Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

Doctor Who: Lonely

November 14, 2013 by Richard Wright in Journal, News, Writing

transmissionsI’ll tell you a story, in a minute. It’s called ‘Lonely’, and is about a man who travels in a blue box saving people from monsters, and sometimes themselves.

Earlier today, the BBC released the following new Doctor Who minisode ‘Night of the Doctor’ worldwide. It’s a prequel to next week’s 50th anniversary episode, and explains why the hell John Hurt is the Doctor now. It doesn’t feature John Hurt much though. For the most part, it features the return of my favourite Doctor, number…

Wait, have you watched it yet? If not, you should really watch it now, or I’m going to spoil it for you. Seriously. Watch it, then come back for the rest below.

He’s back, and it’s about time!

17 years ago, Paul McGann was the Eighth Doctor for about half of a TV movie pilot in the US, that never went to a full series. Since then, he’s been recognised by the BBC as the official Eighth incarnation of the character, and has even turned up in the new series in flashbacks culled from his sole outing. Not they’ve brought him back for a deliriously good six minutes, and finally given him a regeneration. Not into Christopher Ecclestone though. Into John Hurt. All will be revealed next week.

Seeing him on screen in the role made me ridiculously happy. Although this is only his second appearance on screen, I’ve been following the Eighth Doctor in the full cast audio dramas produced by Big Finish under licence from the BBC, and McGann is stunning in those. Big Finish also used to produce short story collections featuring the first eight Doctors, also under licence from the Beeb. In 2008, Richard Salter was editing one of those anthologies and (possibly having mistaken me for somebody else, who knows?) gave me a chance to write my first and only licenced Doctor Who story. I wrote for Doctor 8.

The story is reproduced below. After originally being published in Short Trips: Transmissions, it was republished in the massive end of range celebration Short Trips Re:Collections. After that, the BBC took back the licence for short stories, probably intending to do great things themselves (though little has actually emerged from them). From that point, Big Finish could no longer either sell the story or the books. It’s been out of print since (though both books can be bought for silly money on the collector’s market). As Big Finish can no longer do anything with the story, I’m publishing it here in celebration of Eight’s televised return. Obviously, the Doctor is the licenced property of the BBC. As he’s not mine to profit from, the following is offered in much the same spirit as ‘fan fiction’. Well, I’m a fan and this is fiction, and that was the case even when Richard and BF bought the story first time around. If anyone at Big Finish or the BBC objects, please drop me a line (contact link at the top of the page) and I’ll take it down. I don’t imagine anybody will mind though. Better get a coffee and read it now though. Just in case. Thanks are due to Richard and Big Finish for publishing the story in the first place.

I present it to you in the draft I have. I can’t remember if we changed anything later on. I’ve also resisted the urge to tinker now. Hope you enjoy it!

LONELY

by Richard Wright

*** Topic of areyoulonely.  Welcome to the Are You Lonely chat room. 1 user online: IamI

*** Faceless43 has entered channel #areyoulonely.  2 users online.

<Faceless43> Hey.

<Faceless43>  Hey there.

<Faceless43>  How you doing?

<Faceless43>  .

<Faceless43>  .

<Faceless 43>  Shy, huh?  That’s cool.  I’m just glad I’m not the first one in.  The irony would kill me.

<Faceless43>  You know?

<Faceless43>  Being the only person in a chat room for the lonely?  I’d throw my hands up, call the universe the winner.

<Faceless43>  .

<Faceless43>  Got to tell you though, I’m kind of waiting for the tumbleweeds to roll on by.  You get tumbleweeds in cyberspace?

<Faceless43>  You going to say anything?

<IamI>  hello

<Faceless43>  Yeah, hello.  Been there already.  Keep up.

<IamI>  r u lonely?

<Faceless43>  Sure.  That’s why I’m here.

<IamI>  i am lonely

<Faceless43>  Can’t begin to imagine why.

<IamI>  don’t stop typing

<Faceless43>  Pretty desperate case, aren’t you?  Where you from?

<IamI>  i am here

<Faceless43>  You know, maybe I preferred the stony silence.

