"Whistle and I'll Slaughter You": The 2014 Ben Chatham Halloween Special

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"Whistle and I'll Slaughter You": The 2014 Ben Chatham Halloween Special

Post by sparacus on Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:39 am

WHISTLE AND I'LL SLAUGHTER YOU

Part 1


The last days of October, when the darkness of night drapes the sky like a shroud and the crisp air grows sweet with the aroma of fallen leaves. Magic and mystery abound, the shadow realm beckons and the veil that separates the world of the living from the world of the dead grows thin. The great wheel of the year has completed its cycle and the time of endings and beginnings has arrived. This is Halloween.

The train rolled swiftly through the countryside of southern England as Ben Chatham sat gazing languidly out of the window of the first class compartment. The Autumn leaves glowed yellow and orange in the sunshine and Ben reached up and opened the window slightly, allowing some of the fresh, cold autumnal air to flow in. He couldn't face the hassle of driving and was pleased he had taken the train instead. He felt relieved to be getting away from Cambridge for a while and from the continuing stress and pressure of running an organisation such as Operation Delta. Katie Ryan had offered to accompany him on this trip to Somerset however she had changed her mind due to being asked to spend the weekend canvassing in Cambridge for UKIP. Ben didn't mind, he was pleased to get away from her and to get away from everyone. He sank back into his seat and thought of his upcoming divorce from Emma and the stress of dealing with the financial implications and also with his parents. He felt trapped in a dull, routine-filled life in which lurching from one crisis to another provided the only variation from the drudgery of work and loneliness. A sudden burst of frustration caused him to slam his hand down on the table hard, causing his coffee cup to spill over. An elderly lady in the seat opposite frowned annoyingly at Ben, who secretly wished that she would suffer a heart attack and die. As he tried to mop up the coffee with a tissue, the train guard approached:
"Its ok sir, I've got a cloth here. I saw your accident. I'll replace the coffee with a fresh cup."
The guard was young, around twenty, with dark hair and greek looks. Ben had enjoyed looking at him earlier as he had brought the first coffee and had watched his smooth buttocks as he had flounced down the carriage with the tea tray.
"Thanks for helping me. What is your name?" Ben asked.
"Fabian", the young guard replied, blushing.
"Why don't you take a break, Fabian and join me for a coffee."
Ben felt a pang of excitement as Fabian brought the coffees and joined him.
They sat talking and Ben soon discovered that Fabian lived in the same village as Ben was heading to, Lower Binningfield.
"I've been invited to see the iron age burial excavation site and give a lecture to the archaeologist team on hill forts and the religion and rituals of their inhabitants", Ben explained.
"Hey my car is at the station, I could give you a lift to the village if you like. Where are you staying?" Fabian asked.
"At the Green Man Inn", Ben replied, smiling as Fabian stroked his hair.

Arriving at the station, Ben and Fabian got into Fabian's open top sports car and drove through the fading evening light towards the village. Ben let the cold air blow through his golden hair:
"You know, I wish I could just walk away from my life and stay here. Never go back. Say goodbye to all the boring life and dreary familiar people that are holding my back, like my father and insufferable wife."
"You are married?" Fabian asked. Ben smiled:
"Don't worry. It was a marriage of inconvenience that will soon be over." They laughed.
They arrived at the Green Man and Fabian carried Ben's suitcase in for him . The bar was deserted, apart from a stern looking landlady with a beehive hairdo.
"I'm Ben Chatham. I'm booked in for three nights here." The landlady scowled and threw a key across the bar:
"Upstairs, second room on the right", she stated tersely.
"Could you bring us up a bottle of your finest red wine please and two glasses," Ben asked her.
"No drink in the rooms. Drink here in the bar or go elsewhere", the landlady replied.
Ben was bemused however he and Fabian went upstairs to the room:
"What an icy female. No wonder the bar was empty," Ben exclaimed as they entered the room and Ben threw himself on the bed.

Ben spent the night with Fabian and fell into a deep sleep. When he awoke he could see the light shining through the curtains and reached over to the side table for his watch. As he did so his hand felt something else and he lept up in horrified shock. It was a dead raven with a sprig of woodbine through its heart. Ben turned around to wake Fabian, however the latter was gone. On Fabian's pillow was an old wooden whistle, covered in dried mud. Ben picked the object up and examined it. It was very old and had celtic inscriptions down the side which were partly worn away......

to be continued.


sparacus
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Re: "Whistle and I'll Slaughter You": The 2014 Ben Chatham Halloween Special

