Next-to-the-last day of Story A Day May! I’m always surprised where a story prompt or exercise leads me. Today, I didn’t want to do the SaDM prompt “retell a story from a different point of view”, although it’s a great prompt. I’m out of Holly prompts, and it’s Thursday, which means Doors. So I used a door photo sent me by friend and fellow writer Andrea Gilbey. Thanks, Andrea!
I tell people to call me Dr. Guinness. That isn’t my name, but humans–well, few sentient beings of any planet–can pronounce my real name properly. Guinness happens to be my favorite Earth beverage.
They tell me there’s another Time Lord about who travels through time and space in what appears to be a police call box that appears and disappears as he–or she–comes and goes. Damned silly larks, I call that. My TARDIS stays in one place, and I pop about here and there. Conservation of quantum, and whatnot. Not so much wibbly wobbly.
But you were asking about the sign. Yes.
As I was saying, my TARDIS stays in one place, masquerading as a defunct pub. A little pleasantry of mine, referencing my name and beverage preference, you see. The glass in the doors and windows appear to be clear, but they actually show 3D images of the interior of a dusty old disused drinking establishment, full of shadows, cobwebs, and broken furniture, the light “inside” changing as the light outside changes. Excellent effect, very little power required.
Well, one chap stumbled into the doorway overhang one dark and stormy evening. He pounded on the door and demanded to be let in.
I had just popped back out of a ticklish situation to pick up an extra sonic screwdriver, and my tension made me do something rather … well, rather silly.
Instead of being silent and going on about my business, I shouted, “Sod off! We’re closed!”
He pounded harder. “Lemme in, ya baskit! It’s bucketing down out here! OPEN UP!!” With that, he put a fist through the glass. Blood everywhere.
“Oh, bugger!” I said, unlocked the door, pulled him in, and closed and locked the door after him. I grabbed a graduation mortarboard cap that happened to be at hand and used the sonic screwdriver I’d just fetched to fasten it over the broken pane.
My unwelcome guest was staring around at the “pub”‘s interior, so different from the view through the door.
“It’s the same size on the inside,” he said, which struck me as rather stupid, but he could’ve said worse.
I bandaged his hand as quickly as I could and said, “Pop back out, now, there’s a good chap. This has all been a dream.”
But the wound had sobered him somewhat, and he hoisted his bandaged hand and said, “So I won’t be cut when I wake up?”
My ticklish situation simply would not wait, and I couldn’t leave him behind, so I grabbed his uninjured hand and said, “I’ll explain later. Stay close to me.”
The pub vanished, and the Squirridian space station with functioning Earth-type atmosphere and Earth-specific gravity appeared around us. Three Daleks were just closing in on the position of the two hundred or so surviving Squirrs whom I had pledged to rescue. Helpless, the Squirrs. Utterly helpless. Irritates me, sometimes, but you can’t change Squirridian nature, can you?
I shoved my companion behind me, into the lot I was defending, and opened fire with one of my screwdrivers. He watched me for a few seconds, snatched one from my hand, circled behind one of the Daleks, reached around, and fired the screwdriver directly into the bugger’s visual array. It must have fried more than its visuals, because it flailed a big and went still.
Meanwhile, I had dealt with one of the Daleks, and the third, croaking some semi-intelligible threat, turned and sped away. My companion and I gave chase, I being wary of being led into ambush which, glad to say, we were not. It plunged into an escape hatch, sealed the door against us, and released itself into space.
My companion and I looked at each other, panting, and each said, “Right, then.”
We informed the Squirrs of their safety, then I returned us to the pub.
“You know, old chap,” I said, as I retrieved my sonic screwdriver from him and checked to make sure his bandage was still in place, “I’d just as soon you didn’t tell anybody about this.”
“As if anybody’d believe me,” he said. “Especially considering how much I had to drink before I got here.”
“Good lad,” I said. “That’s the ticket. I’d also …. I hope you won’t take this the wrong way, old man, but I’d just as soon you never came back here.”
“Not bloody likely,” he said.
He left, and I made the sign and had it up before dawn. I could have replaced the glass, but this amuses me, and enhances the derelict atmosphere. The promise of repair, you see, implies that the property is not for sale, and I can always do the repair at some point.
Have a Guinness? Don’t mind if I do. Cheers!
The door belongs to the dog-friendly Red Lion of Cromer, Norfolk.
Thursday Doors is the brainchild of Norm Frampton, photographer extraordinaire. Visit his blog, enjoy is wonderful photographs, follow his directions, and enter a world of doors.
MY PROMPT TODAY: Broken glass in pub door, trip hazard sign.