If the end isn’t good, it isn’t the end – TMM9

Image: Pixabay

The Mechanical Man 9 – If the end isn’t good, it isn’t the end

Inspiration image: Pixabay

Doctor Fredriksen, who the entire time had been very understanding and kind, had popped into the recovery room for a chat when Andrew had awoken and began to feel like himself again.
”How do you feel, my friend?”
”Quite all right, thank you.”
”Much pain?”
”Some. Have experienced worse.”
”I understand very well. You might still experience some pain now and then, but it should fade away. And I doubt it ever will be as severe as you have had up til now.”

The doctor made a pause and smiled. Looked closely at Andrews’ face and then glanced at his chest and arm.

”Looking good! I could see from the scars after the abscesses, that you really must have suffered.”
Then he leaned forward, gently put his hand on Andrews left arm, and said in a low voice.

”I’m really glad you made this decision to go through a removal. Sometimes these fads stay too long and take on way too large importance. In this case, I would say it has become an evil obsession. Now, dear Andrew, please take good care of yourself and don’t ever mind what others may have to say. You will have a wonderful and exciting future.”

Then he had risen and left Andrew with a slight bow followed with a smile. Andrew got a tear in his eye due to the kindness he had been shown.

Shortly afterwards the robot came in with a cup of coffee and a couple of sandwiches. He told him an uber would fetch him in an hour. Andrew thanked the robot for everything and realized he was hungry.

Of course, it was the same driver. Always the same.
”Oh, good day to you sir! No goldy-plates any longer? Going home?”
”Yes, please. To home sweet home.”
”Still no virus here.”
”Healthy as a newborn baby.”
”Okay. That sounds good.” Andrew had no idea what the driver was talking about.
”Yes! Good goody good good go…”
Then a faint squeak… and the uber stopped against a light pole. Shaken, but not damaged, Andrew stared at the driver. He just sat behind the wheel with a stiff smile and dead eyes.

Andrew walked the rest of the way home. Then, sitting in his favourite corner of the sofa he poured himself a stiff whiskey. And then another.

Andrew Millbourne had recovered fast after the surgery. Though he still had some of the implants left, most of them had been successfully removed. He had been told that the remaining pieces had been too dangerous to remove since they were too integrated with his nervous system. There was a couple of nobs on his chest, which were connected to his pneumonic capacity, how well the blood could retain oxygen, and therefore increase his endurance and speed while running, climbing and performing other physical activities.

He had also a number of smaller nobs left on the fingers, the back of his hand and up along the forearm. They were mostly of technical nature like the thin bracelet around his wrist with which he easily could connect to the web and thus send voice mails and also use as a telephone. The tiny dots on the fingers were antennas, and together with his small hand-unit, these devices could also be used as GPS and as an ordinary compass.

During the years that followed he worked hard and improved both his skills and his knowledge of various topics. He had already known for quite some time, that he was no mere than tolerated on Technos. After the surgery, it had become even worse. He was still appreciated for his accomplishments at work, and there were still some he considered to be friends. Even though they seemed to be a bit more reserved towards him than before.

He still occasionally visited a pub or a cinema, and he still once in a while picked up some girl who then managed to get close up to him, but as soon as she saw his scar-covered chest and arm with hardly any implants, she would run away as quick as a weasel. Either in disgust or in mere disappointment. Girls had heard so much about his golden ribcage and marvelous arm. Some felt sorry for him and tried to pamper him in a way as if he would have been disabled, but those girls he sent away immediately. He realized more and more they hanged out with him of curiosity only, not because they were attracted to him.

Instead, he buried himself in hard work. He buried himself in studies. ’No one can ever learn too much’, was his motto. He buried himself in health activities. He ran the five-miles track in the woods every morning, went to the gym four times a week and swam for at least half an hour afterwards. And every evening he did yoga, ending it with meditation.

After the surgery, he had noticed his body did not want meat anymore. The mere look upon a piece of rare steak, made him queasy. It was impossible to explain why, he just could not eat it.
There were other things he also began noticing after the surgery. He wondered whether the doctor had added something or if he had had them all the time but never noticed due to the pain and suffering.

