The Doctor Is In

First of all, you need to know that I am a Whovian. I am not going to say that I have watched every single episode since 1963, but I will say that I have watched every single episode, Christmas special, omnibus, and mini-episode of the new series. By no means this makes me an expert, but I wanted to establish that fact before I issue the following comment.

Last night, the BBC released the news about who will take over of one of the most iconic characters on television. Jodie Whittaker will be the 13th Doctor in a saga that has been on air since the last century. If you do not know who she is, I highly recommend to check out Broadchurch, an intense TV drama about the murder of 11-year old Danny Latimer. In this series, Jodie plays Beth, Danny’s mother.

To be honest, I did not know what to expect regarding the new Doctor, but somehow I thought that it would be a male again. A few weeks ago, I remember reading an article where Steven Moffat explained why “it didn’t feel right” to have a woman as the Doctor, so imagine the surprise of the fandom last night! (Well played, Steven, well played).

After watching the 1-minute teaser posted by @bbcdoctorwho, I could not help but to look at the multiple replies and, to my awry surprise, the negative ones outnumbered the praising ones (at least at that moment). Many of them did not have anything to do with the acting skills of the actress but with the mere fact of her genre. I cannot believe that something so natural as gender is facing so many people. Are they married to the idea of the Doctor being a male? Why? Will it hurt the story? Will it make the Doctor less awesome?

I understand that Doctor Who is an icon and such icon has been a male for over 50 years, and that the companions have been mostly women, and that there has been some great tragic love stories in between, but why not a change? Does it feel like the end of an era just happened? Would the Doctor being a female would override all those stories? Absolutely no! Or is it that it will be “weird” to look at Jodie and then think about Rose and Ten, River, and Clara?

According to the story line, the Doctor regenerates into a new physical body and acquires a new personality (sort of), but he/she never forgets. Nothing is lost, ever. Just like 11th said once, “Nothing is completely forgotten. People leave traces.” Always. I believe, this will bring a whole new wave of excitement to the show. I cannot wait to see what Whittaker will bring to the role and who will stay as her companion. I cannot wait to learn what will be the plot about and what new adventures she will be up to.

We are living in a time where we need to accept change and be open to new ideas. In my humble opinion, we cannot expect that the status quo remains exactly like that. Everything evolves and regenerates (especially the Doctor) and so should we. This goes beyond the battle of sexes. This is about embracing the unknown and realizing that anything is possible, even the Doctor being a woman.

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The Doctor Is In

Nocturnal Walk

Few times I use a personal experience for one of my stories, but this is one of those times. It happened a couple days ago, on the night of the Fourth of July, to be more precise. After having some friends for barbecue, my boyfriend and I decided to go for our nocturnal walk. People were lighting fireworks on the street, and we saw some of them bursting in the sky, too, so I thought that our walk would be something special.

That night, we decided to walk in a new direction. It was a part of the neighborhood that we had not been before, and it looked very pretty: nice new and old houses with well maintained front yards. At some of these places, people still had tents and light series to add up to the atmosphere while they were enjoying with their friends. From all over, one could hear chatting and some music. It was a beautiful night, full moon included.

We kept on walking and talking about how nice it would be to have some of those lights ourselves when we saw a house with something very different. Instead of having lights, they had actual torches, probably six of them, burning intensely. At a first glance, I did not made any of that but, after a few moments, I thought that it was kind of weird to have the torches going on when nobody was there. “Maybe the party is over,” I thought, and forgot about it.

After wandering for another half an hour, we came back following the same route. We passed again the house with the torches, and they kept on burning as if they were just set up. This time, a woman was there staring at the sky. You might think that maybe she was looking at some fireworks, but they were long ended at that point.

For a split second we stared at her. My boyfriend and I looked at each other, and he was the first one to say something. “Why is she wearing all black?,” he asked me. By the time I tried to see her again, she was getting into the house saying something that I could not understand. “It is so weird,” he said. “Do you want to see her?” “No!, ” I replied. And right when I was saying the word, I fell how a chill crawled all over my spine.

It was the very first time in my life that I actually understood what “having the hairs in the back of your head risen” means. Immediately I felt like running from there. Call me crazy but there was something with that house and that woman. What is it? I do not know, but the only thing that I am sure of is that the nocturnal walks should not take us there ever again.

 

Nocturnal Walk

Letter to My (Older) Self

Dear older Alejandra:

Time has flown, hasn’t it? Ten years have passed, and I really, really hope that, above all, you are happy. I hope that, by this time, you have found whatever makes you truly and utterly happy. You are still young and, if you have found it, then you have plenty of time to enjoy it. Life is too short and, at this point, it is forbidden to waste it. Be happy in every single way possible.

I am curious to know how things have unfold because I am writing to you from a time when there is a lot of uncertainty. I hope by the time you read this letter, you have overcome fear. That fear that sometimes was always present. I hope that by 2027 you are looking back to July 1st, 2017 and think something like, “Man how scared I was, but it ended up working out, and it was totally worth it. Who could have imagined what was about to happen!”

