My own followup to Vicky's 'Position Vacant'...


"She's the one the Master wrote to us about," Hedin explained to
his fellow School Board members. "I've provided each of you with
copies of his letter."

Nods all around the table.

"So," said Thalia, speaking for the Board, "why do you want to
take the job of Headmistress at our school, Miss Harlow?"

The lanky blonde eyed the Time Lady up and down for an insolent
moment before answering. "I like liquor and whores," she growled.
"Those cost money and I ain't got none, so I reckon I'll need a job
when I'm Outside."

"Your candor is... refreshing," said Zorac approvingly.

"My _what's_ refreshin'?" Harlow demanded, dropping a hand to a
pistol butt.

"He means that you're very plainspoken," Hedin intervened, "and
we like that."

"Oh." The gunfighter subsided, but didn't lose the sullen expression.

"Now, where the Master lists your qualifications, he mentions that
you've killed over five hundred men," Thalia continued. "Could you
elaborate on that?"

Harlow shrugged. "Shot most of 'em in battle. Stabbed or lynched a
few others. And that's just the number of _men_, not the number of
_people_ I killed. That's a fair bit higher."

"You're saying you've killed women and children?" asked Zorac.


Flavia winced. "How can you shoot children?"

"Aim low."

"I mean, how can you justify so many killings?"

"I ain't never killed nobody that didn't deserve killin'," the blonde
replied. "Just so happens, ever'body I ever met deserves it."

"Have you any previous teaching experience?" Thalia wondered.

Lysbeth Harlow smirked. "Miss Peri Brown's learned a few lessons
from me."

Approving murmurs and tick-marks on forms amongst the School
Board. There was a flurry of hushed discussion, then Thalia leaned
forward, rubbing her chin.

"Miss Harlow," she began, "I will be frank with you. This board has
advertised for a top-level administrator who can effectively
coordinate the efforts of skilled educators and can build a working
relationship with the existing administration, which is to say with
Assistant Headmaster Maxil. You, Miss Harlow, seem to be a brutal,
hate-filled sociopath with a propensity for lethal violence on little or
no pretext and whose work history is composed largely of guerrilla
warfare and murderous rampages. I cannot help but feel that
Assistant Headmaster Maxil would find you a wholly unsuitable
superior and would implement your orders solely out of fear for
his life. It is therefore my assessment that you be offered the job
of Wells High School Headmistress immediately. Is there any
dissent?" she asked the Board.

"She'll keep those little bastards in line!" chirped Zorac. "A firm and
murderous hand will do them good."

"I can't wait to see the look on Maxil's face," Flavia snickered.

"I told you she'd be the ideal administrator," agreed Hedin.

Thalia slid the contract across the table, along with a pen. "Then, if
you will just read and sign this, you will become the guiding force of
the most prestigious educational facility in all of Outside, Miss
Harlow. Or should I say, _Headmistress_ Harlow."

Lysbeth took the contact in hand, but merely blinked at it... while
holding it upside-down.

"Er, if you'd just sign there at the bottom," Thalia prompted.

After a long and awkward moment, the gunfighter clutched the pen
in her fist and marked a crude 'X' on the page, then skimmed it back.

"Ummm, yes," said Thalia, eyeing the scrawl. "Tell us, Miss Harlow,
you... you _can_ read and write, can't you?"

Harlow shook her head. "Not a lick. Why? Is that important or

Thalia just groaned and tossed the contract over her shoulder.



'Doctor Who' is property of the BBC.
'Then Do That Over' concept by Paul Gadzikowski.