Mister D and the Machine

A man travels through time in a mysterious machine which appears to hold him captive.

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1. Anna

This appeared to be the place where he was supposed to be.  There was a curtain billowing beside him and the girl was in the shower.  He got himself out of bed and poured himself a drink.  Looking out the window and the multi-coloured shutters, some opened fully, others closed and others in between, were a kind of painting.  The girl, 22, and wonderfully womanly, came curving naked into the small room.  His clothes were all over the floor and he became aware of his nakedness too.  After all that he had been through and would go through in the future, the same thing really, he had acquired a muscular physique which never failed to impress women once he got to the point of persuading them to undress and then take his clothes off for him.  This girl, Anna, a Parisian by birth he discovered, had taken them all off slowly like Mary Magdalena, kissed him gently everywhere and then opened her legs for him and beckoned him over. “Your clothes are strange.  I don’t know your name.” “Just call me D.” “OK D.  You want to go the flower market and fool around in an Orange grove?” “There are orange groves in Nice?” “Non. But it would be nice.” This wasn’t the first time he had seen her but it was the first time she had seen him.  She would get to be 95.

Twenty minutes later, fully dressed, he was driving a car out of Nice hotly pursued by three black Mercedes. The knack of driving came back to him quickly and he remembered he had always been quite good at it.  This is how it always was.  New things, which were also old things, were stored ready for action and after a few moments the memories, the motor skills, the ability came back like someone from sleep. This car, a 1938 Mercedes of some kind was clunky in comparison to the other cars he had handled, but felt good, solid.  Too solid he thought as one of the wheel arches fell off and turn-curled down the dust road towards the pursuing vehicles. There had been no reason to do that to the girl and now he would have to try and get back to somewhere from which he could stop it.  The cars behind him spat out bullets and roared, the road shook him; it undulated like the Sinai desert, the sun melted into the indifferent and beautiful sky.  Later, under the moon, nursing a bullet wound to the back of his shoulder, having managed to get away, he thought about Anna being born in Paris in 1922 and cried. The Dood didn’t know when he had been born or if indeed he ever had been.  He couldn’t find any evidence of the fact. It was as if he had been breathed into the world by someone or was just a thought that someone somewhere had and then he was alive. Bones, skin, blood, everything, all the right organs.  He had always been the same age, which appeared to be around 35 or so from the comparisons he had done with others.  As well as organs and the rest of the human stuff he had been created with a very laid back temperament, the closest thing he could find to it were Buddhist monks or Shaggy out of Scooby-Doo.  He would have been a good ole pal to Scoob. He remembered having this thought in 1970 when he saw it for the first time in a hotel room in Minnesota, he couldn’t remember which route. Over time he had fallen into the camp of people who preferred the look of Thelma to Daphne. Daphne was too, he couldn’t put his finger on it, too into herself was it? But Thelma was serious and clever and he just liked her more.  He had met guys like Fred only a handful of times, good looking confident, a little stupid but a rare diamond who’d do anything to save you.  He had once met Casey Kasem in a supermarket in LA when he was buying some equipment for the machine, that was back in 1976, or rather forward, anyway, he had been a really nice guy and even gave The Dood his autograph. “So Mr ?” “Call me D.” “Okay D. That’s a strange accent you have.”  The Dood then answered him in Egyptian which surprised him, “But your Egyptian is very good.  Where did you learn it?” “Oh you know man, long days walking, talking and running,” which he also said in Egyptian. “How did you know I’m Egyptian?” “IMDB. It’s got everything on you man.” “What’s I M B D was it?” “Don’t worry man.  Do you like keep in touch with the other Scooby actors?” “We meet for drinks and stuff occasionally.  I have them over for dinner, that kina thing.” “Do you smoke weed?  cos you’re like Shaggy right.” The actor laughed kindly and walked off waving his hand, “See you later Mr D.” And Mr D knew that he would.  1986.  Same supermarket in LA and he would still look good. “You remin’ me of someone son, someone I met somewhere once. I think it was a long time ago.” And that was the way it was for the Dood.  Weaving in and out of time and place with his machine.

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