Chapter Twenty-Eight 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
Lord Graystone sat beside Lady Shareen on the rotunda of their London home. It was the home of the wealthy, but very simple in its decorations and interior, much as the two explorers were themselves. Though both extremely talented, gifted artists and creators in their own rights, they preferred to confer their greatest wealth to the benefit of the poor and the impoverished, sponsoring numerous charities about London and in Fairie as well.
For even though a magical land it had its share of poverty as well, and both seeing that place as a home away from home had made every effort possible to export as much technology to Fairie as would not despoil the lands nor ruin its eternal beauty.
The balustrade in front of the two had planters every five yards, with rich beds of branching flowers that reached to the marbled flooring of the rotunda and spilled over the sides to the grounds several stories below. A large tabby purred peacefully between them. It missed them when they traveled, even though their butler, Miss Tewes was very kind to the creature and equally as beloved by the cat, but Monkey, as he was playfully called by the Jungle Lord, still preferred the two wild creatures who pretended to be civilized for the sake of harmony with the world of London.
"I don't like the mystery about this creature." The Jungle Lord, Lord Graystone, told his beloved. "It seems so familiar, and yet."
"I agree. I still think we're all missing something."
"I as well, but what? You'd think with so many great minds pooled together on this, one of us could come up with something." He snorted in frustration, his broad muscled shoulders quivering with anger.
She leaned her head against his heavily muscled chest and stroked his right arm gently. "Dear Jungle Lord not all things can be solved by force, not even sometimes, intellectual force as well."
He sighed and put an arm about her slender, but also well muscled shoulders. "I suppose you're right. But something still stinks. I keep feeling that somehow there's an old hand at work in all of this."
She straightened up and looked into his face. "Surely, you don't mean?"
He said nothing.
Her eyes widened further and she shivered. He pulled her closer.
Chapter Twenty-Nine Professor Langston looked up at his offices at the University and sighed. "As much as I love this place."
"You still wish for more?"
He turned to face Harry Houdini, who was playing with a silver coin, flipping it effortlessly between one knuckle and the next.
"I just don't know what it is. Do you think everyone else is as frustrated as I am."
"You mean we are, don't you?" Harry added.
They sat down on a bench and watched a young co-ed pass by, late from her studies in the byzantine library and its hoary hoard of ancient manuscipts, some of which were hidden deep below in vaults for the perusal of those gifted in the occult and supernatural arts, such as Harry.
"Sometimes I look at all the progress we've made as a nation, as a people, as a race of beings, and wonder if it's all been worth it."
Harry gave him a surprised look, then nodded to a Bobby who came past, flipping his baton to distract his mind from his boring routine of marching back and forth across the campus.
"Good evening, Masters." The Bobby greeted.
Harry smiled at him. "To you as well, young man."
The Bobby gave him a smile, then realized something that Harry wasn't much older than himself. He noted that silently, for praise was seldom forthcoming for his work and he relished every ounce of it when it did manifest.
So humming happily now, the Bobby continued down a side path that would work around the gigantic library and its massive front.
"You are so good in bringing out the best in people, Harry."
"As you are too. I've sat in on some of your lectures. Your students worship you."
Professor Langston sighs. "I wish I could let them know the magic of invisibility, how it could transform their lives."
"I as well. But we both know that sometimes the baser nature of man would take this gift and despoil it, much as the war wizards have constructed bigger and bigger bombs and cannons to manifest their war skills through."
Professor Langston sighed again. "Is it all really worth it all? We sacrifice so much of our personal lives, our free time to help others, we have little time left for ourselves."
Harry nodded, then tossed his coin up into the air. As it dropped back down it transformed into a small bunny rabbit, that he caught in his arms and cuddled, stroking its long soft ears.
"We are like gardeners, you and I, helping to weed out the bad growth and nourish the good. Some are just born to do that work. While others must learn yet how to aspire to greatness, to become more than just consumers of life."
Professor Langston nodded. "What about this creature that's attacking innocents in our town?"
"Not only is it a mystery to me, but to our friends as well. We all have suspicions, but none of us want to speak it, for fear it will become manifestly real.
"Then speak those words." Professor Langston said. "We cannot hide from the truth. We must not!"
Harry took a deep breath and then said...
Chapter Thirty He ravaged against the Light. He hated anything that smacked of goodness. How many years of his life had been lost in torture and loss as a child, only to manifest in more years of torment and loss as an adult.
He had thrust himself into the world, thinking he could tame it through magic. That he could make it his; take it in the directions it must go. He wanted to be a hero. Not a devil. Yet devil he was inside and out.
His name was spoken only in whispers, and then only in the most secret of places. He smiled at that thought. So much given up for infamy. Was it truly worth it in the end? To have lost the warmth of a bride, the caress of a child in his lap, the caring laughter of close friends? Was it really worth the loss.
These and more thoughts twirled in the miasma of his thoughts as he stood before the cauldron in his study. He dropped some chemicals from his row of jars that lay behind him on multi-layered shelves. He cut a thumb and poured some of his blood into the mix. Dark magic always used dark means to its end.
As he watched his blood co-mingle with the churning mass of chemicals and magical brews, he wondered yet again within himself...was he doing the right thing?
If only he could speak the name that was holding him in bondage. If he could speak it, perhaps he could break free into the world of the living once more, be the savior and blessing he had once aspired to in his earlier youth. Was he doomed to become a mummified old man, bereft of warmth and companionship?
Speak the name, his inner thoughts blasted at him. Speak the name!
He opened his mouth to speak. "The name is...