Story: The Old Man and the Police Box, and other impossible tales
Author: Rowena Zahnrei
Word Count: 12,838
Author's Summary: In 1913, a British schoolteacher named John Smith wrote a short story destined to become a classic. Entitled "The Old Man and the Police Box," it tells the tale of an eccentric inventor from the land of Gallifrey who steals a miraculous time ship and sets sail for adventure.
Characters/Pairings: Martha Jones, Rose Tyler, Susan Foreman, The Daleks, The Doctor (10th), The Doctor (1st), The Doctor (4th), The Doctor (9th), The TARDIS
Warnings: For purists, Lungbarrow is taken as canon here.
Recced because: This fic uses the framing device of the Journal of Impossible things to great advantage. It is, essentially, a collection of the central stories that make the Doctor who he is related by one John Smith (and cleverly edited by Rowena Zahnrei). Each journal entry comes accompanied by an editorial gloss before continuing on with Smith's parts, which border on elegant stream of consciousness. The effective mix of styles for this collection is just part of its charm, however. The stories themselves weave through canon beautifully, piecing the Doctor together from the strange point of view of the outsider who is relating what we know as the inside. Overall, this is a wonderful collection of stories that you might find yourself reading through in one sitting, like you did with childhood storybooks.
Now, here is an Impossible Thing. Or, if not Impossible, it is certainly Incredible for I still am having a hard time believing it. The magazine that published my first story about the old Gallifreyan man and his strange police box has requested I compose a longer, serialized story along the same lines. If I agree, they have offered me quite a surprising sum for what I had believed to be merely a small, local, boys’ magazine. It is a sum I can not lightly turn down. I discussed the matter with Nurse Redfern over luncheon today, and she is highly motivated, brimming with confidence in me while I remain unsure. I have never consciously planned and written a story. Always, they seem to have come to me in dreams, my Old Man and the Police Box tale included. I only sent it out on a whim; I’m still not certain why I did. And now they want more. I suppose I should be flattered, but the truth of the matter is, I feel frightened somehow. No, it’s more than fear… I feel oddly exposed, as though the works in my journal are a private, personal part of me, thoughts and memories so strange and deep that...