This story was published in the March April 2013 "Fanfiction" issue of Femnista. You can read more fanfic (and other past issues) by visiting .com.

MIDNIGHT VISITOR

All she heard was a peculiar sort of "wump-wump!"

"Susan!" A face peeked around the edge of the door. "There's a monster in the basement again!"

Thump!

Her book snapped shut, and high heeled boots hit the floor. "Go back to bed!" Susan shooed the children into their room and shut the door behind them. She took a poker from the hearth and went downstairs. She stopped. Her brow furrowed. She lowered the poker.

It wasn't a bogeyman, a dancing skeleton, or even the Death of Rats. It was a strange, large Blue Box, omitting clouds of smoke.

Her head tilted.

The door flew open. A curious sort of man with wild brown hair tumbled out. "Right, so, leave that lever alone in the future! It causes spontaneous combustion! Good to know!" Soot billowed off his brown suit. Dusting himself off, he caught sight of her. "Oh, hello! Who are you?"

"Who are you?"

He grinned. "The Doctor! And this is the TARDIS." He put his hand on it and jerked it quickly away. "Ouch! Hot! We were just in the nebula galaxy and had a bit of a… uh… mishap. Stars exploding, planets hurtling into a black hole, that sort of thing. No reason to panic, so long as I get back there in…" he checked his watch, "nine minutes. Where am I?"

"Ank-Morpork," she said suspiciously.

He neared, curious of her hair. As he watched, it rearranged itself. He jerked back in surprise. "Oh, that's really clever! Does it do that naturally or just when you're cross? You see, right now your face is… are you human or something else? And where might Ankh-Morpork be?"

Her eyes narrowed. She crossed her arms, still holding the poker. "Discworld."

"Ah, Discworld! I've never heard of it. There really is something odd about you." He whipped a small instrument out of his pocket and aimed it at her. It whirred. He smacked it. "Must have gotten fried when the console exploded. Never mind, I can fix that. So, not all human then." He put scrawny hands on bony hips and looked her up and down. "What are you? Who are you?"

"I'm Susan," she said.

He grinned. "Posh, that's just a name! Names can mean any old thing, like 'The Doctor.' There's more to you than just your name, isn't there? So what is it?"

Irked, her hair curled tightly around her face. She couldn't help it. Her Voice came out.

WHY?

He jumped. "Oh, that's new! Never ran into that before. New town, new planet, new galaxy, new whatever-you-are. Do it again!"

She ignored him. "Where did you come from?"

The Doctor sprang up the stairs. "Here and there, now and again, back and forth, but originally Gallifrey. I suppose you've never heard of it."

"No, I haven't!" She ran after him, poker in hand.

Dodging through the hall

and snatching a top hat off the banister, he burst outside. Snowflakes drifted from the roof. In the window upstairs, two eager faces peered out at them. "So, what have you got here, then? What sorts of things? Aliens? Cats? Humans? Trolls? I love a good Troll! Haven't seen a Troll in ages!"

"And dwarves, wizards, the occasional tourist," said Susan. "Didn't you say you had to go in nine minutes?"

"Five, but I can make it in three." He put on the hat. "I like top hats. Top hats are cool." Sticking his face in hers, he said, "My sonic screwdriver recognizes every species in the galaxy… except yours. Why is that?"

Her brow twitched. "It hasn't met Death."

"Death," he repeated dully. "Oh, it knows about death…"

"No, not about death," said Susan. "Death as in the actual Death, a supernatural being."

"… ah," he said. "And this world… has one?"

"Yes."

He looked at her as if she were a present under the tree on Hogswatch. "And you're—?"

"I'm his granddaughter. I can walk through walls, and make things happen, go places no one else can and see all the nasty things that hide under beds that no one wants to talk about. I'm the person nightmares fear. Everything that goes bump in the night has me to worry about."

The Doctor's eyes glittered. "Ah! Yes, I can relate. Tell me about him, then. Tall, black hood, scythe, all that?"

She nodded.

"How did he—uh, how are you—?"

Bits of snow floated up. "My father was his apprentice. My mother was adopted. Hadn't you better go?"

"Got two minutes left."

Susan studied him. "You're the last of your kind, aren't you? I know the look. I could make you some tea, if…"

"Best not," he said in a quiet voice. "Must save the world and all that. " Heavy footsteps carried him indoors. Susan put the poker back and took him into the basement.

He took off the hat.

"Keep it," she said.

Twinkling at her, he put it back on his head. His watch beeped. "I'm off. I don't suppose you want to come along. Might be useful to have you around."

"No, but thank you. Ank-Morpork suits me fine."

He started inside, then paused. "About the voice…"

Her eyes rolled. "Oh, very well." GOODBYE, DOCTOR.

The walls shook. Boxes rattled. The Doctor smiled. "Bring a Troll next time! Love a good troll!"

He darted inside. With a "wump-wump" the TARDIS faded and disappeared. In its place stood a terrified, dazed -looking bogeyman, his horns askew.

I feel sick, it moaned.

OUT, she said.

Everything was back to normal.