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Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Podcast #278: Festive Fools
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 09:38

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Crumbly, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the Big Finish Doctor Who boxset ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Vol. 2’ and the recent partly animated Doctor Who: Shada, play some festive games, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #206: Babylon 5 – Movements of Fire and Shadow
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 10:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, detecting, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘Movements of Fire and Shadow’, and spout our usual nonsense! Lyta and Dr. Franklin have their investigating feet on, Mollari is keeping himself locked up and Delenn prangs her Whitestar. But enough of their […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #277: Make the Sanest Listener Go Mad
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the likes of Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Dark Eyes, Star Trek Discovery and Red Dwarf XII, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:30 […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #205: Doctor Who – The Lie of the Land
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 26 Nov 2017 10:17

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, broadcasting, in front of the 2017 Doctor Who S10 episode, ‘The Lie of the Land’, and spout our usual nonsense! The Doctor has become a TV presenter, Bill is still fixated on a dead woman and the Monks have given up on VR entirely. […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #276: Whittaker Calling Orson
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:15

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who subjects such as the Thirteenth Doctor’s costume, the 60s and 70s composer Dudley Simpson and director Paddy Russell, review the second season of Stranger Things, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #204: Babylon 5 – And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, inquiring, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder’, and spout our usual nonsense! Mollari is feeling left out, Lennier has some hot footage and G’Kar wants to guard Londo’s body. But enough of their problems, please […]

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The Buccaneer Chronicles: Musical Interlude

By Keith Dunn, artwork by Andy Simpkins

Even though you sell your soul
Your conscious will be mine.

Musical Interlude Picture
  1. mp3 logoListen to the MP3 of the Trailer!
  2. ePub logoAlso available, the Musical Interlude eBook (ePub)

 

The vortex, the unearthly realm where space and time mix, a place where no man could stand unprotected. Where all places, times and colours run.

If it were possible to stand and look, only the most keenest of eyes would have been able to detect the TARDIS with its chameleon circuit at rest, the butterfly colours reflected off its mirror like surface. The type 72 TARDIS default mode was a chrome sphere some seven meters in diameter with Gallifreyan scroll work, picked out in gold and brass, swirling around the outside.

The ship span on, troubled and brooding, its occupants lost to heartache, anger and madness. It knew what was coming and it couldn’t let him proceed in ignorance.

 

Macfadyan stalked along the corridors of the TARDIS with a confident stride. He wore his arrogance like a cloak or a badge of office.

His long blond hair was pulled back into a ponytail, a scowl on his face, the fleshy lips behind the neatly trimmed full beard was turned down at the edges. He muttered loudly to himself as he thundered along the roundelled corridor.

“HUMANS!!”

“What do they know about the cosmic flux, the stellar course of events? One person just doesn’t compare in the overall scheme of things. Besides that one person was almost Blanche and she doesn’t count, not really, not anymore”.

On almost a whim he pulled open a side door, beyond it was a vast chamber that seamed to stretch away into the inky blackness. Hundreds of fluted columns disappeared into the gloom and up into the softly glowing darkness. Hundreds of gargoyle like stone figures hugged massive softly glowing eggs. Inside each was a Blanche clone, held at a different stage of its development. Readouts like naked candle flames indicated the condition of the temporal stasis, the clone within and the life support system.

He couldn't remember when the original left him, probably shouting something about a 'callous disregard about the sanctity of “human” life'.

 

He lurched grabbing the doorframe; suddenly he was lost in his memories.

He was elsewhere, the air was moist and smelt of burnt pine, smoke blew into his eyes causing them to tear and blur, he could see her bound in the transparent tube, just this side of hysteria. While he worked he mouthed meaningless platitude, that he would soon have her out of there, that they would have to visit the 1950s World Fair, that he had never shown her a sunset from the Trin Vaiel sector (strange after all this time he still hadn't taken her to Trin Vaiel).

How his desperation begin to rise as, try as he might, he just couldn't reach the junction box, there were no boxes or boulders for him to stand on. They had removed his coat with all his gizmos in, no screwdriver, no Stattenheim, nothing.

He tried climbing the gantry, the sharp metal slicing into the soft flesh of his hands, there was a subdued noise more felt then heard and the concussion ripped him from his perch in front of the junction box, throwing him to the ground. Minutes later came a soft plopping sound as her internal organs started hitting the ground.

 

He came to kneeling on the ground grasping the door frame for support, his face wet. He wouldn't remember how the original left, she was probably shouting about something, all the clones shouted about something. He would have to see if he could alter the conditioning on the next one. Dismissing the reason why he was on his knees he pulled himself upright and closed the door. It was then he noticed the music floated down the corridor towards him.

