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Mark One

The Heeled Jackal

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Mark One

Im writing a tale based around Spring Heeled Jack and a crazy idea entered my head to include Arthur Conan Doyals, Sherlock Holmes.

This one is going to be a true challenge. :)

The first part plus the prelude is complete, I hope I do a good job.

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Mark One

Prelude

In the dire early hours of a cold and damp November morning, two questionable figures carrying sacks hurry along through the smog and into the shadows. They both make it to the empty open roads of Broad Street and quickly rush along towards Jamesons Iron Works. Something startles the tallest of the two and both of them freeze like statues against the buildings cold and slimey brickwork. Only their eyes move, darting from left to right with heightened concern. After a few moments they realize it is safe to move on, they scurry like starving rats down an alleyway and climb a moss ridden old wall. The tall man turns to his small counterpart, “Right then Croker, stand back...” The small fellow replies with concern, “I tying to Mr Mellows, theres not a lot of room in this dire pit.” Mellows points to the ground with a cruel look upon his weathered face, “down you fool..”

Mellows makes a quick glance around before emptying the contents of his sack onto the soiled floor – a large coil of knotted rope with a rusted grappling hook at one end. He unravels the rope and holds it a few feet from the hooked end. Croker covers his head with his arms and bids Mellows good look as he begins to swing the rope. Elsewhere, a night-watch constable is doing his rounds along Cambridge street when something draws his attention to the roof of a nearby building. He lifts his lamp up to gain a better view of the tile work and feels sure that he just saw the silhouette of a man high on that roof. The constable soon dismisses this for the damp nights air would make that pointed ridge impossible to stand upon. He shakes his head, lowers his lamp and returns back to his duties, Broad Street is ahead of him, a pleasing sight for it means the end of his watch.

Mellows is helping his assistant with his own coil of rope, “There Croker your ready. You know what to do once youve climbed the rope dont you.” Croker turns to Mellows and adjusts the coil of rope around his neck, “Of course Mr Mellows sir, climb through the hatch, the second room along that floor contains a locked cabinet or heavy box.” Mellows nods and then spins Croker around and gives him a shove, “Be quick Crocker and don't you fail me! Or you`ll be wearing that rope permanently around your scraggy neck!” As Croker climbs his way up the rope Mellows nervously checks his watch which reads 3.24am. The scruffy looking man makes it to the top, reaches up with one hand and grabs a cold railing. With some effort he manages to get a foothold on the balcony floor and pulls himself up and over the railings. He turns to look down at Mellows who in turn signals him to hurry along. Croker places his coil of rope on the balcony floor, takes a deep breath before clambering through the wooden service hatch into the roof space. The interior is dimly lit by ruined state of the roof. As water drips onto the bird mess that litters the floor Croker crawls along having to avoid old and long forgotten furniture. The stench is almost overwhelming so poor Croker takes his tattered scarf and wraps it around his mouth and nose. Ahead he spies a door, the one that was described to him, but it is already open. As he crawls closer his grubby hands touch what appear to be half eaten birds and vermin. Croker chokes with disgust and then stops in his tracks. Before him is the half opened door, it sways and creaks in the night air but theres something even odder about it. There are strange looking claw marks upon it and also on the adjoining walls. He takes a small, well used candle from his jackets inner pocket and lights it with an unsteady match. Nervously, he shines it towards the door and makes his way into the second room. The room is small and seems littered with torn and ripped clothing, the air is filled with the stench of rotten flesh. He also spies even more claw marks in the floor and on the walls. A short distance from Croker is a small and plain looking chest, he scurries towards it and finds that it is easily moved. Croker lifts the chest and carries it under one arm before turning to leave the horrid room. As he does this, his candle highlights what appears to be the tattered remains of a shirt and one of its sleeves. Croker backs away in terror, there is a hand in that sleeve that is covered in maggots! Without breath Croker flees on his hands and knees, his candle discarded far behind him which leaves a chilling glow of foreboding terror in its wake. He mutters nervously to himself as he scurries along like the dead vermin once did that are long expired around him. Just as he makes his way back to the hatch he hears and feels a heavy thud somewhere behind him. This is just too much for poor Croker who cries with fear.

Outside, an impatient, angry and shivery Mellows stares upwards and mutters under his breath, “...god damn fool!...hurry up...” With some relief Mellows spy's movement above that is coming from the hatch. Croker is forcing his way through the hatch with fright, he pulls the small chest through and hurls it onto the catwalk. Mellows is fuming with anger and with a concerned lowered voice asks, “what are you doing man!” Croker cannot speak due to severe fear but does manage to nervously point back in the direction of the roof space. He trips back onto the catwalk twitching with fear, grabs the chest and hurls it over the side. It lands and breaks open revealing what appear to be large stones – the kind found in jewellery. Before Mellows can act he stares in disbelief as the roof space begins to glow, all the gaps in the roof reveal an ice-cold blue light. Mellows scrambles to collect the bounty but soon backs away...as a large but slender hand appears in the hatch. Mellows watches in disbelief as the hand, oily black in colour and essence makes a grab for Croker who is frozen with fear. Its prey is pulled into the brickwork by its crushed neck. As Mellows gathers what he can, the sound of burning fills his ears. He flees back over the moss ridden wall in sheer terror as the grounds become illuminated with a sinister covering of flickering blue light...

Edited by Mark One
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Mark One

Chapter 1:

It was a late November morning, the rain had passed to a brighter sky that sparkled in the small pockets of water that were caught along the roads and well trodden pavements. City life was busy and at times a hazardous & dangerous flow of Top Hats, beggers, workmen with mischievous children skipping their way around. The roadways were in constant use as carts and carriages busily moved their loads with hoof sounds that often splashed in the murky pools. The sounds of store and market owners offering there produce was mixed with angry voices that scolded others elsewhere. John Watson was stood peering out of the window of 221b, his left hand was resting upon the elegant looking, varnished wooden chair that always sat in wait for a tired passenger. As he took in London life his mind was elsewhere, more specifically upon Holmes and the chill he had succumbed to in their last case. Watson returned to the dining table, satm took his cup of tea and sipped, his stare fixed on the clock above the fireplace. It read 10 minutes to 11, Watson sat in wait like he had for the last 3 days. Holmes called out from his bed, “Watson, the newspapers! Watson...I know you are there, please tell Mrs Hudson that I eagerly await my breakfast.” Watson put down his teacup and stood before nearly colliding with Mrs Hudson who rushed past him with a tray of covered plates, a teapot, teacup and a spoon., “Excuse me Doctor, we cant leave Mr Holmes waiting now...” Watson knew what was coming next, so he stood where he was – a sly smile developing under his moustache. Mrs hudson entered Holmes bedroom and was met with pipe smoke and Holmes laying on his bed with closed shut. He was dressed in his pyjamas and slippers with both seemingly concealed inside his royal blue, silk dressing gown. She quickly placed the tray on the large tin box that stood at the foot of his bed before rushing to open the window with a few cursed mutterings under her breath. Holmes leapt from his bed like Lazarus and headed straight towards the tray which startled Mrs Hudson He studied the contents of the tray before smiling, “Ahh. Splendid Mrs Hudson. You remembered my kippers how thoughtful.” Mrs Hudson didnt look pleased by this praise, “Well you left me enough flaming messages!” Holmes stopped her conversation with a wry smile, “ Thank you Mrs Hudson. That will be all”, before gesturing her to the door. Watson quickly hid his smile before asking her how Holmes was today. She replied with an hint of bitterness, “Just like flaming yesterday, getting better by the hour!” Holmes called out again, “Mrs Hudson! You seem to have misplaced the salt! Watson! My newspapers!”