Are you still writing? If the answer is yes, then that means we were not too bad, and we actually got somewhere with it. I hope that whatever you are working on, it involves this art. We always loved books and stories, so please, please tell me that we did not lose that love and that we are still learning new tricks.

Speaking of work, by this time you should not be looking for a job. Jobs should be looking for you. I want you to remember this summer of 2017 and think about those companies that got rid of you because you were not worth enough to keep. I want to confirm that, during these ten years that have gone by, you have proven everybody wrong, even ourselves.

Now, going to more important things: Are you loving yourself properly? I hope that the answer is a big, giant “Yes.” And if the answer is “More less” or “Maybe,” then I do not know what to tell you. Probably I would want to slap you, but I know how stubborn and adamant we could be. Guess we will always be rams, won’t we?

Finally, I hope these ten years have been wonderful and that you have lived them with the people you love the most. I hope you have enjoyed the process that has taken you where you are. And if that is not the case, it is never late. Be brave and go for it. We can do it. We can totally still do it.

Love,

Me

Letter to My (Older) Self

Letter to My (Younger) Self

Dear young Ale,

I hope you are doing good, and that you are enjoying your Friday night. Come on, you are 22 years old; you HAVE to enjoy your Friday night. Actually, you know what? I hope you are doing whatever you want. Probably you are doing some homework, so you do not have to do it during the weekend. That is okay, but if you are going to do that on a Friday night, then make it worth it: understand whatever you are reading. Please THINK.

About the future I am not going to say anything, but let me tell you that it you would never imagine where you are or the things that are awaiting for you. I have a bit of advice, though. First of all, enjoy your family more. You do not realize how important they are and how you take them for granted sometimes. Be with them, get to know them better, talk to them more. The Butrones might be crazy, but they are awesome too.

Second: DO NOT BE LAZY. THINK. Be conscious of everything that you do. Every decision counts, and even the simplest one can change your life forever. Start having goals and do your best all the time. You are smart so trust yourself more often. You will be fine, I promise. I know that people think you need to be overprotected, but you really do not.You are strong and you can do whatever you set your mind to.

Third: Love yourself. I know that you have been feeling like the ugly, little duck for while but trust me: appearances are not everything in this life. It feels good to look good, I am not going to lie. But do not let that tiny, little detail get in the way of your self-esteem and confidence. It is better to have a good attitude and be a nice person. You are a nice person already, but you need to learn a thing or two still.

Fourth: Speak more. Nobody is going to bite you if you do, even if you say something stupid. Who cares? Do not be scared of being made fun of. Again, do not take it (yourself) that seriously. Expressing yourself to yourself and to others is very important, so give a shot every once in a while.

Fifth and final: Be happy. Time passes so fast that you do not even notice. Next thing you know is that you are 32 years old, and still you do not have your life figured out just yet. But you know what? That is fine because at 22, 32, or 42, nobody really does anyway.

Love,

Me

Letter to My (Younger) Self

Underwater (cont.)

“Are you sure you want to do this?” “Absolutely,” Maria reassured her. “From what I have observed, whatever that it is down there, it only takes people who are alone. I will attach the camera to myself so, whatever happens to me, it will be recorded. You will wait for me at the beach. Understood?” “Sure. Whatever you say, but I don’t like this.”

The next morning, the two women came back to the park and set up the equipment that Maria would take with her. Whenever people were “taken,” they would return to the shore after 10 minutes, so if Maria did not come back in that time, Elizabeth would bring help. There were not a lot of visitors that day, so it was easy to spot Maria while she was swimming towards the platform.

Once she reached, she turned back and gave Elizabeth one last sight. Maria jumped into the water and everything became dark. It was like something  was dragging her. How long has she been down there? How come she could… breathe? A pair of thin hands received her at the bottom, and took her inside a room. Maria felt like it was a dream; like it was one of those extra-corporeal experiences.

She was put on a stretcher and taken to a second room. Maria could not see who or what was moving her. In the room, there were four people, if “people” is the right word. They were tall and their skin was gray-ish, big eyes, and no sign of mouth. One of them inserted a needle into Maria’s neck and blood went into a small tube. They took hair, cut a nail, took her fingerprints. These creatures were scanning her with devices that she has not ever seen.

After looking at their screens, the creatures assented in agreement. Once again, Maria was moved to another room. A tray with instruments was right next to the table; it looked like an OR . Maria was moved to the table, and the last thing she experienced was the sharp pain of a scalp cutting through her chest.

Elizabeth was growing impatient at the beach. More than ten minutes have passed, but there was not sign of Maria. She was about to make the call when she saw it. The water had washed out the submarine camera. Elizabeth watched the last minutes of the tape and ran towards the water. She swam all the way to the platform and started looking for Maria. Less than a minute later, there were the invisible hands. She was going down.

