Tuesday, 21 August 2007

The Ben Chatham Annual 2008

OK , here is the first story in the annual folks:

THE LIVING PICTURE

Taking a short break from travelling with the Doctor, Ben is driving through the countryside having been invited to spend the weekend at his new boyfriend Carl's parents' house, Ashmore Manor, while Carl's sister Abby is left to run Foxglove Farm for unwanted horses.
He has opened the car windows, letting the summer breeze blow through his blonde hair , while listening to Rufus Wainwright's 'Want One' album on the car stereo.

Arriving at the large country house, he is pleased to see Carl standing on the front gravel, having just texted him. He walks up and kisses Carl, however Carl pulls back uncomfortably.
"Ben, I wanted to talk to you before we go in."
Ben starts to feel uneasy:
"Its just that theres something I've not told you. I'm not sure how to say this... look I'm not exactly out to my parents."
Ben is confused:
"Not exactly out?"
"They don't know I'm gay ok. Sorry I didn't tell you when we arranged this."
"Well you could have said something, but I understand. You want me to be there when you tell them for support"
Ben replies.Carl frowns:
"Er no Ben, you misunderstand. Theres no way I'm telling them ;they wouldn't approve at all. We just pretend that you're an old college friend. I assumed you'd be ok with this , from what you've told me about your own parents and how you went out with girls to please them."
Ben turns his head to one side, the tears welling up:
"What about the sleeping arrangements?"
"Separate rooms." Clive replies.

Ben begrudgingly accepts the situation and goes into the house and it introduced to Carl's parents , Richard and Margaret, in the drawing room.
"Hello Ben, pleased to meet you. Would you like a drop of brandy?" Richard asks. They all sit down for drinks before dinner is served. At the dinner table, they are joined by Abby, who has driven from the farm, and Carl's older brother David. The family are chatting:
"So Ben, I hear you're an archaeologist ?" Margaret asks.
"Yes , I'm hoping to join the team working on the Silbury restoration work soon."Ben replies.
"I do wish Carl would get a proper job. " She replies.Abby is annoyed:
"I wish you'd accept that Foxglove Farm is a proper job mum."
"Oh but it isn't dear. Looking after a few saggy old horses is ok for you, but Carl has a degree."
"Its time he got himself a girlfriend as well, " Richard chips in.
"People are starting to wonder if he's queer or something. "

The conversation then turns to politics and the need to restrict immigration and Ben feels less ill at ease. However Abby challenges her father:
"Dad I do wish you'd keep your opinions to yourself. I don't think Ben wants to hear your prejudices." Richard is angry:
"Abby is one of those namby pamby types Ben. Ok in a girl I suppose. Just ignore her."
David smiles: "We always do".
Ben feels reluctant to antagonise them so laughs and joins in the political chat.

Later , as they are being shown to their rooms, Ben notices a row of pictures on the staircase. There is something odd about them. The eys seem piercing and almost alive. However he puts it down to the drink and is shown to his room. Lying on the bed after everyone has retired, Ben texts Carl who agrees to sneak to Ben's room for a drink. However as they are both lying on the bed sharing a cognac they hear a strange thumping sound and a scream. Rushing outside they see Mima, the young polish maid, lying face down in a pool of blood. A figure in a long black cloak is striding away. Ben runs after the figure and is shocked to see in disappear into one of the paintings on the staircase!
Ben texts Torchwood while Carl rings the police on his mobile. Nobody believes what Ben saw, even the police, who insist that nobody leaves the house until a full search and interviews are conducted. The back door is found to be unlocked. Abby arrives from the farm and she is the only one to believe Ben's story. Even Carl is sceptical:
"We had been drinking Ben. Look, the intruder obviously got out through the back."
Ben is upset that Carl doesn't believe him and his beautiful dark dreamscape eyes fill with tears. David sees this and whispers loudly to Carl:
"Hey he's not a marmite chaser is he? "

An upset Ben is taken to the lounge by Abby who makes him a coffee.
"Look , don't let them get to you. They're idiots."
Suddenly there is another round of shouting and they are horrified to see two dark figures pushing Richard over the banisters so that he crahes to the floor. The police try to intervene and are run through with swords. Ben is stunned to see that the figures have no face. They disappear back into the pictures. With the police dead, Carl and David take the lead and removing the pictures take them out the back to be burned. Ben is concerned and wishes to contact the doctor for advice, but Carl won't listen and he& David set the pictures on fire. Ben's fears are confirmed as five figures, dressed as a Cavalier, an 18th century nobleman, an 18th century lady, a victorian gent and a WW1 era soldier emege from the fire.
"You have released us" they chant as they morph into silver clad aliens with golden hair , white skin and piercing eyes.
"We are the Seers! We were imprisoned in those pictures by Time Lord known as the Doctor many years ago . Now we are free!"
Ben gets through to the Doctor on his phone who tells him that the Seers are the last of an inter-galactic super-race who cannot be destroyed. They live on humanoid cellular energy . The only way to defeat them in to imprison them in inanimate objects Ben holds the phone up towards the seers and the Doctor sends sound energy from the TARDIS down it which takes the aliens and swirls them in a circle of energy before they shoot into the house walls!

Later, in the drawing room, Richard is recovering from his injuries with a brandy while the agents from Torchwood carry the bodies away. Ben tells them that the aliens are now imprisoned in the very fabric of the house, in the bricks and walls.
"As long as it remains, the earth is safe".
Everyone thanks Ben, however Ben lets them know that he is going back to Cambridge. Outside, Carl follows him:
"Look you don't have to go."
"Yes I do. Your family were extremely unpleasant to me , apart from Abby, and you could have supported me more."
Carl is a bit aggrieved:"Oh come on, you're blowing this out of proportion. Stop being a wuss.And you didn't have to behave so obviously gay."
Ben is angry:
"Thats it. I'm going. "

Ben gets into the car and drives away, sobbing bitterly....

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