Watson entered the bedroom to find Holmes pouring himself a cup of tea. He turned, took the newspapers and dropped them over his breakfast before taking the tray and its contents out of the bedroom. Holmes sat by the fire and placed the tray on his bearskin hearth rug. Ignoring Watson, Holmes then glanced at the newspaper headlines. Watson sat opposite and after a few seconds of silence asked, “Holmes why do I have to bring you those newspapers each morning to then see you bring them to the fireside.” Holmes ignored him so Watson returned to the dining table with tea on his mind. “Here, share my teapot Watson for yours will have a temperature that is an appalling waste of good tea.”, added Holmes. Watson returned to his seat by the fire and began tending to his drink with Holmes producing a half hidden smirk. Holmes continued reading before adding, “Routine Watson. Even the bedridden need order for it keeps the mind healthy and alert, my dear friend.” Watson took a sip and then asked Holmes how he felt today. Holmes was busy reading and spoke outloud, “Broad Street Mystery...hmmm” He dropped his newspapers, stepped over his breakfast and headed to the City map pinned to a wall. “Oh Watson, the hot-toddy you've subscribed to me wont be needed any more. Not unless you wish for me to sleep far longer than I need to. The chills have long expired within me my friend. What I seek now is the open air and a new challenge.” Watson wasn't pleased by this, “As you Doctor and personal friend I object to your self diagnosis. Holmes you still need rest, not activity.” Holmes turned to face Watson, “Oh dear Watson I totally agree with you Which is why I ask you to take this letter to Lestrade...at once” Watson was taken aback by what he had just heard, but before he could reply Holmes added, “Salt.” Mrs Hudson came in holding the glass container with a look of frustration on her face, “Here you go Mr Holmes.” Holmes nodded to her before making his way back to his chair. “Was it in the pantry Mrs Hudson?” She looked shocked by this and asked how he knew. “You have slight traces of flour on your left cardigan sleeve which suggests you leaned on that arm in order to reach the salt. And you stood on your toes too Mrs Hudson. There s more flour on the tip of your shoe. Now Mrs Hudson fetch Mr Watsons coat for he is leaving on an errand, that is all.” Mrs Hudson shuck her head before going for Watsons coat. Watson was passed a sealed envelope from the inside of his dressing gown. “Gods speed Watson.” suggested Holmes as Watson ordered him to eat his meal and then return to his bed. As Watson was helped on with his coat Holmes was already busy devouring his breakfast. He turned to Mrs Hudson, thanked her and then left.

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Mark One

Apologies folks, I posted the wrong draft above- full of errors. But you get the general idea and the mistakes are minor.

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Mark One

Watson left 221b and approached his carriage, glancing at the driver he mentioned Scotland Yard. The driver nodded as Watson boarded the Red Landau and he closed the door behind him. As the carriage moved into life its passenger made himself comfortable and picked up a newspaper. It was the London Enquirer, not one of Johns personal favorites but never the less, it would pass the time.

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Mark One

Deep within the Sea Witch public house was a very worried man. He was sat, slumped into the small wooden table that held his glass of Gin. His tattered pale grey sack coat revealed signs of a man who often got up to no good. There were small stains along its back with the occasional hint of ripped fabric, this was an old coat that had seen many things...bad things. The white collar of his shirt looked stained with sweat, his greasy complexion and grey stubble suggested a man whose work was nocturnal and something not to be discussed openly. His pale eyes looked bloodshot and devoid of life, something had really scared him. He lifted his drink with both of his trembling hands and desperately forced the glass to his sore and dry looking lips before consuming its fill. He coughed and then choked which seemed to bring him out of his spell for a few moments. He sat upright and glanced around, no-one was in the blindest interested in him. He wiped his lips with one hand whilst his cruel eyes darted from left to right, spying those around him with suspicion. He took a deep breath and then placed the empty glass back on the table. Thomas Mellows reached for the bottle and over filled the glass before slamming the bottle back onto the table. He mind was swimming with flashbacks to that horrid night and Crokers demise. The heeled man that stood over Crokers corpse, the sounds it made...its insidious laughter. Mellows gulped down his drink and then shuddered as someone's hand squeezed his shoulder. He turned with shock and fear to see a familiar figure smiling at him. The women stood behind him was known locally as “Plentiful Alison”. A petite lady dressed in a marmalade coloured gown, she was a lady of the night that was unattractive and not visually suited to her trade. Her dark hair showed signs of age by the grey streaks that bled through. Her bust was under developed, her face best resembled a pigs but what she did have was gossip. She was adept at extracting important information, her expertise was blackmail and it had served her well. Many criminals respected and protected her, she could be your worst enemy or you best friend. In Mellows case it was the latter and it had been her information that led to Mellows recent “job”. Plentiful Alison smiled, “So Tom, you on your own today? Where's Alf? Sleeping in his kip?.” Mellows turned back to his bottle, “Hes brown bread...”. Plentiful Alison couldn't believe what she had just heard and quickly joined Mellows at his table. She leaned forward, her head over his shoulder with hands caressing his back, “So its true then...what went wrong, that was an easy blag Tom...His wifes been fretting about his disappearance. From what I heard, shes gunna blag to the filth Tom.” Mellows just stared into space as Alison sensed something was seriously wrong here. “Look Tom, it wont take em long to trace you....if you did him,well thats your business...but listen Tom, Lestrade is on the case...” Mellows shrugged her away and stood on his unsteady feet, grabbed the bottle and made his way outside – pushing several other regulars aside. She followed him, stopped outside and called out to him before cursing herself for drawing attention to him and herself. He chose not to listen and staggered off into the cool mists that flowed freely along the river banks. Soon he was nothing more than a fading figure, a silhouette that joined other phantom like forms Plentiful Alison moved onwards deep in thought and was soon hidden in the shadows.

Watson walked up the steps that lead to the main entrance of Scotland yard. He passed many police officers busy with their duties with the occasional nod of admiration from them. He ventured into the fine halls that presented themselves. There was plenty of history to be tasted in this place of intelligence. His footsteps carried an echo that joined the others inside this hall of goodwill, it felt like the voices of a orchestra whose intention was to serve the common man or women. Watson proudly made his way to the main desk and before he could introduce himself was welcomed by the deskman who recognised him. Watson produced the envelope, “I carry a letter of importance for Inspector Lastrade from Mr Sherlock Holmes” The bearded man behind the desk warmly took the letter and added, “Chief Inspector Lastrade is currently out on business Doctor. I shall send a constable with your letter to Broad Street sir. Watson smiled and thanked him before making his way outdoors again. The Enquirers report left him wondering if there was more to this fire, why was Lastrade in charge of the case?

Holmes was having a shave, his mind awash with midnight phantoms, robberies and murder. He had bathed and was now completing the first part of his plan. In his days bedridden by Watsons questionable medication he had been drawn towards something in the newspapers that would have previously been ignored. The phantom known as “Jack” had struck Holmes as being either an elaborate rouse by some cunning criminal or was something unknown and illusive. The latter excited Holmes, “Jack” was a reality and the police secretly knew this too. Their poor and often uninterested investigations clearly told Holmes that they were hiding something from the public. He had reached many surprising conclusions from his sick bed and was keen to venture back into the field and investigate for himself. The letter he had given Watson made several points very clear that he knew would rattle Lastrades cage. Having finished with the bathroom Holmes returned to his bedroom and began selecting appropriate clothing – discarding to the floor items that didn't suit.

Edited by Mark One
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Still Waters

Apologies folks, I posted the wrong draft above- full of errors. But you get the general idea and the mistakes are minor.

