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by vegetables [Reviews - 0]

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  • Teen
  • None
  • Action/Adventure, Alternate Universe, Angst, Drama, General, Horror, Humor, Hurt/Comfort, Introspection, Mixed, Series

It wasn’t very interesting, being stuck in an alien’s time machine. Chris knew better than to wander its infinite corridors — she might get lost — or to push any of the buttons on its console– she might cause history to catch fire. Instead, she just lay on her stomach on a carpet, tracing its pattern with a finger to pass the time.

“Oh,” said her mother from the other side of the console. “It’s that book.”

“What is?” said Chris, feeling cold as the damp of the carpet soaked her clothes.

“I’ve been watching this place on the scanner, being nosey. It’s all based on that book; the one which people never stop quoting.”

“We read lots of books,” said Chris as she got up to look as well. “I don’t know which one you mean.”

“You wouldn’t’ve read it, I don’t think. But it’s funny. It’s about a man going into space, when the whole of the Earth is destroyed.”

“Destroyed?” said Chris, feeling slightly sick once again.

“Yes. Everyone’s going about their business, then aliens come along and blow it all up.”

“That doesn’t sound funny at all. It sounds really scary.”

“Oh. Well, I suppose it does a bit, when you put it like that. But everyone was fine in the end. Not in the book; everyone died. But in the real world.”

Chris shook her head.

“It’s like with the nuclear weapons,” she said. “It makes me think of everything being destroyed, but being helpless.”

“But it isn’t something that would happen!” said her mother, who caught herself as she realised where she was. “At least, it didn’t feel that way when I read it. It was a long time before I knew there were really aliens. You weren’t even born back then.”

“That doesn’t help,” said Chris. “It makes it worse.”

“You think things are scarier if they couldn’t happen?” said her mother. She was making the face she did when she thought Chris was being Challenging.

“In a way,” said Chris, when she’d thought about it. “People think it’s fine, if you’re scared of something that could happen. But it’s hard when you’re scared of something and feel it’s too silly to say.”

Her mother looked at her in a funny way, her former expression gone.

“Yes,” she said softly. “God knows that’s true, at that.”

Her mother was keeping something from her, Chris then knew for sure. Something she thought was very stupid, but also too horrifying for a child to know– even a child like her, who had faced down alien skulls.

It was hard to think of how bad that something could be, after what they’d just seen of the Doctor.