All his senses had increased immensely. Not only eyesight. His hearing was at least ten times better than earlier, which also meant he heard things that were not meant for him, and also some he really did not want to hear. Smell and taste were more intense, and also the skin sensibility, especially his fingertips. He had no real words for what it all felt like, other than amazing, and sometimes annoying.

He personally went back to the clinic in order to meet Doctor Fredriksen and ask about this. When trying to book an appointment online, it was impossible. Doctor Fredriksen did not seem to exist. ’Aha,’ Andrew had thought. He was just an extra when needed, that would explain why he was not shown in the register.

There was another woman behind the counter this time. A young blond with very tasteful implants around her right eye and along the left side of the cheekbone.
”I’m so sorry. We don’t have a doctor Fredriksen here. We have never had!”
”An elderly man who helps out with surgery when needed?”
”No. If we have had such a person, it would have been really helpful, but unfortunately, we haven’t.”
”No, I’m so sorry.”
”But he quite recently took away my implants.”
”Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss. Hope you can have new ones soon.”
”But the doctor…”
”You must be mistaken. We have no doctor Fredriksen here. Goodbye, sir, and welcome back to get new implants when those scars are healed.”
Then she turned to the next person in line and Andrew walked away.

Andrew Millbourne is a stoic person. He endures. He calmly awaits the day when he can step out from this world. Ten years, he signed up for, in a contract that could not be broken, and slowly those years pass, until the day he finally is entering the space station after leaving everything behind. His work, his belongings, his life on the planet Technos.

On his way through the space station towards the ticket counter, he suddenly sees someone he recognizes with warmth. Doctor Fredriksen who he hadn’t seen since the surgery more than eight years earlier. But in a jiffy, the doctor is gone, and Andrew thinks he must have been mistaken. Was probably only a look alike. The short appearance awakes memories though.

The doctor had said something about him going to have an interesting and exciting life. So far, he has had neither, but what if? He has no idea what he is going to do for the rest of his life. Going back to his parents is not exactly thrilling, but he does not know what else to do. At least as a first landing place, saying hello, and such.

He had earlier bought a ticket online to one of the new Super Jet Cruisers, that would only take him a week of travel. He was just going to sign in for the flight when he suddenly senses that someone is watching him. He tries to pretend like nothing and keeps on walking towards the ticket counter. He gets a bit uneasy, though, and stumbles slightly.

”Can I help you?” a soft female voice says.
 He turns around and sees the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen.

Long afterwards, when walking through the hot desert, thinking of this, he can’t clearly say what happened that day. Vaguely he remember they talked, they had coffee at the cafeteria, Toffee-tasted with whipped cream, and then she had taken him with her. But what he does remember very clearly, is what happened on their way out to her space ship.

With the coffee warming his belly, her heavy perfume making him slightly dizzy, and the excitement over not having to meet his parents again – Andrew suddenly sees the doctor. This time he is sure.
The Doctor is leaning against a safari car some 15-20 meters away. He is smiling and gives Andrew a thumbs up. Then he takes his cowboy hat off, sweeps it in a large circle while he bows deeply. Then another thumbs up, another big smile – and then he is gone. Vanished as if he had become thin air!


Andrew reaches the water bottle to Kaila. They have just landed and a vast, arid, hot desert stretches out in front of them. Far away three dots are moving towards them and he can hear a faint mumble, silent talk and then a peal of laughter.

”Who are they?” he asks and turns to Kaila. But she isn’t there any longer. Both she and her space ship are gone. Behind where the space ship stood, he now can see – far away – a city that seems to be very dark, like under a huge storm cloud or a total Solar Eclipse – or both. In the background he can spot a very high dark tower.

There is something very odd and very familiar about this, and he shivers as if suddenly cold tears run down his spine.


The End


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.

Finally the final

It has taken me several days to write the last part of “The Mechanical Man”. I kind of struggled. Wrote about 450 words, like I was dragging Winnie the Pooh out from his home after he had eaten too much honey.

I knew something was wrong, but what?

Yesterday morning, finally, while eating breakfast I pondered what and why and how, and there it came! I had not awaited my inner spirit but instead tried to write from my head only. Now, I got the hints I needed, the smile finally reached me and I began writing.

