The Mystery Man
Slowly, Raiden turned around. It was a man in his thirties. He wore a blue suit, with a red necktie, a long, khaki coat, and red sneakers. He had chestnut brown hair, floofing up in the front, long sideburns nearly all the way down the sides of his face, brown eyes, and thick eyebrows, one slightly lopsided from the other. “Well, he certainly doesn’t look homeless” Raiden thought. “I’m looking for something,” the man said, “Did you happen to see, say, a silver fob watch? Or perhaps a girl a little younger than you carrying one?” Raiden froze for a minute. “He knows about the watch!?” Raiden thought.
“Um…” He responded, pretending to be confused, “What does the girl look like?”
“She’s about yay high,” the man described, his hand in a flat position just below his shoulders (he was roughly six feet tall), “Black, dark blue hair, light blue eyes. Most likely wearing a black leather jacket.”
“So he is talking about Piper…”
Raiden thought for a moment, staring at the ground, before looking back up at the man. Now that he got a second look, the man looked familiar… “What’s your name?” Raiden asked.
“I’m the Doctor.”
“Just the Doctor…”
Raiden raised an eyebrow. “How vague…” “Nope, haven’t seen her, or a fob watch. May I ask why you’re looking for a girl an such a peculiar item? Is she your daughter?”
“Ah, no, no, no,” said the Doctor, shaking his head, “She’s not my daughter…” His eyebrows sunk a little as he stared at the ground. “I haven’t seen her in years…”
Why couldn’t Raiden place him?
The Doctor sighed, running his fingers through his hair, and looking over his shoulder towards the opposite direction. “But the Tardis detected a large burst of energy in this area. She has to be here somewhere…” He mumbled, just barely loud enough for Raiden to hear.
“What’s a Tardis?” He asked.
“Erm, nothing! Just a…energy signature…detector…thing!” The Doctor stuttered, suddenly getting anxious to move again, “What’s your name?” “Raiden.” “Well, Raiden, thank you for your help. Cheerio!” The Doctor suddenly took off in the opposite directions, his coat flapping behind him. Raiden stood there for a long moment as he watched the Doctor disappear over the horizon. Then, he gasped. “The coat, the red tie, the blue suit, floofy hair…! That’s…!” He thought wildly, then he breathed out loud, “Piper’s Mystery Man! It’s gotta be!”
“Wait!” Raiden dropped his bike and ran up the sidewalk. He ran as fast as he could, his heart racing. He didn’t care if his bike got stolen, he didn’t care if he arrived at home at midnight. If there was even a slight chance that Piper’s Mystery Man was real, he’d investigate. He wanted nothing more than to see Piper smile again, and bringing this man to her would do just that! “Wait! Doctor!” he called again. There was no answer. He stopped when he entered an intersection. Raiden’s heart sank. He had no idea where the Doctor could’ve possibly gone to. “I can’t tell Piper what I saw until I have proof. I don’t want to upset her…” Raiden slumped and moaned like a little child. “But I have to tell her something!” Hanging his head, he walked back over to wear he left the bicycle (thankfully, it was still there), picked it up, and continued on his way to home. It was only ten more minutes away…
The sound of shearring echoed throughout the garage. Piper had special goggles on as she was sitting in front of a metal cutter and was slicing through some planks of wood. There was no music playing. There was no sound except for the saw. Then, that stopped after a couple minutes. Finally, she had all the pieces she needed. She gathered all the parts into a container and stood up from the bench. When she turned around, her mother was standing there. “Piper, mail for you” she said, weakly, handing her an envelope. Piper stared at it for a moment. Reluctantly, she put her container down, took it, and opened it.
“You’re invited to Marianna Steven’s fourteenth birthday.
March 7th, 2008 at 6:00pm.
Karaoke, dancing and cake.”
Piper lifted her head. “I’m not going” she replied, bluntly. Mrs. Dominique sighed.
“Piper, please. Just this once: Go out and have some fun.”
“I do have fun, it’s called crafting” Piper argued.
Mrs. Dominique looked at her, with a puppy dog look in her eyes. “Please, just one time, and I’ll never bother you about it again.” Piper sighed, her eyes drooping. “Fine” she said through her teeth. She took her container of parts, brushed past her mother, and went up the stairs. Mrs. Dominique looked on, sadly. “I want you to be happy sweetheart…” She said aloud when Piper left, “It’s just…not safe…”
Carla walked into the master bedroom and sat on the bed. She observed the pictures sitting on the dresser in front of her. One was her and Piper when she was about six years old. She looked so cheerful, with her clear blue eyes sparkling in the sunlight in front of them, and her black hair tied back into a half ponytail, and a faint sign of freckles around her nose. The other was when Carla and her husband got married. Piper was eight years old in that picture. Daniel Dominique was holding her joyfully in his arms, his little bridesmaid. The last one was Piper and Raiden. Raiden was thirteen, and Piper was twelve. Carla started to notice her glow slowly degrade as the timeline went forward. Carla felt guilty. But she didn’t want to risk Piper’s life. She already lost her first husband. Carla got up from the bed and walked into the closet. She opened the jewelry box, and pressed the button to open the secret compartment. Then, she gasped. “The fob watch! Where is it!?”
