Earlier this year, I entered Big Finish’s Paul Spragg Memorial competition, The lucky winner got to have their Doctor Who Short Story published. Whilst I didn’t make the shortlist, I did receive some fantastic feedback that has encouraged me to finish it. I’ll be chipping away at it over the next few months, in between my other projects.
The writing sample I provided acted is my first scene, so it only seems right that we start there.
Doctor Who: Them What Lives Here Knows
The snowstorm the night before had covered everything in a thick layer of white. The news said no one was expecting it. Particularly not in June. No one else dared come out to play despite there being no school, but I had used my parents’ latest fight as cover to escape into this surprise winter even if for only a few hours.
That’s when I’d found the man sat cross-legged on top of the wooden playhouse built in the centre of the playground; a much-coveted item amongst the girls and boys of my village. Some saw it as a castle to be protected from hordes of unnameables, whilst others would use it as a club house for meetings about what stickers were available for swapsies and who was willing to offer them up.
‘What are you doing up there?’ I asked the man.
He didn’t appear to hear me. He just took a deep breath and exhaled. Still cross-legged, he brought his arms together at the elbow, with his palms touching as if in prayer. You could have said he seemed quite stern. In his black leather jacket, dirty jeans, and shaven head, he looked like what my mum would have called, ‘one of them rum types.’
‘Excuse me,’ I said a little louder. ‘What are you doing?’
He opened one eye, which did as good a job as two as it stared through me.
‘It’s Venusian body manipulation,’ He replied in a broad northern accent. ‘I’m focussing my energies on what’s happening inside me, so I am prepared for eventualities outside of me. The stretches I’m performing are movements borne from eons of spiritualism, atheism and, in some cases, gods themselves.’
‘My mummy has a Geri Halliwell video where she does the same pose,’ I replied.
Both eyes were open now, ‘Of course she does.’
‘Why are you sat on the roof?’
‘Because there’s no chairs inside.’
I giggled, ‘You can’t sit on a roof.’
‘I’m doing a pretty good in spite of your protests, don’t you reckon?’
I brought my hand up to my face to stifle another giggle. Grandma said you should never laugh in someone’s face if you weren’t sure they weren’t telling a joke. As if trying to tempt more laughs out of me, the man began to wriggle his big ears.
‘Is that part of your body manipulatation?’
‘Maybe,’ He replied. ‘Maybe not.’
He stuck out his tongue and I let out a full belly laugh. It wasn’t even lunchtime and I was already having the best day. First the unexcepted snowstorm, school closing and now my own personal clown.
‘Bit funny all this snow, isn’t it?’ the man said. ‘For July I mean.’
‘I guess.’ I shrugged. ‘Mummy said it’s because of Ceefax gases.’
The man uncrossed his legs and jumped off the Wendy house with an elegance that betrayed his bulky demeanour.
‘What’s your name?’ He said, holding out a rough looking hand.
‘I’m Sarah.’ I smiled, shaking his hand.
‘Hello, Sarah.’ He said. ‘I’m the Doctor. Are you ready to go to war?’
I didn’t know what to say. I was only 6 years old.