I'm just going over this story to tighten the story line up a bit, improve the writing on a general scale. The story hasn't effectively changed. I've just made it more coherent.
Disclaimer: Not Mine
The alarm rang shrilly in my ear.
Another day, another boring day, and hopefully another life very soon. But there was a very slim chance of that happening to me...ever.
Blinking blearily at the ceiling above me, I reluctantly rolled out of bed, grabbing the clothes that were nearest me. My mind was still back in the dreamy world which I had left not moments before, and I wished that I could join it in its endeavour. Instead I turned away, walking into the kitchen and placing the kettle on. I stared out at the concrete road far down below me, the kettle whistling cheerily in my ear. What a wonderfully repetitious life I was currently living. The same people were walking out of their flats, the same cars were passing down below me and was that the same bird on the railings?
There was a smash in the flat below mine, the sound of breaking china on tiled floors. Oh good, Rose was up. I switched off the kettle, pouring myself the boiling water and drinking it carefully. That was a lot better; I was finally starting to wake up a little more now. I took another sip, before looking at the clock that hung on the wall. 7:30am. I was running late.
The mug was quickly thrown into the sink; I would wash it up later. But now I was grabbing my bag and coat, locking the flat securely and running down the flight of stairs to the flat underneath mine, rapping on the door loudly. It opened to show Mum, "Please tell me Rose is ready," I said to her, checking my watch, "We're currently..." I looked at the ticking hands, "Ten minutes late, we should be on the bus by now,"
"You spend your life rushing around and you'll fall over, my girl," Mum informed me, and I sighed, always frustrated at her constant stream of words. Jackie Tyler, my mother. She could talk for England if there was money or a cup of tea involved. I pulled myself back to the real world, "It's like I told Bev the other day, if you relax and slow down then you'll appreciate live a lot more and you won't get as many stress lines as people who rush do,"
"I'm unsure where you are going with this," I informed her, "But we are late," I craned to look over her head, "Oi, Rose, get a move on!" I shouted down the hall "The world doesn't stop for no one and if we're late again then we won't have a job by the end of the day,"
"I'm coming, I'm coming," my older sister finally walked out of the house. Rose Tyler, a nineteen peroxide blonde. Could probably be counted as my best friend if we didn't get into so many arguments, "Aren't those the same clothes you were wearing yesterday?" she looked at me slightly critically.
"No," I answered her calmly, looking at down at myself, before looking at my clock, "And we're late," I waved at Mum, "See you later,"
"See you tonight, Rose," she said to my sister, before nodding at me, "Mary-Anne," we started walking down the stairs, and I quickly checked my phone. No messages, I had hoped that someone would have got back to me about a job application that I sent out a week ago. It seemed like I wasn't going to have much luck once again.
We did manage to catch a bus in time, "See, Mary-Anne, we have a full half an hour to get there," Rose said to me, texting on her phone. I shot her a look, "Sorry," she grinned slightly, "I forgot that you don't like that name,"
"Mary-Anne," I shuddered slightly, "It makes me sound like an inanimate object," I looked at her, "Be glad your name isn't Rosy-Lee or something like that much you like it then. I can tolerate it from Mum because she won't call me anything else,"
"Alice," she smiled as if I was amusing, "You can't do anything about your name," I raised an eyebrow and she pressed the button in order to get off at the next stop, "How long is our shift today?" she smoothly changed the conversation in order to find a middle ground between us two.
"Same as usual," I yawned, bored with the subject, "Just like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. Eight to five thirty. And I can tell you what times we're doing tomorrow. Eight to five thirty again," I tapped the seat in front of me before standing up, "Sometimes I get so bored with living this life, the same thing happening over and over," I looked at her, "There has to be something better than this,"
"Don't be so down," she said, hopping off onto the pavement with me quickly following behind. She nudged me playfully and I smiled reluctantly, "Alice," I turned to look at her calmly, "You're only eighteen. Something is going to come up eventually, for both of us," I stuck my hands deep in the pockets of my coat, and she continued, "You've already got a flat. I'm still living with Mum," she laughed slightly.
"You know that you can always walk the tremendous distance of one flight of stairs" I proposed sarcastically, "Come and live with me," she didn't smile at that, "You can't bear to leave her behind," I stated and she looked at me if I was stupid, "I know you won't take me up on my offer," I shrugged, "You're far too loyal to her," I let out a sigh as we walked along the high street, "She likes you,"
"She likes you," she insisted, "She's just a little annoyed that you were so quick to leave as soon as you could. I think it might break her if I moved out permanently," I snorted a little, not believing her words, "I stay over,"
"I effectively live upstairs," I pointed out, "Which was an amazing coincidence really. That doesn't back up your point. You're nineteen, you can't live with her forever, eventually you're going to feel constrained. I feel constrained, and I live out of her flat," we turned down a narrow side road and walked into the large department store where Rose and I worked, "Are you meeting up with Rickey later?"