Your story reads just fine. It's a good one I think :tu:

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Mark One

Chapter 2

Mrs Hudson was concerned, Holmes roamed around picking, selecting and choosing items that would benefit his intentions. “The good doctor has made it plain and simple, you are to remain in your crib...bed Mr Holmes!”, she reminded him. “Oh, that I will Mrs Hudson, that I shall....when...Mrs Hudson, where have you placed my cane?” Before she could utter a word of reply he interrupted with, “No, not that one Mrs Hudson!” Holmes was searching a drawer, he claimed his compass before spinning around to face her with a coy smile, “...the one you dislike Mrs Hudson.” Ignoring her he quickly made his was to the fireplace where he pocketed his pipecase, took a quick glance at his appearance and then returned to face Mrs Hudson with a pleasing smile. “The one with the concealed blade.” Mrs Hudson shook her head and left the room, “Oh, Mrs Hudson please pay careful attention when retrieving it. Enough flour has been lost today...”, he added with a smirk. She made he way through the dimly lit stores that was her pantry and reached behind several small sacks of wheat and flour. Her fingers found and felt the coldness of the silver handle that was shaped like a jewel. She shuddered as her hand gripped its form and quickly pulled it free. She made her way back onto the landing with the cane resting in her palms and headed towards Holmes open door, “Here, take the retched thing...” She stopped and asked herself, where had he gone? From behind and below her came his voice, “Mrs Hudson, if you please...I wish to keep time if Im to enjoy my luncheon.” She made her way down the wooden stairs to see Holmes stood in his matching charcoal trousers and jacket, in his left hand was his black Top hat. His right hand was outstretched, waiting for its companion which the housekeeper quickly freed herself of. “What am I to do with you Mr Holmes Does Doctor Watson know of your plans for the day?” Holmes placed on his hat, gave it some adjustment and looked at his watch before simply replying with, “Soon.”

Watson had nodded off as the carriage rattled along but was soon awakened by some commotion outside. He glanced out of the window to a casual scene of day to day life. A dust cart had lost one of its wheels which had slowed done wheeled and footed traffic. Watson was puzzled for this route was not the one expected. He tapped the ceiling with his walking stick and with a raised voice asked the driver where he was taking him. The driver replied, “To d**** Depot sir, as instructed.” Watson wasn't pleased his apparent incompetence. “What do mean man? I gave no instruction to be taken there. Answer me at once!” The Driver complied, “It was Mr Holmes sir He told me to take you there once you had delivered your letter sir.” Watson was dumbfounded by what he had just heard and also amused. He thought of Holmes and a sly fox before tapping the ceiling and telling the driver to carry on. In Watsons thoughts came the impression that Sherlock had also told the driver about Lastrade. There is method in his madness after all...but why a shop that makes & mends Boots?, he thought to himself as the carriage continued along the busy roads of London.

Inspector Lestrade was stood amidst the remains of Jamesons Ironworks as police,firemen and members of the public removed the rubble and burnt timber. He was surprised by the high degree of damage that this fire had caused. It was similar the the kind found when explosive had been involved in similar cases, but here he knew that this wasn't the case. As his constables carried out their procedures his mind wondered about the blue fire – chemicals? The first constable on the scene – Henry – had witnessed it himself whilst on duty that early morning. But there were no acids or solutions stored here. Constable Henry had also heard screams and odd sounds that had reminded him of a past visit to London Zoo where he and his wife observed hyenas and Jackals. To Lastrade, there was something seriously odd about this case. The abandoned jewels, the partly burnt corpse on the now warped and twisted catwalk...Lestrades tired mind was displaying images of Holmes now....or was it his intuition nudging him in the right direction. A young and fresh faced constable rushed towards him. “Inspector, I have a letter for you. An odd choice of colour sir.” Leastrade who was partly lost in his thoughts turned to constable Parker, “Well give it me lad!” Lastrade was handed a tightly sealed blue envelope. He knew at once where the anonymous letter had originated, “Very well constable. Back to work”. Parker nodded and departed as Lastrade made his way back to the main road of Broad street.

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Mark One

Your story reads just fine. It's a good one I think :tu:

Thanks and as always you are very kind.

If Mark Gatiss is reading this, I'm open to offers :D

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Mark Three

That's a fine read Mark..............you are one talented dude!

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Mark One

That's a fine read Mark..............you are one talented dude!

thanks Mark :tu:

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Mark One

Sherlock sat in his moving carriage with a look of controlled excitement upon face. He was sat forward, his back erect as his fingertips danced along the shaft of his cane - which formed a perfect ninety degree angle with the floor. This had not been the normal journey for Jenkins the driver, but he was both amazed & used to Holmes and his directions. To Jenkins, Holmes could have become a very wealthy carriage driver, what with his knowledge of the city and all of its shortcuts. With Holmes as his passenger he never needed a destination, just a sharp ear as instructions were given to him. Within record time Jenkins found his carriage approaching the Royal Greenwich Observatory with his passenger becoming less and less instructive on directions. Jenkins slowed his horse driven machine to a halt near the main gates. Before Jenkins could dismount to help his passenger out he saw Holmes exit the carriage with a small leap and turned to face him. “If you could remain here Jenkins whilst I tend to some business....”, said Holmes before walking on the Observatory's main grounds. Jenkins nodded with a smile before tending to his horses.

Lastrade made his way into the centre of the main road and found an area devoid of tall shadows. The wind had picked up which in turn was hurling soot, dust and foul smelling fumes into the air. He found a sheltered area behind a pile of fruit boxes and turned his attention to the letter. He looked at the envelope and wondered what Holmes had written this time. Using his pocket pen knife, Lastrade carefully sliced along the envelopes edge, extracted the letter and unfolded it. It read:

For the attention of Inspector G. Lestrade.

May I enquire as to what type of grass was found (if any) at the Booth Street sighting of “fictitious” Jack?

I will need a full report delivered to me Lastrade relating to the case you are no doubt concerned about as you read this message. This can be given to my courier who will soon be situated 8 doors west of you or if you prefer, a visit in person at 221b as soon as you can.

SH

Lastrade took in some of the local air and looked both shocked and also annoyed. Why is he asking about grass?, he thought. Full reports, bah!, his mind continued. It was at this point that he heard a familiar voice calling out his name. He stepped away from the pile of boxes to see Watson approaching. Lastrade cursed under his breath, “God damn Sherlock Holmes.”, before he walked towards the doctor, the letter hidden behind his back and cupped in both hands. “Doctor, out shopping for some boots are we”, he added whilst gesturing to d**** Boot Depot. “Certainly not Inpsector, its one of Holmes little jests...I hope.”, came Watsons reply. Lastrade stepped to one side, searching for the Doctors friend, “So where is Londons famous detective Doctor? If hes poking around the crime scene my men will escort him away. There is little mystery here to entertain his unique and often annoying skills.” Watson explained that Sherlock was in is bed, recovering from an illness. The Inspector revealed the now crumpled letter to Watson, “but hes still got the strength to stick his nose in my affairs it seems. He had a police carriage arrive at full speed just to give me this.” Watson recognised the letter and was as confused as Lastrade was annoyed. Lestrade angrily pointed his finger at Watson, “Tell your Mr Holmes that I know nothing about grass and this case is mine not his!” A call was made by a constable that alerted Lestrade who in turn calmed down before inviting the Doctor to join him, “Since you are here Doctor may I make use of your skills?” Watson agreed, he didnt favour another long journey home just yet. Both the Inspector and the Watson made there way towards a clearing amongst the rubble where two constables were stood with a stretcher. Upon it, hidden under a pale yellow blanket was the corpse of the figure that had been trapped upon the now mangled catwalk. Leastrade ordered for all onlookers to be pushed back before he nodded to a police surgeon who in turn removed the cover. A most shocking sight met all eyes allowed to pay witness. The charred remains of a man whose clothing was left mostly untouched lay before them. After taking a few moments, a puzzled Lastrade asked who had clothed him and why. When he was told this was how he was found all present became afraid and confused. Watson turned to Lastrade, “Holmes!”

