‘The Deepening Rain’ (Z), Chapter 2

2. Inner Dreams

Rain echoed in the background. Jamie was back in the Highlands of Scotland. He walked over the hills of Culloden as he made his way to meet his fellow Highlanders. He didn’t recognise them. They didn’t recognise him either. They came to meet each other face to face.

“Hullo!” Jamie greeted.

“Who are you?” said one of the Highlanders.

“More to the point,” Jamie said mysteriously, “who are you?”

“Who are ye boy?” said another Highlander. “Who were you born from?”

“I’m a son of a piper,” Jamie said proudly.

“You a true Highlander, McCrimmon?” asked the first Highlander.

“Aye,” Jamie replied. “My Scottish blood runs wild within me I’ll have you know.”

“And what say you to the English?” demanded the second Highlander.

“Back where they came from I say!” declared Jamie. “Redcoats out! They shoot us down like dogs and McCrimmons never die without a fight!”

“Good,” the first Highlander said. “We need stout lad like you! You know the Highland way! You know the truth! The English must be stamped out!”

“Aye,” Jamie agred. “The sooner the better!”

“Crystals and stars make ten times two,” the second Highlander said dreamily. “I’ve seen many things. I’m sure you have, Jamie McCrimmon.”

“Aye,” Jamie began to say despairingly. “And I’d like to take care of those Sassenachs!”

“Would you like a mallet?” asked the first Highlander.

“No need for a mallet,” Jamie replied. “I got my knife. Could do with a sword. Or an axe!” He then became baffled. “Have you seen a cat?”

The two Highlanders gasped.

“Do not mention that word!” insisted the second Highlander.

“What? Cat?” Jamie asked.

“Please!” the first Highlander cried despairingly. “Don’t say that word!”

Jamie became cheeky, shouting, “Cat; cat; cat; cat; cat; cat; cat; cat; cat; cat…”

All the other Highlanders fell down to the ground.

“Don’t, Jamie McCrimmon,” cried the second Highlander. “You’ll kill our Highlander brothers! Never say that word!”

“Why?” Jamie enquired. “I can’t quite remember what she was talking about. She said something about past and future. But it’s all a distant memory.”

Suddenly, they got shot at! Jamie and the Highlanders ducked down. They turned to see a Redcoat firing a musket at them.

“Redcoats!” the second Highlander shouted. “They’re back again!”

“You’re right, Jamie!” the first Highlander said. “They shoot us down like dogs!”

Jamie got up to his feet. He drew his dagger; raised it up in the air and made to challenge the Redcoat.

“I’ll sort you out!” Jamie cried. “Creag an tuiric!!!”

Jamie screamed as he charged towards the Redcoat who has his musket raised, ready to fire at him. Suddenly there was a loud cry. Everyone stopped including Jamie and the Redcoat. Albert appeared as he ran up to meet them.

“Hey!” he cried. Stop! Stop all of you!” He paused for a moment. “I knew it! I knew you were all here! I saw them take you into the city!”

Albert then cried out loud as he quickly vanished into thin air. A loud whirring noise echoed across the Culloden fields once he disappeared. Jamie, the Highlanders and the Redcoat seem unbothered by what just happened.

“Well, that didn’t take long, did it?” said the second Highlander.

“Ach no,” agreed the first one. “I hope we’ll never see him again.”

“Now,” began the second one. “Who’s for whiskey?”

Jamie was silent with the Redcoat aiming his musket at him.

“Who was that?” he asked puzzled. “I remember him from somewhere.”

Rain echoed in the background. Zoe woke up. She was stunned and frightened by what just happened. Then she found herself to be in a strange place. She stood up and took in her surroundings.

“Where am I? What is this place?” she demanded.

It seemed to her that she was in a forest of some kind. She walked on as she tried to get out.

“Jamie? Doctor?” she called out. “Where are you?!”

She ran on a bit further, but found she couldn’t escape. There were trees blocking her path left, right and centre.

“Jamie; Doctor! Help me! I’m trapped!”

Then, and she didn’t know whether she was seeing things or not, a couple of trees parted from each other to form a path for her. She stepped forward and made her way onwards through the forest. She looked to the trees.

