TARDIS Index File

The Death of Me (short story)

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The Death of Me
Doctor: Sixth Doctor
Main setting: a bed and breakfast
Key crew
Writer: Robert Shearman
Release details
Part of: Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors
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Short Trips short stories
Whiskey and Water This is My Life

The Death of Me was the thirteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors. It was written by Robert Shearman. It featured the Sixth Doctor.

Summary Edit

Chloe and Arthur own a bed and breakfast, but they haven't had any guests in years. Their house is surrounded by fog, and every night at midnight they die.

Arthur spends his days looking through his book of quotations, looking for a great quote to use as his last words. Chloe just sits, staring into space, wondering if she should divorce Arthur or give him children. At midnight every night, a countless number of chickens appear in the yard. One scratches on the hen house, and Henrietta, the chicken, goes outside and is killed by the other chickens. Next, a countless number of Chloes appear in the yard, and one knocks on the door. Chloe goes outside and is killed. The same thing next happens to Arthur. The next morning, Chloe and Arthur wake in their bed.

One day, Arthur finds a great quote, but Chloe thinks it's too long. She always goes to her death with a scream. When it is Arthur's turn, Chloe was right — he can't finish the quote before he is killed.

The next morning, Chloe and Arthur are shocked to find that Henrietta has laid three eggs — she always lays just two. They bring the eggs into the house and wonder what to do with the extra, but are even more shocked to hear a knock, at eleven in the morning. There is a man at the door, who introduces himself as the Doctor and asks for a room. His TARDIS is lost in the fog, and he needs a place to stay. Chloe cooks the extra egg for the Doctor.

That night, the Doctor is shocked by the nightly ritual, but is even more horrified to realise that, after Arthur has gone, there are hundreds of Doctors in the yard. Before he can ask them what they are doing there, they kill him.

The next day, Arthur tries to explain. Every day, millions of cells die, and after a week, a person is completely different. This happens to everyone, but only Chloe and Arthur notice it. Chloe and Arthur feel a bit heroic for doing this.

The Doctor tries to take Chloe's place, but he is killed.

On the third day, the Doctor talks with Chloe. He vows to stay and help them get their lives back. That night, he is killed again.

On the fourth day, he tries to find the TARDIS, but no matter where he turns, he always ends up at the house.

On the fifth day, Arthur shares his quotation search with the Doctor. The Doctor becomes angry and throws Arthur's book out the window. He then feels bad, but hopes the book will turn up the next day. It doesn't.

After a couple of weeks, the Doctor starts spending his time counting the stains on his ceiling.

At day forty-one, the Doctor is fed up; he says there must be a way out. Chloe and Arthur calmly reply that there is a way out: don't answer the door. He eventually convinces them to try this. That night, Henrietta is killed, but Chloe, Arthur and the Doctor don't answer their knocks. After midnight, Chloe and Arthur talk. The next morning, the fog is gone.

The Doctor leaves. Chloe again wonders if she should divorce Arthur or give him children, and realises in horror that her decision actually means something now.

Characters Edit

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