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Mark One

The Heeled Jackal

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Mark One

Holmes joined his companions inside the carriage. He was finely dressed in a black matching suit that was covered by a pale chocolate coloured Inverness coat. On his lap rested his gleaming top-hat, in his right hand another one from his unique collection of finely made canes. He glanced at the passing scenery in silence, the smug look upon his face suggested a man who knew what was coming from his two eager companions. Watson nudged Sherlocks left knee with this copy of the Times. This was followed with a nod and, “So Holmes, the dung, the carriage and the letter.” Lestrade joined in, “The letter Mr Holmes, I take it that it bares some relevance to the case at hand.” Holmes paused before revealing the mysterious letter which he then passed to the inspector. He read it with the appetite of a man eager for literature.

Dear Mr Sherlock Holmes,

Since you reputation precedes you Mr Holmes and you are a gentleman of your word I shall offer you some advice. Turne your attention away from your current pursuits to a moore pleasing and painless forme of entertainment. I assume that the contents of this message shalle reache no-other.

Vos Estis Monuit

L.M.

Holmes saw Lestrades puzzled look, “Its Latin inspector.” The inspector added, “A strange and misspelt message. Did you say you saw the man who delivered it Holmes?” As Watson read the message Holmes answered, “Not in person inspector but I did observe him.” Watson handed back the message, “What a peculiar letter Holmes...what do you make of the repetitive use of the letter `e`?” Holmes placed the message back inside his coat, “Watson, on the day you journeyed to Scotland Yard I took ventured outdoors to and lengthy one it was.” Watson gave Holmes a stern look. “I was followed back by the same visitor that knocked at my door earlier today John. The driver of the mysterious carriage was well skilled in their chosen field of employment. As you know John, when Im alone I am the one who gives directions to my driver.” Watson smiled, “Yes and often iys a most nerve racking experience.” “The stalker never lost sight of me which suggests a skilled organisation has its own interests in the recent murders.” Lestrade asked, “So this stalker has had an hand in the deaths of Croker and Mellows?” Holmes paused before replying, “Im afraid that this may indeed be the case inspector. I need to take in the ruins along Broad Street. Just why had someone left something of tremendous value there? M knows, and he was the one who hired the two burglars...why didnt M just use his own professionals?” Lestrade pondered, “This `M` character, you mentioned earlier a illness...” Holmes turned to Lesrtade, “His clothing inspector. Every inch of his body covered up, he wore blue tinted spectacles and a brown scarf covered his neck, mouth and nose. His hands wore cream silk gloves, his heavy jacket was a lime, a dark shade, his hat provided ample cover. He has a skin defect and is also extremely wealthy – the cut of his cloth revealed this. In the most recent edition of Buchans Domestic Medicine a new discovery was noticed in the diet of nightshift dockworkers who had skin disorders. The vitamin content of their diet did in most cases ease their aliment. Eggs, Fish and Liver contain a new addition to the vitamin family.” Watson rubbed his chin, “Your research is spot on Holmes, the Antioxidant and Free Radical content of those foods is extremely curious in how it emulates the effects of sunlight. For a man of wealth he certainly dresses oddly – is he colour blind Holmes/” Holmes shook his head, “No Watson, he has chosen pleasing colours that suit his twilight existence. Choices that allow him to easily identify them when they are required. This is a man who never wishes to be seen and he achieves it perfectly. Observers see him but cannot describe anything of importance. There is a very clever mind that joins our intentions. One who can play chess on both sides of the board.” Holmes attention was swayed with this dilemma before the uneven road reminded him of something else that was equally important. He turned to the bemused inspector, “The women is still under you guard. I will need to visit...with Watson to breath in what she witnessed.” The police carriage came to an halt near to the old and daunting looking Mickersons Morgue. All three figures ventured out into the blustery cold air, with one of them meeting a police officer who looked chilled. They then were led through well-kept doorways and into the ice place that was the morgue.

Lestrade led his companions down a twisted stairway of stone blocks that soon took them down and below ground level. The found themselves on a wide looking corridor with ceramic tiled walls. The floor was also tiled but they were larger – a chequerboard effect of black and white that carried onwards into the silence ahead of them. The air was awash with the smell of soaps and bleach although Holmes had detected the stale smell of tobacco too. The inspector led them past many doors that looked heavy duty and were constructed from metal. Each door had a chalk board screwed into its face that displayed the temperature and contents of each chamber. Lestrade stopped at door number 11, knocked and then waited. The chalk board read `low temperature, 3`as a viewing hatch slid open which revealed the face of an old man wearing spectacles, “Ahh, the inspector...one minute sir” came his welcome. The sound of several bolts being released sent a chilling echo along the corridor before the heavy door was pulled inwards. Lestrade introduced his companions to Samuel Baker, First Grade Technician. Baker looked at his vistors through his georgian silver eyes pieces, “Well you've arrived in the correct dress gentlemen and Mr Sherlock Holmes! Its a real pleasure to meet you in person sir.” Holmes nodded and then smiled as Watson offered his hand to Baker. “I prefer not to greet gentleman in that manner Doctor sir.” came his reply. Baker turned towards the still dressed body ahead of them. “The germs sir! Besides, you don't know where my hands have been” came the grey haired mans chuckles.” Holmes was about to offer his insight into such a puzzle when Watson stopped him. Lestrades face was one of discomfort has all four of them studied the burnt corpse that was once Croker. Baker reached over to his notes and was about to share his eport when Holmes gestured him to stop. “Master Technician I respect your investigation sir but I need to examine the corpse myself.” Baker shrugged his shoulders and took a step back before leaning over Holmes as he studied the remains, “Notice the Thyroid Cartilage, it has been crushed. You may suspect a blow to be the cause...” Holmes stood upright,”Thank you Mr Baker sir!” which forced Baker a few steps back. “Oh, tight you are Mr Holmes sir. I`ll bring you the other body.” Baker walked over to the one of the cast-iron refrigerators and began freeing its bolts. Holmes then returned to his studies. “Croker was half strangled before being slung into a solid flat surface, the way the shattered first rib suggests a dragging into the trachea. Judging by the debris upon the back of his coat – algae, common slime and the feint outline of both bricks and....an opening – he was pulled from behind into the brick work. A strong grip that tore through his flesh and ruined the collar of his night shirt. Ah, his coat, a plain looking affair that reveals something...Watson what do you see here?” Watson grimaced as he glanced closer at the horrid sight before him, “A common looking night jacket, dull, insignificant, tattered and aged with god knows what!” Baker joined Lestrade in fascination as Holmes continued, “There are 6 distinct shades of grey within this common weave pattern. But observe the feint strand of raw sienna intertwined. This coat was a gift from his wife that once had matching trousers.” Lestrade turned to Baker and interrupted with, “Where is this leading Holmes for I have time on my hands.” Holmes continued, “Then leave and go about your business inspector or stay and if your patient I shall reveal something that will help you case. Something that will explain why he was there and who sent him.”

