Chapter Sixteen of "Things that go bump in the Night," a new Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventure is now posted.
"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Mrs. Hudson stood on the hilltop watching the wafts of smoke curl into the air, and in the distance the Chimera dragged itself higher and higher into the air, its lion tail wagging behind its webbed wings, its crocodile face turned away from their direction. "Quite a sight."
Holmes climbed up beside his friend and dusted himself off, then pulled out his pipe and thrust it between his lips without lighting it.
Harry climbed up beside them next, looking paler than a ghost and bone-tired. "Remind me next time to not have there be a next time."
"Granted." Holmes replied with a hint of irony in his voice.
He turned to Hairy. "Where's the Driver?"
"Still coming out of shock."
"I should think so, Harry." Mrs. Hudson scolded him. "You could have at least warned us."
"But then it wouldn't have been so much fun." Harry said with a sigh.
"Thanks." She said next, giving him a quick hug.
His eyes lit up for a moment, before the fatigue took over again. "Remind me next time..."
"So now we know someone is onto us." Harry finally stated the obvious.
"But how?" Mrs. Hudson asked, as perplexed as he was.
"I suspect Watson will be finding out that answer for us."
He turned around and looked down the steep rise they had climbed. The Taxi Driver was outside the cab, smoking a cigarette. He looked like he was having an argument. "Perhaps we should return before he loses his argument."
The others nodded and followed him down to the cab, where the Driver, looking shell-shocked and a bit crazy at the moment, shook his head and said. "I don't care. They paid me and we're going."
"And once we return home." Holmes told him. "You shall be handsomely rewarded with far more than your fare."
Harry agreed. "And I will give you front row tickets for your wife and family and relatives to see my next show."
"Oi! Guvnor! Really?"
The Driver gave him a bear hug. "You's a right good man, Mister ''Dini."
He let go and climbed back into the cab, blew its horn. "All aboard."
Mrs. Hudson laughed. "Men!"
Holmes nodded. "Indeed."
She gave him an inquiring look and he ignored it and climbed into the back, after giving her a hand up inside first. Harry climbed in from the other side and slumped onto the back seat all by himself. "I've got to renew my batteries." He said, then fell instantly asleep.
"Oh drats!" Mrs. Hudson exclaimed.
"Whatever is wrong, my dear Mrs. Hudson?"
"I so wanted to find out how he cloaked us from that monster trying to kill us."
"Don't be in such a rush. I'm sure once he's awake, he'll be ready to talk about it...for hours."
They both laughed lightly, then looked out their windows as the landscape flowed past.
The high chalky white walls on their left soon descended and turned into curving flows of light hillocks and spiraling hills resplendent with blossoming daisies, petunias and marigolds. Even an occasional sunflower stuck its head into the sky, soaking up as much light as the English weather permitted.
It began to lightly rain as they continued their journey.
Through the distant mists the first tower of the approaching town came into view. Harlington Downs. Named after Lord Harlington who had at once time, allegedly under the Great King Arthur, settled the lands from Stonehenge to the sea, starting from the Northern Downs and ending in the Southern. A splendid spread of grasses and wild life that lived near the great sea, and farmers who etched out a living harvesting wheat and oats for the stables of London, and chalk for the builders and merchant marines.
A very thriving industry of sorts spotted out of Harlington Downs, sporting some of the best and finest tailors of their times. It was even said that a very young Arthur once lived there as a King of Threads, some called him, before he went on to become a knight and eventually the man behind the throne of England for a time during the Golden Camelot years, when Merlin was young and healthy and the people throve on honest and hard work.
"So." Harry said with a yawn, sitting up like a manikin jerked from stillness by its top strings. "What have I missed besides nothing?"
"Harry, you're so cynical sometimes." Mrs. Hudson scalded him.
He made as if to doff an invisible hat and then grinned. "At your service and willing to dispense more if it pleases you."