It was a three-note organ riff that repeated over and over, then what sounded like a synth wash started and then a voice started singing.

Macfadyan winced, it sung at a pitch that was far too high for the voice, as Blanche would say “as if someone had his knackers in a vice.”

When you try your best, but you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel so tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

Not recognising the voice and determined to shout at Blanche or Curtis for playing their music too loud, Macfadyan set off with a forceful step.

An extra note started up, an organ-like note at a higher level of the first set of notes, rolling up and down the cord.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

 

He burst through the door into a large auditorium full of people, it was a party. Someone was having a party in his ship and hadn’t invited him!

A very simple piano cord entered the mix again mimicking and complementing what had gone before.

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

He forced his way through crowds of people to annoyed to realise he couldn’t see any of their faces thanks to the high collars.

An acoustic guitar started, elegant in its simplicity.

High up above or down below
When you too in love to let it go
If you never try you'll never know
Just what your worth

The band standing in the stage were just mannequins, nothing more than ciphers.

Except for the lead singer who was dressed as an Edwardian compare host or butler from a music hall, except for his face which was painted black & white in to a parody of a harlequin, complete with black painted tear drops from one eye his hair slicked back from his face, black & shiny

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Electric guitar and cymbals then drum.

Building to a crash ending.

Then the whole auditorium burst in to song.

Tears steam down your face
When you lose some thing
You cannot replace
Tears stream down your face
And I

Tears stream down your face
I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face
And I

Everything stops except for one lone piano.

And the voice singing almost speaking at a normal pitch.

Light will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try and fix you

The band and the crowed vanished without a sound and Macfadyan was left in an empty auditorium. All that was left was paper plates loaded with food, half empty wine glasses and bottles left standing on the floor or in roundels. Slowly rolling around the floor or floating at different heights were balloons made to look like planets.

Macfadyan climbed up upon the stage, the frustration and anger boiling over he shouted at the ceiling,

“RIGHT WHERE ARE YOU, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!”

Spinning round he tried to catch the sight of any movement, on his third spin the band was back and the sounds of the crowed was behind him.

The butler made a rolling motion with his hands and the blank faced band member launched into a musical number, it was a reggae sound that was once called skar.

It had a long bouncy introduction, the drummer and the sax players enjoying themselves

I am the communicator
I said I am the communicator
And I go
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya

Unconditional love
Nothing but reconciliation

(It happens)
Standing room now only
For the Madness nation

(Ho well)
Got to get a tickle on a ticket for the grand slam station

(Come on)
All aboard for the Madness nation

With the same enthusiastic abandonment the group went strait back in to the chorus

I said I am the communicator
I said I am the communicator
And I go
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya-ya

Except for the sax player who seemed to be getting carried a way with some free flow tune of his own devising, the rest of the music stopped to sting the last words of the next three lines, as a form of enforces

Let me tell you
How I feel
I feel I'm skared for life

Yer I am the communicator
I said I am the communicator
And I go
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya
Ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ye-ya-ya-ya-ya

Throughout the next bit the music seemed to, if anything, get even more enthusiastic and bounce like listening to a musical version of a puppy all tongue and wagging tail, 'play with me, play with me'!

Yesterday was history
Tomorrow is a mystery
(I know)

Today is a gift
That's why we call it the present
All aboard, aboard
Back of the big blue train relations

(Say what?)
Standing room now only
For the Madness nation

I said I am the communicator
I said I am the communicator
C'mon, I am the communicator
Oh yeah, I am the communicator

Let me tell you
How I feel
I feel I'm scared for life

The song finished and once again Macfadyan was left behind on the empty stage after the party was finished. Looking around, bewildered, he shouted out only to hear his own voice echo emptily back to him.

“Hello”.

He stalked to the back of the stage muttering to himself, he couldn’t remember programming in a stage, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t one. The ship could have done it by itself.

“Curiousier and curiousier”.

There was a large twanging sound from above and behind him, the type a ruler makes when it is flicked against the edge of a desk, whirling round Macfadyan caught sight of the Host falling from the ceiling. He was falling in a sitting position, legs crossed, arms folded. He hit the edge of the stage, sitting there comfortably, vibrating to a lesser and lesser degree, with all the tensile strength of a soap bubble. Macfadyan leapt over to him as he now kicked his heels at the edge of the stage and looked up innocently into the face of Macfadyan’s bluster.

