(Based on a story by Tom Baker and Ian Marter)
“COME ON” Christopher shouted to the others from his boat. The Scarecrows had been chasing them for hours. They were among the last survivors from Liage. Originally 30 men and women had managed to flee from the village during the Scarecrow’s slaughter, but only 6 of the survivors, including Christopher had managed to make it to the harbour.
Christopher had gone ahead to the boat, not bothering to look and see if the others were behind him or not. He wasn’t a coward. Far from it, but he was the only one who could work the boat.
Christopher could see what looked like hundreds of the Scrarecrows on the beach chasing the mere 5 survivors, two of whom they caught up to and then tore to pieces. For a second Christopher contemplated leaving the final 3. He needed to get back to the main land not just for himself, but to warn the people there of what was happening. Christopher wasn’t sure if the Scarecrow’s could swim or not, and his boat couldn’t move that fast. If he went now maybe he could get a good head start on them?
He stayed behind to the end however and the three survivors, a young boy and his parents managed to make it to the boat. Unfortunately one of the Scarecrows managed to jump after them, and landed on the deck.
Before Christopher or his parents could help the boy, the Scarecrow dug its claws deep into his stomach. Christopher struck the monster with a wrench knocking it to the floor, whilst two more Scarecrow’s tried to crawl onto the boat. Christopher handed the wrench to the boys father, whilst he started the boat.
Christopher managed to get the boat out of reach before more Scarecrows could jump onto the deck. It appeared the monsters couldn’t swim as they stopped when they got to the shore. The father, a large heavy set man knocked the Scarecrow that had attacked his son overboard and into one of the monsters climbing over the edge of the boat, whilst the other Demon climbing over grabbed him by the throat.
The boys mother however hit the Demon straight in the face with the wrench whilst it was distracted, sending it tumbling back into the sea.
The mother then returned to tending to her boy who had passed out from the bloodloss.
“Don’t worry” Christopher said to the mother. “We’ll get help for him on the mainland.” Suddenly however the boat started to shake.
“What was that” The father said, raising his wrench. Just ahead Christopher could see several bodies floating in the water, killed in some kind of horrific ritual. Worse still the waters beyond the body were bubbling and steaming. Christopher suddenly had a horrifying realisaton. “The Scarecrows let us go because there was something in the waters they knew would get us.”
He tried to steer the boat in a different direction, but a massive head emerged from the steaming water in front. It was several times bigger than the boat itself! The head was like that of a snake’s except it had two massive horns sticking out from either side of the back of its skull.
The beast breathed fire just above the boat before staring down at Christopher and the terrified family who huddled together.
The Scarecrows laughed at the survivors plight, as the giant opened its mighty jaws and engulfed the boat in one bite.
“This ship is ours now” The leader of the Scarecrow’s taunted Elena, who pushed all of the survivors behind her and out of the back door of the console room. Two Scarecrow’s tired to attack her and the survivors, but Elena managed to flip one over her shoulder, and send another tumbling backwards with a powerhouse kick to the chest.
After getting the last of the villagers out of the back door, Elena locked it and threw herself onto the console. The Scarecrows, over 30 or in total, surrounded Elena from all angles and pushed her against the console.
“You are trapped fool. There was no way you could have ever escaped the Master. You have to die someday.”
“You before me” Elena said as she thumped on the controls behind her, and activated the emergency system which was designed to take the TARDIS back to the vortex.
Both of the TARDIS doors had been left open and all of the Scarecrow’s were instantly sucked out into the vortex. Elena meanwhile grabbed onto two safety handles underneath the console. The Doctor had them installed after a few accidents with the doors in the past. They put whoever held them into a state of temporal grace. As a result Elena didn’t even have to grip them that hard, whilst the other Scarecrows who clung to the Tardis console and the walls with all their inhuman strength were pulled out in a matter of seconds.
One of the Scracecrow’s did manage to grab onto Elena’s foot, but with a quick kick to the face she sent it flying out into the vortex with the others.
Elena then shut the doors. She felt sick at having to condemn even those monsters to that fate. The Scarecrow’s wouldn’t die in the vortex. They would be forced to float around through an endless void for all eternity.
“What else could I have done” she tried to rationalise to herself, before pressing the fast return switch to take the TARDIS back to its previous location.
“It’s okay” she said to the survivors as she opened the back door. “They’ve gone.”
“How did you?” Mrs Tulloch asked.
“You don’t want to know.” Elena said with regret.
Outside, Elena could see that they had landed on a different part of the island.