"What I'd like to know, Harry, is how you managed to hide us from that Chimera when we were so close to being cooked geese in the oven of its breath."
Harry glanced across at Sherlock, who yawned and then closed his eyes. He looked back at Mrs. Hudson. "Well..."
Several hours later as their cab pulled over to park near a pub, Harry put the finishing touches to his explanation, and then noticed that not only was Holmes snoring, but Mrs. Hudson as well.
"We're here." Harry said, biting the slight touch of anger he felt for a moment. After all, these were his friends, even if he did bore them to death sometimes. He smiled. Maybe he could come up with a proper spell to keep them awake when he was talking to them.
That brought a happy smile to his face as they both opened their eyes to look at him.
Mrs. Hudson immediately said. "Harry, don't you even dare think those thoughts!"
Holmes smiled. "I forgot to tell you, Harry. She's become a mind reader as well as a good criminal investigator."
Harry sighed. "Oh well. Perhaps a good meal will settle everything."
They climbed out.
The Driver hoisted down their luggage. "I know just the place to stay if you don't mind my presuming?"
Holmes nodded. "Not at all. You Mrs. Hudson? Harry?"
They both shook their heads.
Harry watched Holmes and Mrs. Hudson go into the pub. It was named "Stonehenge."
"Here let me give you a hand with all that." Harry said, taking some of the luggage off the driver's hands.
"Yer a fine gentleman, Harry Houdini." The Driver said.
Then Harry said. "I bet you can't wait to find out how I hid us from that flying monster..."
As they walked away from the pub towards the far side of the street Harry's face lit up as he found a new and willing audience for his stories.
Science fiction or factual? These are actual digs revealing a humanoid structure that is in excess of twenty feet in height. Why does modern science ignore the past when it's inconvenient to explain? Perhaps, there is a conspiracy of silence, or perhaps it's fear of the unknown.
Journey to the Center of the Earth, a series of stories I've written, explores the very real possibility that we are not alone on our planet, or in it, and that Western Civilization is perhaps arrogant in its belief that is can do anything, conquer anything and not have consequences in the long run.
Anyone ever heard of Global Warming?
In this photograph by John Stanmeyer we see some of the beauty that can exist within our planet. Many hidden, stunning wonders await our exploration. Perhaps some of these wonders are just a few of the stunning panoramas and vistas that our brave Hollow Earth Special Forces Teams see as they Journey to the Center of the Earth. Read the first story of the series that has been turned into a novel and judge for yourself. Click on the picture above to download a free e-Book edition of "Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Advent."
Just relax and feel the pleasant silence within you. Savor the scent of the brew as it wafts pleasurable aroma to tempt your tastebuds. Relax and let go.
"Things that go bump in the Night", Chapter Fifteen of the new Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventures novel is now posted.
"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Unloved, ignored as long as he did his chores, and abandoned by the world of real love, he found himself diving deeper and deeper into the dark tomes he had found in the secret paneled room in the attic. Why the Old Hag never found out, he didn't understand at first, until much later on, when he was ready to ascend to his growing power and position in life.
He began his studies on the smaller spells he found. Ways to turn water into various toxic fluids, stones into deadly implements that killed upon touch, and simple gestures and words, which when combined with certain times of the day and night, drew upon the undead, awakening them to his bidding. At first he didn't believe any of the words he read. He just found them fascinating to exist at all. Here was a closet filled with dark secrets that the world would be horrified to know existed and only he and one other person, he presumed, knew of it.
While he didn't believe any of the spells were real at first, he had to believe after he muttered a spell in anger at the Old Hag one night when she was drinking her usual ale while they had dirty well water and old bread. He had cursed her drink to turn into well worms that would burn her tongue. He had thought it a wicked thought to happen to her, even if not likely.
