Smile, just smile. Throw it out there like a shiny bauble, see —

"Where was I? Oh, that's right! Barcelona!"

And dangle it, like you're the same, like something's not been lost and something found. That clinging— that's human, that is, very human.

Denial's human.

You are very human.

(Except not.)

.

Type in the coordinates furiously and act surprised when the view outside the door is wrong.

(refuse to acknowledge the symbols on the screen:

does not exist in current time stream.)

.

So.

So, everyone is screaming. Green-stone debris pitters and patters down like hail. The glassy walls of the splintered Sky Tower reflect the chaos even as the building collapses into sorry rubble. You are pushed and battered by the tide of desperate people, aliens, civilians. A rock in your shoe twinges and you run/ scream/ explode with them, but you cannot be them, because you will live and they will not, and a mango or something like it squelches under your foot with its sweet guts strewn out on the cobbles, and somehow this makes you want to weep.

You zigzag through a doorway into an average house, red tassels lining the seat cushions — someone's attempt at panache, perhaps, sad, cheap things, (focus!), an unfinished pie resting temptingly on the counter top. (Eternally uneaten, isn't that a theorem or a punchline of some bad joke or an affront to baking, or something that means anything?).

You falter/fall through just as the door gives up the good fight behind you, the dust whispering and settling on the furniture. A hand, your hand, shoots into your pocket, fumbling for your key, and your leg is nudged, so you look, because you have never learned not to look, even when you shouldn't— its watery eyes stare up at you, the tail flopping like you have some sort of answers, and you don't: you never have.

A dog without a nose.

Can't flee when you can't smell the ash and the death which smells like ash.

You let it in.

.

Daleks are like rats, and your analogy is utter rubbish. Burn rat infested buildings, erase infested planets, pretend like it's not different.

"It's cleaner this way," the tacticians told you. "No planet, no Daleks. Besides, if we don't they'll simply enslave the natives to work their production lines, and what would they have then?"

"A chance," you spat.

.

You watch from the vortex as a planet is not/ was not/ will never be but never was — and you have got to stop thinking in English.

You look down.

The dog is not ensconced on the bean bag chair you picked up one rainy day, staring in that expectant hopeful way that breaks your heart a little more. The dog with the strange big eyes and spotty fur, that had liked cucumbers.

The dog is gone.

The dog has never existed.

.

Without moving from the console, you know that you are missing half an Armenian cucumber. The sequence plays in your mind: the crunch, the drool, the specks of green that stuck onto its muzzle.

Except, no: an un-chewed, undigested vegetable chills in the kitchen, must, reality and time's verdict being it has not been eaten because nothing ever was to eat it.

You have seen the might of the Dalek fleet.

You are afraid to check the refrigerator.

.

Ridiculous isn't it, a dog without a nose?

Let them laugh like their laughter can heal anything, everything. Soothe your soul, rest your heart, like they're worth some thing, like you're—

Go on.

.

They will never see Barcelona:

Barcelona isn't there to be seen.

.

(— And no one knows of nose-less dogs but you.)

END