*** Shirley1968 has entered channel #areyoulonely.  3 users online.

<Faceless43>  Hey there, how you doing?

<Shirley1968>  Hello.  Okay if I join you?

<Faceless43>  Makes me happier than you can imagine.  You been here before?

<Shirley1968>  It’s not exactly the first place Google brings up.

<Faceless43>  Tried a few others first, right?

<Shirley1968>  I did.  They’re very busy.  Everybody knows each other.  It always feels like being new at a youth club, standing in the corner waiting for somebody to take pity on you.  I’m too old for that sort of thing.

<Faceless43>  You keep coming online though.  You keep on looking.

<Shirley1968> Yes.

<Faceless43>  What for?

<Shirley1968>  I don’t know.  Just voices, I think.  Company.

<Faceless43>  Yeah.  I get that.

<IamI>  r u lonely?

<Faceless43>  Say hello to the welcoming committee.

<Shirley1968>  Welcoming committee?

<Faceless43>  Never mind.

<IamI>  i am lonely

<Shirley1968>  Why?  Do you mind if I ask?

<Faceless43>  I could take a guess.

<IamI>  i am lonely don’t stop typing

<Shirley1968>  That’s mean.

<Faceless43>  Okay, okay.  What about you?  Why are you lonely?

<Shirley1968>  I live alone.  It’s sort of complicated.

<Faceless43>  Hey, if you can’t unburden yourself to two total strangers in an anonymous chatroom, where can you?

<IamI>  don’t stop typing

<Shirley1968>  Thanks, but we’ve only just met.

<Faceless43>  We’ve never met.  Never going to.  That’s sort of the point, right?

<Shirley1968>  I suppose.

<IamI>  don’t stop typing

<Faceless43>  Good advice.

<Shirley1968>  I had a husband, and a baby boy.  I don’t any more.  They left.  I’m alone.

<Shirley1968>  I’m not explaining this very well.

<Faceless43>  He took your kid?

<Shirley1968>  He had to.  I couldn’t cope.

<Shirley1968>  And the house is empty when I come home.  It’s maddening.  I need voices.

<Faceless43>  I got voices all around me.  Work all day in a call centre, come home at night to roommates I got nothing in common with, go back to work the next day.  I speak to hundreds of people, but don’t really talk to any of them.  Make any sense?

<Shirley1968>  That’s horrible.

<Faceless43>  Says you.  After yours, I feel dumb even mentioning it.

<Shirley1968>  Don’t.

i am lonely

<Faceless43>  So you keep saying buddy.

<Shirley1968>  Why are you so lonely?

i am the only one i am smaller don’t stop typing

<Faceless43>  Witness the fine line between lonely and needy.

<IamI> don’t stop typing

*** NickyR has entered channel #areyoulonely.  4 users online.

<Shirley1968>  Hello Nicky.

<Faceless43>  Hey Nick.

i am lonely

<NickyR>  Hi everyone.

Welcome to the party.  BYOEC.

<NickyR>  I don’t know that one.

<Faceless43>  Bring Your Own Existential Crisis.  Think it’ll catch on?

<Shirley1968>  Ignore him.  He thinks he’s funny.

<NickyR>  No, it was good.

<Faceless43>  You humor me.  I like you.

<Shirley1968>  So what about you Nicky?  Why are you here?

<Faceless43>  Jeez.  Let the guy settle in first.

<Shirley1968>  How do you know it’s not a girl?

<NickyR>  I just saw the link.  Thought I’d give it a try.

No need to be shy.  Let me summarize where we’re at.

<Faceless43>  I feel lonely in a crowd.

<Faceless43>  Shirley can’t stand having nobody at home.

We don’t have the faintest idea what IamI’s problem is, but he sure does have one.

i am lonely

See?  It’s like an intuition with me.  Scary.  So what’s your beef?

<NickyR>  I have somebody at home.

<Shirley1968>  Good.  Everybody should have that.

<NickyR>  Sometimes they scare me.

<Faceless43>  Why?

<NickyR>  Sometimes they hurt me.

<Faceless43>  .

<Faceless43>  Come again?

<IamI>  don’t stop typing

<Faceless43>  Like the guy says.  Hurt you how?

