Long ago and far away…
There once was a world where life was young and free of the draining legacy of Time. A world full of creatures that knew not that they should not be: wondrous creatures of light, of magic and furry tails and golden feathers. They knew not of hunger, of pain and strife; Life was still in its infancy and had yet to learn its cruel trade of Fate and Irony. Griffons and helioscythes soared through the air, trechaworms and thoramen galloped across the plains that lined the amethyst-tinted seas.
He took me there once, you know.
Thought you’d heard all my stories, hadn’t you?
But, as the saying goes, I’m full of surprises.
It was Christmas-time when we landed. Not that it has any meaning on a world so young; not, either, that I’m particularly into pagan holidays, on any planet. But outside the TARDIS doors, the snow was so theatrically fluffy and white nestled beneath such a startlingly crisp winter sky that I decided to go all festive, if only to keep the Doctor happy. He insisted on flitting around the snowdrifts that dotted the hillside, a jaunty floppy Santa hat on his head.
My contribution was a thermos in the shape of an egg filled of brandy, that I fondly dubbed ‘Nog.’
After encountering the first of the world’s impossible life forms, Nog and I formed a lasting, if not particularly healthy relationship.
I’ve seen much, dear diary. Death, disease, treachery, exploding interstellar mollusks, death again, and drama, drama, drama. Lots of drama.
Some sex. Not a lot. Mostly overrated, or at least anti-climatic. But some.
However, a six-legged lava moth with the power to teleport and breathe fire… give me a friggin’ break.
Pressed for scientific explanations, the Doctor got all vague and finger-wavy, his eratz-Scottish accent thickening exponentially as he muttered something about arriving to tweak the world’s magnetic field back into position and stalked off, obviously intending to re-align the planet’s inner core with the little yellow Tonka truck that was clutched under his elbow.
I’m not falling for such ludicrous antics anymore. No more of this ‘I’m saving the solar system with an oddly bent spoon’ business. Not any more… Fool me once, shame on me… fool me thirty times…More than likely, he’s got a harmonic field compressor in his back pocket. Or even more than likely, he’s just taking a nap under a tree somewhere. Possibly waking up briefly to plow little snow paths for his yellow toy.
I refuse to be impressed.
The problem with being his own personal, portable audience, is one gets tired of clapping so often.
Either way, none of this makes the thirty-foot undulating beaver cuddled beside the TARDIS any less unreal.
I took Nog for a long walk.
The hills splayed open, smoothing out onto broad valley floors. The white blanket was peppered with exotic vegetation of greens, oranges and purples that cast surreal shaded shadows onto the snow. Bird-like things and small furry creatures warbled and scampered with Disney-esque agility, merry and perky.
There was no fighting, no fear, no flight or fight. No feasting. Lots of scampering. Some levitating, but mainly scampering.
It was all terribly cute. And completely improbable.
I squatted on a slightly damp boulder, feeling the moisture soak into my trouser bottom. I wasn’t cold, although my breath made subtle and curling wisps in the winter air. There was no breeze.
It was perfect.
The Doctor had answered one question. Out of all of my ‘how can this be, what’s going on, who made this?’
He simply said ‘God’. And not the hovering, yellow ball, smiley face kind.
Somewhere, somewhen in the vast universe, somehow, something had evolved that to all intents and purposes had all the power of, well, God. And made the little impossible world and left, leaving the Doctor to do the fine-tuning and occasional maintenance.
Which was particularly irritating. I was so hoping it would be a woman.
Not to mention, in theory, it made God a bit of a slum lord. The Doctor was not the most reliable of supers at the best of times.
So I sat, on a rock, under a flawless sky and awed. And sipped. But lots of awe-ing too.
I was a bit too tipsy to delve into any meaningful theological mind-spirals. Which was fine.
I was not previously aware of how exhausting awe can be. I haven’t done it much of lately.
Before he left, the Doctor had said it was his little Christmas present to me.
Eventually I went back to the TARDIS and curled up in bed under a thick comforter.
I’m not sure what I feel now. Do I feel better that something, somewhere actually created a world in his (or more obviously, her) image? And then left? Or that something so godly as a god could evolve from something out there into, God?
Or was the Doctor simply being sneaky and the world was really a hologram or computer program…
I’ve decided, now, that it doesn’t matter.
I’ve been prevaricating. As usual.
I’ve left him, dear diary. I’ve left Jason. Left my husband. My marriage. The promise of unborn children. Left him to die in another dimension. Stranded, to die alone in another universe.
I’ve spent so long not writing this, about leaving him… because then it would make it real.
And the Doctor, in his odd and unpredictable way is trying to make me feel better, by showing me a world where everything went the way the stories all say they should be. A world of happy endings.
It doesn’t help, not really. It doesn’t help bring Jason back or help me fix all the horrible things that went so wrong, so badly, so fast.
And yet, somehow, snuggled under a down blanket while outside dragons danced and baby fawns chased centaurs and bogaratta pups, I do feel better. Just a little bit, mind.
And the fact that someone cares enough about me to take me through the universe to show me something like this...
Well, that’s really magic, then. In its way.
Before dozing off, I heard the Doctor wonder back into the console room and pilot the ship off to somewhere new, somewhere dangerous.