Every night, when the crack is gone and there are no more whispers to keep her awake, Amelia Pond dreams.
They are see-saw motion sickness dreams, where she is whirled about from place to place, no time to rest. She is being hunted, and she does not understand why. Only that she must keeping running and running and running…
When she can find it, there is an In-Between Place where she can stop. Where the things she has never seen can’t find her.
In the In-Between Place there is a woman whose face is sometimes a clock and sometimes not a clock, and is always cracked. She is looking for her dog.
“He’s about so high, with a laser defense system in his nose,” she says. “Do you know where I am? I can’t seem to remember where I am.”
“You’re in a dream,” Amelia says.
The woman frowns. “No, that can’t be right.” She peers closer at the girl. “You’re human, aren’t you? What in the name of Rassilon would I be doing in a human’s dream? That’s the sort of sordid thing I’ve come to expect from the Doctor.”
“The Doctor?” Amelia asks excitedly. “The Raggedy Doctor?”
The woman frowns again, a difficult thing to do with a clock for a face. “I can’t recall…” She wanders to the side of the road, begins picking flowers off the plants, aloe and almond and amaranth and amaryllis. “I can’t have fallen into a dream. I’ve fallen into pits and alternate dimensions, time machines and tedious conversations, invitations to tea and acts of heroism, and yesterday I fell through a crack…”
“There was a crack in my wall!”
“Or was it tomorrow?” The woman’s hands fret at the plants, picking faster and faster. Striped carnations and coriander. Hollyhock and hydrangea, lettuce and lichen. “Or last year, or the year before, or a century ago, or half past three? Five weeks and seven seconds from now, or will it happen at all? Have I been, and am I yet to come?”
“You don’t make sense,” Amelia informs her.
The woman’s grin is as dazzling as it is sudden, and the crack splits it down the middle. “Someone once told me anyone could make sense.” She presses delphiniums and purple carnations into Amelia’s hands. “These are his. You’ll know him when you see him.”
The crack in her face blazes bright and swallows her up, and the only plants that are left are the cypress trees, small and stunted and shivering in the wind under a bleak night-blue sky. The wind through their branches sounds like weeping.
And Amelia begins to run again.