Saturday, 23 August 2008

Absinthe hangovers

Why is it that absinthe gives you such a stanking great hangover? I've been feeling woozy all day.

The Ben Chatham 2nd Canon Writer Competition

The final round has now started on the Doctor Who Forum - all votes are welcome!!!

The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses: Part 2

OK, here is the next part of this adventure folks:

The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses: Part 2

Sherlock Holmes stairs intently at the assembled group as he ponders the situation:
"Lady Arabella, if it is not too stressful for you at this moment, I would like you to tell us a little more about the circumstances of your parents' death."
Lady Arabella takes an elegant sip of the tea that Mrs Hudson has just brought for her:
"Its alright Mr Holmes. There is not much that I can tell you. I was at boarding school here in England when I heard that mother and father had died of malaria out in India. My father was out there working for the Viceroy. His valet , a Mr Jeremiah Snape, brought the news to me. I remember he was most concerned, he kept asking if mother or father had sent me any letters recently and that if I recieved any I should give them straight to him."
"Didn't that strike you as rather odd of him?" Ben asks:
"I was too young and upset to notice. But in retrospect it did seem a strange thing for him to ask *dabs her eye*".
Ben is intrigued:"This Snape was clearly after something. Do you know what happened to him?"
Holmes intercedes:"I know of this Snape. He regularly frequents the opium den just off Soho Square. We must pay him a visit. One more thing: could you describe the crosses to me?"
Lady Arabella has begun to weep and Ben puts his hand on hers to comfort her:
"The....they are quite small. They have a hole at the bottom end which is odd, because it means that they would hang upside down."
Holmes leaps up:"Oscar, I would like your permission to let Lady Arabella stay here for a while, It'll be safer. Ben & Constable Scott will accompany Watson and I. We'll meet you at the Albermarle Club in an hour"
Oscar stirs from a little nap:"Certainly my dear boy."

The carriage moves through the fog-drenched streets towards Soho Square.
"By jove Holmes, I do worry about you knowing about these awful dens and their poor unfortunate clientele" Watson muses. Holmes smiles.Ben looks out of the window sadly:
"I somehow fear that opium will continue to destroy lives for many years to come." He thinks of Niki and realises that Kyle is thinking of his mum.

Arriving at the opium den, they walk in and Holmes asks the scruffy looking man collecting entrance fees if Snape is present. Ben, gazing inside at the sunken-faced Victorian addicts sucking at their opium pipes by candlelight, notices a man leaving by a back door.
"Come on Kyle: round the back!" He shouts and they run out into the alley. The man is running away, however Kyle rugby-tackles him to the ground and gets him in an armlock. Holmes and Watson run up as Ben questions the man:
"I presume you are Jeremiah Snape. Have you just sent Lady Arabella Framcombe a severed hand?"Snape shakes his head and mutters obscenities. Holmes gestures to Kyle to relax his hold:
"Look Snape we mean you no harm. I know that if you are involved in our business it is in a minor way. Now please let us take you for a civilised drink and a bit of supper where we can talk properly."
"Alright Mr Holmes."Ben is impressed by Holmes' subtle approach and command of the situation, which reminds him a little of the Doctor.

Arriving at the Albermarle Club, just off the Strand, they alight from the carriage and Snape follows Holmes towards the door. Suddenly a man with a beard approaches through the fog. He lifts up a gun and shoots Snape. He runs away, dropping a folded piece of paper. Ben and Kyle give chase however he loses them in the dark London backstreets. As they return, Watson is stepping up from inspecting Snape."He's dead Holmes." Holmes has unfolded the sheet of paper and shows it to Ben and Kyle. On the paper is drawn and coloured in a green hand.
Ben looks puzzled:"...And this means?"Holmes stares intently:
"This is the symbol of the Green Hand League. An anarchist group devoted to the cause of revolution"................