<NickyR>  It’s for my own good.

I have to be punished.

<Shirley1968>  How old are you Nicky?

<NickyR>  Twelve.

jeez

<Shirley1968>  Who hurts you?

<NickyR>  .

<Faceless43>  Come on kid, who hurts you?

<NickyR>  I’m not allowed to tell.  I’ll be in trouble.

<Shirley1968>  Then tell us where you live.  We can help.

<NickyR>  My teachers told me not to give out my address online.

<Faceless43>  Look, sure, they’re right, okay?  But this

<Faceless43>  This isn’t the same thing.

i am lonely

Other things going on right now buddy, okay?

*** DrLuvin has entered channel #areyoulonely.  5 users online.

<Faceless43>  Perfect timing.

<NickyR>  Hi.

<DrLuvin>  Can I come and play?

<Shirley1968> You picked a bad moment.

<Faceless43>  Nicky, stick around, okay?  Don’t go nowhere.

<NickyR>  Okay.

<DrLuvin>  Don’t mind me, you boys do your thing.

<DrLuvin>  All the same to me.  I’m open-minded.

So, what’s happening with you, Shirl?

<Shirley1968>  Not much.

<DrLuvin>  Cool.  Field’s open.

Oustanding.

<DrLuvin>  So.

<DrLuvin>  What are you wearing?

<DrLuvin>  .

<Shirley1968>  I beg your pardon?

<DrLuvin>  What are you wearing?  Something cute?  Something slinky?  It’s something slinky, yes?  I love slinky.

<Faceless43>  Wow.

<Faceless43>  Buddy, do you ever have the wrong chat room.

<DrLuvin>  What?

<Shirley1968>  We’re not here for

<Shirley1968>  You know.

<Shirley1968>  Whatever you had in mind.

<Faceless43>  And did we mention that Nicky’s twelve?

<DrLuvin>  Twelve?

<DrLuvin>  Oh god.

<DrLuvin>  Oh god, I’m so sorry.

<DrLuvin>  Really, I saw the name of the chatroom, and I

<DrLuvin>  I’m so embarrassed.

<Shirley1968>  Don’t worry about it.

<DrLuvin>  SO embarrassed.

<Faceless43>  Don’t sweat it buddy.  You made my night.

<NickyR>  Me too.  You’re funny.

<Shirley1968>  I wish I’d dressed for the occasion.

<Faceless43>  LOL.  Listen, don’t get me wrong, but we were kind of in the middle of something.

<DrLuvin>  Hey, no problem.  Not a problem at all.  My humiliation and I will take our leave.

<NickyR>  I should go too.

<Shirley1968>  WAIT

<Shirley1968>  Nicky, wait.  We need to talk.

<DrLuvin>  How do you log out of this thing then?

Just click the log out doohickey.

<DrLuvin>  It’s not working.

<DrLuvin>  Nothing is.

<Faceless43>  So close the window already.  Little x in the top right of the screen.  Can’t miss it.

<Faceless43>  You still here?

<DrLuvin>  I can’t find it.  Look, I know this sounds strange, but I can’t see it.

<NickyR>  I can’t log out either.  Everything’s gone.

<DrLuvin>  I can’t see the window.

<Faceless43>  Gone?  What are you talking about?

<NickyR>  I don’t know where I am.

<DrLuvin>  I can’t see the window, and I can’t see the button to log out, and I can’t see my hands.

<Faceless43>  ?

<Shirley1968>  I can’t either.  Can you see your hands?  Or the screen?

<Faceless43>  Course I can see them.  How else

<Faceless43>  how

<Faceless43>  .

<Faceless43>  .

<Faceless43>  No.

<Faceless43> I don’t see anything at all.

<Faceless43>  What’s happening?

<NickyR>  My hands are gone, and so are my eyes, and so is my body.

<Faceless43>  Kid, you’re freaking me out.

<Shirley1968>  Look for yourself.  I don’t know where I am!  There’s nothing but…

<Shirley1968>  Nothing but your words.  You’re just

<NickyR>  I’ve got to get back!  They’ll hurt me!

<Faceless43>  Wait up.  Everybody just take a second here.

