Friday, January 11, 2008

I Used To Be Clever...

Back in 1990, we had this thing at school. We'd write something in a book for five minutes then illustrate. I often attempted to capture the genius of Doctor Who, endlessly baffling teachers with recreations of The Power of Kroll, Face of Evil, and Masque of Mandragora. Often an action packed first paragraph and a rapid "ooh, and then a strange monster lurched out of the shadows!!!"

A few of my original stories weren't up to much, often involving the Doctor arriving at a cave by the sea and then a giant bat attacking... but two stories I ACTUALLY FINISHED!! I even had a Third Doctor sequel planned, but, you know, life sucks.

And reprinted here, sans illustrations, sadly, is a story I wrote back at the tender age of 5 and a bit, but bar a few spelling changes, it's as is. Of course, at the time I thought it was an Interference-style epic saga due to its incredible length and plot detail...


Part 1

The moon struggled to shine from behind a mess of ink-black clouds, but the only other source of light was the sulphor-coloured glow that came from the little cabin's windows. But even that was muted through the countless skeletal trees, their discarded Autumn leaves carpeting the ground like a rustling blanket.

Breathing heavily, a figure struggled forward through the trees towards the cabin. The ground seemed to suck at the figure's feet, making every movement a monumental effort, and opening the wound in his side even further. Every few footsteps the figure was forced to grab hold of a tree to support itself.

Behind him, the wolves started to howl mockingly.

The figure turned his blurring eyesight back at darkness he was escaping from. Things were moving in the void, eyes visibly against the blackness, feet rustling through the leaves.

Gritting his teeth, the injured man turned and forced himself to run down the slope. The trees were getting thicker, conspiring to stop his escape. More howls shattered the calm night air.

Pain throbbed, burning the man's heart as he fought through a final fence of creepers and vines to reach the door of the cabin. Blood glistened on the trees and leaves around him. The wolves howled again.

Shaking, bloody fingers twisted the lock on the front door and with one last glance at the baleful full moon above, the man dived into the cabin.

The air from the fireplace was shockingly warm. The man stumbled across the to the table in the middle of the cabin, trying to summon up the strength to turn back to the door and close it. The howling wolves were getting closer, closer...

The man turned, feeling grating, shooting pains explode between his ribs. Unable to hold back the horrible scream, the man convulsed and pitched forward onto the ground with a tortured moan. Blood pooled on the polished wooden floor.

A sudden ethereal humming filled the air, twisting into a familiar wheezing groaning sound. A square blue shadow formed in the corner, sharpening into a police public call box. The noise ended, leaving only the sounds of the approaching wolves.

The door swung inwards, and the Doctor stepped out.

Part 2

The Doctor was a short man in a long coat, checkered pants and with a very tall hat that he often had to take off to go into rooms. He looked around gravely, smelling the distinctive metal smell of human blood. But there were so many other smells in this new place the Doctor's Time Lord nose took a moment to identify it.

'Oh, my word!' he exclaimed, noticing the bloody body on the floor. He rushed over, stopped, bit his thumbnail and called out. 'Jamie! Jamie! Zoe, come out, quickly!'

Two teenagers stepped out of the TARDIS, one dressed in a vest and skirt, the other in a bright yellow cat suit - wierdly, the boy was wearing the skirt and the girl the pants. The Doctor turned and slammed the door, cutting off the wolf noises and the cold air.

'Quickly,' said Zoe, who knew a lot about first aid, 'We've got to get him over to the fire. Jamie, take off his coat and get some clean water. Doctor, you better see if there are any bandages around.'

Jamie went to do as he was told, grumbling that he had been in lots of fights with redcoats and knew how to treat injuries. The Doctor was about to remind Zoe that he WAS a doctor, after all, but as he knew little about medicine he stayed quiet and did what he was told.

Zoe checked the man over. He was in his forties and had curly black hair. His left hip was slashed and torn and dripping with bright red blood, and the man's skin was very pale. He opened his eyes.

'Wh... what are you doing here?' he gasped. Blood was in his mouth.

'Don't try to speak,' said Zoe firmly, mopping away most of the blood. 'We, er, found the door open and saw you. What happened?'

'Can yer not tell?' snapped Jamie. 'Some beastie's taken a lump out of him! Any fool can see that.'

'Well, that explains how you know that,' Zoe retorted.

'W... where's Alex?' the man coughed, wincing in pain.

'He's not here,' the Doctor explained, having come from the cabin's miniature kitchen with some bandages and ointments. 'Who is Alex?'

