Chapter Twenty-Five of the new Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventures novel "Things that go bump in the Night," is now posted.
Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Baker Street had never been so crowded before. The Bobby watching over the event, Reynolds McFadden shrugged his cloak tighter about his shoulders to keep the chill out. A fact not unnoticed by Mrs. Hudson, who came down herself to offer him some sandwiches and a mug of hot coffee, which he accepted gratefully with a huge smile and a salute, as she wiggled her graceful way back up into the flat, and shutting the door on the busy street outside where dozens of vehicles were parked.
Watson watched her enter from above, then struggled to get around the bodies filling the flat, smiling at some, nodding to others, and barely making it past some of the larger gentlemen, one of whom was Lord Graystone, a regular monster of a man, though graceful as a cat and ten times more intelligent in the ways of the jungle and the lands of Fairie. He gave Lady Shareen a gracious smile, and a nod, then past Professor Langston...the Invisible Man...now quite visible and very happily engaged in conversation with Madame Curie and Nicolas Tesla who occupied the farthest corner of the room.
Near the hearth Sherlock was regaling the friends gathered there with a description of what had occurred on their visit to the Downs, while Harry, Challenger and Darling...whose face was flushed with excitement at all the attention she was getting...nodded and added their own points to fill in gaps that Sherlock had missed, which were few, but only because he hadn't been where they were.
Doctor Jekyll stood at the window, his eyes lost in some distant memories, hands behind his back, his white laced cuffs studded with medical insignia that had been hard carved and given to him as a gift by Redeye and Chittles, who stood to the rear of the room, helping to dispense tea, coffee and small sandwiches which Mrs. Hudson kept bringing up from the kitchen below in her usual business like manner.
Larry Talbot, Mina Harker and Count Dracula stood near the back bedrooms, their eyes and lips animated as they talked excitedly about the meeting and the importance of it.
Finally, Mrs. Hudson ascended the stairs and Watson, ever careful for her safety, whisked her into the center of the room and promptly seated her comfortably in his favorite chair, standing behind it to ward off unwanted attention, which caused Sherlock to glance over and give him a slight smirk of approval, before he returned to his own conversation.
Finally, Challenger stood up, letting Darling remain on the sofa by herself with Harry, while he drew the attention of everyone as he began clapping his hands. "Attention, dear friends."
In a matter of seconds the room became as silent as a tomb, but never before was a room filled with so much vigor and intelligence, such beauty and courage, such charm and such power. These men and women were the power brokers of a new generation of Kings and Queens. But not of royalty, but of bravery and righteousness. For these were the true heroes of this generation, people who would broker no evil in their realm. Not without a fight. Not without a demand for justice and the will to pursue and create it.
Challenger smiled at Darling, who gave him a flush of both embarassment and pride, as he spoke. "This unusual gathering is for the purposes of facing a new evil which has descended upon our land."
A slight murmuring from everyone as they nodded and commented lightly, then he went on. "But we are not without such events in the past. Hyde. The Hollow Man. Moriarity. And more. Many, many more. All of whom we have defeated and destroyed, or at the very least removed from any further negative influence over our lives and those whose lives we protect and hold sacred in the eyes of our Lord."
"Hear, hear, Challenger." Harry said, clapping.
Madame Curie nudged him and he stopped.
Challenger gave her a wink, which caused her to blush slightly, then he went on. "In two separate expeditions we sought to discover the existence of a man believed to be a sorceror, a witch of the darkest kind and a man to be reckoned with."
Mrs. Hudson got a slight nudge from Watson by his left pinkie and she grasped his hand and squeezed it. A motion not lost upon the eyes of their friends, who all smiled and exchanged looks of happiness for them.
"During these expeditions I found the woman of my heart, my life and my dreams."
Darling really blushed then, forcing herself to keep her eyes on him, which she wanted to with all her heart, while her neck and bosom burned with embarassment from the attention of all eyes upon her at that moment.
"But I also found myself engaged in combat with a creature of horrid nature and dimensions. A chimera."
Lady Shareen stood up. "I thought they were extinct."
"As did we." Sherlock admitted, his look admitting puzzlement.
"Then how could this be. Even in Fairie most of the more fantastic monsters have faded into history, or retreated to the Forgotten Lands."
Lord Graystone rose to stand beside her. "I think an third expedition to my lands might be in order."
Sherlock motioned them to sit and they did.
Challenger gave him a look of thanks and continued. "It is our belief that the two appearances of the Chimera were too far apart to be the same creature or manifestation if it were."
Tesla's eyebrows knotted together. "Are you suggesting that there are two extinct monsters loose in the Downs?"
"Not in the Downs, Nicolas." Challenger explained. "But in England. They could be here by now as well. In London. Perhaps hiding somewhere very close by, or preparing to attack yet again, driven by a force we know little about, except that it enjoys death of a most vicious nature upon the innocent."
"How do we know the deaths were of innocents?" Professor Langston inquired, his face showing his disbelief.
Watson rose. "Let me explain."
Everyone gave him their attention. "I have personally examined all the bodies and remains associated with the grisly deaths visited by this dark witch, and they exhibit one thing in common. None were users of any drugs. None had records of prostitution or theft. Murder or arson. In fact all the ones who died were good people."
Larry Talbot, the Wolfman's son, raised a hand. "I thought the young lady who started all this business was an Angel of the Night."
"She was. But when I investigated further I found that her only guilt, if any, was not one of sensual pleasure, but of offering friendship to the lonely. She was a true angel of the night, giving lonely men a person to talk to, to befriend and find a safe harbor with their emotions."
"Then that leaves us with no common ground but their ordinariness." Larry insisted.
Doctor Jekyll rose. Everyone turned to look at him. He shook his head. "I couldn't agree more. Watson invited me to do the inquests with him and what we found was a common chemical in each of the bodies."
"A chemical?" Madame Curie asked.
"Yes. An unusual one. I'll let Sherlock explain."
Sherlock rose and turned to face his friends. "As you know in the past I have dabbled somewhat with various...shall we say...chemicals to induce an expansion of my intellect."
Watson frowned. They hadn't all been that way.
Sherlock gave him a sympathetic look and went on. "And the chemical that was found in their bodies was injected through a strange mark. One which I didn't recognize at first."
Dracula interjected. "Mark. What kind of mark?"
"Like a vampire leaves on its victim."
Everyone looked at Dracula. He spread his arms wide. "I don't eat humans."
They laughed at his embarassment.
"Hardly ever anymore." He finished.
Their laughter stopped.
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