People called Dr. Maluji an eccentric. Some people didn't think he was a real doctor. Some people even thought of him as mad. Mad?! How preposterous! The very idea of people thinking of him as mad gave Maluji inexplicably long laughing fits, rolling across the grimy floors and smashing his fists on the untidydesks of his small, crampedlaboratory in the bell tower. Duji Maluji was not mad. He was merely a man of science.
Nobody knew what Duji Maluji really looked like. He always kept his face hidden behind a red metal mask reinforced with gleaming bronze, with a dark fabrick covering the eye holes so he could see out, but nobody would be able to see his eyes. His inky black hair was neatly cut and was as long as his neck, and from his temples two copper pipes stuck outwards and upwards, the right one smaller but less rusty than the left. The towns people had many theories of why he was like that; an explosion that had physically attatched the pipes to his head that he couldn't remove, a fire that singed his face so badly he hid it from sight, even rumours that Maluji did it to himself so he had an excuse to hide away from people. Whatever it was, nobody knows or really cares.
When the doctor heard footsteps and mumbles climbing up the many stairs, he thought it was just the towns people once again trying to halt his "cruel" experiments that would "threaten the environment" or some jibberish like that. He really couldn't put up with more, especially as he was just about to reach a breakthrough with this latest invention. He checked one of the survalence moniters to see who was going to give him the usual rant, often the politicians or envronmentalists. But none of the regulars were coming up, they were...new people...maybe merchants from Dunderland City...and what was even better, the blonde girl whom he had observed for quite a while now was traipsing up the narrow staircase. He wasn't sure what it was about her, she just seemed to...catch his attention. Jessy was her name, something like that. Aftershe had climbed up the stairs out of site on one moniter he followed her with his eyes to the next, and the next, and the next, until he realised she was barely 10 metres away from him and that his room was a mess. He cleared desks, shoved random papers in random filing cabinets, swept machine parts under the desks, slipped on his cleanest labcoat and before he could check his hair there was a sharp knock on the door.
"Be wary, sir," Jessabelle advised Archibald ashe reachedout and rapped his knuckles on themetal door at the top of the stone staircase. "Goodness knows what he gets up to in there!" They didn't have to wait long before the door swung open with an ear-splitting creak and a masked man in a labcoat stood there, past him they could see a semi-messy lab of some sort.
"Hello, my good friends!" Maluji droned in his deep voice. He was trying as hard as he could to be pleasant, but he wasn't sure if it was working. "I am Dr. Duji Maluji. How may I assist you this fine morning?"
But it's the afternoon! Archibald thought. What type of person can live in a clock tower yet not know whether it's morning or afternoon? It took Archibald a while before he realised that the mad man had asked him a question, so he quickly said, "Oh, uh...our ship crashed and we um, we need someengine parts, um, please..." he faltered.
Maluji frowned - well, the visitors couldn't see his frown, but he tried to make it somewhat obvious - and an anger built up in him. "Sir, I am not a salesperson! I am a man of science, a quantum engineer! I have much more important things to attend to than a battered little ship," he snapped, which caught Archibald and Jamelia off guard, but Jessabelle was just staring at the ground. "Good day to you sir. Madam," he added surprisingly softly as he bowed in Jessabelle's direction. She continued not to look at him, and she silently turned and hurried down the staircase. Maluji's temper rose and he slammed the metal door, making a terrible clanging sound. The noise hung around the tower like a ghost, and Archibald and Jamelia followed Jessabelle back down the stairs.
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Book / Science Fiction
Short Story / Fantasy
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