‘The Deepening Rain’ (Z), Prologue

Prologue

Loud snores echoed in his bedroom. Jamie and Zoe were uneasy about waking him.

“Look!” Jamie began impatiently. “Ought we to wake him? We can’t ‘ave him snoring like a wee bairn. He’s been doing that for the past half-hour.”

“He’ll wake up eventually, Jamie,” Zoe told him. “We have to do this properly remember? The Doctor’s depending on us.”

“Aye! That’s what I’m afraid of,” Jamie replied. “Supposing we won’t rescue him in time?”

Jamie McCrimmon and his friend Zoe Heriot stood watching Craiger, a high-ranking official sleeping in his bed, snoring loudly. He was too far away and distant, dreaming soft dreams.

Twenty seconds later, Craiger slowly woke up feeling the soft breeze flowing in his bedroom. At first he seemed to ignore it, but then he gradually woke up and saw the two young people standing in the room. He raised his head up to look at them. He blinked his eyes to see before he yawned.

“O…Oh my!” Craiger yawned. “Am I dreaming? I must be seeing things. I must get back to sleep.”

With that, Craiger started to go back to sleep.

“Hey Zoe, look!” Jamie warned her. “Do you not see?! He woke up!”

“Yes Jamie!” Zoe said excitedly. “This could be our chance!”

“Quick before he drops off again!” Jamie said urgently.

Zoe stepped forward and began to call out. “Craiger?! Mr. Craiger, can you hear me?! Mr. Craiger?!”

Eventually, just before Craiger got himself back to sleep, he saw Zoe and Jamie before him. He was stunned by their ghostly appearance.

“My…who are you two?” he asked surprised. “You two young people! What are you doing in my bedroom? Have we met before?”

“He heard me, Jamie!” Zoe said, thrilled. “He actually heard me!”

“Oh and about time!” Jamie said.

“Listen, you may think this unorthodox of me but…” Craiger began.

“Ah well there’s no time for that,” Jamie interrupted. “Now listen…”

Zoe continued, “Mr. Craiger, we’re lost! Me and Jamie! We need your help!”

“My help?” asked Craiger, perplexed.

“Aye, we’re at the gateway,” Jamie explained. “We’re trying to escape!”

“We have a mutual friend you may know,” Zoe told him. “The Doctor.”

Craiger was puzzled by this information at first. “Doctor?” He paused for a moment. “Doctor?”

Eventually he realised. He got himself out of bed. “My goodness! The Doctor! I haven’t heard that name in years!”

“Ah, so you know him then,” Jamie remarked. “Well, that’s good.”

“Of course I know him,” Craiger replied. “How could I ever forget a name like that?” He then realised, “And I know you, young man! You’re his friend…James Robert McCrimmon! The son of a piper, right?”

“Aye,” Jamie confirmed. “Me and the Doctor. We travel together in the TARDIS.”

“My father said many good things about you,” Craiger told Jamie. He then turned to Zoe. “But I’m afraid I don’t know who you are, my dear. I haven’t seen the like of you before.”

“This is my first trip to Saron, Mr. Craiger,” Zoe told him. “And it’s not been a pleasant one I can tell you.”

“I don’t understand,” Craiger remarked.

“Look, all that can wait,” Jamie interrupted. “We need your help to get us out of this trap we’re in!”

“Trap?”

“We’re communicating to you via a dream,” Zoe explained.

“A dream?!” Craiger said, astonished. “You look so…so faded. How come?”

“You’re not awake I’m afraid, Mr. Craiger,” Zoe told him.

“Aye! You’re still asleep,” Jamie added.

“Asleep?” Craiger said, even more astonished. “So…you’re both a dream?”

“Yes and no,” Zoe said.

“Sorry?” enquired Craiger, baffled.

“Yes and no, Mr. Craiger,” Zoe repeated. “Jamie and I are a dream…and we’re not.”

“Even I can no get me head around that one,” Jamie remarked.

“What’s happening?” Craiger asked anxiously. “The Doctor? Where is the Doctor?”

Craiger then saw the grim faces of Jamie and Zoe.

“My dear young friends?” he insisted. “What’s wrong?”

It took a long time before Craiger got an answer. Eventually Zoe spoke, tears welling in her eyes.

“He’s dying.”


© Tim Bradley, 2020

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