The party came up far more quicker than she anticipated. She found herself leaning against the wall of an enormous, victorian mansion amongst dancing and partying teenage boys and girls. The lights above illuminating the house into mellow blues and autumn oranges. The loud booms of the bass of the music graded on her ears as the floor vibrated beneath her. Piper swirled the red cup of soda she had in her hand. She yawned and checked her watch. 7:36pm. Piper sighed deeply. How long was her mother expecting her to be there? She certainly wasn’t going to stay here until midnight! She continued to observe the partygoers. Some teens were chit-chatting in the kitchen and eating snacks. Some teens were playing ping-pong in the garage, others were on the dance floor and taking turns performing karaoke. There were even a few in the hallway, being uncomfortably flirtatious with each other. “I swear, I’m the only one in this house that isn’t a complete moron!” Piper thought. “Oh my gosh! Peter Piper!” Exclaimed a voice. “Oh, the queen of morons herself. Lovely.” In came Marianna, and a muscular, blonde haired boy. “I wasn’t expecting you to actually come to a party!” she cried, half-surprised, half-sarcastically. Piper chuckled, forcefully. “Well, didn’t have much of a choice, now did I?” She replied, intentionally making it sound like a double-meaning. Marianna laughed. “Peter Piper, this is Marcus, he’s a junior and one of the best football players on our school’s team. Marcus, this is Piper, daydreamer and brainiac.” Piper smiled, fakely, trying to be polite. “Pleasure to meet you, Marcus.” “Go crazy, you two” said Marianna as she quickly disappeared into the crowd. The two stood there, awkwardly, for what felt like forever.
“So, you play football?” Piper asked.
Marcus shifted his weight and cleared his throat. “Yeah, goalie, mostly.”
“You play well?”
“Yeah, I think I play decently. Maybe not as great as everyone thinks…”
There was another moment of silence.
“How can I politely get out of this?” Piper thought.
What Piper didn’t know, what was Raiden was at the party too. Except, he was upstairs, sitting in the hallway, away from all the noise. He was fumbling with the fob watch his his hands. It continued to whisper, but a little more intensively than usual. It made Raiden feel uneasy. He didn’t know why, but it was a gut feeling he had that something was wrong. “You alright, Raiden?” asked a calm, higher-pitched voice. Raiden buried the watch into his lap, as to not have it be seen, and looked up. It was one of his classmates, Heather. She was much more soft-spoken and shorter than the rest of them, with her short, brown curly hair, and brown eyes with big lensed glasses, and she fancied Raiden. “Y-yeah, I’m fine” Raiden replied, “Just a bit tired.” Heather bit her lip, a bit worried about him. “Can I get you anything? Maybe…a cup of tea? Or just water?” she asked, kindly. Raiden chuckled, flattered at her fussing over him. “I’m fine, really. Go enjoy the party, I’ll be back down in a few minutes.” “Um…Okay…See you around…I guess…” Heather stood back up, and walked down the stairs, stopping briefly to look over her shoulder to him, then continuing. Raiden looked at the watch again, and peaked it open. He suddenly felt a strong force tug at him, as the watch opened to reveal something more terrifying than before. His eyes were permanently widened, as fear struck him.
He was standing in the living room, where many of the teens were watching with passionate applause. Piper was standing on the stage, with a surprised look on her face, holding the microphone to the karaoke machine in her hand. Raiden saw someone out of the corner of his eye, someone much older than the rest of them. He turned his head. He saw The Mystery Man, or the Doctor, glancing over at her, longingly, but also with the look of determination in his eyes. Then, suddenly, the wall in the back left corner burst. Rubble fell everywhere and the teens began to scream. Piper whirled around, her blue hair flying around her shoulder to look at what had caused this horrific spectacle. He could hear the voice again, this time, he recognized the voice. It was crying out.
Raiden suddenly lept up from where he was standing. He knew. He knew what to do now. Everything in his mind clicked. He knew what the fob watch really was, he understood what the Timelords were, he realized the role Piper’s Mystery Man played in her life…! And he knew who Piper really was. He started to breath heavily, as the fear turned into an adrenaline rush. He had to warn Piper! He had to warn her of the danger that lied ahead…!
Piper was finally able to excuse herself by going into the kitchen and fetching herself a cup of tea. At the very least, these barmy-teens had enough sense to leave a kettle of preserved hot water on the stove. Piper felt a sense of peace and tranquility when she sipped the tea after letting it simmer for a few minutes, adding honey, and the warm, herby taste going down her throat. Unfortunately, it ended too soon when as Piper finished, Marianna came bumbling in. “Peter Piper, why don’t you go up there and whistle a note or two?” she asked, in a loud voice for everyone to here. Piper raised an eyebrow, shaking her head. “Oho, no! No, no, no, I don’t sing!” she objected. “Come on, Pipes, it’ll be fun!” Marianna insisted, “Please?” Marianna gave her the puppy-dog look. Piper groaned, rolling her eyes. “Pretty, pretty, please?” Marianna said again. Piper knew Marianna wasn’t going to leave her alone, and she knew exactly what Marianna was planning. Finally, she sighed. “Alright, fine. I’ll give you what you want if it makes you stop pestering me.”
Sorry this didn’t get posted on time! I’ve been sick this week. I’m going to try my best to post on time next week.