HobbyHarri











{April 30, 2012}   The Hollow Room ~ Part 3

The séance had been going pretty well. The five of them had gathered in an upstairs room, the one that felt the spookiest, and set up their Ouija board. George had done a lot of research into séances beforehand – how to conduct them, their history and scientific explanations – and so he had been allowed to lead. He was the master of ceremonies. He was electric. And she was enjoying it too. At one point, he caught her staring at him, and she blushed and her eyes flicked away, and she was smiling. What confused him about that was that what he was saying at the time was something about body decay after death. Given a moments reflection, he decided that at best she was only affected by him looking at her when she blushed. At worst she could have some kind of love of horror, or the taboo, or that it reminded her of stories about romance between the living and undead. Probably vampires. Yeah, must be. He could easily forgive that.

Encouraged by the creepy setting, their knowledgable conductor’s introduction and their teenage spirit, they began. George asked the empty room whether there was anybody there, and eventually the upturned glass moved under their hands, crossing the board to rest on the word ‘Yes’. The room exploded with disbelieving laughs and incredulous questions. How would they react later when things got really freaky? George was loving it. It was just after they’d learnt the name of this spirit that the glass seemed to jump from the board and they all started to shout. As the shouts began to wane, the girl in trousers screamed. And not long after, as the shouts were dying down again, two strangers broke down the door. The shouts began again, joined by the unknown man, and the pale boy stopped laughing to yelp girlishly. With the initial shock gone, the man’s shout turned into a happy hum.

Lyra stayed out of the room, looking in from beyond the doorway while the Doctor hummed showtunes at a room full of frightened and very confused teenagers.

“So, kids, how are we all today? And who are you?”

                                                                   “WHO ARE YOU?”

The short boy had recovered his baseball bat and now held it trembling towards the Doctor. Lyra had absolutely no intention of going in that room now.

“I’m the Doctor”

“WHAT DOCTOR?”

“…I’m not dangerous, drop the bat, I’m here to help. Please.”

He lowered it slightly. “Who. Are you?”

“I’m the Doctor, this-”

“Doctor What? What’s your NAME?”

“Who are you?”

“We’re paranormal investigators.” Lyra strode into the room, suddenly an image of professionalism and charisma. She gestured casually at her partner who flashed them a paranormal-investigations license and a showman’s grin.

She continued, “I’m Agent K, this is the Doctor. We’re here investigating claims that this house is a potential HOPA, or Hub Of Paranormal Activity.”

“But, no one knows about this place”

“No one except you all, a few locals and us. We’re very good investigators. I don’t suppose you happen to know why this place is so little known?”

Silence for a moment.

“Didn’t think so. Probably best it stay that way. Now our investigations here are strictly confidential so I’m afraid I’m going to ask you all to leave the premises and return to your respective homes.”

The Doctor had broken character a while back to grin happily at Lyra’s patter, and had been enjoying it enough that he had allowed her to do all the talking, but at the last comment he snapped out of it.

“What? No! That’s not true, you can all stay!”

Lyra turned to him and asked sternly, “Are you sure, Doctor?”

“Yes.”

“It could be dangerous.”

“Then let them decide. You’ve done a heck of a job selling it to them – paranormal, Agents K and Doctor, confidential… danger.”

He turned from Lyra and pointed at the girl in the trousers.

“You there! Well, all of you really but you especially – why were you screaming?”

“I wasn’t…” was all that was heard before they all started giving their own, entirely different answers and fighting each other to be heard.

“AaaaaaAAAAAAPAPAPAPAAAAAAAAA!”

Everyone stopped and looked at the Doctor – the professional paranormal investigator who was now standing in the middle of the room, arms raised above his head and yelling “AaPAPAA” to a tune only he knew.

“Now that I have your attention,” He turned to the girl, “what’s your name?”

“Amy.”

“Oh, that’s almost a perfect name. I knew a girl called Amy. Not much scared her really…” He crouched down to talk to her at an even height. “What scared you?”

“Just James doing a stupid prank”

“I was not! It was just you being stupid!”

