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Filling the Empty Spaces

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Much later, the excitement is gone. Clara realizes how dull it is to go back to her ordinary life. She chides herself often for leaving the Doctor. She lies awake at night staring at the ceiling wishing she can hear the sound of the TARDIS again.

Sometimes, in her lucid dream state - she does, and then disappointment fills her bones the moment her eyes open and she sits up to nothingness.

She dreams of him sometimes, the young one and the old one mostly and sometimes the others. Sometimes it’s just in her dreams that she feels alive, feels like her life is worth living from day to day.

She goes to the school, she teaches her classes about the wonders of literature, and then she comes home - alone. Some of her fellow teachers look at her with sadness, and she wonders if they want to talk to her. The last teacher that talked to her barely received a reply.

So Clara comes home after another day in class again. Her flat is empty, and she wonders if she is going mad when the shadows start to look like monsters. She fills the empty spaces of her mundane Doctor-less life with her own demons, her own mysteries to solve.

The shadows in the corner might eat her, so she turns on the light. Monster, defeated.

The sound in the pipes is an intruder, an alien from another world come to invade the world by transporting through her bathroom drain.The knocking, the clanging, and the sucking sounds she hears are its birth and growth, slithering closer to eat her from her toes up. When she calls the super, a plumber comes, scratches his head, and when she leaves the bathroom, he has her pipes running smoothly within a couple of hours. Alien invasion thwarted.

Some days are so boring Clara wonders if she could get a pet. Her flat allows her one animal, albeit a fee, and she considers getting a black cat, just because it’s mysterious. She goes as far as the pet shop down the street, looks into the window into the golden eyes of a curious kitten with a bow-tie shaped white spot on its chest, and then she balks.

What if the Doctor comes back? Will she forget about her cat and then it’ll die from poor care? Clara leaves, and puts the thought of her head.

The next school day she doesn’t have to arrive at work as the students have a free day. She goes into work anyway, grading papers in her sweatpants and an oversized cardigan. When she leaves, she passes a few of her colleagues in the hall, and they give her strange looks - first looking at each other and then hurrying along by her.

Surely, they must be alien invaders, or ancient monsters in disguise, she thinks. Clara lifts her head up. She hopes the Doctor comes back soon, and when he does, Clara might convince him to investigate her school again.

Until then, she lives her life. Clara goes home and stares at the ceiling in her bedroom. She turns to the window and sees snow falling outside. She smiles. It’s almost Christmas, and if there’s one thing she knows about Christmas time - it’s that something strange always happens. Always.