Fiction: The Raggedy Snowman

It was brighter than usual, certainly considering it was Christmas Eve. Amy immediately threw back the covers and headed for the window to discover why.

Everything was entombed under rolls, curls, furls, and pillars of snow, glistening under the sunlight. That was her day sorted then.

She held off for as long as she could, busying herself with wrapping the last of Rory’s gifts while he was at work, getting dinner ready, and preparing an emergency supply of water pistols in case of more carol singers. But she eventually caved in, donned her warmest gear, and went out into her back-garden. She piled snow together from much of the lawn, then decided what she would make. As if there were any question.

Rory’s return was signalled by his shouting, “The chin’s not big enough!”

“Not enough snow!” she called back.

The sun was low in the sky, Rory was getting the vegetables ready for the big day, and bed was beckoning once again. One more sleep to go, and maybe, just maybe, the Doctor would come back for them. Please. He was supposed to be dead, but they knew he wasn’t. Long story. And it felt like forever since they’d last seen him. So long it was like he really was gone for good.

“Where’s his bow tie?” Rory asked after joining her, sucking too many throat lozenges.

“Have you ever tried making a fiddly bow tie out of snow?! Don’t you have one I can use?”

“Pfft. Not on NHS wages,” Rory said, hugging her close as they stared at her creation. It would’ve been romantic, if he hadn’t sneezed and had to rush indoors to blow his nose.

***

Bed was welcoming, and the pair soon fell asleep.

Just before midnight, there was a wheezing, groaning noise echoing around the neighbourhood. Some might think Father Christmas had left the handbrake on, but Amy knew better, and ran to the garden, her nightie flailing around her. The blue box was a glorious sight against the snow.

And there he was, stumbling out, hair everywhere (as ever), red bow tie at an awkward angle, and tweed jacket… a bit on fire. He was busy patting down the last embers when he saw her.

“You look a mess.”

“Ah yes, well, nice to see you too, Pond. Had a bit of trouble with the local wildlife on Hoppledom Six. Quite an impressive evolutionary leap – just 4 billion years.” He brushed soot off his shoulders and looked around the garden. “Where’s the Roman?”

“Asleep. He’s got a cold.” She neglected to tell him that Rory would need as much sleep he could get; the chill he’d picked up made him a frequent visitor to their bathroom. Embarrassing. Plus, she liked to think of him safe and warm at home.

The Doctor was now eyeing up his frosty counterpart, looking particularly troubled by the frosty lump of hair. Then, incredulously: “Where’s his bow tie?”

Amy headed into the TARDIS before he could claim anything was cool. He took his time to catch up with her; she spent these moments in awe of the immense space she found herself in once more.

“Right. Where’re we off to?” she asked when he’d shut the cold out behind them. He was missing something. His neck was too – exposed.

He looked naked as he checked the calendar on the edge of the console. “How about a planet where it’s Christmas All The Time?”

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And off they went, to the planet where it really was Christmas All The Time. Except the population had cannibalistic tendencies, but would put those aside for a day because they’d heard that Time Lords were a fine, and especially rare, delicacy. To apologise for the confusion and the accidental near-hog roast, the Doctor then took her to a planet where it’s Hanukkah All The Time. And it would’ve been lovely, except the Doctor overshot by 200 years to when the planet was ruled by the Infamous Warlord Alana Thimble. Fortunately, her reputation was worse than her reality, and she only tried to massacre a relatively-tiny village with a population of 2 million, which, all in all, wasn’t that bad.

Still, the Doctor felt failed public executions weren’t befitting of the festivities so they returned to Earth in the Victorian era in the hopes of experiencing a proper Christmas knees-up with nary a Brussel sprout in sight. Good thing they were there, really, what with the attempted Ice Warrior incursion.

They eventually settled for a nice cup of tea in the TARDIS, orbiting the Reindeer Nebula as the planet X-Delta-5 coalesced. Coincidentally, it formed at 00:01am on 25th December 1282, at least according to the Doctor and his complicated Delta-to-Earth calendar calculations. “Christmas Day,” he muttered, happily, and Amy knew it was time to go home. But there was just one wish she wanted granting before then.

She balanced her empty cup by the friction contrafibulator and looked him in the eyes. “Doctor, promise me one thing.”

“Yes, Pond?”

“Promise me you’ll always come back for us.”

“Always.”

He kissed her gently on the forehead, and embraced her in a tight hug. “Now,” he whispered. “Fancy a quick trip to Hoppledom Six…?”

***

Rory was up first, and the smell of bacon woke Amy. He presented her breakfast to her as she roused. “Merry Christmas, Mrs. Williams!”

While scoffing the lot, she asked how his night had been, whether he’d been up a lot. “Only 4 times, so I’m getting there,” he replied. “Tell you what though, you were flat out. Didn’t even wake you when I stubbed my toe on the cupboard.”

Weird. But good. Good he was feeling better. Then she remembered.

Leaving Rory with the plates and cutlery, she ran downstairs, still in her nightie, unlocking the back door, and into the fresh December air. The sun was out already and shining brightly on the world.

There, in the middle of the lawn, was a lump of snow, right where her raggedy snowman had been. Her Doctor had melted, leaving just a small molehill of white.

But – what was that? The snow crunched under her fingers as she reached down and dug at the crimson blot, the sole remnant in the middle of the mound.

A red bow tie. “Christmas Day,” she muttered, happily.