Doctor When’s Desert Danger and Hurray for Springtime

More Adventurous Time Adventures, for your enjoyment/eye-brow raising/confusion/scorn:

*

This time Doctor When opened the Time Machine door without hesitation upon arrival, and a blast of hot air enveloped them. They stepped out into blinding sunlight, and for a moment they were so dazzled they could only see white. Then it became clear that they stood amongst giant white sand dunes for as far as the eye could see.

‘This is rather convenient,’ the Chrononaut remarked. ‘We’ll be able to get dry.’

And indeed, their clothes began to warm immediately, and soon they were as dry as the few sun-bleached bones that were scattered in the sand. And after a few moments more they all wished they were underwater with the vicious merpeople again. It was far too hot, and they were all incredibly thirsty

‘What’s that?’ cried Tortellini, pointing to a patch of dull green suddenly visible before them, starkly contrasting against all the pale sand.

‘An oasis?’ Wilburforce wondered, having heard of such things on the rare occasions that he enjoyed a night in by the fire with tea and a good book, rather than his usual violence and mayhem.

Their steps quickened at the thought of water, but as they approached, they first noticed that the scattered bones were becoming less scattered and more concentrated in number.

‘When exactly are we?’ Cannelloni had the presence of mind to ask, knives in hand.

‘One thousand two hundred and forty-eight years, three months, two days, and eighteen minutes ago,’ the Doctor replied.

‘And that, hiding in the shrub? That’s what exactly?’

‘That would be a polar bear.’

‘I assume that’s our anomaly, then?’

‘You would be assuming correctly.’

The polar bear was not happy. He was far too hot, most of all, but also very confused. This was not something the polar bear could easily handle, and it made him very angry. So, whenever something came his way, the odd herd of camel-like beasts or such, he released that anger in the only way he knew how. Killing things.

So when the ragged band of humans arrived near his oasis, that instinct rose furiously within him and he immediately leapt forward. The chase made him even hotter, but he knew that quenching his thirst on their blood would make the discomfort worth it. They were slow, these two-legged beasts, but they had a head-start. It would not take long for him to catch up, he realised as he thundered through the sand towards them.

It was unclear to the polar bear why these creatures were rushing towards a tall, boxy object. It had an odd smell, but it was not food nor water. One had opened a section of it, revealing an opening like the mouth of a cave. He remembered caves, those dark and cool places to sleep. But he was nearly upon them, now, and gnashed his teeth in anticipation. One was within reach, and he reached out a paw to swipe.

But then it moved, too quickly, and the polar bear could not stop his headlong flight. Sand scattered as he was flung from his own inertia into the mouth of the strange cave and he hit the back wall with a thud.

‘Quickly now!’ Doctor When closed the door of the Time Machine.

‘But, Doctor!’ Tortellini exclaimed. ‘The polar bear is inside!’

‘Exactly.’ She opened a side-panel which revealed a miniature version of the dials and switches within. Buttons were pressed, levers were thrown, and the Time Machine seemed to implode on itself into nothing.

The Spaghetti Sisters clung to each other, horrified. Wilburforce stood sweating from the exertion beside them, staring in shock at the place the Time Machine had vacated.

‘We’re going to perish here!’ Cannelloni cried, turning on the Doctor. ‘What have you done?’

Doctor When was silent and merely shook her head.

‘Have you gone mad?’ she persisted.

‘I think you’ll find there was no “going” involved,’ the Doctor replied cheerily, checking her pocket watch. It was a miracle it still worked, after all their adventures.

‘But the Time Machine is gone!’

‘It is.’

‘So how will we get back?’

‘The Time Machine, of course.’

‘But it’s gone!’ the two sisters shouted in unison.

At that very moment, there was an expulsion of air. The Time Machine stood where it had been some moments before, as if it had never left.

‘And now it’s back,’ Doctor When remarked. ‘Shall we?’

The others recoiled in fear as she opened the door, but the interior was polar bear-less.

‘I merely instructed the Time Machine to take the poor creature back to a habitat to which it would be more suited. There was no reason to let the beast suffer needlessly,’ she explained, waving them inside.

‘You could’ve mentioned that before,’ Wilburforce grumbled, his civility momentarily shaken by yet another near-death experience.

‘Many apologies,’ the Chrononaut solemnly said, ‘I suppose I thought it obvious. Onward?’

*

I’m expecting there to be only one or two more installments left to write, depending on how verbose the ending gets.  Then I can put TATAoDW aside as a completed project!  How fabulous.

In other news, I’m very excited that spring is becoming more and more imminent here, as noted by the above header picture taken yesterday.  I love seeing flowers in February!  Back in Boston, we were lucky to see any signs of spring before late March or April most of the time.  And then you have one or two glorious weeks of spring before it all becomes far too hot, and then you have summer for the other half of the year.

Ah, I love Scotland.  Much more sensible.

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