Edited by Mark One
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Mark One

His clothing was a gift that was intended to keep him out of trouble. She would make him wear this to prove that he was up to no good. She knew what she was doing, the sienna really does bleed through the cloth in good light. His garb would easily stand out to any eye-witnesses of a crime. I suspect on the night of his death he was under pressure to carry out his crime.” Watson wondered, “But how can that lead you to the man who employed him?” Lestrade nodded in agreement as Holmes continued, “Do you recall the message from my concerned stalker and the miss-spelling of his words?” Holmes stood and turned to three very puzzled but interested men. “Well Holmes, carry on sir”, came Lestrades impatient reply. Holmes produced the letter again and read it out loud to his small audience. After a long pause from his listeners came Holmes much awaited conclusion. The miss use of the letter `e` deliberate, to fool and to fox its reader – but also a suggestion to lead me away.” Holmes passes the letter to Lestrade, “Inspector, second sentence, first word if you please!” Lestrade complied, “Turn, which is written in what appears to be of a northern tongue?” Holmes added, “Turne, is the correct spelling inspector and refers to a business that offers tours of the city. The eleventh word is `moore` which actually speaks of Moor Street Inspector. All other inclusions of that vowel are meaningless accept for one other thing of importance. The word `forme`, inspector, across from the City Tours and Entertainment Establishment is a small shop that displays finely made plates. Many of which have been painted with rich sienna. Mrs Croker is/was employed by the touring business and those plates on display across the road often caught her eye. Since sienna is one of the cheapest colours you can add to a fabric it was clearly her first choice when having that suit made for her husband. It is also the only colour of the cheapest available that goes well with the cloths dark shades”

Lestrade and Watson were speechless. Baker just stood there scratching his head as Holmes gleamed and continued, “As Ive observed Inspector, these tours of our cities often include employees who dress in outfits and also perform various acts of entertainment. Remember if you will, my claims about two `Jacks` - well your imposter can be found there. But that `Jack` will be very tricky to identify. I suggest that you have the place watched Lestrade.” Holmes then made his way to the remains of Mellows as Watson asked him a question about Crokers burns. “Gas Watson! A bizarre mixture that combust s when brought into contact with flesh – or rather the iron in our blood. It then acts like an acid which quickly cooks the skin and cooks the inner organs. The acid effect doesn't last long, so the damaged inner body cools again.” Lestrade was fascinated by this and asked were he had learnt of this. “Its a theory based upon my understanding of Ball lightening Inspector.” Watson added, “But what of the fire that destroyed both buildings?” Holmes was now studying the remains of Mellows and frowned on such a question. “The Iron Works boilers would have still been in use on that cold night. The commotion caused by Croker and Mellows presence next door would have alarmed not only men working nearby but also vermin. As we both know John, members of the Rattus family will flee when alarmed. It would not have taken much for a tired man who had been distracted by strange noises outside to then return to his shovelling duties only then to impale a scurrying rodent. The stunned specimen was then carried with coal and hurled towards its fire ridden end. The man who did this then shut the boiler door and then made plans to investigate the strange noises. Within ten to fifteen seconds of sealing that furnace shut an explosion.” Holmes made a gesture with his hands to give life to this before turning to Lestrade with a smile. “The Rat did it Inspector. The boiler man was knocked down and stunned before others came to his aid. But long before this, Croker was dead and Mellows had fled.” Lestrade was alight with interest in this theory as he wrote it down in his note book.

Holmes now turned his attention back to Mellows. His dismembered head was placed above what remained of his neck. “Notice the similarities between both deaths. The neck was taken to quickly end their lifes. In Mr Mellows case it seems his killer was looking for something – notice the wounds to his chest – upper swings that aimed to free him of his clothing. These are claw wounds which no animal performed inspector. His attacker wanted something back...YES!..was in a rage, an unnatural rage...was desperate to reclaim what Mellows had stolen...from the scene on Broad Street...” Holmes drew his attention the the neck wounds and took his tool pouch out from a inner pocket. He mumbled the word `fascinating` as Lestrade began to pace around., “Holmes, his head for god sake! It was bitten off, surely that suggests an animal was part of the crime.” Holmes replied, “Animal prints are more distinct Lestrade for they never wear shoes. None were present at the scene.” Lestrade made his way to the iron door and gestured to Baker, who came and unlocked it. “I must depart to make enquiries on what you have found Mr Holmes. Good day Doctor, Mr Baker.” Lestrade fled, his hurried footsteps again filled the silent corridor with excitement. Watson looked at what Holmes was extracting and asked what he was doing. Holmes only offered, “Madness.”

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Mark One

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

Your quite correct and hes a bloody deep character that slows down my natural pace :) But I like him because he sees himself as neutral amongst a .world of chaos - and thats how hes able to see what we cannot.

I have the entire story mapped out now (thanks Sherlock for making it take so long :) ) - I started with an end and then a beginning, Then the idea of Holmes dripped into what was once a terrifying tale of eye witness encounters with Jack. Many years ago I sketched an idea into words where Holmes met with Spring Heeled Jack. Back then I didnt have the time to write it. Mind you, back then I wasn't into writing stories so I suppose something planted a seed within my mind.

Enjoy my tale and always know that what you expect or presume is deliberate on my part. After all. whats a good tale without surprises Folks, at the rate Ive had to slow down with this one you may celebrate Christmas when it ends.

Edited by Mark One
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Still Waters

Folks, at the rate Ive had to slow down with this one you may celebrate Christmas when it ends.

No worries, Holmes is his own boss and doesn't take too kindly to being rushed! Keep up the good work :):santa:

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Mark One

No worries, Holmes is his own boss and doesn't take too kindly to being rushed! Keep up the good work :):santa:

* Holmes channels through Mark One * :D

"Elementary my dear Still Waters."

"I have the advantage of knowing your habits, my dear Mark. Your fingertips create music as they tap against those keys, and its a piece that I conduct, not you dear Mark."

Edited by Mark One
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Mark One

Watson and Holmes were out in the open again, caught in the chilling winds as they walked onwards. Watson asked Holmes many questions about his recent findings. Holmes replied with an annoying promise that he would soon ease Watsons pondering s. But for now Sherlock knew he had to act fast for something unknown to him was at large. As Watson continued to reflect on recent events Holmes nodded with interest as his mind was formulating a trap. A cunning trap to snare both `Jacks`. The imposter was going to be easy,, Holmes thought to himself. The real `Jack` was a different kettle of fish but Holmes knew one of its weaknesses. For Holmes this creature as he had termed it was obviously afraid of something every eye witness had missed. It was so obvious that even a child could see it. How Holmes was to make use of it was another matter that needed time and clever planning. Sherlock knew that this wasnt a task for the police and that was why he had led Lestrade away in search of the fake `Jack` - something Lestrade would need his help with too. Holmes caught sight of something and touched Watsons arm before he rushed over the wide,busy road. Watson stood by the safety of the pavement as he observed Sherlock signaling to an idle carriage which then groaned into life. “Hurry John, we need to visit the women!” Watson made his way safely across the road avoiding foul smelling carts and busy carriages towards the plain looking transport. What women?, Watson thought to himself as he mounted its abode. The carriage was soon lost amidst a torrent of chaos that traveled along London's hazardous snake like road ways.

