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he towering roof of the theatre echoed with the thundering sound of the orchestra. All of the attendants sat mesmerized, their minds taken completely by the events unfolding on stage. Gods and mortals battled their wits across the eons of time, the Norse legends reaching their realization for the benefit of the paying patrons. The hall was completely full, all of the stalls and floor seating taken up by the artistic glitterati of Venice, eager to hear the latest work from Richard Wagner.

The Doctor sat contently, his chin resting in his hands as the opera continued his eyes bleary as he looked on in amazement. There was no greater pleasure in the entire galaxy than the first rendition of a would-be famous orchestral and operatic masterpiece, Wagner’s Ring cycle being one of the premier events. He sat back in his chair and adjusted the collar of his awkward fitting shirt, the dress code of Venice in the late 19th Century not entirely to his tastes.

'Professor, I’m bored when is this finished?' Ace moaned, rubbing at her sides as the tightness of her corset became altogether too much of a nuisance.

'Ssshhh' Came a disgruntled cry form somewhere behind. Ace turned around in her chair and scowled at the blank faces.

'Shh yourselves' She said loudly, her voice combating the violins.

'Ace!' The Doctor commanded through gritted teeth, grabbing her arm and giving it a sharp tug. The young woman sat back in her chair and rolled her eyes.

'Blooming cheek.' The Doctor leaned forward and stared at the events of the opera.

'You should be more appreciative Ace,' He said, his eyes unstinting from the stage and his hands beginning to move in time with the music, a silent conductor of the higher arts. 'We’re witnessing one of history’s finest moments,' Ace folded her arms across her chest and shrugged her shoulders.
'Sounded better at the proms if you ask me.' She mumbled. The Doctor continued his mesmeronic trance with the music,
the screeching vocals, crashing drums and harmonic orchestra all culminating in a wonderful crescendo, The Doctor holding every note with a boyish charm, his mouth hanging open, as if his lives depended on his utmost attention.

The music came to a crashing end and the whole of La Fenice erupted in applause. All of the patrons, except Ace, stood to their feet and volleyed their approval and chants of encore and bravo. The curtains came down and then raised again, highlighting the cast as showers of red roses and other assorted flowers graced the stage, the adulation unending for what had been a pinnacle performance.
The Doctor clapped his hands together endlessly, stretching on his feet to get a much better view of the stage, his face and eyes wide with joy. He clapped and clapped and clapped, the only expression he was capable of telling the cast, and Wagner, of his appreciation. One final bow of the cast and the house lanterns came up, illuminating the grandiose interior of Italy’s finest opera houses.
A loud murmur from the crowd then descended above their heads as the reviews and ranting of the audience filled the great hall, a terrible replacement for the musical odyssey that had just unfolded.
The row of seats began to slowly empty as The Doctor stood still, staring at the curtained stage and holding his hands. Ace unfolded her arms and pulled herself up from the worn red chair.

'About time, we ready Professor?' She said but The Doctor ignored her, his head still swimming in the eternal music.

'Professor,' She said again. 'Doctor!' She threw a light punch towards his shoulder and knocked the small Time Lord over a little.

'Yes Ace, yes.' He said, his rasping brogue strangely jovial and light. Ace had never seen her companion and tutor like this before and she found it strangely odd.  
artwork by ANDY LAMBERT
used with permission
Welcome to inferno-fiction.co.uk.
Inferno Fiction is an on-line Doctor Who Fiction Fanzine. First created in the 80's when fanzines in the printed form were the norm, the fanzine has now leapt onto the world wide web and is enjoyed by many across the world!
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