by John Pirillo
Watson awoke in a strange place. It was very, very beautiful. Quite remarkable indeed, he thought to himself as he glided along a brown dirt path through high towering trees whose sprouts of leaves showered the sky with green umbrellas. Small brush hedged the path and they glistened with a kind of golden hue. A kind of silver mist barely touched the ground about the shrubs and brush that grew so thickly.
He saw tiny red and golden berries clustering on the stems of certain brush, while he saw purple and brown berries on others. Clouds of white daisies, yellow daisies and red roses penetrated the brush, giving them a kind of Christmas Tree appearance, which he found quite quaint as he continued to glide along the what seemed to be an endless path of brown and gold dirt, leaves, sticks and small stones.
Funny, he thought to himself, all these things beneath my feet and I don't feel a one of them. Nevermind, he thought, brushing off the somewhat dim recognition that everything wasn't really normal at all, but quite the contrary. It wasn't like him to overly worry when he was relaxing and right then at that moment he was relaxing very deeply. He drew in the scent of fresh leaves, fragrances of the myriad flowers about him.
He stopped for a moment when he spotted what appeared to be a unicorn in his path. He didn't want to frighten the poor creature. It didn't look up; it just continued browsing the shrub of blue berries it had found so tasty to itself.
Beautiful creature, he thought, again not noticing how out of the ordinary it was to perceive a unicorn, a fabled creature, right in his view as normally as if it were a stray cat or dog.
Then he felt this kind of tug at his belly button. He looked down and saw a thin string floating out from where his belly button must have been beneath his clothing. "Not that's very strange." He muttered, almost breaking out of the kind of dreamlike quality he had fallen into.
But then in a few moments as he felt himself being pulled by the cord attached to his body, it felt so natural and normal, that he gave it no more bother, instead he began thinking about Mrs. Hudson and her dear, dear smile and how he missed that and would always miss that, even now when...
He stopped a moment, his thoughts becoming broken and confused, then the tug at his stomach continued and he moved quickly along the path again. This time he realized he wasn't walking at all, but floating. Come to think of it, he thought, I can't see my feet, if I have any.
Then like a rocket he slammed along the path, gaining speed, so fast that the shrubs became blurs of color to his left and right and the overhead canopy of leaves a kind of slash of green and gold. Even the bluish skies became smeared, as if a great artist were using his paintbrush, freshly wet, to smear and stretch it.
"Most peculiar." He muttered to himself, but then he let out a gasp as a beautiful castle came into view, with a lovely moat and bridge over it.
Standing on the bridge was an old friend. One whom he had missed for such a long time. "Then I must be dead after all." He said to himself, not regretting his words at all, so much peace he felt inside of himself.
He slammed to a stop before James Moriarity, his missing friend.
James gave him a big smile, then enveloped him in his arms and hugged him close. "It has been too long, old friend."
Watson felt tears coming to his eyes. Tears of longing, of fear, of confusion, of joy, of laughter. So much more and all at the same time.
He pulled back and looked up into his friend's smiling eyes. "What the bloody hell are you now? An angel?"
James broke into the kind of laughter only he could do and the forest behind Watson seemed to come alive with laughter of its own, as birds began singing and calling, chipmunks chattered, foxes barked, owls hooted. Even the leaves of the forest sounded like they were clapping hands. How truly amazing! He thought.
"But James, you are dead, you know." Watson told his good friend.
James shook his head and fell into another series of barking laughs. The forest responded with more activity and laughter of its own kind.
Watson should have been angry to be laughed at, but instead he joined the laughter. He began laughing so hard that his head hurt. Worse and worse.
"My head." Watson groaned, putting a hand to it.
James put a hand on his shoulder. "It's not your time yet, my friend."
"Time for what?"
"It's not my time."
James began to fade away, but his smile remained.
"Nor mine." He said as he vanished completely, then the castle vanished and the forests and...then everything went away.
"I guess I'm dead after all." Watson thought as even that went away as well.
Chapter Thirty-Six "I can't go through this again." He heard Mrs. Hudson say as sobs broke her words apart, tearing his heart to pieces from the sound.
"He must live!" Sherlock said in a commanding voice. "I won't let him die!"
"God, not man has that choice in our lives, Holmes." He heard Challenger say with a touch of regret.
"But if I could be saved, could he not as well?" Conan blurted out.
"What's that?" He heard the voice of Jules, an old friend he hadn't seen in quite some time.
"I think he's responding, Jules." Wells spouted excitedly.
Then a light so bright he cringed flashed in his eyes.
He lay in a hospital bed once more. The same one he had inhabited some time back after the fall before that dreaded creature.
All his friends were squashed into the tiny room, their faces tight with concern and...he felt his eyes tearing up...love.
Sherlock moved in close and put a hand on his shoulder. "Welcome back, Watson. Ready to get back to our case?"
Watson gave him a blank look.
Everyone broke into laughter. The tensions and fears were gone.
In moments all of Watson's friends came forward, and either hugged, or kissed him, welcoming him back and showing him all the love and care he had come to know and respect them for over the years.
Watson looked over at Mrs. Hudson, who was not moving, uncertain yet. "Well, blast it, where's my scones?"
She threw herself across him and burst into happy tears, her whole body shaking. He hesitated at first, embarrassed to be showing public affection, then slowly and gently wrapped her with his arms.
It was good to be back. He thought, noticing that Sherlock's eyes had never left him and that there was a look there he recognized and had seen before, but had not expected to see again. Yes. It was good to be back, he thought.