Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Romulus and Remus

Jack reaches out...

The handle is chilly.

He pulls.

There is no need to open his eyes.

He knows what he’ll find there.

Gray is in this drawer.

His brother, Gray.

His brother, who tried to murder him.

He opens his eyes, and tugs on the cold silvery handle.

Two lines above, running the length of the room.

A lolling red arch. Columns.

Too much space, and far too little.

The dirty, clean bricks are all around him.


It feels like a subway station down here.

The handle slides the drawer out like a charm, initiating a sequence of scratching sounds in the back of the catch.

Jack looks down.

Gray is lying on the table of the drawer.

All there.

The slightly thicker chin and neck, the pinched expression of a little boy who’d just found a firefly.

The hatred etched in lines across the marginally heavy forehead.

And the same brown hair.

There is something in his hands.

Jack touches his brother’s strong fingers, prying them from the long metal object they grip so tightly where they cross against Gray’s chest.

An infostamp, tarnished, with burn marks everywhere in rough smudges of black.

There is a blue post-it attached.


“So this speaks for itself, huh?” Jack muses aloud, turning the infostamp up to the lights and twisting it on.

An image of his mother, older.

That pant suit again. A string of lovely pearls.

Now she is in a red robe, with many others in similar robes.

Now there is a man.

His father. Red robes.

His mother. His father.

Red Robes.

They are standing, no, walking, through a roundish portal flickering with unstable energies.

There are two men; the Master. The tenth Doctor, holding an old pistol, shaking. The Master is holding a diamond.

“Get out of the way,” he says, eyes meeting the Doctor’s.

The Doctor slips to the side of the scene, away from the leader of the Red Robes.

Then the Master is screaming at the leader, saying, “ did this to me!”

The Master’s fingers emit a rough blue lightning, so many times until the leader of the Red Robes falls to his knees.

A blur of light swallows them all, except the Doctor and the old man in the tube behind.

Soon they too are swallowed.

His mother flickers back again... blindfolded, being led to a strange machine at the heart of a giant tree.

They push her in.

His father, also blindfolded, is led to a different tree.

They push him in.

The Master is wearing a golden sash; it is fluttering behind him as he runs.

He billows shabbily down a long hall before coming to a fork. His head bobs achingly between the two divergences.

He chooses one path, follows it to a door.

Now he is standing before this door, his fists plunging weakly against the locks, his hair disheveled.

The scene melts away, like little bubbles.

Jack blinks, then looks at the blue post it again.

It says something now.

‘Redrum is the sound of another man’s tears.’

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