............... to be continued

The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses: Part 1

OK folks, here is the first part of this new adventure:

"The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses" : PART ONE

Ben holds up the psychic paper:
"Hello Sir, my name is Ben Chatham and this is my... I mean Constable Scott. "
Holmes takes an elegant drag on his pipe:
"Hmmm Scotland Yard. Most interesting. I presume that they have found what may be a very old skeleton since they have sent a trained archaeologist round to see me."
Doctor Watson, sitting in the armchair in the corner lets out a gasp:"
By jove Holmes, how did you know that this fellow is an archaeologist?"
This thought echoed Ben's own:
"Why its elementary my dear Watson! Young Ben here has a speck of soil under his right index-fingernail. Since his general attire and demeanour are so refined and well groomed, I deduced that this could not be the result of carelessness or lifestyle. Therefore it must be his work. Since the work involves digging and he is a police Inspector, then he must be an archaeologist, since an Inspector would not involve himself in the general digging around bones, but would get his constable to do it."
Watson claps his hands:"Holmes you're a genius. *To Ben* Come in and sit by the fire."

Ben and Kyle sit in the elegant Victorian chairs by the coal fire. Watson offers them each a brandy and winks at Kyle.Holmes stands aloof, smoking his pipe:
"So what can we do for you?" Ben improvises:
"Er we are not actually on a case sir. I am preparing an article for the a new police periodical, to be called 'The Blue Lamp'. And I was wondering if I could take a small amount of your valuable time to conduct an interview with you for inclusion. I was hoping that you could rell us about some of your most difficult cases and how you solved them."
Holmes stays silent for a long time, looking out of the window into the foggy night. Then he springs to life:
"Of course! Ask away. Only it will have to wait, for a carriage has just drawn up outside."

Sure enough, there is a knock on the door and they hear Mrs Hudson showing someone in. Eventually the door opens and Mrs Hudson bustles in:
"Mr Oscar Wilde to see you, with a young lady."
"Show them in Mrs Hudson, show them in".
In walks the elegantly clad Oscar Wilde, wearing a long, fur-lined coat and waving an expensive walking cane. He is in a state of panic
My dear dear Sherlock, something terrible has happened. Something monstrous"
"Now Oscar, don't get excited. Come and sit by the fire and Watson will pour you an absinthe. And who is this most beautiful young lady?"
"This is my goddaughter, Lady Arabella Framcombe."
Holmes kisses her hand:"It is a delight to meet you."Oscar meanwhile has noticed Ben:
"And who is this? Sherlock it is most neglectful of you not to have warned me that you have such... charming company."
Ben introduces himself and Kyle. Oscar stares at him, spellbound and transfixed:
"I had no idea that the police employed such young Inspectors. There are few things more perfect than youth my dear boy. It is so tempting. And the only way to remove a temptation is to give in to it *strokes Ben's hair*"

Watson pours the drinks and Ben asks for an absinthe as he notices that it is a bottle of the finest kind. He is most impressed and nearly gives himself away:
"mmmm this is impeccable. You don't get absinthe this good in my century..... I mean in my club."
"You should join the Albermale Club", Oscar comments, "I would love to see more of you."
Meanwhile, Holmes is offering Lady Arabella a piece of lemon cake. She flashes her deep, dreamy eyes.
"Please. In your own time, tell us what this is all about." Holmes says.Lady Arabella elegantly nibbles a tiny piece of the cake and wipes a tear from her face.
"For the last twelve years, every birthday, I have recieved a gold cross in an envelope through the post. The envelopes are postmarked Eastbourne. There is no note and my family had no connections with that town. My mother and father were killed in India by a malaria outbreak twelve years ago just before the first cross arrived. I have been brought up in England by my nanny Mrs Holfstead, with Mr Wilde's support. "
Ben is intrigued:"Please get to the point. Where is this leading?" He asks.
"Well last night another package arrived. It is my 21st birthday today. It contained another cross... and something else."
She takes a box out of her elegant handbag. Oscar is shocked:"You brought the thing with us? In a handbag? A HANDBAG??"
"I'm sorry, but I thought that Mr Holmes would need to see it."She opens the box and slowly removes..... a severed hand, already green-tinged and putrefying. Everyone gasps.
"Seems we have a murder to investigate Constable Scott" Ben comments.Holmes frowns:
"Oh it is more than that. I suspect that what we have here is a threat so foul and so monstrous that the entire British Empire is in danger! Ben, Watson, Oscar; THE GAME'S AFOOT.......... be continued