The wind had gotten far too much for me to handle so I’d been forced to return back to the comfort of the beach house. I switched on the television in the living room but the weather was affecting the aerial and the picture was near to nonexistent. Sighing, I switched the set off and sat in silence.
The beach house was old and had so many cracks that the bitter cold from outside crawled through all the crevices causing the mother of all drafts. I sat shivering in the unheated building; Mum had forgotten to pay the heating bill last month for the sake of a new pair of designer shoes, so now we all had to suffer for her compulsive shopping disorder.
It was times like this that I wished I was back at Uni, away from everything, and able to do what I wanted, when I wanted to and, most of all, paint whenever and however I wanted. A couple years ago, as a gift for getting accepted into Art college, Will had converted our shack of a garage into a make shift art studio for me to work in. I’d been so thrilled and had spent most of my days in there, when I wasn’t studying. However, I’d had to surrender my beloved studio when Mum had run herself into so much debt that she had to take on a lodger, converting the studio into an annex for them to pay board on. Considering the debt she was in, she still found enough money to make the tiny building as liveable as was required; it had better living conditions than our own home in comparison.
Some of my art equipment, essentials like paint and brushes, was crammed into a small corner of mine and Lucy’s bedroom but most of it, canvases and such, had to be retrieved from the loft when and if I needed them. It was a hassle climbing the rickety ladder each time I wanted to paint and a lot of them had been damaged or broken, of which I couldn’t afford to replace.
I lay my head against the arm of the sofa and looked up at the flakey ceiling above me. Will was supposed to have stripped that this summer and paint the whole thing new; another promise he’d neglected to keep. I closed my eyes and let sleep take over my consciousness.
Everything was dark. A cold, damp fog surrounded me, hindering my eyesight and denying me knowledge of where I was. The ground was uneven beneath my feet and the bitter taste of blood tormented my taste bloods. I raised my fingers to my lips and felt the warm, stickiness of my own blood as I traced the open wound across my cheek, stinging as I made contact with it. A dull blue light appeared through the fog, capturing my attention, and a dark figure stood before it, masking its glow slightly. Curiously, I edged forward, pain travelling up my left leg and my feet not quite co operating as properly as I’d have liked them to. However, I was determined and soldiered on needing to know the identity of the mystery figure before me. Tripping over something, I fell to the ground; falling to the feet of a human man. I tried to get up, but my limbs refused. The man stood in front of me knelt down to my level, snapping my face up to look directly into the blood red pupils, framed by perfectly black irises. I screamed.
I sat bolt upright, my screams echoing around the living room. I was drenched in my own sweat and my heart was pounding inside my chest. I steadied myself and examined my surroundings. I was at home. I was safe. It was just another bad dream. My eyes searched for the clock on the mantel piece. I took a quick intake of breath as I noted the time: twenty-three minutes past one… 01:23PM. It couldn’t just a coincidence anymore. These dreams… these nightmares occurred at exactly 01:23 whether it was during the day or during the night. And they only occurred whenever I was asleep, never whilst I was awake. It was starting to scare me.
I yelped as I just about jumped out of my own skin at the sudden knock at the front door. I froze, too terrified to leave my place on the sofa. There was another knock, much louder this time, but with a slight melodic tune behind it... friendlier. I edged off of the sofa and crept towards the door. I paused a moment before reaching out for the brass door handle and took a deep breath before pushing it down and pulling it open.
“Hello,” came a male voice, glittered with enthusiasm and a boyish grin spread across his face. I stared back at him, recognising him from somewhere, “I’ve come to err, well, I don’t know actually. I wasn’t quite expecting this. May I come in?” before I could say anything, this strange man with floppy brown hair and a childlike perspective of the world barged passed me and straight into the beach house. I turned round to look at him, dumbfounded by his abruptness, with the front door still stood wide open.
He stood looking around this surrounding with his hands on his hips and a confused look on his face. As quick as a dash, he was on a move again, this time heading in the direction of the kitchen. Finally shutting the front door, I followed him.
“What are you doing?” I asked him, as I caught him rummaging through our cutlery drawer, “I could have you arrested, you know. For breaking and entering?”
“Oh, you wouldn’t be able to arrest me,” he answered, retrieving a hand whisk and turning the handle around. He smiled childishly at the mechanisms of the metal cooking utensil before returning it back to the drawer and placing one finger on his chin, his other arm crossed over his chest. He turned back to face me, “after all, I technically only did the entering part. You opened the door and let me in.”
“That’s beside the point.” I retaliated, watching as he dashed back out of the kitchen and into the living room again, “who are you and what are you doing in my house?”
“I’m the Doctor,” he replied, throwing cushions in all directions. He returned his gaze back to me and smiled, “and I’m looking for something.”
“Looking for what?”
“My ship.” He answered, panting as he caught his breath. His ship!? Was he crazy or something?
“Your ship?” I questioned, completely confused.
“Yes, my ship. It’s telling me that it’s here, but I can’t find it. I mean, it’s not exactly the most difficult thing to hide but that’s not the point. I need to find it,” He licked his forefinger and lifting it into the air, as you would do if you were trying to determine the direction of the wind. His eye sight darted back to mine and, before I knew it, he was stood less than a foot away from me. I froze, “I’m being drawn to you.”
“W-what?” I stammered, both scared and intrigued by what he meant.
“You. You, I’m drawn to you. My ship’s telling me that it’s –” he stopped mid sentence and his focus lay on the pendant that hung around my neck; the one Dad had made me before he died. He lifted it up gently and rested it in the palm of his hand, cradling it as though it were the most precious gem in the entire World. He slowly returned his gaze back to my eyes and the words he spoke next were both drenched in relief but extremely chilling:
“Where is it?”