“Thank you…whoever did that.”

Zoe looked ahead and gave a gasp of shock as she saw nine trees bending down towards her. She could see the tops of their branches. But these branches weren’t branches of leaves at all. The trees weren’t trees either. Zoe gasped as she saw what was on top of the first tree.

“I don’t believe it! It’s a letter N.”

She now saw the row of trees forming a phrase of letters. Zoe read the phrase out loud as it said “NOT…THIS…WAY.”

Realisation dawned upon Zoe. She realised where she was.

“The forest of words! I’m in the forest of words!” She thought for a moment. “Slow but sure. In for a penny; in for a pound. Look before you leap.”

Another thought struck Zoe. “That means…I’m back in the Land of Fiction. But…why? Why have I come back? And who brought me here?”

Zoe then shuddered as she heard trampling footsteps of army soldiers approaching nearby. She looked and saw the clockwork toy soldiers coming towards her. She, Jamie and the Doctor had met them before when they first came to the Land of Fiction. They had grim, static, plastic faces and wore headlights in their helmets like small lighthouses.

“I should’ve taken the trees’ warning,” she said aloud. “Not this way! I must get away!”

Zoe turned back the other way in the forest. But she was met with shock as white robots blocked her path.

“Oh no!” she panicked. “Not you as well.”

The white robots stared at her with blank faces. They made protruding, ear-grinding noises as they advanced towards her. Zoe backed away but soon realised she was surrounded by toy soldiers and white robots blocking her escape.

“Oh dear! How am I ever going to get out of this?!” She then called out, “Doctor; Jamie! Please help me!”

But they were nowhere to be seen. The white robots and the clockwork toy soldiers continued to advance upon Zoe on every side. They were getting ready to fire on Zoe. The soldiers loaded their muskets whilst the robots charged their heat-rays.

“Oh somebody please help me!” Zoe cried.

They were about to open fire, until suddenly…a sparkly young man dropped in between the soliders and the robots, joining Zoe.

“Get down!” the young man cried.

Zoe did as he said. They both ducked. The white robots and the toy soldiers fired at each other, blowing themselves up. Each side of enemy had been destroyed.

Eventually, Zoe and the young man got up, recovering from the attack on all sides. They breathed sighs of relief.

“Oh thank goodness!” Zoe said, relieved. “Thank you very much, young man! You saved my life!”

“Hey, that’s quite alright,” he said. “This place is my favourite too! But you know it can always be dangerous.”

“Are you…” Zoe stammered. “Your name’s Matthew, right?”

Matthew then reached forward and kissed Zoe on the lips. They embraced one another for a bit before they let go.

“Yes!” he said. “That’s right. And your name’s Zoe, isn’t it?”

“Well,” Zoe said, astonished. “That was certainly a hello! I rather enjoyed that.”

“I’m sure you did,” Matthew said. “But you know this isn’t safe. With a lot of dead robots and soldiers about.”

“You’re right,” Zoe agreed. “We must find Jamie and the Doctor.”

“And get out of the Land of Fiction,” Matthew added.

They were about to move forward…but they soon find themselves in a white void. Zoe and Matthew looked around, astonished by how they got here.

“We’re out!” Zoe exclaimed. “We’re out of the land of fiction! But what is this place?”

“I don’t know,” Matthew replied. “It’s all so misty.”

Zoe then gasped. Matthew protected her as they saw what was coming towards them.

“I think they did,” Matthew surmised. “Didn’t they?”

“Yes,” Zoe agreed. “They brought us here I’m afraid, darling.”

The Skeletron leader spoke, “You will surrender to us! We are victorious!”

“The Doctor; you and your friends will be trapped here forever,” said the Skeletron scout. “In the void!”

The Skeletrons advanced forward as they made to attack Zoe and Matthew.

Rain echoed in the background. The Doctor walked up to what seemed to be a castle in the middle of nowhere on a green field. He stopped as he reached the foot of the castle. He stood there for quite some time staring at the castle.

“Oh yes,” the Doctor said. “Here am I. Standing in front of a castle. This is more like it.” He paused for a moment. “Now the question is…how does one get inside?”

The Doctor stepped forward as he made his way to the entrance.

