Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Black Pudding the Younger

The Ice Room.

Former storage, full of succulent, frozen treats with eyes and limbs and unfulfilled potential.

His hands caress a bluish whitish face. The only one in here, the first of his little meals.

Small, chubby a bit. Button nose. Dribbly nostril caught in the freeze.

“An appetizer, before the rarebit... splendid!” he murmurs, grabbing the little chin, positioning his wrist bones just so to snap off a morsel or two from the skull. It’s so nice when the little chunks fracture off and shatter on the floor.

“Touch that child,” a voice breathes behind him, warming the air with tiny sprinkles of ordered chaos, “and I’ll touch you.”

The Valeshard turns around, the little boy’s chin in his twisting hand like a tiny miniature dancer.

“I hardly think ‘you’re’ one to lecture ‘me’ on the wrongness of inappropriate touching, Me!” the Valeshard moans delightedly, flustering his hands about around the frozen child’s round face, “Besides, when was the last time we dated someone over 100?”

His grey tongue flicks out; he bites it. Black blood oozes like pus over his dying lips, and he smiles.

The Doctor walks out of the shadow of the entry doorway and smiles his ‘own’ little smile.

“I’m not the one who slept with Jack. Am I, Zagreus?” he says, looking away from the Valeshard and crossing to stand before the single statue in the room, “I’ll be taking that shard of ice in my heart back now, mind.”

The Valeshard grins again, this time showing rotting teeth and yellow gums thick with pus.

“Aren’t you? But what makes you think the little boy who lied can take anything from me?” he breathes, coughing on the frozen child’s blue lips, “... you didn’t kill Rassilon you know,” he adds, setting a finger along his lips and licking before applying the digit to the statue of Rose’s bosom, poking at her left breast.

The Doctor ignores him, focusing instead on the small child turned blue with unnatural entropy; the round chin still has fingerprint marks of black, like ink stains.

He goes to the boy, dabs his finger in his mouth, and wipes away the stains with his thumb.

“Much better. You were saying? Sorry, I was busy doing important stuff.”

The Valeshard brings his hands together, one breath, two. Another. Soon, he is air-clapping in the cold.

“Time to die, little boy,” he whimpers with a theatre mask sob, “I rather think you’ve worn your welcome.”

He looks around, kicking idly at the statue’s foot, demolishing a yellow petal with the toe of his black shiny shoe, grinding it into the ice.

“Why are you wearing a blue bathrobe anyway? Did you kill Rassilon in it? Well, I hate to break it to you Sunshine, but he’s not dead. Are you going to say something else, or has the meter expired?”

His face grows longer, angled; his green-black eyes sparkle blue. His skin turns bright and warm, his structure melting into that of the immortal First Lord President of Gallifrey- Rassilon of Prydon.

But the Doctor is staring at the yellow smudge.

Stumbling back a half step, he clings to the statue of Rose’s elbow and lowers his head, his searching brows crossing in adamant denial, as is their usual habit. But he... can’t... surely he didn’t... did he...

Did he?

Did he?

...did he?





But then, who is... that... standing there...

Didn’t he?

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