The result wasn’t particularly good. The voice inside me then reminded me of a couple of things I had forgotten. Kept on writing – and ended up with 1766 words.

Satisfying, but still not good enough. Too clumsy. Brain-tired though – and I had other tasks to perform in the afternoon anyway – so no more writing yesterday.

Today! What should I do with the text? Nothing wrong – per se. But still! Something was wrong! At lunch, it finally began to loosen up. I moved the entire first paragraph, which was rather long, to a totally different place. Scrambled it, and deleted a couple of sentences.

That made a HUGE difference!

Then the normal editing routine. Deleting unnecessary words. Killing a couple of darlings. Actually adding a couple of words here and there. Deleting more unnecessary words. You know…

The odd thing was, when finished had this editing I still had 1710 words! Must have added more than I thought I did. But now I felt satisfied without a lot of doubts.

In my next post, I’ll publish part number 9 of this story. “The Mechanical Man”. Think I’ll keep the work-title. “If the end isn’t good, it isn’t the end”!

It will also be found in the Menu, together with all the other parts.

Later on, of course, I have to more thoroughly go through all parts as a whole story. But before I begin that desk work, I have a lot of other writings to do.

Desk work

Today I have read the entire story about The Mechanical Man (7422 words). There is one last part to write. At least I think it is only one left to be written. Therefore I felt I needed to read it all, to see how it began, and get some hints about what I have to write now. Generally, I know how the story will end, but I also have to tie the beginning and the ending together.

What I noticed – and that is not uncommon at all, on the contrary – is that the beginning does not fit with the rest of the story. On the whole – Yes! But there are details… I am in good company, though. After Stephen King had finished his story about the Dark Tower, seven volumes, he had to rewrite the first volume. I think he wrote “The wind through the keyhole” after doing that revision. Am I right?

(I actually have a copy of that first one. The Gunslinger. In Swedish translation. Lucky me. Yey! 😀 But I have not cross-examined it against the revised one. Too bone-idle to do that.)

I don’t think I have to change much though, in Part One. I would not reveal too much of the story already in the first pages, would I? But here and there, either add something, change something, or delete something.

So! A good deal of desk-work in front of me. Though I have begun to write on the ninth and, probably, the last part.

Apropos desk-work! Last week I deleted my gmail/google account and instead bought a host/domain for my emails. Perhaps I someday will create a homepage there too, but not now. But I will also use it as a storage place for my writings.
I also changed as well the username as the password to my AppleID, and all this took a lot of time and effort. Let me just say – that is not something I long to do. But once in a while, one has to.

Today I have been working with writing and sending a couple of invoices. Not mine, I don’t have that need, No, I help my daughter with those things. I also created a new template from scratch on Excel. Have so far been using one of the templates offered by Excel, and been more and more fed up with irritation over how it is to work with.

Okay! It took me a couple of hours, but when finished I felt really good about it!

And now my stomach tells me to have dinner. I thought I now should keep on writing about Andrew Millbourne. But okey, okey! A bit of new energy first.

Into the Darkness – TMM8

Image: Pixabay

The Mechanical Man 8 – Into the Darkness

Inspiration image: Pixabay

’Odd’, Andrew thinks.
It is pitch dark around him.

All the other times he had been in surgery, it had become pitch dark, and the next second there was light again and he had been on the table for hours. And now?

”What’s going on?” he says out in the blackness.

”What do you think is going on?” A dark voice timbres.

A voice in the dark?
Cold tears run down his spine and his heart makes a triple beat.
”Am I … dead?”

He had come to think of all the stories about dying and seeing light in the dark, like a tunnel, and then some angel or something. He didn’t remember clearly since he had never really believed those stories and therefore never put them into his memory bank.

”Do you think you are dead?”
’Oh Jeees…. ’
Flickers of thoughts run through his head.

It is really something odd going on. He should be lying on the operation table, and he should know nothing, experience nothing.

”You are lying on the table, but do not bother about that now. Come on! I will show you something!”

A small light appears and quickly grows larger. Just like a tunnel. He gets curious and forgets about being dead. If that is what he is. Instead, he starts walking along the tunnel to what seems to be an opening.

