Chapter Twenty-Three, Part One: The Golden EmperorMature


Not surprisingly, the nightmare breaks, but still the sound floats back to him on the scrawny scent of must. 

This wouldn’t be the first time dust tried to climb down his throat. Every time he thinks of that blasted party... 

Blinking sleep away in little bits of grit that scratch across the lower round of his eyes, threatening to devein his orbs like an imperiled jumbo prawn, the Master forces himself awake completely, vying for oxygen in the dark rectangle of space before him just long enough to fool the universe into thinking he gives a damn.  

Then he withdraws the invitation of his lips, bares his white teeth, bunches his shoulders as if for a bull-run, and invests his head into the top of his six foot odd prison of dubious pine. 

Wood sprays around his emancipated blondness, sprinkling here and there and everywhere against his face, the sides of the box, his arms. His naked skin. 

Oh joy. 

They took his clothes, too.  

Where is he, by the way? 

He wraps strong hands around the splintering edges of his freshly-made exit and pulls, heaving out of his teetering tomb in a graceful leap. 

He turns back as he’s scuffing his hair, to suffer an idle glance over his handiwork.  

His fingers dig into his scalp, massaging all the dust into the mess; It’s like taking a sonic shower, only without the darts poster of the Doctor he always glues to every hotel bathroom.

Gravity pulls at his tender eyelids, and that strange and heavy liquid pools red-orange, tipping occasionally into the corners and draining down, leaving tracks in the dust stuck to his face. 



His stubbled face jags downward, as he realises.

The End

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