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Mark One

Jenkins was sat on a bench reading his copy of the Daily Herald, Holmes had been to his estimation around 30 minutes inside the Observatory. As he glanced around he noticed another carriage 10 yards away that gleamed and looked brand new. He knew this meant aristocracy, even its driver was dressed in expensive looking garb – something which left Jenkins feeling like a pauper in comparison. He did wonder why it had stopped where it had for there was no building or park to visit. He soon dismissed this curiosity and pulled out a thin cigar from his breast pocket. Holmes was sat in a lavish hall that contained all manner of astrological machines and equipment. His rest was found on a well used green, Buckingham Tudor sofa. Before him was a highly decorated wooden table that was adorned with fruits, cheeses, fine wines and meats. Holmes was here to visit a colleague called Samuel Sims, a retired member of this establishment and an expert astronomer. An thin, elderly gentleman with thin mousey hair and a neatly trimmed beard and moustache. He was sat opposite Holmes dressed in a mid grey suit and a well used white shirt. As he used his spoon to scoop out a more moist apple, Holmes continued to pick Sims mind. He had learnt that there were no meteorites on the day that the Iron works was set ablaze. Both he and sims agreed that ball-lightening was an highly remote possibility due to the weather conditions. Eventually their conversation turned to more common things such as Sims retirement before the elderly man reached down and then passed Holmes a case. Sims promised that its contents would satisfy his needs to which Holmes thanked him dearly. Sims joined him as he made his way outdoors, “Sherlock, please promise me this. Let me know what your findings are young man...when you have cracked the case.” Holmes nodded with agreement, took Sims by the hand and bid him farewell. Jenkins was already positioning himself ready amidst the cold air as Holmes approached his carriage jovially toying with his cane. “Back to 221b my man”, came Holmes pleased voice. Soon the carriage was on its way, the sound it made becoming less and less. Another group of hoofs could be heard that also went along the same path as Holmes. Its fine polished woodwork catching every sunbeam as it went deeper into the busy realm that was Londons collective.

The cooling air of late afternoon was surrendering to the gathering winds of early evening. It was dark now, an unpleasant time of day for those new to the workings of London. Jenkins was close to his final destination and was now dressed in his brown overcoat, hat and black scarf. Business in the smog filled city had slowed down but the streets and roads were still busy – now alive with Londons nocturnal activities. Jenkins was unhappy about something and had spent the last few streets pondering on whether to bother Mr Holmes with his concerns. As he, the carriage and his horses made a turn the the left onto Ample Lane he took a glance back along his previous path. Clearing his voice with a cough he leaned back,and turned his head, “Excuse me Mr Holmes for disturbing you but...see Im...”. Holmes replied, “Yes Jenkins, the black carriage! I too am aware of its interest in us...or should I say, in I. You have nothing to feel threatened by, its a curious cat and you are its bait. Yet it is I it wishes to devour so worry not my dear fellow.” Jenkins didn't correctly know how to reply to this, “Erm, right you are sir,must be some nobleman or summit.” Holmes replied, “Noble indeed Jenkins, or perhaps the act of a gentleman who does not wish us alarm...” Holmes arrived back at 221b at six in the evening, after paying Jenkins a generous amount he climbed the steps to his door but stopped, turned and spied the phantom that had follow them. Again, it was a similar distance away and now stationary, Holmes held his cane aloft and aimed it at the black carriage. He used the tip of his cane to focus on its form, taking in every detail as he did so. The passengers of this carriage seemed to have seen enough, its driver brought it back into life and it sped past as Holmes kept his cane trained upon it. With it gone Holmes pressed rattled door knocker. He was soon greeted by Mrs Hudson, now dressed in her evening clothes. Holmes warmly smiled, “Good evening Mrs Hudson.” “The same to you Mr Holmes, are you to be out again this day?”, came her reply. Holmes was removing his hat when the aroma of a potent stew filled his nostrils. “Oh my dear Mrs Hudson, Beef Hash. How did you know? Im to my bed soon but I will allow ample time to relish your fine cooking.” He made his way up stairs with a praised house keeper in tow, “Doctor Watson hasn't returned today, I hope he's alright.” Holmes removed his coat and slung it over the window chair, his stare carefully checking the roads outside.” With his concerns gone he turned and headed to the fireside, “Watson! I have a feeling that he's had his hands full today.” He sat in his fireside chair and removed his shoes. Mrs Hudson came with a tray that contained a bowl of steaming broth. Holmes brought the palms of his hands together with delight, “Mrs Hudson, I have a gift for you.” She warily placed his meal on the dining table expecting to next be handling his horrid bladed cane. Holmes caught her line of vision and simply smiled, “No Mrs Hudson, my inside coat pocket...” She gingerly placed her hand inside his discarded coat and with a look of puzzlement revealed a Pineapple. With this Holmes got to his feet sat before his meal as she hung up his coat. She was pleased and was about to thank him when he added with an hand gesture, “That will be all Mrs Hudson.” She glanced at the man who was now dipping his spoon into the beef hash and simply smiled and nodded, the exotic fruit cradled in her hands.

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Mark One

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Its approach was a tried and tested method, its prey was near...

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Mark One

Chapter 3

It was barbaric Holmes! The poor fellow had been subjected to fifth degree burns along and within most of his body and also suffered a broken neck.”, explained Watson as he lifted his tea cup to his mouth. Holmes was sat by the window eating a biscuit and taking in the morning air, his mind absorbing everything that John was describing. “Was the cause of the blaze determined or is it currently unknown? Watson continued, “From what I can discern, Lastrades men found nothing nor any traces of any combustible substance. This had them scratching their heads Holmes and may I add – succumbing to sickness at the sight of the corpse. But even more bizarre is the poor man who died Holmes. His clothing was mostly untouched by the fire,can you believe that?” Holmes added, “Spontaneous Human Combustion.” “Ive heard of that Holmes but Ive never held any interest or strong belief in such a thing. Surely its impossible?” Holmes stood up and stretched his arms, “But youve seen it with your own eyes my friend. A trip to the Mortuary is needed.” Watson finished his tea before enquiring, “Doesn't that require the permission of Inspector Lastrade, Holmes?” Holmes was glancing outdoors when he caught sight of someone departing from a carriage. “Indeed it does Watson.”, Holmes went to join his friend at the dining table. “He didn't seem at all pleased with your letter yesterday old friend. In-fact, I got the impression that he was to do the opposite of what you wrote.” Holmes simply smiled and poured himself another cup of tea before adding, “Hes probably slept on it my dear friend. One often makes the correct choice after a long nights sleep.” The sounds of knocking came from the main door downstairs to which Sherlock instructed with a raised voice, “Let the Inspector in Mrs Hudson. We shall also require fresh tea too if its not too much trouble.”