“What was it Amy?”

“There was someone in the mirror”

He followed her gaze over his shoulder and leapt up to investigate the mirror – a wide, slightly hazy glass with gilded, dusty framing.

“Yeah! Yeah, ha –“

“-Shut up James!”

“You shut it, it –”

“Who did you see, do you remember what they looked like?”

“Yes –“

“–It was that guy!”

Following the pale boy’s outstretched finger, the Doctor turned around to face the opposite wall and jumped a little at the massive painting he had missed. Then he grinned so broad. It was a portrait. A grand old man, decorated in some combination of officer’s finery and school teacher attire, all held together with a scarlet coloured dressing gown. He was clean-shaven, but his face showed the pride of a man with a large moustache. The Doctor leant in to meet the man’s satisfied gaze and laughed happily to himself. Lyra went to his side and asked quietly, “Do you know him Doctor?”

“Oh? Me? Him? No. But that face? Could be anybody’s Grandpa!”

“Not with those clothes, he couldn’t.”

He paused for a moment as he ran a finger down the golden frame. Lyra never knew what to think in these situations. A silent Doctor was an unnerving companion.

“What’s wrong here Lyra? In this house, this house where everything is bleak and rundown, where there’s hardly any furniture, but this right here. It’s gilded. And huge. A pompous old man who cared more about his own appearance and status than having an impressive house? Noooo, those two go together. You wouldn’t live in a house without a kitchen, why would someone like him live in a mansion and not kit it out properly?”

“He might not have been living here. Could be a family heirloom or just something they bought.”

“Oh no Lyra. This man lived here.”

“…How do you know that.”

“Because she saw his ghost in the mirror.”

He winked, and she knew she had to play along for now and ask him questions later.

“So… we can stay?” The short boy had recovered from his earlier confrontation, and now stood before his team with resolve in his eyes.

“YES! You can all stay!”

At which point the door burst open, and a second Doctor ran into the room.

“You’ve all got to go. Get out, now.”

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<The above is part 3 of a 7-part piece of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended>

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Part 1: http://hobbyharri.com/2012/02/27/the-hollow-room-part-1/

Part 2: http://hobbyharri.com/2012/02/28/the-hollow-room-part-2/

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{February 29, 2012}   An Apology & An Update

Lesson of the day: Know what it is you can do before you promise to do it.

From now on the Doctor Who story instalments will posted every second day, with the next instalment tomorrow at 7:00. I must also emphasise that this time I am only saying this in hope – I am not promising. Each part takes up, at the very least, 3 hours of solid work and every idle thought before then in brainstorming ideas. It’s a wonderful idea to do 1 story in a week in daily instalments, but at the moment it’s just too much for me. I have so many other things praying on my mind, like the essay I have due on Tuesday, the wish I made (more on that in another blog), and I’ve been sleeping really light… and I can’t believe it but all that is making me wish that the next instalment will be the last! And I’ve only done 2 so far. I know things are bad when I go to the Bay, my favourite place, to think about Doctor Who, my favourite show, and quickly end up with an unshakeable migraine.

Whenever I do post a new instalment, it’ll be at 7:00pm. I can promise the time at least if not the date.

So… the time is 4:54. I’m off to bed with BBCiPlayer – finally I can watch “The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff”.

Good night & best wishes xox



{February 28, 2012}   The Hollow Room ~ Part 2

In a dark room somewhere, a light began to glow. Out of the empty space, to the sound of something churning and grinding, a big blue box began to materialise. The light and sound increased with its gradual appearance, and with a hollow thud it all stopped. The door opened and a young woman with long hair stuck her head out.

“Empty room again.”

“What?!”

There was a crash and a clang, and then the Doctor left the box. He spun around the room, surveying it with annoyance, before turning on the time machine.

“There’s nothing here old girl. What’s up with you now?”

He opened the door and leaned in, as though expecting it to answer him. Nothing. He growled to himself and turned to address his companion in a grandiose gesture but found himself facing an empty room.