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WHO ARE YOU, WHY ARE YOU HERE AND WHO GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO HOLD WOODSTOCK IN MY TARDIS!!!”

“Time passes, things change”.

“Sorry? Look who are you and where is this place, it looks like my TARDIS but..?”

The figure seemed to take a moment to think about this one, he looked like someone trying to explain colour to a blind man.

“As I said, I am the communicator. As for this place, it is carved out of space in the absence of time.”

“Are you always this obtuse?”

“I answer in only the ways my creators let me”.

“HO well then, of course, I should have known, silly me. Who are they?”

The Host ignored the reply.

“And as for why I am here, that can be easily explained“.

The band started up behind them, Macfadyan turned around to stare at them, noticing that the host was no longer sitting next to him but was back in front of the band singing without having to move the distance between them.

The music was a simple plain acoustic guitar.

A light tune that had a hint of golden days gone by.

Macfadyan shot to his feet.

“But can we do it with out all the singing!”

Save me from drowning in the seea
Beat me up on the beach.

What a lovely holiday
There's nothing funny left to saaay

This sombre song would drain the suuun
But it won't shine until it's suuung
No water running in the stream
The saddest place we've ever seeeen.

A very light tune a entered the composition.

Everything I touched was golden
Everything I loved got broken
On the road to Mandalay

Every mistake I've ever made
Has been rehashed and then replayed
As I got lost along the way

The music seemed to pause, then burst back to life, and then drums started, giving the whole tune an upbeat happy air.

Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom, bumdedum

The host danced and skipped across the stage to smell imaginary flowers and wave to people who weren’t there.

There's nothing left for you to give
The truth is all that you're left with
Twenty paces then at dawn
We will die and be reborn

I like to sleep beneath the trees
Have the universe at one with me
Look down the barrel of a gun
And feel the Moon replace the Sun

Everything we've ever stolen
Has been lost returned or broken
No more dragons left to slay
Every mistake I've ever made
Has been rehashed and then replayed
As I got lost along the way

Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom, bumdedum

Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom
Bom, bom, bom, bardladum, bom, bom, bumdedum

The music sidled to a stop leaving only the acoustic guitar

To play the last few lines.

Save me from drowning in the sea
Beat me up on the beach
What a lovely holiday
There's nothing funny left to say

The band and the crowd vanished; all that was left was the Buccaneer, slowly and sarcastically clapping from the corner of the stage. He looked around for the Host. It was sitting behind a desk, wearing a Savile Row suit

“Ven you are ready Herr Macfadyan, ve shall begin. Just pop up apone the couch und relax, yar.”

Grudgingly Macfadyan perched on the edge of the couch.

“Now can you please explain what this is all about!”

“Yar,yar, all in good time Herr Macfadyan. First vould you be zo kind az to anzwer zume questions. Can you tell in one word, words that describe your Mother..? No really, how would you say you would say you fit in to the universe hummm.”

“I watch, observe, trying to find what’s good in the life and help the weak were I can.”

The Host started nodding and scribbling notes in a book.

“Himmm, yar, yar thiz iz good, zo you are zaying that you see the threads of the universe and repair them when they break.”

“Well I use sticky back plastic and loo roll, but that’s about it in a nut shell”.

“So would call your self a seamstress? No perhaps a healer? A magician, a conjurer, a warlock! A Magnus! Juderman!!, err a wizard?

At this point the music started again.

It was a bouncy upbeat tune that spoke of dancing and carnivals, flowing drinks and parties.

The figure singing had a white face, top hat and tails and it bounced around a cane, but it looked like Macfadyan.

There was an explosion of drums and trumpets.

I can read what's going through your mind,
I can see what you hide in your eyes,
yeas, I'm gonna put a spell on you,
Just to see exactly what you'll do

I'm a wizard
and there's magic in the air
I'm a sinner
and my friend you'd best beware
there's magic everywhere

can you see the full moon in the sky?
Time like water flows by till we die
every moment wasted leaves its mark
the setting sun leaves us standing in the dark

I'm a wizard
and there's magic in the air
I'm a sinner
and my friend you'd best beware
I'm a wizard
and there's magic in the air
I'm a sinner
and my friend you'd best beware
there's magic everywhere

The tune slowed down but still remained light and bounce and the fake Macfadyan leaned in, as if to impart some great secret, half way through the verse it picked up to its former beat and the fake Macfadyan danced away again on his cane.

One must forgive them noisy rushing fools
Who have no time for natures natural schools
They cannot see the life that's in their hands
Like ghosts they disappear across the land

A line of dancing girls came strutting out from one corner of the stage, all white sequined dress and white feather plumes, and all of them Blanche.