“Damn” She said as she thumped down furiously on the TARDIS console. “God this machine is so unpredictable. I don’t know where we’ve landed. It could be 100 years in the past for all I know.”
“No we’re still in Liage.” Mrs Tulloch said. “We’re just a few miles away from the church.”
“I need to find the Doctor. He’s expecting the TARDIS to be where we left it. He could be in danger right now with no way of escape. I have to find him.”
“You’re just going to leave us?” One of the men at the back said. He was short, bald, yet had a very strong build. His name was Stanley and he had been the mayor of Liage for many years. He didn’t trust either the Doctor or Elena. To be fair no one there really did, but Stanley always had trouble taking orders from others. He had kept quiet until now however as he had been ashamed at not being able to protect the village from the monsters, but now he felt he had to speak up.
“We don’t know who, or what you are.” Stanley said in anger.” And you’re just going to leave us in this strange place, that those monsters already broke into? How do we know you’re not in league with them? This could just be another one of their sick little games, to make us think we’re safe and then those things will corner us here.”
Some of the other villagers started to look at Elena in a more suspicious way, even Mrs Tulloch and her daughter. Even in these circumstances, Stanley still had a way of swaying people.
“Look at her one eye and red hair. She’s a Demon!” One scared villager shouted from the back.
“I’m not a Demon, I’m not in league with those Scarecrow’s. I’m in the same position as all of you. I’m scared, I’m fighting for my life. My friend is out there, and if I don’t act now he could die.” Elena said.
“We’re not being left in here.” One of the villagers, an old woman, from the back shrieked.
“It’s the safest place for you.” Elena said.
“If they get in here we’re cornered. Outside we at least have somewhere to run.” Stanley protested.
“Besides you’re not the only one with people out there who might need help.” He continued as he looked round at the rest of the survivors.
Elena knew it was pointless to argue with them any further. They barely trusted her as it was, and she didn’t blame them. Here they were, cooped up in a strange looking ship, with a woman who looked like a monster to them. Maybe they were right that it would be safer outside, though Elena didn’t like to leave the TARDIS unattended, the survivors wouldn’t have been able to defend it anyway.
“Right then no point in arguing any more lets go. I don’t agree with you, but I can’t waste any more time while the Doctor might need my help come on.” Elena said.
Outside the Tardis were the ruins of what looked like a little shop and a few houses. There were bodies strewn all over the street, all mangled beyond recognition. Some of the villagers cowered at the sight, others looked away, one was even sick.
Even already Elena knew it was a mistake to bring the villagers along.
Suddenly the entire town began to shake violently so much several of the buildings began to collapse.
“Doctor what’s going on?” Yarox shouted as he tried to help the Doctor who had been knocked off of his feet.
“It’s another dimenaional breach.” The Doctor said.
“These blood rituals, whatever they are are designed to break down the barriers between this world and theirs.”
The shaking stopped, but up ahead the Doctor could see cracks beginning to form in the streets. He went to examine one and for a few seconds he saw what looked like fire in between the cracks, before it turned to normal.
“The walls between universes are weak. They could shatter any minute. I don’t know what the Scarecrow’s are doing, but it seems they are draining the energy from the humans to break down the walls. One more ritual could bring forth whatever they want.”
The Doctor was interruped by the sounds of someone screaming in the distance.
“PLEASE HELP ME SOMEONE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!”
The Doctor pushed Yarox into an alleway and told him to be quite, whilst he fished into his pocket for his gadget. The two time travellers saw a young boy, cut and bloodied running by them. Behind him was a Scarecrow riding a bicycle! Its flaming eyes and mouth lit up the dark road ahead.
“Excuse me.” The Doctor said as he ran out to meet the monster. ” I’d like to have a word with you. You see me and my friends, we came here for a little holiday, just the three of us, but it’s not quite what we were expecting. Too many tourists, too many Demon Scarecrow’s, too many Eldritch abominations. I was wondering can you recommend any other nice little, quite rural areas?”
The Scarecrow turned and hissed at the Doctor. “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get the name of that place.” The Doctor said mockingly.
The Scarecrow jumped off of its bike and grabbed the Doctor by his lapels, hissing and roaring.
“Ah yes I know the place, lovely during this time of year”. The Doctor said flippantly before activating his gadget. The Scarecrow bent backwards in pain and staggered about for a few seconds, before reaching out and grabbing the Doctor by the throat with both hands.
Yarox tried to pull the monster off of the Doctor, but it was no use.
“Don’t worry Yarox. I have it all under control.” The Doctor said as he lightly pushed the monsters claws away from his throat and adjusted his suit.
