Chapter Twenty-Four, Part Two: The Gold-Guarding Grypes of ArimaspeaMature

“Ah, well... soon I’ll be a mudpie...” he thinks to himself. 

But, the gloop swishes away from him then, pouring the opposite way as two long, sharp, multi-toed somethings clutch on his biceps and pull. 

Easily, he is torn free of the muck.

Again, he is naked. 

Again, he looks down. 

“Hrm...” he breathes, his lungs suddenly free of the black stuff, “I’m clean, at least. But who are you?” 

“See? I told you Santa was an idiot,” the large black one on the left quips at the other one with a squiggling sarcastic caw as the two of them ease the Doctor’s naked feet down onto the black muck. 

The big white one on the right, however, merely cocks her white head at the Doctor and opens her long grey beak, then shuts it again with a tidy little clack. 

Suddenly the Doctor is aware of his chest burning slightly...  and the fact he’s now standing on the muck instead of sinking in seems forgettable, somehow. 

He reaches for the little burning pain on his skin... and finding a pin stuck over his left heart and poking through the flesh of his bare pectoral, he touches the odd bit of jewelry, caressing it, For Science, and discovers three curls of pointed leaves, hiding a splash of tiny berries.

The Doctor then unpins the broach from himself and holds it up to examine it in the light.

“Red light, green light... hrm. Ruby berries, emerald leaves. Oh! Holly Go Lightly!” he facepalms his forehead, then turns around and flaps his hands against his knees once or twice, smacking his fingers loudly against the naked skin and cartilage-caged bone.





The End

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