>> Friday, 2 January 2009
Beth walked in through the familiar doors of the newsagents and smiled at John.
“Hey John,” she smiled.
“Alright Beth?” he replied.
“Not too bad,” she walked behind the counter and said, “Any trouble with that gang last night?”
“No,” John called, “Shop around the corner did last night though, damage to their windows, and dented doors… it’s terrible. Might be an epidemic of louts.”
“Mmm,” Beth replied, preoccupied. She looked over at the CCTV footage and saw the man again. She shuddered as he somehow managed to open the locked doors and walk inside the shop. She looked closely as he walked around, his long coat swaying, as he searched for something. After about 5 minutes, his shoulders seemed to slump in defeat and he walked back out. Beth shivered; it was the fourth time this man had been in the shop now, she was beginning to get scared…
2 weeks ago…
“This place is weird…” Beth muttered, spinning in a circle.
“Aw, it’s not, it’s amazing!” the Doctor replied.
They were on the planet Felspoon exploring a local village. Beth was fed up with being barged and hit on the leg with old women’s handbags.
“It’s just like when my Mum drags me in Marks and Spencer’s!” Beth moaned.
“Wait until you see the main attraction!” the Doctor said excitedly.
“Woop, I can’t wait,” Beth said dully.
The Doctor grabbed Beth’s hand and pulled her through the grassy field to a forest. He stood and admired it happily.
“Er, is this it?” Beth asked.
“Wait for it!” the Doctor grinned.
Beth tapped her foot impatiently when suddenly, a chilling breeze filled the air and, one by one, the trees began swaying like they were dancing. Beth found herself enthralled watching the trees and listening to the melody the breeze seemed to cause. The Doctor looked over at Beth, who was open mouthed, and grinned.
“Told you you’d like it,” he smiled smugly.
Beth nudged him in the ribs, not looking away from the trees. While she was doing so, she noticed a brief flicker in the trees. She frowned, leaning closer.
“Did you see that?” she asked.
“See what?” the Doctor replied.
“There was something in the trees…” she said, walking forward to head in to the forest.
“Do you think heading into a dark and deserted forest is a good idea?” the Doctor asked, walking behind her.
Beth turned and raised an eyebrow and the Doctor grinned, “Ah, since when has anything I’ve done been a good idea?!”
They headed into the unknown and Beth suddenly regretted doing so.
“Perhaps we should turn back?” she said, turning around to talk the Doctor but realising he’d disappeared, “Doctor?” she asked nervously, “Doctor?”There was a strange scuttling sound and Beth’s head snapped around anxiously.
“Doctor?” she yelled, “Doctor!”
Suddenly she felt something spiky on her leg and everything around her began to fuzz as she screamed and faded away…
“Beth?” the Doctor asked, hearing a scream, “Ooh… that was weird… lots of energy,” the Doctor said as he felt a strange energy surge. He shook his head and recovered, “Blimey that was strong. Beth?”
He traipsed through the forest in search of his companion but she was no where.
“Beth?” he said in a small voice.
Once he’d realised what had probably happened, he whipped out his sonic screwdriver. After scanning the area he ran at a top speed back to the TARDIS.
Beth stacked some magazines on the shelf when suddenly a vivid image attacked her. It was that man again, in the tight suit and flowing coat. He was in some big room with some sort of console in the middle. He had a woman in there with him and Beth strangely thought she shouldn’t be there… it should be herself…
Beth snapped out of it and suddenly scattered the magazines on the floor.
“Oh!” she frowned and began to gather them up.
“What’s wrong?” John asked, appearing out of the store cupboard.
“Oh, it’s nothing, just dropped a few magazines,” Beth shrugged.
John tutted, “You’re the clumsiest person I know,” he joked.
“Shut up!” Beth replied, standing up, “Anyway,” she turned to face the window and watched as a brown blur duck behind a nearby phone box. She frowned and slowly turned back around to face John, “Sorry, what was I saying?”
“You’re getting distracted a lot recently you know,” he said, “Anyway, could you possibly go to the chippy and get us some lunch? I’m starving!”Beth sighed and said, “What d’ya want?”
“Anything, I’ll live dangerously,” he grinned.
“I suppose I’m paying then,” Beth said, walking out of the door.
“Brilliant!” he smiled and Beth stopped in the doorway. She couldn’t ignore the feeling that John reminded her of someone. She shook her head, dismissing it and walked over to the chip shop.
The Doctor raced back to the TARDIS only to find a woman waiting for him.
“You took your time,” she said, nudging him in the ribs, “C’mon it’s freezing out here!”
The Doctor frowned, “Er, do I know you?”
The woman frowned also, “Don’t be stupid. Hello,” she waved, “I’m Bethany, your companion!”
Once the Doctor opened the TARDIS doors, Bethany raced inside, and sat on a chair.
“Where are we going next then?” she smiled expectantly.
The Doctor took off his coat and chucked it onto the nearby railing.
“I’m sorry, I really don’t know who you are,” he frowned and leaned in to look closely at Bethany, “You should be Beth, not Bethany, and you shouldn’t have blonde hair and blue eyes… Something’s happened.”
He clicked a few buttons on the console and the TARDIS jerked into life.
“I think you’ve been on the beer,” Bethany laughed, “Where are we heading?”
The Doctor eyed her carefully, “I’m following a signal that appeared when Beth disappeared.”
“Who is this Beth? Don’t you mean Beth-an-y?” she said in a slow voice, “It’s me, Bethany!”
