How does Mrs. Hudson's vision of a demonic doll connect to the mysterious murders? Chapter Thirty-Seven of "Things that go bump in the Night," a new Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventure reveals yet another clue. www.johnpirillo.com
"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Martha sat in the small garden in the back of her home. Her father was on his knees, his forehead streaked with sweat and dirt, his hands full of weeds and scissors, which he promptly and frequently applied to the flower plants to help cut back the dead growth to help the new growth waiting to sprout and spread.
"Father?" She asked.
"Yes, dear." He asked between clips.
"Can dolls be human?"
He stopped clipping and looked over at her. She was looking at the doll in her hand. It was a handmade one imported from France. Her niece, who lived in France, had given it to her on her last birthday. It was a cute baby with long blonde hair and stark blue eyes that were glossy from the paint applied to the glass buttons sewn there.
"I suppose in one's mind it were possible." He finally replied, then bent over to snip a pernicious weed that he had clipped from the exact same spot a month ago, then a week later, a week later, and the next week and now again. "Bollocks! God made weeds and flowers, but why did He make weeds so much stronger!"
"Maybe God's a weed." Martha laughed.
He thought about that a moment, then nodded. "That would explain a lot, wouldn't it?" He asked with a grin.
Martha bounced off the small bench she had sat upon, and began dancing with her baby. "Baby fly. Baby fly. Way up into the baby sky." She cried out over and over in a sweet, melodic voice.
For some odd reason she let go of the baby, but it didn't fly away. It didn't fall. It just hovered there in the air, its stark, glossy blue eyes staring at her.
Chapter Thirty-Eight Mrs. Hudson sat up on her bed, her eyes wide open, her mouth filled with a scream that she held onto for fear of frightening her neighbors. She slid her feet out from beneath the heavy quilt her grandmother had knit for her, then slipped them into a pair of heavy slippers she had made herself. They were made from cotton and lace, so they were both warm and sturdy. They had pretty pink bows on their arches with lines of gold and silver thread wrapped around their sides.
She stood up before her Vanity and fluffed her hair. It was all lank and moist from her rough sleep. She was wet with sweat all over her body.
Why did she keep having this same dream over and over? She thought
She picked up a peacock feather brush and began stroking her long hair, removing hairs that were too snarled with harsh plucks that made her wince. The feeling of pain brought some stability to her body again. She had felt for a few moments as if she might float off into the atmosphere, she had felt so light-headed.
Mrs. Hudson finished her grooming, then went into her living room. It was still dark, even though sunrise was just minutes away. It amazed her that she could get lost in a nightmare for the majority of the night. She had wanted to speak to John about it, but she knew he had a lot on his mind these days. As did they all. She sighed.
Coming to a decision she went to her wardrobe closet, pulled open its pine handle, and looked into the small set of clothes that hung there. She flipped through several pieces, then settled on a long dress that was made of the more durable cotton available. It would give her more protection from the unseasonable cold that was going on with the weather these days.
Another thought that ran through her mind. How had the weather somehow become entangled in the mystery of her life at this time, the mystery of the Dark Man, Mister Dark, the horrid person who made...
She shuddered. The image of the floating doll came back and she hurriedly rushed into her kitchen to begin warming up a teapot for tea to occupy her thoughts. When she cooked, she never thought about the horrible things that she had seen during her childhood.
Another thing she never told John about. Mister Dark was merely the tip of the iceberg.
All the Brits she mingled with came and went to work and home, never suspecting all the darkness that dwelled about them, waiting to come out and snatch their happy reality from them as easily as bursting a soap bubble in the bath.
Not that London was hell, but sometimes things happened. Things went wrong. Things that were bad. Evil.
Thank God for her friends on Baker Street. Thank God for the citizens who had the protection of Baker Street and its Adventurers...especially Holmes and her beloved John Watson.
The teapot began to sing, making its merry little tune. Drink me. Drink me. It sang merrily. She obliged it and poured herself a large cup of tea into her favorite cup, which had been gifted to her by Holmes on a return trip from the India Isles. It was shaped like Kali, but with four arms for handles and a beautiful silver and white burnish.
She sipped the comforting warmth of the chamomile tea, her favorite, mixed with half a spoonful of black tea for the wakefulness it brought. Within a few minutes she began to feel the side effects of her nightmare drifting away, merging into the past as all dark memories usually do.
Chapter Thirty-Nine "Her name is Marion Wildwood, Inspector." A Sailor, still looking a bit tipsy from his all night binge, his face pale and a bit green around the eyes and mout. He wobbled uncertainly, but was kept from falling by two Bobbies, Robert and Kilpatrick, two sturdy men, who had no problem holding onto the giant sailor.
"And you know this how?" Asked Inspector Blackstone, already knowing the answer.
The Sailor, Hardy Morgan, born and raised in the Scots Isles, where a lof of sailors migrated from to the London wharves and piers, belched, then smiled sheepishsly. "Beggin' yer pardon, guv', but I'm not feelin' so well."
"Just answer the question." Inspector Blackstone demanded, sick of these kinds of men and their debauchery.
"The usual. A bop and a flop, a few knocks."
Inspector Blackstone almost blanched when he heard the words. He knew that meant the girl was a specialist in sadism. The men used her body to take out their lust, but in a perverted fashion.
He signaled Robert and Kilpatrick. "Stow him in the Black Maria, and make sure he is as uncomfortable as you can get him. I want him sober by the time I return to the constabulary."
"Yes, sir." The two Bobbies replied, then marched Hardy Morgan off between them to the large black police wagon waiting at the curb about ten yards off.
Inspector Blackstone eyed the corpse laying in the gutter, her arms outstretched in a kind of symbolic crucifixion pose. He turned to a third Bobby, who was sketching the scene.
"Same as all the others, Inspector." The Artist told him.
Inspector Blackstone eyed the pose again, ignoring the lacerated and torn body and the blood and mutilation exposed there. "Why didn't I see this before?" He mumbled to himself.
"Because you were too busy looking at the forest, to notice the tree, Inspector." Holmes said from behind.
He stepped up with Watson at his right side. Both were dressed in heavy overcoats. Holmes wore his usual deerstalker cap.
Watson with a nod from the Inspector, dropped beside the body and immediately searched what was left of the neck of the young woman. "Same marks."
Holmes looked at the Inspector. "We have a lot to talk about."
Inspector Blackstone sighed. It was the moment he had feared all along. The man was too smart to lie to for long. "Very well."
Watson stood up and joined them.
Holmes looked into the Inspector's eyes. "And now you will reveal the truth. All the truth. You will hold nothing back! For if you do, then the very life of her Majesty is at stake! For these deaths are just the beginning of a path that leads to her."
Inspector Blackstone felt his heart freeze at that thought. He had hoped that somehow the horror of what he knew would never have to be spoken aloud, nor revealed, but as he looked into t he eyes of the very capable Holmes and Watson, he knew the time to dissemble with them was past. His very soul was at stake now.
He gathered what little strength was left in his overworked and tired boy and said. "It all began when..."