Author's rambling note - These are short, drabbly, little stories that I've decided ought to have a home of their own here. I will add to it; one chapter a 'short-fic' to keep things neat and tidy.
Sometimes they are for challenges, sometimes just for the pure hell of it, sometimes because I managed to massage a half-baked idea into a few paragraphs that make sense. I would like to pretend that they are writing exercises, or trials in telling a BIG story in just a few words. But mostly they are just my way of getting the ideas out of my head so that I can go to sleep at night.
In a way, they remind me of Quavers (or whatever melt-in-the-mouth-corn-snack equivalent is most common in your area) - nice to eat, don't last very long and are not all that satisfying. If you want grand, meaty adventures I'm afraid they aren't going to be here. Sorry. But I hope you'll enjoy anyway. And, like always, if you want to tell me what you think, I'd love your feedback. Good or bad, short or long, grammatically perfect of misspelled text-speak. It's all brilliant. Thanks for reading.
In the Dark
Characters - 11th Doctor, Amy, Rory.
Summary - The TARDIS without lights.
Rating - K+ (although T if you can see through Amy's suggestions at the end!)
"Get the door open!"
"I'm trying. Hold on, the key is fiddly and... There. Got it."
The Doctor flung the door open and Amy and Rory piled in too. He slammed it behind them to keep out the Swamp-Monster of the Khalli Desert (long story, swamp-monster, desert etc. Amy did not understand any of it).
The Doctor yelled, "Don't close the door," a second too late.
There are different kinds of darkness. There is the half-light kind that exists in movies and the gloaming of midnight sun in Inverness. In the middle of winter it is a deeper darkness, but still possible to see shapes in the shadows and know that if you wait a moment your eyes will adjust.
Then there is real darkness. Not just the absence of light, but the kind that seems to fill the air. Even sounds are different. Imagine a cave in a storm, or the depths of the ocean.
Or this. The TARDIS without lights.
Amy swallowed her first instinct for panic by grabbing whatever was underneath her. It turned out to be Rory's face.
"Oh, not good. So, very, very not good," the Doctor said.
"Did you forget to pay the electric?" Rory mumbled under Amy's hand, in a weak attempt at humour.
"The TARDIS doesn't have electric. She runs on the power of the time vortex, which is complicated, and not billed. It is impossible not to pay the electric and even if it was, and I hadn't, it wouldn't... You were joking weren't you."
"Yeah. Sort of. Sorry."
There was the sound of the sonic screwdriver.
"Umm, Doctor. Shouldn't it light up?"
"Yes, Rory. Good observation. Of course it should light up. Which means this is not just a power cut, but another, altogether odder reason..."
"And by odder, of course I mean, dangerous."
Amy could feel Rory's sigh.
It was surprisingly difficult to get from the tangle of bodies to the central console. Someone stepped on Amy; she suspected the Doctor, but he would not admit it. Then she stubbed her foot on the stair and Rory knocked something over that the Doctor said was very important, but was probably the hat stand. All the time she prepared herself for something to brush against her, or, in true horror movie style, begin breathing down her neck.
"Okay, now let's find out what's going on." The Doctor pushed buttons and turned dials that filled the air with familiar TARDIS noise. He even cranked the handle that played the tinny rendition of "Claire de Lune". Nothing changed. Amy clutched the console and gripped Rory's hand as the Doctor worked.
"Nothing different with the subharmonics, and the time splicer is intact. The differential is at the correct mass and vortex is, well, vortexing..."
"Bottom line?" Amy prompted.
"Something is absorbing the light. All the light. Like a sponge."
"That doesn't sound good."
"It isn't. It's bad. Very bad. And the only things I know that can do that are Dark Matter droplets."
"What are they?"
"Well, for a start, nothing to do with Dark Matter, and not much like droplets either, except in size and consistency. Semi-sentient..."
The floor lurched out from underneath them. Amy slammed into Rory, who landed on the ground. There was no time to catch their breath before it happened again.
"Hold on. The TARDIS is trying to shake them off..."
Amy hung on to Rory, and hoped he was hanging onto some sturdy piece of furniture as they were thrown left and right. It felt like she was on the back of a dog as it shook water off its fur.
The TARDIS calmed eventually and they lay in the darkness concentrating on breathing. And when the Doctor turned on the screwdriver this time, Amy could see a glow around his face. "Good," he said. "A good shake was all it needed."
"Great. And the bruises helped too," Rory muttered from underneath Amy.
"Well then folks, that's that dealt with. Just take a few hours to build up the photonic levels and we'll be good. So, what do you want to do?"
"In the dark?"
"There's loads of things you can do in the dark."
Amy squeezed Rory's leg suggestively. There were some ideas that came to mind, even if finding the ladder to the bunkbed might be tricky.
"Look, shadow puppets! And ghost stories. And hot chocolate, and blind man's bluff and..."
"Yeah," Rory huffed. "Great."
But they had fun, despite themselves. And they kept the bunkbeds for later.