Several miles away from Baker street was a poorer looking suburb of London. Its streets looked dire and it wasn't a place you'd willingly choose to walk along. Dirt, waste and disease was rampant here as was the foul language and the poor hygiene of those who dwelt there. Even the smog added to the atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust. Cruel things happened around here, often behind the well worn doors of the many aged and decrepit buildings. This wasn't a place that Plentiful Alison often visited but it had to be done. She wasn't looking forward to this and it had nothing to do with Bath Roads appalling living conditions. Nor did the prying eyes of scruffy looking men who were leant against damp looking walls or the worn out women who spied her with suspicion. It was her destination, a old and disused cobbled courtyard situated behind the high walls of a work house. Her master was awaiting her report on Mellows and the disaster he had caused on Broad Street. As she made her way along in her plain looking black dress she came to a alleyway that had been used many times before. Thankfully, it was devoid of life but as always stunk heavily of urine. Taking a handkerchief to her mouth and nose, she darted down the passage which led her out into the open of the courtyard. The black carriage was waiting and one of its doors was suddenly opened from the inside by a dark gloved hand. Alison took a deep breath, swallowed hard and then hurried towards her dubious invitation.

A reluctant Lestrade was sat by the fireside warming his hands as Holmes continued his conversation from the dining table, “It seems to me that the Booth Street encounter with our friend called Jack is a doppelgänger inspector.” Holmes closed the brief file on that case and dismissed all interest with it. Leastrade gave Watson a puzzled look as Holmes added, “By your silence Lastrade I gather that you feel unsure by what I mean when I say Doppleganger.” “Well Ive...Mr Holmes look! I have very little time as it is, I do have a crime to solve!” Watson interrupted with an informing smile, “He means a double inspector, a look-alike if you will.” Lestrade left his chair and made his way to face Holmes who was sat with his back to him, “Your telling me that we have two of these...Jacks...on the loose. Mr Holmes I fail to see how this could be so...I even doubt we have one of these flaming fiends at all!” Holmes sipped his tea before explaining, “The doppleganger is an opportunist, a thief taking advantage of the mass hysteria surrounding the roof leaping devil. If you wish to be given some clues surrounding the identity of this the if I ask you to pay more attention to your brief report on the Booth Street Prowler.” Lestrade snatched the file from Holmes table and prepared to leave. As he took his coat Holmes added, “A small person who is left handed, whose feet are also small, athletic but with the build of a person who hasn't exercised for quite sometime.” Leastrade now wearing his coat turned to Holmes with a look of insult on his face. Holmes continued, “The victim of the attack was mugged by the handy work of a left handed person.” Lestrade bid an angered goodbye and made his way to the landing. “Its a women Lestrade . A lady with masculine features.” The footsteps on the landing stopped. Watson was taken aback by what he had just heard, “A women Holmes? “ Holmes continued, “Tonight is Guy Fawkes night Lestrade and the lady in question will be itching for another opportunity to steal and frighten people away.” Lestrade came back into the room and took off his coat with surprise upon his face. Watson sat in amazement by the fireside, “Even a hardened policeman would freeze with terror if he saw this women dressed as this infamous Jack, shed have no trouble escaping. By joe, Holmes this is the creation of someone very clever, most clever indeed.” “Indeed it is, Lestrade before you depart to make plans, I need permission to examine the body that was recovered from the fire.” Lestrade simply nodded, his mind was swimming with the information just received. “She could quite easily removed the disguise and conceal it in a sack..yes and then act like a terrified witness as officers rushed by...” He sat facing Holmes, “Come to think of it Holmes, there was a weeping women on the scene of most of these crimes.” He thanked Holmes and hurried to the door where he stopped, “I`ll make arrangements for the examination of the deceased and send a carriage to collect you tomorrow....Oh, Holmes. So who caused the recent fire, who is this other Jack?” Holmes walked over to the window and looked out at the roofs across the road with some concern upon his face, “Someone we have never met before.”

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Mark One

She sat there like a frightened but diligent child who was listening to her headmaster. The figure sat across from her was still a mystery, but a well paying one that didn't tolerate failure. Plentiful Alison was now allowed to speak, “Master it wasnt Toms or Alfs fault, something was laying in wait for them...erm. the very thing (she looked to one side with fear) you are...”. “SILENCE!”, came the voice of the sinister man sat before her. He looked like a silhouette, a angry phantom that wore a top-hat. The interior of his carriage was designed in such a way as to make visibility poor. Even the windows were tinted with a mixture of Cobalt and some other dark substance. Plentiful Alison always thought of her Master as some form of eccentric or odd mastermind who was very wealthy. He wore a eye catching ring on one of his left fingers, yet as hard as she tried, the dim light conditions made clarity impossible. Her master spoke, “Find Mellows today and take him to this address” He passed her a folded piece of parchment, “Burn this as soon as you can!” She nervously asked why and what to do with him. “Just keep him where I want him. I shall visit you both at 11pm tonight. DONT FAIL ME AGAIN!” His foot pushed the carriage door open, she didnt hang around and leapt out into the moist air and landed on one knee with a splash which hurt her. The carriage behind her erupted into motion with a sound like a thunder clap. She screamed which fright and found herself face down in the gloomy pools of filthy rain water. The driver of that devilish machine hurled a small pouch into some grime. Picking herself up she moved on, sobbing and worrying about to Tom. She took the pouch and found it contained coins and paper money which she quickly hid inside her top. As she made her way back on to Bath Street she could see the carriage in the distance, its driver seemingly swinging his crop at anyone who got in his way. Locals began laughing and s******ing at her as she hurried back the way she had come. Someone hurled a stone at her – which missed – she ran, no longer caring about her soaked and soiled clothes. Rain was in the air with some violent winds that chilled her to the bone. Plentiful Alison needed a drink, a strong one!

Lestrade was sat in in office, his mind still alight with what Holmes had deduced. But how on earth are we to catch this women this night?, he thought to himself. A loud knock at his door broke this spell of possibilities to which he shouted an invite to the visitor. Sergeant Jones entered with news about the body found on Broad Street. He glanced at his notes, “Inspector sir, Alfred Croker, 59 years of age, lived on Crone Street. Petty thief and cat burglar. His widow has reported him missing sir.” Lestrade had a gleam in his eyes, “Known accomplices Jones?” Jones felt pleased with his competence, “Robert Stone: 32yrs, Thug and gambler, currently serving 3 years sir. Donald Pearce: Hanged last year sir. Thomas Mellows: 48yrs, thug and confidence trickster. Walter Johnson: 33ys, petty crimes, drowned in April of this year.” Lestrade stood, “Mellows! He matches the description given by constable Henry. Jones! Put out the word that I want Mellows in custody. Good work Jones! Now carry on...” Jones nodded and proudly said, “Yes sir! Thank you sir.”, before departing from Lestrades office. For once the glum looking inspector had a warm smile on his face which startled many of his staff as he made is way to the main desk, “I want all the files on Thomas Mellows at my desk before evening and a list of all known accomplices.” Lestrade then headed out into the pouring rain towards his personal carriage. The desk sergeant tuned to his colleague, “What do you make of that lad?” His younger colleague replied, “I dont know, but Im keeping my nose owt guv.” The desk sergeant chuckled, “Perhaps hes found god.”

The rain had passed which pleased many for London was preparing itself for its Guy Fawkes celebrations. Many squares had rough placed piles of wood set in place, stalls were being set-up that served the public toffee apples, roasted chestnuts, jellied eels, pies and much, much more. The common aromas of London's streets and roads were now filling with with watering sensations. Tonight is going to be a long, busy and very profitable one. Mrs Hudson was sat facing Watson, she was moaning about the annoyance that was Guy Fawkes night. “Well I have too agree with you Mrs Hudson, apart from the noise there are the vandals, the criminals and so many drink related accidents...its just not needed in a modern city such as ours.” Holmes came from his bedroom wearing tan brown railhead trousers, a sable frock coat that hinted with a hazel sheen. A light sable vest partially covered his Edwardian Club collared shirt that held a black satin tie. In his hand was his Tall Derby that matched well with what he wore. “Watson are you ready? No,no please dont getup Mrs Hudson I have all that I require.” She looked him and had to offer, “including that retched cane I suppose Mr Holmes.” Holmes stopped by the door and turned his head slightly. With a small smile, “Very good Mrs Hudson, we will make a detective of you yet.” He gently waved the cane, “It shall be late when I return. Good evening Mrs Hudson.” “Another late night for me then”, she said to herself with a frown. As they descended the stairs Holmes called back to her, “Rejoice housekeeper! There will be a toffee apple or two in it for you.”

