It was six o’ clock and I was finishing my breakfast to go
to school. There had been no sign of life so far fromVictoria – or so I had thought.
The door slammed open at six fifteen and down bounded a
fully dressed, fresh Victoria,
A long trail of bandages draped from her hands.
“Won’t be needing these anymore – healed up over night!”
Mum dropped her teacup in shock which shattered on the
grinned broadly and strode around the room, trailing the bandages like a
“Nice place Seth. Thanks for NOT taking me to the hospital.
Fat lot of good they’d do. They’d be too busy studying me to notice that I’d
died.” She smirked, “Oh that smells good….Bacon?” She walked into the kitchen,
nosing around the various breakfast foods on the counter.
I could only stare at her in bewilderment.
She had gone from half dead to twice as alive in the course
of a single night.
Flabbergasted was an understatement.
She popped her head from beneath the cabinets and above the counter which
looked into the living room.
“Are you wondering how I could possibly be up and at em
She stared at me for the longest time.
“All you need to know is that I’m here to help. Everyone.
Call me Vicky the Helper –,” She came into the dining room, stopped, frowned,
“On second thought, don’t call me that – oh, you get the idea!”
She sat down into a chair.
Mum was still frozen in a state of shock. I think I might
have been as well although I’m not sure – I was too confused at that point.
“What was that thing….at the school?”
Her face darkened.
“I’d forgotten that you’d seen that bit.” She muttered,
tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear.
“So. Out with it. You knew
what that thing was – you acted as though you’d seen it before.” I set down my
stared out the window, “One too many times, yes.”
The silence which followed was unearthly.
“It’s called an xenodemon. Their kind lay eggs the size of
the sharpened tip of a pencil which float in space until pulled into a planet’s
gravity where they are pulled into the ground. There they feed off the minerals
in the soil and whatever unfortunate passerby that steps on the ground above
them. They grow and develop and can hibernate for thousands upon thousands of
years. That one decided to come out of the ground – I was taking care of
it…….although I probably wouldn’t be alive if you hadn’t shown up.”
This was an extraordinary development. I saw that mum had
left the room and I wondered if it had been too much for her.
“I knew it,” Victoria
stood up with a jolt, “No one ever believes me when I explain things like
this.” She stormed away.
Who said I didn’t believe you?”
She froze. She turned round very slowly.
“I said I believe you. That thing….was nothing of this
Earth.” I told her plainly.
She blinked, “Well, most get that but when they hear the
truth they balk and say that it was all a hoax.” She explained.
We stared at one another for a long moment.
She sighed deeply, her eyes fixating on the world outside
the front window.
“I am the daughter of the last of the Time Lords. And the
daughter of the host of the Bad Wolf.”
Seeing my puzzled look, she continued, “For the past year,
I’ve been fighting monstrosities like you’d never believe. Aliens, ghosts,
monsters, men……the list goes on. Why? Because I following a man. A man known
only as the Doctor. He’s my father – he just doesn’t know it yet. My mum once
traveled with him…….through time and space. She was separated from him…….I’ve
grown up in a parallel universe. Now, I have to find the Doctor – before either
grief or the Bad Wolf kills my mum.”
I stood shakily. Aliens, monsters….this was a lot to take
“I’ve been on my own for 365- no….. I take that back. I’ve
been on my own from the moment I was born,” Victoria was rattling on now, her body
stiff, as though she were a computer reciting facts. The pain of remembering…of
knowing why she had witnessed the horrors she had seen, was too much for her
“On the playground, when I was little, the other kids would
run from me in fear, screaming.
They knew I was different.
They sensed it,” A tear slid down her cheek, “Mum said then
when the doctors at the hospital where I was born found out that I had two
hearts, they’d wanted to remove the spare one.
Thought it was a mutation.
When the blood results came back, at about the same time
they told my mum this, they saw that I was not completely human.
Mum had to go to Torchwood to beg them to help her – the
hospital was going to go to the police with the information,” I stepped up
behind her and rested my hand on her shoulder,
“Luckily, my uncle Mickey worked for them – they’re alien
hunters by the way – and worked out a deal for her. I was protected from
situations like that ever since.
But it wasn’t easy, even still.
There are things about me I don’t understand.
I know the history of both my universe and this one, back
and front, without ever even studying anything about it.
If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can see glimpses of
possible future events.
I can feel any planet I stand on turning beneath my feet. I can
control time with a snap of my fingers.
I will never be normal.”
I wrapped my arms around her waist from behind. She twirled
round in my arms till she was facing me. Her hands were braced on my shoulders,
her eyes wide in surprise.
“What are you doing?”
“So I’m trying to make you feel better,” I held her tighter.
“Were you and Darren really fighting over me?” Her head sank slowly into my
“Yeah.” I buried my nose in her hair – wildflowers. And
“I take it you fancy me then?” She looked up at me.
Ever since we became friends, I’ve loved you. Everything about you……is
absolutely amazing. And what you’ve told me today doesn’t change a thing. It
only makes me love you even more.”
She ran her fingers through my hair.
“I love you too.”
We drew each other close into a kiss that I would remember
forever. Kissing the Time Lady was like kissing fire and ice and rage and love
all at once. It was deep and hard, caressing and soft – impossible. The
We pulled away abruptly.
Mum was standing there, in the doorway, her jaw slack.
“I can’t take much more of this,” She moaned, turning around
suddenly, shuffling away in her pink slippers.
Victoria and I laughed. She stopped laughing and turned to
me with worried eyes.
“Seth, what happened after the xenodemon….err….hurt me?”
I sucked in sharply.
It was still in the school.
There was no way on heaven or earth that my mum would drive
us to school this early. We had to run.
