The Revenge of the Mummy
by John Pirillo
Watson and Sherlock rode in the back of the Inspector's vehicle, Constable Evans, watching them from the opposite seat, while the Inspector had his eyes closed, snoring lightly. No one spoke. It had been a long forty-eight hours.
Watson had insisted on coming once he found out what had happened, blaming himself for not stopping that infernal creature when he had the chance. Even his fiancee, Mrs. Hudson, couldn't persuade him otherwise. Sherlock didn't try. He knew his friend's stubborness too well to try and shake him from it. He knew it would pass in time.
Sherlock glanced at his friend momentarily, weighing him inwardly. He had been acting different since the accident. Not overtly so. But different. He couldn't put his finger on it.
"I'm all right, Sherlock." Watson insisted, feeling the eyes upon him. He turned slightly to look his friend in the eyes. "It was only a concussion, not the end of my life."
Watson looked away. "I know it was foolish, but I was so close to stopping that...whatever that thing was." He looked back at Sherlock. "You would've done the same had the opportunity been presented to you."
Sherlock didn't reply. He just looked into Watson's eyes a moment longer, then away.
Constable Evans lightly shook the Inspector, who jerked awake with a yell, then realizing where he was, he calmed down.
Sherlock eyed him thoughtfully. "Who is Margaret?"
The Inspector blushed a deep red, but said nothing.
They all turned slightly to look as the vehicle pulled in front of a clean looking shop, where a crowd stood outside. A portly woman stood near the front door, crying into a handkerchief, while two stout young men supported her, obviously her sons. She had deep auburn colored hair, a shawl about her shoulders and a simple dress. The young men were dressed like businessmen, obviously working in the place with their father.
"We're here." The Constable in front announced.
Sherlock was the first out. He immediately turned to Watson, who nodded, and headed for the alley.
"Where's he going?" Constable Evans asked politely.
Sherlock looked at him, but said nothing. Instead he went to the doorway, making his way through the crowd. He stopped before the portly woman. "Mrs. McRay, I presume."
Sherlock looked at the sons, who gave him hostile stares, then back to her. "I have a few questions if you don't mind."
The Inspector joined them, then turned to Constable Evans as he came up. "You and Higgins get this crowd under control."
"Right away, Inspector Bloodstone."
Constable Evans and Constable Higgins, the driver of the vehicle, immediately began forcing the crowd back from the store.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. McRay. My card." Sherlock offered his card.
She took it, examined it through her teary eyes a moment, looked to her sons, who examined it, then nodded. "Come inside. I'm sorry, my manners are a bit frayed at this point. Please, come in, I'll get a spot of tea from in back for you."
Sherlock and the Inspector followed her inside.
"No need. Just a few questions is all I need." Sherlock explained, his eyes sweeping through the store.
"Nothing seems to be disturbed." The Inspector noted.
"Not here." She told him. "You must be the Inspector I spoke to this morning."
He put his hand out and took hers. "I am deeply sorry for your loss, Mrs. McRay."
She burst into tears again.
The largest of the two sons led her back outside and the shorter one came forward. "My name is Angus Junior. I'm the youngest of my father's sons. Maybe I can answer your questions, Mister Holmes."
Sherlock nodded. "First, may we see..."
"Yes. Of course. Sorry. But it's..." He stopped, his words catching in his throat, his eyes starting to tear up.
The Inspector handed him a handkerchief and he blew into it. "Thank you!"
Angus led them into the back, then stopped as a trail of slime became apparent in the weak light of the dreary morning sunlight peering through the back open door.
Sherlock immediately dropped to a knee, fetched his magnifying glass and examined the trail at his knees, then he swept his cloak aside, took out a vial and swab and swabbed the trail, placing the specimen in the vial, then pocketing it.
He got back up, then looked at Angus closely. "Your report said that some expensive items were stolen. What were they?"
Angus swept his arms about, indicating the shelves filled with batteries. "Father traded old batteries for new, then regenerated the old ones and sold them for used. He was an honest man and never sold for more than they were worth. Why would..."
He began to break down again.
The Inspector looked to Sherlock. "Look, the crime scene is in the room in the back to the left. I will see to this young man's needs while you pursue your investigation."
"Very good, Inspector."
"This way, Angus." The Inspector said, leading him back to the front.
Sherlock watched them leave the corridor into the front, then head for the back. He heard a noise and took his weapon out, ready for what might be there. He cautiously approached the opening to the back room, then swept inside, ready to shoot if necessary.
Watson looked up from the floor, where the remains of Angus Senior lay on the floor. He made a face at Sherlock. "Must you always be so dramatic, Holmes?"
Sherlock said nothing, but instead began searching the room for clues. He noted the batteries that had been moved, and the missing spots where some had lain. He made notes of the inscriptions and labels on the shelves of the missing batteries and then pocketed them.
"I think we can safely say that our work is done here." Watson said, rising from the floor, samples bulging the top of his medical bag. He closed it tight, then eyed Sherlock, whose sight seemed to be turned inwards.
"I'm concerned, Watson."
"This happened at the same time as another break-in of a similar nature directly on the opposite side of the Thames."
Watson stiffened for a moment, his eyes turning an odd shade for a moment, then he relaxed and retorted. "You think the creature has an accomplice?"
"I don't know what to think, Watson."
The Inspector entered the room, saw the remains of Angus and made a gagging sound, then exited swiftly.
"Well, whatever it was." Watson remarked. "It seems to have left just like the other one. Straight up the walls and over the roof-tops."
The sound of gunshots and people screaming burst into the room.
Watson ran from the room, leaving Sherlock by himself. He only stared at the direction Watson had just run, then he went out back, just as a new round of gun shots came from that direction and a horrible scream.