“Great stone work it is too,” he complimented.

The Doctor then turned around as he heard something behind him. There was nothing except blank nothingness.

“Now err…how can it be when I look out to the whiteness that I’m looking…and going inside a still picture?” he asked, puzzled.

As he pondered this question, the Doctor turned back to the castle and made his way forward to enter. He opened the castle doors to go in. A strange haunting music echoed from inside.

All was quiet and spooky once inside. A strange, cool, eerie breeze was felt in the castle. Another set of doors opened as the Doctor entered into the banqueting hall.

He stood still for a moment once he was in the banqueting hall. He began to look around.

“Oh yes, very nice,” the Doctor said. “Although…this place has seen better days. Cobwebs everywhere!”

The Doctor blew at the cobwebs. Suddenly he had a coughing fit. He covered his mouth with a handkerchief as he coughed. He shook the cobwebs off with his hand over some goblets and plates on a banqueting table. He picked one of the goblets up to inspect it.

“These goblets and plates,” he observed. “They’re gold. But…not gold as I remember it. Such gold that’s old!”

“This is an old castle,” a female voice said behind him.

The Doctor jumped out of his skin as he turned to see a pretty young girl in her teens standing there before him. He went over to greet her.

“Oh forgive me,” he said. “I didn’t see you there. How do you do? I’m the Doctor.”

“Chloe,” the girl said. “My name’s Chloe.”

“How do you Chloe,” the Doctor said cheerily. “It’s nice to meet you.” He then cleared throat. “Tell me, how did you get here?”

“Don’t you know?” Chloe asked.

“No. Should I know?” the Doctor asked.

“This is where we were all brought,” Chloe said. “This is the other reality.”

“The other reality?”

“The reality of the deepening rain!”

The Doctor was puzzled at first. Then he began to realise.

“Oh I see! You mean…this is all part of something to do with that raincloud, Jamie, Zoe and I were caught in. We’re inside it, is that it? The raincloud’s another world.”

“Porte bloc, Doctor,” the girl said.

“Pardon?” the Doctor enquired, puzzled. “What did you say?”

“Porte bloc,” Chloe repeated. “It’s French.”

“Yes Chloe, I do know many languages,” the Doctor told her. “I know what you’re trying to say. But what do you mean?”

“Beware Doctor!” Chloe warned him. “Beware the deepening rain!”

The Doctor became thoughtful at that.

Before he could ask another question, Chloe said, “You’re trapped in it now, Doctor. The lion girl warned you about it too.”

“The lion girl,” the Doctor realised. “You mean Charoc? What do you know of her?”

“I must leave now,” Chloe said. “I must find the others.”

With that, Chloe went off. The Doctor tried to call her back.

“No! Wait! Chloe! Don’t run off! I want to talk to you!”

But as the Doctor tried to follow her out of the banqueting hall, he was met by two Skeletron knights in shining armour. They held swords and axes as they confronted the Doctor. The Doctor backed away, terrified.

“Oh dear. This is too much,” he said. Then he addressed the Skeletrons. “Are you looking for me by any chance, gentlemen?”

The Skeletrons didn’t speak at first. When they did speak, they spoke spookily and melodramatically.

“We exist in eternity!” the Skeletron leader said. “The night grows long! We live forever in the light that guides us!”

“We are the conquerors!” the Skeletron scout added. “The mighty that lives for joy! And we must kill!”

The Skeletrons raised their swords and axes to strike down upon the Doctor.

“Oh my!” the Doctor cried. “Don’t do anything rash!”

The Doctor made a dash for it before the Skeletrons struck down on his head. Once the Doctor dashed for it, the Skeletrons swung their weapons around. They attempted to strike the Doctor again. The Doctor reached for a staff pole on the banqueting table as he tried to defend himself.

“Oh dear!” he quivered and said to the Skeletrons, “Now look! I’m not a violent man, but if you come any closer somebody’s going to get really hurt.”

“The day draws near!” the Skeletron leader riddled away. “The light shows the way! And the dark blocks the light!”

The Skeletrons struck with their weapons again. The Doctor dodged past them. The Skeletrons missed as their axes and swords smashed into a glass window. The Skeletron knights regained a firm grip on their weapons as they continued to advance upon the Doctor.

