Day Ten!

Day Ten!

The Advent of Fear, Part Two. By Mark B. Oliver.

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Day Six!

'It's okay, Beth, everyone's asleep.' The Doctor reached for a book and pulled it from the shelf, 'Bleak House,' he proclaimed, 'One of Charlie's best.' He went to return it to the shelf but some powerful force tore it from him. It flew from his hand, hitting the curtains at the far end of the room. Beth's eyes widened as she saw that dozens of books were moving of their own accord. With no warning a book hurtled towards her, narrowly missing her head. Then another whistled towards the Doctor and another and another. He burst into action, sprinting across the room, vaulting over a chair and sweeping Beth up towards the door.

Beth reached for the handle but it wouldn't turn. 'I can't open it!' she cried as the books flew towards them; Beth, painfully aware that they were striking the Doctor, who was shielding her from their vicious assault. The sonic screwdriver whistled as the Doctor directed it towards the handle, but still it wouldn't budge. 'He won't be able to withstand this for long,' Beth realised desperately.

Suddenly she ducked under the Doctor's arm and weaved her way across the room, dodging the heavy books tearing through the air. 'This way!' she yelled, as she felt underneath one of the shelves. Her anxious fingers pressed a concealed indentation. 'Got it!' A section of wall swung open and Beth and the Doctor fell through the opening to escape the barrage, the door slamming shut behind them. Breathing heavily Beth leaned against the wall to catch her breath as the Doctor ran his fingers through his hair.

'What did I tell you? Me and libraries. Every time! But Beth!' The Doctor clasped her by the shoulders. 'That was brilliant!' he exclaimed brightly. 'And looks like someone wants to stop us finding the other calendar...'

They were stood in a brick passageway.

'This leads to the living room,' Beth panted. 'My grandfather showed me years ago. It's amazing what you remember in a crisis.' At the far end of the passage Beth found the right spot on the brickwork and the door slid open, flooding the passageway with bright light. The unexpected glare momentarily blinded them both, but their eyes quickly adjusted as they made their way into the room. The curtains were open and on the bright, white, snow covered lawn Beth could see the strange blue box she had noticed earlier. There was something indefinably reassuring about it.

But now she was distracted by a more immediate presence. A stranger stood by the sideboard, his back to Beth and the Doctor as he examined something on its surface. He half-turned and Beth instinctively took a step back. He was pale, tall and very thin, smartly dressed in a dark, dour suit with a tiny white carnation in his buttonhole.

Beth turned off the torch and put it down on one of the side tables. The Doctor was looking at the clock over the mantle. 'It's 9.10 already,' he announced. The thin man moved towards a chair, picking up a newspaper from the sideboard as he went. Beth could see his small, dark beady eyes, horn rimmed spectacles and thin moustache. He sat down in a deep red gentleman's chair.

The Doctor moved towards to the sideboard and Beth saw what he was looking at. It was the advent calendar, brighter, newer than hers but undoubtedly the same. The Doctor fished her calendar from his pocket and put it beside the other.

'I wonder when he had the chance to slip it in there?' thought Beth. A crackling noise came from both frames and a blue light arced between them, like tiny bolts of lightening.

'Now, that's interesting...' murmured the Doctor, 'And shouldn't be happening.' He reached for the frame before snatching back his hand as a bolt of light struck it. 'Yep, well, should've realised that would hurt.' The Doctor took a step back. 'It's part organic,' he mused, 'That's the only explanation.'

'Organic? But it's made of metal.'

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