“Lyra!”

Lyra was busy taking photographs when the Doctor burst in. Their accidental destination wasn’t quite as dull as the storeroom they’d landed in had suggested. While it was obviously quite old and rundown, the great hall was still undeniably impressive. A wide staircase filled much of the space, leading to even more halls and doors. The Doctor stood by the doorway and stared pointedly at her.

“I don’t know what you’re all huffed up about – we’ve come here twice now, I’d say that’s worth investigating, don’t you?”

“But we need to get to…”

She looked up from her camera.

“…the place! It’s a surprise.”

Lyra walked up the staircase and looked around before drawing out a dictaphone.

“Oh now that’s too much, that’s just silly.”

“Oh? Voice notes are silly but walkie-talkies are a good idea?”

He fumbled at the gift walkie-talkie she’d given him earlier.

“That’s different. Walkie-talkies are cool. Anyway, we are going, no questions, come along now. Oh… No. We’re not.”

The Doctor stood on the threshold of the storage room, staring at something Lyra couldn’t see. She tucked away the dictaphone and ran to his side. There was a moment of silence as the Doctor walked forwards and held up a hand to where the TARDIS used to be.

He turned back to her with a look of concern, and said;

“You know what this means, don’t you?”

“…No.”

“Oh Lyra, you’re supposed to say ‘Investigation!‘ or something like that, make it a snappy, dramatic moment, not some classroom mundanity. Now let’s go explore the rest of the house.”

“Wait! How about, “Empty room again“, like before?”

“Yes! That would have been pretty good. But the moment’s lost, now let’s go!”

With this the mad man zipped past her and bolted up the stairs to where she stood before, making a mental map of where all the doors and hallways were and how they might connect up. One hand instinctively reached for his sonic screwdriver and within moments he was waxing lyrical about the peculiar readings he was picking up.

“There’s definitely life in the place, but it’s almost as if something’s disrupting the signal, yes exactly as if something’s disrupting the signal.”

He looked up and gestured at an apparently random door.

“Lyra, go in there and see if something weird happens.”

“What? Why?”

“Just trust me, please.”

She gave him a mock suspicious look and approached the door. She turned the handle and pushed, letting the door sway open in front of her before walking inside. It was normal. A normal sitting room with no monsters or aliens waiting for her. She checked that the Doctor couldn’t see her from that angle before addressing the pressing fear that there was something either behind the door or in the shadows by the armchair. Still unnerved by the Doctor’s request, she strode out again.

“Nothing there, Doctor. Just, a normal room.”

“Good, just what I thought.”

He checked her face for annoyance. There was plenty. He smiled.

“Anyway, we need to search every room. There is-”

From one of the upper hallways there was a shattering sound accompanied by shouts. For a moment Lyra froze to the spot, but she was quickly brought around by the Doctor running towards the stairs, tugging her along by the arm and shouting “Come on, come on!” They raced up, following the sound of screaming, and as they approached the door, the sound of dark laughter echoed outwards.

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<The above is part 2 of a 7-part piece of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended.>

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Part 1: http://hobbyharri.com/2012/02/27/the-hollow-room-part-1/



{February 27, 2012}   The Hollow Room ~ Part 1

In a dark faded house, somewhere in Cardiff, a window was broken. If someone was inside, they would have seen a baseball bat bob up behind the frame and tap out the  few remaining shards before disappearing again. The short boy tossed the bat inside with a heavy clatter, and turned to grin.

“Right, who wants a leg-up?”

“What, you too afraid to go first?”

“Well if you’re too scared then give me a leg-up.”

One by one the band of teens clambered through the empty frame and assembled in the room, dusting themselves down and assessing the level of cobwebbing. The girl wearing trousers laughed at the second girl when her skirt got caught on a splinter as she climbed in – the weak wood ruptured and in one moment she found herself both involentarily carrying part of the damp windowsill by her waist, and thrashing it off in a panic for fear of maggots. The boys pretended to ignore the incident. George especially.

“So noob, where’s our rations?”

