"Things that go bump in the Night," Chapter Twelve of a new Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventure is now posted.
Things that go bump in the Night
by John Pirillo
Thick groves of shrub barely more than three feet tall dotted the sides of the road, where a chalky white ground rose on both sides more than ten feet, barely allowing the light of the setting sun to reach the road the Tesla cab drove upon.
Once Watson spotted from his side an odd sort of deer drinking at a natural spring that was pouring water from its mouth on the side of the road. It stopped immediately to look, startled, but not frightened. It watched them pass, then returned to its thirst quenching.
Another time an odd man leapt across the road, chasing something that looked extremely thick legged and low to the ground with rows of sharp teeth in its jaws. Both slowed a bit to look over the cab as it passed, but no more than a split second before they continued their sprint of chaser and the chased.
"We should be close now." Mac Elroy hollered over his shoulder as he gunned the car to give it a boost as they climbed a steep incline.
"I'm told that Durwood is a small village, perched between the Shoulders of Hercules and the scales of Medusa.
Challenger snorted. "This place just reeks of magic."
Conan laughed. "Afraid of a few words, Challenger?"
"No, only what they can do to a man's life." Challenger replied, his eyes flaming with an anger he couldn't justify.
Conan put a hand on his knee. "Calm down. We are going to get to the bottom of this. You'll see."
"Famous last words." Challenger grunted, then looked away.
Durwood was a quaint town by modern standards. It was still composed of old brick and mortar buildings, low to the ground, with deep cellars to keep ice from the winter snows and store grains and meat for the winter years after they had been properly dried and processed. The very name of the town was derived from the Elven tongue: Dur' meaning that of darkness which endures and wood...that which is abundant and fresh.
Not all connotations of Dur' end in darkness though. For many believe that the Elf variation gives power to the complete name, thus giving the town the enigmatic aura of being a dark...in this case...restful place to live.
Even though not a tree grew near the town, every home, every business had wooden roofs, imported from the more distant Sherwood Forest
One could easily drive from one end of the town to the other in less than ten seconds, for there were only about twenty buildings to it, but they were placed quite nicely and gave the area a sense of solidity and balance that it might have otherwise lacked.
Legends had it that Dur of the Darkwoods had once kept his outlaw headquarters in chalk caves nearby, where he laid up the treasures of both selfish elves and selfish humans that he robbed to give the treasures to the sick and needy.
Rowan of Dur was much glorified in the local legends and even some of the villagers celebrated his birthday with a small parade, attended by a grand total of thirty men and women, all dressed up like outlaws to celebrate the occassion.
The Tesla cab pulled over next to the only pub in town. "The Bright Elf." A name that honored the Dur, who was believed to be of Elfen heritage and human parentage. A rare mix and one most believed was just fancy, at least until it was discovered that Fairie actually overlapped most of the Greater Britains when the Baker Adventurers made their first journey into Fairie through the Fairy Portal near Baker Street.
No one had yet been able to discover how and why that particular portal had emerged and especially near the Great Detective. Such were the rumors going around that many felt that Sherlock himself was an Elf, which would explain his taller stature, his remoteness from the opposite sex and his stunning ability to deduce the greatest of details from the minutest of clues.
Sherlock never gave it a second thought, putting it off as the convenience of lazy minds who hoped to find something wistful in the common place. He never thought of himself as anything but an average person with an excellent memory and deductive powers though most of the other legendary attributes he understood how they could think that way. Only one woman had ever come close to capturing his heart and she had been fouly murdered. He had blamed himself for that one mistake and never allowed anyone to get as close again.
All those thoughts and more ran through Watson's mind as he climbed from the cab to stretch his legs and get his bearings.
Conan and Challenger came to his right and left, their eyes not on the horizon, as his were, but on the "The Bright Elf" instead, fancing the taste of a fresh cup of mead and a loaf of bread, perhaps with some meat and water to slake their thirst.
Mac Elroy, the Driver of their cab, hopped down to stand opposite them. "Will be staying here this evening?"
"I think so." Watson answered, his thoughts still on Sherlock, even though they should have been on Mrs. Hudson instead. He looked at the others and they nodded as well.
"Very well. I'll find us rooms for the evening and meet you in the splendid pub over there this evening for word of your journeys tomorrow and information as to where you'll be staying."
"Thank you." Watson replied.
Mac Elroy gave them all a tip of his cube shaped hat and headed towards the opposite end of town, where an Inn was advertised as open for customers.
Watson peered towards the other end of the main street they stood upon next to the parked cab. "I don't see the shop that Mrs. Hudson told us about."
"Holmes warned us it might not be here." Conan spoke up.
Watson nodded. "Perhaps a name change then."
Challenger yawned. "Let us consider the ramifications of this over a nice mug of ale."
Conan patted his stomach. "And perhaps dinner."
Watson smiled. "I think we've all earned a good sit down meal. Even the fabulous scones that Mrs. Hudson made for us will never fill that void which we have at this moment."
They stretched again, then began hiking towards the middle of town where the overhanging sign proclaimed the words, "The Bright Elf." They reached its front door and were assailed by the most angelic voice they'd ever heard.
Challenger froze for a moment. "By the gods have we come to an opera house by mistake?"
Everyone looked up and "The Bright Elf," remained the same. It hadn't change. It said nothing of opera or music.
Finally, Challenger couldn't take the suspense anymore and opened the front door, which opened inwards, admitting a flood of light from the setting sun. The light cast across the interior, illuminating about a dozen tables of which about half were filled with men and women in fine clothes, and a small stage upon which stood a stunning blonde haired woman, dressed like a queen, with her arms outstretched...not towards the ceiling, but towards Challenger...who froze again as he realized she was singing now to him and descending the stage towards him.