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'I can't wait.'

'The Winstones have a corner bath set into the floor. You'll love it.'

Bob looked around him. 'They're...?'

'Away on holiday.' Joanna Matson extended her hand towards her husband. 'Come on. I'll even scrub your back for you.'



The small man was in the library again. This time there was no ghetto blaster with him, no musical accompaniment. And, as the boy walked in, the man seemed almost embarrassed.

No, embarrassment was too trivial a word to describe the anguish that crossed the dark-haired man's face. 'Are you OK?' blurted out the boy.

'I'm fine,' said the man, though he clearly wasn't. 'Not sleeping again, Kenny?' He paused. 'Do you mind if I call you that?'

The boy shrugged. 'It's me name,' he said. 'You doing some more research?'

'Oh, no,' said the man. 'The time for research is long past.'

'But you were here only last week and -'

'Was it really only last week? Tempus fugit.'

'Time flies,' said the boy.

'You always were very good at Latin,' said the man.


'Are, I mean. Tell me,' said the man, getting to his feet, and looking out of the window into the blank darkness. 'What did we talk about last week?'

The boy smiled. 'I said I was nothing special, and you said that I was. You said that I was "important", which is the most frightening thing in the world.'

'And did you understand what I meant?' asked the man.

'No,' said the boy. 'Well, not at first. But then I remembered On the Waterfront. Marlon Brando. "Charlee. I could have been someone, Charlee. I could have been a contender." ' The boy laughed. 'Maybe I don't want to end up like that, a nobody. When I grow up, I wanna be somebody important.'

The Doctor turned. His face and eyes were pale, as if all the colour had been washed out of them. Kenny, I'm sorry,' he said.

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