The Storyteller

By Michael de Boer

Scifi / Horror

Legs Grow Back?

He called her name, but she didn't hear him. She was left a bit whoozy. Worst hangover ever.

"Yes, I can hear you!" she said drifting, rubbing her eyes, but her hands seemed not to find its target.

"What happened Doctor?" she asked and his lingering thoughts failed to come up with a quick explanation.

"You don't want to know," the Doctor said.

Amy insisted and the Doctor relented, thinking the best way to deal with it would be to just tell her and see how it went from there.

"It's the year 1917 and you're in a hospital," the Doctor said gauging her reaction. "And...you were shot. Well, that's the easy answer. Better answer would be 'stepped on a mine'."

Before Amy could even slip a rude and confused word from her lips the Doctor shushed her with a raised finger which he then used to tap the end of her right leg. Her knee.

"Don't worry. These lovely French nurses will fix you right up. We'll only have to wait until your leg grows back."

Bombs were flying in the distance and somewhere nearby glass was shattering whilst the Doctor smiled as if all their worries were over.

"Doctor..." she growled.

"Oh, don't be so grumpy. We're safe!" the Doctor said.

"We're in the first world war, Doctor!" Amy groaned through clenched teeth. She would've kicked him if she had a leg to kick him with. The left one just couldn't reach.

"What do you mean the first?" a grizzly war veteran with an eyepatch mumbled in a nearby bed. The Doctor quickly closed the curtains around them.

"Keep your voice down." the Doctor said and Amy stopped herself from ripping his bow tie off.

"It'll grow back," he added with a joyful pat on her pained knee. "You should consider yourself lucky. 17 hours is all it takes for the Saloccian treatment to complete."

He took a vile from his pocket filled with something green and he sprinkled it across her knee like magic dust. Three doses in six hours would do the trick.

"There we go. Don't tell everyone or they'll all want a piece. We shouldn't change history too much...but whatever! Lizards in trenches, huh? Who would've thought?" the Doctor grinned like an idiot.

"Bloody fantastic," Amy said grumpily. "It isn't worth getting my leg blown off though."

"They were kind enough to lend us some bioregenerative substances for your leg. They really loved you."

"Like salamanders, my leg is going to grow back?"

"Yep," the Doctor answered excited.

"Doesn't that take months?"

"Nope. Courtesy of the finest Saloccian medical technology this day and age. 17 hours. Then we'll head back to the TARDIS, grab some R&R and who knows what else?"

"No more wars," Amy said.

"No more wars," the Doctor agreed. "I hate wars. Problem is, there isn't an age of mankind that doesn't have any. Always a war going on somewhere.

"And there's so many good years with wars in them as well, so you can't avoid them. Did you know just last year, no two years ago, Christmas Eve of 1915, there was a truce between German and British soldiers on the front line.

"They just stopped fighting and sang carols together. They even played football. That's a magical moment right there. A-mazing. I wish I could've been there, and who knows? Maybe I was."

Amy pushed the back of her head back into the pillow and forced her eyes shut, trying to ignore the pain and the image of a legless knee. Her knee.

"Seventeen hours, Doctor. I can't do seventeen hours."

"Sure you can! All you need is a good story. Haven't you ever sat through a Lord of the Rings marathon? Nine hours of cinematic genius and then I'm not even mentioning the extended editions. Then you're halfway there. I could spend the last 8 or 7 hours telling stories about Tolkien. Now there was a wonderful chap..."

His eyes already turned to the heavens reminiscing older future times as he sat down adjusting his tweed jacket, but Amy wouldn't have any of it yet.

"Stop blabbering, Doctor. My ears hurt," Amy said. "You could probably tell stories about every famous person from old Earth history. Or new."

The Doctor pondered a little, pouting. "Well, I can."

Amy leaned back and pulled her pillow from under her head, raising it above her head only to stuff her face in it.

"Charlie Chaplin!" the Doctor suddenly said. "Now there's one I haven't met yet! He could be our next stop? What'd you say? Amy?"

He poked the pillow with a crooked finger, prodding but getting no reply.

"Amy, are you all right?" he asked.

"Go away," a muffled voice came from under the pillow.

"Seventeen hours is a lot of time to pass on your own, especially in the middle of a war. I'm not leaving you, Amy. I did promise you, remember?"

"Please stop talking."

Another bomb whistled through the air and landed far away and the shockwave shook the ground and Amy's bed only slightly this time.

"Tell you what," the Doctor said. "I'll tell you a story. A good story. You'll like it."

"I'm not in the mood," Amy said, crawling out of her hiding place under the pillow. "Please, just take me home."

"It's traumatizing. I understand," the Doctor said solemn. "You've got a lot to be sad about."

"I know!"

"In some ways more than others. Stop scratching it you're making it worse."

Amy surrendered with a groan.

"Fine, what's the story about? It better not be depressing." she said and the Doctor rubbed his hands smugly. Then she grabbed his arm.

"Wait, am I in it?"

The Doctor allowed it.

"Yes, you are," the Doctor said and he started telling his story. "You, me and a noise. A strange noise, like static, following us around across time and space. Following the TARDIS. Like a telemarketer during dinner. Very rudely."

"Is there a murder involved?"

"There usually is," the Doctor confirmed. "Now stop interrupting me. Do I start interrupting you when you're telling a story?"

"Yes," Amy spoke without a hitch.

"Exactly," the Doctor said. "Now then, where was I? Oh, I remember. It was the year of Neverwas in the time of Neverwhen..."

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