The evening carried a peaceful looking star lit sky that was marred by endless pillars of chimney smoke. The chill in the air was deadly and thankfully devoid of the merciless lashing of winds that had danced earlier amongst clouded sunlight and distressed the populace below. Holmes and a tired Watson had spent over one hour observing Alison Trott,a name that had been learnt from the woman's purse. It had been Watsons profession that had gained them entry to the Mania ward where Plentiful Alison lay. A weather beaten middle aged women who had been restrained in her bed. Her natural hair colour was now ruined by heavy strains of grey. Her endless shrieks and shaking revealed a women who had been scared almost into death. Holmes stood by her side as a nurse placed a cold cloth on her sweat drenched forehead. He held in his hand a silver heart shaped locket and chain. Inside the locket was a small watercolour portrait of a man who in appearance looked like a relative. The father, thought Holmes before his keen eyes proved this theory incorrect. The mans shirt was too modern, as was his tie, to Holmes this small image suggested a brother figure. Also in her belongings was a piece of screwed up parchment. Holmes untraveled it and what he saw pleased his eyes. He placed it back with her other items that were sat in a uninspiring metal bowel. Plentiful Alison erupted into speech, “EYES!...ITS HOOD NO PLEAS...OLD CRONE....HELP ME...ITS DEATH...THOMAS! THOMAS! THOMAS!...” A doctor rushed to the scene as nurses joined him. Holmes stepped aside and approached Watson. Her mind was lost and to Holmes suggested a break down upon something in her life long career that she had never experienced. Holmes mind was assimilating this in a trance like way as Watson sat slumped in a chair, his hands toying with this hat. “Come Watson, there little to be gleamed from that poor women. She is trapped within the cruel realms of madness my dear friend. A dire place that many fail to gain freedom from.” As the pair left the ward Holmes stopped and turned to a constable who looked fed up. “Do you know who I am lad?” came his response to the sight before him. The once `lost in his thoughts` representative of the police force became alert again and took in the confident sight before him. “Well answer me constable! I dont think Ive seen you at Scotland Yard lad! Pull yourself together!”, barked Holmes. The now nervous and confused constable stood to attention, “Constable William Harris sir, Lakeland constabulary.” His eyes twitched as he observed Holmes turn to his companion, “See this my friend...” Watson was stood trying to hide his confusion but quickly adopted an impression of agreement with a nod. “He addresses me Wilson in an inappropriate manner, lacking respect for rank. I didnt even hear his number...the Yard will hear of this!” The poor man before them didnt know what to do but quickly gave his name and number and addressed Holmes with inspector. Holmes raised a finger, “I am out on serious business Harris and I dont wish to come across, witness uninterested incompetence as displayed before me sir. Do I make my presence clear on this matter?” The nervous constable muttered some words and stood to attention again. “Holmes asked for his note book, he then wrote a message on a blank page before closing the booklet. “Stay here until your relieved and then read the message. Do you understand me Constable Harris?” Harris quickly responded with, “Yes Inspector. At once sir!” Holmes smiled and gestured the terrified police man to carry on with his duty., “Oh Harris, tidy yourself up man!” The pair moved on as the shaken Constable nervously adjusted his clothing. Watson whispered to Holmes, “Good God Holmes, what the hell were you doing there. Impersonating a police officer is a serious offence.” Holmes with no care what so ever replied merrily with, “My dear John, Ive been doing that very thing for the last decade old man. It was about time I pulled rank and used it to my advantage.” Watson disagreed and then turned his attention to the note left with the Constable. Holmes briefly explained, “A message for our inspector friend.”. They both headed off into the volatile surroundings of patients and their watchers as Watson complained about rest and hunger.

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Mark One

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Shivering in his rain soaked clothing, Holmes sights a daunting looking shape that forms in the alley-way.

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That very same night a robed solitary figure wandered the cold and lifeless streets of backstreet London. It held itself tightly as the early hours chill began its death like hold upon it. The figure stopped many times to hide like a statue when a noise was heard. Thankfully, the mists and foul smells often found within Londons deserted streets deterred those who may have suspected its presence. The figure was searching for something of importance that only the dark heights could reveal. Roaming along,it soon found a dead end and also heard the approaching voices of merry townsfolk making their way home. Mary was singing to herself as she struggled with the uneven road under foot. She giggled and then fell sideways into the arms of the man she knew only as Charlie. A man who always dressed to impress but one who lacked everything else. He steadied her with amusement, “You daft cow, here grab hold.” Their footsteps and laughter echoed around them as they reached Charlies pad – a run down terraced house that creeped with moss and ivy. Merry Mary slumped her back into the brickwork besides Charlie and sighed as he struggled with his keys. She poked fun at him, he smirked and then cursed his eyesight as he tried to unlock his door. Both of them heard heeled footsteps that drew their attention towards a figure, a silent silhouette stood in the shadows of a wall at the end of the road. A childlike snigger was heard before it tapped its heels upon the cold, wet road. It seemed to outstretch its arms, a vision that left it looking like some kind of bird. It moaned out an haunting laugh that scared both of its witnesses. Charlie past Mary the key and told her to get inside as soon as she could. Charlie then turned his attention to this joker and picked up a long piece of damp wood before he headed towards it. He looked enraged, “Come on then my son, lets have yer! I`ll soon teach you a lesson my lad, spoil my night will yer...lets see if ah can return the compliment.” Mary with a pained look upon her face listened behind the closed door as his footsteps made their way ever closer towards the figure outside. She slowed her breath so her ears could listen. Charlie was close now, his eyes wide with rage as the fool before him remained silent. He slammed the tip of his weapon into the dirt covered road which sent small pockets of dirt and grass a few inches into the air. He then dragged the make ship club through the slurry of dirt and pebbles and stopped a few feet away from the bizarre posed figure. He tilted his head to one side as he tried to take in this obscured figure. “So my son, cat got yer tongue? When Im done wiv yer you`ll wish yer wah brown bread.” Its face leans forward beyond the gloom and giggles. Charlies stance changes from aggression to that of shock and the fear felt by a child. A pale face presents itself, lifeless red eyes and lips that struggle to hide a bulging jaw deep inside. Mary with her back to the door continues to shake with fear – all has suddenly gone quiet outside. As the silence soothes her fears with visions of Charlie scaring away the fiend an almighty cry is heard outside that is followed by a flash that illuminates most of road. Mary slumps to the floor with terror and screams. Her plight is soon felt by neighbours who wearily venture outside and witness the mysterious figure who is now stood upon the wall at the end of this cul-de-sac. It hurls rocks at those drawn from their beds with laughter before leaping with outstretched wings away into the darkness. Several witness fall to their knees from shock and injuries whilst one brave man makes his way to a figure slumped, twitching in the road. Mary nervously ventures outside and knows its Charlie in the gravel, she cries out with sorrow and faints. Whistling sounds herald the arrival of police officers who then hastily separate the shocked crowds.

Mrs Hudson welcomed John in from the the sleet like rain that had been falling since early morning. He removed his heavy coat and passed it to the house keeper, who in turn gave it a shake. “I do hope it passes soon Doctor.” Watson agreed with her and then asked how her tenant was today. “Oooh, hes been up since dawn performing his tests sir. Be careful when you enter.” came her fussy reply. Watson found Holmes busily studying samples through one of six microscopes on display. The entire room was awash with scientific equipment and papers on related topics. John made is way the fireside with some difficulty and sat tightly holding his newspaper. “Ahh, Watson my dear fellow...MRS HUDSON!” came Holmes jovial welcome. Watson chuckled,“Holmes, what on earth have you found in your studies?” Holmes stood upright with a gleaming smile and looked at John, “A breakthrough John! MRS HUDSON, we need hot tea if you please.” His house keeper came in carrying a tray and stopped before the mine field before her feet, “Mr Holmes I must implore that you cease this misuse of my property.” Holmes was already moving towards her as John smiled. His footwork was a delight to observe as he dodged every item laid before him. He stopped before Mrs Hudson and bowed to her before outstretching his hands to gracefully receive the tray. “Your in a good mood today Holmes, your sickness as indeed expired, my friend.” Holmes thanked his housekeeper with a phrase in Latin. The poor women looked on in disbelief before turning to Watson who was laughing now. She shook her head and quickly left the two gentlemen to their business. Holmes took the tray to the dining table and with a sweeping movement discarded unneeded devices and equipment. He poured the steaming amber coloured water into two teacups, “Today is an excellent day John. I feel alive again, my senses are singing sweet operas that soothe my soul dear friend.” He then poured fresh milk into each cup and took one to John, who was know pointing at a headline on the front page of his newspaper. “Further developments John? Alas, that can wait good friend for I have made an interesting discovery about our blood thirsty friend.” Watson asked for more clarity on what Holmes meant. “I managed to identify Mellows blood type.” John looked bemused, “Sherlock, that was readily available last night, the paperwork – you read it just as I did.” Holmes simply nodded in agreement and then returned to his own cup on the dining table. “Correct as always John but alas...allow me to continue. The crushing bites to his neck...those of a biped,who has tremendous skill, strength and intelligence.” Watson theorised, “Is jack a Gorilla or some similar trained beast?” “Incorrect. The identity of Jack is unique John, something we have never encountered before. I discovered traces of something that may explain its barbaric behaviour. and habits.” Holmes headed to the window chair and sipped his tea and took in the feint blizzard of snow now falling to the ground. “We need to be very careful John in how we handle this.” Watson stood, “What do you mean Holmes?” Holmes continued, “I know something now that our fan outside doesn't”. Sherlock nodded from his window to a black carriage outside, several doors away along Baker Street.

