Doctor Who: The Bright Asylum

Bird in the Hand


The Hand blinks into life in a wide space, a stained glass full of emerald and turquoise lit by the mid-day suns.

It is flying, still the Bird as it hurtles through the air, towards the inside clouds.

Wind rushes past it as it flies. Its feathers float in motion capture, to and fro and back and forth and free as it rises, past beryl rafters and azure arches, through rings and rings and rings of crystal and stone.

It turns its head down from the heavens for a moment, to look, and then!


A dent. Its bird-throat feels cold.

Then, a flash of light from a roc’s egg.

The Doctor would have said it this way:

Suddenly, Time is a whole wheat waffle in the toaster, waiting for syrup and golden spread. And Space is in the pan, frying in folds like an omelette.

“Breakfast is ready, mister bird.” a little girl’s voice calls.

When the bird opens its eyes at last, it is snuggled against a small chest, looking into lavendar eyes.

In one hand, there is a ladle.

Fish stew wafts up, all sweet red crabs and mild yellow fish and slimy grey oysters and chewy white clams. And squid, sucker-tipped tasty water-sugared pinkish squid. And big plump prawns with green tails.

Her white hair smells of the salt of the sea.

The Hand nuzzles her neck with its head, puffing up its pale feathers and huffing in relief as the grit of the day crusts in its pearl eyes. They well up and flow, carrying lines of crunching black dirt down its beak, lines which quickly dry in the sunlight.

This is Home.

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