I'm a wizard
And there's magic in the air
I'm a sinner
And my friend you'd best beware
I'm a wizard
And there's magic in the air
I'm a capturer
And my friend you'd best beware
There's magic everywhere

Balloons dropped down from the ceiling to float about a foot above the floor, each of them looking like an M class planet, with landmasses and oceans.

The fake Macfadyan, with a great show, pulled a silver pin about three inches long from one of his pockets and at the end of each line in the next verse popped one of the balloons creating a small flame explosion.

I'm a wah wah wah wah w-w-w-w-wizard [bang]
I'm a s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-sinner [bang]
I'm a wah wah wah wah w-w-w-w-wizard [bang]
I'm a s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-sinner [bang]
I'm a wah wah wah wah w-w-w-w-wizard [bang]
I'm a s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-sinner [bang]
I'm a wah wah wah wah w-w-w-w-wizard [bang]
I'm a s-s-s-s-s-s-s-s-sinner [bang]
I'm a wizard yer yer yer yeerr (here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty)

Macfadyan stared in shock as the unexploded balloons and the debris of the popped ones slowly faded away, how could a damn child’s toy affect him so.

The Host bounded up to him, all enthusiasm and excitement.

“That was interesting wasn’t it boys and girls.”

He struck a grand thinking pose tapping his chin with his finger.

“Now what do you think other people think about you? Don’t worry only the names have been changed to protect the innocent”.

The music had started again, with a low pulsing electronic drum beat, every few moments a simple three note piano cord, almost pure in its simplicity echoed in the air. Every time the notes sounded the surroundings would blur and change, finally resolving themselves into a small room of teenage chaos, Blanche's room. As the notes sounded a final time Blanche stepped out of nothingness and begin to sing.

Some people say he has a death wish
trouble is he tends to agree
let's not ask too many questions
it's nothing to do with you or me
he remembers a time when even going home was sweet
now he can't feel the ground under his feet

 

Another Blanche blurs into focus but something is wrong with this one, she is glassy eyed, the skin far too pale, the lips bloodless. It begins to sing alternate lines with the ‘live’ Blanche.

(And she said)
"the trouble with André
(is he thinks)
He hides everything"
(but I know)
The trouble with André
is he's a liar

They stop moving but are joined by a third Blanche, who is covered in sores and weeping pustules, fungal growths. The smock she wears covered in the stains of bodily fluids. She then takes up the narrative.

Inside the dresser by the table
something he keeps beside the bed
living with André can't be easy
some things are better left unsaid
he remembers a time before the waters got so deep
when he found it easier to sleep

She is joined by a fourth Blanche who looks perfectly normal at first but as she sings alternate lines, the diseased figure standing next to her, her eyes begin to fill with red as the capillaries in the back of her eyes burst. She begins to cry tears of red from the corners of her eyes. Blood begins to slowly trickle from her nose, ears and the corner of her mouth.

(And she said)
"the trouble with André
(is he thinks)
He hides everything"
(but I know)
The trouble with André
is he's a liar
(and you know)
the trouble with André
(is he thinks)
He fools everyone
(but I know)
The trouble with André
is his disguise

Another Blanche joins them; green tinged and, by the way her hair and dress drifted about, was under water.

(And she said, said)
"the trouble with André

Another blackened and burnt but still recognisable as Blanche.

(But I know, know, know)
The trouble with André
is he's a liar
(and you know)
the trouble with André
(is he thinks)
He fools everyone
(but I know)
The trouble with André
is his disguise
(And you know)
the trouble with André
(is he thinks)
He hides everything"
(but I know)
The trouble with André
is he's a liar
(and you know)

All the Blanches were singing by now, Blanche after Blanche and all of them dead.

The trouble with André
(is he thinks)
He fools everyone
(but I know)
The trouble with André
is in his eyes

The music stumbled to a close and as the instruments left so too did a Blanche fade with it.

The Host stepped forward

“It does paint an interesting picture, an interesting picture, doesn’t it? On the one hand you’re there standing shoulder to shoulder against adversity, facing down anything the pit has to throw at you. But still taking time to rest, to care for your fellow travellers, to smell the roses. On the other, an uncaring egomaniac, happily tossing your fellow travellers into the maw.

“Shall we see which is correct?”

The Host almost lazily lifted his hand and snapped his fingers.

The scene shifted and blurred around them to be replaced by the catacombs and caverns he recognised from a few hours before.