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Lestrade was reading the note that had been given to him by the night watch constable. Upon reading it he neatly folds the message and heads with speed towards the traumatized witness. Bursting into the room he finds Alison in a deep sleep, a nurse tending to her drops equipment with fright. “Pardon me sister for my entry I am Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. Where are the patients belongings?” asks the impatient Inspector The startled women nervously takes an handkerchief to her mouth, kneels down to pick up what was dropped and then points to a drawer by Alison s bed. Lestrade opens it and finds the locket which he then opens. His look turns to a puzzled one. He unfolds the message and reads it again stepping to one side as the nurse leaves.

"The patients Locket contains a portrait that may prove useful. Pay careful attention to the shirt – that's worn with the pride of an athlete"

Lestrade isnt pleased for Holmes told him to look for a women and yet within his palm is the image of a man. He scratches the back of his head with peculiar ideas swamping his mind and then examines Alison's other belongings. He now knows that she has a relative of lover that will - when the word is put out – come to her. He calls on his aids and instructs them to involve the press – to snare a trap. Lestrade then commands a constant watch upon the ward with men also outside. He then heads off on important business – the latest encounter with Jack – fanning the message in his hand. He stops as something new finally greets his mind, “Did Homes impersonate a Police Officer last night?” The Inspector produced a coy smile as ideas filled his mind with images of Holmes in custody. His smile soon changed to that of a frown when he realised Holmes would no doubt use his unique skills to prove his innocence – an embarrassing outlook for the Inspector.

Its the weather that Im interested in Watson.” said Holmes as he sat by the window. “Come,come Holmes. If your awaiting a day of good light that's full of clear air and adequate temperature your plan will have to wait until next May” came a chuckled reply. “Indeed, indeed my dear fellow.” Holmes paused with thought, “After all, its not wise to risk the current climate and find myself forced to my bed with your Brandy and Lemon remedies.” Watson stood with conviction, “It made you rest Sherlock, something you often ignore. The Hollow case almost killed you man! Im only thankful that Autumn was young when you devised that scheme to snare the killer. A priest hole of all things Holmes.” Holmes interrupted Watson, “John, now is not the time to discuss our former case. It belongs in the past but may still assist us with our current one...The weather forecast John, if you please.” The doctor began reading out the predictions for the remainder of the week – which mainly consist of icy starts, midday winds and afternoon showers that last long into the dark evenings. Sherlock stops John as he reads the forecast for Saturday. “Perfect and a day so close.” Watson rests the paper on his lap before asking, “Holmes why Saturday? Sunday is a dry day and surely better suited to your intentions. “The evening forecast, if true will test my theories perfectly.” Watson re-reads the weather for that evening and compares it to the rest. “Holmes they all are wet and cold nights.” Holmes stands and heads to his bedroom, “The rain comes later, near midnight on Saturday my friend...John will you draw the curtains dear fellow.” Watson looks puzzled, “Whatever for?” From his bedroom came, “All will be explained very shortly.” The doctor shook his head before making his way to the window. Soon the room was basked in a slight darkness as Holmes joined his loyal friend carrying a pouch. He tipped it upside down and out fell the bizarre royal blue jewel which immediately began to glow in his gloved hand. “No John! Its not to be touched by a naked hand. It was collected at the murder scene involving the late Mr Mellows. It was buried under the ceiling rubble near to his body. Mellows killer had desperately searched for it in his clothing.” Holmes placed the unknown stone back into its pouch and pulled open the curtains. Watson who was until now speechless asked, “Good God Holmes. Ive never seen anything like that before.” “You may read about something similar my dear Watson but you cannot join the connection.” came Holmes reply as he headed back into the bedroom. “Orfelia fultoni, an arachnid found in America that displays a similar glow to attract its prey. Something I plan to do on Saturday.” He rejoined Watson by the fireside and lit his pipe before continuing, “The insect normally lives inside caves – something that I suspect the real Jack does as well.” Both men stared into the dancing flames of the fire. “ Our friend seems to pick his moments very carefully John, just like we would when deciding what to wear outdoors.” Smoke bellowed from his pipe creating patterns in the air. Watson looked confused and could only offer, “Fascinating Holmes.” “I found a small piece of moss outside of that house John. Its colour and class is that of a Bryophyta which thrives in cold and damp environments – such as roofs...and caves!” came his daunting reply.

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Mark One

An obscured man was sat in what appeared to be a fine looking chair that was hid deep within the shadows of what appeared to be a well kept cellar. It was a vast subterranean dwelling that was not only filled with vintage cobwebbed wines, but also with fine literature, strange charts and odd looking scientific equipment. Fine and expensive looking cream carpets lay upon its floors with lavish looking furniture scattered in peculiar places. Along the walls were animal skulls that had been decorated and fixed onto plaques. Some of the kills on display looked human, but perhaps that was simply a trick of the limited light available here. Apart from the solitary figure that sat coldly in his chair were many cats that roamed around and purred with sounds of ownership and territory. The entire area was illuminated by cleverly placed candles whose flames bled an outer aura of greens or blues into the air. Coloured shadows flickered along the walls and the ceiling of this mans lot. He had made this place into something that served him well, a place that had seen years of usage and activity. A man who lived by night and thrived in its silence and science. As he sat comfortably in his rich looking chair a bell rang ahead of him that alerted the cats around him. Their passive persona changed from contentment to that of upset as a door opened ahead of them, which brought into the gloom unwelcome light. A tall and gaunt looking figure made his way in first, clearly a butler with plenty of years under his belt. “A visitor my Lord. May I introduce...”, the visitor brushed past his announcer and gestured an intolerance aimed at silence. “Mansfield! How good it is to see you again, especially when I'm intrigued by your progress in dealing with our problem.”, came the man's bold greeting. The seated figure simply raised a hand, something that the Butler caught sight of and recognised before nervously withdrawing. The guest made his way towards Mansfield, often stopping to inspect the furniture and the bizarre looking objects and gadgets that sat under glass domes. “My my sir. Your inventions are fascinating and yes,wait...I recognise this object. The Hockerton problem. Yes this measuring device effected a quick capture of our interest.” The man moved around inquisitive felines who made their presence known to this intruder with harsh warnings. Mansfield finally spoke from the comfort of his desk chair with anger, “Count Luxford, an end to your feigned appreciation of my skills. Why have you intruded upon this which is forbidden without permission. I warn you now that my skills as an assassin and inventor of the unthinkable may be deadly to the trespasser. State your business here or be gone!” Luxford smiled, a tall man in his fifties who was well fed. His hairless head only added to the aura of his foreboding personality. His brow cast long shadows over his cold eyes as did his cheek bones and the small nose – he looked like a well spoken, horrid man that carried now sympathy. Mansfield watched him for some time before offering, “Is Wales so cold now that you cower from its moist chill?” His visitor stopped and his smile drooped into disdain. “I was drawn into this rat ridden slum called our beloved capital city to question your promises which took me far from my comfort.” Luxford points towards the shadowed seated form before him, “Sir, your methods are beginning to become time consuming...and what of my reports of Sherlock Holmes. He was supposed to have been destroyed within the cellar of a burning building!” Mansfield humorously replied with, “You always feared Holmes and Ive understood why.” He stood and made his way around his desk to face the Count. “Your problem seeks this.”, Mansfield points to seven glowing stones held by metallic pincers which shone and added acceptable light to his domain. He then continued, “To capture what you brought fourth will take far longer than you anticipated. Holmes is also interested in your problem too Count and will not yield. He shall employ similar tactics to those employed when he stepped on your toes in the past.” Luxford added with alarm, “I will deal with Holmes! Our problem is becoming an annoyance that is now leaning on all who...continue your research!”. Luxford turned away from Mansfield with anger and hastily made is way to the door that led upstairs before pointing towards Mansfield, “Leave Holmes to me. Continue with your experiments and pray that I never have to return here!” Mansfield shook his shaded head with amusement before returning to his work.

