OK people, here is part two of this spooky Halloween adventure for Ben:
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
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.