April 05, 2011

Enchanted Garden Chapter Nine

Newt woke in the morning to a tapping sound on her bedroom door. She opened her eyes and suddenly sat bolt upright in the bed. She wasn’t in her bedroom at home! Memory came flooding back to her, and with a rush of warmth to her face, she recalled the handsome Doctor, whose space ship they were now staying in for a little bit.

The knock came again to the door, and she leaped to her feet. She had slept last night in just the white shirt and knickers of her Marie Antoinette costume, and had left the other parts of her costume draped neatly across a chair in her borrowed bedroom, because she couldn’t find a place to hang them.

She hastily grabbed the dress, and was about to pull it over her head, when the knock sounded a third time, and the Doctor’s voice came through the door, just a bit muffled.

“Newt? Are you awake yet?”

“I’m awake, Doctor,” she called out, “but hang on a second, because I’m not dressed yet!”

The door opened just a crack. Not far enough for the Doctor to see through, but just wide enough to be heard through.

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about,” he said, “I didn’t think you would want to go hiking in the woods with our pirate women dressed as a fugitive from the French royal court.”

Newt laughed, threw the dress back on the chair, and pulled the blanket from her bed and wrapped it around her. “Come on in, Doctor,” she called, and the door opened just a bit wider, and his head popped through the opening, reminding her of the jack in the box toy that belonged to the children she often baby sat.

“Ah!” the Doctor said, as he came the rest of the way into the room. “There you are! I’ve got a well stocked wardrobe, and there should be something in there that will fit you, and will be easier to hike in than what you were wearing yesterday. Come on!”

He set off down the hall, with Newt trailing in his wake.

“So where are you from?” the Doctor asked as they set off down the corridor.

“Um” Newt started, as she thought of Knit Solo’s comments yesterday about every culture calling their planet ‘Earth’. “Well, we call it Earth, but I suppose that’s no help, is it?”

The Doctor laughed. “Not much, but I also can see that you’re human, and speaking what sounds like American English, and the TARDIS isn’t having to translate for me, so I’ve a pretty good idea of which Earth you’re from.” He grinned over his shoulder at her, and then slackened his pace a little to allow her to catch up with him. “So, what part of Earth are you from, and more importantly, when do you need to get back?” He grinned again, and his deep dimples made Newt’s knees melt. Really, she couldn’t keep doing this to her self every time the Doctor showed her any sign of friendship.

“So where in the States are you from?” The Doctor prodded.

Newt laughed. “I live in the tiny little town of Belly Button, Arizona, which is a wide spot in the road between Snowflake and Taylor. In fact, Belly Button isn’t even a town any more; it’s been swallowed up by its bigger neighbors. Mind you, when I say ‘bigger’, the neighboring towns are only bigger by comparison; they both still qualify as very small towns when compared to places like Phoenix or Tucson.

“As far as when, it was Halloween, October thirty first, two thousand and eight, and it was about nine in the morning, when the witch, I mean, when Old Mrs. M, sent us off to this place. Is it actually named Purvis Major?”

The Doctor nodded. “It is,” he said, “and you give very good directions for a young lady of your age.”

Newt felt the sudden heat in her face, and knew she was blushing.

The Doctor laughed. “And you blush very prettily, too,”

Newt’s face grew warmer, and she hoped they were not too far from the promised wardrobe. They had already come down so many corridors and made so many turns that she knew she would never be able to find her way back by herself.

“And here we are!” The Doctor exclaimed, throwing open a door on their right. “Go on in and find something your size, feel free to use anything you find in there.”

Newt entered the room, and was promptly amazed. She was still getting used to the sheer size of the interior of the TARDIS, but this was totally off the scale for comparisons. It consisted of one room, containing at least two floors, and racks and racks of clothing. As far as she could tell, they were not sorted or organized in any particular manner. Adult clothing hung next to children’s sizes, and a very starched Elizabethan neck ruff was draped over a long Medieval gown, which hung right next to ripped black denim pants held together by safety pins, and a long trench coat that would be nearly floor length on the Doctor, and would be wearable in nearly any age since World War One. She sighed. The room was nearly as large as a Macy’s or Sears store. She walked up and down the aisles, looking for something in her size, something that would work well to go for a hike in. The forest parts of the planet Purvis Major didn’t appear that they were very steep, but then, Newt didn’t know what the terrain would do once they left the immediate area of the meadow in which the flying saucer no, the TARDIS, had parked. Newt chastised herself, and told herself to remember the correct name for the ship.

She rounded a corner and saw a beautiful deep purple sleeve sticking out from between a white dress with a purposely tattered hem and a red Elizabethan ball gown. The purple sleeve turned out to belong to a royal purple velvet fitted tunic with long sleeves that were slightly puffy at the top. It also looked like it was about her size. Newt looked around the room, and, fully confident that she was the only person in evidence, pulled off her blanket and her white blouse, and slipped the purple tunic on. It fit perfectly. There were two extensions with clips hanging from the same hanger, one holding a pair of matching pants, and the other a skirt in several layers of poofy, petal shaped panels in various shades of purples and lavenders, which appeared to each be made from nearly translucent fabric, but when sewn double, then layered over one another they managed to hide her limbs with a proper amount of modesty and decorum.