”Why do you not fly instead?” The dark voice again.
”Fly? I can’t fly!”
”Have you ever tried?”

No, of course, he has not. He is a human being, not a bird. Humans do not fly.

A deep belly laugh fills the air.
”The air?”
”Rather the Void.”

”Can you read my thoughts?”
”Uh…uh… How about flying now? You just need to think you do it.”
”Like a bird?”
”However you like it.”

And suddenly he is floating along the tunnel which is growing wider and brighter every second.

Soon Andrew lands on a field. A beautiful field. Green grass, trees, blooming bushes. Beside him stands a green person. If it is a person. He, she – he can’t decide whether it is a he or a she which is quite irritating. Can not think of it as an ”it” either. The he-she is, anyhow, quite small and dressed in a green outfit that mostly reminds Andrew of Peter Pan.

”That was a good one!”
The deep belly laugh fills the surroundings once again.

”Okay. Void.”

”Why is it like this?”
”Don’t bother, it is as it is, and I am about to show you something.”

The next second they are standing at the top of a hill looking down on the landscape before them. It is a desert. A vast, arid area with two suns oozing their heat upon it. In the middle, there are a couple of dots moving.

”We have to zoom in a bit.”
The dark voice streams out of the small, green person. Andrew looks amazed on … him? and realizes that most of the earlier conversation has been in his head. But every time he tries to figure this out, he just gets dizzy and gives in.

”Oh! You may not need a zoom, but I do.”
Again that laughter.

The dots appear to be four human beings. An elderly man with a big bushy beard, a black-haired woman of undefinable age, one young woman – really cute Andrew thinks – and then…
Andrew gasps! Before him, he sees himself, but without the implants. He has a lot of scars though, which indicates there have been some.

”What is this?” He says in a small voice.
”A possible future.”

The four in the desert struggle along. Seem to be heading to… a city?
”Yes. A city. The City”
”The City?”
”Yes. The city where the final battle will occur.”

The next second they are in the middle of the city. It is dark and cold. The sun is covered by something huge and black.”
”A solar eclipse?”
”Maybe. Maybe not.”
”Where is the other sun?”
”Magic. Deep black magic.”

On one of the streets, a young boy with a horse is striding towards…
”What? I can’t see. Where is he going?”
”He is trying to reach the Tower.”

The Tower. Way back in the city, leaning against the steep mountains that disappear among the clouds. He can see it now. The Tower. He gets cold as ice in his chest and stomach. He does not want to be here. He does not want to see this. Does he really have to know about this? Does he really have to come here? He understands he is shown a piece of his future, but he does not want this future.

An image of the girl suddenly stands before him. The cute one from the desert.
”You got to help her. She will need you.”

The images fade away and they are back on the green hill. The desert before them is gone, and all he can see now are gardens with apple trees and grape wine.

”When you wake up after the surgery, your mind will not remember anything about what you have seen now. But your heart will remember, and lead you. Trust it. But until that time is due, you must do your best with what lies upon you. You are blessed, Andrew.”

Andrew woke up with a splitting headache and a body as if a truck had hit him. He didn’t care about the pain. But before he even opened his eyes, he gently stroked his arm and chest. Then he smiled. The golden armour was gone.

”Are you all right?” A voice said. The robot.
”Yes. Now, I’m all right.


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.



About “The Mechanical Man”

The inspiration image

When I wrote the first part about The Mechanical ManBeing another you – as a reply to Diana Wallace Peach’s #writingprompt at Myths of the Mirror, for May, I had absolutely no idea it would be  anything more than a fairly short story about someone who called himself Andrew Millbourne.

But he grew on me, and I wanted to know more about him. How come he was on that planet in the first place? Why? So I wrote part two – Andrew Millbourne’s big secret.

Now! It would be it then?
Nope! It wasn’t!

Well, I thought, three parts. That’s a good number. Then the story will be finished. I already had a brief hunch about the ending. Andrew needed a bit more before he could reach the end. So three parts, I said to myself. One, two three. Got it?

Oh! HAHA! Little did I know!

