The Doctor and the Children of Time

"Tick tock goes the clock. He cradled and he rocked her. Tick tock goes the clock. Til River kills the Doctor." | Set at the beginning of Series 6 | Doctor Who Battle of the Fandoms Winner 2015

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2. Two

     She slowly lifted her head and looked around. The girl was in a large room which was well lit by candles. There was a globe in the corner of the room and as her eyes adjusted more to the light she could see row upon row of bookshelves. In the middle was a ladder and at the top of the ladder was the man from the shadows. He had taken a book from the shelf and was reading, with one arm hooked through the ladder to prevent himself from falling. He was wearing the strangest hat she had ever seen, that did not at all match the clothes he was wearing. She smiled, he looked very funny.

     At that exact moment the man peered at her over the top of the book, his glasses were perched on the end of his nose. This too made him look funny. He placed the book back on the shelf and leaped from the ladder, in two big strides he was by her side. "Hello, I am the Doctor. Oh and this?". He pointed at his lop-sided hat and said "It's a fez. Fezzes are cool." He took the hat off and playfully dropped it onto the child's head. The hat came down over her eyes and she began to giggle.

     "Hello" she said shyly, "Do you know where we are?"

     "In a big, cold, dark house silly" he replied. She giggled again. The Doctor laughed heartily at his own joke. "Are you going to tell me your name?" the Doctor asked.

     "My name is Melody" said the girl, "And I feel like I have met you before somehow". The Doctor scratched his head and looked at her a little more intently.

     "Well, maybe we have met" he replied, "But at this moment I can't put my finger on it". The Doctor took out his screwdriver, gave it a shake and pointed it at the little girl. She giggled once more, what an odd fellow he was but she liked him.

     "I don't know where I am but this house does not scare me, I am not scared of anything, but when I sleep I have nightmares and I hear the children, always the children". The Doctor seemed puzzled but then jumped up from where he was still kneeling.

     "Let's have a look around this old place then and see if we can find anything that will help ". He took her by the hand and led her to the big oak door across the other side of the room. As they opened it and ventured into the corridor, the door slammed shut behind them and a banging noise was heard further on. "Shall we go and see who wants to be let out?" he asked.

    The girl said again, "I am not scared". They moved slowly down the corridor and with a gush of wind seemingly from nowhere, the remaining candles were blown out. The Doctor fiddled with his jacket and produced his screwdriver from his left pocket. Giving it a wave, the glowing green light flickered on. He pranced about the hallway, pointing the screwdriver at everything that could be seen. The girl giggled again. The Doctor stopped abruptly and turned to face the girl. His puzzled expression suggested that something had just occurred to him. 

     "Melody, why were you crying?" he said calmly as he walked towards her, bending down so they were at the same eye level. She stared blankly at the Doctor for a moment.

     “It happens every night. I cry because I feel lost. I hear the other children but they never appear. Just their voices.” She looked up at the grandfather clock as it stuck twelve. The sound echoed through the eerie house.

     “And you think this is all a nightmare?” The Doctor asked. Melody nodded. “That would mean that I am just someone in your head… and at this present moment, that is not possible.” He waved his screwdriver about again. It buzzed and the Doctor stared at its metal casing. “Oh...” He said slowly. “We are in trouble. Lots of trouble.” He looked at his watch. Then at the girl. Then back at his watch. “It has just turned midnight, so strictly speaking, this should be a completely different day to yesterday. 19th of November 1923. But we are still on the 18th.”

     Melody, looking a little confused asked for an explanation. The Doctor thought for a while, checked his watch again and straightened his bow tie. “This is not a nightmare. We are trapped in a crack in time and space, a time loop. We are lost in a single day of time, always the 18th of November 1923. The voices you hear are the children from the future.” The Doctor paced around the hallway, clicking his fingers and waving his hands as he went. Melody looked down at her plain white dress and then down to the floor. She didn’t understand and all she knew was that she was trapped and couldn’t get out.

     “Where are my friends?” she asked the Doctor, looking up at him with hopeful eyes and a titled head. Her hair fell over her eyes and she tried to blow it away. The Doctor walked over, knelt down and tucked the few strands of hair behind her ear.

     “Your friends are in future. And right now, you should be with them. Do you know how you got here, Melody.” The Doctor tapped her cheeks playfully as he said it and she giggled again.

     “We can travel through time. But I don’t know how I got here. I was playing with my friends and then I was here. At first I was scared. But then I thought it was a dream and I have no fear of dreams. The others can do it too, they can travel through time like me. We are the Children of Time.” Melody knelt down opposite the Doctor, looking at him for comfort. He took her hand in his right and laid the other hand on top. They were warm and calming for her. For once in a long time, she felt safe. She knew the Doctor could put things right.

     “Don’t worry.” He said, “I will save you. Cross my hearts.” Melody closed her eyes and breathed in and out, trying to calm herself. Whispers filled the room again, creeping through the walls and under the doors. The children began to laugh and sing. Opening her eyes, she squeezed the Doctor’s hand as hard as she could. He looked at her, obviously puzzled.

     “Can you hear them?” She asked, “The children are singing.”

     The Doctor listened intently and shook his head. “I cannot hear them. They are in your future, not mine.” He took out his screwdriver from his pocket and scanned the room. A blank look at the metal casing confirmed that he was right. The Doctor could not hear the children. Melody’s eyes filled up with tears as she continued to listen to the singing voices. A single tear rolled down her cheek and she looked at the Doctor in the eyes. He wiped the tear away with his finger and continued to hold her hand. “Don’t cry, Melody, it will be okay. What are the children singing?” he said.

     Melody took a deep breath and began to sing the nursery rhyme. “Tick tock goes the clock, he cradled and he rocked her. Tick tock goes the clock, til River… kills the Doctor.” She collapsed into the Doctor’s arms and began crying. With a tight grip on his hands, she felt like never letting go.

     The Doctor thought for a while. His hearts began to beat faster as the sudden realization kicked in. He could feel the cogs in his brain slowing beginning to turn. Til River kills the Doctor, he repeated it over and over in his head. Then he recalled what the girl had said when she had introduced herself. I feel like I have met you before somehow, she had said. His breathing rate quickened as the cogs in his brain worked on the mechanism and finally unlocked it.

     “What is your name?” He asked the girl. She smiled and looked up at the Doctor through her tears. “You know my name. Melody.” She said. “Melody Pond.” 

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