Chapter Fourteen, Part Two: Step on a CrackMature

White wings spread from her lithe back in a great wave, and fear coils her newest plaything’s guts like a virus of the bowels. 

Holding him by the chin, out before her like a sacrifice, she steps out of the shadow of the door and smiles white fangs at two Time Lords staring from the other side of the cutaway. 

“Why, We are the Benevolent One, the Pythia!” she whispers, a soundless cackle in the dark, and she poses her dread fingers viperously, slithering in place, “…We are your Mother! Rejoice in Us. Rejoice, for We…!” 


Her body shudders and folds unnaturally backward, as though a great hole has sucked her spinal column through her stomach. 

 Her headdressed head of black snakes snaps around and her lips give a sharp and pearly snarl to the empty air, as if chiding a ghost. 

The guard drops from her fingers to her naked blue-black feet; he crawls away on his bum, the shiny marble floor squealing under his scraping fingers. 

“We see you!” she rages against the silent hallways, her inward-turning gaze gluing to the backs of her eyes some other space and time. And what does she see? 

Oh, just a smiling young man in tweed and stout boots and a blue button down too sizes too large, walking in Eaton, his foot perched precariously over one of the grassy, cracked divisions in a chalky length of sidewalk. 

There is an overlarge flute in his hand, which had been in his mouth till he’d chosen to look up. 

 His grin grows wider, and his lips flow apart. 

“Hello,” he murmurs half to himself, his eyes low and pale peridots as he covers his stomach with a hand, before his bounding fey chin quickly tucks his face away into the shade of a lapel. 

“…tag! You’re it.”

The End

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