“Just be quiet a minute, you’re getting on my nerves,” the Doctor snapped as he put on his glasses.
“Fine,” Bethany replied, slumping on the chair.
The TARDIS hurtled to Liverpool and landed outside a row of shops.
“Here we are then,” the Doctor said, stepping outside, “Beth’s in Liverpool. Hmm, that’s odd. From Felspoon, 20,800, to Liverpool…” he grabbed a newspaper on a bench, “2009, present day, that’s one heck of a transportation…”
Bethany hit him on the shoulder, “Oi, I am here…”
She trailed off gazing at a local newsagents. The Doctor followed her stare.
“What is it?” the Doctor asked.
“That shop…” she walked slowly over to it, “It seems familiar…”
The Doctor ran over to the shop and gasped, “There’s Beth! Ooh…” he ducked before Beth could see him, “Don’t want to confuse her,” he explained to Bethany.
“What the heck are you on about?” Bethany asked, losing her patience.
The Doctor ushered her away rudely.
“I need to come back here and take some readings…” he mumbled to himself, “I’ll have to wait ‘til tonight.” He got up and sighed, “C’mon Bethany, back to the TARDIS.”
“OK, I’m officially getting scared now,” Beth said to John as they walked home.
“Huh?” he frowned, “How come?”
“I think I’m being stalked,” Beth said, looking around and checking her surroundings. It was worse in the dark. As a vworping sound suddenly filled the air she gasped.
“It’s that sound again! I’ve been dreaming about it!”
She began shaking and John wrapped his arms around her in a hug. Beth jumped back.
“And you!” she pointed, “You’re reminding me of someone!”
John frowned, “And that’s my fault…?”
“Yes, just stop it!” Beth snapped and held her head in her hands.
John stood there for a minute and began to walk away, “See you tomorrow morning then...”
The next day Beth staggered into work, constantly looking around her. She was on edge constantly.
“It’s really weird,” she kept saying, “Like… like… I should be somewhere else.”
“No, I’m telling you you’re right where you’re supposed to be, working for me.” John answered.Beth frowned. She gazed at the clock and hoped she wouldn’t encounter him today.
“Right, Bethany, we’re going in,” the Doctor declared, heading towards the shop once more.
“Where? The shop?” she winced, “Do we have to? It doesn’t seem right… it reminds me of something.”
“Exactly,” the Doctor answered and strode through the doors.
“Oh my God, it’s him!” Beth yelped as she watched the man walking towards her. She cowered behind John, “That’s the stalker.”
The Doctor walked forward and frowned, “Stalker? Nah, it’s me Beth… remember me?”
Beth frowned, “Shut up. You’ve been following me for ages now, if you don’t leave I’ll ring the police!”“Beth,” he said, moving forward.
“How do you know my name?” Beth asked, stepping back.
“You used to travel with me? Remember? In the TARDIS?” he prompted.
When Beth gave no reply the Doctor moved forward.
“Remember I met you at your laboratory, then took you back in time to World War One, then to Barcelona, then Glastonbury, surely you remember that!” he smiled.
Beth felt the memories jabbing back at her and she smiled briefly.
“Yes? You remember, don’t you!” the Doctor grinned.
“I don’t know what on Earth you’re on about mate,” John suddenly interrupted, “But if you don’t get out of my shop within the next minute I’ll kick you out.”
“And you, surely you remember Bethany here?” he gestured towards here, “She used to work here, not Beth!” He turned to face Bethany, “And you know deep down don’t you? You’ve realised.”
Bethany gave the tiniest of nods and the Doctor said, “They’ve…” he paused, “switched places…”He hung onto those words for a minute then jumped up, “Oh! How have I been so thick! It all makes sense now!”Beth frowned once more.
“We were in the forest and I felt an energy surge, it was you being pulled back to this time and switching places with Bethany, and you know what aliens inhabit that forest? The Felspooni! Creatures, distantly related to the Trickster, that live off the energy caused by switching people’s lives. That’s what’s been done! Now if I can…” he grabbed his sonic screwdriver and flicked a switch. Suddenly, a spiky small creature appeared in the middle of the shop.
“Ugh!” Beth squealed.
“That’s a Felspooni,” he said.
The creature was brown and covered in spikes. It didn’t appear to have any facial features apart from a mouth, used to consume the energy.
“And now, if I get rid of it, hopefully you two will switch back places again and everything will be normal…” he clicked another switch and suddenly the Felspooni disappeared.
“There,” he looked at Beth who frowned.
“What am I doing behind here?” she asked, and ran over to the Doctor, hugging him tightly. Bethany did the same to John.
“You haven’t sacked me and replaced me with another model have you?” she asked John as she glared at Beth. Beth frowned back.
“Let’s get out of here before anything strange happens,” Beth said.
They scattered out of the newsagents and headed towards the TARDIS.
The Doctor finished explaining what had happened to Beth.
“Blimey, that must have been weird,” she frowned, “Did you miss me?”
The Doctor smiled, “I’m just glad you’re back, that Bethany… well, she was a bit ditzy, can I just ask, what was your bosses’ name?”
“John, John Smith,” Beth replied, “Why?”
“Don’t worry,” the Doctor said, opening the doors. When they stepped inside Beth smiled.
“What is it?” the Doctor asked.
“Well you know I asked before… can we go home? I need to see my Mum,” she said, looking at the floor guiltily.
The Doctor looked around for a while considering the possibilities. He then sighed.
“Oh… alright, if you must,” he said and prepared to face Beth’s mother once more.