Blue. Green. Scarlet. Looping whorls of clouds, smooth humps of hills, slouching against a sunset. Rays streak out: a wobbling hand has described them on the long roll of paper tacked against the classroom wall. Long lines of golden light descend from tall wood and glass windows over somewhat orderly lines of desks, scattered school supplies, the cement floor.
"Sunset," the Doctor says. "For three counties around. Three days long. Ms. Murphy, one of your children is a prodigy. At five."
Ms. Murphy looks nervous. The police look nervous. "She's well-behaved," she offers. "A happy home life - her parents are in for every open house. They're buying her a sketchbook for Christmas."
"A sketchbook," the Doctor chuckles. "Precocious. Brothers? Sisters?"
"None. The parents wanted to wait - something about career. She's in the town day care after school."
"Good. Less trouble if there's someone to get jealous of." the Doctor turns his back on the paper sunset, staring at the playground full of shrieking children, the red sun sinking too early in the sky. "We've been lucky. Three regular weeks of day and night from the Painters, and a sunset around noon isn't too bad. We won't take her out - we'll let her parents know they'll need to wait on number two until she's in training."
Ms. Murphy nods, relieved. Outside, little Martha, her arms still stained with watercolor, sits on the stone steps sketching harmless little trees in the ruddy light.