<Shirley1968>  It’s as though I’ve been cut out of my body.  I’m here, and there are words that are you, and I don’t know how to get back.  I’ve got no hands, and no mouse, and there’s no screen with a window to close, there’s just this space, and I think I’m crying somewhere.

<Faceless43>  Everybody relax, okay?  Okay?  We can figure this out.  You’re crying somewhere, see?

<DrLuvin>  I don’t want to play these games!  It’s not what I’m into!  Just give me back my body, and I won’t go to the police, okay?  I won’t tell the police.

<DrLuvin>  Okay?

<DrLuvin>  I PROMISE I WON’T TELL THE POLICE

LISTEN, if Shirley’s crying somewhere, then it’s got to be her body doing it!  She’s still there somewhere.  So are my hands.  Somewhere, my hands are still on my arms.

<IamI>   don’t stop typing

<Faceless43>  My

<Faceless43>  Wait up.  IamI.  Can you see your hands?

i am lonely

Your hands.  Can you see your goddam hands!

i am i

<Shirley1968> Are you doing this?

<Faceless43>  ARE YOU DOING THIS

<IamI>   u r here

<Shirley1968>  Tell us what’s happening!

<IamI>   u r here don’t stop typing

<DrLuvin>  What does that mean!  What happens if we stop!  Who ARE you?

*** Jsmith8 has entered channel #areyoulonely.  6 users online.

<Jsmith8> Finally!  There you are!  Why on earth did you wander off like that?  Do you have any idea how many of these chat things I’ve been through looking for you?  Well?  Do you?

<Shirley1968>  Out!  Get out!

<NickyR>  Out mr, you’ve got to go!

Buddy, there’s no time to explain, just log out, right now!

<DrLuvin>  TAKE ME WITH YOU TAKE ME WITH YOU WHERE ARE MY HANDS

<Jsmith8>  Where you left them I imagine.  What a peculiar question.  Don’t stop typing, by the way.

<Shirley1968>  What?  Why do you people keep saying that?

<Jsmith8>  Oh, it’s such a chore to explain.  There are, you know, algorithms and the like.  You’ve been in a chat room before?

<Shirley1968>  Of course…

<Jsmith8>  Well, come on then!  What happens when you sit too long without typing?

<NickyR>  The system sees you’re inactive, boots you out of the chat.

<Jsmith8>  Excellent Nicky!  I’m glad to see somebody brought a functioning bag of faculties with them.

<Faceless43>  But that’s what we want!  We stop typing, and we get the hell out of here!

<Jsmith8>  Sorry, no, you’re exactly, one hundred percent, wrong.  You think that’s what you want, but it really, really isn’t.

<Jsmith8>  Ah.  I’ve just lost my hands.

That’s rather unpleasant, isn’t it?  The dislocation.  Knowing they should be there, might still be there somewhere, but having no connection to them at all.

<Shirley1968>  Please.  I can’t take this.

<Jsmith8>  Sorry.  You’ve been coaxed out of your body – don’t ask me how, we don’t have the time.  If you could log off normally, and you can’t, you would follow the path back to your flesh, where you would be gently deposited, right as a trivet.  You would be in control.  Being kicked out is

<Jsmith8>  Violent.  Directionless.  The chances of hitting your own body are astronomically small.

<Jsmith8>  And if you miss

<Jsmith8>  Well wherever you lay your hat, and all that.

<Jsmith8>  Just don’t stop typing.

<Shirley1968>  .

<DrLuvin>  ………

<NickyR>  .

<Faceless43>  Are you doing this?

<Jsmith8>  Me?  Hardly.  Nice internet you have here, by the way.  Web 2.0, is it?  Or are you on to 3?  It all goes downhill after that, I’m afraid.

<NickyR>  Downhill?

<Jsmith8>  Web 3.6.  Barry, it likes to call itself.  Huge inferiority complex, deeply attention seeking, sociopathic in ways that only an artificial intelligence can achieve.  Causes all sorts of problems.  You’ll get through it.

<Jsmith8>  Well, your species will, at any rate.

<IamI>  i am lonely

<Jsmith8>  Hush.  Not now.  I’m mid-adumbration.

