Chapter Seventeen, Part Three: How To Play Old MaidMature

“There’s no need for that, Pasmodius, we’ll all be leaving this little cubby soon enough, now,” the young man croaks from a bullfrog throat. His fingers clench convulsively on the packet, crunching it, crisping the foil and freeing the last three pills, which trickle out of the bubbles then plummet to the tabletop in a series of thick clacks.                                                                          

 They roll, those pills, off the table top and to the floor, smacking against the back white wall in a powdery thick cloud. 

The young man’s once floppy brown hair is plastered to his forehead, just like it was last week. His free hand is still where he left it, too; wrapped close around his body, splayed against his still-modest girth as though his bump might detach and run away. 

“That’s enough, Theta- go to bed. Sleep for an hour, at least!” the woman says, rubbing down the front of her white dress. 

Pasmodius sighs and lifts a spidery hand, settling it on the man’s back. “She’s right, my boy- you mustn’t tax yourself by getting up after so long a vigil. One of us will fetch you something with more culinary spirit than that hard-packed dry millet you’ve been forcing down.” 

It’s the Doctor’s turn to sigh, now. He licks his lips, even after River puts a small cup of water to his lips and glares at him over the rim. 

The End

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