Chapter One, Part Two: Tea TimeMature

“Well… it is the best one there.”

 “So you admit you still pay for it. Does it still have the…”

 “Yes. And the…”

 “That too? You’re a gem. Oh that does make me giddy. Now why are you here, again?”

 “Not sure yet. I was attending Christmas dinner with a large group of my companions when I felt a sudden stabbing in my left heart and collapsed.”

 “And it wasn’t a hearts attack? And you collapsed? Really collapsed, not just faked it to get out of eating dinner with the in-laws’ family collapsed? Good grief, man, you’re younger than I am! Do you know what it was?”

 “I was hoping you could tell me. While I was out, I suffered a nasty bout of foresight. It led me here.”

 “Troubling news… what did you see, Theta? Tell me. Gallifrey has not risen from the ashes of hell only  to die in the frozen dust. As President I will not allow it.”

 “I saw… nothing, Koschei. Nothing but dust. Quite a lot of the stuff; in fact, all of Gallifrey seemed to be full of it. Reminds one of the Great Dust Bowl, circa Earth 1930’s.”

 “Theta. Dust. Dust! Don’t you see? It’s Traken and Logopolis all over again! Sweet Mother of Chaos...”

  “Exactly.  But this time it isn’t your fault. It isn’t anyone’s fault, so far. That’s what makes this so dangerous. So unsettling. Anyway, that rhyme we learned as Time Tots, the one that always scared you so. Do you remember it?” 

 “Of course." 

“Could you recite it, for me? I need…  I need to hear it again.”

 “I’ve a mouth don’t I, you great bumbleheaded ninny! But drink your tea first. That strange look on your face scares the staazula out of me.”

 

“Frost in the fire and the rocking chair 

 

Frost in the hearth, frost in the ladle 

 

Children’s voices in the air 

 

Wind that rocks the empty cradle.”

 

 

The End

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