Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Don't PI for Me, Argent Tina


It is the Dream again.

Flaminarixodaparcaftion settles further into her fluffy chair, crossways from her father… whose hands are in the dishes.

With a pale blue apron buckling his hips, he and his work and his bum bob in front of her; he is humming a showtune.

On the outside.

Today, they were at dinner in a garden, lit with the light of dark ivy and curtains of scrubby moss instead of drippy candles and scruffy squares of plaid.

As he turned round from the counter, he had two things in his hands; a plump sour apple, candy green. A luscious deep red cherry.

The lively cherry rested in his right hand, lolling stem and bulb like a popped jack in the box. The goodly apple sat his left however, stalwart, waiting, a soldier at attention.

He hadn’t the apron on, then.

Beneath snowy straight hair longer than she is, her eyelids flutter, remembering; little diamonds in the hand, beneath a good light. Her eyes open on her own name, written in an unfamiliar hand on a little paper card. His fingers are placed precariously on a corner and a half, holding it in her face. His other hand is holding hers, guiding her to a table beset by just the right amount of moonlight.

“You look pretty! Did you do your hair?” he murmurs from behind the safety of the card.

She tries to look around the card, peering and peeking her face towards the edge of the micro-universe of her, him, his fingers and a folded piece of thin cardboard.

He follows her gaze, hiding everything as he moves the card to avoid her casual glances at the Outside.

Long, strong, square fingers calculating, qualifying; suddenly her self, bare teenage shoulders, blind eyes, bodice of white and lavender, tight surrealist buns, white dadaist legs and all, is maneuvered into the chair in which she now sits.

A large and comfy chair. No particular color.

She looks down.

The table is in a Mission style, as in wood, short, simple and thick.

The dinner, though.

That is minimalist.

A bowl. A spoon. Both set demurely on a place setting.

The bowl is filled with…

Her lavender eyes widen.

There is a soaked and purple bowtie in the soup.

A lone white noodle, long and nudged by a shallow broth, its liquid softly lapping.

A smudge of flour dents the concretion of the bowl, a little to the left, up, near the ranging circular edge.

Narrow gold lines trumpet around the bowl’s top in little races.

The bowtie, however…

She picks up her spoon.

The spoon is thick in her fingers, smooth and stained… the grains of dark bubinga.

Abrupt, a memory squirts through her, like the piss of a tense lemon.

She laughs. But then she recalls it.

Her naked ten years, shuffling into the garden. Ten year old bottoms of toes, touching grass and leaves and the soft meditation of moss underfoot. Ten year old eyes, glaring and staring, sharp with ribbons of red from too much looking at everything.

A hand comes from behind her; the long square fingers hold a little crystal bottle with a golden dropper.

Her young lavender spies absorb another idea, though; she wanders toward a small pool, hovering at the median of a crumbling, grainy wall.

A pool in midair, she thinks, and dips her ten year old head into it.

A little too cold, and pale and blue; but at least her eyes are round again, instead of sharp and dry and red and paper-wrinkled.

Her daddy laughs, the sparking letters of his wordlessness full with happy-sounds.

Now she is at the table again, grown. Sitting quietly. Wondering. Her hands picking carefully at the pretty pale violets daddy must have weaved to make her dress.

He is in the apron again, humming as he sticks his bunny paws into the bubbly grey dishwater.

His tail wiggles at her merrily, a puffy white spring of confused cloud.

There is something she wants to know, she realizes.

“Daddy, where did you get the dish soap?”

Then his brown fur paws raise up from the dishpan, holding something.

A round stick of pearl… a handle… a silvery moon in the center.

A mirror.

His rabbit shoulders stiff like a struck tree branch. His body straightens slowly.

His bristling fur blows apart from itself as he clings with weak bunny elbows to the sink.

“Not yet,” his little pink nosed face suddenly charges; the mirror dances in his paws, this way, that way, up into the air, a little silver vulture, out for pennies.

His desperate, slippy paws slap together though, catching it expertly before it dare twist around and reveal him.

In those burly swordsman paws, the caught mirror turns as he wishes, hiding his face behind its pearl backing.

It is with the mirror, in that moment, that he turns, glistening like the dishes in a coating of bubbles and water and soap.

A stewed rabbit.

“Back away from me, just a little, would you my dear?” he mumbles from behind the safety of the mirror’s pearl backing, pushing out delicately with his big warm paws, “…it’s just that I burned myself, and I don’t want you to see. Back away, yes that’s it, a little more, my girl! There you go, now…”

Is he warning her away?

Strangely, from behind the mirror, little soaps drop from his face onto the red and green grass, like an absurd rain.

Sighing, Flamina takes a step behind, her throat crushing on a hard lump; it could be purple silk, cotton maybe.

Another backward step. Her foot breaks over a little twig- the sound throws her in his suggested direction.

Her scrabbling fingers fit to peels of paint, old dust and leaves, scraping against sharp bits of splintered dry wood. An open window frame.

Ultimately, her bum trips too, and she falls in.

The rabbit leans in, mirror still in face, and calls down, “…you don’t have to remember me if you don’t want to! Just… try to be a good girl, be nice to the other children, don’t borrow so much you can’t pay it back, and don’t eat too many pears!”

The last bit wobbles, glub-glubbing as if underwater.

A low, interrupting screech begins.




The crispy cacophony of a window shoves shut, smacking the rabbit on the head.

It leaves a big lump, christening his temples thoroughly.

After his paws fumble a stopwatch from somewhere, his long ears crisp up suddenly, listening for a sound; a thud from outside. The paws start wringing each other, like a much abused dishcloth.

When he doesn’t hear the thud after a few moments, his little bunny nose wrinkles his mouth in a little rabbit smile.

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