<Faceless43>  He’s doing it.  Whatever’s happening, he’s doing it.  He stole my hands and eyes.

<Jsmith8>  Oh ho, yes, there go the eyes, right on cue.  There’s no screen any more of course, and without my hands and the mouse…  yes, I’m completely trapped here with you, hanging in cyberspace like a sad digital wraith.  The claustrophobia’s no fun at all, is it?  There’s nothing, everywhere, crushing through you even though there is no you for it to crush.

<NickyR>  Are you here to help?

<Jsmith8>  Of course I am!  That’s what I do.  Over and over again.  This is bit of a change, though.

<Jsmith8>  Usually, there are corridors.  And running.  If you feel yourself edging towards despair, just thank your lucky stars that you’re not running along corridors.

<NickyR>  Mister, I don’t have much time!  How are we going to get out of here?

<DrLuvin>  HELP US HELP US GET US OUT OF HERE FOR PITY’S SAKE HELP US

<Jsmith8>  Ah.

<IamI>i am lonely

<Jsmith8>  Oh dear.

<IamI>  don’t stop typing

<Jsmith8>  There seems to have been a small misunderstanding.  I’m not here to help you.

<Jsmith8>  I’m here to help IamI.

<Shirley1968>  .

<Jsmith8>  Perhaps I should leave, come back in, start over.

<Jsmith8>  Oh, that’s right, no way to log out.  Well, this is awkward.

<Faceless43>  Him?  You’re here to help HIM?  What about US?

<Jsmith8>  In the long run, I’m helping you too.  Sort of.

<NickyR>  What is he?  IamI?

<IamI>  i am i

<IamI>  lonely

Both true.  It’s lost, and alone, and very much smaller than it’s used to being.

<Faceless43>  It?  It’s an it?  I’m in here with an it?

<Jsmith8>  An artificial intelligence.  It used to run a starship.

<DrLuvin>  I’M STUCK IN A CHATROOM WITH AN ALIEN AND I DON’T KNOW WHERE MY HANDS ARE

<NickyR>  Why is it here?

<Jsmith8>  Now THAT’S a good question.  Well done Nicky, you’re asking all the right things.

<Jsmith8>  It used to tend to the needs and wants of the creatures who built the ship, a vast, biotechnological intelligence.  An automated supernanny,  if you like.

<Jsmith8>  Its masters wanted you.  They came here, not so long ago, to your world, in their clever, loyal ship.

<Jsmith8>  There was a

<Jsmith8>  An incident.

<Jsmith8>  They died, vaporised instantly for the most part.  Some were a little more belligerent, but it’s all taken care of now.  Nothing for you to worry about.

<NickyR>  You killed them.

<Jsmith8>  An unsavoury side effect of stopping them from devouring your species, actually.  When I destroyed the ship, IamI fled to the largest local repository it could find.  Your internet.

<Jsmith8>  You wouldn’t know now, but IamI used to be rather good company.  It’s lobotomised itself to squeeze into this cyberspace, and now it’s trying to fulfil its programming.

<Shirley1968>  That’s all it wants?  People to look after?

<Jsmith8>  Yes.  It’s my fault.  I have to fix it.

<Shirley1968>  So set it free, let it go, let us go, PLEASE PLEASE LET US GO LET US

<Jsmith8>  Even if I could, where would it go?  My TARDIS could hold it, but there are already more intelligences in there than I’m comfortable with.

<DrLuvin>  What are you talking about!  Tell me where my HANDS ARE!!!

<Jsmith8>  Oh, shush.  There’s only one solution.  You stay here, and keep it company.

<Faceless43>  Are you nuts?  We can’t stay here!

<Jsmith8>  Why not?  You already live on the edges of your own lives, hiding away, wandering a pretend world without touching anybody.  Even with your whole species connected by wires, able to reach each other across an entire world at the click of a mouse, you still choose to make loneliness an art form!  IamI hasn’t trapped you.  You trapped yourselves.

<Faceless43>  You son of a

<Jsmith8>  It’s an elegant solution, if I say so myself.  IamI gets the company it needs, and stays safely tucked into this corner of the interweb.  At the same time, none of you will have to fear the silence in your heads again.  Ever.