Up til now, I have written seven parts and am yet not at the ending. Oh, it’s closing up, no doubt about that, but there are a few more things Andrew has to go through before we reach the end. One more part, or two? Well! Let’s just see what Andrew has to say about that. It’s after all his life we are dealing with.

I love immensely to write about this! It’s fascinating to learn to know a story and a character (or more) like this. It’s thrilling to start a writing session without knowing anything about how it will unfold itself. I might know a little bit in beforehand, or I get an image in my head, or a sentence. About the ending, for example, the only thing I know  right now, is where, geographically, Andrew will be. (And a tiny bit more.)

So! Che sera, sera….

At last, here and now, remember this:
The ending – is just another beginning.

Snake/eternity-symbol from png.only


The Surgery – TMM7

Image from Pixabay

The Mechanical Man 7 – The Surgery

Pixabay image, from Myths of the Mirror

At 8 AM on the dot next Friday, Andrew stood in front of the clinic counter waiting for announcing his arrival. Oddly enough, he thought, the entire reception area was empty. As a matter of fact, the whole clinic seemed to be empty. The silence was ear-splitting, and only a few lamps were lit. He wondered about the emptiness, after all – the door had opened and let him in! At least someone ought to be here.

He did not know what to do, so he went over to the couch, sat down and thought he must be early. He reached for his pocket, got his hand-unit, and tried to concentrate on his favourite game. Ten minutes later a swosch-swosh sound came nearer, and then a small, elderly man all dressed in white peaked out through the door behind the counter.

”I’m so sorry,” he said, walked towards Andrew and reached out his hand. ”I’m doctor Fredriksen. You are Mr Millbourne, I presume? I wasn’t notified until half an hour ago that… hm… your procedure… hm… was due this morning. I’m so sorry I’m late. I was asleep when the phone rang.” He kept on pumping Andrews right hand up and down while examining him closely with squinting eyes.

”I don’t understand…”

”The entire clinic personnel is at a Congress. Learning new things, you know. The entire day. Been booked for ages. Was really surprised when I was notified about you. There shouldn’t be any bookings today. Must have been a mistake.”

”A mistake…”, Andrew thought and frowned internally. He very well remembered the receptionist that day. He knew he should have booked the surgery online instead of coming here in person. What had he been thinking!!!
”I… don’t… under… stand…,” Andrew said out loud. ”Then… why are you here?”

”Oh! I’m retired and don’t have to attend such nonsense any longer. But I still do help out with surgery once in a while when needed. Halda is very efficient in keeping track of those things.”


”The computer, of course! It keeps track of everything that is done and said here. And this time Mz Libstic must have forgotten to add the booking into the calendar. Lucky we have that listening program installed as well.”

”Mz Libstic?”

”The receptionist, of course! It’s odd when I think of it. She never makes mistakes or forgets. Hope she wasn’t coming down with a cold or something.”

Andrew mentally shrugged his shoulders, shook his now freed hand, and sighed. He understood very well what had happened. Furthermore, he wondered whether this old man standing in front of him still was able to perform surgery. His hands shivered slightly, and the way he was looking at him… and shouldn’t there be at least one nurse to assist during the whole thing?

”Well! Shall we go on then? Better get over with it, don’t you think so?”
”Oh yeah… yeah…”

Andrew followed the doctor through the door behind the counter and along a brightly lit corridor that seemed to go on forever. Then he stopped in front of a door, pushed his left thumb against a silvery plate, added a number frequency, and then finally gazed into something that looked like a pair of binoculars.

”Iris-reading”, he said, ”that and the thumb manoeuvres are very handy.”

The door opened and revealed a huge surgery room. The light appeared to come from everywhere, and Andrew jumped in surprise when suddenly a man stood in front of him. The next second he saw it was not a man, it was a robot.

”At your service, Sir.” The robot said. ”I will be assisting throughout the entire procedure and make sure everything will be as pleasant as possible and totally pain-free. Is there anything you wish for before we begin.”

”No thank you, it’s quite all right as it is.” Andrew said, though his stomach was growling for something between breakfast and puking. But no breakfast this time. Oh no.

”Then let us begin”, the robot said, helped Andrew on to the operating table, and just a few minutes later Andrew vanished into the darkness.