'Y... You've got to go to Geneva tonight,' the man cried out, speaking quickly against the pain drowning him. 'The whole of western civilization depends on... it... The Hilton hotel... Ask for... John... SMith!!!' The man fell back, crying in agony.

The Doctor pressed a large pad against the wound. 'Can we get Alex to do that? We're not really close to an airport, are we?' From what he'd seen out the window, they were in the middle of nowhere.

And surrounded by nasty wild dogs.

'Gotta... go to Geneva... Please... For God's sake!'

'Who is Geneva?' asked Jamie. Geography was never his strong point.

'Don't let the... wolves... get....' The man's eyes widened and he sighed. Blood began to trickle down his mouth. The Doctor frowned and closed the man's eyes with the flat of his hand.

'What do we do now?' asked Zoe sadly.

'You two stay here,' said the Doctor, crossing to the door. 'I'll just pop outside and see if this Alex character is around.'

'But can't you hear those dogs?' Jamie protested.

'I'm not deaf, Jamie. But someone must go.'

'You saw what they did to the man!' Zoe complained.

'Yes, so if Alex is out there, he might be in danger.'

'Let me go, Doctor,' said Jamie loyally, pulling a knife out of his sock. The Doctor snatched the knife off him.

'Jamie, I keep telling you - people with knives often get stabbed! Why can't you just leave it in the TARDIS.' So saying, he dropped it into his pocket and crossed to the door.

'Hey, can I not have me knife back, Doctor!' Jamie snapped.

'I might need it,' the Doctor muttered by the door.

'You don't like weapons,' Zoe reminded him.

'I'm not using it as a weapon,' the Doctor replied, unlocking the door.

'Then why do you want it?' Jamie's mother had given him that knife.

'Because it is made of silver.'

Part Three

The Doctor stepped out into the gloom. It was perishingly cold and even his amazing eyesight couldn't pick out much in the gloom. A growling grey shape pawed out of the darkness towards him.

It was a wolf. Its mouth was red with blood.

The Doctor swallowed and grabbed the knife to protect himself. Unfortunately, he grabbed the wrong end and droplets of blood flew through the cold air.

The wolf sniffed. Growled.

Then it suddenly backed away.

The Doctor's eyes narrowed. 'Have we met before?'

The wolf turned and ran off into the shadows. The Doctor crammed his stupidly-tall hat back on his head and
ran into the gloom after it.


Jamie and Zoe placed the body of the man on the bunk bed and covered him up with a blanket. Jamie turned and went to the kitchen to get some water to clean up the blood.

Jamie had met quite a few wild animals in his time, but as they were on Earth, just what could have killed the man? The wolves outside? The man had had a nasty bite to be sure, but to die so suddenly? Zoe had said he couldn't have been bitten more than a few minutes before they met, and there were no other wounds.

Jamie filled a saucepan with water and added some detergent. So, if an animal had bit him, it had to be poisonous or something like that. Which meant it was not an animal supposed to be on earth.

He jumped back as suddenly a wolf leapt up at the kitchen window. The glass splintered but did not shatter and with a howl the wolf fell back out of sight. Cold air wafted in. Wolf howls filled the air.

'Zoe!' Jamie called. 'Get back to the TARDIS!'

He heard the shattering of glass. And then Zoe was screaming.


The Doctor ran up the leaf-covered slope after the wolf. It skidded to a halt, realizing that it had nowhere left to go. It turned to face the Doctor, snarling and growling evilly.

The Doctor was not impressed. 'Now. I think it's time we spoke, you and I? You can drop the act. No one's fooled.'

The wolf growled again.

Then, it stood up on its hind legs. It seemed to inflate, the fur growing thinner and vanishing as the shape lost its wolf appearance and became a humanoid figure.

The Doctor realized the creature before him was not human as he was expecting. In fact, it was very different.


Zoe and Jamie ran for the TARDIS as another wolf leapt at the window kitchen and burst into the cabin. The one already there snarled and leapt up sank its teeth into Jamie's shoulder.

Zoe screamed as the young scot was forced to the floor.

The wolves howled again...

Part Four

The wolf leapt on Jamie and bit his shoulder. Jamie fell to the floor, trying to shake the ferocious dog off him. Zoe kicked out and the dog went flying.

Jamie and Zoe dived inside the police box and slammed the doors.


The creature before the Doctor was leathery, grey. Its face resembled that of a chicken or rooster, except its head was transparent to reveal a hexagon-patterned brain throbbing beneath.