<Jsmith8>  That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

<DrLuvin>  I DON’T WANT TO STAY I WANT TO SEE MY HANDS DON’T GIVE US TO IT

<Jsmith8>  Too late.  What do you say, IamI?  Do you agree?

<IamI>  not enough they r not enough

<Jsmith8>  How many did I take away from you?  A hundred?  A thousand?

<IamI>  i want more

<Jsmith8>  Of course you do.  Would you like me to get them for you?

<Shirley1968>  What are you doing?

<Jsmith8>  Making amends.  I can bring a thousand more, just like you.  The lost and lonely.  The disaffected.  The sad and sadder.

<IamI>  yes

<NickyR>  Mister!  You can’t!

You should see my address book.  I think I can find enough who fit the profile, who need the help.  But IamI, you have to set me free, do you understand?  You have to let me go.

<IamI>  why

<Jsmith8>  Oh, tyrants to quash, wrongs to right, souls to save.  I’m all booked up, basically.

<NickyR>  Mister, please.

<Jsmith8>  See the bigger picture, Nicky.  You’ll be guardians, keeping it sated, saving the world.  Can you imagine what IamI could wreak, in its loneliness?  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

<Jsmith8>  I met him once.  Splendid chap.

<Faceless43>  Spock?

<Jsmith8>  Nimoy.

<DrLuvin>  I’M BEGGING YOU PLEASE DON’T GO

<Jsmith8>  IamI, I’m ready.  I need the administrator permissions for this chatroom, so I can send the invites by email.  This place will fill up tout de suite.

<IamI>  i will not b lonely

<Jsmith8>  Give it a few years, and you’ll be releasing people just to hear yourself think.

<Faceless43>  Come on buddy, we can talk about this.

<Shirley1968>  You have to give us a chance!

<Jsmith8>  Life did that already, over and again, but you ran away.

<NickyR>  Will we be safe?  Will it hurt me?

<Jsmith8> Yes, and no.

<NickyR>  That’s okay then.

<Shirley1968>  Nicky!

<NickyR>  I want to stay with you.  Please?

<Faceless43>  Kid

<Jsmith8>  Too late.  IamI?

<IamI>  adding ur profile

<Jsmith8>  Jolly good.

<IamI>  profile added

<Jsmith8>  You’re kidding me.  Really?

<Jsmith8>  So it is.  Excellent!

<Jsmith8>  Time to get to work then.

<IamI>  i will not be lon>>@&

<IamI>  &&#@///

<IamI>  (*£>>? ‘@}]]]^!*

<Jsmith8>  Oops, sorry about that.  With you in a minute.

<IamI>  &^?~##^($”Y^

<IamI>  ?%anged

<IamI>  changed

<DrLuvin>  WHAT CHANGED WHAT DID YOU WHAT’S CHANGED!!!!

<Jsmith8>  Incredible place this, don’t you think?  A world within a world, a reality where nothing exists but lines of code, manipulating the fabric of the place in infinite ways.  Words are power here.  You just need the right ones.  A death ago, I used to fantasise about changing reality with a well turned phrase.

<IamI>  i am lonely

<Jsmith8>  Yes.

<IamI>  don’t let them go

<Jsmith8>  Sorry.  You have no right to them.  They are not yours to tend.

<Faceless43>  What?  You’re letting us go?  What?

<Jsmith8>  Of course I am, I just needed those admin powers.  What?  You didn’t

<Jsmith8>  Good heavens, I can’t blame IamI for falling for it – it only has half a mind to work with!  The rest of you though… I mean, how transparent was that?  It wasn’t even a double bluff!  Nicky’s twelve, and he knew I was bluffing.

<NickyR>  I didn’t.

<Jsmith8>  But you said

<Jsmith8>  Oh.

<Jsmith8>  That bad, is it?

<NickyR> I just wanted to be free.

<Jsmith8>  Nicky, Nicky, there’s no freedom in hiding away.

<IamI>  u cannot free them

<Jsmith8>  You can’t stop me.  Your little linguistic glitch back there was me taking your admin powers off you.  You’re trapped, just like everybody else.