Eleanor and other members of the hunter group (whose names he never did bother to find out) were grouped around her on a raised platform. The edited highlights of those long hours were played out in front of Macfadyan, all to music. It was like being in the middle of a rock video.

With a church organ opening heavy, full of foreboding, when the music started promptly it was heavy in electronic base guitar and drums.

Eleanor stared to sing

There’s no sin in this: getting dressed to kill, laughing down the sun like a jackal will.
With his eyes ablaze and his lips apart he’s gonna fill his cup with the love in your heart and drink it up til the morning starts.
Circulate the red light vistas.
Get the girls and get their sisters.
Pinch em up and give em blisters.
Kiss em fierce with all his might, forever.

Bye bye to another life.
Bye bye to another life.
Bye bye to another life.
Bye bye to another life.

The images started flashing by: dismembering the chameleon circuit, Cre’at planning the picnic, Blanche finding the corpse.

One of the male vampire hunters started to sing (now what was his name?)

Standing on the verge of the edge of the ledge, waiting for me to fall, but then I got a call.
It said wait, hold up homie!
You must be trippin!
You can’t be putting that simpin and whimpin up in your pippin!
You better stand tall, fool you was born to ball.
Took a little fall and now you wanna end it all!
You’ve been chasing dreams like a hound dog on the hunt.
Take your place in the front.
Put your hand on the pump.
And it’s right in your grasp, man.
I know they’re laughing, but you’ll be laughing later cuz time’s are gonna get greater.
You’s a player, and when I say player I mean player cuz your daddy and your uncle was a player.

Trying to alert the authorities, following the trail to Stackmore's house, deal he had struck there, the stacking of Eleanor and then discovering the truth.

Who’s gonna cry for ya?
Who’s gonna cry over you?
Who’s gonna cry for ya?
Who’s gonna cry over you?

Put yourself in your position.
You ain’t wishin for no food and no warmth and no light, so you must be doing all right.

But wait a minute!
Something’s wrong.
It’s lunatic, it’s mad, insane!
Busted like a water main.
Indulgence in another vein.

What they’re saying round the neighborhood is what he’s drinking’s not aged in wood.

The escape of the Vampire Master, and the decimation of the nearby by village to feed the creature.

He’s filling out.
He’s all growed up.
He’s all blowed up.
He’s gotten fat.
He’s filling out.
He’s all growed up.
He’s all blowed up.
He’s gotten fat.

Sure enough at the midnight lounge there’s a dent in the seat where the vampire sat.

Bye bye to another life.
Bye bye to another life.

Living dead is doing time, like drowning on the circle line.

Who’s gonna cry for ya?

(Who’s gonna cry over you?)
Who’s gonna cry over you?

(Cry over you?)
Who’s gonna cry for ya?

(Tell me would they lie for you?)
Who’s gonna cry over you?
(Die for you?)

Who’s gonna cry for ya?
(You’re hoping that it’s true for you do for you, fool)

Who’s gonna cry over you?
(But who’s gonna cry?)

The images faded with the music and the surroundings once again became the familiar TARDIS corridor.

“Now what went wrong there then?”

The Host was leaning up against one of the walls; Macfadyan passed a trembling hand in front of his eyes.

“It seems that I must amend my ways.“

“It might be to late for that “

Anger begin to flare in Macfadyan

“And just what is that supposed to mean!”

“The fates have a fix on you, they are playing tricks on you.”

Macfadyan looked at him blankly

“I’m sorry is that supposed to mean something to me?”

“Your actions have been your own but they have attracted the attention of others.“

“What attention, what others? I don’t respond well to threats you maladjusted harlequin!”

The Host leaned in closer to whisper almost silently,

“There are others who have taken an interest in your life choices”.

Macfadyan tried to suppress a groan as the music hissed back in to life.

A figure stepped through the wall wearing a full length black velvet cloak with the hood pulled up, concealing all the features of the person inside. Slipping it off her shoulders and casting aside onto a convenient chair, revealed a woman somewhere in her mid to late 20s. She wore a man's pinstriped suit that was far too big for her, the shirt and tie buttoned up but gaping round the slender neck. Her bobbed black hair gave off a red shine whenever the light struck it. Taking a deep breath she started to sultrily croon the song, each word breathy with anticipation,

I'll tell you sommethhing
I am a wolf but
I like to wear sheeep's clothhing

The music picked up beyond the basic electronic drumbeat.

I am a bonfire
I am a vvampire
I'm waiting for my moment

The music geared up to a new level for the chorus.