It was a bitterly cold Friday evening outside has Holmes stood by his warm fire, upon his shoulder rested his treasured Violin. For over an hour the sounds of its strings could be heard by anyone nearby which in this case meant – Mrs Hudson. She had gradually learnt that when played for such lengths of time it meant two things. His mind was happily piecing together some mystery and he was planning something that excited him. She had also learnt never to interrupt him when the desire for music engulfed his spirit. But much to her relief all went quiet again which was followed by the rattle of the door knocker downstairs. She made her way downwards and opened the door to the Doctor who quickly fled from the cold misty air outdoors. Watson nodded to the housekeeper and bid her a good evening. As they both made their way upstairs Mrs Hudson informed Watson that Sherlock had been playing with his fiddle again. Her choice of words made Watson smile but he did his best to hide this before thanking her for the news. John found him sat by the window in his grey silk dressing gown. He looked like a spent man, his fiddle and violin discarded on the floor beside him. The doctor asked with concern, “Holmes do I find you well this evening?” A rather exhausted reply came from his dear friend, “Good health indeed Watson with the outcome of a long day travelling the streets and roads. Now, what news do you bring me old friend.” Watson was stood with his back to the blazing fire, his face an expression of excitement. “The women admitted to St Davids was found dead this morning Holmes.” Holmes interrupted his colleagues news, “Tell me Watson am I correct in presuming that the sisters on that ward work in shifts.” Watson nodded, “She was found dead at 8am this morning, the relief nurse raised the alarm. Lestrades men are treating her death as suspicious, Holmes.” “Indeed they must my friend. The night nurse did it John, over a series of days, administering a minor amount of something fatal into her blood stream.” Watson questioned Holmes, “But why Employ such a risky method to murder the women? Why not simply carry out the crime quickly? Holmes added, “Two very good questions my dear friend that warrant answers. I thought I had given Lestrade enough information to show him something – actors who parade to the public. Disguises John, Lestrade posted men to catch the villain but in plain sight they walked right under their noses. As for why she wasnt murdered that very night in her bed...well lets just say that someone elusive was deciding her fate. Someone I feel we've met before John...but alas for now I cannot say who.” Watson sat and turned to his newspaper, “Holmes, you must be tired if your skills are betraying you. There's more on the latest sighting of Jack, Holmes!” “A fake Jack is what is described John. A deliberate act to turn attention away from the one I intend to meet tomorrow night. I dare say too that who ever is behind the fake also has control over anything he touches...” Holmes stood and joined John by the fireside before yawning, “Today Ive explored London in-depth John and can say with absolute certainty that its a past time thats not recommended. But I have found a place John...perfect in every way...our friend Jack will love it”

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Mark One

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...it growled with excitment as it spied its prey, trapped with no way out...

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Mark One

As I paste this here, I notice that I now have 666 views - should I be worried?

It was a surprisingly pleasant Saturday morning along Baker Street as a familiar sight made its way along the cobbles. Henry Stubb and his mob of well respected Sweeps were doing their rounds. His two carts stopped near 221b as he and his team dismounted and headed to their customers. Stubb was a small, stout man in his mid 60s, his white beard and hair suggested a man who had lived by the sea in his past. His soot stained clothes were actually of high quality – an aspect of his trade that filled his clients with warm confidence. His mob knew that he meant business and that his bark was equally as bad as his bite. They always performed to an high standard, fearing the wrath of both Stubbs mouth and his shiny boots. Stubb made his way up the steps to Mrs Hudsons door, which he then tapped with his cane as two of his men stood behind him holding dust sheets, rods and sacks. The door soon opened to a pleased looking Mrs Hudson who gleamed with delight at the sight of Stubbs. “May I offer you a splendid morning my dear Mrs Hudson”, cam Stubbs charming words and he was beckoned inside. “Theres tea on the boil and scones as well Mr Stubbs for you and your men.” Stubbs directed his men as he followed the house keeper upstairs. One of his men remained on the ground floor and was directed to the empty lodgings across from the stairs. Stubbs made his way into Mrs Hudsons room, “Are you alone this wondrous morning my dear?.” She was already pouring him a mug of hot tea as she replied, “Yes, my tenant left early on some business Mr Stubbs. I dare say it will be late before he returns.” Stubb was supervising his workman, “The famous Mr Holmes! Indeed a VIP in many areas of his expertise I feel, no doubt out there now investigating some mystery as we speak...”

Outside several yards away was the familiar sight of a unmarked and elegant looking carriage. Inside its hold sat Count Luxford with two of his men who sat in silence as their master fumbled with his ruby tipped cane. “I can wait for eternity and admire the plainness of his dwelling ...this fool has made a grave mistake in drawing me into his circle for a second time. This time I shall put an end to Sherlock Holmes personally! Moriarty failed, and yes that did cause our organisation much discomfort and financial loss...but when I toss Sherlocks dismembered Head towards the gates of Scotland Yard the whole of London shall shake with fear.” His two and robed obedient listeners remained stone faced as they nodded to their masters words. Luxford took a breath before he continued,his very form twitching with anger and hatred. “The Clan of the Spider will set fear deep into all who oppose us, they shall kneel and they shall yield...” Luxford saw someone flee 221b, a chimney sweep ran into the road coughing and choking. This made the Count smile as he watched the sorry looking figure fall to its scruffy knees. “Ahh, it has already begun my companions”, Luxford began grinning at the sight of that poor man. This soon lead to laughter as he observed the man crawl and then stand with worry, before heading down the road towards a trough full of dirty of water – which the sorry man sunk his head into.

It was a few minutes after 2pm on Sherlocks watch as he adjusted his seating. He was alone inside the express carriage and had spent hours surviving its limited interest. Outside its hold Holmes noticed the clean looking vistas of nature, its woodlands and forests free of man and machine. Good clean air and the lack of people, something he one day wished to retire into. By Holmes estimation it would take another 2 hours to reach his destination. With this knowledge he decided to gain some sleep before he later took on the task at hand. He lost all sense of his transport as his essence fled away and bled back into his higher self. Holmes no longer mattered as Sherlock dreamed inside an endless realm of peace and knowing. He soon lost his earthly appearance and departed onwards to places and landmarks that gradually became familiar again. High cathedral like structures that defied gravity with clouds that willingly hugged them. Sherlocks essence was drawn to one of 18 such creations that were sat within a tranquil realm. The one he chose carried a beacon a violet lightening at its highest peak. He knew this building was enticing him, to share a secret that would aid his human life. He raced with speeds beyond that of a human as he followed the spiral upwards inside this structure which promised a white all loving and knowing light. As he followed the path to enlightenment he saw the structure around him begin to melt away. Sherlock instinctively knew what such a display meant in this realm – he was to shortly awake. With great calls outwards to the light he then began to fall with the structures removal. As its light was lost so did darkness return, before a new light presented itself. He awoke, the late afternoon was beginning to lose its light as the carriage came to a shuddery halt. He gathered his things and leapt outwards with freedom into the countryside air. “Thank you Jenkins, isnt this wonderful lad.” came Holmes pleased expression. Jenkins just nodded and mumbled some words about the Inn a few miles west. Holmes nodded, “Yes man, you head there and rest your horses and yourself. Be here at noon tomorrow to meet me.”, Holmes passed the driver some coins. “Take these on top of what Ive already payed you Jenkins, for Ive no doubt tested your horses limits in bringing me this far.” Holmes turned and headed off along a dirt path as Jenkins departed for the much needed Inn. An hour had passed as he made his way towards something he had only glanced at previously. He was dragging a sack behind him that contained various items that he needed for his experiment. As he reached the end of his trail he stopped and glanced at his watch before sitting on some moist grass. He jovially took in the clean air before searching through the sack, his hand produced a brown paper package that contained cheese and pickle sandwiches. Something that he hastily opened and then heartily devoured with delight. He then drank some milk from a green bottle, one that he once used to store a poison that was important to a past case. As he sat there taking in his meal he knew from maps that where he sat would soon lead to far colder looking views – those made by man.

