I awoke naked, in a dark, dark wood – the frigid night air enveloping me like Dracula’s cloak.
Oh, this was my worst nightmare. I stumbled around until eventually I saw a series of lights atop a high, wire fence – behind which was what looked like a series of warehouses. I scaled it and dropped to the ground on the other side.
Hoping I did not meet a guard dog, I made my way carefully along the side of the nearest building. I looked around the corner and saw a sign which read “costumes” – what?
Well I could certainly use one of those.
It felt freakishly fortunate, but I was not in a mood to argue with fate. I sneaked in and saw the warehouse was filled with thousands of costumes. I could choose anything from a centurion’s uniform to a space suit.
I decided to go for something a little less ostentatious. Quickly, I found a pair of black size ten shoes and likewise socks – but as I moved to the clothes section, I heard approaching feet. I grabbed a pair of slacks and a shirt that looked about my size and ran.
Finding myself in a corridor with seats, I hurriedly put the clothes on. The shirt turned out to be a blouse and I had trouble with the slacks – until I realised the zip was at the back. Damn, I had got them from the women’s section.
Beggars cannot be choosers, so I put them on anyway. The slacks were tight – and I had no underpants. Then I heard the sound of more steps coming around the corner.
I rose and began walking in the opposite direction. Behind me, I heard, “Oooh, get the fresh meat!”
I quickened my pace and after a few more turns, found a door which opened onto a small car park. My eyes immediately settled on a silver Aston Martin DB5. It was magnificent.
Then I noticed the registration number – BMT 216A. I was in Pinewood film studios, looking at James Bond’s Aston Martin, from Goldfinger – the Most Famous Car In The World.
I got inside. Immediately the smell of leather hit me, reminding me of the chair in Edward’s bedroom. What was it with rich people and leather?
Hey – if I went to sleep in this…
No. That was stupid. How could I possibly explain it to Mum and Dad – or anyone else? Plus, today the car was worth millions – it would attract way too much attention. I would be less conspicuous riding a unicorn.
But perhaps I could just have a little drive? No, I would get busted – then they would find The Device. Forget it.
Just then, a shout rang out. I looked to see its source – it was two guys with fierce-looking guard dogs.
The key was in the ignition – I had no choice. I turned it and hit the accelerator. The engine roared into life. The whole car vibrated like a living thing. I smacked the skinny gear lever into first, spun the wooden steering wheel towards the exit and let in the clutch.
The beast leapt forward, narrowly missing the left pillar. Once outside, I swerved around a little roundabout and saw the main gate ahead. My luck held – it was up, to allow someone else in. I barrelled the Aston through the gap between the gatehouse and the other car.
Then all at once I was hurtling across Iver Heath, the roadster’s powerful headlights cutting a swath down the tunnel made by the trees. I seemed to hear the sound of trumpets – conducted by John Barry, of course.
My mood of exaltation was reduced a bit when I saw a revolving blue light in my rear-view mirror.
But then I suddenly found I did not care – I was James Bond!! Those woodentops could never catch me! I dropped the transmission two gears and floored the car – it could fly…
Suddenly, I saw lights up ahead. It was a town. My euphoria evaporated. Careering around the Buckinghamshire countryside in this vintage supercar was one thing, but in a built up area, someone could die – possibly me.
Nevertheless, having opened up a fair lead on the police car, I still had options. I eased the speed down and, seeing a cinema was emptying out, turned the car into the next street, leapt out and smoothly merged with the crowd.
The cop-car arrived and its occupants scanned the crowd, hoping someone would bolt – but I was not that stupid.
However, I had that old problem again – no blasted money.
Then a guy next to me asked if I had enjoyed the film. “Oh yes,” I said, quickly looking up. The marquee said My Fair Lady. “Fabulous costumes,” I added.
“You’re wearing a pretty fabulous costume yourself,” said my new friend, with a knowing smile.
Oh dear, I thought.
“Let’s get some fish and chips,” he said, “My treat.”
I was hungry, had no money and needed a bed for the night. But could I keep this guy at arm’s length? I was straight – as my mother could confirm – oh no, don’t go there, I thought.
Flustered, I said okay – and knew I would regret the decision. I was regretting it already.
To cut a long and embarrassing story short, I managed to avoid being indoctrinated into the ways of man-love that night – but only just.
I eventually told him I had a headache, but would make it up to him in the morning. He seemed unconvinced – I suspect he had heard that before. He answered that he was “resting” anyway, but I was welcome to stay.
It was a long time before I fell asleep…