Charlie Brown walked in the darkness that was the late autumn. It was past the point when the leaves were colorful and now the trees stood there naked. Charlie usually wasn't out this late and his mother would worry if he was wandering around after dark but he had made a promise to deliver Lucy's homework to her house. She had a cold at the moment, which meant that for the next few days, there wouldn't be much teasing or craziness. However, the craziness in Charlie's life did not always come from her.
As soon as Charlie made it back to his house, he noticed a commotion going on at Snoopy's dog house. Strings of lights were decorating the tiny house along with tinsel and a mistletoe hanging from a twig. On the lawn around the house were a glowing sleigh and nine glowing reindeer leading it. Two animatronic moles with santa hats were taking turns popping out of their holes, one with a smiley face and one with a dopey face complete with a tongue sticking out. There was a trail leading up to the front of the dog house graced with flashing candy canes. Somewhere, the song "Jingle Bells" was being played with bell-like tones. Charlie had to admit, it brought much-needed light to the dark blue scenery but that didn't make it look any less garish or attention-seeking.
"Another lights and display contest, I see," he thought. He never understood Snoopy's love of showing off, all that time and effort for something that makes people angry if you leave it up for too long. But Snoopy was his dog and if this made Snoopy happy, then so be it.
Snoopy came out of his house with a portable windmill… one that was twice the size of his dog house. He stuck it right by the house, probably as an homage to the Moulin Rouge, although why anybody would do that as part of a Christmas display was beyond Charlie. Charlie Brown knew that Snoopy was able to do basically anything with his dog house, such as fly it like an airplane and fit far more things than something of that size was capable of fitting. But he never really thought about how or why this dog house was capable of doing it. As far as he knew, his dad bought the wood and nails from a hardware store owned by a normal guy and not a witch doctor. Now that his mind was set on this very thought, he had a hard time prying it away and sticking to any other thought. Sometimes, human curiosity was a curse rather than a blessing.
Despite his preoccupation, Charlie went to bed at a normal time that night and didn't have much trouble falling asleep. He left an almost-empty bottle of root beer on his side table, too tired to get the final drops out.
The sleep, however, was cut short.
At 2:15 in the morning, Charlie was awoken by the howling wind. Wind was not unusual to him but he still felt something strange in the pit of his gut. He normally didn't wake up this suddenly for any reason, especially since he lived in a relatively safe neighborhood.
But then he heard the noises: Machine-like beeping of multiple tones. Sonic buzzing. And then there was the blue flashing. Snoopy normally turned off his holiday display before bed. Also, his Christmas lights were red and green and they didn't send out their light in unpredictable bursts.
Charlie finally moved his curtain and saw the weirdness in all its glory. The dog house had flashing blue bulbs on it that weren't there before. Snoopy was by the plastic Santa, which had gone out. He was using a tool that Charlie hadn't seen before. This tool looked like a screwdriver but with chrome on its handle. The other end looked like a claw clutching a small light. When Snoopy pressed a button on the handle, the end glowed and made the sonic noise that Charlie had been hearing.
Charlie had to rub his eyes because what he saw next was something he couldn't believe. When Snoopy waved the tool around the Santa, it lit up again. There was no need to change any bulbs or even move this decoration. Snoopy jumped into the air and cheered with delight.
Charlie had to know more about what was going on. He hopped out of his bed, put on his socks, boots and jacket and dashed out into the snow and cold air. He came just in time for Snoopy to re-enter his dog house… if it was indeed a dog house.
"Snoopy!" said Charlie, "What is this?"
Snoopy jumped at the sound of Charlie's voice and his ears stood up like a rabbit's. The dog ran into his dog house, clever enough to fix something by himself but apparently not clever enough to know that this method of hiding was futile.
Charlie peeked inside the dog house. Snoopy was hunched over with weary eyes, the same look he gave when too many kids noticed him dancing happily on Schroeder's piano.
"Snoopy, don't give me that look," sighed Charlie, "I know you're hiding something from me and I want to know what."
Snoopy gave up on his display and gave an expression of defeat. He then smiled and gave a "come hither" motion with his index finger.
"You want me to come inside?" asked Charlie. He had never gone inside of Snoopy's house before, mostly because he had no need to. It was a cramped space and Charlie had never had to retrieve anything from it. But there was a first time for everything. He got on all fours and crawled inside.
The inside of Snoopy's house smelled very lightly of pine, a scent that was more prevalent when the dog house had just been built. Even though Snoopy was in those same cramped quarters, he managed to concentrate on his task at hand (or paw, in this instance). On the back wall, he pulled opened a tiny door by sliding it down. In this door was a series of buttons that made melodic beeping noises. At this point, Charlie was really paying attention. He had no idea how that this control panel made its way to the back of the dog house… unless Snoopy was much more intelligent than Charlie originally thought.