He took in the bone chilling air and clung to his hat as the angry winds swept in around him. Ahead of this moist and cold sandstone plain was an aged and weathered stone built structure that the nights sky hid with all that it had. It was lifeless, a place of nothing, a realm rain drenched with misery. The season had left this place empty, for its facilities suited only death in the winter months. Nothing lived there apart from the hardy creatures who made use of it to obtain cover before moving on. Holmes caught his scarf as the wind wrestled with it and then he glanced at what he had sighted previously before in daylight. Ahead of him was structure that met and smelt of that found in a horror novel. It stood alone whilst its structure seemed to laugh with the wind at anyone who was before it. He quickly dismissed this sensation and abruptly made his way towards it. The howling winds payed their reminders to him as he fought his way towards eighteen stone steps that led into its hold. Holmes climbed them with rejoice and turned to the elements before bowing and then saluting them with his hat. He now entered this keep with intention and welcomed its shelter. The echoes of his footsteps soon replaced the winds outside as he progressed further into its heart. Before him in this soiled gloom were several doors and passageways that led both up and down. Each carried a rusted sign which directed those who used this place. Holmes sighted and then chose a sign that read PUMPS. Its passage curbed a daunting pathway downwards. A well used passage that soon became joined by rusted pipework that was fixed into the walls. Holmes rushed downwards and found his place below ground. Following its path he soon found himself back in the open air, but in a place the wind could not touch him. High walls connected to the main building led outwards into a well used and filthy looking courtyard that was filled with discarded boxes, carts and trolleys. Small pockets of grass squeezed their way out of gaps and cracks in the ground. Something that Holmes quickly studied before taking a few blades and wrapping them in his silk hanky chief. Ahead of him ran large cast iron pipes which spoke of a resoviour somewhere distant. Holmes smiled to himself before heading in their direction, his gloved hands stroking their course and rusted outer shells as he went. He soon caught sight of housing in the nights gloom. Custom built lodgings and offices for the workforce that were made of a different and familiar stone. All was deadly silent as he took in this view of closed doors, rain swept windows and overflowing guttering sat under slate roofing. Holmes judged his next decision from the pipes and the building before him. To his right was a sordid pathway between two buildings, a house sized abode and a smaller offering that suggested a place of maintenance. Holmes had made his choice as he shivered in the freezing night air. He cast his fine and elegant hat back into the path he had followed. Next came his scarf which the winds had previously wished to claim. He quickly wrapped it around the downpipe that fell from the taller of the two buildings in front of him – its hold of icy water flowing around his shoes. Holmes then entered the gloomy passage and found a dimly lit destination that required light. From his inner breast pocket he produced a small stub of wax that carried a well used wick. He knelt onto a frozen and uncomfortable floor and lit the candle with a match before placing it close to the damp and moss ridden brickwork. Holmes took 9 steps forwards and repeated the process again. Upon doing this he noticed the potential risk of his temporary illumination being dampened by the breeze. He removed his coat and tore it up into equal sized pieces which he wrapped loosely around eat candle to offer it some shelter from the elements. His keen eyes took a quick glance at this outcome to his solution and settled into contentment. Holmes held himself with ever increasing shivers has he moved on and found an opening to his right that led into an empty curbed place of containment. More pipes were seen and now valves too joined the dance in this damp and dire sandstone walled tomb. Holmes searched the deadly cold walls for a means of escape and found non which inwardly met his needs. He crouched and held himself tightly in the unforgiving cold air that struck into his very bones. Doubt filled his mind as he clung to his waning bodily warmth. Holmes mind was filled with all he had devised and planned yet the freezing temperatures began consuming him with suggestions of his demise. He followed the enclosures structure with worry and soon found an area that the winds couldn't taunt and he hid there, rubbing his aching body back into warmth the best he could. His shaking hand reached into his damp and chilled shirt pocket which produced a pouch that contained the the illuminated artefact. With both hands he removed it and shuddered with the cold as he admired its light, which seemed almost hypnotic to Holmes. He had carefully bound string around its form this morning has he had travelled here and now it dangled so attractively in the night air – like a beacon of hope. Its light soon revealed hidden pipes, valves and old taps as well as spiders and the occasional moth. Holmes was pleased to see the taps as he stood and made his way to one. He tried its chilly handle and with some force managed to turn it which resulted in a small trickle of water that splatter along the soiled ground. With everything going the way Holmes wanted it, he checked the time first and then turned his attention to the glowing mystery- which he began to swing left and right in the estricted light. A s he did this he brought it closer and closer to one of the rusting pipes. The stone bounced away from the cast iron pipe and let out an amazing sound, a chime that was soon carried by the pipe in all directions. Holmes repeated this several times and soon a bizarre humming sound flooded most of the mills structure. Holmes new that this unusual melody would easily be picked up by members of the animal kingdom and so he continued the process. After several minutes he heard a distant thud like noise which was quickly followed by someone or something kicking open one of the heavy oak doors back in the distance. Holmes returned to his method, an approach that seemed to frustrate his visitor – who was now getting closer and closer as the winds continued their dance outdoors. He heard a voice not far from his location now, but the winds interrupted and prevented him from understanding its language. Then apart from the winds all went quiet outside again which intrigued Holmes. He ventured back towards the entrance and whilst clinging tightly to the damp and foul smelling stone work. He stopped, he listened, he waited...

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Mark One

The chill from the masonry seemed to desire Holmes damp and shivered body as he pressed against it. His body began to buckle with spasms that were foreboding warnings of the bone chilling air that claimed and engulfed his lot. Only his eyes remained fixed and unaffected by the climate as his heart beat rallied into an anticipated tone. The skies outdoors erupted with rain that fell at first with a gentle touch, the winds soon led its direction and Holmes quickly became drenched. Shivering in his rain soaked clothing, Holmes sights a daunting looking shape that forms in the alley-way. Its shape offered a daunting shadow that crept along the adjoining brickwork. The dark form stopped with a thud like noise which indicated to Holmes that it couldnt travel this path towards him. He crept further closer to the entrance and saw its silhouette beyond the alley-way. Its long athletic arms seemed to be held upwards, its long palms seemingly pressed against the sides of its head has two burning eyes studied the route ahead. Its hands then rose and with them came what appeared to be a headdress of sorts which was discarded to the earth with a heavy sounding thud. The silhouette turned and demonstrated the stance of a concerned person observing its loss before quickly turning back towards its goal. It groaned a sound of relief at losing its baggage before growling words that Holmes could not place. He heard amusement in its unusual voice as heavy footsteps began their journey towards him. Holmes backed away with haste and raced towards the plumbing available – which he eagerly turned fully open. Water was soon flooding the floors of this unwelcome domain as the creature reached the entrance. Holmes hid himself from its sight and crouched against a wall holding himself for warmth as the mystery studied its destination.

