The Storyteller

Monocles Are Cool

We ignored the noise and instead chose to disrespect the privacy of a thousand immortal kings resting on the Cemetery World of Beta-Lemon One, not the most ominous name, I'll admit.

The kings were happy to let us leave with a promise to keep their presence a secret. Oops.

We found a nice Parissiene restaurant at the end of the solar system, run by a lovely Lunar couple named Crown and Derek Maldo. I only wish their food had been as lovely as their hospitality. You know I'm choosy, when I choose to be.

I took it upon myself to take you to the best restaurant I knew. The real deal, as it were.

The real Paris.

The TARDIS wheezed a bit, while I dragged you to a place where they serve the best bouillabasse in the entire universe, only to find out it hadn't been built yet. We were half a century early. I knew that because the air tasted like iron. And you pointed out that the Eiffeltower was still under construction. You've always had a keen eye. It's why the undead kings were so keen upon prying it from your skull, but that's all sand under the bridge, or water on the beach, or whatever it was.

The TARDIS was recalibrating. Its blue exterior felt prickling to the touch. We couldn't leave just yet, so you persuaded me to visit the Eiffel Tower.

You said you'd never been to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower before. Well, now you'd be the first.

I borrowed a newspaper from a passing posh Frenchmen with a monocle -monocles are cool-which confirmed my suspicions: it was the year of 1889.

"But you said your story's made up?" Amy said.

Well, yes, I'm making it up as I go along. So, please don't distract me. Do feel free to point out any flaws in my narrative though and stop me if I get too focused on the details. That tends to happen. Now then!

There it was! The famous Exposition Universelle. The 100th year anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. I was in there you know. I was one of the 'lunatics'.

We approached it from the bridge over the Seine and looked up to see many kites and balloons in the sky with men taking photos of the fair. Their photos would live on to become more famous then their photographers, let me tell you that.

The Eiffel Tower. What a marvellous piece of engineering. Thomas Edison called it a so gigantic and original specimen of modern engineering. Or he will call it that several months from now.

There's the famous saying that Hitler conquered France, but he did not conquer the Eiffel Tower. Mind you, he's just been born.

"Hitler?" you remarked. "Are we going to go to it or aren't we? I hear there's a restaurant up top."

"Second floor," I replied. I put a finger in my mouth and stuck it in the air to feel the wind. There was a smell of manure, now that wasn't very pretty, and a hint of paint.

"It sways in the breeze," I said looking up at the tower at the far end of the Champs-Élysées. "I love Paris!"

I outstretched my arms in joy and nearly knocked over a passing gentlemen who cursed in his mother tongue.

"I just don't like the French," I addded and you laughed just as you did now. Then I saved you from being run over by a carriage. You should be more careful where you put those legs of yours...

Let's pick up the pace. It was the 6th of May 1889. Pablo Picasso is 8 years old, living in Spain. The Moulin Rouge is being constructed as we speak. Vincent Van Gogh will paint his famous Starry Night in a month from now. The Titanic will sink 23 years from now.

27 years from now I'll be telling this story...

Also, a very nice baker named Raffaele Esposito invents the Pizza Margherita. I told him to add the cheese. Works wonders for the flavour!

I was going to take a peek at the rest of the rather famous exposition, but you were quite keen on dragging me to the main event. Le Tour Eiffel.

"Stop trying to speak French!" You said. I once used to have a knack for it. Pity, really.

But there we were ascending up the leg of the tower alongside thirty people. Ooh, I got shivers.

"So exciting!" you said, clutching my arm.

"300 steelworkers worked on this for 2 years," I said, but you wouldn't listen. "A work of genius. I can't imagine why they hate it so much."

"Who does?" You asked and I reminded you of the protesters we saw on our way into the Exposition.

"You're kidding. It's not that ugly, is it?"

"Not to you. You're used to it by now. You've seen it in movies and photos and maybe even in real life in the future. By now you can't possibly picture France without the Eiffel Tower, but for a long time there wasn't one. There was just...something else."

"Will we meet Eiffel? The architect?" You asked, which was very much a surprise.

"We might," I said. "But I have to admit. I have no idea what he looks like. He probably has a moustache. Everyone around here seems to have facial hair. Should I grow a moustache?"

"Over my dead body," you said chipper. "Just sayin'."

We ascended higher and higher and reached the first level, whilst bumping heads with the men and women that crowded the elevator. And the stench! While we'd had just finally escaped the plumes of manure coming from the city!

Although that's probably just the horses. I can't wait for Benz to invent the automobile.

Mind you, perhaps he shouldn't have.

"Don't spoil it, Doctor," You said wisely. "Stop thinking about it and just enjoy the view!"

And you know what, Amy? You were absolutely right.

Trouble is, what could've been a splendidly sunny afternoon in 19th century Paris was somewhat tainted by the body of a young footman found dead underneath a metal bulkhead of the tower, onto which two words were scratched violently. A message.

It read: "No One".

Yes, I'd said there'd be a murder, didn't I?

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