The signal was getting stronger, and the Doctor started running. He had been chasing a time disturbance from the past to the future, until the present. Each time the disturbance occurred, people went missing. He checked his sonic screwdriver, satisfied that the readings confirmed he was on the right track. He saw two young women in front of him and he realized that they were on the path of the time disturbance.
‘Stop! Stop right there!’ He shouted, but they didn’t pay attention to him.
He hurried up, but it was already too late. They vanished into thin air. Next thing he knew, everything went dark.
He opened his eyes, and the first thing he saw was an antique crystal chandelier. He sat up straight and checked his surroundings. He was in a Victorian bedroom. He frowned, trying to gather his memories, before he jumped up from the bed and walked straight towards the mirror that was standing in a corner of the room. He saw the familiar wrinkled face, the dangerous eyebrows and the silver hair. Relieved that he hadn’t unexpectedly regenerated, he focused on his clothes. Last time he had worn such a nice suit, he had been fighting a mummy in the Orient-Express with Clara. Memories brushed over him, and he briefly closed his eyes to focus on his present situation.
Reaching inside his suit jacket’s inner pocket, he found his sonic screwdriver which he used to scan the room.
‘Just as I thought,’ he whispered to himself.
He left the room, following his device readings that brought him into a big Victorian dining room. It wasn’t any ordinary dining room. From the huge windows, the infinity of space could be seen. This was a luxury cruise spaceship, full of people who didn’t belong here. All the missing people were now passengers enjoying a meal served by an army of waiters. An orchestra was playing music in the background. Slightly puzzled, the Doctor looked around, trying to find who was responsible for this fancy party.
He spotted her on the far side of the room, staring through the window. The Doctor remembered how earthlings called this type of apparition: a White Lady. She was a ghost, wearing a white Victorian dress. He walked towards her, and as he reached her, she turned to face him.
‘You are unlike the others,’ she said in a gentle and soft voice. ‘You are different. You are like me, and yet you are not. You are out of time.’
‘I’m the Doctor,’ he simply said. ‘And who may you be?’
‘I’m Lady Geist. I can assure you that I mean no harm to my guests.’
‘Then why abduct them?’
She smiled sadly:
‘Because I’m lonely.’
She took his arm, and he shivered. The ghost was ice cold. She walked him from table to table, greeting her guests and urging them to enjoy themselves.
‘Look how happy they all are. They are from different places, different times; they don’t even know each other, and yet, just this once, they all get along to enjoy my Halloween party.’
‘And then what?’ Asked the Doctor.
‘Then I return them to their own time and location, of course!’
‘And they won’t remember any of this…’
The White Lady shook her head.
‘They won’t. And neither will you.’
‘Why? Why do you do that?’
Lady Geist walked him to a couch facing the windows. They sat down and admired the view, before the woman spoke again:
‘I was killed here. On this ship, during one of the cruises. Before I died, I cursed the man who ended my life, and as a result, I was granted to haunt him on Halloween Day, every year. After a while, my killer was so frightened by Halloween that he considered taking his own life to end the curse. I, on the other hand, was getting tired of haunting a single man. I wanted to experience life again; I wanted to feel as happy as I did on that cruise, before my death. I confronted my killer, and made him a proposal. Each year, on Halloween Day, he would staff this ship, bring passengers aboard and organize a party for me. If he agreed to my terms, then I wouldn’t haunt him on this day.’
‘And he agreed,’ noted the Time Lord.
The White Lady smiled:
‘He did. Now that you know my story, please waltz with me.’
The orchestra was playing a famous tune, and the Doctor and the ghost waltzed and waltzed until everything went dark again.
When the Doctor woke up, he was laying on his TARDIS’ floor. He closed his eyes, trying in vain to cling to his memories.
‘No, no, no. I’m the Doctor. I’m entitled to remember!’ He groaned.
But it was pointless. When he opened his eyes, the memories had gone. He got up, and his gaze fell upon his chalkboard. Two words were written on it, and the Time Lord wondered who had left this message for him.
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