Something So Evil
"A Sherlock Holmes Story"
By John Pirillo
Gareton Forbes was a rich man. A very, very rich man. He had his fingers into every rich merchant's pockets, as well as many of the Lords and Ladies of the Realm. He was a facilitator. And as such he was welcome into any household or institution that needed money or wanted to expand its income to include more possibilities. He was good at what he did, and consequently, he was also paid well for his services. He was unique among his kind, because he had a secret. A dirty little secret that if it were it were to become known, he could very well lose not only his wealth, but his life as well. So he carried on his business discreetly, but with verve, never allowing a scrap of rumor or myth about him to linger anywhere, being careful to take care of any hints of inadequacies with great resolve and immediate attention.
That night he went about his business as punctiliously as usual, his overcoat draped neatly over his formal suit and tie, his hair combed in the fashion of gentleman. Rich gentleman. The burrs on below his ears pointing outwards. The hair across his forehead pointing down, but trimmed at an even length so as not to touch the eyebrows. He used a gold tipped cane to support his brisk pace on the slick sidewalks that night, knowing full well he was out later than he should be. He had declined a Tesla Cab, because the electric motor caused his hearing to pound mercilessly in great pain. He was extremely sensitive to sound, so it was no wonder that he heard the scuttle of feet behind him.
Muffled by furtive moves, but there nonetheless. He weighed in his mind an image of the pursuer and came up with six feet tall, broad shouldered, a touch inebriated, lower class, with a truncheon and perhaps a large knife at his hip. The tap of his shoes indicated he was a sailor, but the briskness of his walk indicated he was used to doing much physical activity, hence probably also a marine of some kind.
Interesting, he thought to himself, the hint of a smile beneath his brisk mustache that stuck out for a good five inches in both directions to a curled tip. He used wax to keep its shape and waxed it morning and afternoon to keep it shiny and brisk.
He casually, so as not to alarm the sailor, dropped his left hand to touch his midriff pocket in his overcoat. He held a special weapon there for times such as this. He wasn't scared. Not much did. He had a history of success in combat. Not in the military, but in the streets. He had grown up an outlaw in the distant Carpathians. His mother and father had perished in a mob of people who had driven them from their home, then later burned them to death.
No wonder that he had little love for the common man, as some of his more philanthropic friends did. He knew their worth better than most. Put fear in them and they would kill mercilessly and without thought. For they were not much more than animals, and that was a disservice to the animals.
The sailor made his rush.
Gareton swung around, his weapon in hand. A smile on his lips. "Well met." He exclaimed, not without a hint of irony, as the sailor looked down at his gut which had been sliced at least four times in the amount of time that most men would make one.
"Ey!" The sailor grunted in great pain, clutching at his stomach.
Gareton caught the giant of a man as effortlessly as if he were a child, and then lay him down on the slick pavement. He looked into the man's eyes. "Your night has not paid you well, has it, dear chap?"
The sailor tried to speak. and he put a finger to his lips. "Don't. You'll just make it worse. Would you like me to stop the pain?"
The sailor nodded with great pain.
A block away Constable Evans was doing his nightly jog to keep his body firm and strong when he heard the scream of a dying man. He froze a moment, and then ran in the direction of the scream. He reached the area where the sailor had fallen, just in time to see a portly man run into an alley. He saw two things in swift succession.
The dying man on the pavement was spurting blood like a fountain. The running man had a gold tipped cane.
"I see." Sherlock said as he and Watson examined the body lying on the wet pavement. A thick fog was rolling in from the Thames and slicking the buildings with moisture and reducing visibility to a few yards.
Sherlock's hawk-like nose stood out in the contrasted light of morning. Harsh shadows filtered through the wispy remains of an overnight fog as he gathered samples with his tweezers, and then bottled them in small vials.
Watson, on the other side, was doing the same. Both men noted the ghastly wound on the sailor's stomach, which looked like something had come out, rather than that something had cut in. The flaps of skin on the bell hung loosely, revealing a large cavity within the man of stinking flesh and blood.
"His intestines are gone." Watson noted.
"And his heart." Sherlock also noted.
"Look, what's this?" Watson asked.
Sherlock looked closer. Both men could see an odd imprint inside the bloody cavity. No blood pooled there. It just gave off a slight steam, as if it were still burning into the body.
Sherlock's eyes narrowed.
Both men ignored the presence of the two Scotland Yard men observing them.
Constable Evans and Inspector Bloodstone stood to the other side of the body, taking notes as Watson took measurements and samples from the sailor's body.
Watson took a tiny tape measure and began reading out measurements.
"Six two. About 150 stone. Blue eyes. Firm shape. At least it used to be. A percentage of recent alcohol in his system."
"Excuse me, dear Watson, how can you know that without taking blood samples?" Constable Evans asked.
Sherlock rose from his kneeling position, and then turned to the Inspector as Constable Evans dropped to a knee besides Watson and helped him turn the man's body over to take other measurements.
"This is the fifth such murder in the past year."
Sherlock's eyes were fixed on the blood which was scattered in a specific pattern on the pavement, even though it was melting away beneath the onslaught of fog moisture.
"Have you considered an occult crime in this?"
The Inspector gave him a startled look.
Sherlock paced the stains of blood, making footprints at the edges of it, until he made the Inspector stand back and look again.
"A pentagram!" The Inspector cried out in alarm.
"Yes." Sherlock agreed. "As well as the wound on his stomach. Crude, but definitely the shape of one. And the burning one inside his body cavity."
"Constable Evans?" Sherlock spoke up.
Constable Evans rose, shutting his notebook. He came over. "Sir?"
"You say you saw two things?"
"Yes, the fountain of blood. The gold tipped cane."
