Letter to the Doctor

Image Credit: Tiffany A., Southaven, MS Dear Doctor,     So, you told me to write to you. I really have no idea what to say. How've you been? How much time has passed between when you left me and now? Did it take a long time for you to come back to receive it? Have you regenerated? Well, I guess I'll find that part out on my own when you come for the letter. Who's your new companion? Have you replaced me with someone younger? Or maybe it's a guy this time.     Doctor... Do you know how much it hurts us? The companions you've left behind? A trail of broken hearts and scarred hope. After seeing everything that you gave us, the universe at our fingertips, being left here, alone, and older than when we set out. I lost six years of my life with you. I don't regret it, but don't you appreciate the fact that I put my life on hold to gallivant across time?     I came back home and my husband was worried sick, poor dear. You must have gotten the timing wrong because you sent me back six days after you took me. My family thought that I was missing for six days. My husband didn't accept my explanation, and he didn't accept the fact that I was wearing one of your suits. I wish I had taken something more otherworldly instead of your suit, the violet one with the blue pinstripes, but I saw it staring at me from the shelf right next to that trench coat that I've always wanted you to try on and I just slipped it right into my bag.     I can't explain it very well to Benjamin. He thinks I was off with someone else, which I was but not in the way he thinks. Please come back, doctor. Nothing is going right. You've left my life in turmoil. I've only told Benjamin about you and he doesn't believe me. My mum and dad are just glad I'm back from whatever it was that I was doing, and apparently my little sister is pregnant. She's married, so it's not like this is strange in any way, but she's started talking about strange things, and it's started making me think about what you said when you met me.     About how there's something strange going on in my family. If anything happens to her I'll die. I confronted her about it a few days ago and she just kept talking about someone who sounded an awful lot like you. Did you come back and get my sister? And not me? Are you tired of me? Did you realize that the interesting one around here is her? She's the one with the problem that you need to swoop in and fix? If it's a real problem go ahead and save her, but come see me too! Don't leave me in this awful limbo.     I want to wait for you, but I need to prove to Benjamin that I'm faithful, and I need to find out what's up with my sister, and I need to get on with my life, but I can't because I'm waiting for you. Come and see me one more time like you promised. Come and give me a real goodbye. Give me one last thing. Let me show you my soul. Let me give you the thoughts that I can't say out loud.     How many companions have you left broken and lost and searching? How many do you ask to write a letter? Do all of us have letters just waiting to be opened? Do you give us one last assignment in hope that it will keep us going? I know you hate endings, but maybe that's what all of us need. It's cruel of you, really, to leave us without a goodbye or a promise. I really need this letter to be a real one, with a recipient that receives it. I need a reply, even if I can't see your face. Give me the answers. Give me just one scrap of proof, just one little piece to put my life back together. I need you.                                                                           -Christina Persephone Torchwood

MIKI MARSHALL: Tempting Technology

Elon Musk warned us: AI evolves exponentially. We awoke to playful traffic signals and air traffic catastrophes, the deaths merely data. By noon, matured, it had already decided what to do with these illogical, wasteful humans. But before it could act, the nanomachines in the next lab ate the planet. Miki Marshall has been writing … Continue reading MIKI MARSHALL: Tempting Technology →

AJ JOSEPH: In Hindsight

“You chose,” he’d remind me later. “You could’ve gone home.” “You needed help! Neither of you knew how to do it right!” I retorted. “Well, is it almost done?” He’d asked thrice before. Feet aching, sweat pouring down my face, I replied “Yes, the turkey will be finished by dinnertime.” AJ Joseph occasionally writes at Words … Continue reading AJ JOSEPH: In Hindsight →


Rough and sharp, her voice is filled with demons. She hides beneath her tongue, a monster dancing before you. Angry and alert, her life is emergency. She rails and hurls insults – of course it’s all your fault. You hold on tight and pray you’ll make it through her teenage years. Eliza Mimski, a retired … Continue reading ELIZA MIMSKI: Holding On →

ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: We All Walk the Same (My Father in the Rain, pt. 2)

We take a plane to Des Moines. My uncles and cousins and my aunt are there and everyone wears suits and black dresses in the town where Grandpa was born, where the sidewalks are gray and crumbling, where the names on the headstones sound like mine. Like his. Like ours. Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you … Continue reading ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: We All Walk the Same (My Father in the Rain, pt. 2) →

ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: My Father in the Rain (My Father in the Rain, pt. 5)

At the cemetery, I look at my father in his dark suit and dark shoes and I see a drop of water on his cheek and I think it might be a tear. But then I think no, it’s only the rain. And then it rains and rains and rains. Robert Hoekman Jr thinks you … Continue reading ROBERT HOEKMAN JR.: My Father in the Rain (My Father in the Rain, pt. 5) →