"Mickey," she said, absentmindedly, putting her bag away in the locker, "His name is Mickey,"
"And my name's Alice, but sometimes we don't get our own way," I pointed out, slipping my phone in my pocket and locking my other possessions away, "I guess I'll see you when the store closes then, if you're going to see Rickey for lunch. Because it'll be awkward if I'm there," I walked towards the door, turning back when I reached it, "Have a good day,"
"Don't get annoyed!" she pointed at me, "Don't start an argument either with the manager or any customers," I placed a bewildered look on my face, "Oh, leave it," I grinned slightly, closing the door behind me, before sighing as I looked at the empty store. Another day.
I had been correct. The day was slow and I found myself wandering off at various times of the day. Boredom was always my worse flaw. I had been bored at school for nearly all the lessons, so therefore I got myself into trouble. It was just a habit of mine. Something that I clearly needed to work on. But not now, when I had to ring up the next customer's items. Maybe one day, someday, something would just appear out of nowhere.
But that was unlikely.
Later that day, Rose and I were just about to leave work. We had grabbed our bags and had just got to the doors before the security guard shoved some money in front of my face, "Hey," he said, and we looked at him, "For Wilson,"
I sighed before taking it, "Thanks," I said sarcastically as we turned back around, "Come on, quicker we give it to him, the quicker we can go," I murmured to Rose as we walked into the elevator, "So close to going home and yet...so far," I pressed the right button, looking at the lights as we descended downwards. I shifted slightly on my feet, shivering, "Is it me or is it getting colder?"
"No, I think it's just you," the elevator clanged when it reached the lowest level of the shop, "We get this over with quickly. No hanging around," I nodded, as the door opened "It's the basement, it's not scary," I looked at her, pulling my coat closer to my body in order to retain some warmth in my limbs. It was freezing down here.
"I'm not scared of the basement," I informed her, my tone slightly cold, "I just don't like it when there's no one in a basement," she looked sceptical, "It's freezing and there is no one else here apart from us and an electrician; I just...don't like it,"
She placed her hands on my shoulders, "Alice, there is nothing here that is going to kill you," I refrained from rolling my eyes at the sound of her patronising tone of voice. I was younger than her, but I wasn't a child. Rose turned away when I didn't say anything and banged on the door of the electrician's office, "Wilson!" she called out loudly, trying to get his attention, "Wilson, I've got the lottery money,"
I sighed, rapping loudly on the door, he probably had his earphones plugged in and couldn't even hear us, "Wilson, it's Alice; I've got the lottery money!" I said loudly. Nothing, "Come on, we want to go home," I thumbed the door, "Wilson, we can't hang about; they're closing the shop," I tried the handle. It was locked. I frowned, looking back at Rose, "I don't think Wilson is in there. The door is locked,"
"Where else would he be?" she queried and I shrugged. There was a sudden clatter behind us, and I whipped around to see whatever was down there; "Hello?" Rose shouted, "Wilson?" there was no reply and I bit my bottom lip in slight anxiety, "This way," she gestured to another door.
I looked at her, "Do we have to?" I asked her, and she grasped my hand, pulling me through the door. I looked around to see mannequins all lined up against each other, "Rose...?" I turned around again when I heard another clatter.
"They aren't real," she reminded me and I nodded, switching on the lights, "Wilson!" I watched as she walked quickly to the other door, trying it, "He can't have gone through here, it's locked,"
Then the other door slammed shut.
"I didn't do anything," I said immediately when she turned to look at me, moving to the door that had just closed, "I think we better call it a day, Rose. Wilson appears to have already gone. We can come back tomorrow," I turned in a slow circle. Something...wasn't right about this situation.
"Don't panic," she told me, trying the door. It was stuck, "Oh, you're kidding me," She moved aside when I tried the handle, getting frustrated with the unmoving metal. I slammed a hand against it and it just stood there, unmoving. There was another clatter from behind us and I turned around sharply, "Is that someone mucking about?" Rose called, and I swallowed heavily. I didn't like the feeling of this, there seemed to be something just out of sight in the corner of my eye.
