The Eyes of Insanity

by time_lady [Reviews - 0]

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  • Teen
  • Explicit Violence
  • Action/Adventure, Angst, Character Study, Drama, General, Horror, Hurt/Comfort, Introspection, Standalone

Author's Notes:
Long time no see, eh? This will be a revised, expanded version of the fic, "The Sight of Insanity," which was never finished. I'm re-submitting the story instead of continuing the old version as I wanted to get a bit of a fresh start on it, change some details, etc. If this looks familiar, it's because this is the introduction and first chapter of "The Sight of Insanity" combined, with minor details changed.

Dr. Andrew Bell exited his house, physician's bag in hand. It was freezing outside, and he hoped he would be able to stay outside for as short a time as possible. After locking the door (for he had not yet enough money to hire any servants) he made his way across the snow-blanketed road to Mr. Potter's house, taking care not to get entangled once again in the wheels of any passing horse-drawn carriages. He had already lost part of his right leg to the surgeon's knife a year ago, and had no wish to endure that agony again. To this day there were still times when he startled at the realization that he had a peg leg in its place.

Upon arrival at Mr. Potter's house, he promptly knocked on the door. Four knocks, then surely his patient would come. Dr. Bell knew he was an old man, so he stood there waiting, giving him some time.

Fifteen minutes had passed, but the old man hadn't answered. By now the poor doctor was shivering violently from the cold. "Mr. Potter?" he called. "Are you in?" He tried the door and found it was unlocked. Frowning, he pushed it gently open and stepped cautiously inside.

Oh, dear Lord! What he saw next was so horrible! It was-- it was--


Andrew woke in bed with a cry. Breathing hard, he slowly sat up, his heart pounding. The room was completely dark and silent; there was no sign of the horrendous spectacle he had seen. It had all been a dream. He put his head in his hands and moaned, "Please, someone, help me." He could never really recall what had happened next in the house, only those hideous, outstanding eyes.

Mr. Potter's.


"Right, outside is Scotland, the planet, in 18,430 AD!" said the Doctor. The TARDIS had just jerked to a halt following a long, especially bumpy ride through the time vortex. "Mind you, it's really cold this time of year, being in the middle of the fifth of eight winters, so you might want to bring--"

"A coat?" said Amy, coming into the console room from the direction of the wardrobe. "I'm one step ahead of you." She walked up to the Time Lord and, taking his arm in her hands, asked, "So why's it called Scotland, anyway? I mean, other than the obvious reason we settled here, of course."

"Oh, well, actually, it's just that. I thought you might like to see how your people live in the far future. I think they're separate from the rest of the UK now, and they've gone back to farming, or something. The dolbear fur trade, maybe - that's a kind of half-dolphin, half-bear creature. Seems someone had a bit of nostalgia for the rural way of life. Shall we go then?"

"Certainly, Raggedy Man," teased Amy. The Doctor linked his arm with his companion's, and off they went.

Outside the TARDIS, the time travelers' eyes were met with a view of a cold, white landscape - a field covered in snow whiter than vanilla ice cream. A few miles away to their left was a river, frozen over with thick layers of ice. In the distance lay a small cluster of what appeared to be brown boxes, and near that was a church. Everything was quiet, as though the snow and gray sky had together utterly silenced the sounds of life.

"It's beautiful," Amy whispered, not wanting to break the peaceful tension with her voice. "Just like back home."

"Mm," agreed the Doctor. "I wonder where we are, though, the Highlands or the Lowlands?"

"Look, there's a village over there," Amy said, pointing to the apparent box cluster. "Maybe we can ask someone there."

"Very good eye, Pond!" the Doctor said. And off they went.

***


Andrew refused to stay in that house a moment longer, not while the fearful sight of those eyeballs lingered in his mind's eye. Against the pleas of his servants not to go out lest he wished to freeze to death, he put on his lightest coat, then indifferently left the house, for he cared not if he died.

The cold winter air felt so invigorating as he stood there on his doorstep. It stung his face and penetrated through his clothes right to his skin, numbing him and yet making him feel so alive. For the first time in a whole year (and had it really been a year since the incident?) he had some respite from the dread of sleep that had clung to him in his waking moments ever since that life-changing day.

He exhaled. Watching his breath evaporate, he dared to smile.

He decided he would take a walk.

Then it happened.

***


Amy and the Doctor finally arrived at the village after a three-mile walk, but there was no one in sight.

"Where is...everybody?" panted Amy.

"They're probably in their homes, hiding from the cold," the Doctor answered. "Either that, or a monster or something took them away. But I bet it's more of a wanting-to-keep-warm sort of thing."

It turned out he was wrong. About them hiding away from the cold, at least. The village was empty, like the vast field they had landed in, save for something curled up in a ball on a doorstep. Aside from that, the whole place looked dead. The unlit windows of houses gaped at them, and there were no animals or any other signs of life as far as they could see - but wait, something curled into a ball?

"Look at that thing over there on the doorstep!" the Time Lord and his companion said simultaneously. The two ran to it, their feet going clump-clump in the snow.

Upon reaching the mysterious thing, the time travelers found it was a man, lying on the doorstep and hugging his knees, staring off into the distance. He looked a little older than Amy, maybe in his mid- to late twenties. His skin was very pale, and he had dark curly hair and a neatly-trimmed mustache. He was dressed in a navy blue frock coat, a dark purple waistcoat, a silken ascot tie, and brown trousers - so he was a gentleman, then. He was probably a leader in whatever part of Scotland-the-planet they were on. But life had obviously not been completely kind to him, for his lower right leg was instead replaced by a wooden one. (Funny, that he would have a wooden peg leg instead of say, an ultra high-tech one that one would expect would be made in the future.) A silk top hat lay near his head.

"Hello?" said the Doctor, bending down and gently shaking the man. "I'm the Doctor, and this is Amy. Are you all right?"

"Oh Lord, I was just trying to forget those eyes," murmured the man in a barely audible whisper; Amy thought she could hear a Glasgow accent. He didn't seem to notice the two people standing right by him.

"Hey," Amy said, kneeling down in the snow. "Whatever you saw, we can help."

At this, the man appeared to notice them. Sitting up, he asked, "How can you help me? Nobody is able to understand my plight." Shivering, he picked up the hat, placed it on his lap and turned to Amy. His accent thickening, he said, "Ah'm no meanin tae be ill-mannered, ma'am, but d'you come fae the Hielans?" A shade of realization passed over his face when Amy looked confused. "Oh--I'm sorry, ma'am. I suppose you did not understand me. I meant to ask, and I don't mean to be rude, but do you happen to come from the Highlands?"

"Yes," Amy replied, smiling. In an awkward way, he was quite charming.