|Doctor Who Companion Internet Adventure #05 - "Point of Destruction"
"What's the Secret?"
by David Evans
Away from the crowd, a taxi pulled up just outside the entrance to Eagleton. The driver, from a nearby town, spoke to the passenger.
"Come on, I don't want to be here long."
"Why ever not?" the passenger replied.
"'Cos my Mamma told me not to, especially now."
"Oh goodie!" The passenger said, rubbing his hands with glee before paying the driver his fare, picking up his suitcases and stepping out, shutting the door and banging on the side.
"Good journey," he said.
"God damn wacko," the driver said before speeding off.
The passenger was a strange looking man. His greasy black hair was unkempt and messy. His clothes were shabby and what you could call 'retro style' and he carried just two suitcases. One small one which contained items which displayed his bizarre dress sense and a larger case in which his typewriter was kept.
Each suitcase had a tag "Mortimer Thymire" on the top. It was the man's real name but secretly he was Ramon Burns — America's latest best-selling horror/paranormal fiction writer. His books sold in their millions — the latest hit, 'The Pen that Turned', had sold over two million copies just weeks after being released. So far he had written five best-sellers — all of which were currently being developed by various people for film projects.
The reasons for his success were unknown to him — and the book world. He kept his real identity secret — not to help book sales, but it just gave him a sense of self-worth. His books told stories of murder, horror, the other side, with the odd sexual encounter every other chapter-- which was quite odd as he had had no close encounters of any kind — some less than others. Mortimer was the world's most boring person — which was quite a shame as his books created the impression that the writer's life was a non stop rollercoaster — instead it was an uphill ride in a Skoda.
He had come to Eagleton to get some ideas for his latest novel. He had read about the 150-year anniversary of Eagleton in a hand-written letter addressed to Ramon Burns — asking him to be guest of honour. He wrote back saying that he could not attend but would send his assistant — whom Mortimer was pretending to be.
Picking up his cases, he walked down the road into Eagleton, noticing the woods behind some of the buildings. Laughing, he said to himself, "Great setting for a mad man with a chainsaw and a sinister lisp." Pleased with this suggestion, he stopped and scribbled it in his little jotter — which he always kept with him to jot down the ideas he had. He wrote:
'Idea for Book: Town of Agletone, legends of aliens, really madman with lisp.'
Satisfied with his moment of 'genius', he again picked up his cases and again walked towards Eagleton.
* * *
The moment Alison Knight heard Sheriff Taylor say they'd made a terrible mistake, her heart missed a beat. She starred in horror, expecting small children to surround her and the woman she had just met — Liz — as if acting a scene from the Village of the Damned. She looked around to see the faces of the entire population of Eagleton — and their blank eyes which showed hidden malice.
Although she didn't know many of them well, she could recognise people that she had met during her brief stay. The woman holding her left arm was Mrs Duberry, the owner of the small grocery shop who had told her that Eagleton didn't get any newspapers after she enquired about purchasing one. Holding her right arm was the barkeeper whose bar served no alcohol, only soft drinks — which was bad news for Alison who found that a vodka and coke shot usually took away any apprehension she had about one of Keith's visits.
She looked over at Liz who was being held back by the smoking teenager — who seem to have amazing strength to keep hold of her. The teenager was also assisted by the receptionist at the hotel. The mass in front of her had a number of familiar faces that she had seen whilst walking around Eagleton, but it was Liz who was first to speak.
"What sort of terrible mistake?" She asked.
"Coming to Eagleton to the festival — we thought we'd like visitors, but we'd prefer privacy, you see," the Sheriff said.
"But why are you holding us?" Liz replied.
"Because, Dr Shaw, we have who we want. You are not required or invited."
"Keith!" Alison yelled in horror.
"If you would care to leave, please, we will not warn you again," Taylor responded.
But then Alison spoke again in a tone that showed bravery and conviction, immediately earning respect and admiration from Liz.
"You listen here, Sheriff. I will not leave until Keith is back. Do you understand me?" Sheriff Taylor stared, but the group collectively gave the impression that they were angered at Alison's determination.
"As you wish," Taylor replied. "But accept the consequences." He stared at those holding the women who began marching them towards a building at the end of Main Street. Liz got a brief chance to look towards the group they were leaving... and and saw them close in together as if in some kind of collective thought.
* * *
Meanwhile, a second taxi arrived. Stepping out was a man with long ginger hair and a goatee beard whilst a small red-haired woman got out of the other side. The man — Victor Pember or 'Firedemon' to his friends — wore scruffy jeans with holes in the knees, black Doc Martin boots and a white T-shirt upon which 'Roswell happened, man' was written in black marker pen. The woman wore army type trousers with a green T-shirt which was plain except for a cartoon illustration of a 'Grey' alien asking for directions to the nearest interstellar highway on the left side. She was commonly known as 'Rogue', but her real name was Madge Bishop.
They also had been attracted to the town due to the extraterrestrial nature of Eagleton — something in which both of them had an interest. They were part of the A.A.A.U group — 'Aliens Are Among Us'. The others in the group had also been interested but couldn't come due to lack of cash. They usually spent weekends in fields, sitting in crop circles, smoking whatever they could afford — strangely enough they saw at least five UFO'S a night when they were there.
But Rogue and Firedemon longed for an adventure and jumped at the chance of visiting Eagleton for the 150th anniversary. They now stood on the main road to Eagleton as again, the taxi driver had refused to drive into the place. Picking up their luggage from the side of the road, they too set off on the walk to Eagleton.
* * *
"Ramon Burns" (a.k.a. Mortimer Thymire) reached the entrance to Eagleton before collapsing. He was exhausted. Although his walk had been short, he had little stamina and usually the most exercise he had was when walking to catch a bus. He sat on a small bench and glanced into the village — where he saw a large group of people turn and stare at him in unison, before dispersing into different buildings. Plucking up enough energy, he walked into Eagleton, examining signs above each building, looking for a hotel.
After about twenty paces he spotted it — the George Hotel — and quickly walked towards it as he was extremely tired and looked forward to sleeping. He walked up two wooden steps before stopping, taking a breath, and then re-arranging his luggage in a way that would allow him to open the door. He entered the building and explored the hallway, looking for a reception desk when he spotted a small, strange looking man smiling at him.
"Hello there!" Mortimer said "I'm..." but he was cut off by the man.
"Yes, we know — Ramon Burns. We've been expecting you."
To be continued...
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