Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Nut and Knut

He sneezes at the itch of green grass edging its way under his coat like the rough of an offending tag.

“How long have we known each other?” His murmur appeals to the blue sky above before coming back down and settling into the countryside of the hill for a short nap of sorts, along with the rest of him.

He looks at that above, as always, finding golden sparks of lady’s eyes instead of stars, and blue whorls of fingers that brush his cheek instead of empty space that doesn’t. As always.

As always.

The sky says nothing.

As always.

His fingers touch his bowtie, out of nervous habit. He drops them down again. His back is in the grass. The blue-gold sky is above him. He is safe. They are safe, together and here. All is well.

“You say that I’ve always had you. That you stole me. But how long,” he breathes the words like candles whispering; they flake away from him and move up to Her in little flights of ash, burning holes in the air.

“…how long have You had Me? It had to be torture, awaiting myself-with-the-wander-of-an-idiot for all those sullen years. What did you do for fun, way up on that hill, before I found you, and you decided to take me away from all that?”

Perhaps in answer, something falls on his head, tapping him square on the brow and sticking on his lip like a dry, dusty raindrop.



He picks at his mouth, swirling his tongue around himself; the thing is warm from the sun, and slightly hairy. His tongue slips closer to the object. But it won’t…quite…


His tongue slobbers away from the object, and it jumps down his throat.

He opens his mouth to the sky, then bends over the grass, trying to cough with his whole body because the ordeal is making his throat rasp with such a very large itch he may threaten it with tea later.

But then, two more of the little things fall down, riding the straight and narrow all the way to his belly, just like that first enterprising traveller.

“Koff. They feel like… they feel like seeds,” he chokes, picking up one of the things from the ground; evidently there was a rain of them while he was busy.

The one on his finger sticks, like the others, and, his throat free of such clinginess for the moment, he looks down at the occupation of his fingertip, his wide, delighted eyes casting a quasi-shade for the little thing.

Small, and hard, and covered in little stickers, as though a porcupine used curling hair gel, then made love with a dried up grey watermelon and had several thousand children; one of whom was in his hand, being stared at by his drippy, red-rimmed, irritated eyes and somewhat itchy chin.

He scratches his nose, then bows to the overhead blue with all the gold bits in.

“Well, it turns out that everything is the Now, after all… but yeah, carrot seeds! Three does sound about porridge, Old Girl. But you’re right,” he adds blithely, slapping his thigh as his trousers begin to grow tight and the joints of his legs wither up into hard ball-knobs,”…I should go and check on the kids, shouldn’t I? Well I’m doing it, I’m doing it.”

Black wings bunch through his coat in a respectable flurry; the tweed disappears.

And his hair grows into a straw hat.

And his body is a bird’s.

He lifts his big crow leg, careful not to get his long beak caught under his knee.

“With my nice stout boots, I ought to make his dream in no time flat, my girl!” he caws, out a giant silvery crow-mouth with seed-temptingly large nasal cavities.

Then he is tromping away, across the grass.

In the distance, suddenly there is a flowing field of gold; his destination.

He heads himself in that direction, going there, in the grand grand leaping steps of a very big boy.

Or a giant talking crow with a bowtie.

Wearing boots, and a good straw hat.

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