Mellows was making his drunken rounds along the cold and misty docks of London when he heard a boy shouting out the news, “Murder on Broad Street! Body has been identified! Police making new enquiries!” Mellows stopped in his hazy tracks, his heart began to race. Somewhere distant he heard the familiar sound of whistles being blown. Police!, he thought. He hurried along scoping the smog for the nearest pub. He suddenly needed a fresh drink. His blurred vision soon found a wood sign that creaked in the cold evening air – The Ox and Shovel. In he fled to the warmth, pipe smoke and stench of old sweat. Here he felt safe and tried to shake off the feeling he had felt all afternoon, a feeling that something was following him. A large gulp of Gin soon took his mind away from his paranoia. Outdoors high above the mists and smog was a mysterious figure that glided in silence towards the Ox and Shovels old roof. Its odd looking heeled feet touched the moss ridden tiles and tested them as pigeons fled with terror. As the tiles took its weight one snapped, its loss slipped down the roof and iand landed in the back yard where it shattered into many pieces. No-one heard this, the commotion inside the pub always busy and noisy. And so it waited in perfect silence, only its long and thin fingers showed signs of life as they danced with the breeze.

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Mark One

If anyone reading this tale is wondering when is Holmes going to take the lead and get more involved - well that is all about to happen. :)

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Still Waters

If anyone reading this tale is wondering when is Holmes going to take the lead and get more involved - well that is all about to happen. :)

I like the fact you've got Holmes and Watson as characters in your story, that was a good choice on your part.

"Plentiful Alison" - lol! that's a good name you've given her :D

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Mark One

I like the fact you've got Holmes and Watson as characters in your story, that was a good choice on your part.

"Plentiful Alison" - lol! that's a good name you've given her :D

Yes they suit this story dont they.

Lacklustre Alison is based upon someone I knew of...a nasty piece of work :) who cant take no for an answer.

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WARNING: The latter part of the second paragraph contains depictions of violence and murder.

Holmes and Watson were mingling with the crowds along Grand Square. An titanic bonfire was ablaze that crackled, its fuel ripping itself apart as the intense heat consumed it. The air was rich with mouth watering aromas and the excited voices of children added joy to this occasion. The crowds were many, this was a popular yearly attraction that was second only to Christmas. And like the latter was a rare occasion were all classes mixed or – tolerated – each other. Watson saw something that grabbed his attention as he ate. In his hand was a small bowl that contained a steak and ale pie, it was soaked in hot steamy gravy. “Are you sure you wont try this Holmes”, he pondered. Holmes was in his element here, so much activity – something that tasked his deductive abilities to their limits. “Holmes! Holmes look.”, Watson pointed his spoon at a fire act nearby. Two men dressed in red and white outfits were breathing fire. This spectacle had attracted many admirers, both you and old. “A crude but never the less interesting form of entertainment Watson...and no, our mysterious roof dweller isnt in the same class as those fellows. Hes in a league of his own...I fear.” Holmes attention was drawn to the elegant looking buildings that surrounded them on all sides. His eyes scanned their peaks with an annoying obsession...his attention was distracted when Watson nudged him. “Holmes, Lestrade is passing...” Holmes spied the inspector in the distance, he was sat in his slow moving carriage. “Let us continue our walk Watson and leave the inspector to it.” Three joyful children rushed past Holmes with the last one tripping on her knees. Holmes moved with great speed and lifted the frightened little girl up. She must have been around six years old and seemed very distressed. Her two companions both boys tugged at his trousers, “Sorry mister, din't mean to bump yer. Thats me sister mister.” Sherlock smiled at the two boys and then softly spoke to the frightened little girl, “What is you name dear?” The little girl nervously whispered a reply in his ear. “Lucy, that is a wonderful name. Are you a princess by any chance?” She smiled and shook her head. Watson quizzed the two boys, “And where are your parents tonight?” The eldest of the two, a cheeky looking lad answered, “Fahvers drinkin his ale sir, mavers at work. Told us t keep out of mischief.” Watson turned to Holmes, “Horrendous!” “What does that mean?”, asked the boy. Holmes replied, “You know Watson, Ive always longed to visit the circus.” The little girls face lit up upon hearing this. The eldest boy rudely asked if they could join them. Holmes smiled as Watson added, “The Circus Holmes?...oh, I see!” “I believe there is such an event not far from here. Here Watson, this should be enough”, Holmes passed him a bank note. “Go and book 5 seats...at the front if you can.” Watson shook his head and smiled before disappearing into the busy crowds. Holmes whispered in the Lucys ear, “Are you hungry sweet little one?” She nodded and Holmes took his young passenger and her two brothers off towards the lit stalls that offered food and sweets.

Plentiful Alison was still dressed in her soiled dark clothing but thankfully sat in a hired carriage. She glanced at her gold plated wrist watch which read 22 minutes past six. She had spent the early evening desperately searching for Mellows. Her long freezing search was about to pay off. Police were everywhere, their whistles joining the festive sounds from the skies above. From out of an alley came her target. He looked exhausted, and lost with fear. Quickly she called out to him. At first he didn't hear or notice but as he stood spying all directions around him he recognised her and ran to her carriage. With a slam of its door slumped a well spent man, the only words he could mutter were, “...get...me...out...of...h....”. Mellows had passed out. She gave the driver an address and the carriage was soon gone hidden in the dark shadows of Peters Street. It took nearly an hour to arrive at 61 Stable Street, a place that resembled Bath Street. Its buildings where death traps and hardly anyone ventured here after dark. She started to wonder what they would find in there as she shook Mellows awake. With some difficulty she managed to get him on his feet, he fled into building without hesitation. After paying the driver generously she bid him a good night and then joined Mellows inside. To her surprise, someone had been here and lit candles but who ever had done so was no-longer around. She found Mellows slumped by a wall in the front room. He drank from a small bottle and kept muttering something about a demon. Plentiful Alison sat near him and asked, “Tom, what have you been drinking?” Outside was quiet in general apart from the bangs and booms as fireworks displayed their lot high above in the sky. Not far from the address was a tall stone-built railway bridge. In the dimly lit gloom of its archway came a figure. At first it resembled an old crone that moved very slowly but as it got closer to number 61 it stopped, stood tall and glanced around with its long talon like hands ready to maim or kill anyone who saw it. It then returned to its hunched appearance and made its way to the doorway. Its approach was a tried and tested method, its prey was near. Its right hand reached forward, it long fine claws pressed deep into the doors key hole. From the sky came explosions, great flashes of colour lit up Stable Street with mixes of red and blue. The light gave temporal impressions of daylight which highlighted the figures unusual form. Plentiful Alison heard and strange noise outside and got to her feet and whispered, “Shush Tom, I just heard summit” She crept towards hallway and stood staring at the rattling door. It sounded as if someone was picking the lock. With one final deep sounding click the mysterious sounds stopped and the door swung open. A firework erupted in the sky and for a second revealed a sight Plentiful Alison had never seen in her life. Bathed in green light was an hideous looking man. His red glowing eyes were round with tighly held lumps of flesh surrounding them. The bridge of its nose was thin with two fleshly, pointed nostrils below. His mouth carried a sinister looking grin with what appeared to be signs of thick pointed teeth pressing out of the flesh both above and below his red lips. It was making a strange sound, a mix oflaughter and pain that seemed controlled by its heavy breath. Plentiful Alison took a step back, screamed and collapsed on the floor. As the door behind the creature slammed shut Mellows stood on his feet and called out to her. The things laughter got louder and Mellows had heard this before. His knees began to buckle as he backed himself into a wall, his manly voice now resembling that of a terrified child. The creatures sounds turned to grunt-like excitement and mockery as it edged it was closer to Mellows. The beast regained its full height and stared deep into Mellows tearful eyes before opening its grinning mouth. Mellows grabbed his chest with pain and slumped to the floor still concious. With unnatural speed, the creature lashed its claws deep into Mellows body and tour his upper clothing apart. Soon, his chest and stomach were riddled with deep wounds that oozed blood. Mellows painful screams where horrid to hear as his own blood splattered across in pale face. His cries then ceased as the creature bit deep into his neck with a bone shattering crunch. The creature stopped, turned its attention to the bordered up window and listened. A familiar sound could be heard approaching outside. The thing then roared in some unknown language before taking Mellows coat. It then ripped the ceiling apart and jumped onto the buildings first floor. More noise and damage could be heard upstairs before an almighty crash sound sent wood, masonry and dusty old plaster into the room below. Then everything went quiet...

