensound.com and the sublime voice of Marek Larwood

© Copyright 2018 Ben Evans

The Platitudinous Adventures of Deman Drawkcab

Written, Illustrated & Produced by Ben Evans

READ ON

Chapter One

An Imponderable Inconvenience

Deman Drawkcab is not your average cup of tea. He is slightly different to the established homo-sapien. Not utterly different but by no means run-of-the-mill.

For example: Yesterday, Deman had just crossed through Green Park and was now walking up Piccadilly (a road in London). He stopped outside the Ritz (a well known hotel), on his way to a Police station. I should point out he wasn't going there to help out, he was in trouble, but I'll get to that later. Anyway, he was outside the Ritz, waiting to cross the road. The traffic lights to his right had, from his thinking, obviously turned red as the oncoming traffic had stopped, so he began to cross.

Now the thing about these lights outside the Ritz is; they have a lovely pedestrian crossing marked on the road, but there is no, nice, green man available to suggest when to cross. Deman presumed it was good to go, as the traffic to his right had stopped and he only needed to make it to the central road reservation after all. But unfortunately the traffic had only stopped to let the vehicles from the junction in front of him out! This traffic roared from the junction, full of lorries, vans and taxis, eager to get where they need to be. It was too late for Deman to turn back now, he was halfway across, a white van in the inside lane accelerated towards him fast...

Sorry to stop at this rather inconvenient moment but I think I may have to fill you in with a few details. Deman Drawkcab is an odd looking man. He is tall, well built, but not visibly muscular, a large build, but not fat. He has a strange mullet hair cut which looks as if it was styled in the 1970's, he gives off the impression of being a bit simple and slow, like a man you wouldn't want to sit next to on the bus for fear you have no idea what he might do next. An inbred appearance might be cruel but the efficient way to describe him.

Deman is very antisocial, he has no friends and only really talks in grunts, mainly due to laziness, he could probably hold a meaningful conversation, but anyone is yet to find out. His appearance is deceptive, not in the way you might think, for he is incredibly unfit and very easily gets out of breath, merely walking causes him suitable discomfort.

He knows he is different, his parents were similar. He has noticed that with every generation the Drawkcab's were getting more and more different from the last, further from the norm, and different in quite an extraordinary way. With each member born into the family’s bloodline, their build has become slightly more bulkier than an average person, but that's pretty insignificant by all accounts. The strange thing is that their appearance doesn't really reflect their biggest difference.

Unfortunately Deman has not been able to find any scales strong enough to way himself. Which gives you a clue to his unconventional characteristic. His mum being the curious type: A tall, voluptuous, but not obese, lady. Once had access to a weigh bridge and found she weighed a mere 6500 kg, around 6.5 tons or 1024 stone, that's roughly 110 times heavier than you or I. Going by the effect he has on his immediate surroundings and over hearing that his mum was double the weight of his grandmother, Deman guessed that he was in fact double the weight of his mum. About the same weight as a double-decker bus!

Obviously, being the same weight as a double-decker bus has its disadvantages. That much weight delivered through a relatively small footprint causes some issues. Simple things like; not being able to enjoy a nice day at the beach or a long walk in the park, not being able to enter the majority of shops or buildings for fear that the floor will collapse, not being able to cross many small bridges, drive, ride on public transport or indeed, fly in commercial airliners or any aircraft for that matter.

But on the flip side it does have a fair number of advantages. Everything is relative and having all that mass compressed into such a small frame does enable him to lift things easily half his weight, such as a car, making changing a tyre a doddle, not that he needs to do this very often, not being able to drive. Also with this great bulk, compared to an average man he appears to be made of iron or in his case, lead, and fairly indestructible when he comes in contact with things that an average man would ever encounter on a day to day basis. Which leads us nicely back to where I interrupted…

He was almost halfway across the road, a van in the inside lane accelerated towards him. Deman, not being physically fit and hampered by his extreme weight, could not escape the vehicle’s path. Unless this seemingly angry looking van driving noticed Deman and hit the brakes within the next second, there was definitely going to be a nasty accident. The inevitable collision seemed a slow and drawn out process. Deman knew this van would reach him at any second but he seemed pretty relaxed about the whole thing. Time seemed to be almost at a stand still as he watched a state of sheer panic pass onto the driver’s face. His eyes opened wide and fixed on Deman, as his mouth opened and worded some expletives whilst salivating uncontrollably.

