Wednesday, May 30, 2012
"Come on, up here!" She called to me. We ran up he stairs together, She and I. They were rickety stairs, made of wood. A novelty in this day and age, where everywhere you turned, everything seemed to be metallic. It left a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach at times. Metal seemed unfriendly to me. Not Ike these lovely wooden stairs that led to the clock tower. No, these stairs promised adventure and wonder the likes of which every kid dreams. And if there was one thing I loved most, it was adventure.
"Oh, do hurry up!" She yelled at me, rounding the corner to the last flight. "You're always so slow! I swear your head's in another world half the time!" I did the mature thing and stuck my tongue it at her. She could be very annoying at times. We were too young for names, She and I. I mean, we did have them, but they were secret, like the names of every Time Lord. They defined who we were. So until we were old enough and got to choose our own names, I called her She and she called me He. And that was all there was to it. She was my best friend.
"We'll at least I have more other-worldly experience than you, then!" I retorted, but the words died in my throat as I reached the top and beheld the view of my city. Gallifrey. The home of theTime Lords. A bit pretentious sounding, that. At least, I've always thought so. But it was a wonderful city. Sprawling glass buildings reaching up to a burnt orange sky. The mountains in the distance, the snowcapped red slopes stretching on forever. And in the sky, a multitude of planets and stars, hanging there like shining jewels. And the twin suns, just peaking over the horizon. I stopped and stared.
"Happy birthday." She told me, suddenly sounding much more serious than earlier.
I snorted a bit. "Is it?" I asked. "Today they come for me. They're going to take me away from you..."
She shrugged, like it didn't bother her at all. "You'll see me again in a few months, when they take me. It won't be forever." She sighed and leaned against the clock face we were peering out of. I watched as her blonde curls slipped from behind her ears and tickled her cheeks. "You can take care of yourself, He, I know you can. You're smart, even of you don't act it. Just...don't let the other boys get to you, alright?"
I chuckled and hit her lightly on the arm. "Oh, come on, She. I'll be alright on my own. I just worry about you, you know? If I'm not there, who's going to cover for you whenever you disappear? Who will you have adventures with?" I fiddled with my glasses, taking them off and polishing them nervously. I was a worrier when it came to people I cared for, I knew it.
She just rolled her eyes and grinned at me. I'm going to miss that grin, I suddenly realized. "Well how about this?" She asked me. "If I promise to not have adventures with anyone else, will you promise not to steal anything? I don't want you getting caught without me there to save your butt."
"As if my butt needs you to save it!" I scoffed, before relenting, she did have a point there. "Alright fine, I won't steal anything if you don't have adventures. Deal?"
"Deal." She said. We both spit on our hands and shook, sealing the pack.
"You gonna be alright?" my father asked me, kneeling down to my level. I just nodded mutely, knowing that was what was expected of me. My parents were the kind of people who didn't want to be noticed. My putting up a fuss would only cause problems for them. And I wasn't scared, not really. I would be fine, everyone always was. There would be holidays when I could visit them. It was just difficult to think I would never properly live with them again.
"That's my boy," Dad said, before pulling me into a hug. His scratchy cheek brushed mine. The fact he had not taken the time to shave, as he had meticulously done every morning since I could remember, proved he was even more worried than I was. He pulled away from me and smiled. Then he took my hand and placed something in it. "I want you to have this. I have a feeling it will help you," he told me with a wink. I smiled at him in return. I wanted that memory of his wink to last me forever.
"Alright, I think that's enough." a gruff voice interrupted. A huge man in the robes of a Time Lord official stepped into the room. We had had only a few minutes to say our goodbyes. "There are other children that still need picking up."
"Of course." my father replied, standing up. He placed his hand on my shoulder and guided me over to the man. The man appeared disdainful. I didn't blame him. In my chunky black glasses and rumpled clothes, I was nowhere near impressive. I was the kid who always got picked on. Why? Because I was the one who looked like trash but spoke with an authority that made those who were bigger and dumber than me hate me. I was smart. And the way I saw it, intelligence was something to fear. Pity no one else thought that way.
My father let go of my shoulder. I took one last look at him, because I had a feeling it would be a long time before I saw him again. But I would see him again. I knew that much. Then I turned and followed the big official man outside and into the sleek silver ship that would take me to the Academy. The leather seat was plush and comfortable. I didn't care. Comfort wasn't a detail I was interested in. The engine purred beneath my feet and we zoomed down the street.
We passed She's house. I could see her face watching from the window. She waved at me. I waved back. It was then I looked down at the object I was still clutching. The thing my father had given me before I was taken. A sonic screwdriver.
Today was my eighth birthday. My present was my first sonic screwdriver. I had been taken. I will be a Time Lord.
Posted by Alanna A. at 3:53 PM