April 08, 2011

Enchanted Garden Chapter Ten

Newt hurried down the hall way to her bedroom, and then quickly put her arm load of clothing down. First, she put on the chemise shirt and pantaloons from her Halloween costume, and stepped into the shower stall in the bathroom, closing the door behind her.

Water sprayed from all directions, and she scrubbed at her hair and face until they felt clean. Shortly, she was standing in a warm blast of air, which cut off only when she was totally dry.

She returned to her bedroom and was carefully folding her costume parts when she noticed a latch on the wall that she hadn’t seen before. She pulled it, and a closet rack slid out of an otherwise hidden compartment in the wall. She quickly hung up her costume parts, and then slipped back in to the soaking wet velvet top and flower petal skirt that she had taken from the TARDIS’s huge wardrobe room. Because her shoes had just been cleaned, she set them carefully into the wardrobe, and slid it back in to the wall, then stepped into the shower stall bare footed, and waited.

The shower cycled again, this time cleaning and drying the beautiful velvet clothing that Newt had feared had been ruined by the rain storm. Returning to her bedroom, she reopened the wardrobe, and very much to her amazement, it was full of many different outfits, all apparently in her size.

She changed into the pants of the velvet outfit, which still needed cleaning, and returned to the shower once again.

When that shower was finished, she put the pants away, and finally, took one more shower, wearing nothing but the skin she had been born in. She could see how her hair could be clean, but didn’t think that she could possibly have been cleaned underneath her clothing.

At first, she wasn’t sure this was a good way to do laundry, but on second reflection, she saw that if you came in each evening and washed your clothing and then put it away, you would never have a lot of laundry to do.

Newt changed back into the velvet top and the flower petal skirt. She recalled that when the Doctor had seen her through the smoke, he had called her Nyssa. She wondered who Nyssa might have been, and why she had left her clothing in the TARDIS when she left.

From her bedroom, it was only a short path through to the kitchen, and when Newt arrived, she discovered everyone else there already, snacking on leftovers from last night’s turkey dinner with all the Thanksgiving trimmings.

“Where have you been?” Captain Hollerin’ Holly demanded as Newt entered the room. “We’ve been waiting for you for at least half an hour, if not longer!”

At the same time, Harold asked, “Where did you get those clothes?”

Dusty looked up and blinked several times in succession, but said nothing.

Newt ignored Hollerin’ Holly, though she could see how she might have got her name, but she smiled at Harold as she helped herself to some of the leftovers, piling turkey, potatoes, gravy, and stuffing on to her plate. She sat down at the table, and began to eat.

“The Doctor showed me where to find some different clothes,” she said, “because he said he figured that I wouldn’t want to be traipsing around in the forest looking like a refugee from the French royal court.”

“I see his point,” Harold said, “and agree with it, and I only wish he had shown me where to get some regular clothing too, since I can’t move particularly comfortably in this outfit either.”

“I can show you,” said Newt, “I think. I’ll do my best, any way, to remember the way to the wardrobe room.”

Dusty leaned over and said, “Why did you pick out that particular outfit?”

Newt shrugged. “It was the first thing that I found that would fit me, that wasn’t some totally historical piece. Why do you ask?”

Dusty smiled. “I asked because it looks exactly like a dress that was used as a costume in the television series. It was worn by a character named Nyssa.”

“The Doctor called me that,” Newt said, “when he was trying to see me through all the smoke.”

“All what smoke?” Harold and Dusty asked in unison.

“Well, when I went in to the control room, after I had found the clothing, the Doctor was in there working on something under the control panel. Then there was a big puff of smoke, and he crawled out from under there, and then something in the console kind of, well, exploded, and–”

“Exploded!” Dusty exclaimed, his face a classic mask of shock, concern, and fear.

“Yeah, like I said, it exploded,” Newt said, “and there was a lot of smoke, and even some flames, and I tried to help the Doctor use my blanket to put the fire out, but then it started raining-“

“Sprinkler System” Harold said knowingly.

That’s what I thought too,” said Newt, “but the Doctor said that the TARDIS doesn’t have a sprinkler system, plus there was lightning and thunder going at the same time, right there in the control room, and then finally the storm quit, but the fire was out by then, so that was good, but then the temperature dropped and it started snowing-“

“It was snowing?” asked Dusty.

“It was snowing indoors?” asked Harold

“She’s obviously lying,” said Hollerin’ Holly, “just to get some attention.”