Suddenly, she had clutched at her throat as she drank, her face lighting up as if on fire, and then she had thrown up, spewing these huge red, slimy worms all over the dinner table. The kids around him were shocked at first, and scrambled to get safely away, but as she kept throwing up more worms, her face turning redder and redder, they began to laugh, for she was not well liked or loved by any there.
He couldn't say when it happened exactly, but one moment she was gagging for air, and the next her complexion returned to normal and the worms on the table that had been spoiling their meal vanished as if the sun had suddenly set and taken all light out of the room.
She had risen slowly, the hint of a smile on her cruel lips. A goddess of pain examining her suppliants w ho must be eagerly punished.
And punished they were.
Each of them received twenty lashes by a whip on their backs and behinds. None could sleep that night. He hadn't cared, because he had given up sleeping a long time ago, so absorbed in the reading he had become, that at firs he hadn't noticed his renewed vitality, his vigor and his energy that never seemed to drain away.
Some would call it a miracle, but he called it a relief, for he could bear to give up his precious night hours, when his daytime hours were so filled with pain and darkness
That night he had snuck into the room again, and this time he was interrupted. The door slid open, but not before he was warned by the tramp of heavy feet. He slid under an old sofa in the room, with barely enough room left to breathe and waited as the door slid open. He knew who it was before she came into the room, her raspy breath rattling in her throat.
He had heard once that she had some kind of incurable disease caused by the smoking she did, something that ate the throat and lungs from the inside out. It had sounded horrible when he first heard about it, but once he knew her character and the relentless evil of her ways, he along with many other of the boys had prayed for the condition to take her off the planet, so that they might find one day of peace from her.
She stood in the room and he could tell she was searching it, but not carefully enough. He heard her make a sound of disgust, then exit, closing the hidden door behind her. He had waited until he heard her footsteps vanish.
He knew she would probably search their sleeping quarters, but he had prepared for such an eventuality a long time ago, making sure that his bed, which was in the darkest part of the room always looked as if someone were sleeping there. He had even rigged up a piece of mop so that it looked like his hair straggling out over the covers.
So he waited a bit longer, then crawled back out and went back to his secret reading. He then knew the words were real. That he was learning true magic. It never occurred to him at the time that it was the darkest and foulest of magic, and that one day he would transform into someone he hated as much as he hated the Old Hag.
For even though he grew more and more powerful, he also became more and more disgusted with what he was becoming. He finally decided to go to the last of the books, the ones he sensed from his growing use of magic were the most powerful.
He pulled the largest one down and it stung his hands, as if they were on fire. But he did not let go and he did not cry out. He dared not. The noise would summon the Old Hag and he would know more pain than his body could bear.
This book had a spell that he knew would seal the deal he had made with himself a long time ago. Create a way for him to escape his darkness and become the master of his life. He drew the necessary magical circle, using chalk he had found, then placed candles in the five corners of the pentagram he had drawn inside the circle. He placed a bit of cat's hair, some bat wings, and some dead caterpillars he found in jars in the center of the pentagram as the offering he had come to make.
Then he did a very, very foolish thing. He hadn't read the last passage. He stood inside the pentagram and did the spell.
The interior of the attic secret room lit up as if he had caused it to become lit with the fires of hell. The whole room twisted and turned as if it were no longer substantial. He felt the hair raise on the back of his neck and his body go as dry as a rag after being squeezed over a fireplace. He thought he was going to die.
That wasn't the worst.
The worst was what came next. What rose from the pentagram and stood beside him, looking into his eyes. What hungered for his soul and body, even as he hungered for freedom.
New slideshow added to the Art section. Odds and ends, but mostly landscapes and some variations on them. Click here to view it.
Fun making them.
What you guys view in a few seconds takes me sometimes months to produce.
Some views of the Downs that the Baker Street Aventurers are traversing. Rather an expanse of contrasts from ocean view to plush lawns and chalky walls.
Chapter Fourteen of "Things that go bump in the Night," a Baker Street Adventures novel starring Sherlock Holmes and Watson is now posted.