We ran side by side, together, down the suburban Londonstreets to my
school. Trickle High was abandoned and quiet – it would be another hour till it
opened up and yet another hour after that before the first bell rang.
stopped at the glass doors which she had opened last night – they were still
“Seth, do you still have my sonic?” Seeing the doors must
have made her remember the odd pink torch.
I pulled it out of my pocket. I’m not quite sure why I had
put it there when I changed – I suppose it was an unconscious thought to keep
it safe. I’ll never really know.
“Thanks.” She took it from me and slid it into her own
She slipped inside the doors. I followed, nervously, knowing
the xenodemon would be inside….waiting.
We walked together in silence. We had walked together down
this hall many times…….with other teens bustling about. Now it was devoid of
life and eerily silent, just as it had been last night.
I stepped in something wet.
Looking down, I lifted my sneaker to see that I had stepped
in a pool of blood.
I felt like I was going to lose my tea.
Then I realized where we were. It was Victoria’s blood. Near the puddle was the
locker, now dented in, where the xenodemon had slammed her against it.
I breathed a sigh of relief. But Darren’s fate had still not
– Darren stayed behind to fend off the xenodemon….”
She stopped ahead of me and turned round.
“I know. We’ll find him….or whatever’s left of him.” She
said grimly, swiveling round to continue her solemn walk down the hall.
I ran to catch up. She had her torch pointed in front of
her. It was beeping quietly and blinking faintly.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Tracking the xenodemon. Picked up some of its species DNA a
while back. I can use that to find it.”
The torch began to beep wildly.
“Ummmm….is that bad? And what kind of torch is that, by the
way?” I added.
She looked up at me. “It’s a sonic screwdriver. And yes,
that’s bad, Seth.”
Something growled just around the corner ahead of us. My
heart thumped wildly. I knew that growl. The sound of the xenodemon.
Claws emerged from around the corner and latched themselves
to the locker nearest, digging in. Its wide head appeared. It sniffed loudly.
screeched, whirling round, her black trench coat billowing out.
I skidded on the slick floor and scrambled after her – no
way was I going to let that thing get near me after what it had done toVictoria.
The xenodemon gave out a piercing shriek and bounded after
was fiddling with her sonic screwdriver.
“What are you trying to do, change its batteries? We haven’t
got time!” I yelled, casting a feverish glance over my shoulder – it was baring
its teeth in a wicked smile.
halted suddenly, looked over her left shoulder, raised her arm and pointed the
sonic at the creature.
“COVER YOUR EARS!” She roared.
I had barely enough time to clamp my palms over my ears before a high pitched
noise. The creature shrieked in pain, slamming its head against the lockers on
both walls. Its tail thrashed, flipping up floor tiles so they smashed to
millions of little pieces – a glittering rain in the chaos.
Blood began to drip out of previously unseen holes on the
side of its head. I guess it did have ears after all.
With one last roar, it toppled to the ground, its chin lying
flat on the floor.
I cautiously removed my hands from the sides of my head,
half expecting the shrill noise to begin once more.
I looked up to see a fury burning in Victoria’s eyes like nothing on heaven or
earth. She slowly lowered her arm from where she had been pointing her sonic at
“This was no coincidence,” She hissed, fire flashing in her
I unfurled myself from the protective ball I found that my
body had become and stood next to her.
“Are there any more of them?” I asked, shuffling nervously
away from the body.
“No. Just the one. That’s why it was no coincidence. Where
there’s one xenodemon, there’s always another.”
Gulp. I didn’t like the sound of that. If she was wrong, and
it wasn’t alone….then we were in over our heads for this one.
“Come on…….Let’s go
I nodded numbly.
looked back, “Are we going to do something with the body?” I asked.
“We will. After we find Darren.”
We never did.
We searched the entire school, top to bottom until we had to
walk back home to get our things and catch the bus.
There was no sign of a struggle besides the pool of blood
and dented locker from Victoria’s
fight but other than that….Darren McGuire had vanished off the face of the
I have blamed myself for it, ever since.
He cannot possibly be alive.
I left him to fight that thing, focused so much on VictoriaI was blind as
to what his fate was.
I was going to walk Victoria
But she didn’t have a home.
She explained that she did her homework in the park and
slept underneath the trees.
She wasn’t even from here.
She came only to track down the xenodemon, kill it, and
leave. When she said this, I realized Victoria
I told you I ran to her.
And run I did.
After school, we met in the park.
It was Autumn and flame colored leaves gently twirled down
“I’m….I’m leaving now, Seth. It was great. Thank you for
being my friend.”
Don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry…..
“Goodbye,” She turned to walk away but I rested my hand on
her shoulder, “Wait!”
She looked back at me with those chocolate brown eyes – oh,
filled with starlight, glistening.
“Take me with you.” My voice was barely above a whisper.
She frowned. “What?”
“Wherever you’re going, I want to come too.”
She shrugged off my hand.
“You can’t. I don’t think it works like that.” She shook her
“Don’t think? You won’t know until you try.”
She looked up at me. I smiled. Then she smiled.
“Take my hand. And don’t forget to breathe.” She held out
her hand. I took it.
She drew me close in another impossible kiss. She touched
her wristwatch and the world around us exploded into flames in a swirl of
But the flames were not really flames.
They didn’t burn. They were red and blue with tinges of
Lightning flashed around us, storm clouds drifting eerily
through the flames.
In one word?
I closed my eyes and enjoyed the ride, holding her in my
arms. When we finally pulled away, we were standing at a place and time that
was near impossible to fathom.
Seven moons and three suns hovered in a pale pink sky.
We were on a beach of
white sand, the waves lapping around our shoes.
A shining city of glass was just on the horizon beyond a
field of something that resembled daisies. Only blue.
And did I mention?
We were in a time before Earth began.