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Back at the Yarn Factory, Vasilo Krumchek was surprised.

He wasn’t often surprised: working for Doctor Socks, he had learned to take most things in his stride. In his experience, when the Doctor had taken it into his mind to do a thing, he was utterly single minded about it. He didn’t go disappearing in clouds of smoke. The fact was, however, that they were on the brink of a mission (a mission which included An Outfit) and lo and behold, the Doctor just simply wasn’t there.

‘Hmm,’ said Vasilo to himself. He went and looked in the kitchen. And then in the study. And then in the potting shed. In fact he went and looked everywhere. Nothing. Not an inkling. The Doctor had literally evaporated.

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Vasilo rubbed his hands gleefully. If the Doctor had disappeared, then that meant that they weren’t going on any mission, and not going on a mission meant that he could sneak back into the kitchen for a surreptitious hot chocolate and a bun. (Doctor Socks did not approve of buns and hot chocolate: he said they were un-gangsterly.)

He tiptoed down the corridor. He crept into the kitchen and slunk over to the fridge.

And then, horror of horrors! A shadow fell across the floor. Disaster! Caught in the act! Vasilo clapped his hands over his eyes – as though removing the vision would remove the person too.

‘Hello!’ (Not the Doctor’s voice.)

Vasilo gave a panicky squeak, and peered through his fingers.

‘Oh don’t worry,’ said the voice. ‘I thought I should just pop in and let you know where he is. Is that hot chocolate you’re making?’

Vasilo nodded.

‘Great. Can I have some too? Ooh, and buns. I do like buns. Better and better.’

Mr Glue (for it was he) sat down and made himself comfortable.

‘He’s gone off with the Reader,’ he announced. ‘He’s up there.’

Mr Glue pointed up at the sky. Vasilo looked appalled.

 

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