Sweetness and Light

by vegetables [Reviews - 0]

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  • All Ages
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Drama, General, Humor, Mixed, Series

The Doctor still hadn't had much success with her spoon when they came across somewhere that people were still alive. Their village stood in a low bowl of land where the rubble had been cleared away, a clutch of cube-like houses made from hard squares of brown-black sugar. Chris looked at the size of the makeshift town compared to the vastness of the ruined city. Perhaps there were other survivors, and these weren't the only people left– but even then, it was clear how many of those who had lived here were now gone.

Nonetheless, there were still children in the ruins. She saw a young boy in ragged clothes running down the valley towards the town. Looking her way, the boy stopped, and cautiously he walked to the Doctor and Chris's side. Chris would soon realise that everyone in the town was black, but that no one ever noticed that she and the Doctor weren't: it just didn't seem interesting to them, in the way you'd forget the colour of your best friend's eyes. Certainly, the boy treated her as if she was the most unremarkable person on the world.

"Want a transfer, do you?" he said to Chris. "School's full, I'm afraid. I don't care how talented your adult is—" he nodded at the Doctor "—we're not accepting alien pupils at the minute." He leaned in to Chris. "No matter how rich their family are."

"The Doctor's not an adult,” said Chris, noticing the sad look in her friend's eye. "And I'm not an alien. I’m a human, from the planet Earth, and the Doctor's a, uh, something, from—” she trailed off “—somewhere else.”

“Somewhere else?” said the boy, suddenly alert. “Did you come from the caves? Did you get past the monster?”

“No,” frowned Chris. “We’re not here about any monster. We’re here to—”

“What my friend Chris means to say,” said the Doctor, speaking over her, “is that we’re absolutely here about the monster. We’re, uh, studying monsters. At the university. And, as it happens, to pass our course in advanced… monsters, what we really need is to help a planet or two to get rid of whatever it is they've got just monstering around.”

“That’s not what I meant to say at all,” said Chris.

“Our monster won't be like what you're used to,” said the boy in a dark voice. “It's not all tentacles and eyes. It's made—” he gulped “—out of sweets.”

“That doesn't sound scary at all,” said Chris, glancing at the Doctor to agree. But the Doctor’s eyes were elsewhere, and they were hard as she looked at the shattered spires of sugar, the melted ruins of buildings that might have once been liquorice. She was thinking that for the people who lived in a place like this, sweets might just be the scariest things in the world.