Behind the Scenes of
Time for Anny
by Denise Felt 2011
Just for the record, I hate the Wizard of Oz. But having said that, there are so many great cliches from the movie that I couldn’t resist using them in this story! 'Time for Anny' is such a fun romp! It was written for one of my very best fans, Anny Theberge, who encouraged me back when I was just getting started writing UFO stories.
Chapter 1 – Computer glitches are the bane of everyone’s existence in our technological world, and I didn’t see that changing in the future. So plunking AnE down in the wrong spot was a lot of fun. I don’t disclose immediately where she’s been deposited, but soon enough she realizes that she’s at a film studio. At this point, the reader knows more than she does, because they’re aware just what studio she’s at! And this isn’t exactly your average studio, is it? So we’re all prepared to have a lot of fun – when she suddenly sees The Man walking from his car to the main entrance. Her reaction to him, as well as her description of him as a fallen angel, were delightful to write and very in keeping with the way he strikes most people. Well, females anyway. *grin*
AnE’s encounter with Paul was also fun to write. Foster is a character that most women can recognize on sight. He’s a player, apprentice wolf, flirt – whatever you want to call him. And she slides right through his grasp with practiced skill. Way to go, girl!
Chapter 2 – It was fun to have the stoic commander thrown out of stride by AnE. All his bells are ringing – hmmm – and he’s preoccupied enough to not even get in the middle of an alert. Yes, Alec. You could say he was slightly distracted. Meanwhile AnE is in clothing heaven and looking for the perfect thing to wear in the Wardrobe department.
The aliens were up to their tricks again, and Alec finds the commander a little discouraged by it. Luck seems to be the only thing keeping Earth still active in this war, and obviously Straker doesn’t expect that luck to hold out for much longer. But a remark from Alec draws his attention back to the unusual guest at the studio. He contacts Wells, and Alec gets an earful when the commander describes her to him. I could just see the unholy light in his eyes as I was writing when Straker mentions the toga!
The entire scene in the lounge between Straker and AnE kept my tongue stuck in my cheek as they go around and around. But he’s no fool and soon figures out where she must be from, even though that idea is so outrageous. But it’s the only thing that makes sense.
I wrote this story ten years ago, but even today there’s very little I would change in this scene. Maybe flesh out a few of their responses so that they flow better into each other. But it’s still a very entertaining read as is, so I wouldn’t want to add too much and end up bogging it down. And the Anny that the story was written for has always been a delightfully flighty soul, so it’s best to keep the tone light and fun.
The image of Straker on the floor wearing only her gold leaf headpiece was one I have never gotten out of my head since this story. And in all honesty, why would I want to? *grin* She gives him her money pouch (for his conquering army) before she is transported back to her own time.
Chapter 3 – In the conversation between Straker and Freeman, we find out what the commander has been doing with the money Anny left him. He’s been spending it on R & D and helping to upgrade SHADO’s equipment. Although he sentimentally kept one coin and had it made into a paperweight for his desk. And since he’s so laid back about the budget meeting with Henderson, Alec is worried that he’s suffering from a midlife crisis.
Back in the future, AnE is home from her assignment with Caesar. But MaX finds her researching Straker instead of writing her report. I really had fun with this scene, introducing all sorts of fun topics, including the eternal question that fans have been asking for years: Why would Straker get mixed up with a piece of fluff like Mary? But it’s when MaX finds Kelly’s research team that we know something big has happened.
On Earth, the new Targeting computers onboard the interceptors get a workout when the aliens attack, and they do a great job destroying them. Straker is thrilled. And Alec brings up his concern about why his old friend is so carefree these days. All the while they discuss it, Straker continues to play with his paperweight, smiling softly.
The scene in the lab with Kelly and his team is one of my favorites. They’re all ready to break out the bubbly to celebrate the success of their work – and the big boss comes in! *grin* But the biggest shock is when Lt. Rome returns from hunting up some cups. It’s Anny! And Straker is very happy to see her. So happy – in fact – that he forgets about the cameras in the lab!
The final scene on his patio rounds off the adventure – although you can be certain that with her in his life, the commander will continue to have lots of adventures! Time travel stories are among my favorites to write. It’s just so much fun to twist time around and watch how it flings itself back into place. Pre-destination paradoxes, causality loops, etc. are par for the course when you dabble in that particular arena. But they’re such fun to play with that I can never resist!
This story was actually inspired by the Asimov novel The End of Eternity, although if you’ve read it, you probably won’t see the connection. That’s because originally this story was going to have a sequel, where MaX meets his match in Col. Lake. But somehow that tale never got to be told. But who knows? As Straker said, time is strange. You just never know what might happen tomorrow.