“It’s now trapped in a forcefield that nothing can penetrate, or control except this little gizmo here.”
“You did it Doctor!” Yarox said with exhalted relief.
“Yes well my boy when you’ve been around as much as I have you.” Suddenly the Doctor noticed the boy the Scarecrow was chasing had gone.
“We have to find him.” The Doctor and Yarox ran down the street, though the Scarecrow the Doctor had taken control of remained completely still.
“Of course.” The Doctor said as he darted back to the Scarecrow.
“Come on I suspect we’ll need your help.”
The boy had ran in blind terror down the street and round the nearest corner. He obviously had no idea who the Doctor was and so as soon as he had seen the monster grab the Time Lord he fled. He knew there was nothing he could have done to help him, and as far as he knew it may have been his only chance.
Unfortunately it proved to be the wrong decision. Just round the corner were the two dozen or so Scarecrow’s that had chased the Doctor and Yarox out of the church. The monsters noticed the boy instantly and were quick to pounce on him.
Within a few seconds the boy was trapped under a horde of the monsters, clawing at him. He felt sure it was over and didn’t even bother to fight back, when suddenly one of the Scarecrow’s screamed at the others to stop.
“We need him alive for now remember. Besides I have a very special fate in mind for him.” The leader of the Scarecrows said.
Elena and the other villagers had not encountered any Scarecrow’s yet. They were on the other side of the village. Along the way however one young woman had recognised one of the corpses as that of her husband. His face like all the others was mutilated beyond recognition, but she recognised the remains of the tattered suit he wore on the day of the attack. The two had only been married for a few months, but they had known each other since they were children. She ran towards his corpse and started to cradle it.
“No, no, no, please this can’t be happening.” She weeped as she held what was left of her husband.
The others tried to talk her away, but she refused leave her husband again. After a few minutes Elena insisted that they would have to leave.
“You really are inhuman aren’t you?” Stanley said.
“I’m sorry, I wish there was something that we could do, but we can’t just stand around here like sitting ducks whilst the Doctor is in danger.” Elena said.
Stanley refused to leave her and an argument soon broke out between them, with most of the survivors taking Stanley’s side.
“I’ve known this young woman for my entire life and if you think I’m going to just leave her here.” Stanley shouted.
“Fine I’ll carry her.”
“You won’t lay a finger on her.”
“Oh for god’s sake what do you.”
Elena noticed a screaming sound in the background. It was coming from what looked like the remains of an old pub.
Wasting no time arguing further Elena ran to the pub. Inside she could see one of the Scarecrow’s torturing a young man. It had strung him upside down from the ceiling and was slashing him with its metal claws. The monster hadn’t noticed Elena as it was too caught up in its own sadistic games. Elena grabbed a pool ball from a snooker table and walked slowly up to the Scarecrow from behind. She struck it over the back of the head with all her strength, knocking it face down.
As Elena went to untie the monsters prisoner however, the Scarecrow instantly jumped back up.
“Was that supposed to hurt?” The monster sneered. Elena tried to hit the Scarecrow in the face again, but it slashed her across the arm, causing her to drop the ball. Elena tried to kick the monster, but it managed to grab her foot and pulled hard, knocking her face down.
The Scarecrow then started to slashed Elena on the back. She didn’t let the pain deter her however, and thrust herself backwards into the monster, sending it tumbling back. Elena then ran to a nearby table and picked up a large empty bottle of vodka which she smashed over the Scarecrows head to no effect. She then leaped over the pool table and rammed it into the monster. She managed to push the creature back into a nearby wall, but the Demon responded by smashing the table in half with one strike. The beast tried to strike at Elena again, this time aiming for her throat, but she managed to dodge its attack and flip it over her shoulder before trying to unti the prisoner again.
The monster however jumped up again, only this time it was too fast and managed to grab Elena from behind in a headlock. She struggled with all of her strength, but the Demon held on tight, and started to slowly dig one of its metal claws into her throat.
Before it could slice her skin open, Stanley hit the monster over the head with a chair. Elena looked around to see several more of the survivors dogpiling on the monster, whilst others, including Mrs Tulloch helped the prisoner down.
The Scarecrow tossed the other survivors, including Stanley aside, but they distracted it long enough for Elena to land an air kick into the Demon’s chest, sending it flying across the room. Elena made sure the villagers got out before her and distracted the Scarecrow by throwing anything she could at the monster, pool balls, bottles, even a chair.
Outside they all headed down the nearest street, with two men carrying the Scarecrow’s prisoner. Elena could see among the survivors, the young woman whose husband had been killed by the monsters.