You come on like a drug
I just can't get enough
I'm like an addict coming at you for a little more
And there's so much at stake
I can't afford to waste
I never needed anybody like this before

The music stayed at the same intensity as she hopped and skipped around on the spot, then, as the music calmed down to is former level, she smoothed her suit down.

I'll tell you someethhing
I am a deemon
Ssome ssay my biggesst weaknesss
I have my reasonss
Call it my defence
Be careful what you're wisshhing

Once again the music cranked up to its former levels, once again she started dancing on the spot, losing herself to the rhythm.

You come on like a drug
I just can't get enough
I'm like an addict coming at you for a little more
And there's so much at stake
I can't afford to waste
I never needed anybody like this before

You are a ssecret
A new posssesssion
I like to keep you guesssing

You come on like a drug
I just can't get enough
I'm like an addict coming at you for a little more
And there's so much at stake
I can't afford to waste
I never needed anybody like this before

During the next verse her own voice sung back to her out of nowhere.

When I'm not sure what I'm living for
(When I'm not sure who I am)
When I'm not sure what I'm looking for
(When I'm not sure who I am)
When I'm not sure what I'm living for
(When I'm not sure who I am)
When I'm not sure what I'm looking for
(When I'm not sure who I am)

The last verse was whispered out of her full scarlet red lips,

When I'm not sure what I'm living for
When I'm not sure what I'm looking for
When I'm not sure what I'm living for.

As the music begin to round up she grabbed her cloak, and a garden implement, blew a kiss to Macfadyan, then walked through the wall.

The Host leaned in to whisper privately in Macfadyan’s ear,

“Too much sweetness is bad for your teeth and promotes stage two diabetes.”

“Look what is the point of all this, why are you showing me these increasingly bizarre images?”

The Host turned to Macfadyan, smiling genially and in a half bow, with arms open, said “I’m trying to let you see with a vision denied you on earth, trying to get you to undo what you create”.

“WHAT I CREATE!! You’re not implying that I have created all this!”

“I’m not very good at this. I know, I'll take you to see Freddy!”

Macfadyan looked at the Host sceptically,

“Who’s Freddy?”

With a smile the Host opened a side door that had just appeared in the wall next to him and with a rueful smile said,

“I thought you would never ask”.

He then stepped through the door, with nothing left to do Macfadyan followed him.

The corridor they were in stretched out into infinity. There was a figure some way off dressed in white. With a drum and cymbal smash, a piano started in to a lazy slow beat, one that spoke to the mind of the treacle afternoons just after a Sunday lunch, where your too full to move.

The Host paused, shrugged and then moved on.

“Ho dear I had hoped to avoid this, never mind, just ignore everything you see or hear at this point. Besides, we are so far removed from him that the likelihood of him happening is so remote I can’t even think about it.”

The music rolled lazily at them, the figure resolved itself into a man somewhere in his late twenties or early thirties, thick black tight curly hair and a full beard. His chubby face had a ruddy healthy glow, like a newborn baby.

His clothes, the great overcoat and three piece suit underneath were shades of white, as if they once had colour to them, a long time ago, but now were completely washed out.

His hand dived into his pocket and pulled out a newspaper, with an adept flick of his wrist he snapped it out to reveal it had been folded into a hat, which he plopped on to his head. He opened his mouth and began to sing.

Oh oh oh oh oh
I ain't happy,
I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine in a bag
I'm useless but
Not for long
The future is coming on

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

As they drew level with the man in white, the wall started to bulge outwards and, with a bubble burst, a massive man suddenly stood there dressed in a similar style to the Host, but white, his skin the colour of ebony with white tear drops drawn from the corner of his eye, he spoke,

Yeah... Ha Ha!
Finally someone let me out of my cage
Now, time for me is nothing cos I'm counting no age
Now I couldn't be there
Now you shouldn't be scared
I'm good at repairs
And I'm under each snare
Intangible
Bet you didn't think so I command you to
Panoramic view
Look I'll make it all manageable
Pick and choose
Sit and lose
All you different crews
Chicks and dudes
Who you think is really kickin' tunes?
Picture you gettin' down in a picture tube
Like you lit the fuse
You think it's fictional
Mystical? Maybe Spiritual
Hero who appears in you is a clearer view you're too crazy
Lifeless
To know the definition for what life is
Priceless
For you because I put you on the hype shit
You like it?
Gunsmokin' righteous with one token
Psychic among those
Possess you with one go

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on
I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on

The Host lead them past the two figures, who slowly receded in the background, only giving Macfadyan the occasional embarrassed smile as the music rolled after them. A harmonica had entered the tune giving the music a melancholy note.

