A band of silver.
The night slipped slowly into stillness as the drunks and lovers wandered out the doors of the pub into the night. Riley stepped out from behind the bar and locked the front door. Leaning back against the hardwood she closed her eyes.
How was bartending such hard work?
Her shoulders ached and her neck moaned at her like a child she had been ignoring. She smelt like drink and sweat and it took an effort to pry her eyes open. Pushing herself off the door she set to work with the cleaning. Each table was wiped down and the chairs swung up and off the floor. The door mats were taken out back and the floor was mopped to a shine. Behind the bar she took inventory, removed the rubbish and wiped down the bar. Finally, when the place looked new but still old, she poured a double shot of whisky and took it to the table by the window. Taking down a chair, she propped her feet up on the sill and gazed out into the night. The Street was empty. A single lamp post cast a pool of light on the pavement, a small circle of dim yellow in a sea of black. Into that darkness she tipped her daily questions and wondered if an answer would surface.
How did a twenty five year old girl from Dublin end up pouring pints in a pub in London?
The whisky was sharp and brought clarity to her mind. For a while she sat in peace before deciding it was time to move to her small room upstairs. She stood and as she went to turn away a noise, alien to her ears, a screeching sound that drew in and out like a breath, could faintly be heard out in the night. She pressed herself against the window and watched as some fallen leaves across the road swirled about, and a blue police box slowly materialized across the street, directly underneath the lamp post. Frozen in place, her thoughts, that great swirling noise that had never been silent in all of her twenty five years, finally came to a halt. Minutes must have passed. Still, she did not move. Then, from within the blue box, a hand emerged from a crack in the door and beckoned her across the street. Stepping quickly back to the bar and taking down the cricket bat that hung there she tried to figure out what to do. Perhaps it was the whisky, or perhaps it was that question she had been asking at the window for the last eleven months, but Riley came quickly to a decision. Around her neck hung a ring, a solid silver band, speckled with gold flakes. It was the only thing her father had left her. She placed a hand on her chest and felt it’s comforting weight against her. Out into the night, cricket bat at the ready, she could her singing from within the phone box. Somehow the singing seemed far away. Suddenly the door to the box was flung open and a man stepped out. He was dressed in a tweed dinner jacket with purple trousers. Tall and thin with a clean shaven face that looked somehow wise and youthful at the same time. He smiled and held up his hands
“Come on, come on!” he shouted from across the street.
When she didn’t lower the bat he smiled.
“Oh right,” he said “This is all new to you”
The comment caught Riley be surprise. She almost ran back inside and bolted the door.
“Who are you!” She demanded. Curiosity was beginning to flower however. Perhaps because the man looked so harmless.
“What a terrific question, though I suppose the answer is going to take some time.” he replied.
Becoming frustrated with the answers she was being given, Riley marched across the street, shoving the man aside she looked inside the box.
The cricket bat fell to the ground with a wooden rattle.
Inside the box was light and noise. A vast space that stretched backwards, upwards and downwards. Directly ahead of her was a central console with a rising mast in the middle, decorated with odd symbols.
“Riley,” the man said softly, “My name is the Doctor and we are old friends. Not from the past but the future. A future I know, but haven’t lived.”
“What is this!” She stammered
The Doctor faced her and from his jacket pocket he pulled out a ring.
A solid silver band, speckled with gold. It was her father’s ring. She quickly felt for her own. It was still hung around her neck.
“Where did you get that?” She asked.
“I don’t know yet,” the Doctor replied, “That’s why I’m here, I want to find out”
Behind her, the bar waited like a parent. In front of her was an oddly dressed man holding her father’s ring. Scooping up her cricket bat and gripping it tight, she stepped forward into the box..
Doctorwho is a classic example of cult TV and the reason I have chosen to use this for my FanFiction is the way the show adheres to Volgers narrative structure and the idea of the classic character Archetypes. The Doctor being a classic example of a Doner or Mentor, a wise powerful figure who guides the hero on their journey. (Volger 1988 )Though the Doctor in the show, Doctorwho, is the main character, I often feel the stories about the human characters is more central to the shows themes. For instance, the idea of mortality, love and loss, are themes which the audience can connect strongly to, more so than some others. Therefore in my story the Doctor represents the Doner character archetype. It is him who leads the hero on the Journey. The ring which he carries is a symbol representing his knowledge and power. Riley is our Hero archetype. Though this is only a brief story, hopefully a sense of lost identity can be seen in the narrative. This is a strong motivation for the character, as she is searching for herself. Again the ring, which the Mentor or the Doner character has a copy of, is the only aspect of her identity which she owns. This is what her Journey is about. The rings purpose is therefore to give a sense of lost identity to our hero and a sense of wisdom or information to the Mentor or Doner
In my fanfiction contribution we see all aspects of ACT ONE of Volgers classic narrative structure.
-This is where we are introduced to the ordinary world, which in my story is the pub where our Hero works.
– Next is the call to adventure, the arrival of the police box and the beckoning of the hand within. A literal call to adventure.
-Our hero refuses the call, walking away from the window and looking into herself, finding her motivation to advance to the next stage of the narrative structure
-Then we meet our Mentor/Donor the Doctor and we cross the threshold by stepping into the Tardis and accepting the call to adventure (Volger 1988)
Therefore we have two of the classic character archetypes who would meet during ACT ONE of the hero’s Journey, the Hero and the Mentor and we establish the Hero’s motivation, lost identity, for her accepting the call to adventure. The story then follows Volgers narrative structure, completing ACT ONE and moving into ACT TWO (Volger 1988)
Vogler, C. (1998) The writer’s journey: Mythic structure for writers. Studio City, CA: Michael