The clock read fifteen minutes passed nine when Seargent Jones received the call. A local man out walking his two dogs had been drawn to the address. His dogs revealed the horrific scene and he too now needed hospitalizing. Lestrade and his police force were surrounding the scene. A message was sent out to all officers – locate Mr Sherlock Holmes at once.

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Still Waters

You had me wondering for a minute if Plentiful Alison was the next victim. I expect her turn will come eventually, or maybe not.

Good story, I'm enjoying this :tu:

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Mark One

Well your pretty spot on with your suspicions...somewhere there.

"Plentiful Alison" :D

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Chapter 4

Mrs Hudson closed the main door again and felt the draft of the cold nights air which surrounded her like a fiendish ghoul. As she hurried back upstairs her mind was wondering what horrid crime had taken place to require her lodges assistance. She sat back in her room and held her tea cup with both hands. Her thoughts hoped that the police would locate him quickly having given them directions.

Holmes was laughing and clapping his hands as Ernie the Elephant emptied a trunk full of water over some clowns. Lucy was sat on his lap transfixed with joy towards the antics before her. Watson and the two other boys – Toby and Tommy were equally entertained, even if John kept checking his watch. Holmes half picked up on some commotion occurring outside the enormous tent. He deduced its distance as 50 yards or less. Something was being shouted, repeated again and again. His outward expression was still that of an entertained gentleman but inwardly his intuition began ring bells. The voices got closer and closer and then he realised what was happening. His own name was being shouted. Images of Lastrade flashed into his mind with a conclusion that something horrid had taken place. He knew they hadn't caught the roof top fiend as the inspector would keep Holmes out of that glory. He clapped and smiled as the clowns continued to fool around. “Mr Sherlock Holmes! Is a Mr Sherlock Holmes here?”, came the enquiries of a young constable. Watson almost jumped in his skin upon hearing this as Holmes calmly raised his left hand. The exhausted but pleased Constable ran down to Holmes row of seats which turned many heads. “Mr...Holmes...sir...Inspector Les...”, he stopped to take in breath. “Take your time lad”, came Watsons suggestion. Holmes added, “So what is it that Lestrade requires of me?” “To report to this address as soon as possible sir.” Holmes turned to Watson, “We have to leave the circus my friend.”, he burst into laughter and clapped again as one of the clowns head was now hidden inside a bucket. He then turned to face the constable with more serious tone to his voice, “these charming children will require someone to take them home when the show is finished. Please take a seat constable and get back your strength.” The stunned constable argued, “Cannot do that sir. Im on duty see.” Holmes smiled and placed his hand on the youngsters shoulder, “Lad these children are your duty now and your inspector will be informed of your competence and your swift skill in taking care of these lost and confused children my friend.” Holmes took a 1 pound note from his wallet, “take this, sit down lad and tend to their sugary needs and anything you so desire yourself.” The constable eyes lit up, “A pound sir...its too much.” Holmes gave Lucy a cuddle and then told her that the police man will stay and look after her and her brothers. Holmes made his way with Watson to the main walkway, “Constable, consider it a bonus for your kindness...and no, I shall not mention a word of it to Lestrade...Good Evening.”

It took the police carriage just under 15minutes to arrive at the scene of the crime. The once desolate and dead road was swarming with boys in blue. Holmes leapt out of the carriage ahead of Watson. He was soon on the scene and a gruesome one it was. He hastily hurried Watsons arrival with his voice. Lestrade looked pale his words were brief, “What do you make of this...” Watson took his handkerchief to his mouth and ventured towards the corpse. Holmes explored the scene with his eyes, taking in every vital detail. He fell too his knees and with outstretched palms began scanning the floor. Lestrade who had been discussing the corpse with Watson turned to look at Holmes, You`ll find nothing of interest Sherlock, just rubble and blood.” Holmes nodded as his fingertips traced the floorboards. They soon found something which Holmes kept to himself. He then stood and made his way up the stairway. Lestrade warned him to be careful as Holmes took in the first floor scene. The deceased s ruined coat was caught in part of what was once a window frame. It flapped around aimlessly with the nights breeze. A long piece of thick rope was tied tightly to exposed roof joints, its length fell and rested in the room below. Holmes retraced his steps and made his way back down stairs. Lestrade pointed at the rope, “Their get away! Oh a women was found in the hallway – in great distress – who is currently being cared for in the nearest hospital.” Watson turned to Lestrade, “St Davids?” The inspector checked his notes and confirmed this, “shes being monitored and has a police constable by her bed..” Holmes was pleased to here this before adding, “Some else has tried their very best to interfere with the scene of this crime. They set the rope in place and then fled back the way they came” Lestrade confused asks, “The other one? No,... then who? The rope is stained Mr Holmes which suggests that someone did climb it Sherlock!” Holmes still with his back to Lestrade cleared his throat, the air reeked of damp. “It was carried and then dropped, looks damp – which adds more weight. It was then hastily dragged through the dirt. Most probably by one man. A man in middle to upper class employment, his footprints suggest a servant of some kind.” Holmes points to two fading prints on the floor just under the exposed ceiling. “Observe. The shape of the foot wares sole indicates a boot...a driver of some sort. Footprints that suggest he stopped to re-coil the rope before making it to the stairs. If you observe the stairs you will notice heavier signs of this.” Lestrade moved to the now covered body of Mellows, “We made those footprints...” Holmes interrupted, “No! Your teams presence is premature compared to the two distinct set of footprints that include traces of oil.” Lestrade asked with amusement, “Oil?” Watson joined in, “Inspector, Anchor Lane is not far from here.” Lestrade turned to Watson, “Yes this is true...a factory and yes the roads are coated with minor traces of...Why would someone approach this scene from there to conceal a crime they were not involved with?” Lestrade turns again wriggling his finger and approaches the dust ridden ruins of a fireplace. “Are you suggesting a gang Holmes that is connected to the Jack figure?” Holmes replies with, “Smell the rope Inspector....and no, Im afraid thats incorrect.” Lestrade shakes his head and turns back to Holmes who is still stood with his back to him, “Holmes as always you fog my mind with riddles.” Holmes turned and made his way back out into the open, the inspector followed him. Outside the air was still awash with loud bangs and flashes of coloured light. The pavement was over run with small patches of grass and moist soil. Holmes used his cane to show Lastrade some interesting finds. “This small patch of earth contains a trail that this man made both with his feet and with the rope. Those contain your mens and this one is....”, Holmes paused before crouching to the ground. “What have you found Holmes?”, asked the inspector. “A heel inspector”, came is fascinated reply. Watson joined them both outdoors to an amusing sight. Holmes was crouched and leaning forward, placing all of his weight on his toes. His left hand tightly gripping his cane to keep him steady as he scoped the soil for clues. And there was the inspector leaning forward with both hands on his hips. Lestrades head darted about with some curiosity trying to cathc what Holmes had been drawn to. This was too much for Watson, his mind kept presenting chickens and a sour, impatient cockerel. He disguised his merriment before asking Holmes what he had noticed. “A most peculiar shoe or boot Watson.” Lestrade tried to act clever by a suggesting it was Alisons. “Shoes inspector. She s wearing shoes....but what we have here is not a shape Im familiar with...a better inspection is needed in daylight.” Holmes removed a small pouch from his inside pocket and unravelled it along the cobbled grounds. It contained a collection of small tools that included those used to pick locks, something that Lestrade wasn't pleased to see. Holmes pulled away some tweezers and used them to extract something. What he extracted wasnt clearly visable but he carefully placed it into his handkerchief. With this find safely in his pocket Holmes returned his extraction tool, rolled up the pouch and held it in his hand. He rose to his feet and walked out into the road that was briefly illuminated by a green flash from the sky. His cane was tracing some unseen path, he turned and headed back to the print that contained traces of the rope. He scoured the cobbled robe for clues and then smiled. Minor streaks of oil shone as another multi coloured flash filled the sky with glitter. Holmes followed the trail which lead him to its origin along the other side of the road. He also spotted horse dung that was fresh. Watson lightly grabbed Lestrade by the arm, “I wouldn't dear fellow, Holmes dislikes an audience. Besides, you may well destroy something important.” Lestrade reluctantly agreed as they both stood and watched Holmes follow some hidden trail with deep fascination. A path that soon took him away into the icy gloom of the night. Holmes voice echoed a request, “John, the horse dung needs collecting for analysis.” Both Watson and Lestrade looked at one another with surprise. The inspectors sniggers did not meet an agreeable companion in Watson. Watson got his revenge as Holmes continued, “Inspector please do the honours”

