SCENE: The tar caverns of the planet Mywurt Five. The DOCTOR lies on a tarry rock floor of a pit DOWNSTAGE CENTER. The DOCTOR is also bound hand-and-foot and his arms are behind his back.
MISTRESS enters UPSTAGE CENTER
MISTRESS (descending tractor beam into pit): There is nothing to be afraid of, Doctor – nothing and no one except me, of course.
DOCTOR (angry and exhausted): What are you twaddling about, today? Every day you have held me for ransom, I have suffered your pretentious staggering.
MISTRESS: Doctor... Be quiet.
MISTRESS stands CENTER STAGE over DOCTOR
MISTRESS (sing-song voice): Shut up, shut up, shut up.
DOCTOR sits upright.
DOCTOR (sarcastic): All right, tell me what you have to say about fear. Let's get your speech done already.
MISTRESS: I don't write them down, Doctor.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes... impromptu... a regular Philo, you are.
MISTRESS: Me? A great orator? A master, perhaps?
DOCTOR: It's getting old. Come on, exercise your lungs. My ears are your treadmill.
DOCTOR: Well, you sound like a comic book character – one of the baddies.
MISTRESS (angry): Your brave speech...
MISTRESS walks a circle around DOCTOR
MISTRESS: About fear making us stronger...
MISTRESS: About making us better people.
MISTRESS: Fear can be a superpower
MISTRESS halts STAGE RIGHT
MISTRESS: Did you lift that little speech? I swear I've heard one of your human pets say it before I heard the same irritating pathos from you.
DOCTOR: Oh, who are you talking about?
MISTRESS: Your quaking companion, Doctor. Clara.
DOCTOR: What does she have to do with you?
MISTRESS: Clara visited me, now you know, when I was a little boy. Oh, I do miss my old pantaloons.
DOCTOR: What are you saying?
MISTRESS: I used to be afraid, Doctor. I was afraid of the dark. I was afraid of monsters under my bed.
DOCTOR (urgent): Have you done anything to Clara? I'm warning you...
MISTRESS: Relax, this was long ago.
DOCTOR: We both know what that means to people like us.
MISTRESS: I'll tell you what happened.
MISTRESS sits down STAGE RIGHT next to DOCTOR
MISTRESS: Do you remember the Magellan columns when we were toddlers? Those storms were nothing but pure electricity, but the sound was terrifying. It scared me. I slept in my family's barn where I knew I was protected by its static haze insulation.
DOCTOR (sarcastic): Some boys cuddle teddy bears.
MISTRESS: Clara cuddled me.
DOCTOR (dismissive): You say.
MISTRESS: Really. She visited me during a storm– that must have been the summer when my first application to the academy was rejected. Their doctors were concerned with my mental stability. Imagine that, way back then.
MISTRESS: Clara was hiding under my bed.
DOCTOR: That is convenient.
MISTRESS: I'm telling the truth. She grabbed my ankle.
DOCTOR rolls his eyes.
MISTRESS: Then she whispered softly into my ear, “It's all a dream.”
DOCTOR: I expect.
MISTRESS: Tsk, I can prove it. Do you still have that plastic army man, the one you took from me?”
DOCTOR: I don't know what you're talking about.
MISTRESS: You, Doctor, are a kleptomaniac. Some worlds believe your neurosis is worst than murder.
DOCTOR: I expect I'm probably wanted on all of them.
DOCTOR: You would do them a favor by killing me now.
MISTRESS: Doctor, that isn't what this is about. Besides, the bounty on your head is pathetic. I think Earth will give me all its weapon-grade uranium for your safe return.
DOCTOR: Why, what do you need it for? You could make a big batch for yourself.
MISTRESS: It's a game. You know us.
DOCTOR: All too casually.
MISTRESS: I guess I should go back and act more professionally.
MISTRESS walks backwards toward UPSTAGE CENTER
MISTRESS: There is something I wanted to say before I bring back the burning cockroaches.
DOCTOR (shouts over his own shoulder): Good, they'll give me something to do. Maybe I can use their teeth and cut the bands on my Immobilizer Cuffs.
MISTRESS (riding tractor beam from pit): If you must try... what I wanted to tell you – my answer to you that you refuse to hear... about that night long ago Clara came and visited me. I listened to your TARDIS fly away.
MISTRESS exits UPSTAGE CENTER
MISTRESS (from OFF STAGE): Fear will destroy you those times you are all alone. One must Master fear.
Listen Up is a fictional story. Doctor Who and the characters in this story are properties of Doctor Who. I submit this tale as a fan for fans of the BBC Doctor Who television series.
Listen Up by Matthew Sawyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.