The entire back wall of the dog house slid open. What Charlie saw stopped his breathing and questioned his separation of reality and fantasy. Right there in front of him and Snoopy was an entire control room. It was a large, round room decorated with large, patterned holes in the walls, although Charlie couldn't possibly guess their use besides being a decorative choice. The center had a large, clear blue tube extending to the ceiling, which was fed by a series of black wires.
Charlie cautiously stepped into the room. As far as he knew, this was impossible. It wasn't that he didn't think Snoopy was smart enough to construct something like this. It was that it was far too large to fit into an entire dog house. Charlie had seen the dog house from the outside many times and he knew that there was nothing more added to the back of it, just yard. It was as if Snoopy's house was bigger on the inside.
He looked up and turned his head ninety degrees to the point where his body followed as well. He felt like he had gone into some forbidden room that was owned and operated by a government agency. A person like him was not worthy of knowing about a place like this, much less exploring it.
He came upon the base of the massive cylinder where there was a hexagonal control pad. All sorts of buttons, lights and switches decorated it. It was like Christmas decorations. However, what they lacked in any sense of artistic design, they made up for in usefulness… whatever those uses were.
"What is this place?" asked Charlie.
Snoopy pointed to a plaque on the control pad. Inscribed on it was the acronym T.A.R.D.I.S., along with its meaning right under it: Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Judging from those words, it wasn't just Charlie's imagination; this place really did transcend the laws of physics.
"How did this place get here?" asked Charlie. He almost didn't expect an actual answer due to Snoopy's limited verbal ability but he wanted as much of the answer as possible.
From seemingly out of nowhere, Snoopy grabbed a framed picture. In that picture, he was smiling while receiving the strange tool that he had used to repair the Santa decoration earlier. The person giving it to him was a lanky, middle-aged man wearing a black suit. He had grey hair and some rather noticeable eyebrows. He was smiling as well, albeit a smaller smile. This man didn't look like an alien. Maybe he was a wizard? Or a mad scientist? He was something and Charlie would probably never find out.
"I guess that answers my question," said Charlie. "But where do you keep your Christmas decorations?"
Snoopy grabbed Charlie's hand and dragged him over to a small stairwell. As Snoopy walked down the stairs, he grabbed a ring of keys from one of his fur pockets. He stuck the key into the keyhole and jiggled it a bit before the door opened.
When Charlie touched the last step, he saw a room dedicated to the junk that would litter the main room if it weren't kept in such immaculate shape. There were boxes filled to the brim with toys, books and heirlooms. There were racks of clothes of many colors (why would a dog need clothes?). There were appliances old and new with chords that tried to be rolled up and neat but always ended up unfurling themselves. And, of course, there were Christmas decorations, specifically the ones that were not included in this year's Christmas display.
"I had no idea," said Charlie. He didn't want to wander too far into this cluttered space lest he accidentally step on something sharp or get dust on or in any part of his body.
Alas, this was just one question answered out of many. The most important one was begged to be asked once he stepped back into the main room.
"So what is this machine for?" he asked.
Snoopy grinned and giggled as if he were saying, "I'm glad you asked!" He rushed over to the control pad, to the side that had a screen and a keyboard. Even though this dog didn't have opposable thumbs, he managed to type things out easily, especially since he could use a typewriter just fine. By the time Charlie saw the screen, something had already been typed out.
It was a date: September 22, 1957.
What was the significance behind this? Was Snoopy looking up something in a computerized archive? Or was it something more?
Snoopy pressed some buttons and pulled some switches at a speed where Charlie could tell that he had done this dozens of times before. The escalating noise of a machine powering up was heard, a sound that Charlie had mostly heard from science fiction films. Snoopy pressed a few more buttons and then…
WHOO… WHOO… WHOO
The whooshing noise that the room made was like nothing that Charlie heard before. Panic started to set in.
"Snoopy, I don't know what's going on!" he said. The machine started to shake a bit, which caused Charlie to grab the control panel while being careful not to touch any buttons or switches.
"Oh!" said Snoopy. He managed to run back to the entrance even as the TARDIS was shaking ever more violently.
Outside of the dog house, Woodstock was asleep in his nest.
Snoopy crawled out of the entrance and whistled, which startled the little yellow bird awake.
Once Woodstock looked down at Snoopy and the shaking dog house with the blue-and-white lights flashing, he knew what was happening. Without hesitation, he flew in a loop-de-loop into the dog house and Snoopy retreated back inside.
WHOO… WHOO… WHOO…
Soon, the flashing dog house faded from the scenery, leaving only a square-shaped patch of dried grass. Snoopy, Charlie and Woodstock were free from the constraints of the space-time continuum and off to a new adventure.