“Yeah, you would know all about lying, wouldn’t you, Holly?” asked Knit Solo, with a sly grin.

Holly sniffed loudly and grumped out of the room.

“Yes, it was snowing, indoors, in the control room,” said Newt, “and then one of the corridor doors flew open, and this terrible wind started blowing, and it blew me over, and it was all the Doctor could do to get the wind to quit, and when I left him it was still cold in there, and icicles were starting to grow on that tall column in the middle and on all the hand rails, but the Doctor was buried up to his waist in control console, and he’s trying to fix it.”

“Does he know what’s wrong with the TARDIS?” Knit Solo asked with a concerned look on her face.

“He said he thought it might be that the environmental controls were fried, but that he hoped that that wasn’t the cause of the problem,” answered Newt.

“Environmental controls, huh?” said Dusty. “Well, that makes sense, because it’s the interior environment that seems to have gone crazy.”

“The Doctor said he would try to get an emergency temporary patch in place and then come in for breakfast,” said Newt.

“And here he is,” said the Doctor from the doorway. “I see that you’ve been catching everyone up on the events of the morning Newt?” the Doctor asked her by way of greeting, and she smiled shyly and nodded.

“I hope it’s all right that I told them what happened,” she said.

“Not a problem,” said the Doctor, “they’re passengers here also, so they might as well know the situation that we’re in. Unfortunately, it will take me several days to effect permanent repairs to the TARDIS, and I don’t dare move her until they have all been made, or I risk fusing several other, much more important circuits. So, we’ll be staying here on Purvis Major for a few more days, which will give you more time to find that letterbox of yours.”

The Doctor then turned his attention to his breakfast, and made short work of the food he had piled on his plate before he hurried off in the direction of the control room again.

Newt showed Dusty and Harold where the main wardrobe room was, and they both picked out several outfits. Then she explained how the showers worked, and they hurried off to their rooms to clean the Halloween costumes they had worn yesterday, as well as their own bodies.

Newt stopped in her room to get her new book and newly carved rubber stamp and went back to the kitchen in search of the lady pirates. There was only a note on the table.

It said, “Gone outside to wait for you. It’s too cold in here, and it keeps snowing on us.”

Newt looked around, and noticed the icicles starting in one corner of the kitchen.

She hurried down the hall toward the control room, and reached that door at the same time as Harold and Dusty.

“Every one has gone outside to wait for us,” she said.

“Hey,” Harold said, “I have a magic closet in my room, it filled up with other stuff my size after I closed it.”

“Mine did that too,” said Newt. “I wonder if it had to wait for me to close it to know what size clothing to move.”

“That’s a good question,” said Dusty, “I’ll have to ask the Doctor about that when I get a chance and he’s not so busy repairing the TARDIS.”

The three of them, Harold, Newt, and Dusty, all moved into the control room together, and the boys headed straight for the outside doors.

Newt stopped off near the control console.

“Doctor?” she asked.

“Yes? What’s it?” The reply came, even more muffled now. Newt noticed that only his legs from the knees down stuck out, and she thought it reminded her of that song where you’re being slowly eaten by a boa constrictor, one body part at a time.

“What’s it?” the Doctor asked again.

Newt kneeled down so she could direct her voice into the hole where the Doctor was laying, and answered. “I just thought you might like to know that it’s snowing off and on, and there are icicles in the corner of the kitchen now.

“Thank you,” said the Doctor, a worried tone creeping in to his voice. “It’s spreading, and I’m not quite sure what to do, with it being winter in the TARDIS. It’s not supposed to be winter, in any event, as it’s summer now on Gallifrey.”

“See you later,” Newt said, “we’re all going out to look for that letterbox thing.”

“Have fun!” the Doctor replied, and then Newt got up from the freezing cold metal of the floor and walked slowly toward the exterior doors of the TARDIS.

Suddenly she turned and hurried back. “Look,” she called into the hole that was eating the Doctor. “Is there any thing that I can do to help you? Even if it’s just to hand you tools or hold a light for you or any thing?”

“No, Newt, there isn’t a single thing that you can do that would help me, but I do thank you again for asking again. You’re really a very thoughtful young lady, and I really do appreciate that very much.”

“Well, I guess I’ll see you later, then,” she said, and then she once again, got up from her freezing knees and headed to the door way, to join the others.