"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
At first he incredulous. How could someone so beautiful, who sang like an angel, be attracted to him. He was no particular looker. He was more like a gentleman's cowboy with his gruff appearance and manners, and yet somehow she was drawn to him like a moth to candlelight at night.
Her name was Darling Heaven. A stage name, but the one he knew her by at this particular moment. She was seated alongside him and his dear friends, Conan and Watson, who looked distracted as he worried about his friend, Holmes and his lovely friend, Mrs. Hudson, whom they all adored and loved.
"I remember I was just a young teenager when the dinosaur escaped and ran rampant in downtown London." She mused quietly, sipping at a cup of tea, while he held a mug of steaming coffee in his own.
His companions, Conan and Watson were nursing ales, listening quietly to the conversation, each lost in their own thoughts as they politely gave Challenger the lead in this conversation. He loved them for that. Right now he could use a little about of affection in his life. He hadn't had someone dear and close to him since...
He shook his head, to shake out those memories and Darling grew frightened for a moment, immediately stopping her words with him. "Did I say something wrong?
Her voice trembled like a young girl who had just been upbraided by her parents for speaking out of turn. He immediately put a large hand over her pale hand and patted it. "Nothing you could say or do would be wrong with me." He said, as gallantly as he could muster.
She almost giggled like a young girl, then caught herself, blushed and looked away a moment at the others, who discreetly averted their eyes so they didn't interfere with the conversation going on. "I knew when I saw you enter..." She began, turning her eyes back on him again. "...I knew there was something special about you."
"Dinosaurs." He brushed the compliment off with a shrug of his body.
Her turn to be reassuring. "No. You. Your fame means nothing to me."
His turn to be both embarrassed and ashamed of himself, for assuming that had anything to do with her interest in him. He looked back into her eyes and they were wide open, like a tunnel guiding his consciousness into the interior of her soul. And it was spot clean and innocent. Well, at least as innocent as anyone can be in this day and age.
He sighed. "Yes. Fame can be both bright and beautiful and a curse. I thank you for your kind words and thoughts."
She did giggle this time and then he laughed with her.
Conan figured it was time to join in, now that things had calmed down a bit. "So how did you come about to become a singer here at The Bright Elf."
She fidgeted a moment with the lace below her ample bosom, which drew all men's attention for a few embarassing moments before they looked hastily away when she looked up with a knowing smile. She knew the affect her bosom had on men and didn't blame them. It came with the territory. Her overly large brown eyes widened further for a moment with the tease of a smile, then she played with one of the gold and brown tresses of her hair as she spoke. "More like dumped."
Challenger made a sound of disgust. "What manner of man would just dump a woman?"
She looked into his face, saw the concern eteched across his craggy face and beneath his shaggy eyebrows and felt comforted. "Not one like you."
Again, Challenger looked down to the tabletop, truly humbled by her words. For he had not always been a good man.
He remembered his more temptuous years as a teenager when every woman he saw, including those many years older, were open to interpretation and invitation. There wasn't a single girl he met or woman who hadn't shared his clumsy attempts at becoming intimate. He wasn't a great lover, just a very ambitious one and he got results. His mind attracted girls and women like a hot flame did moths.
He also remembered the turning point of that time.
He was just nineteen. Still a boy in many ways, though a man in the worldly sense, in that he knew how to slip between a woman's finer parts and manage wealth like it were butter. His parents weren't rich, but he spent their money as if they were.
He remembered his father taking him aside one evening. It was quite late and stormy outside. The wind was slamming tree limbs against their windows, sometimes quite loud and harshly. The servant had gone home earlier out of the kindnesss of his father's heart, who feared for his life if he left at midnight as he usually did. The weather could be quite brutal that time of year.
"Son, it's come to my attention that you have become a father."
Challenger had become as rigid as a board. How had that happened? He had not asked to be a father. He had been careful to make sure he was in the safe time with his companions. Had one lied to him.