There was no answer, and we moved into the centre of the room, "Hello? Who is it?" I asked, moving amongst the rows of mannequins. There was a sound of creaking and Rose and I both turned, just in time to see a mannequin move its head, "Oh nice try," I let out a breath that I hadn't realised that I had been holding.
The plastic man started moving towards us, and I frowned, not understanding why they hadn't replied, "Oh you got us," said Rose, painting a smile on her face, even though I knew that she was as anxious as I was at this new development. "Nice," he kept on moving, and now more plastic dummies were walking stiffly towards us, "Right, we've got the joke," It was only then that I noticed that we were moving backwards, getting boxed in by the plastic people, "Whose idea was this?"
"Is it Derek?" I called, knowing that I was grasping desperately at straws now. Derek, a seventeen year old boy that worked on the tills at the weekend, often liked playing practical jokes on other assistants. But this was going too far than what he usually did, "Is it? Derek, is this you?" I was getting agitated, "Somebody answer me, please!"
"Alice," Rose murmured, we were pressed against a wall, the mannequins still walking towards us, "I don't think it was a good idea to come down here," I bit back the words that rose to my mouth, instead watching as the dummies slowly raised their hands, looming down on us.
A hand suddenly grabbed mine, and I briefly caught a glimpse of a man in a leather jacket before he pulled me in his direction, "Run," the words echoed in my ears and I grabbed Rose's hand, running as fast as I could after him.
I turned around, seeing that the plastic people were running after us. I forcibly pushed myself to continue running down the long corridor, until we burst through a set of double doors and into a much smaller room.
The man roughly pushed Rose and I into an elevator, I groaned slightly as I leant against the metal wall. The doors closed swiftly and a hand suddenly came through the closing doors. The man grabbed the hand, ripping it clean off. He threw it to Rose, "You pulled his arm off," after all that had happened that was the only thing that I could think of asking him.
"Yep," he said, "Plastic," I swallowed slightly, placing a hand to my forehead and feeling it pounding slightly.
"Clever," Rose retorted, "Nice trick. Who were they then? Students, is this a student thing, or what?" I studied the man carefully, seeing him properly for the first time. He was rather tall, and wearing a leather jacket with a jumper underneath. I looked up at the ceiling, a million and one questions racing through my mind, all which seemed so inconsequential at this particular point in time.
"Why would they be students?" the man asked her, and I noticed that he had a very broad Northern accent, most likely from Manchester. What was he doing in a basement of a department store in London?
Rose swallowed, shaking her head slightly, "I don't know," she sounded slightly faint.
This time he turned completely around to look at her. Rose managed to hold his gaze before blinking rapidly, "You said it, why students?" he sounded generally interested in her answer, as if the idea had never really occurred to him before. But at the same time, from the tone of voice that he used to ask the question that indicated that he personally thought the idea was an idiotic one, and he was just playing along with it.
I sighed, and he looked at me, "I think what she means is that because there are that many people out there, all of them running around, dressing up in stupid outfits..." I smiled slightly hesitantly, "Being idiotic and being silly. The logical conclusion would be to assume that they've got to be students," it sounded stupid even in my head, but I wanted to clarify what Rose had meant.
He smiled, an easy smile that made everything seem a little bit less terrifying, "That makes sense, well done," he said, turning back around to face the doors of the elevator, which I had noticed was rising higher and higher.
"Thanks," Rose said,
"They aren't students, are they?" I said softly and he looked at me, properly this time. He had the kind of stare that seemed to go straight through you, it was like he could see the whole you, every single thing that you had done in your life, and I had to break it after a few seconds. It felt slightly uncomfortable, "It doesn't matter, whoever they are," I continued, fiddling with the edge of my jacket, "Wilson will find whoever they are and call the police,"
"Who's Wilson?" he asked, and I knew by his refusal to answer my question, that the mannequins hadn't been students dressing up.
"Chief electrician," said Rose, shrugging.
"Wilson's dead," he stated as we got out of the elevator onto the top floor. I stared at him. He didn't look like a person that would make fun of someone's death, but the way in which he had said it so...impersonally and cold...maybe I had gotten the wrong idea of him. He didn't seem to me as someone who was flippant.
Rose stalked after him, and I had to pull myself together before setting back after them. I had known Wilson, we weren't close friends – I didn't find blessed with many close friends- but we had talked at the pub when there was a work party. Death was odd when someone that you knew died. And I knew that I'd wake up tomorrow morning and still expect to see Wilson at work, which wouldn't be happening. "That's just not funny, that's sick," Rose practically spat at him.