“I’m sorry” Elena said to the woman. “I didn’t meant to.”
“No we are.” Stanley interrupted. “I’m not going to pretend to even understand what you, or your two friends are, but I saw in there that you were willing to risk your life for us. I’m sorry I misjudged you.”
“Believe you me, people born thousands of years later have been far more judgemental than you lot were.” Elena
As they ran blindly down the streets, Elena looked around for anything they could use against the Scarecrow’s, or even just anywhere they could hide.
“Please I can’t go on any longer.” The Scarecrow’s former prisoner said. The survivors stopped and put the man down, whilst Elena got a good look at his wounds.
“Please.” He said. “They took my little brother away. They said he was going to meet our parents, you have to help him.”
He started to cough up blood. It was obvious that he wouldn’t last much longer and Elena and the others did all they could to make him feel comfortable in his last few moments.
“I promise we’ll find him” Elena said gently as she held his hand, whilst the others kept a look out for the Scarecrow.
The earth began to shake again, only this time it split open just in front of the survivors. Suddenly several tentacles began to emerge from the crack in the ground. The tentacles were roughly 80 feet long, green and reptillian looking. They writhed around in the air for a few seconds, with one of them knocking the ruins of a small shop over, before reaching out for two of the survivors feet. The tentacles lifted the survivors up into the air, before Elena or anyone else could help them, and then swung them around repeatedly. They smashed their heads off of the ground and threw them all the way across the village. The rest of the survivors all ran frantically in every direction, but more cracks started to appear in the ground and more tentacles emerged, that reached up and wrapped themselves around buildings, crushing them.
The survivors tried desperately to dodge the pieces of falling rubble and the tentacles, that started impaling any survivor they came into contact with. “We’re trapped.” Elena said, as she Stanley and a handfull of other survivors were surrounded by more tentacles.
“Please, please just let me go. I’m completely harmless, I’m not important.” The boy screamed as the Scarecrow’s dragged him to the graveyard outside of the old church.
“So were we once.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s said with regret.
The Demons brought them to a coffin that lay next to a dug grave. The heading on the tombstone was “Marissa Thompson.” The boy knew that name only too well. It was his mother!
The boy whose name was Jonathan had never known his mother. She had sadly died giving birth to him. His father Mark had always resented Jonathan for this. He was never violent to Jonathan, but he always made it clear that Jonathan’s older brother, Kevin was his favourite. When Mark had passed away just a few years ago, Jonathan didn’t even attend his funeral. He felt that even in death his father wouldn’t want him there.
“What do you want from me.” Jonathan asked.
“We want your fear, your pain.” The Scarecrow said as it pulled open the coffin. Inside Jonathan could see the rotting corpse of his mother. He looked away in horror and wanted to be sick, but the Scarecrow’s brought him closer to the casket.
“I can understand why you’re so upset. You did kill her after all.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s taunted. It then picked up Marissa’s corpse and started to dance with it in a mocking way.
“Such a loss.” It said. “She never got to see her boy grow up. Still maybe we can make up for the lost time by making sure you spend as much time together now.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s then threw Marissa’s corpse into Jonathan before throwing them both into the coffin. The Scarecrow’s then sealed it up and began to lower the coffin into the ground.
Jonathan pounded on the coffin lid and screamed for help, but the Scarecrow’s simply laughed.
“No one can help you now. You’ll rot alongside the body of the woman you killed.” The leader of the Scarecrow’s taunted.
Just then however one of the Scarecrow’s from the back pushed its way past the others and picked up the shovel that had been used to dig the grave and hit the leader over the head.
Before the other two Scarecrow’s holding the coffin could react, it hit both of them across the face and ripped open the lid, pulling the boy out. The leader jumped up and prepared to attack the both of them, but Yarox who had been hiding behind a grave stone tackled him to the ground. The Doctor then jumped out from behind another head stone, and lifted a tomb that the Scarecrow’s had knocked over, and smashed it into the leaders face. The Doctor then rammed it into the chest of another Scarecrow, pushing it back into the others behind, whilst Yarox and the Doctors Scarecrow fought off the rest.
However one of the monsters managed to push the Doctor back the way, and ripped the tombstone out of his hands, before bludgeoning him over the head with it. Yarox noticed the Doctors plight, but unfortunately in the mere second he was distracted, one of the Scarecrow’s grabbed him from behind.
The Doctors Scarecrow was soon overpowered by the others and the leader of the Scarecrow’s grabbed the boy.
“Now where were we?” It said with malicious glee.
To Be Continued