THE ZOMBIE MASTER

Chapter Two

After finding a pair of comfortable plimsols, Rose walked up to the Console Room, eager to see where they were going. When she found him, she stopped in her tracks and her mouth dropped open.

He was standing at the console, flying the TARDIS but instead of his usual brown suit and white trainers, he was dressed in a jet black pinstriped suit with maroon shirt, black tie and maroon trainers. Rose stood there, thinking he had never looked so sexy in his life. The Doctor also was wearing a pair of gloves that resembled skeleton hands, the Doctor sensed he was being watched and looked over at her, smiling warmly.

"You changed your clothes," Rose said, thinking how retarded that sounded once it was out of her mouth.

"Well, I was thinking I could be a sophisticated deadie," the Doctor said. "I was a man of means who was buried in me best suit and now I walk the Earth, rich and dead…or undead, I suppose. And you?"

"I'm me, only undead," Rose said sheepishly.

The Doctor laughed, a laugh Rose loved to hear, and he beckoned to her to come to his side.

"There is an Earth colony in the year 2177," the Doctor explained to her. "On the planet London in the Andromeda Galaxy so not too far from Earth."

"The planet is called London? Seriously?"

"Well, the original colonists were from the UK," the Doctor replied. "Others followed, of course, but there was a lot of British pride involved in the naming of the planet and the cities. We are headed to New Cardiff for the festival."

"And does New Cardiff look like the old Cardiff?" Rose asked.

"No. Because New Cardiff is on London and not on Earth."

"Cardiff is on London? That's a bummer. Have they tried to move Cardiff off London so the Welsh aren't squashing the English?"

"Hardy har har," the Doctor said while Rose snickered. "Keep talking and I'll send you to Coventry."

"And where is that? On Surrey?"

She giggled and ran around the console as the Doctor tried to smack her head. She came back around and the Doctor put his arm around her when she reached his side.

"So, they love Halloween, eh?" Rose asked him.

"Well, bit of nostalgia really. I mean, these are Earthlings in a technical sense. It's been fifty years since the first expedition landed and they now have second generation citizens that grew up listening to the stories of Earth from their parents and they're keen on keeping the traditions alive. And why not? Halloween is fun, very spooky and eerie…"

"And filled with monsters which is right up your street," Rose said.

The Doctor grinned and nodded at that.

"I also am meeting a friend. He'll be joining us tonight."

"Oh? Someone I know?"

"No. Old friend who lives in New Kent. Lovely chap. You'll like him."

"And what is this New Kent bloke called when he's at home?"

"Bartholomew. Goes by Bart though. I thought he could show us around as well. And we can stay at his house after the fancy dress party so we can get some rest before leaving."

Rose nodded, curious about this friend. The Doctor hopped from place to place and he'd never returned to visit any of the people they'd befriended from their journeys so she was keen on meeting Bart and listening to his stories.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

"Here we are, New Cardiff," the Doctor said, stepping outside the TARDIS with Rose.

The first thing Rose saw was an enormous jack o lantern sculpture on top of a brick building about thirty feet in front of them. The jack o lantern was lit up from inside by a large light bulb and since it was night, the effect was both eerie and beautiful to her.

"You're right, they do go all out for Halloween," Rose said, pointing to it.

"That? That's only the tip of the iceberg. Follow me," the Doctor said.

He shut the TARDIS doors and took her hand. The TARDIS was parked by the side of a brick building that seemed to be boarded up and abandoned. Rose hoped that the TARDIS chose that spot so no one would think of bothering the time ship since the next couple of buildings looked abandoned as well. They crossed the street and headed for the building with the jack o lantern. Beyond the building, there were people walking back and forth along the sidewalks, some of them dressed up for Halloween, which made Rose fell better about being out in public in her zombie makeup. When they walked through the alleyway next to the jack o lantern building and reached the pavement, Rose was shocked when she saw a forty foot ghost sculpture in a park across the street. The ghost looked like it was shrieking and had it's arms up in the air as if menacing the crowd below. Another light inside it made it glow and Rose was dumbstruck while the Doctor gauged her reaction and grinned.

"Told ya there were more impressive things here than just that pumpkin," he said to her. "Now…the zombie walk begins in the park so follow me!"

They looked both ways before hurrying across the street. Inside the park, Rose saw a large crowd of people dressed as zombies. She held the Doctor's hand and looked around while they headed towards a large grandstand in the center of the park. There were people of all ages and sizes, milling around and laughing and talking. Some were holding little plastic cups filled with something, sipping it while they chatted with others.

The Doctor looked around and led Rose to a small booth behind the ghost that was selling the beverages.

"Fancy an apple cider, my little zombie?" the Doctor said to her. "My treat."

"I would love one," Rose said.

They stood in the queue and when they got up to the booth, the Doctor ordered two small cups of cider and paid for them with a couple of dollar bills that were engraved with some old man that Rose had never seen before. The Doctor handed her a cup and took his own and they walked away, hand in hand, while Rose gingerly sipped her cup, trying not to ruin her makeup.

"Mm, good cider," Rose said after taking a sip.

"Mm-hm, you should try the caramel apples," the Doctor replied. "Now…Bart said we should meet him by the grandstand…"

"Does he know what you look like?" Rose asked.

"Mm, yeah. I sent him a photo of us to his mobile so he knows. Also sent him a photo of my makeup so he knows that as well," the Doctor said, nodding.

As they neared the grandstand, a young man dressed in rags and wearing grayish makeup on his face waved to Rose and the Doctor. The Doctor waved back and he and Rose walked towards him. The man had long brown hair that had been mussed up for his zombie look. He had a boyish face that was handsome even though he had the makeup on. As they got closer, Rose noticed he had a small skull tattoo on his right forearm and his right ear was pierced with a silver stud earring.

"Hey, Doctor," he said with an American accent, beaming as he went to greet them.

"Bart, good to see you again. This is Rose," the Doctor said, gesturing to her.

"Rose, it's a pleasure," Bart said, shaking her hand.

Rose blushed a little when Bart gave her an appraising look and smiled.

"It's nice to meet you," she said.

"Welcome to New Cardiff," Bart said, letting go of her hand. "Supposedly this is going to be the biggest zombie walk ever. Lots of people in attendance and they have food, games, a costume contest and Triple Threat will be in concert here later tonight after the walk," he said, pointing to the grandstand. "You hungry? They have a concession stand nearby. I think they have corndogs, pumpkin pie, candy corn, funnel cakes, all the good stuff you're not supposed to eat."

"No thanks, I'm not hungry right now," Rose said.

"Yeah, we'll wait," the Doctor said.

Bart nodded.

"Well, follow me and I'll show you where you can get registered for the walk," he said to them.

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