Post by sparacus on Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:41 am

Part 2

Concerned for Fabian, Ben dressed quickly, put the whistle in his pocket and went downstairs. He found a fortysomething man behind the bar, wiping glasses.
"Excuse me. There is a dead bird in my room. Also I'd like to know if you saw my friend leave," Ben stated.
"Ah you must be Mr Chatham. The wife said you were here. What friend wqould you be talking about? The wife said you were on your own."
Ben looked puzzled:
"But she saw my friend Fabian arrive with me. He was wearing his railway guard uniform and looked captivating in it. And what about the dead raven in my room? When I book into a public house or hotel I do not expect to be greeted by the sight of dead birds when I wake up."
The landlord's frosty wife emerged from the side door as Ben spoke:
"You were alone when you arrived here Mr Chatham. And birds get down the chimney all the time round here. You're in the countryside," she said coldly.
"What with a stick through their heart? And you saw Fabian, you know you did," Ben shouted, flicking his hair out of his eyes defiantly.
"You were alone Mr Chatham. Dora here will remove the bird from your room. Now would you like some breakfast. We have apple and cinnamon pie served with our home
brewed ale".
Ben felt a real sense of unease and reluctantly ate the breakfast before going back up to his room. He then p;icked up his rucksack, had a quick look at the road map before setting off to walk to the archaeological dig site. As he walked along the Somerset lanes he took deep breaths of the sweet autumnal air and tried to forget the mystery over Fabian. He decided that the landlord's wife must have been drinking at her own bar and that Fabian had only been after a one-night stand. "His Loss", Ben told himself.
As he walked along, Ben took out the whistle, gave it a wipe with his handkerchief and began to play it. A strange, etherial sound emenated from the whistle like the sound of a long-distant, otherworldly flute. Ben smiled.

After a while, Ben seemed to sense that someone was following behind him. He glanced around and saw a figure, dressed in black, a fair way behind. Ben stopped walkiing amnd the figure stopped as well. When Ben started walking again, so did the mysterious figure. Glancing around again, he saw the figure hold up a large knife. Ben was disconcerted and felt a strange sense of deep dread. He began to run and the figure started running too. Fortunately it was not far to the iron age dig site so Ben ran rapidly down the lane and turned a corner however he was shocked to see that the field where the dig was taking place was deserted. He saw the remains of the iron age hillfort, topped with a row of eerie old oak trees, however there were no signs that any dig was taking place there. Ben looked behind him, however the figure in black had disappeared. A strange, creeping fear enveloped Ben and he jumped over a stile and ran up the slope of the ancient hillfort, however there was no one to be seen at all. Suddenly he felt a shiver and he turned around. He was shocked to see the landlord from the pub, his wife Dora and a group of other people. They were dressed in dark robes and carried knives.
"Welcome Ben Chatham. You have come of your own free will to the appointed place. My name is Maxwell Aston. The game is over." Ben thought for a moment.
"I have heard of a Maxwell Aston. An author of occult novels of a rather lowbrow pulp fiction type. I read one and thought is was complete drivel. I presume you are he", Ben stated in a bemused tone. Aston scowled:
"Your insolence is borne of ignorance Mr Chatham. You came here hoping to search for ancient artefacts. But it is we who have found you. You uniquely are the one we needed. A child would have been ok. One of the tourists who come to this place even better. But not nearly as effective as someone who has travelled in time and space."
Ben flicked his hair out of his eyes:
"What do you mean? How do you know about my travels with the Doctor?"
Aston pointed to to a figure who had appeared in the distance. It was the figure who had followed Ben earlier:
"You have summoned the great one by playing the sacred whistle. He comes for you: All Hail Asfaroth, Lord of darkness, great god of the underworld!"
The figure stepped forward and removed its hood. The creature had the features of a goat combined with those of a crocodile, with an elongated face and huge teeth. Ben winced at the sight:
"I feel that you are a group of crazed and deluded fools of limited cognitive abilities. That is clearly some kind of alien and is certainly no god. Think what you are doing. Think!"

Two of the men grabbed Ben and a golden knife was held to his chest:
"You will be sacrificed to Asfaroth. He will feed on your soul and renew our crops," Aston shouted. He ripped open Ben's white shirt to reveal his perfectly smooth and muscular chest. However before he could plunge the knife into Ben, the sound of gunfire erupted all around. UNIT troops surrounded the crazed occultists and Aston was shot dead. Asfaroth opened his mouth and breathed a strange, red gas at some UNIT troops who collapsed choking to death. However from behind their ranks, dressed in a black, leather skin-tight uniform and combat boots, stepped Katie Ryan. She shot at the creature with a strange alien looking gun and it froze, encased in an ice sheet covering. She strode forward:
"We clearly arrived just in time. After you left, we were contacted by UNIT, warning us that they had been investigating alien sightings and a UFO in this area. Clearly this creature here has landed some time ago, possibly its ship ran out of fuel or something" Katie said with a feisty toss of her hair.

Later, Ben and Katie were enjoying a drink in the pub and discussing the case. One of the locals, Sam, was acting as temporary new landlord and dishing out free drinks to everyone.
"So there was nothing supernatural going on here at all Ben, just some alien who fed on the life essence of other creatures conning a bunch of dimwit yokels into providing him with sacrificial victims ie food" Katie said, sipping her martini. Ben looked up sadly:
"But what about Fabian? Did they kidnap him first? Or kill him?" Sam, listening behind the bar, overheard:
"Ere did you mention someone called Fabian? We had a Fabian lived 'ere in the village. Young chap he were, nice looking fella with dark hair. He worked for the railway company serving drinks and refreshments on the trains. Bit of a fantasist he was, always dreaming of owning a sports car. Bit of a lonely young chap though. He kept getting depressed and ended up throwing himself off the bridge into the path of the train to Winchester. Aye it were a sad business."
Ben suddenly felt very cold. He gulped down his glass of absinthe and stared at the halloween pumpkin, flickering on the bar.

THE END.

sparacus
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