The essence the basics
Without it you make it
Allow me to make this
Childlike in nature
Rhythm
You have it or you don't that's a fallacy
I'm in them
Every sprouting tree
Every child apiece
Every cloud you see
You see with your eyes
I see destruction and demise
Corruption in disguise
From this fuckin' enterprise
Now I'm sucking to your lies
Through Russ, though not his muscles but the percussion he provides
with me as a guide
But y'all can see me now cos you don't see with your eye
You perceive with your mind
That's the inner
So I'm gonna stick around with Russ and be a mentor
Bust a few rhymes so mother fuckers
Remember where the thought is
I brought all this
So you can survive when law is lawless
Feelings, sensations that you thought were dead
No squealing, remember
(that it's all in your head)

I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
The future is coming on
I ain't happy, I'm feeling glad
I got sunshine, in a bag
I'm useless, but not for long
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future is coming on
It's coming on
It's coming on
My future

“Sorry about that, you must know how these things just slip out,“

The Host stopped rubbed his hands together and then opened another door with a flourish.

Revealing a low ceiling banqueting hall. Putting his fingers to his lips he ushered Macfadyan inside.

Tables were lined up with glasses, napkins and cutlery; there was the genial murmur of conversation and the background sounds of people eating.

It took Macfadyan a few moments to realise that the diners were a mixed bunch of Silurian, Victorian citizens, Daleks and Aztec Indians. Nipping in and out of the tables were Sontarans dressed in waiter uniforms.

Sitting at the head table was himself. Most recognisable was the first three aspects of himself including the body he was now wearing.

Number one was there in full Time Lord regalia, poking at something on his plate suspiciously. Number two was adjusting the books he was sitting on to make him as tall as every one else. Number three (his current form) just gazed boringly out into space. In chair next to three (which seemed to be the main chair, the guest of honour) was just a white form, a shining silhouette of a figure with no features; the other ten figures were just shadow outlines of unformed ideas.

Speaking mostly to himself, Macfadyan muttered,

“Here we stand on Tom Tidler's crown, picking up gold and silver”.

A piano started in the background, not a grand piano but a cockney one, one that was tunefully out of tune, and all at once every one in the room started singing,

We want Freddie for our leader
Freddie is a man of class
We want Freddie for our leader
All stand and raise your champagne glass

Macfadyan number two stood up, brushing the food crumbs off his jumper,

Gentlemen and assassins and ladies of the night
I call upon you this evening in the hope of shedding some light
I can't go into detail or finger unfounded fools
But there are some here amongst us that are not playing to the rules

I've rounded up the low-life and local CID
Offered a free massage or else the third degree
There is no simple solution in this life we lead
So make things easy for yourself to the baronage concede

Number two resumed his seat, and then every one seemed to join in with the chorus again.

We want Freddie for our leader
Freddie is a man of class
We want Freddie for our leader
All stand and raise your champagne glass

The glowing white figure stood up and voice floated out across the hall,

Peace shall not prevail in Purley came the stark warning today
From his hospital bed Drip-Fed Fred vowed he was here to stay
"I'll tell you something for nothing", he claimed, "Never in all my days
Have I felt so intimidated by the cheap tactics on display"

It resumed its seat.

Ahh-ah-ah-ah
Ahh-ah-ah-ah

We want Freddie for our leader
Freddie is a man of class
We want Freddie for our leader
All stand and raise your champagne glass

The shadow figure at the other end of the table rose to what should have been head height and another voice echoed across the hall,

And approaching the pulpit, the Right Honourable Reverend Greene
"We're gathered here this evening to pay our due respects
To Drip-Fed Fred who late last night fell out of his prison bed
We know the nonce behind it, who slipped the night PD - ooh
The word is out now without doubt you will answer to me"

It resumed its position behind the table and number two made a great show of once again getting to his feet,

Gentlemen and assassins and ladies of the night
I call upon you this evening in the hope of shedding new light
There is a simple solution, one called honour amongst thieves
So we'll take pity on your souls and only cap your knees

Ahh-ah-ah-ah
Ahh-ah-ah-

We want Freddie for our leader
Freddie is a man of class
We want Freddie for our leader
All stand and raise your champagne glass

At this point the watching audience left their tables and chairs, formed a conga line and slowly but gracefully congaed out of the hall, still singing

We want Freddie for our leader
Freddie is a man of class
We want Freddie for our leader
All stand and raise your champagne glass

We want Freddie for our leader
Freddie is a man of class
We want Freddie for our leader
All stand and raise your champagne glass

With the last figure strolling from the room the whole area gradually faded.