Deman thought to himself in a very calm, slow and considered manner, "It's not my fault the council didn't make this pedestrian crossing clear enough, is it", and carried on slowly plodding across the road, now looking down at the ground, knowing full well of the situation.

Deman Drawkcab simply stopped, his oversized size 16 shoes creaking as he did so, extra wide shoes that he had specially made for him, to help spread his weight and stop him sinking into the ground.

The van driver only had time to hit the horn, he tried to break but couldn't manoeuvre fast enough and "CRUNCH!" he hit the back of Deman's leg, just hitting his heel. The van jolted up into the air as the driver lost control and veered towards the side of the road where an open topped bus was parked. Deman swung around to his left, stretched out his arm as a far as he could reach and grabbed the vans rear bumper, stopping the van almost instantly and pulling Deman to the ground. This caused the ground to shake quite dramatically. The driver, after almost headbutting the steering wheel was seated, motionless, his jaw dropped, staring forwards, wide eyed, open mouthed, at the corner of the bus he narrowly missed. He still had his hand pressed firmly on the horn, clearly in a state of shock and confusion as to what just happen. Some passer-by ran from the kerb to check the van driver was okay, meanwhile Deman got to his feet, shook his head, brushed down his trousers, noticing he had slightly grazed his knee and scuffed his trouser leg. He promptly set off, leaving the van driver to it and carried on with his seemingly long walk to the police station.

It was actually quite a long walk to the station, especially as didn't like walking much. He did, however, get quite a lot of practice at it, not being able to use many forms of transport.

A man he once saved from a near collision wanted to return the favour and made a simple push along scooter for Deman to get around on. It was a massive engineering project and eventually it was designed in a way to withstand the 13 tonne Deman riding it. Unfortunately the small super strength wheels carved deep tracks in the road surface and caused a great deal of damage. He was banned from using it.

Deman lives in an old converted train shed in Battersea, near the river. This, he found, was one of a few places with strong enough foundations near the area he grew up in. He liked London for solid floors. The countryside was like quicksand to him when it rained. DD made it habitable himself, most of the internal walls are made of slabs of concrete with the steel rods sticking out and forced into knots, tying together sections of brick wall from demolition sites. Deman makes extra cash by helping out in demolition and the removal of floors, walls and ceilings, it is something he is good at.

His house is a dank, dingy, mess. There is no paint on the walls, apart from the odd bit of graffiti. It is lit by basic lighting recovered from a shop. Mould grows in the corners of every other room and everything is reinforced with rusty scaffolding, iron clad or made from concrete. Most of the existing train shed windows are boarded up and the only natural light comes from a few transparent panels of tatty plastic corrugated sheets in the roof. His heating is provided by a large, rusty, old, riveted iron boiler that looks as though it came from a ship or factory from the early 20th century. He doesn't really have any soft furnishings, a favourite armchair of his is made from reinforced concrete with a thick rubber back and cork arms, and this is pretty soft to him. His parents made his bed for him, when he was about 12. And when I say 'made his bed' I mean; designed and built it, and not, just tucked in the sheets. It's made from layers of old woven, stretched out tyres with a steel girder frame. He used to hate the smell of sleeping on rubber when he was a little boy, but he finds it comforting now as it reminds him of his mum and dad.