"Miss Penny's father came to me this morning while you were at the University."
"He did." Challenger had stated, stunned. "And he said what?"
He feared the next words, for he wasn't ready to become a man of means and a father at the same time. He still had many fields of flowers he wanted to explore. Perhaps those days were the halcyon moments that stirred up his wanderlust which eventually led him to the Lost Worlds he later explored and exploited.
"Not what you think." His father had told him, his eyes measuring Challenger's response.
"I don't know what to think."
"I'm sure you don't, as you spend more of your time of late doing the young ladies, rather than doing with the young ladies." His father replied in a scolding voice. "Unlike a proper young man who conducts his physical activities in harmony and balance with what is good and kind to all about him."
Challenger paled. His father rose.
"As of this day I am severing you from your family heritage. You must live on your own, work on your own, love on your own. I will not bear the burden of your guilt, nor the dishonor of a son who uses the opposite sex as if they were bonbons for consumption."
His father had been an honorable man. Unlike many, he never even touched his lips to Challenger's mother before they were wed. He had always told his son that love was bigger than physical contact, that it was the union of two souls and the body was the bridge between them when both were united in love...in other words...marriage.
"But father...." He began to protest.
"No. My mind is made up. And do not seek your mother's charity, for in this we are as one, as in all other things."
His father clapped his hands and a new servant entered the room with a single piece of luggage.
"Harold here will drive you into town, where you may seek a residence worthy of a young man of very little substance, and then with great urgency you shall seek your fortune. I pray you God's Speed and that someday you will return to me the man I had hoped you would become."
His father had walked from the room, leaving Challenger crushed, his heart breaking.
Perhaps that was the point of the lecture and the banishment all along, to open up the bridge between Challenger's bright mind and the true soul he should have become.
Whatever his father's original motives were, it worked. He was never able to return triumphantly to his father, for he had been gunned down in the House of Lords. It was at that time that he had first met Sherlock, who had been assigned to discover the murderer's idenity.
Shaking off that memory, he looked away at another table, then back at his hands once more.
He sighed. "I was not always like I am today. You honor me too greatly."
She took his hands between hers and he felt the heat of her pouring through him. He looked up into her face, and it was completely guileless. "You are an honorable man now. And that's all that matters. The past is done. As long as we don't keep repeating it, then we're a better person now than before. Don't you agree?"
That moment she won the hearts of all three men, for they did indeed agree. There wasn't one there who hadn't made a mistake in the past that they still regretted. Perhaps, the mistakes were small ones, or greater, but mistakes they had been, missteps they wish they had never made.
Challenger didn't answer her for fear of starting to babble like a baby and even so his eyes began to mist from the kindness of her words. She reached up and caught a tear. "This is the greatest treasure our world has to offer."
He took her hand and pressed it to his lips. "No, you are, my dear. You are!"
The Fairy Lights is a tale taken from The Adventures of Giddy and Gnobs. I have about five picture books in the works for this series.
The Fairy Lights is a lovable, cute tale for children ages three to ten, with a great moral of friendship and its true value.
My picture book is comprised of about forty CGI images, those are images I generated from my artwork on a computer. Most of the work was created in a 3D design program and polished in Photoshop, with a few other programs thrown in for other details as needed.
It's about a year's worth of work, creating the characters and detailing their adventure.
I loved doing it. It is part of a larger universe called "Jewel of a Thousand Stars," a CGI film I was producing back in the early two thousands before the crash of the economy swept all funding away.
I wanted to share my work with parents out there, because I feel it's important to have heroes who are both lovable and open to learning.
I owe my style to a combination of Doctor Seuss, Walt Disney, and a few other modern painters, whose names don't come to my mind at this moment.
Download your copy today and share it on your Ipad, Android tablet or computer with your child. They'll thank you for doing it and you'll thank yourself as well.
Available now for $2.99