“Nothing ever ends in tears!” the Skeletron scout riddled. “Only the fire brings the death in life!”

As the Skeletron knights continued to advance, the Doctor stepped right back against the stone wall where he was completely helpless.

“Oh dear,” he proclaimed. “What a silly little man I am.”

The Skeletrons advanced forward as the Doctor faced his doom.

Rain echoed in the background. At a posh restaurant in one of the large cities, sweet violin music plays. Everyone was enjoying themselves, laughing as they ate their meals. Jamie and the Doctor walked in via the front doors.

“Hey! This is a nice wee place you brought us to, Doctor,” Jamie said.

“Yes Jamie,” the Doctor agreed. “I’ve been fortunate in having come to one of these places.”

“And the front doors,” Jamie observed. “They’re wooden too.”

“Yes Jamie, now come on,” the Doctor insisted. “Let’s find our table to sit at. Our guest will be waiting for us.”

“What guest?” Jamie enquired.

They were soon escorted by the waiter to a table where they met their friend.

“Zoe!” Jamie exclaimed. “It’s you! How great it is to see you again!”

Jamie and the Doctor embraced their friend Zoe.

“You two haven’t changed a bit,” Zoe said happily. “You’re both so young. And healthy.”

“Exercise makes you happy, Zoe,” the Doctor said. “Happy people just don’t kill people.”

“Oh aye!” Jamie agreed. “That is a fact.”

The trio sat down at their table once they had reunited. A waiter then came to inform Zoe that her guests have arrived. Zoe struggled to speak as she was having her meal.

“Excuse me, Doctor; Jamie,” she apologised. “I’m still having my meal. Do you mind?”

“Not at all, Zoe,” the Doctor said. “You carry on.”

Zoe carried on eating as the Doctor and Jamie observed her.

“Forgive me if I don’t stand up,” Zoe said. “I’ve got a bad back, you see. Can’t show everyone my bad back now, can I?”

“Oh I’m sorry, Zoe,” the Doctor said. “Still it’s nice of us to meet up again after all these years in a restaurant. Isn’t that right, Jamie?”

“Aye,” Jamie agreed. “And it’s a pleasure!”

“I’d like you to meet some new friends of mine,” Zoe said.

The trio then turned to see two new people enter. They were very unfamiliar to the Doctor and Jamie.

“These are my new parents,” Zoe announced. “Mother; father! Say hello to Jamie and the Doctor for me please!”

There was no response from Zoe’s parents.

“They don’t speak much I’m afraid,” Zoe explained. “I had to take away their mouths.”

“Oh I see,” said Jamie, confused.

“Jamie?” the Doctor enquired. “Why are you carrying a bucket in your hands?”

Jamie looked and saw that the Doctor was right. He was carrying a bucket of mud in his hands.

“I don’t know,” Jamie replied. Then he called to Zoe. “Hey Zoe! Catch!”

Jamie threw the bucket to Zoe, but she missed. The bucket fell to Zoe’s feet. She started to cry and sob as she bent down to the floor.

“My feet!” she sobbed. “My poor feet! That bucket was filled with mud!”

“Mud?” puzzled James.

“Yes Jamie,” the Doctor told him. “Shouldn’t have been carrying it in your hands, should you?”

“But…but…I didn’t know I was carrying it,” Jamie stammered. He lent forward to help Zoe. “I’m so sorry, Zoe. I didn’t mean to…”

But Zoe backed away from Jamie, angrily and afraid.

“Get away, Jamie!” she shouted. “I never want to see you again! Never, do you hear?!”

“Zoe, please!” Jamie begged.

Suddenly, loud laughter echoed in the air. Jamie grasped the temples of his head as he cried out loud and contorted in pain. He then collapsed to the floor and fell unconscious. The Doctor and Zoe looked down on Jamie, mildly puzzled.

“I don’t understand,” the Doctor stated. “I just don’t understand.”

The Doctor and Zoe soon carried on eating their posh restaurant meals whilst Jamie lay on the floor.

Rain echoed in the background. In the wide ocean, anemones swished from side to side on reefs and schools of fish swam past the sea bed. Zoe walked hand in hand with her new friend Matthew in the sea gardens.