'I know what you are,' the creature hissed.

'Do you?' asked the Doctor, worried.

'You should not interfere,' the creature replied. 'This is not your concern. Leave now and your friends shall live.'

'My friends are perfectly capable of looking after themselves,' the Doctor snapped, crossing his fingers behind his back. 'And I want to know what you're up to!'

'My group have already tasted your friend, Doctor. I can burn out his life from here, just as I did Graham. Will you leave? Or must I make it clear that you are here, when you should not be!'

The Doctor was tempted to run for it. 'First, I need to know where Alex is. Have you harmed him?'

The creature tittered. 'Harmed Alex?' Suddenly it was shrivelling and flexing and suddenly a tall, carrot-haired woman stood before him. 'No, I haven't harmed Alex,' she mocked. 'I am Alex!'

The Doctor took a step back. 'So, you betrayed Graham and killed him!'

'It was necessary,' the creature said, shifting back to its true shape. 'I do what I must to keep my freedom.'

'What do you mean?'

'Graham and I work for countries on this planet. I am a double-agent for another country. They know I am not human. I must do their bidding if I want to stay alive.'

'You think that excuses what you have done?!' the Doctor shouted. 'Allying yourself to a side prepared to commit murder!'

'Humans hate each other. It does not matter which side I ally myself with. If I had not killed Graham, another would have. Now, Doctor - leave. Or I will reveal to my allies you are here.'

'I have no fear of them - or you for that matter!'

'No. But if we know you are here, that knowledge may spread... to those you are hiding from. Go. I will spare your companion's life.'


In the TARDIS, Zoe was bandaging Jamie's wound when it suddenly vanished from his shoulder.


The Doctor scowled. 'All right. But one last thing.'

'What?' the creature hissed.

'I don't suppose you could impersonate Graham for a moment, could you?'


'I just want to see how well a shape-changer you are!'

The creature shrugged, deflated, twisted, and suddenly Graham was standing there in his trenchcoat. There was no blood or injury. The fake Graham smiled. 'Is this what you wanted, Doctor?'

The Doctor grinned and clapped his hands. 'Splendid!'

So saying, he produced Jamie's knife and stabbed it into "Graham's" chest. "Graham" screamed and fell to the floor. The Doctor, face blank, placed a foot on the imposter's chest and hauled out the knife. The fake Graham screamed again.

'I'll be off now,' the Doctor said dismissively, and strode off into the darkness.

The fake Graham panted away the pain and mopped aside the few purple droplets of blood from the injury. He was otherwise unharmed. Anger rose in him and he went to assume a form to kill the Doctor.

His body twisted, blurred... and turned back into Graham.

Confused, the alien tried to return to its true self, but after a few seconds shifting, was still Graham.

'No,' it gasped. 'No!'


The Doctor re-entered the cabin. Three battered wolves looked at him in confusion. The alien's control had been broken and the animals were now lost and alone. He patted the nearest, then entered the TARDIS.

'Doctor!' Zoe exclaimed. 'Are you all right?'

The Doctor closed the doors and started the engine. 'Quite all right, thank you, Zoe. Things did get a bit wild, but it's all sorted out.'

'Alex?' Jamie asked, putting his shirt back on.

'Yes, he's sorted out too. Oh, here's your knife back, Jamie. Very handy it was too. Did I ever mention that silver can stop natural metamorphosis?'

'No,' said Jamie confidently. 'Who was Alex, anyway?'

'Someone who, I think, is about to learn a lesson,' the Doctor replied, and switched on the dematerialization circuit. The time column began to go up and down and the TARDIS spun off into a new adventure.


"Graham", now beginning to panic with the realization he was trapped in this body, raced into the cabin, only to be knocked over by three wolves as they raced out. They had been scared by a wheezing, groaning sound - the sound of the Doctor's machine taking off.

"Graham" stared at the place it had been. He was no longer able to change shape, and even if he could prove he was still their alien servant, what kind of punishment would he recieve?

His only course of action was to hide Graham's real body and assume his identity. He was now stuck on the side of his former enemies. Still, what did that matter? They were all humans in the end.

'I'll get you for this,' "Graham" shouted up at the cieling. 'You hear me, Doctor? I'll get you! Sooner or later, you'll be back here and now. AND WHEN I FIND YOU...' "Graham's" roaring voice suddenly dropped to a bloodcurdling whisper.

'I'll see you die!'

The End?

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