Walking into central London from his house always causes a few problems. It is quite a fair distance, usually taking a good hour and a half, with all manner of obstacles on the way. He would usually cross the river at Battersea Bridge as it is one of the quietest and strongest. With it being made of cast iron and granite, it seems perfectly able to carry Deman's weight. Chelsea Bridge is closer to his house but he does not quite trust this one, he needs to walk down the centre to be on the safe side (or not as it were), and this just gets annoying as the traffic toot at him a lot, but, if he is in a hurry, it does the job. From here he walks up the Kings road, on the pavement on the right side of the road as this seems rather well built, he has noticed that a lot of pavements can't quite support his weight but has found a route of paths that can lead him to this particular Police Station; up Cadogan Lane, around Belgrave Square, along the left pavement of Piccadilly, across the road and up through Burlington Arcade, one of the few shopping arcades that Deman can enter, it appears to have an incredibly strong floor. Then it’s just a short walk from there to the station.

The police station was just off Regent Street. Deman had been asked to take part in a line up. 'Apparently' a cyclist was tripped over by a pedestrian! The police already knew it was Deman as this had happened before and this was all just a bit of a formality, to most involved, except the cyclist.

To give you the full picture, the cyclist decided to cycle through a red light, at a pedestrian crossing and Deman stuck his foot out to prove the point. The 'victims' involved are usually in the wrong when it comes to these matters, there seems to be a slight loophole in the law when it comes to twenty ton men and the green cross code so he usually gets away with it on the odd occasion that he gets reported.

I'm writing and illustrating all this in my spare time because it's what I love to do. I am obviously going to continue writing but if you would like to help contribute to the domain costs or just buy me a pint to say thanks, you can do so below.

And if you have, thank you so much! I am forever indebted to you.

new_releases Now featuring the amazing music provided by Bensound.com and the sublime voice of Marek Larwood

Chapter Two

Michael McConkle

Deman walked home his usual route, via Green Park, over Chelsea Bridge to Battersea. As you might have gathered, he lives on his own. His parents lived the other side of Battersea in quite a well fitted out railway viaduct arch. The Drawkcab's have always been drawn to Victorian railway structures because they are usually well built and can handle heavy loads.

He needed to stop off at the supermarket on his way back. Deman loved supermarkets. Supermarkets are usually well built, modern buildings with good solid floors, so food shopping was a thing he could do like a normal person. He would happily do the self service checkout so not talk to anyone, and seen as he was doing the packing himself, he would throw in the bags for free. He felt he was saving the supermarket money for not paying the checkout staff, so why not. You might think he would be better off getting his shopping delivered, but Deman really hates most forms of technology and communication, if he had it delivered, he would have to say a few sentences to the delivery person at least. And he would hate for someone to see his living conditions, so this really wasn't an option.

Whist we are on the subject: Slap bang in the middle of his home he had an old fashioned telephone box, properly connected, he could call without having to put money in. Obviously he didn't have a mobile, I mean, why would such an antisocial technophobe have a mobile.

The telephone box housed, a phone and a phone book, which had one telephone number scrawled on the front cover. This number belonged to his one and only friend, Michael McConkle. I vaguely mentioned Mr McConkle a couple of times in passing earlier as he is the 'somebody' who built both the scooter and helped to get him some oversized shoes made. He also installed the telephone box. You see Michael, or Mickey as he's known, is an engineer with quite a creative streak, he loves problem solving as most engineers do.

Michael has a career designing and building factory machinery and he is lucky enough to own a lovely house, in a mews, in Battersea, which backs onto a small green space. His house used to be a workshop with a large folding door at the front and to this day the entire ground floor level of his house is still a workshop, where he spends his most of his time tinkering with the projects he is working on. Michael is obsessed with building things, his real fascination is with forms of space travel, in his spare time he used to build model rockets and launch them from behind his house, much to his neighbours annoyance.

He was working on his latest and greatest creation. Always trying to push the boundaries of model rocketry, of the time, creating a reusable rocket which could possibly, one day, hit the edge of space, self stabilize, and land back in the same spot it blasted off from.

