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Scenes from a Well-Loved Journal

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"I really do want to try and save your soul, Dr. Song."

The monk was so earnest and so young. River didn't really want to laugh at him. Instead, she smiled and patted his bare arm through the cell bars. "My soul is beyond saving, dear."

"No one's soul is beyond saving." The monk cracked open his ancient leather-bound book, a translation of the King James Bible. "The Good Lord preaches this, and you should take His words to heart."

River merely arched an eyebrow.

"Really, Dr. Song, the parole board would be lenient of your recent activities if you would just accept the Church's teachings into your heart and show legitimate remorse. Surely your family must miss you."

She thought of Amy and Rory and all they'd given up because she'd been stolen as an infant. "Yes, they do."

"See, there you go. You must honor thy father and mother. When you marry, you must submit to your husband. And-"

River threw her head back, her laughter echoing down the hall. "Submit to my husband?"

The monk frowned. "Are you married, Doctor?" Before she could reply, he kept going, "Surely that's not possible. No offense, Dr. Song, but no man would be willing to have you. You simply don't fit the Church's teachings of what a good wife is."

"Oh? And what's that?" River leaned against the cell door.

The monk flipped through his book. "Well, for one, you must submit to your husband's wishes. He certainly wouldn't have condoned your actions."

"What if my husband was the one who told me to kill the Doctor?"

The monk's head snapped up. "Su ... Surely that's not possible. Lying is a sin as well. And you ... you ..." His eyes popped with fear as his ability to talk suddenly ceased. After a moment, the only thing that could be heard was the sound of his labored, panicked breathing.

"And that's why my soul will never be saved." River turned her wrist up to check her watch. "And speaking o f my husband, it's time. Oh, and don't bother trying to fight it. That paralysis cream I patted into your arm will wear off in about two hours." She withdrew a slim lockpick from the watchband and undid the cell doors. "I really do appreciate you trying, dear." She kissed the monk's cheek.

"Hello, honey!"

River frowned over the monk's shoulder. "You're late. Again."

"Had a hard time getting away from that Tyraxian rebellion. Have a good day?"

"Fairly normal. There was a small riot at breakfast, they've forbidden me from having to access to all but the 24-7 Bieber channel beaming in from Earth -- which I do agree is a hideous form of torture -- and the monks tried to save my soul again."


River slid around the monk, and he heard her approaching someone. "They think I should become a meek and submissive wife," she purred. "An ordinary wife. How about we go somewhere and I spend the next six years darning your socks while wearing an apro n?"

"Would you be wearing only the apron?"

"No. Only your socks."

"Who wants an ordinary wife anyhow when they have you, Dr. Song?"

"That's what I keep trying to say, but no one except you and Jack listens!"

After a moment, the monk heard a door slam and the slight wheezing sound and knew that Dr. Song had escaped once more. He sighed and vowed to remain celibate for the rest of his days.