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Tonight I’ll be on that hill ‘cause I can’t stop,
I’ll be on that hill with everything I’ve got,

Where life’s on the line, where dreams are found and lost,

I’ll be there on time and I’ll pay the cost.

Darkness on the Edge of Town.
-Bruce Springsteen 1978
quiet yet persistent knocking woke me from yet another dreamless sleep. Forcing my old, aching joints out of bed I pulled my robes around me and started out of my bed chamber and as quickly as I could manage towards my chamber door.

'Yes, yes, I’m coming. Be patient with an old man.' Aged fingers struggled with the door mechanism until eventually I was met with a young girl with elfin features and short dark hair.

'Are you ready for our walk, Grandfather?' Phrased as a question the glint in her eyes told me that she would only accept one particular answer.

'Do you enjoy bothering an old man at this time of the day, hmm?' Just what time of the day was it? I’d lost all sense of time recently and I used to place so much importance in it.

'It’s nearly midday, Grandfather and you promised me a walk outside the city.' There was going to be no putting her off it would seem.

'Very well, child, wait here will I gather myself together.' So persistent, just like her Grandmother. My eyes lingered on a single white flower in the corner of my chambers as I slowly changed into my walking robes and walked back over to the door to collect my walking staff as quickly as my aching legs would allow. The door opened easier this time to reveal my visitor exactly where I had left her, I offered her my arm and we set off through the sterile and polished corridors. How claustrophobic they seemed now.

We walked in a comfortable silence at first, although I could tell from the way she kept glancing at me that she had a question she could barely contain. "Well, child, what is it you wish to ask?"

'When were you last outside, Grandfather?'

'Not for many years. There is hardly any call these days for many of us dwelling within these walls to venture out. Even less for someone of my standing. I must confess I am quite unsure what to make of your fascination with the idea.'

'Grandmother said you hardly spent any time indoors when you were my age.'

'Your Grandmother often spoke of things she should not have." How I miss that about her. "She had no business telling you of that.'

'Your identification please, Sir.' So caught up in old memories was I that I had failed to realise we had reached our destination, blocked by a serious looking young man with a head of curly blond hair.

'Yes, yes, of course.' I looked through my robes for my identification. 'Here we are.'

'I’m very sorry, Sir. If I had realised I would not have stopped you.'

'Not at all, young man. You were merely doing your job. Now if you’ll excuse us?'

'Of course, Sir.' He fumbled with the door controls and eventually let us out into the fresh air.

'Oh Grandfather!' My companion exclaimed as she took in the view 'It’s wonderful.'
artwork by ANDY LAMBERT
used with permission
Welcome to inferno-fiction.co.uk.
Inferno Fiction is an on-line Doctor Who Fiction Fanzine. First created in the 80's when fanzines in the printed form were the norm, the fanzine has now leapt onto the world wide web and is enjoyed by many across the world!
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