George knelt to unzip his backpack as the short boy stood over him, bat in hand. He wondered how it was possible for someone to be so unintentionally, naturally threatening, and how he might act differently if George was the leader of the pack. He handed the boy a bundle of sweets and a sandwich before giving out the food bundles to the remaining three. By the time he’d finished his duties and pulled his bag back over his shoulder, shorty’s sandwich had already gone, and George was sure he’d have to be giving up his own later. The pale boy picked up an angel figurine from the mantelpiece and waved it at the girl wearing trousers. She smiled and nodded, and the pale boy stuffed it in his bag.

Just tonight. After this, I’ll never have to see them again.

“Noob. Door.”

Right. The reason why I’m here.

George went and knelt by the door, carefully maneuvering wires inside the keyhole. As he worked, the other kids mumbled wry remarks and chuckled behind his back. At one point he felt the bat jab at the back of his neck and the sharp laugh of the pale boy. They wouldn’t even allow him a moment of peace when he needed it most. He wondered for a moment if the one night with them was worth the potential reward.

“Hurry UP, we haven’t-”

-*cLIck*-

George pushed the door open as he stood and strode through, and when he looked back to see their gleeful faces as they welcomed him to the team he felt a dangerous sense of belonging which he was determined to snuff out. The girl in the skirt smiled at him. They all did, but her’s was genuine, he knew. The band surged around the house, enjoying their freedom and the lack of locked doors from then on in, and George ignored the comments that with any other window they wouldn’t have needed him at all.

And as darkness fell, moonlight shone in through a pale glass window on a room with an angel figurine on the mantlepiece, a damp, undamaged windowsill, and a floor devoid of breadcrumbs.

<The above is part 1 of a 7-part piece of fanfiction. No copyright infringement is intended.>



{February 26, 2012}   Doctor Who – An Introduction

As I know a fair number of my readers aren’t too familiar with this beloved series, I thought I ought to do a little introduction before I land them with my upcoming fan-story (fanfiction’s become a dirty word really, this isn’t going to be that kind of story).

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Doctor Who

This is a long-running British TV series and a huge part of British culture. Typically defined as a sci-fi show for kids, what it really is is an action-adventure-thriller-fantasy-comedy with a sci-fi premise which allows them to get away with the grandest and most wonderful fantasies while still somehow seeming quite reasonably realistic, and which kids and old people and everyone between can enjoy. It ran for a long time, starting in the 60s, but disappeared from the airwaves for some time. It then came back with instant popularity in 2005 and has been recorded almost every year since.

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The Basic Plot

Doctor Who is about a wonderful alien with a love for humanity and a time machine. This man, The Doctor (his true name is unknown, hence “Doctor Who”), travels through space & time with companions from Earth (in the TARDIS), getting into trouble, righting wrongs and generally saving lives, worlds and even existence sometimes. It’s all incredibly epic, trust me. In general though, I’d say, the plot itself isn’t that important. It’s what’s beneath it. Through all these hundreds of stories about madness and wonder and sciency stuff, the real genius of it is the humanity that shines through. I can tell you all this rubbish about it being about an alien and his human companions saving worlds, but really it’s about the human experience. I know this sounds terribly pompous and such but it’s true. It’s about love and fear and every kind of relationship and our beliefs and speculations and our kindness or selfishness and… everything! With adventure, thrills and laughs on top. If you’re not familiar with Doctor Who, find a friend with a DVD of any of the new series and watch one, then you’ll know what I mean.

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The Doctor

He’s a Time Lord – a human-looking being with 2 hearts, an intimate knowledge of both history and future and the power of regeneration. This means that if The Doctor dies, he can recover by creating a totally new body. Which is how the series has had 11 different actors playing The Doctor so far. Each time you get a new actor, you get a new Doctor, with a new face and a new personality. It’s a wonderful way for the series both to keep going when the lead actor wants out and to keep reinventing itself. A Time Lord can regenerate 12 times, so far the Doc’s had 10. The current incarnation, played by Matt Smith (above) has made tweed fashionable again. I like tweed, but as far as Britain was concerned it was perhaps the least cool fabric in the world before he started wearing it as the Doc. Now that is the power of a timelord. Also now cool are bowties, fezzes and stetsons, except they were already cool.