"Was anything unusual happening in the blood?"
"Don't you mean with the blood? Yes, that there was. Now that you mention it. There was."
Constable Evans shut his eyes a moment, and then reopened them. "The blood seemed to be shooting upwards, but it never fell. Not until the murderer vanished into the alley."
Sherlock looked at the Inspector, who blanched.
"I want to see your records, Inspector. Every incident. The location, time and victim. I also want you to do the follow."
He quickly wrote a note to the Constable and handed it over. Constable Evans eyebrows rose, but he nodded.
"Certainly." He said, and then took off at a run.
"Mister Forbes?" Inspector Bloodstone inquired as the elegantly scrolled, but ancient door opened to reveal a portly man with a thick mustache, carefully waxed in the latest fashion of the very wealthy. The man stood there saying nothing.
"You are Mister Forbes, are you not?" The Inspector asked, looking at the note in his hand. "Gareton Forbes?"
So swiftly the Inspector hadn't a chance of dodging the blow, Gareton threw himself into the Inspector and knocked him to the ground. "You should have kept your nose to the ground, Inspector. Now I shall have to bloody it for you. And worse" Gareton replied, as he prepared to smash the Inspector's head onto the porch cobblestones.
Gareton held back, searching for the owner of the voice. As he tilted to see who was speaking, we can see that something resembling a gory, red worm has extruded from his pocket, with great leering white teeth that are fang shaped. Sherlock stepped into view his weapon held at arm's length. Gareton laughed. "Only you and one man. You mock me!"
"Actually." Doctor Watson said, as he stepped into view from another side.
"There are more than two." Constable Evans declared as he too stepped into the light, revealing crossbow with a silver tipped arrow.
Gareton laughed. "Silver won't kill a vampire."
"No. It won't." Sherlock agreed, stepping closer. "But this will."
Sherlock motioned with a hand and Count Dracula dropped from above and snarled, revealing his teeth.
"Count!" Gareton growled.
"You always were a greedy fool." Count Dracula stated, then stepped over and effortlessly lifted the portly man off his friend, Inspector Bloodstone, who rolled away, gasping for air, as Constable Evans gently pulled him to his feet.
"Drat you, Sherlock; you never indicated he would throw me like a rag doll!" Then he saw the creature stuck halfway in and halfway out of Gareton's body. "Oh bloody hell!"
Sherlock kept his eyes on Gareton, as did Watson.
Gareton rose slowly, holding his hands out. "You know, of course, that vampire cannot kill vampire."
Count Dracula smiled. "I do. But you are not just a vampire, are you? You have aligned yourself to the Dark Ones."
The creature hanging from Gareton's body chose that moment to strike.
The Count's hand flew faster than visible and clutched behind its jaws, than jerked it mightily. It screamed just once as it was ripped from Gareton's body.
He flung it down onto the pavement and pressed it flat with a highly polished shoe, "You give vampires a bad reputation, Gareton Forbes, and that must stop!"
He made a motion with his eyes and a man of medium height stepped into view. He had hair all over his body. "I believe you know each other?"
Gareton paled. "The High Council has nothing to do with this. A werewolf. You would have a werewolf stop me?" He acted boisterous, but everyone could see his words were now just bravado. He knew that the werewolf could tear him apart limb from limb, not just rip a blood worm from his intestines as Count Dracula did.
Sherlock lowered his weapon. "The violence ends here. This night. Now!"
"How did you find me?"
Count Dracula grinned as he stepped closer and began tying Gareton's wrists with cords of garlic. Gareton's skin made smoking, hissing sounds.
Count Dracula stepped back and took off his white gloves. "Good thing I always carry an extra pair. He tossed the burning ones, and pulled on a fresh pair."
Sherlock looked at the stunned facilitator. "You have a gold tipped cane."
"Yes. But so do many other wealthy men."
Sherlock nodded. "But you did two things which gave you away. First, you incised the shape of a pentagram on that poor sailor's body."
"The man was going to rob me." Protested Gareton.
"Two, you performed a ritual that only a very, very few know of. Your father, a well respected sorceror..."
"And you are the only living man besides your father who knows that your gold cane is one of a kind with a unique pentagram shape on its head..." Inspector Bloodstone continued. He nodded to Constable Evans, who whistled. A team of Constables came running. They immediately wrapped Gareton in a net of garlic. He snarled and thrashed in pain.
Another Constable walked from inside the home, carrying the gold tipped cane. He handed it over to Sherlock, who turned its head towards the Inspector, then Watson.
Watson nodded. "Matches the imprint within the intestines."
"This isn't the end. I swear it!" Gareton screamed at everyone.
Sherlock smiled. "Actually. It is."
Sherlock and Watson stood on the porch of 221B admiring the night skies. The air was clear that night of both clouds and fog.
"There!" Watson pointed.
"Something so evil can be so beautiful." Sherlock mused.
They both stood there somberly a moment with their thoughts, watching an ascending comet leave Earth's orbit, and then as the front door opened, Mrs. Hudson peered out.
"You two will catch the death of pneumonia out there. Come in, I have a fresh pot of tea and raspberry scones for the both of you!"
Watson's face lit up. His only thought at that moment. Actually two. Was that he was going to have steaming hot scones served to him by the woman he loved more than life. Mrs. Hudson.
They entered the building and the door shut behind them.
The round ball of Earth from space was both delicate, graceful and beautiful as a bullet shaped craft, shot from a cannon far below, made its way into orbit, joining a train of similar bullet shapes, each with a supernatural criminal inhabiting its shape.
Gareton looked out the only porthole he was allowed and screamed over and over as his bullet cell settled into orbit behind a dozen others.