Ex regina


He was reluctant to continue towards the dim wall that surrounded the city. Seeing this, the Queen said “think of this as a performance for a very small audience. You have a persona for your performances elsewhere, of course?”
The Doctor nodded.
“You must adopt a persona here as well, if you intend to travel further.”
“I am not much of an actor”, he said.
“Nonsense. Be still, be quiet, and your audience will do the acting for you, seeing what they expect to see, not what you think they see.”
They stood and continued down the uneven steps towards the gates.

[From The King and the Queen City, an unpublished and unwritten book in the Oxford Noir series]