He hates violence and guns, arming himself instead with his trusty ‘sonic screwdriver’, a tool that can open any lock and do many other tasks. Kind of like a space-age swiss army knife.

The Doctor is also the last of his kind – all the others and his homeplanet, Gallifrey, were eradicated in a great war between them and their mortal enemy, the Daleks. The aftermath of this was a running, angsty topic for the first 4 series of the new show, but it’s pretty much background knowledge now.

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Companions

In general the Doctor’s companions have been people from modern day Earth, specifically Britain, but there have been some from different times, planets or continents. Usually women too. Often if there’s a guy in the TARDIS it’s because he’s tagging along with a girl. Whoever they are, the companion(s) are the ones who help the Doctor through all of his life-threatening adventures and help to push him to become a better man, to do the human thing, not take the Time Lord stance. At the moment we have (from left to right) River Song, Rory Williams and Amy Pond (she’s the main one). Rory is Amy’s man, and they’re travelling with the Doctor because… he met her, a long time ago. You need to watch it – it’s too magical, I refuse to spoil it for you. It’s episode 1 of series 5, a good place to start if you want to get into the new stuff fast. And River, well she’s just one big spoiler in bombastic wrapping. Go on, watch an episode. You want to get to know them.

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The TARDIS

The Doctor’s time machine – stands for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. Outside, it just looks like a normal Police Box (common in Britain in the 60s), but inside… well, let’s just say it’s a bit bigger. And it’s alive. The Doctor’s constant companion.

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Enemies

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The Doctor has lots. The nature of the show means that there’s pretty much a new foe every week, but there are some recurring dudes that are as part of the show as the Doc himself. These ones are infamous for making comebacks, no matter how they were previously beaten/killed/vapourised.

Daleks: Monsters bent on destroying all other species in existence to become the master race. They keep their frail bodies encased in unbreakable pods, which have the ability to fire instant-kill lasers (“EXTERMINATE!!!”) and to fly. I cannot explain the plunger.

Cybermen: People who have been ‘upgraded’. These emotionless metal soldiers live to convert or “delete” the inferior human race.

The Master: Another Time Lord. Used to be friends with the Doctor back on Gallifrey. Apparently just went a bit mad and decided that universe-domination and fighting the Doctor were everything, but of course that’s not the whole story.

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I think that’s all you need to know to jump into pretty much any episode of the new lot, bar series finales.

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Stay tuned: 7:00pm on Monday, I post the first in my 7-part daily story, “The Hollow Room”. If you want to know more, check my blog ‘The Promise of Geek Paradise’ for what to expect (if you’ve read it before, check again – I’ve updated it). It’s become a very interesting project for me, so I’d love for people to have a read, and of course I’d appreciate any feedback you can offer. If you know anyone who might be interested in the story or who could give me good advice, please tell them about this.

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See you later dudes.



{February 21, 2012}   The Promise of Geek Paradise

Ok, my plan for the week became a bit more complicated yesterday with the advent of possible BBC work experience and confusions about certain technicalities in Doctor Who lore, so the short story project is being put on hold until next week when I’ll actually have a clue what I’m talking about – and the time to talk about it. When that time comes round, I promise you this:

  • 1 instalment daily for 7 days, leading to a story of over 3,500 words (each ‘episode’ at least 500 words).
  • Each ‘episode’ will be published at 7:00 daily, so you can enjoy it like the TV show.
  • An intrigue-packed story including the Eleventh Doctor, an original companion called Lyra and a Haunted House with lots of locked doors.
  • Will try to have 1 accompanying sketch per instalment.
  • With 1 blog afterwards explaining the experience with a music playlist. Like Doctor Who Confidential.

In other news, I’ve nabbed myself a tour around the TARDIS (*skips away in joy before anyone can ask questions*)



et cetera