“I’ve seen many great things, Matthew,” Zoe said dreamily. “In fact, I see you are handsome. Did you know that?”

“No,” Matthew said delightedly. “No, I did not know that.”

Zoe then kissed Matthew on the lips. It lasted for eight seconds.

“Oh yes,” Zoe said, impressed. “Very handsome indeed.”

She kissed him again.

“In fact, I daresay you’re the handsomest boy I’ve ever met.”

“Really?” Matthew asked, unconvinced. “What about Jamie?”

“Oh, I like Jamie,” Zoe admitted. “But he’s not like you, you know.”

They continued walking hand-in-hand as they treaded across the sea gardens.

“Matthew, listen to me,” Zoe insisted.

“Yes?” Matthew enquired.

“You can trust me,” she said. “We can be friends for so many years.”

“I always want to see your face,” he told her. “Over and over again. I can’t get enough of you. You’re incredible. You know so much about computers; maths and astrophysics. You’re a real joy of spring.”

“Oh yes!” Zoe said happily. “That’s me!”

“How can anyone not want to be with you, Zoe?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied, puzzled. “I suppose it’s just the way I am, I expect.”

Matthew and Zoe then cuddled each other as they stood in the sea gardens.

“I always want to hear the sound of your voice, Zoe,” Matthew said.

“I love you, Matthew,” Zoe said dreamily.

“I know,” he said knowingly.

They exchanged a look with each other.

“I feel much better now,” Zoe said happily. “I’m glad I’m loved.”

Rain echoed in the background. In the wide ocean, anemones swished from side to side on reefs and schools of fish swam past the sea bed. Zoe and Matthew kept a fair distance from each other, eyeing one another suspiciously as they walked in the sea gardens.

“I’ve seen many great things, Matthew,” Zoe said angrily. “In fact, I see you’re ugly. Did you know that?”

“No,” Matthew said bitterly. “No I did not know that.”

Zoe smacked Matthew on the face. Matthew felt no pain.

“Yes!” she continued angrily. “Very ugly! I don’t know how you can live with yourself!”

Zoe and Matthew looked away from each other, despising each other.

“In fact,” Zoe continued, “I daresay you’re the most revolting boy I’ve ever met.”

“Really?” Matthew asked challengingly. “What about Jamie?”

“Oh, Jamie’s bad,” Zoe admitted. “But you’re far worse, you know.”

They continued walking apart from each other as they treaded the sea gardens.

“Matthew, listen to me!” Zoe insisted.

“What?!” Matthew asked, annoyed.

“I don’t trust you!” she said. “We’d never be friends in a million years!”

“I never want to see your face again,” he told her. “Never, ever, ever! I’m fed up having to be around you! You’re so pathetic! You know too much about computers; maths and astrophysics. You’re such a girl; all brain and no heart!”

“Oh yes!” Zoe said bitterly. “That’s me!”

“How can you imagine me wanting to be around you, Zoe Heriot?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” she replied angrily. “I suppose it’s just the way I am, I expect.”

“I don’t want to touch you again!” Matthew said. “Is that clear?”

“Perfectly clear!” Zoe answered.

They stood back to back from each other whilst in the sea gardens.

“I never liked the sound of your voice, Zoe,” Matthew said.

“Go!” Zoe shouted. “Go away, Matthew! I hate you!”

“Like I care!” he said bitterly.

With one last look at each other, they parted as Matthew walked off. Zoe began to sob, feeling sorry for herself.

“I feel so empty,” Zoe said unhappily. “I can’t believe I’m unloved.”

Rain echoed in the background. The Doctor walked into a theatre. He was completely baffled as he entered. He looked around to see where he was.

“Where…where am I?” he demanded. “W-W-What am I doing here? Why am I suddenly on this stage?”

The Doctor stood centre-stage to take in his surroundings.

“I see,” he realised. “It looks like some kind of theatre. Or is it? Where is the audience?”

“Doctor?” a voice said.

The Doctor got a shock as he turned to see Chloe standing there before him on the stage.

“Chloe!” he exclaimed. “Oh thank goodness! I thought I’d seen the last of you.” He then puzzled, “What are you doing here? More to the point, what am I doing here?”