He ignored her, and pulled out a long metal tube from his coat pocket. "Hold on," he said to us, placing it up against the elevator panel, "Mind your eyes," there was a loud buzzing noise, and the end of the tube glowed blue. The next second, the panel exploded in a shower of sparks. I stared at the instrument, realising that it was a...screwdriver type object.
Rose fumed next to me, clearly having enough of the man not answering her questions, "I've had enough of this now," she finally snapped at him and I looked at her worriedly. She seemed close to being on edge, "Who are you then? Who's that lot down there?" he once again ignored her shower of question, "I said who are they?"
I quickly slipped in front of him, stopping him in his tracks, "Excuse me," I said clearly, "My sister's talking to you. Can you please answer her questions," I looked at the screwdriver again, "And can you stop waving your screwdriver around?"
He stopped slightly at that, frowning at me, "How did you know it was a screwdriver?" he asked,
I felt slightly confused at the rapid change of conversation, "I don't know, can you ever answer a simple question?" I returned and he grinned a little, "Start from the beginning...please," he slipped past me and turned into another corridor.
"They're plastic…living plastic creatures," he explained, and I quickened my pace in order to keep up with his large strides. Rose was gripping my hand tightly and I squeezed it. My anxiety had all but had gone, "They're being controlled by a relay device on the roof. Which would be a great big problem if I didn't have this," he held up a machine that seemed to be ticking, "So I'm going to go upstairs and blow it up and I might well die in the process," he opened a set of two double doors, pushing us out and into the main street, "But don't worry about me- no, go home and have your lovely beans on toast," he had gone back to being patronising again.
I looked at Rose, "I think we'd better get out of here," I murmured softly and she nodded.
The man turned to us once again, "Don't tell anyone about this, because if you do, you'll get them killed," he informed us. His tone once again seemed so...disregarding of life, but he sounded so...enthused about the prospect of dying that I didn't argue with him. It struck me that he was completely sane. And I didn't know whether that was a good or a bad thing.
He disappeared from sight and both of us turned away, "What was that all about?" Rose asked me, and for once I didn't have anything to say to her. I saw that Rose was still holding the arm, gripping onto it as hard as she was holding my hand.
The door banged open against and the man stepped out. We both looked at him, and he seemed slightly abashed at something, "I'm the Doctor, by the way," he introduced himself, "What are your names?"
"Rose," Rose said,
I opened my mouth, preparing to give him my nickname when I said, "Mary-Anne," I blinked in surprise at that and even Rose looked at me as if I had grown a second head. I didn't really understand it myself. I never told anyone my name. I had always hated that name, and never used it whenever possible.
"Nice to meet you Mary-Anne, Rose," he held up the bomb again, "Run for your life!" he disappeared again, and I pulled Rose's arm, wanting to be away from the shop and all it's rather odd inhabitants. If that man...the Doctor had a bomb, then I didn't want Rose and I to be near it when it eventually blew up. By the man's urgency, I assumed that would be happening sooner rather than later.
Walking along the street was a bizarre experience. Everything seemed to be weirdly detached from everything else. It was a surreal feeling and I couldn't help but feel out of touch with the rest of the world. Rose seemed to be in the same state that I was in; neither of us looked as we ran across the road, and stopped, looking at each other. I finally drummed up the courage to say something; "I don't know what…" but the end of my sentence was lost in the sound of a loud explosion. It appeared that I was now permanently out of a job. "Let's get out of here," I suggested.
"I think that would be a very sensible idea," Rose answered, turning to walk down the street towards the estate. I stopped suddenly, feeling a prickling on the nape of my neck. Turning around, I saw a large blue police box, sitting tucked away in an alley, "What?" Rose seemed impatiently to get home.
I blinked, and then saw nothing. I frowned, shaking my head, where I could feel a headache growing, "Nothing," I replied, taking her hand once again, "It doesn't matter," we walked slowly back home in silence, neither of us knowing quite what to say to each other, "The bombing will be all over the news, but I don't think it's wise to tell Mum about...him," I eventually said,
"Yeah," she said, "That's a good idea. Not..." she swiped a hand through her hair, "That anyone would believe us if we did go to the police,"
I nodded at her reasoning. That would be the most likely outcome if we told anyone. I paused, not sure how to say something, "Can you stay with me tonight?" I eventually blurted out. My older sister turned to look at me, "I don't really want to be alone...just for tonight," she nodded, "Thank you," I looked back, seeing the burning building behind me. I bit my lip, placing it behind me and walking back home.