Tuesday, March 8, 2011

TIME DOUCHE CH. 5 - Hold Marie Hostage

By Mandy Ward

“Um… yes actually, that is what I’m looking for, thank you mon ami.” You dredge the high school French from your brain and hold out your hand. “Can I have it back, please?”

Napoleon tilts his head. “First you will tell me what you are doing with Marie.”

“Nothing. We were just taking . . .a walk.” She frowns at you. What else am I supposed to say? Sorry mate, I was just going to run away with your bird and take her back to my own time?

Napoleon snorts. “No one just walks with a lady, especially with one as beautiful and important as my Marie.”

“I do.” You shrug.

“I don’t believe you. You were going to steal her away from me.” Napoleon tosses the communicator from hand to hand.

“I wouldn’t do that to you.” You look at Marie, trying to communicate to her that she needed to corroborate your story.

Napoleon looks at her as well. “Well, Marie? Is he right? Or were you about to leave me for some unknown foreigner?” The communicator makes another bounce from one hand to the other.

“Non, I would not do that, mon cher. He dragged me out here, muttering about finding something and leaving,” Marie tells him. She takes a step forward. “I want only to be with you!”

Napoleon’s face softens as she reaches towards him and takes another step. “I believe you, ma cherie.” He looks at you and you shudder at the rage in his eyes. “I will take this insult out of your hide!”

“Hey, I don’t care. I just want to go home.” You point at the communicator which still rests in Napoleon’s hand. “Give me that and you take your bitch of a princess back to your shack, where you can poke her all you want.”

Napoleon’s face turns puce. “You pig! How dare you insult her yet again? I would have merely let your blood a little. Instead I shall kill you!”

Drawing the dagger on your belt, you leap forward and grab Marie, holding the dagger to her throat. “You make one move towards your sword and your princess gains a new smile.”

Marie tries to scream and struggles against you. You push the dagger against her slender white throat and a drop of blood dribbles down, leaving a scarlet trail behind. “Don’t move sweetheart, I really don’t want to hurt you.” She stops moving. Thank God for that. I wouldn’t be able to hurt her, you think. I’d rather take her to heaven a different way. Marie’s perfume and the warmth from her body are making you wish that the two of you were somewhere private right now.

“Enough. What do you want, pig?” Napoleon’s tone is softer.

“Throw the communicator over here and I’ll let her go.” With you free hand you point to a spot to your right that is clear of stones.

“Dog. Pig. Let her go first!” the petite soldier spits, his face flushing puce again.

“What on God’s Green Earth are you doing now?” Nubleman shrieks from the communicator. “I told you to get back to the Time Machine and get out of there!”

The voice coming out of nowhere startles Napoleon and he literally jumps a foot into the air. The communicator flies out of his hand and drops hard onto a large rock, smashing into a hundred shreds of plastic, a scattering of computer chips and other electronic components.

You groan and drop the dagger from Maria’s throat, not caring that she dashes back to Napoleon as you wrench the door of the time machine open and start pressing buttons left, right and centre.

“What are you doing, you ignorant piece of filth? Come out of there and fight me like a man.” Napoleon shouts . . .except it comes out as "Que faites-vous, vous ignorant pièce d'immondices? Sortez de là et me batter comme un homme."

You ignore him and keep bashing buttons. Damn, without that translator I don’t understand a thing they are saying and without Nubleman, I don’t know how to work this thing! That red button looks promising, maybe it’s the starter? Jamming your thumb onto the red button, you are surprised to hear a genteel female voice say:

“Thank you for choosing the ten second self-destruct sequence. Please exit the Time Machine and retreat to a safe distance. This Time Machine will self-destruct in ten… nine…eight…”

Staring at the machine’s dashboard you mutter to yourself “Self-Destruct sequence? Nubleman, you really are crazy.”


You back out of the machine and try to scramble up the hill as fast as possible, but Napoleon grabs hold of the back of your shirt and shouts at you again. “Où pensez-vous que vous allez? Revenez!”

I think I know what that means. I have to get out of here before the Time Machine blows up. You dredge your French language memory again. “Um…laissez-passer!”

“Non, chien. Le seul endroit où vous allez est en enfer.” Napoleon hauls you backwards with surprising strength for such a small man.


You land right in front of the time machine. You can smell acrid smoke drifting out from inside the dashboard and there are tiny sparks starting to flicker over the keys, so you try to roll away and Napoleon jumps on you, punching you hard in the face.

“…two…one… this Time Machine will now self destruct. Have a Nice day!” the voice says calmly and the dashboard explodes with a blast of flame, scattering glass and plastic like bullets.

Time slows down for you and you see Marie torn to shreds by glass, falling slowly to the ground as one piece of glass pierces her barely contained chest and kills her.

Napoleon is knocked off you by the detonation and comes crashing down onto the same rock that the communicator shattered on, his skull caving in, grey brain matter and red blood mingling as it flies out.

Above you, the machine rocks in the burst of energy and topples over. A torn steel strut twists and drops like a javelin towards you. Abruptly time speeds up again and you just have time to think Maybe I shouldn’t have threatened Marie after all… before it all goes black.


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