"So here we go again, Sexy." The Doctor ran his fingers along the master board of his beloved TARDIS.
"Question is," He did a 360 degree spin that would've made Michael Jackson jealous. His TARDIS made a groaning sound with her engines. "What do we do next?"
"Ha!" He slammed his hand on a big green glowing button and the control room began trembling. "How about the snow capped mountains of Boooed?" Another big green button down. "Yes, that's Boooed with three 'ooo's'." He let out a maniacal laugh. The TARDIS let out an apprehensive whirl.
"Come now. It's really a wonderful kind of place, but it gets rather chilly there this time around. And the cold won't do for your paint. Hmm… Maybe not." The Doctor clasped his hands and yelled, "Ah-ha! Would a quick visit to the Monks of Terrabithia make you feel better? They make the absolute greatest hot chocolate and crisps." The Doctor grinned at his companion.
"Fine then." The Doctor pouted with his arms crossed. "What do you suggest?" He paused leaning against the rubber-matted handle for a minute. The TARDIS cranked and groaned and spun making the Doctor's grin grow wider and brighter with each beautiful rusty note.
A spark flashed overhead, dangerously close to the Doctor's head. The room jerked around randomly and smoke filled the grated floor. "Brilliant! Sword fighting fishes and powder fine sand. Why didn't I think of that?"
The Doctor's light fingers moved across his control board, adjusting the coordinates by just a few galaxies away. "The Ediseas it is! Beautiful clear skies and sunny sandy beaches, here we come!"
With a final hurrah, he pulled the lever and the room spun out of control.
Not a minute later, the Doctor's wind-tossed hair popped out from the blue doors.
"Well this isn't at all how I'd expected the Ediseas to look like." His voice trailed off.
They landed in the middle of a misty gray forest. The trees looked menacing and bent down as if to scold the Doctor for intruding on their sleep. He tried looking up to check if they were remotely close to any sunny beaches, but the trees were simply too tall to look past. Mangled roots lay by the base of the trees, as if they could get up and walk while nobody was watching.
The air had a heavy feeling to it. Like every happy memory he could think of would magically vanish. It can't possibly be a Dementor, he thought and whimpered a bit. A pale light filled the whole forest but it was cold and gray and frankly, didn't help much at all.
Get a grip on yourself, Doctor! He chided. There are no such things as Dementors. Those only live on the planet of Freaed and they can't travel very far from their source... Oh dear... Maybe I shouldn't have taken J.K. to that part of the universe.
An eerie sounding screech from a crow sent the Doctor jumping, holding out his thin bendy looking sword out in front of him. The sword rippled awkwardly before sagging downwards like a sad looking banana.
"Fat lot of good you are." The Doctor muttered to the poor rapier. "You got the coordinates wrong!" The Doctor ripped off his odd looking sunglasses and turned to properly scold his TARDIS. But when he looked back, it was gone.
"No," He squeaked. "No. No. No. No. Oh no..." He searched the square imprint on the damp earth. It was the only indication that there had been anything there at all. He circled the square and the surrounding trees, hoping it would pop back any minute. But a minute turned into two, and two into ten and still no sign of anything resembling blue.
"I was rather looking forward to fighting fishes..." He sighed, dejectedly. "I guess there's nothing left for me to do but explore!"
He's seen worse situations. The final battle between him and the Master; the battle of the Time War, his people faced with the threat of extinction. And let's not forget his countless encounters with the Daleks. And those aren't even the most gruesome ones.
The thought of everything he's done to survive lifted his spirits. He straightened his bowtie and sheathed his rapier. It was silly to even bring it out in the first place. What was there to be afraid of anyway?
Since when did the Doctor become frightened of dark and foreboding forests? He laughed at the face of danger. He practically asked for foreboding in his extensive list of places to visit. There were no such things as ghosts. Now that he thought about it, he swore he could taste a tangy metallic scent in the air. Definitely no ghosts here.
With his ego in check and in its proper place, he took a step out of the square imprint.
His second foot hadn't even made it out of the small box when he heard the shrill scream.
"IT'S A GHOST!"
This normally would've sent anyone running down the opposite direction. Specifically away from the Ghost. But the Doctor's overwhelming curiosity and adrenaline kicked in and he sped towards the scream, his laughter echoing in the empty air.
The trail was simple.
Follow the path that made you feel sadder and more disappointed and you'll get to the source of our problem. With the added help of his special sunglasses- that prevents the harsh glow of the Ediseas sun from ruining your vision- the way seemed clear enough.
And soon enough, he'd spotted them.
A chilling shadow looking thing glided across the musty terrain. With his Adroits custom made sunglasses, he could see the air swirl around the shadow with a deadly green glow. There were simply no other words to describe what the Doctor was witnessing. The aura it emitted was paralyzing, like death clung to it's very skin.
Oh dear, I think I've sent J.K. on too many petrifying adventures. I'm even starting to think one of her Potterheads.
The Doctor was too preoccupied with his thoughts on the shadow looking thing that he failed to notice a redheaded boy struggling to get away from the shadow.
The boy tripped on a gnarled tree root and he fell, bottom-first onto the damp forest floor. Around them, the wind rattled the tree's branches like the woods were laughing at the boy's misfortunes.
The boy let out another piercing scream and the Doctor snapped into action. He looked down from his small cliff searching for a way down. The boy yelled, "Marissa! Where the bloody hell are you?!"
Even before he saw the shadow move faster, the Doctor knew he was too far. A thinner portion of the shadow stretched out, almost like a hand trying to grab its victim. The ginger whimpered, covering his ears and burying his head in his hands. Well, no time to think. With an ear-splitting battle cry, the Doctor ran and heard blood roar in his ears like never before.