This was the biggest and most complex model he had ever built, with the stabilization and GPS equipment crammed onto it, it weighed a fair bit and needed an awful lot of thrust to get off the floor. Too much for Mickey's likings, but this was something he was working on and this launch was to test that all the components worked together correctly before he could try and rectify the weight issue.

He was all set up ready to launch. The model sat on a launch pole with three solid fuel motors straddling it. All the technical parts were packed in and around the nose cone, about seven foot up from the floor. Michael stood holding the ignition switch at the end of a long wire. Oddly enough, the distance between where he stood and the launch platform also happened to be a well trodden route of Deman's and Deman was passing through at the precise moment.

Michael hit the button. The rocket lifted about two feet from the ground but as it did one of the three engines, the nearest engine to Michael, started to cough, splutter and eventually it shut off! The rocket started to list. Deman watched as it angled directly towards Michael, the third engine spluttered back into action and the rocket headed straight towards him. Although it was the biggest he had made so far, it was still only about eight foot tall and a no wider than a drain pipe, but still, it was packed with enough combustible material to get it near the edge of space, and had a very pointy top to it, so it was not really the kind of thing you wanted coming straight towards you, four feet from the ground.

Michael lives alone, he had never met the right kind of person to tear him away from his tinkering. He was a friendly enough looking chap. With curly, mousy brown hair, slightly thinning on top, rimless glasses somehow balanced on the end of his nose and a wardrobe full of patterned shirts and tank tops for the cooler months.

At this moment in time he had actually pushed his glasses up, as if wanted to watch his projectile rocketing towards him, in a stunned state, his brain running through all the things he should be doing to avoid this oncoming spacecraft, the red nose cone growing quickly in his field of view. In the few seconds he had to contemplate he had come to the conclusion that jumping would probably be the best escape route but he was not one hundred percent sure that he could completely avoid dying. Just as he was about to shut his eyes, in some way to protect himself from the on coming missile, Deman stepped into view. Casually walking his usual route, he saw the incident unfolding but didn't have to do much to intervene, he just slightly picked up his pace, it was luck that brought him to this spot at this exact problematic moment in time. Deman stopped in it's path and turned to face the oncoming rocket, taking at swing at it, as if it was a fly, a huge red and white pointy fly, he batted it away and it got deflected off towards a fence, singeing some of Deman's arm hairs as it did so. Deman quickly turned towards Michael who was standing there in a state of shock, Michael looked Deman in the eyes and passed out.

Michael awoke in his house, on a scruffy sofa in his workshop, the large doors were half open and a cool breeze was blowing through, rustling some papers. As he came to, he was thinking, what happened, how did I get here, you know, the usual sort of things you would think after having passed out. Then he remember the man. The man who swatted the rocket from his collision course with the greatest of ease. Who was this odd looking man and how did he do that, was it just a dream? He thought to himself.

He made himself a cup of tea, read yesterday's newspaper and then had a shower. He did all this in a kind of daze, not from concussion, but because he was constantly running through the events of what happened. He went outside to find his rocket, it was a burnt out crumpled mess which he dragged back inside whilst still pondering... Okay, this wasn’t a dream and this man saved my life, he thought to himself, I need to find him and buy him a drink at the very least, still not quite sure how this man did what he did with such ease and so fearlessly. But how could he track down this man?

He spent the next few days running over the days events in his mind. Surely a regular man couldn’t bat an oncoming rocket out of the way with such ease, this must have been a very strong man, bullet proof perhaps, and yet he didn’t look very strong, slightly overweight maybe, quite unfit by all accounts, but not in any way able to do what he did, Michael thought, he just could not make sense of it. Michael went back out to survey the area for clues, wanting to find him even more as his inventive mind needed answers and he still wanted to thank him. He worked out where he was standing that day, where the launch platform was and the path Deman took. He noticed this was a well trodden path, quite deeply inset into the ground.

To be continued...

volume_up volume_off Chapter One - An Imponderable Inconvenience Chapter Two - Michael McConkle