A cold poisonous wind blew across the abandoned wasteland. Some loose gravel, leached of colour, rattled across the barren ground. Above, an ever-moving, angry sky with roiling clouds fretted across the empty landscape.
Or not quite empty. Bleached by the wind, rubbed dry by the sand and stone, skeletons littered the earth as far as the eye could see, a jumble of femurs, knobbly spines, toes. A hank of colourless hair, here and there; a glint of something on the ground that might once have meant something to someone; and the skulls, everywhere, endless, all laughing the rictus of death under the grey and purple sky.
The little piece of gravel had stopped bouncing down the hill of scree, but after a long moment of silence, a tapping noise occurred. Then silence, then another one. At first it was simply a tap-tap-tap. Then it was joined by a low rattle, here and there. Almost indistinguishable from the little stones being tossed by the wind. Almost.
The bones were on the move again. 'Where are we?' said Clara, squinting at the screen.
There was a long silence. This was unusual. Clara looked around the console room.
'We appear to be in the TARDIS but the Doctor isn't talking,' said Clara to herself. 'This extraordinarily rare phenomenon is believed by some observers to be the result of his gob being immersed in a black hole. . . actually what are you doing? Have you got addicted to Home and Away again? Are you hungry? I have issues with people who never get hungry.'
The Doctor didn't even lift his head.
Clara jumped round the other side of the red-flashing console to where the Doctor was craning his neck at a large screen. On it, and replicated on the other monitor, was a sight far from unusual: a planet, orbiting a dull sun.
'Where are we?' she asked again.
At this the Doctor let out a sigh.
'What is wrong with you?' said Clara. 'Are you missing that dog thing again? You talk about that dog thing a lot.'
'Yes,' said the Doctor finally. 'But that's not it.' He stabbed a long finger at the planet on the screen. 'I don't like it,' he said crossly.
'It looks harmless,' said Clara. Storm patterns whorled around its surface.
'I'm sure it is,' said the Doctor. 'But still. I don't like it. Let's go somewhere else.' He started tinkering with a large lever.
'Hang on,' said Clara, a smile playing on her lips. 'Where is it? I mean, what's it called?'
The Doctor carried on tinkering. 'Ha! You don't know! That's why you're cross. You actually don't know something. Are we lost?'
'No! Absolutely not. Anyway, we never get lost. We occasionally. . . get fruitfully diverted.'
He patted the TARDIS fondly with his hand.
This is a preview of Doctor Who: The Triple Knife and Other Doctor Who Stories. Want to read on? Grab a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Doctor-Who-Triple-Knife-Stories/dp/1785943715/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536248062&sr=1-1&keywords=triple+knife
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The Triple Knife and Other Doctor Who Stories by Jenny T. Colgan (Preview)Science Fiction
Short stories that are bigger on the inside. Join the women of the Whoniverse for five thrilling Doctor Who adventures by Sunday Times bestselling author Jenny T. Colgan. Ashildr, a young Viking girl, died bravely helping the Doctor save the village...