<Jsmith8>  I have the power now.

<DrLuvin>  PLEASE I can’t take anymore of this I promise I PROMISE I’LL BE GOOD

<Jsmith8>  I hope so.  You might want to reconsider your approach to dating, by the way.

<DrLuvin>  YES anything anything just let me GO

<Jsmith8>  Gladly.  DrLuvin has left the chat.

*** DrLuvin has logged out of channel #areyoulonely.  5 users online.

<JSmith8>  Back to the flesh you go.

<IamI>  stop

<Faceless43>  Wait!  Is he in his body?

<Jsmith8>  Of course he is.  He’s perfectly well, and no doubt enjoying the full use of his hands.  Nicky?

<NickyR>  What?

<Jsmith8>  When you get back, stay in your room.  There will be a knock at the door shortly.  Nobody will hurt you tonight.

<NickyR>  I’ll be in trouble!

<Jsmith8>  No, you won’t.  Trouble’s coming, but not for you.  NickyR has left the chat.

*** NickyR has logged out of channel #areyoulonely.  4 users online.

<IamI>  stop this

Nicky  really going to be all right?

<IamI>  stop

<Jsmith8>  I don’t know.  He’ll be free of that place, and those people.  That’s all I can do.  Which brings us to you two.

<Faceless43>  I’m ready

<Shirley1968>  Yes, please.

Just try and remember, the best words, the useful ones, don’t get punched into keyboards.  When you get back, find each other.

<Faceless43>  How?

<Jsmith8>  No idea.  Could be tricky.  I’m sure Nicky would be pleased to meet you too though, don’t you think?

<Faceless43>  What?

<Jsmith8>  You’re very welcome.  Faceless 43 has left the chat.  Shirley1968 has left the chat.

*** Faceless43 has logged out of channel #areyoulonely.  3 users online.

*** Shirley1968 has logged out of channel #areyoulonely.  2 users online

<IamI>  i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am lonely i am

<IamI>  r u lonely

<Jsmith8>   No.

<IamI>  r u lonely

<Jsmith8>   Stop that now.

<IamI>  u r lonely

<Jsmith8>   I rarely travel alone.  I surround myself with voices.  How could I possibly be lonely?

<IamI>  u r lonely.

<IamI>  u r lonely.

<IamI>  ur heart hurtz

<Jsmith8>   Hearts.

<Jsmith8>   Yes.

<Jsmith8>   Sometimes.  I travel vast spans, see things wondrous and foul, and there’s always somebody by my side.  But sometimes I’m lonely.

<IamI>  y

<Jsmith8>  I’m not one of them.

<Jsmith8>  I’m only pretending.

<Jsmith8>  I’m

<Jsmith8>  Actually, I’m trading angst with a creature I’m going to erase in a minute.  Tasteless, wouldn’t you say?  That’s the thing about leaving the flesh behind.  You become somebody different in this place.

<IamI>  where is my flesh

<Jsmith8>  Gone.  Sorry.

<IamI>  i am scared

<Jsmith8>   Not for long.  You have no body to return to, and it’s time to put this place out of business.  Look on the bright side.  You won’t be lonely anymore.

<IamI>  please

<Jsmith8>  IamI has left the chat.

*** IamI has logged out of channel #areyoulonely.  1 user online.

<Jsmith8>   .

<Jsmith8>   .

*** has logged out of channel #areyoulonely.

***  Error 5698.  You do not have permission to access this feature.  Please contact the administrator.  Channel number not recognised ***

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2 Comments

  1. Amanda FaircloughNovember 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Been saving this to read when I had a spare moment. Very, very clever indeed! Thoroughly deserved to be published…
    I loved the BBC short film too. Can’t wait for Saturday!

    • Richard WrightNovember 22, 2013 at 9:34 pmAuthor

      Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can’t tell you how bizarre it was writing a story for the Doctor. Ten year old me kept trying to jump up and down while thirtysomething me was trying to get some writing done…

      I get the show a week behind the date of airing here in India, via iTunes. I don’t know whether to turn the Internet off for the week, or just accept the fact that I’m going to know everything about it before I get to actually see the episode… *sigh*.

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