30 Nov 2014

Short Story: Goodnight

Her eyes closed. She was running towards the light, the sun on her back. She could hear someone chasing behind her, but she was running too fast. When she turned to look…

She looked at her reflection and smiled. She looked odd. This wasn’t the person she wanted to be, but it was the person she had become over these past few months. Her eyes were deep, dark and brown and she had an awkward prettiness about her. She had grown to like the face, but she had never felt like she could wear it.

Her hair was tied back into a long pony tail which cascaded down the back of her head and neck in an array of ringlets and curls.

On her head was an ornate, silver tiara. Her dress was white and elegant, but it wasn’t too much. She had picked it out from one of the fashion shops on Polthia.

She tilted her head to her side and smiled.

And then her face dropped and she felt sad.

He had shaved especially for this day. It was the first time in a long time that he had been clean shaven, and it felt odd. But it felt good. He was doing it for her.

He looked at his reflection as he stood there in his black suit and gold waistcoat. He had been a bit of a cretin over these past few months and he had said and done some stupid things, but he was grateful. He was grateful that he had gotten to spend at least a few more months with the woman he loved more than anything in the universe.

He tilted his head to his side and smiled.

And then his face dropped and he felt sad.

The Doctor stood in the forest clearing, his shoes caked in the damp grass. He sniffed the air. It smelt of peaches and he smiled. He had come here once with Donna back when the world was a better place. She had insisted on leaving as the smell had given her a headache, but they had enjoyed a wonderful picnic together. A picnic with Ibuprofen.

That was before he had lost her.

Strangely things had repeated themselves.

He felt a conflict of emotions. One - that he was about to lose someone who had become a friend, and two - that he was about to regain a friend. One that had been lost within the TARDIS.

And then he wondered whether it was right. It wasn’t the real Alice trapped in the TARDIS. Merely a copy of her brainwaves. Would she be happy about that?

He put those thoughts from his head. Right now he had a job to do.

The door creaked opened and Maxus stepped out, brushing down his suit.

“Very smart, Quinn,” smiled the Doctor. “She’s a lucky lady.”

“Thanks, Doc,” said Maxus with a nervous smile. He looked around. “It’s beautiful here.”

“Indeed it is,” said the Doctor, leaning slightly on his cane.

He walked over to the Doctor. Maxus was about to add more chit-chat to the conversation when he closed his eyes, his head lowered.

The Doctor put a hand on his shoulder.

He turned back to the Doctor. “I don’t know if I can do this.”

“Cold feet?” suggested the Doctor, knowing full well that it wasn’t cold feet.

“I don’t think I can say goodbye,” he said.

The Doctor didn’t reply. He just stood for a good while with his hand on Maxus’s shoulder.

The door opened again and Tylaya stepped out, her white dress dazzling them. “Stop bloody well moaning, you miserable gits,” she said with a chuckle.

“I beg your pardon?” said the Doctor.

“I’m marrying you,” she said to Maxus. “Now stop wallowing. I don’t want to spend my last few hours crying, do I?”

“Ty, I-”

“Shut up,” she said, putting a finger to his lips in the way she always did when she knew she was right. “You better have the rings.”

“I do,” said the Doctor, realising the question was directed at him. “I’m sorry this isn’t the wedding you wanted.”

“All that matters is that we’re together,” said Tylaya.

The Doctor smiled. “I must say you’re taking this very well.”

“Gotta keep on going,” said Tylaya. “And that poor Alice is waiting to hop on board.”

Maxus felt his heart sink.

“But she’s just gonna have to hold on a bit longer.”

The Doctor guided Tylaya and Maxus away from the TARDIS and to a line of trees in the centre of the clearing. He took a metallic stone from his pocket and threw it onto the floor.

A beam of light sprung up from the stone and slowly morphed into a holographic vicar with black-rimmed glasses and a white gown. He had wavy blonde hair and smiled sweetly at the couple.

“Good morning,” said the vicar. “I am the Reverend 2X4771B. I am here to officiate your wedding in accordance to the Light Ceremony from Central City.”

“He’s a bit chatty,” said Maxus.

“It’s the best I could do at short notice,” said the Doctor.

The ceremony was short and sweet. After the holographic vicar had said his piece and the vows were exchanged, Maxus took the rings from the Doctor. The bride and groom each placed the rings on their fingers.

The Doctor smiled.

“Congratulations,” said the vicar with a grin. “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” He paused.

Maxus turned to the vicar and frowned. “You’re forgetting the most important bit, mate.”

The vicar’s face turned serious. “You may now…kill the bride!”

“What?” said the Doctor.

“Poor taste, Doc, poor taste,” said Tylaya.

But the Doctor wasn’t listening. He watched as the holographic form of the vicar flickered and morphed. Standing in his place was a large, green, tentacled monster with the vicars head and still wearing the white robes.

“What the hell?” said Maxus.

“I don’t know,” said the Doctor, grabbing the stone and aiming his screwdriver at it. “I don’t know how to switch it off.”

“Kill the bride. Kill the groom. Kill the Doctor,” growled the creature with a laugh.

“Who did this?”

“Greetings from the Ninkons,” said the monster.

“Oh no,” said the Doctor. “The Ninkons. I faced them a few regenerations back. Nasty pieces of work. They must have tampered with this. Set a trap.”

“So what do we do?” said Maxus.

“We run! Back to the TARDIS!”

The Doctor grabbed his cane, Maxus grabbed Tylaya, and together they ran for the TARDIS.

The creature growled and began running after them. It was gaining on them fast, but they were much quicker than it’s lumbering form could move.

“Quick!” said the Doctor, unlocking the door and letting Tylaya and Maxus pile inside.

The Doctor took one last look at the creature before slamming the door. He raced to the console, flicked a switch and the TARDIS dematerialised.

“Thank god for that,” said Tylaya, out of breath.

“You can say that again,” said the Doctor.

“Doctor,” said Maxus, “can you do the honours?”

The Doctor turned to the couple and then smiled. “Of course.” He walked up to them. “You may now kiss the bride.”

Maxus looked longingly into Tylaya’s eyes and smiled. And then they embraced, kissing passionately as the Doctor watched on. They had come a long way since they had been taken prisoner by him, but he was glad to see them finally happy at last.

They broke off the kiss and Tylaya stared up at her husband. She smiled weakly. “I love you.”

He smiled back. “Love you too, Ty.”

And then she slumped down, still held in Maxus’s arms.

“No,” he said, helping her over to the sofa.

The Doctor helped Maxus to lay her down on the sofa and then stepped back. Maxus knelt over her, brushing her hair out of her face.

“Don’t leave me,” said Maxus, the tears now flowing freely.

“I…love you.” She stared up at him, smiled, and then closed her eyes for the last time.

She was running towards the light, the sun on her back. She could hear someone chasing behind her, but she was running too fast. When she turned to look…

…Maxus was there, stood in the clearing, his hand raised up to wave to her. She stopped and slipped the ring off her finger and then threw it to him. He caught it and clasped it tightly in his hands.

And then she smiled. The sun flared and she had changed. She now looked like the woman she used to be. The real Tylaya. In the distance, behind Maxus, she could see Alice, walking away, with Maxus standing between them.

She took one last look at the man she loved, turned, and walked into the light.

A while later Maxus sat in the bedroom, his head down and his hand clasping Tylaya’s wedding ring tightly. For a moment he thought he saw her out of the corner of his eye, but she wasn’t there.

She was gone.


Next time: The end begins. Coming Sunday December 7th 2014.

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