The Storyteller

Murder, He Narrated

It was a gunshot that killed him. A blaster. Laser residu on the scorch marks on the young footman's uniform told me all I needed to know.

It was the right time period. Authentic clothing. I checked, because I always check. I'm a time-traveller. I never know what time-period I end up in. So I check. Twice.

And now again. His hands were cold. His pupils dilated. He wasn't dead long, maybe twenty minutes. Maybe more. His fingernails were clean but there was a scar on his left hand. Not a post-mortem addition given the tissue had already healed most of it.

A few blips with the sonic screwdriver didn't tell me much more than I already knew. He couldn't have been older than 18 when he died. He had a kind face in death. The boy looked like he was merely sleeping.

Then you were the second to notice what I was already tracing in the air with a wet finger. I could practically taste it.

"What's that smell?"

Oh, Amy you were so close. Think about it. This is the busiest place in all of Paris. The world's first true capital of a connected Earth. The centre of arts and humanities...and dung apparantly.

"It's dung," I said grumpy. Snarky's a better word. "It's always dung. It's Paris. That's what all the perfume's for. To cover up the dung. What is that smell?"

"You smell it too?" you said.

It was cold. I hadn't realized how cold it was until you made me focus on the air.

I think I almost lost my mind. Those people were yelling -screaming- while I was trying to solve a murder. Calling for the police while I just flipped them my nifty psychic paper. Those stubborn French!

"Le Gendarme can't help you now!" I said, trying to sonic air, but it didn't work. Sonic's not good with gasses. It's better with signals. It's better with...

My mind found the answer. Put it together, just like *that* [snaps his fingers]. Oh, Amy, Amy Amy. Have you figured it out yet? It's so easy, it's staring right in front of you, yet it isn't. It can't obviously. But it's there. Right in the air. A gap.

The murderer couldn't have killed him in plain sight. There were too many servants running around. Security. Butlers and cooks and construction workers and men with monocles. But they were all too busy. All too distracted..

But why go through all this trouble, I thought. Unless...

"They're staring at us, Doctor," you said to me. They were like chickens, running around headless squirting blood. Blood!

"No, they're staring at me," I said. There was a dead man on the floor and I was spinning theories.

"No-one, Doctor. What does it mean?"

"One question at a time, Amy. There's too many people, too many noises...will everyone PLEASE BE QUIET! I'm trying to think!"

The headless chickens stopped long enough for me to breathe.

I didn't care about the stares. I was missing something. I would find out soon.

"It's a teleport, Amy," I finally said. "Someone teleported on the Eiffel Tower, put the body here, left their message and left. Why? Is he making a statement? A protest? A message? A message to whom? No-one hates the Eiffel Tower that much, do they?"

I found the exact spot where he teleported with another flick of the sonic. Detected an anomaly in the air like a low pressure field that drew all the heat toward it. A tiny crack in reality that was filling up. Something had disturbed the atoms on that very spot. Removed it, like one would scoop a drop of water from the ocean. The signal was fading.

I checked the sonic's readouts. If this was location A, location B's far away. But what if this was location B, not A? C, not D? X, Y, Z. The murderer came here, but never left.

The murderer's still here.

"Amy, don't be alarmed," I said to you.

"I think they're sending up the police," you said.

"Good. That's good. Now just don't be alarmed."

"They're gonna know you touched the body, Doctor,"

"Yes, well...ah. Of course," I said, then I remembered. "But I've got this."

I showed her my psychic paper. My get-out-of-jail-free card. Always works like a charm.

Then the next thing I knew we were behind bars.

"Works like a charm eh?" you said. I can always count on you to kick a man once he's down.

"Oi!" Amy shot back from her bed in 1917.

I was peeved. I get like that sometimes. Especially when they take away my screwdriver.

I paced around the cell over and over while you just clung to the bars looking like Charlie Chaplin's tramp, only without the moustache.

"You're the tramp, Doctor! Not me," Amy in the bed replied.

The Doctor by the bed pondered looking up at the ceiling with an introspective smile. "True..."

But Charlie Chaplin had only been born a month ago.

"Can't you ring Harry Houdini?" the Amy in the cell asked. "Maybe he could get us out."

"Quite possibly," I said to you. "Problem is, he's fifteen."

"Well, I'm not," you said and from someplace you revealed a pin of some sort, possibly a hairpin, which you started using to pick the lock.

"It won't work!" I said. "We need to talk to whoever's in charge! Warn them that there's a man out there with, quite possibly, very dangerous alien tech. Because this day isn't random! And if this day isn't random, then that message inscribed next to the body isn't a message, it's a threat!

And if it's a threat, then we're in grave danger!"

I stopped for breath and looked up.

I hadn't noticed the cell doors opening. There was a neatly dressed bearded man standing in the doorway holding a pocket watch. He did have a moustache in fact, but also a beard. Slightly turning grey. He looked good for his age.

I couldn't help but feel giddy. What an engineer! What a vision! The inner support structure of the Statue of Liberty, I mean come on!

"Hello...?" you said. You always were a bit slow.

"Mr. Gustave Eiffel! I cannot tell you how pleased I am to meet you!" I said behind the bars of my cell.

Gustave looked grumpy. I immediately felt the exact opposite.

"I cannot say the same."

"Well, you don't know me yet. Allow me to introduce myself..."

"Doctor, it's him!" you suddenly cried.

"Who?"

It was the footman. The boy. The 18-year old boy with the blastermarks. The dead boy. Without the scorch marks. Blastermarks. Without the deadness. Without the scar!

Standing right next to Gustave Eiffel.

"Doctor? How is this possible?" you asked. "Why isn't he dead?"

"I'm not dead!" the boy cried out nervously. He couldn't bear to look at us. He knew.

He knew we saw his dead body. He'd seen it too.

"This is my footman. Bérnard," Gustave then said. "Perhaps you wouldn't mind explaining..."

"You want me to explain why a man just found dead on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower is very much alive in front of me?" I interjected.

I couldn't resist finishing his sentence.

"Twins?" you said. Oh, Amy...

That would've been too easy.

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