“Don’t you know, Doctor?” Chloe asked. “You’re going to play the part of the king and I’m playing the young princess.”

“Och come on now, Doctor!” a familar voice called out. “Get on with it!”

The Doctor turned to see Jamie and Zoe in the audience seats.

“Jamie; Zoe!” he cheered, relieved. “You’re here! Thank goodness!”

“Doctor, get on with it!” Jamie demanded impatiently. “We’ve been waiting for you! We’ve paid good money to see you perform!”

“Yes, and we’re very excited,” Zoe added. “So come on, Doctor! Don’t give up! Give us the best performance you’ve got!”

“Aye! And quick!” Jamie insisted.

“You heard what they said, Doctor,” Chloe told him. “Carry on.”

The Doctor felt uncomfortable as he stood on stage.

“Well I,” he stammered. “I’ve never actually played the part of a king before. In fact, I’ve never really acted on stage before.”

“Come on Doctor,” Jamie said impatiently, “we’re waiting! What’s the matter with you?!”

“Hurry Doctor!” Zoe urged him. “Before the Daleks get here!”

“What?!” the Doctor said, shocked. “They’re not coming to see me perform, are they?”

“Of course they are,” Jamie answered. “They wouldn’t miss this for the world!”

“The Daleks want to exterminate you on stage,” Zoe said happily.

A moment of tension ensued. The Doctor was utterly baffled by all this.

“There is just one thing though,” Chloe wanted to point out. “If you’re supposed to be the king and I the princess…why are you dressed up like the princess?”

The Doctor looked down and saw the horror of what he was wearing. He gasped horrified, disbelieving the sight. “Oh my word! How did this terrible garb get on me?!”

Very soon, Jamie and Zoe laughed and jeered at the Doctor.

“You look pretty silly there, Doctor!” Jamie laughed.

“This is truly entertainment,” Zoe laughed.

Jamie and Zoe’s laughter frustrated the Doctor. He felt humiliated.

“Stop it!” he shouted. “Jamie and Zoe, stop laughing at me! At once I say!”

But Jamie and Zoe still kept on laughing as it increased in volume. The Doctor became frightened. He looked to see Chloe who was also laughing at him.

“The dress!” the Doctor exclaimed. “I must get it off! Get it off I say!”

The Doctor tried to tear his dress apart. But he had no luck. The dress seemed to be stuck to him.

“It’s no good!” he declared. “I…I can’t. It won’t come off! This terrible dress won’t come off!”

The laughter grew louder. The Doctor was far from happy with the way Jamie, Zoe and Chloe were behaving.

“Please, please, please!” he pleaded. “Stop laughing, everyone!”

Rain echoed in the background. Back with Zoe and Matthew, they were now walking in a busy street. People chattered away as they went about their business. This time, Zoe and Matthew were now holding hands.

“Quite warm in these parts, isn’t it?” Matthew remarked. “We must be…somewhere in France. Or Spain. Can’t remember which.”

“My summer’s been alright thanks,” Zoe pointed out. “Had two holidays and got another one in two months time. That’s keeping me going for as long as I got to work 65 hours a week on computers. Not good! What are you up to, Matthew?”

“Roller skates!” Matthew exclaimed.


“You seem to be wearing roller skates!”

Zoe looked down and found herself zooming along the street with roller skates on her feet. She passes many street corners and was a fair distance away from Matthew. She turned back to call to him.

“Matthew! Help me! I can’t break free! Get these roller skates off me!”

“No worries,” he laughed. “Going to Hull today. I’m going to try and get a better bet on the horses.”

“Help Matthew!” Zoe called. “Please help me!”

“The food’s so bad in Hull,” Matthew remarked. “Went to the cafe and the food was nice. So delicious. Better than your work.”

“The roller skates!” Zoe cried. “I must get rid of these roller skates!”

Zoe seemed as if she was about to crash into a wall. But she didn’t. Instead she found herself stopping in mid-motion.

“What’s happening?!” she asked. “How come I’m here?! Why aren’t I dead yet?”

At that moment, a person stepped forward in a strange form of mist. A very wild female person appeared. She growled, having the appearance of a lion.

