By John Pirillo
Sherlock and Watson sat on a bench, alongside which were tall drifts of snow. In the park behind them scatterings of children with parents were in the snow. Watson smiled, remembering his days as a youth and making snow angels, snow pop using honey and vanilla flavoring. Fine days.
He turned his attention away from the happy children to Sherlock once more. "Holmes, I've a dreadful feeling about all of this. This is no ordinary murder. Not by any standards."
"I agree. And neither is the creature who is the killer."
"This is worse than Hyde was in some ways. At least with Hyde there was some kind of human motivation behind its actions."
"I'm not so certain that this is any different, John."
"How so, it kills indiscriminately. What could a Midnight Angel have to do with any kind of plot?"
"Perhaps it was learning about us."
Watson lapsed into a thoughtful silence. "Well, if it is learning from us, then we even more to fear, for not only is it brilliantly cunning, but it is also extremely intelligent."
"Yes, and that's what makes it all the more deadly of a foe."
"How the bloody hell do we turn this around, then Holmes? Everything we do seems to end in no good. If you hadn't stopped me..."
He began to hyperventilate at the thought. Holmes put a gentle hand on his arm. "Calm yourself, Watson."
That did it. Watson. The impersonal. He took a deep breath, then looked across the street where a street vendor with a simple cart was selling hot teas to passing tourists and students. "Life was so much simpler when it was just Moriarity."
Sherlock laughed. "Now, I now you've hit your head. No one in their right mind would ever agree with that."
Watson chuckled. "I suppose not." He blew on his cold fingers, then shoved them back into his coat, deep in the pockets where it was warmer. "But one must have some fantasies."
"Come, Watson, time to get back home."
"Least you didn't say work." Watson grunted as he pried himself from the bench. Part of his coat had frozen to it. He grimaced as he jerked it free, tearing a bit of its edge in the process. "Bollocks! My favorite coat."
"Not Mrs. Hudson's."
Watson looked at him. "She tells you things, doesn't she?"
Sherlock just smiled, and began walking briskly back the way they came.
Chapter Forty-One Night fell like a tidal wave of black coal across the streets of London, and not even the still falling snow could brighten it much. The night posts that lit up the streets were barely visible, even with the bright bulbs within them, for along with the black night, no stars or moon, a thick fog was moving in from the Thames and sweeping swiftly across the streets and alleys, filling them with a damp dread of sorts.
Many people hurried home, knowing that was usually best not to loiter in the streets at night, especially since that strange series of murders at the theater and the museum. Most looked over their shoulders frequently as they hurried quickly to their cars, their carriages, their homes and their flats, or the shutting up of their shops, when they were the most vulnerable.
But Henry McCabe had no such fears. He was an able-bodied man of great physical prowess and feared neither man, nor monster. He had fists for the one and silver bullets for the other. Not that he had had to use either one. He was just always prepared. His father, Tannon had taught him from a young child to always be prepared. And he had listened well.
Had he listened also to his cautionary words of not trusting anything to remain the same, he might have lived through that night.
So as he slide the shutters in place in front of his shop and locked them down, then shut his front door and pulled the shade on that, he felt happy and confident about the rest of his night. For he had a great meal waiting for him at home. His good wife Edna, whom he had met in Ireland almost a decade ago, had promised him a leg of lamb stew which he favored mightily. His mouth watered at the thought of the stew already, as he carefully began counting the money from his register, stacking in like notes and change.
Finished, he placed the money in the bag his bank had given him to carry it for deposit, and locked the bag. Then he went into the back where he kept his storage. He had racks and racks of the finest wire in all of London. Fishing wire. Strong gauges. The kind used by the richer men on their schooners for the sea bass, bream, and halibut found off the further coasts of Aussie. The wires were the newest make as well. He drew a finger along the length of a thicker one made of the newer copper-manganese allow. It was quite strong, yet very flexible. Perfect for catching anything short of a whale, though some had tried, the bloody fools. He snorted at that and pulled down a reel from a shelf and shoved it into his pocket. He had been using the wire to create a special kind of net for his son, so he could catch fish without using a hook. If it worked, he would register it with the Lord's Registry to protect his invention.
Who knows. He thought. Maybe he could see the idea to someone like Tesla, who could Tesify it and use it to catch bigger fish...he was well known to create inventions of war and for the constabulary.
Humming happily, he turned out all the lights in back. His store was wired for the new Edison-Tesla DC currents, unlike the older shops which still used oil and wick, or the alternating current contraptions that inenvitably ended up breaking, or killing someone by electocution.
The Tesla wiring never hurt a soul. It was built to ground safely when handled.
He turned out the lights out front, then went to the door, opened it and shut it fast. He got no further. Something stood there with eyes the size of small moons that were as red as fresh spilt blood.
Henry would not be going home that night. Nor would his wife and child have the love and care of their billiant father one more night.
He screamed. Once. Then the creature engulfed him!