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Alone in the Dark

Alone in the Dark

Posted on May 10, 2010

This story was written recently, as a submission to Big Finish’s Short Trips competition. I was not among the winners. So you get to read it here. It was formless, and infinite. It was sentience, and pure instinct. It was isolated in its void, the only being in its own small, unbounded universe. It was eternal, and needy as an infant. It was ever on the search for a way out of the aloneness… *** The TARDIS shuddered like a wet dog shaking itself off — again! — upending Tegan’s hot chocolate all over her jeans, her blouse, and the tattered paperback of Jackie Colllins’ Hollywood Husbands. “Ooo, Doctor!” Her cry echoed around the cavernous, empty room. She calmed herself with a sigh, plucking at her wet clothes. “He has got to snap out of it,” she growled to herself. Tegan had never been a girl to hang out in libraries. But this was one of the beautiful things about traveling with the Doctor: Hollywood Husbands hadn’t even been published yet, from Tegan’s perspective. The library had been a godsend, she’d quickly discovered, after she’d accidentally wandered into the TARDIS on the Barnet Bypass with no more reading material than the copy Princess Daisy by Judith Krantz that she’d happened to have in her purse. And there was no way a 1980s working girl could possibly survive without Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, and Judith Krantz: even life in the TARDIS wasn’t as exciting as Mistral’s Daughter. Wandering into the TARDIS library had been just as accidental — if she’d even considered the notion of a library of paper books on the TARDIS, she’d probably have figured that it would be crammed with boring technical journals and dense history books and the Venusian scientific poetry the Doctor liked. But there was, it turned out, a whole section of real books, the kind of wonderfully trashy stuff Tegan loved — the tri-gender romances of the twenty-second century were her favorite new discoveries so far. Even more fortuitous was the discovery that The Brat Turlough never came here, which made it a perfect refuge… especially these last few days, with the Doctor moping and being such an all-around grump that even the TARDIS was getting annoyed with him. Sure, Tegan missed Nyssa too, and yes, it was obvious that the recent events on Getty Prime had upset the Doctor a lot more than they ever could have bothered Tegan or Turlough, but still… This was getting ridiculous. *** “Go away!” A quick change out of her hot cocoa-soaked clothes later, Tegan was rapping gently on the door of the Doctor’s workshop. “I’ve brought you a nice cup of tea, Doctor,” Tegan said. It was a chore to keep any hint of irritation out of her voice, but she could be gracious if that’s what it took. “I don’t want any tea.” It was a sorrowful mutter, and the lights in the corridor flickered with his misery. “You have to come out sometime…”...

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