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Mark One

it was late morning, the weather outside was a mix of heavy winds and chilling rain that lashed with anger against the windows of 221b. Holmes was sat, still dressed in his bed clothes, he held a small item of interest between his thumb and forefinger. He held it aloft with admiration before judging it against the ever reaching flames of the crackling fire. The item of interest was no greater in length than a smokers match and yet it was a hardy and well crafted stone. Its hue was a “pleasing on the eye” royal blue that captured light deliberately. The dipyramid shaped item carried a feint glow around its form that trickled into parts of its inner hold. Holmes knew this was unique and he had spent several hours earlier studying it under microscope. In his experiments he had discovered that this peculiar stone became opaque when treated to any solution. Water nulled its unique light capturing abilities which spun many new webs of possibility into his mind. His unique memory had shown him the weather patterns and “Jacks” appearances. Holmes knew that moist weather seemed to affect this roof dwellers routine. Until the Broad Street affair “Jack” had been discreet. Sherlock had read the newspaper reports...the imposter was in service mostly in daylight with some occasional darkness appearances. Amidst these reports were sightings – always at night of some fleeing...flying figure. Such reports always went dead soon afterwards. Holmes knew that someone was doing their best to hide this monster from the public. His mind palace brought Aldershot to his attention. To Holmes this was a real event in which the roof dweller had an intention to be there...but why? He did know that the official description given of “Jacks” exploits there had been deliberately altered to meet the public assumption of this heeled devil. Holmes had two plans in mind, lure the real one into a trap and expose the other as a fake. His mind was already formulating a willing snare for the mysterious thing that killed people in such savage ways. Holmes stood and made his way to the main windows, he took a deep breath and glanced outwards. His vision was marred by the relentless ravaging of the rain against the glass. He smiled to himself, a test was needed to prove his theories as the rain continued to blocked his vision. Outside stood a well cared for and familiar carriage. With rattles at the door was sent his house keeper down the wooden stairs. Holmes smiled and turned away. He took his violin in one hand and the bow in another before rushing out a well practised expression of excitement. Mrs Hudson huffed and puffed her way into his dwelling with annoyance, “You have a letter Sherlock. Oh, look at you your not dressed! I hate it when you look like that ” Holmes replied, “I have been busy...exploring the Plantae kingdom Mrs Hudson, in particular – a Bryophyta.” She shook her head seemingly puzzled. “Moss! And a type that grows near salt water, preferably upon roof tiles.” She shook her head again and handed over the letter. “Ive also been examining a most unique precious stone with exciting properties.” “Very good Sherlock...”, came her uninterested reply. “Ooh, did you catch him last night? The police came for you.” “They caught up with me...alas its no man that they are after.” Holmes made his way to the window and observed the carriage depart. Mrs Hudson began to leave before pausing, “Sherlock, the messenger didn't look like a nice gentleman.” Holmes added, “They usually never are Mrs Hudson.” as he spied something in the road that brightened his outlook.

Watson was sat inside Lestrades personal carriage they had both been discussing the dire discoveries of the night before. The police carriage joined Baker Street, the showers had given up to midday sunlight that weakly masked the cold air. As the police carriage arrived near 221b its driver and then the two passengers became aware of a unusual occurrence. Holmes was stood upon a now soiled but still elegant looking towel that was layed out in the road. He was dressed in plain looking grey trousers and well used boots with his night shirt neatly tucked behind his brown leather belt. The sleeves had been neatly rolled back to his elbows – he had a pleasing look upon face that Watson was familiar with. He turned with an expectant look towards the now dismounting passengers as he cleaned his hands with a cloth. “Good day to you both.”, came his welcome. Watson was the first to ask, “Holmes! What on earth are you doing old man?” Lestrade was next, “Mr Holmes, you solve mysteries that fox the average man and yet I see you clearing dung from the roads. Is business bad?” “Fear not gentleman for I have deduced something that is important to the case.”, he points towards a small wooden basket layed by the side of the towel. Placed inside its hold was two samples of horse dung. “These two samples came from the same horse. An aged racing horse that feeds mostly on concentrate mixes. The carriage that arrived here at 11.17 am my friends was the same one I determined to be present at the scene of the crime last night.” Lestrade moved forward and sniffed the air with contempt. “Horse dung Holmes...a racing horse...who would employ such a beast? “Its owner who has reared it, a wealthy person whom carries power and influence. A person with a severe vitamin D deficiency. This person suffers by day and lives by night. ”, came Holmes reply. Watson asked with excitement, “Holmes is this the other one then?” Before Holmes could answer him Lestrade interrupted, “How on earth can you determine such a description based upon horse droppings? There are times when I still doubt you Mr Holmes. Come, we shall be late!” Holmes took all of this in his stride and explained that the same carriage had visited 221b earlier and passed on a letter. “Now gentlemen, allow me to re-dress and I will explain all as we journey to visit the late Mr Croker.” Holmes pulled a folded piece of paper from his breast pocket and waved it towards Lestrade before walking up the steps to the door of 221b.

Edited by Mark One
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Still Waters

Your portrayal of Holmes is spot on. He's quite the eccentric :D

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