Chapter Eighteen, Part Three: Rabbit Hole Podunk- The Boy's Used To ItMature

Shrip shrip.            

Nothing but a tiny stirring in the depths. Perhaps soup was being made? Well, judging by the sound, either it’s a pot set to boil or a pike being sharpened… resourceful girl. And really, it sounds nothing like a pot. 

The Doctor is silent for some time after that, listening instead of talking at the almost pleasant noises of scrapings from the inside of the cave. He finds the grayish, hole-y lump of a newly-dead sponge by the water’s edge and puts it in his pocket. (It looks like an old cheese.) He gathers drift from the beach. Snaps a finger to light it. Oh, the glory of fire. The burning vision. Staring into the flame he has made in the circle of stones he gathered himself and set on the median between his bit of borrowed beach and the threshold of the cave, he lapses into a kind of sleep as he watches and waits. 

He nods off, like any self-respecting old goat. Stubborn too, because he really hates himself… 

Before he can make sense of it all again, a wooden thing thrown from the darkness of the cave’s heart hits him in the head, knocking him onto his bum and replacing the sand he scrubbed off. 

He stoops to pick it up, but it bites him instead and hops backward. 

“And what are you?” he asks, fascinated by the shape of a bird made of wood that is now flapping its wings at him. 

“I know you, don’t I?” the Doctor murmurs, as he watches wooden wings beat the sand up into a flurry of gold, revealing seven tiny blackish bluish reddish crustaceans with big pincers and little claws and six legs and antagonizing little beady eyes on stalks.

The End

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