Chapter Twenty One 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
One could never accuse Watson of being afraid to do the right thing, just perhaps not always doing it immediately. A very thoughtful man, unlike Holmes, he was guided more by his emotions, than his intellect, though his intellect was every bit as sharp as his best friend's, yet it was not always as clear. Whether from lack of discipline of a finer tuning, or because of choice, Watson shot from the hip. And more often than not, his target was struck.
And while couldn't disagree more that Conan was not a sharp intellect, one could definitely say that his ability to hone in on the facts was every bit as sharp as that of Holmes, and why shouldn't it be, since he had created the character in his own world to the degree that pretty much everything that the real Holmes did in this one was a duplicate of what he would've written in his own. But this day and this time, he was stumped as he watched Challenger strive to make sense of what Miss Heaven was telling them.
"And so you see, I am not his direct daughter, but yet I am related to him in spirit, if not in the flesh itself."
Challenger nodded to the waiter of the The Bright Elf, who immediately brought over a fresh glass of water with a bit of lemon stuck to its edge.
"Thank you again, dear sir." He told the Waiter.
"He's Morgan." Miss Heaven told him.
"Morgan." Challenger added.
Morgan smiled at Heaven, his twitchy upper lip bouncing like a happy puppy at the extra attention he was getting, then he picked up the empty glass and went back to the bar, where he began talking excitedly to the bartender, nodding their way as he did.
Conan noted the attention, but said nothing. He looked back at Miss Heaven expectantly.
"So the man we have come looking for no longer lives here."
She shook her head. "Not since I was a child."
"He abandoned you?" Challenger asked in horror.
"Not...so much...abandoned." She said hesitently. "So much as moved on. I wasn't his real child, so he had no emotional stake in the outcome of my future."
Watson snorted. "Sounds like our man all right."
Darling snapped her eyes towards him, fuming as she did so. "How dare you talk of a man like that whom you have never known?"
Watson stood his ground. "If that man is responsible for the deaths of innocent people, I shall talk as I must."
"You have no proof!" She iterated.
"Not yet." Watson agreed, leaving out the rest of his unspoken thought. "But we will."
Darling was ready to jump up and tackle him, but Challenger put a restraining hand on her arm and she sat back down. She eyed him tensely. "I can't tolerate a man with such judgements."
"This is not the woman I held in my arms but an hour ago." He said tenderly.
She blushed and looked back down at the able, then took the fresh water and gulped it down like a sailor, hot and sweaty from manual labor might do. She set the empty glass down, then looked at him again. "I'm just upset. I didn't want to lie to you. Or to..." She gave Watson a glare. "...Him!"
Watson snorted, but didn't back down from her glare.
She continued her withering glance a while longer, then sighed, and looked at Conan.
"What is your part in all of this?"
"A friend of my friends."
She nodded. "Your eyes tell me otherwise."
"My eyes say many things." Conan replied mysteriously. "But my mind says only one...the truth must be out."
She nodded again, then ran a hand through her magnificent locks of hair, causing all the men to get a bit aroused for a moment, for she was a very, very beautiful and desirable woman.
Watson snapped out of it first, because he could see Mrs. Hudson glaring at him the moment she learned he was giving any kind of untoward attention to another woman. "I apologize for my unseemingly conduct, if there has been any, but as my friend Conan here has stated, the truth must come out. Too many lives are at stake for it to be otherwise."
Challenger gave Watson and Conan glances and they both nodded and went to the front door and exited. He leaned into Darling's glance, taking her delicate, but large hands into his own rougher ones. He rubbed the top of her wrists gently with his thumbs in a silent gesture of assurance, which seemed to calm her, as she took several deep breaths, then finally relaxed in her chair. She glanced towards her water and Challenger raised a hand to Morgan, who rushed over with a fresh glass of water.
"Anything else?" Morgan asked. Then to Darling. "You all right, honey?"
"I'm fine. This man is a fine gentleman, unlike the other two."
"I can arrange to take care of the other two if they are bothering you." Morgan suggested.
Challenger rose to his full height and gave Morgan a solemn look. "Then you better find enough to take care of me as well, for they are my friends, and what happens to them, also happens to me."
"Your call, governor." Morgan said and hurried off, leaving his question dangling in the air.
Challenger sat back down and Darling took one of his hands and kissed it lightly. "I feel like I could trust you with anything. Like I've known you forever."
"Conan talks about that stuff sometimes. Reincarnation. Being born over and over. Deja' Vu."
"Then he's a better man than I thought."
"They all are." He assured her, basking in the warmth of her eyes. "They all want the same thing I do. For your happiness and the safety of those in danger."
"What happened to the victims you spoke of. You never told me how they died, besides horribly?"
Challenger paused a long time, searching her eyes for a hint of whether he might reveal too much for her delicate nature or not. Deciding, he nodded, then said. "The women were mutilated, but not before they had been most fouly raped and despoiled."
She paled. "Mutilated! How?"
"Parts of their bodies were removed."
She paled further.
"You recognize the symptoms?" He asked.
"Yes." She said, almost in a moan.
"It is how my dear mother died."
"Tell me more."
Before she could answer him the sound of gunshots came from outside and the roof of the pub shook and dust and debris fell downwards from something that landed upon it.
The sound of men screaming. Women screaming.
Then a roof of the pub burst open and a huge clawed fist drove into view.
It thrust towards Darling and Challenger like a missile from hell on a course to retrieve its victims.