The Host leaned forward,

“As you can see we are all excited“.

Using his fingers as quotation marks,

“We all think that ‘Freddy’ has a lot better chance against him than you do, sorry but that’s the truth.”

“Him? What him? Just what are you blathering about now!”

The Host pointed behind Macfadyan,

“Him!”

There were the faint sounds of summer and then a strong male voice sung out into the wilderness,

Here comes a cool breeze

Then a drum machine started all artificial in its thumping repetition.

All covered in black gold
A beautiful new clone
All pulled from a bad mould
I’m not a worm man
I’ll make your world cold
I’ll not be happy, not be happy til the world all sold

Trumpets sounded, low almost like a growl, then the music exploded! At the same time there was a explosive burst of air and flame and a figure stood in front of them oozing arrogance, confidence and contempt. He was wearing a one-piece white jumpsuit that was so built up, moulded and sculptured that it would have put a superhero to shame.

Bad twin your such a beautiful thing
I can’t believe you’re just like me under your second skin
Bad twin your such a beautiful thing
I can’t believe you’re just like me under your second skin

The drum machine continued to play in the background, underlining the big band sound that seemed to take dominance.

The figure's hair was predominantly red but it was beaded, corn rowed and gelled so that it looked like a fiery explosion.

His white nose and chin was so far extended that they looked almost artificial.

Here comes the good twin to avenge the bad twin
She will never be alone
She will never be alone
When she’s under his skin
So who the hells the bad one
With the perfect skin tone
He never made her plan
He never made her plan
It’s just a pretty good clone
It’s just a pretty good clone

The figure skipped, gambolled and scampered along to the music, never in one place twice or for very long, slouching in chairs, leaning over tables and spread out on sofas, all that popped in and out of existence just long enough for him to occupy them.

Bad twin your such a beautiful thing
I can’t believe you’re just like me under your second skin
Bad twin your such a beautiful thing
I can’t believe you’re just like me under your second skin

He was the king of king’s the misguided god of all things
But however bad things are he got to make his perfect twin
Ain't that just the way things are
Ain't that just the way things are
Ain't that just
Ain’t that just
Ain’t that just the way things are

Bad twin your such a beautiful thing
I can’t believe you’re just like me under your second skin
Bad twin your such a beautiful thing
I can’t believe you’re just like me under your second skin

With the fading music the figure slowly vanished from sight, still scampering.

Macfadyan turned to the Host, full of questions, but only to find it squinting up at the ceiling as if looking into the sun and pulling out an ornate looking pocket watch.

“Time grows short, no! Don’t say anything I’ve gambled the worth of you on a rebirth of you. If you’ve learnt nothing here just remember one thing - tomorrow isn’t the same as today, yesterday may not exist at all now”.

Macfadyan panicked, not quite understanding why, “But what is it that I have to do?”

“It may already be too late, just try to undo what you create.”

With that, the lights started to fade until the Host was left in a spotlight,

Empty spaces - what are we living for
Abandoned places - I guess we know the score
On and on, does anybody know what we are looking for...
Another hero, another mindless crime
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime
Hold the line, does anybody want to take it anymore
The show must go on,
The show must go on
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on.
Whatever happens, Ill leave it all to chance
Another heartache, another failed romance
On and on, does anybody know what we are living for?
I guess I’m learning, I must be warmer now
Ill soon be turning, round the corner now
Outside the dawn is breaking
But inside in the dark I’m aching to be free
The show must go on
The show must go on
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on
My soul is painted like the wings of butterflies
Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die
I can fly - my friends
The show must go on
The show must go on
Ill face it with a grin
I’m never giving in
On - with the show -
Ill top the bill, Ill overkill
I have to find the will to carry on
On with the -
On with the show -
The show must go on...

Where, as the music faded, he seemed to recede into the vanishing point.

The lights came with the usual background TARDIS hum and Macfadyan was left alone in the familiar corridors. Slowly and rather sadly he walked away.

 

The End

 

CD’ology

Fix you: Coldplay X&Y
The Communictor: Wonderful Madness
The Road to Mandalay: Robie Williams
The Wizard: Wonderful Madness
The Trouble with Andre: Hormonally Yours
No Exit: No Exit
Temptation waits: Buffy the Vampire Slayer the Album
Clint Eastwood: Gorillaz
Drip Fed Fred: Wonderful Madness
Bad Twin: The Avengers the Album
The Show Must Go On: The Best of Queen

Musical Interlude Footer - Curtis and his blankey

The Buccaneer Chronicles: Dreaming on the Spires of Immortality