“Charoc!” Zoe exclaimed, amazed. “It’s you! The lion girl! Thank goodness you’re here!”

Charoc growled a little more as she made her way to Zoe. She looked directly into her, as if taking all the signs of something lost and forgotten.

“I warned you three!” she growled. “Didn’t I give you warning?!”

“Warning?” Zoe said, puzzled. “I can’t remember the warning! It’s all a distant memory!”

“Remember me!” Charoc insisted. “I am of your past…and of your future, Zoe Heriot!”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Zoe wanted to know.

“A shadow of all ages exists here!” Charoc told her. “He is on the run! He must not escape!”

“Who must not escape?” Zoe asked. “I do not understand you.”

“Beware of my warning!” Charoc growled. “I implore you! Beware of the danger that lurks here! You are close to it, even now! Yes! Even now you are close to it! One will soon suffer; one will be in great peril!”

Zoe stared at Charoc, unable to comprehend her words. She was not like any other creature she had seen before.

“But what is this danger you’re warning me of?” Zoe asked, confused. “How am I supposed to know what it’s meant to look like…”

“Do not be afraid,” Charoc interrupted her. “Your time has come! And so has the Doctor and Jamie’s! Come now!”

Charoc took Zoe’s hand as she managed to release her from the roller skates. The roller skates crashed into the street wall and exploded. Zoe and Charoc were unaffected by the explosion. Charoc led Zoe away as she took her somewhere far-off.

“Charoc, where are you taking me?” Zoe demanded.

“Your hearts are of light and dark,” Charoc answered. “You must combine light with dark in order to see your way through! But you mustn’t let dark overcome you. Otherwise…you will all be trapped!”

Rain echoed in the background. Jamie was alone and silent. Not a sound was heard. No voices heard. Everything around Jamie seemed to be dead. A swift breeze passed by; faint at first but starting to howl. Jamie relished the fresh air as he never felt it before.

“Dream, dream, dream,” he said slowly. “Aye! I’ve no idea what I’m dreaming about.”

The breeze grew louder as it became a faint wind.

“I can never really know what my life’s going to be like,” Jamie stated. “Whether I’m going to be happy or sad. Successful or a failure.” He paused for a moment. “I just achieve this in real life. I can never get that far. Everyone mocks me! Why can’t people be happy with who I am?” He puzzled at that. “Why am I saying all these things?”

Jamie sighed as he grieved over his misfortune. Just then, a mixture of voices started speaking to him. Quiet at first, but then they started to grow. Jamie turned around, startled.

“Hey, who’s that?” he demanded. “What is that? What is that sound?”

The voices grew even louder as Jamie listened. He began to contort in pain as the voices were becoming too strong and unbearable.

“I don’t have much of a voice,” he grieved, speaking louder. “I don’t have much of a voice!”

The voices increased in frequency as they disregarded Jamie altogether. Jamie reached to the top of his voice.

“I don’t have much of a voice!” he yelled. “I DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A VOICE!!!!”

Water splashed. Jamie now found himself in an ocean. He splashed about in rushing water, feeling cold and chilled to the bone.

“I…how did I get ‘ere?” he asked, chilled. “What am I doing in this pool of water? This mighty big ocean!”

Jamie then found himself swirled up in the waters. They rose higher and higher. Jamie tried to swim for it, but it was no use.

“No!” he insisted. “Mustn’t drown! I must not drown!”

Jamie then found himself facing a group of Skeletrons that came up out of the water and swayed over towards him.

“Oh, so it’s you creeps again!” he grunted. “Well, water or no water, I’ll fight you! Come and get it!”

The Skeletrons made their approach and attacked. Jamie found himself sinking deeper into the water as he tried to draw his dagger.

“Och no!” Jamie protested. “No fair! If I’m to fight, at least let me fight upright! Don’t make me sink!”

He expected the water to listen to him. But the water didn’t. Jamie found himself sinking deeper and deeper as the Skeletrons laughed mockingly at him through guttural noises.

“Help!” Jamie cried. “Doctor; Zoe, help me!”