It was after 7 p.m. when the beach closed. Nobody saw or heard anything. And over there, in the sand, only a pile a clothing, two purses, and a camera remained. The footage was found the next day by a kid who thought it was just a movie. Eventually he gave the device to his parents who also watched the last minutes of the clip The gray creatures looked disappointed. Apparently, the experiment had gone wrong. The were removing Maria’s body while another one was coming in: a woman in a red swimming suit.

Underwater (cont.)

The Green Centuries

It started to cool down in the woods. The end of summer was coming rather quickly this year, and some of the surrounding trees were losing their leaves already. The two old friends were standing right by the trail head; they had had the same spots since they were just seeds. A warm breeze blew from the Eats and moved their branches along with the nests sitting on top of them.

“Do you remember when people used to come here?” “Oh yeah… kids would run all the way to the top of the mountain while women would make food right here.” How many visitors did we give shelter to, how many crossed hearts did we get carved in our bark… Oh those were good times, weren’t they?” “They were, Oaky, they were.”

The two old trees were over a hundred years old. They had seen more than a century together. They had seen from the first planes, to war planes, to more war planes, and then countless steel birds carrying hundreds of people inside. They had seen entire generations come and go: parents and children, children that became parents, and children that became grandchildren. Every time something would change.

But families would not be the only type of humans that visited the forest. The ones with chainsaws would come too. Whenever that sharp and loud sound was heard, everybody knew that it was a synonym of death. Many friends of Oaky and Elm would parade in front of them all chopped off and ready to become drawers, bed frames, and coffee tables.

“I wonder when is going to be our turn.” “Oh don’t be so pessimistic. All in all there are still people that come and take care us. Also, they have brought new inhabitants.” “Yes, but they are so young. They’re just sprouts! I wish there were more of us left.” “Me too, but we still have each other and, trust me, I won’t be moving anyway.” Both trees laughed at that last silly joke. Actually, they laughed so hard that all the nests moved on their respective branches, getting a complain from their tenants in return.

The next morning there it was: The sound of doom. This time the men were coming for them. “It’s been an honor to share over a century with you, my friend.” “Same here, my dear Elm. Goodbye.” When Oaky felt the sharp pain caused by the chainsaw, he just closed his tree eyes and hope not to hurt any of the young ones when falling. Elm tried to resist by making his bark stiffed and hard, but then the men threaten to burn him. He gave up and fell right next to his lifetime friend.

The Green Centuries

Underwater (cont.)

“What do you mean you don’t remember swimming back?,” interrupted Maria. “I… I mean… I just remember jumping into the lake and then next thing I know I’m walking out of it. I don’t even know how long I was in there.” “I would say ten minutes.” “Ten minutes? I should have drowned, right?” “Technically, yes. But you didn’t, and I want to know why.”

The woman in red started to look annoyed by Maria’s impertinence. “Anyway who are you? Water police or something?” “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. My name is Maria Miller, and I’m a journalist. I work for…” “Of course you are… whatever… I’m Elizabeth James and if you want to find out what’s in there, be my guest. I’m not coming back.”

Maria attempted to talk more with Elizabeth but, at that point, she noticed the other woman was clearly bothered. It was better to let her be. “Here’s my card in case you remember anything or just want to talk, okay? Seems like all your friends are gone now.” “I came by myself, thank you.” And with that, Elizabeth took the card and walked away.

Two or three days passed before Maria’s received a text from an unknown number. It was almost 11 p.m., and she was not on call,, so it could not be from work.

Are you free to talk? E.

Maria called back.

“I’m sorry to disturb you. I just didn’t know what to do.” Elizabeth sounded edgy. “Are you alright? Did you remember something?” “I found something in my body…. like marks. It looks like one of those times you get blood drawn and you can see the exact point where the needle punctured.” “Interesting. Where do you have those marks?” “I have a pair on my wrist and another pair in my neck.” “Let’s meet.”

30 minutes after they hung up, both girls were talking in the parking lot of a 24 hour drugstore. Elizabeth explained that she noticed the marks two days ago and, for some reason, they were not healing. The marks were tiny, but you could see them as fresh. “Have you seen a doctor?,” Maria asked tentatively. “And what do I say? ‘Hey, doc, I was swimming and then blacked out, and now I found these in my body?'” “Well,  yes!” “Forget it. Just let them be.”

“Elizabeth I went to the beach the day after I met you and… and the day after that. I saw three people experiencing the same thing: Getting into the water and then coming out around ten minutes later.” “What? Did you talk to them? What happened?,” Elizabeth started to sound excited. “Just to two of them; one was a kid. But the story is the same: Jumping and then nothing.” “I think we should call the police then. This is not normal!” “No!,” Maria interrupted. “I think we have a story here, and I think I’m going into the water myself tomorrow.”

Underwater (cont.)