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.


Living in pain – TMM6

The Mechanical Man 6 – Living in pain

The implants had been a huge success. Andrews co-workers admired the mechanical arm, got jealous and wanted one or two for themselves. The shiny ribcage was a total triumph – and he did not mind showing it to those who asked. And the whole lot was for sure a lady magnet. But he himself suffered.

First of all – he didn’t like it. No! He hated the shiny armour that squeezed his body together. He was in constant pain, and all the time at least one area, often several, were inflamed with swellings and pus. No painkillers seemed to work for him, and each day became more or less a plague.

Several times he had to go back to the clinic and the doctors really tried to help him. They cleansed the abscesses and gave him stronger pain killers, but nothing could beat the torture.

Meanwhile, he tried as best as he could to live a normal life. He went to work. Managed to do what he had to do. He went to cinemas and pubs with people he thought of as friends, and everyone supported him and tried to cheer him up.
”You’ll soon heal,” they said and offered him a second beer. ”For some people, it takes longer. You’ll be alright.”

Weeks came and weeks went by. They became months. And months. He smiled and he went on dates. He laughed and pretended he enjoyed himself. At least a couple of times a week some girl followed him home and felt sorry for him. They pampered him and could not hide what a turn-on the implants were. Especially the ribcage.

At times when everything was nothing but blackness to him, he used to go to the seashore and stand there for a long time gazing over the water until the sky turned dark and the halo from the descending sun made him forget the pain fort a while. Those hours he was intensely longing for going home to earth. He even missed his parents.

One day he could not stand it any longer. The pain and the swellings refused to let go, and the stomach had started to bother him as well, due to all the medications he had to take every day to at least ease the pain a bit. At that point, he had had the implants for almost a year. The only one that actually didn’t hurt any longer, though the pain had lasted for about nine months, were the eye-implants. As a matter of fact, he found them quite handy.

The sight was still razor sharp. He could see things very far away, as well as read any written material no matter the font size. He only had to push a small spot between the left eye and the nose in a special way and then a photo was taken, and for video snippets, there was a minuscule switch right above his right temple.
So who could blame him for taking photos a little bit too often, and in situations where a gentleman maybe shouldn’t take a photo at all?

On the other hand, it was impossible for anyone to see that he had a built-in camera anyway. Of course, he never told anyone that he had chosen that special perk, but he thought it was worth every penny extra he had to pay for that model.

Now, though, he wanted them gone. Both the ribcage and the arm extension. He did not care about being cool or attractive. He did not care about being a lady magnet. It was not him they were interested in, anyway, and claimed to be in love with. What they cared for, was those pieces of metal, that to him was no mere than worthless bric-a-brac!
And he could not care less, about the Thecnosians traditions and way of life. He was not a Technosian and he would never be!

Standing behind the counter at the clinic, the enormous woman with the bright golden metal plates all over her face had looked like stung of a poisonous tarantula when he had shown up just the other day to make an appointment.
”You want what?”
She pressed both her hands to her upper chest and stared at Andrew with eyes open wide. The golden plates on her forehead trembled.
”I said I want the implants removed.”
”I… I ..I.. d…don’t want to listen to this!”
”They are too painful, I can’t stand the pain any longer.”
”SO? What do you think? It’s metal plates sown to your body. IN your body even!”
She had raised her voice and breathed the words onto Andrew who crouched before the stream of spite.
“Maybe I’m allergic to them…”
“I could be, you know. I’m not really Technosian. I’m an Earthling!
“Tell me something else I don’t want to know.”
“Such a sissy” she whispered to herself while opening the computer.
“hmmm….” said Andrew.
“Okay,” she continued and shoved her large oblong hands in the air beside her ears. “Will Friday morning be good? At eight?”


To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.




There was a time, when I took a lot of photos,
then edited them, into either this or that.
Now when I see them, I begin to wonder
Where did that time go? How did I come to this?

There was also a time, when I wrote poems
I don’t seem to do that either, any more

the future is now
when you’re laying you’re puzzle
chunks, bits and pieces
in the choice of your own.

so don’t even think
of gluing them together
in a malicious pattern
you don’t even adore

an old poem of mine