Just then, at that moment, Charoc the lion girl appeared. She growled and roared ferociously, scaring off the Skeletrons. The Skeletrons ran away. Then, without expecting it, Jamie found himself raised up from the water. Charoc lifted him out by hand. Jamie looked at Charoc nervously. Her eyes glared at him.

“Err…thank you,” he said nervously. “Much appreciated. I never had the honour of being rescued by a cat before.”

“Your time has come, Jamie McCrimmon,” Charoc growled. “You are to come with me!”

“Where?” asked Jamie, puzzled.

Charoc said nothing at first as she looked at Jamie. A moment’s silence passed before she spoke. “The game has gone too far! You and your friends must help to restrain him! The deepening rain must be stopped!”

Before he could ask further, Jamie was taken away from the ocean.

Rain echoed in the background. Organ music plays inside a chapel. It’s the wedding march that’s played. The Doctor entered as he walked down the aisle. This happened to be an occasion of joy for him.

“Oh my!” he said delightedly. “This is turning out to be a great day for me! This is the most joyous I’ve had in years! Oh my! I’m getting married!”

The Doctor laughed out loud as he reached the end of the aisle. The Doctor then turned around to face the congregation. But as he turn around, the organ music stopped. Everything became silent. A sense of uneasiness ensued.

The Doctor then gasped, shocked. “My wedding! There’s nobody here! No friends; no family; nothing! Nobody here! Not even the bride’s turned up! The one I love! She’s the most important person! The bride!”

“What are you talking about? I’m here!”

The Doctor turned to see Chloe before him. He breathed a sigh of relief.

“Oh Chloe! Thank goodness you’re here!”

“Go away!” she shouted. “I don’t wish to know you! I don’t wish to talk to you!”

“What?!” the Doctor was completely baffled. “But Chloe, listen to me!”

“I don’t want to see your face again!” Chloe yelled. “I’m fed up travelling with you! How can anyone wish to travel with a scruffy man like you I do not know!”

“Oh Chloe please!” the Doctor begged. “Don’t say such things! Don’t be rash!”

“No, I mean it!” Chloe said cruelly. “You know more about space and time travel and dimensions than me! I’m sick of it! I’ve had enough of you!”

Realisation then dawned on the Doctor. “Wait!” he said. “This isn’t happening! This isn’t real! And you’re not real! None of this is real! You’re all just an illusion!”

“Doctor, stop it!” Chloe demanded. “I command you to stop it!”

“No!” the Doctor shouted. “I will fight this! I must fight! I MUST FIGHT!!!”

As the Doctor resisted the temptation, an army of Cybermen entered the chapel. They stomped, marching about in their metallic boots as they saw the Doctor. The Doctor turned to see them. They stopped midway down the aisle.

The Cyber Leader’s voice echoed, addressing the Doctor. “You are disregarding protocol. You are to respond to all directives. If you resist, the termination of your existence will initiate. Comply, Doctor. Comply.”

The Doctor however was resolute. He began to speak out loud in the chapel, looking up to the ceiling; ignoring the Cybermen.

“No! I won’t play your games! You can’t control me! I will resist you! You hear?! I will resist you!”

The Cybermen stepped forward. They raised their guns, ready to open fire.

“Hostile elements unacceptable,” the Cyber Leader declared. “Prepare for dissemination. Terminate.”

The Doctor panicked as he saw the Cybermen about to open fire.

“Oh my word!” he cried. “Oh crumbs!”

The Doctor ducked behind the pews. He took Chloe down with him. The Cybermen fired, destroying the altar. Chloe screamed once this happened.

“Oh dear,” the Doctor groaned. “I need the strength of a lion girl now.”

As if answering the call, Charoc the lion girl appeared before him. She growled ferociously, not affected by the shots fired upon her by the Cybermen. She stepped forward before the Doctor and Chloe.

“I am here,” Charoc growled. “Here to save all.”

“Oh Charoc, thank goodness!” the Doctor said relieved. “Can you get us out of here? Out of this chapel.”

“It is not the storm you must get out of,” Charoc told him. “It is the storm you are in.”

“The storm of the neverending,” the Doctor declared, puzzled by his own words. “The curse…of the dream.”

Very soon, the Cybermen faded out of existence. So did the chapel.

© Tim Bradley, 2020

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