Newt chose the skirt, but brought the pants with her also, in case she might like to wear them later. She hastily gathered up the blanket and the pantaloons and the blouse, or chemise, belonging to her Marie Antoinette costume, and made her way back toward the door where the Doctor had left her.

When she regained the hallway, there was no Doctor in evidence, and she trudged back the way she thought they had come. After a couple of minutes, she had to admit that she was thoroughly lost. Why had the Doctor brought her so deep inside the TARDIS and then just left her there to fend for herself? Didn’t he realize she wouldn’t remember the way back to her room? She chuckled. Obviously he hadn’t realized it, or he would have waited for her.

On the other hand, he did have important business to tend to, such as keeping the universe running, if he hadn’t been making a joke when he had said that was his job. However, somehow, in the private space in the very back of her mind, Newt had a niggling feeling that the Doctor hadn’t been entirely kidding about that very serious matter.

She went through yet another door, expecting to find herself in yet another corridor, but instead, to her very great surprise, found herself back in the main control room. The Doctor was busy staring into a television or computer monitor, and then frantically leaping around the control panel, moving switches and buttons. As she watched, he crawled under the console and pulled a small stick out of his pocket.

This was evidently some kind of tool, because it suddenly lit up with a blue light on one end, and made a whirring sound, and then there was a great deal of sparks flying out from under the console, and the Doctor backed out coughing, followed by a great billow of smoke.

He was waving the cloud of smoke away from his face when he saw Newt standing in the doorway watching him.

“Be right with you, Nyssa,” the Doctor said, and then he froze. “Nyssa?” He shook his head. “It can’t be Nyssa.”

“It’s Newt, Doctor,” she said.

Just then there was a fairly good sized explosion from under the control console, complete with a lot of smoke and several spare parts flying across the room.

Flames erupted from the control panel, and Newt hurried forward with her blanket to try and put out the blaze. A deep bell sound came from no where, and suddenly there was a flash of light and a crack of thunder, and it began raining in the control room of the TARDIS.

We dare you to create weather inside a character’s house for one chapter. Perhaps a tornado in their living room?

Between the blanket and the rain, it didn’t take very long to get the fire out, but in the meantime, Newt and the Doctor were both soaked clear through to the skin. When the fire was out, the rain eased off, but not without another rumble of thunder dying off into the distance.

Newt and the Doctor looked at each other.

The Doctor’s hair was plastered to his skull, and water streamed down into his face. His suit was dripping water down into the electronics in the under parts of the TARDIS’ control room, and there was soot smeared across his face.

Newt supposed she looked about as good, which is to say, terrible.

The Doctor reached out with one corner of the dripping blanket, and wiped Newt’s face. She supposed the soot on her face was now either gone or smeared badly.

“Was that the sprinkler system?” she asked. “You would think it could put out the fire without the lightning and thunder”

The Doctor laughed delightedly. “Sprinkler system? No, but that’s very good. You really use your mind, Newt, I like that! No, the TARDIS doesn’t have a sprinkler system, but I think, and I really hope that I’m wrong, but I think I just fried the environmental control systems.

Newt shivered. She suddenly realized that the temperature in the TARDIS control room had been steadily dropping. Without warning, snowflakes began falling, twirling and swirling around the central column as they fell. One of the doors flew open, and a freezing wind shrieked through the room, knocking Newt to the floor. The Doctor grabbed her hand and helped her get up and over to a safety rail. She held on for dear life while he slowly made his way against the wind to the inner door and firmly closed it. The wind ceased, and Newt sighed with relief.

“Go on in to the kitchen, Newt, and get some breakfast,” the Doctor ordered her. “I’ll see what I can do about getting a temporary patch on this problem, and join you there.”

Newt nodded and headed out of the control room and toward the kitchen. She poked her head back into the room. The snow was still falling, and so was the temperature, though the wind had abated. The Doctor’s legs were sticking out from under the control console, and they were the only part of him that was visible.

“Doctor?” Newt asked.

“What?” his voice was muffled as it came from the depths of the TARDIS, but he didn’t sound annoyed.”

“How do I get me and my clothes dry again? Have you got a laundry? And if you did, where would I find it?”

The Doctor chuckled. “In your room, go into the bathroom. I’m sure you noticed it last night?”

“Yes,” Newt said, a little uncertainly. She had seen the bathroom, which seemed to consist of a toilet and shower stall, and nothing else.

“Well,” the Doctor said, “Get into the shower stall, and it’s all automatic.”

“But what should I do about my clothes?” Newt asked, thinking that she would have to put on the Marie Antoinette dress again, because it was the only dry thing she had left.

“The Doctor chuckled again. The laughter, distorted by the circuitous path it had to take to get to her ears, sounded vaguely sinister. “The shower does the laundry, too. You get in to it fully clothed, and come out cleaned, pressed, and ready to go.”

“Oh,” Newt said, trying to get her mind around the concept of this sort of technology. “Cool. Thank you. Do you need anything?”

“No,” the Doctor answered cheerily, “but thank you for thinking to ask me.”