The creature shook itself as the rain became more intense. It scuttled inside and stopped. Holmes heard the splashes as it entered and then noticed sounds of intense nostril breathing. As he held himself with uncontrollable shivers – he actually smiled, his first deduction had been proven correct. It possessed a higher sense of smell that matched that of a predator. He now also knew that its hearing was beyond that found in a dog. Holmes only concern now was his expectation that water was its natural enemy too. The weather forecast had predicted rain which he knew was always absent in the true reports of Jacks presence. Holmes thought process was cut short as the heeled footsteps dashed away from him. The crying sounds of some type of vermin echoed briefly within this en-closer – a reaction that pleased Holmes. He then held himself, hidden with shivered interest as the noise of something quickly eating and crunching filled his frozen ears. Holmes glanced around and took in the ageing piping once again that was joined with rusted bolted connections. If his plan was to succeed he had to have a way out. But for now the visitor had been distracted, a situation that Holmes knew wouldnt last. Water was now filling the floors of this cold and foul smelling place of maintenance, on a ever increasing level. Its fill eagerly crept above the sole of his shoes – something that began chilling his feet. Suddenly, something came to Holmes – it had not been affected by his primary assumption. This worry was intensified when he heard its heeled shoes turn and then splash their way towards his direction. Holmes eyes became wide with concern as he became consumed with panic . His mind raced with doubt as the heavy splashes got ever closer. He closed his eyes with worry and sank deep into thought, searching his vast intelligence for a solution to evade his imminent demise. His meditation was soon interrupted by the echo of a strange and bone chilling laugh – a noise that was both remarkable and also terrifying at the same time. Sherlocks now pale looking face opened its eyes to a both horrid and unexpected sight. A hooded menace stood tall with its hands close to its hidden chest. Its long and slender digits danced together as he was studied. Holmes instinctively began to shuffle himself away from it whilst keeping his gaze fixed on its strange scorched blood red eyes. Holmes took in its facial features and realised quickly that this wasnt a native of Earth. Its jittery, open mouth gargled sounds of excitement, intention and...addiction. Saliva dripped from its mouth and its unusual looking teeth, something that left a mess of goo further down the creatures front. Holmes was now at the far end of this enclosure and thanked the fates for all the piping that kept him at arms length from his predator. Again, the monster simply moved with short steps as it splashed its way closer to Holmes. It made worrying gestures with its arms and hands towards Holmes that demonstrated grasping, clawing and reaching. More strange noises came from its mouth which left Holmes suspecting that it was enjoying itself. Water continued to rise along the floor and also drip from the high ceiling as it got nearer. Then Holmes witnessed something he was hoping for. Several droplets of water landed on the creatures face and it responded with growls and moaning. It shook its head with frustration and moved ever closer. The monster studied the thick cast iron pipes that ran along the floor, the ceiling and inbetween. Without warning, the creature reached out for Holmes neck, with a speed he hadnt expected. Thankfully, the pipe work had saved his life for now as the desperate clawed fingers strained to touch his flesh. It growled, pulled back and spoke in some alien tongue before turning its attention to the pipework obstructions. Both of its hands grasped the one that was around 1 meter from the floor and pushed and pulled it.The creatures strength shook the entire line which caused the outer coating to become brittle and flake away. Soon water was leaking from bolted connections as it continued to dislodge the strained pipeline with aggressive sounds. Holmes, still sat in the freezing water placed both of his hands under the discoloured water and formed them both into a bowl. It was only matter of seconds now before that pipe line collapsed and if his theory was wrong his life would end in a dark and desolate place.

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Still Waters

Holmes will need a pot of Mrs Hudson's hot tea after this, and a lie down I would imagine. Although he's in a rather tricky situation at the moment :unsure2:

Your story is going well :tu:

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Mark One

And a few of Watsons hot-toddies too or maybe a Victorian Lemsip. His previous case (in this story involved getting wet) acclimatised him alittle to such moist and chilling temperatures.

Thanks Still Waters, the tale has reached the 50% mark - expect snow replacing the rain soon and the jingle of bells too :)...oooh and another kingdom too.

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Mark One

It raged with a mix of determination and fuelled anger as it clawed and wrestled with the rusted pipes. Amidst this its eyes kept their focus entirely upon Holmes – something that struck Holmes with questions about the creature’s level of intelligence. The strained metal castings soon became brittle and cracked, which in turn quickly released its volume. Holmes began cautiously sliding his way upwards against the rough and slimy stonework as the heeled thing slammed its slender fists downwards with one final blow that shattered the line. The room erupted with deafening sounds that sent deadly shards of metal and icy water in all directions. Holmes quickly covered his face and was saved from any serious injuries as fragments of the piping bounced against the stone walls around him. His predator hadn’t fared so well. Holmes spied from the gaps in his almost numb fingers - it was stood there and displayed signs of pain, its posture was that of someone exploring areas for signs of injury. With low sounding moans the creature continued to be agitated by the endless droplets of water from above. Holmes observed this reaction with fascination and actually felt pleased for a few moments as he shuddered with the cold temperatures. The figure before him resembled a man or child who was trying to deter a curious fly. But now Holmes attention was drawn to the ever growing level of water below him. It was half way up his lower leg and his ankles were going numb. His heart sank as the newly released water also reduced itself to that of a trickle. His mind quickly answered his awareness with – pumped water…no longer in use…isolated. To make matters worse, Holmes realised that the monster before him was dressed in a dark oil-like form of clothing, a garment that repelled the water. As Holmes took all of this in he saw it retain its previous stance with muttered and unknown words that were directed towards him. It then went silent with only its heavy boots splashes signalling its next move. Holmes stepped sideways towards the nearest corner as he watched its eyes which were now lost from him and focused heavily on the remaining pipework. Its fists hit, bashed and punched the reinforced pipework with ever increasing frustration. Soon there were more broken pipe lanes that ejected their own content with a similar fashion to the first. Holmes noticed how the creature now reacted with awareness everytime one of them fell through – it causiously stepped back and waited for its fill to dry up before attacking the next. Holmes turned his face away from the creatures destruction with both hands over his concerned face... his mind reflected upon what had led him here. Days before he had made a startling discovery that required an experiment to clarify his suspicions. Since the test subject was nocturnal, Holmes was left with no other choice but to meet it on its own terms. He knew it was going to be a deadly risk and that was why he had chosen this location to carry out his plan. An isolated place that was devoid of life, a keep of little distraction that would lair the creature away from the city folk of London. So far, the creature had displayed all the symptoms of what Holmes realised but he was now trapped with it…his assumptions had failed. This creature is not a beast nor a man…what could it be?

