It would be so easy to stop if they were there. The children.
All huddled ’round him, some hiding behind the sofa, but fear not, he would coax you out with the voice of assurance, but maybe not greet you quite with a smile.
You see, he was a little scared too, just as they would be.
Suppose they were here though. Whatever would he say to them?
Suppose they were all there watching him at this very moment, interrupting him at this most delicate and desperate of hours, where the slightest distraction or indulgence in pretence could result in a costly fate, for him, and his friends, even the very Earth and the way of life for all of civilisation as he and his companions knew it.
And he imagines, for the audience that wasn’t there also.
But then, his very imagination was what was most concerning him.
Imagining just one singular child, aged no lesser than four, wandering the rail way tracks, seeking her friends who were hidden from her sight, and she found this hapless little hobo attempting a meekly sort of sprint along the tracks of the vast subterranean London Underground rail system.
And she sits herself down next to him. Right there, on the tracks, playing with her fingers, nibbling them with her delicate teeth, twisting and twirling the curls in her hair, waiting for this man to say something and justify his presence to him.
Imagine that child was several.
Confound it all, there was that problem again, the imagination running away from The Doctor, and the farthest it could possibly be from control. It wasn’t content to satisfying less.
How does he react to this?
Let him think now child, let him think. Don’t stare.
He thinks, he muses, and in a fleeting moment of quiet, having lost himself on the rail tracks of the London Underground, he commits to the pretence. He would dare the distraction.
If only because he’s put enough distance between him and his enemies to indulge his habit.
He has earned this. A little play to broaden the mind, to compliment the work.
To satisfy the child not just in him, and perhaps, if there were anyone in the heavens or beyond watching, to satisfy the child in all of them or any that belong to them too.
He would feign fright at first, to give the invisible children some form and substance, to heighten his anxiety in a manner not even fit for calm. Part of the dare was the confidence to be as bombastic as possible.
He would remind this audience that there was a back-story, and placed his current circumstances as something further along in his future…for the children, the story hadn’t happened yet, it was all yet to come, that would give him an apt opportunity to determine whether or not he would survive the ordeal, and if he did not, well, the children would only know of what happened when he was alive, and imagine the rest. Indeed, he would go on living in their own minds.
He was starting to wonder if the increase in anxiety and the belief the net was tightening around him were cutting off the oxygen to his brain.
Children of his imagination have imaginations too? Dream state within dream state? It was a fascinating puzzle, one he had no time to immediately solve with any form of attentiveness.
After all, every infant in life comes from nothing and everything all at once.
If they were real, if they perhaps become real someday, then all of what he had thought of just before would form part of what he had to say
And this is how he’d say it.
“Oh, oh thank goodness, it’s you, I thought for one moment it was…ah, well let me sit down for a moment here, I’m glad I met you as a matter of fact, there’s something I want to tell you, when we start out on our next adventure, Jaime, and Victoria, and I, we meet some old friends, yes, but we also meet some old enemies. Very old enemies, the Yeti as a matter of fact, and this time, they’re just a little bit more frightening than the last time. So I warn you, if your mummy and daddy are scared, you just get them to hold your hand”
He clasped his hands together to make a sharp and audible noise, and this drew the attention of The Yeti as they came charging down the tunnel.
“Oh, got to go, see you soon” he said, panicking, he got to his feet and dashed off.
Confound it all, this is why I have no time for intermission he thought.
There are evils present that act against everything I believe in. They must be fought.
And so, he bids the children who aren’t there, a very fond goodnight.