His legs carried him close to the encounter and put himself squarely between the boy and the shadow. Up close, the dark gloomy ghost glared brighter than ever. The Doctor couldn't understand how such a creature can be both dark and luminous at the same time. The outline groaned like it was frustrated but he didn't completely stop.
"Halt!" He drew his sword and cut a pattern through the ghostly figure. With a final shriek, the ghost evaporated into the air.
The Doctor allowed himself a few minutes to catch his breath before processing the information. "How peculiar..." He said to himself. "That- if I recall- was... No it can't be..."
A quite shuffling from behind him caught his attention and he turned to face the enemy, holding his rapier out in front of him.
"Umm sir. Thank you very very much but uhh... Do you mind if you put that away?" The ginger looked up through muddy spectacles. The Doctor blinked and nodded politely, "Oh I do apologize. I was just making sure there weren't more of those pesky Nox around."
The boy opened his mouth and closed it again, thinking to keep his question to himself but curiosity got the better of him, "Pardon?" He took the Doctor's outstretched hand and he got on his feet.
"Yes, the Nox. A couple of highly advanced, highly ancient race of aliens living in the farthest regions of the galaxy. They could possibly be the most dangerous things you could ever come across, reasonably indestructible, bred for occupation and destruction I just scattered one into a billion different air particles into your atmosphere. Now," He asked, dusting the boy's wrinkled coat and muddy trousers. "What planet are we on?" And bent down to look the boy straight in the eye.
"Ah-Ahh-A-Addleston, North England, sir. Who are you?" He took a step back, hoping this man wasn't more dangerous than the Ghost he had just faced. The Doctor paced in front of the boy muttering under his breath.
The boy caught snatches of the strange man's conversation with himself. Words like, Can't be, or Time vortex was too weak, or possibly even I'm craving for some cereal oats... floated around the boy's weary head.
"Sir!" He said again, louder this time. The Doctor only seemed to remember the presence of this boy in front of him.
"Who are you?" He peered at the boy with mud caked on his forehead. The boy let out an exasperated sigh, "I was asking you the same question!"
The Doctor straightened his bow tie and nodded to the boy, "Then we both say our names at the same time." Before the boy could register what the man had said he was beginning to count down.
"Wait just a minute!"
"Two.." The boy protested but the Doctor wouldn't stop.
"One, zero! I'm the Doctor." The man who introduced himself as the Doctor smiled.
The boy meanwhile stared at him blankly. "Doctor wh-?" But at the same moment, the two heard a voice calling out.
"HENRY!" The voice sounded very feminine and it was soon followed by footsteps.
Henry scrambled to get to the top of the steep cliff. "That's Marissa!" He looked to the Doctor and motioned for him to help him up. "We need to get to her." The Doctor seemed to understand the situation and pushed the boy up to reach a root sticking out.
A couple more tries and the duo collapsed on the cliff's edge, exhausted and panting. "Over here, Thomas!" The voice called out again. By that time, both Henry and the Doctor were too tired to respond.
A girl clad in a grey skirt and grey cardigan ran up to them. She bent down to help Henry to his feet. A boy similarly dressed with Henry and Marissa closely followed. The Doctor assumed that they were friends, or at the very least, schoolmates.
"Oh Henry!" The girl exclaimed, pulling the boy into a fierce hug. Henry looked pleased and enjoyed the hug with a bright red face. The boy behind the two looked at them with irritation.
"We did tell you to stick close." The boy commented.
"Tomas is right. You shouldn't have run off like that." Marissa let Henry go.
The Doctor grinned, glad to see Henry safe with his friends. "Hullo there, friends of Henry." "We are not friends with him," The other boy muttered.
"Sorry to interrupt the reunion but I'd-" The Doctor was cut off by the boy he guessed was Tomas.
"Stay back, Marissa!" He put himself in front of his two friends protectively. "Tomas, stop that! We need to help him." Marissa said, annoyed.
"Yeah, Tim." Henry said. "It's Tom, idiot." He snapped.
Henry snorted, "Yeah, whatever. That man is the Doctor. He saved me and even managed to defeat the Ghost!"
That's it, Henry! The Doctor cheered.
Marissa visibly relaxed and her eyes lit up with a curious expression. "That's wonderful!" The Doctor smiled brighter at the girl's curiosity. I'm starting to like these two, he said to himself.
Tomas snarled, "That doesn't mean he's not possibly dangerous. He could be a drug dealer for all we know. Didn't they warn us about those quack doctors who sell cigarettes. Don't let your guard down, Marissa." The Doctor frowned. Not so sure about this one.
The Doctor sighed and held his hands in the air. "Alright, you got me. I was in the forest hoping to sell my cigars to some of the friendly trees who wanted to get high. I'm so ashamed. I've been awful. Please take me away, officer." He feigned with exaggerated drama.
He could see Henry and Marissa sniffling a giggle behind their hands. The Doctor grinned. Tomas' face turned brighter and stammered, "Are you making fun of me?"
"Oh come on, now. Was it that obvious?" The Doctor smiled and approached the trio, patting Tomas' head.
"The more important question right now is: Do you have any cereal with you?" The trio looked at him with odd expressions. "Cereal?"
"Oh yes! Cereal. The most fundamental part of your daily breakfast. Take if with milk or take it alone and it would still taste wonderful. Is it chilly here or is it just me?" He asked, puffing out deep breaths of air.
Marissa shook her head, "It feels just fine to me."
A moment later, the Doctor dropped to the ground wheezing and curling into a ball in an attempt to stay warm.
"Find out what's the matter with him!" Tomas barked out orders and the three of them dropped to their knees, already too used to this routine.
Marissa was the first one to spot it.
On the Doctor's right wrist, a blue blotch spread out like a river flowing into multiple streams. The Doctor's veins were visible and his skin was wet and icy.
"We need to get him out of here." She said. "Fast."