Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Who Killed Kenny?

Gutarriezknindracastorblyledgespillioth picks up his feet against the dismal mountain backdrop of curtaining peaks and weathered tyrant hills looming diminutively at his right.

To his left, the grey and winding path back to the Citadel. As he stares, it traipses away from him, through rough cables of dense shrubbery, a wall-thick hedge that had risen to the middle of a man in places, sewn through with the dangling occasions of abyssal blue weeds and the silvery crawl of glittering lichen.

He turns toward his destination, eyes ambling up a particular slope on a particularly flattened hill where the Shrine of the Pythia stands like a watchfire, the ephemeral tower of cloudy wood and vibrant stones forever out of the reach of children and fortune hunters. His fingers turn in the pockets of his travelling robe; it’s a nice robe, shifty and utile- it blends with the landscape using subtle fibers like tiny lenses made of thin carbon... at least that’s what the blue note he found in his pocket said.

The note sticks to his fingers even now...another one of those things... what did the man call them? Sticky notes. Post-its, even.

As he slides his way down a bank of fine grey blow and tiny cracked stones, his upper body rattles wetly.

A scraping sound.

Not long then, he muses, touching two fingertips to his chest; he shouldn’t breathe in too much of that dust. It isn’t really dust, you know. More like ashes, of Daleks, Time Lords... probably others.

The ten billion, perhaps? Best not to dwell on a phrase shrouded in mystery, he thinks, as he considers the dark, and weighs it against the pain which will surely well on the Doctor’s face if ever he should ask.

His footsteps echo briefly through the flows, edging little seconds of terraces into the shifting breath of grey that covers everything along the narrow ridges in the area.

“...the man will tell me when he’s ready,” he murmurs to himself, carefully placing another step against the dune-y fine grit of the hills.

“Tell you what, traitor?” comes a stolid voice from the heights trumpeting dimly to his south-west now.

He is Gutarriezknindracastorblyledgespillioth. Kenny to his friends. What will happen will not happen because of him.

And so he smiles, and takes another step, breaking into a run against the grey, toward the bastion, the edge of reason ringed in stone and harboring the man he’s come to find.

A click rounds on him from the high place, encroaching.



His feet carry him closer to the tower shrine where she looms, a curtain of hewn rock, a barrier against the soft and deathly grey. Blood spits from his chest like a gull diving for fish off some cliff, becoming a line across the stones of the Shrine as he falls, pitching forward on stumbling, climbing toes.

On and on he pitches- forward, deep, straining blindly into the dark.

He’s been murdered.

“Doctor!” he cries against the wood of the double ingress, his red wet teeth dripping gore as he slathers the carvings of deer and trees with blood; his mind remakes them into a white orchard, dropping limbs as pickers fester among the rotted fruit and tease amongst themselves that there’s going to be a next year, with no pestilence to plague them.

Boots crunch close, closer, travel-heels grinding together gravel and grey grey dust like the butts of hard leather pestles.

Clumps of fingers threaten violence across his long green hair, grabbing his scalp by the eyelids and an ear.

“Doctor! I’m...”

Somewhere above, in the tower itself, stained glass showers the grey dust below, evoking a futile sort of rainbow.

As he fails, he remembers the small dock half-buried in well-sanded dust and red-and-greenage off to the right of the mountains he had watched earlier, and wonders at the depths of its belly, and shuts his eyes.

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