The little girl followed the man as he walked through the silent library's children's section, watching him with interest. He seemed irrational, mad. He was talking to himself, waving a green light around, tapping walls. But she didn't mind. He seemed friendly enough. And it was dark in the library- the monsters live in the dark.
She could feel them peering at her from around corners, behind the countless rows of books on either side, watching her. The sun was setting early, for it was winter, and it was getting very dark. The girl drew closer to the man, feeling a slight comfort in his presence, in his altogether thereness. She stepped beside him, trying to see what he was looking at. He smiled down at her, his red bow tie and suspenders peeking out around his tweed jacket. She just had to say it.
"Something's in the shadows."
He nodded, "Probably."
She frowned at him and said indignantly, "That's not what you're supposed to say."
He squatted down so as to be level with her, "What did you want me to say? I was telling the truth."
She shied away from him, surprised by his reaction, "All the grown-ups say that demons don't exist."
He put his hand on her shoulder, and she looked at him again. He spoke quietly, almost whispering, "You see these eyes? They're old eyes. And one thing I can tell you- monsters are real."
She shivered, feeling the weight of those words, the heaviness of them on her heart. "Who are you?" she whispered back.
He smiled, "I'm the Doctor."
She looked at him doubtfully, "You don't look like a Doctor."
"Trust me." The two words hung wearily between them, as if they were overused. He looked as if he was tired of having to use those words.
"Aren't you scared of the shadows too?"
He laughed, and the girl smiled. He said, "No. It's the shadows that are scared of me."
And she believed him.