The creature turned its attention to the last pipe remaining – a smaller one that ran at a height matching that of Holmes shoulders. The beast grabbed it with excited moans and pulled its length towards itself as Holmes swallowed hard with dread. Then something caught Holmes eyes, the pipe in question looked dark with signs of some form of green growth along its run - patina! The pipe was copper! The detective’s outlook suddenly brightened as the vandal before him broke its length with ease. Like before water sprayed everywhere but this time with more intensity that caught the creature directly in its face. The copper pipe was hurled away but it maintained its new mangled position as the monster screamed and fell backwards into the now, knee deep pool. Holmes had to cover his ears as its ear shattering screeches and cries almost deafened him. Now was a chance to escape, something that Holmes acted upon with caution. Keeping his back to the wall he edged his way along and away from the vulnerable things desperate reach, being careful not to step of the broken piping scattered around him as he did this. His foe was clearly in pain and afraid, using its hands to cover its face. But it heard Holmes and struggled instinctively towards him before slipping and tripping into the filthy water with a thud. Holmes briefly studied the creature which was now motionless and layed on its side in the murky bobbing water. Its size had clearly saved it from drowning – keeping its head firmly above the water line. The eyes remained open but looked pale and lost, its overall fixed expression was that of fright and pain. Holmes decided to flee rather than speculate on whether it was merely stunned or unconscious. He hastily fled the small building and with relief took in the nights chilling air again. He stopped before the strange equipment that the creature had removed – a dull, water drenched metallic shoulder and head dress of sorts that carried feint glows in the most peculiar of places. Spread out behind this contraption was what looked like a rather large and long cape which also displayed an impression of frozen oil. Holmes was both mystified and intrigued by this sight. His mind wished to take this treasure with him, but its size and weight were in question and also the remaining mortality of its owner was a worrying concern. Behind him he heard noises from that store room which made him shudder. Loud cries of what seemed like pain mixed with frustration threatened to bring the small stores to the ground. Holmes was already running as far from that place as his frozen form would allow. Out into the exposed yard he fled, looking for some place of safety. The sounds that echoed far behind him got more intense as he rubbed the rain from his eyes. Suddenly Holmes spied what appeared to be a man hole cover not far ahead. On closer inspection he realised that it was a workmans entrance – a hatch that lead to cellars. He fell to his knees and tried the handle, which with some elbow grease lifted. The hatch revealed a stone web infested stairway that led downwards. The desperate man through himself in and lowered the cover until he found himself in total darkness. Holmes made himself as comfortable as he could before he lifted the iron cover ever so slightly, just enough so he could observe the grounds and that distant passageway. It didn’t take long for Holmes desperate foe to return to its belongings. It glanced around with angered roars searching for Holmes before easily lifting its bizarre equipment and fitting it into place. To Holmes, the creature looked even taller now, but it soon bent forward alittle and returned to a pose and posture that resembled an old crone again. It looked upwards and did something to its chest, a dull blue flash carpeted the floor around it and with a small thud – up it went into the dark and empty skies. Holmes was staggered by what he had just observed, his thoughts reminded him of his previous question…not a man nor a beast… He lowered the iron cover with exhaustion and relief. In the thick blackness that now surrounded him he whispered to himself, “…not a native of earth…” before he surrendered himself the uncomfortable - but safe steps, he was soon lost in sleep as the rains above soon turned to sleet.

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Still Waters

Phew that was close :D

I think Holmes is definitely in need of a few hot-toddies now!

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Mark One

He may wake up and find its all been a horrid dream, snuggly tucked in his bed at 221b with an empty toddy glass by his side :)

Or he may awake from a horrid dream that was awash with haunting images. :)

Edited by Mark One
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Still Waters

Hmmm.....I hadn't thought of either of those possibilities :unsure2:

Well what happens next is down to you.......and Holmes of course :)

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Mark One

Just jesting with the first suggestion :)

He will awake though with the old shivers and a few aches and pains. But I don't feel he will have the time to suffer such afflictions even if he does spend a few days looking visually shaken You may even see him taking a rest somewhere in the countryside.

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Mark One

CHAPTER 5

He awoke in his warm bed to the sound of a violin playing one of his favourite pieces somewhere beyond his bedroom. The clock by his bedside read 3.14am and its tick gradually became louder and louder as he listened. He then heard Mrs Hudson beyond his bedroom calling out to him. He answered her with a warm welcome that never seemed to reach her ears. She continued to call out to him, the sound of her voice becoming more and more desperate. He tried to get up and investigate but his vision became blurred and pulled him back to his pillow. He started to feel ill and desperately closed his eyes as the ticking got ever louder. His head began to scream with pain, even his heartbeat joined in and matched the throbbing sensation within his head. It became unbearable and something inside Holmes mind gave way and burst his awareness into total darkness. For sometime he gladly wandered within a painless realm of nothing that eventually gave way to smoke and dim light. With it came distant sounds of chatter as the obscuring mists cleared and revealed an outdoor scene. He now found himself back in his bed but his room was now long gone. A menacing man approached him and spoke with words that he could not hear. The scene then shifted back to his bedroom and all went quiet, even the clock seemed peaceful now. Mrs Hudson could be heard calling to him. With thoughts of emerging from a nightmare, Holmes gladly replied to her announcement. His bedroom door was opened by his house keeper who stood to one side and beckoned in his visitor. The monster shuffled its way in and stood silent as it took in his prey. It then erupted with rage, knocking Mrs Hudson to the ground like a rag doll. Holmes screamed with sheer terror as the creature leaped onto his bed - which quickly collapsed under its added weight. A sudden swipe from one of its clawed hands sank deep into his cheek and quickly knocked him senseless. All went quiet again as strange sounds and dull colours began to swim around him. Again, after a few seconds of this nothingness came the sound of chatter that gradually crept up on him. It was the innocent sounds of children laughing which soon seemed to carry a sinister echo within his ears. His eyes opened and what they saw welcomed him back to the land of the living.

For several minutes he lay there on his side within the dark and gloomy cellar, simply staring ahead at nothing. He was snuggly sandwiched between several coal sacks infront of boiler that glowed with the dying embers of spent fuel. His mind was in shock. For Holmes such sensations never treated him in the expected manner of his fellow man. Shock for Holmes was like the delivery of new information that his mind made a place for, a safe area that would update his overall awareness. Outwardly he looked like anyone who had been subjected to something horrific. Behind this outward persona was an aching body married into a calculating mind that arranged its library’s to assimilate what his biology wished to reject. Hours passed in what seemed like a matter of minutes as he took in every last detail of the ordeal he had faced. Then, without warning he fell into a deep and much needed sleep.

Holmes felt better for his rest as he got to his feet, stretched and then reached for his pocket watch. Using the mysterious stone Holmes was able to add further illumination to this hidden place. The hands read 9.36, he quickly tucked the time piece back in is damp trouser pocket and made plans to leave. He grabbed an old sack and fashioned three holes into it with the aid of a poker. He was soon wearing the emergency garment over his damp shirt. He then took another sack and placed a few lumps of coal and some small strips of fire wood inside. Using the stone he searched once again for the matches that he had found on a dire looking shelf only a few hours ago. Holmes crawled his way up the stone steps to his freedom. Unwelcome light bled through the opening as he lifted to iron doorway above him.

Jenkins was almost there as he, his carriage and the horses raced to their destination. The air outside was cold and full of mist but the winds seemed merciful today by their absence. The earth and the tree tops were lightly covered with last night’s snow and this morning frost. The drivers thoughts were still thinking about that mouth-watering breakfast he had consumed only hours earlier. He also wondered what Mr Holmes may have eaten today for the route he had seen him take led to nowhere. Soon, Jenkins nostrils picked up the aroma of a fire, someone is burning wood in these parts, he thought to himself. His carriage soon approached a T-junction, a left was needed towards a route that would lead to his passenger’s position. After taking the turning his horses slowed to more comfortable trot and were soon met with the smell of more burning wood. As Jenkins got closer to his collection point he saw flashes of red and orange amongst the trees to his left. It was Mr Holmes!, he gladly thought to himself. And sure enough, when his carriage ground to a halt – there he was sat before a small but well-built fire. He seemed to have took a change of clothing too, for now he looked like an out of town chimney sweep who had covered himself with an old coal sack. By his side was the half eaten remains of a small animal that had been roasted over the fire. Jenkins guessed in his mind with game-bird, before coughing loudly to attract Mr Holmes attention. Holmes eyes blinked with the look of someone who had just been released from some spell before he gestured to Jenkins and got to his feet.

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Mark One

Jenkins did his best to ignore his passengers appearance and overall look as Mr Holmes gathered his moist looking belongings and placed them back inside his travel sack. Jenkins instinctively knew that his customer had not found a pleasing retreat here but he chose to hide his suspicions.. Instead, he carefully studied a lost and silent man, a solemn looking person whose attention to details seemed limited. Jenkins had escorted Mr Holmes for several years and in all that time he`d never witnessed him like this. He shook his head and turned back to his horses with a strange thought of death, someone important or a very close friend that his customer had lost. He soon forgot this assumption as the sound of Mr Holmes footsteps got ever closer - the fine layer of ice that led to his carriage cracked under his shoes. Jenkins turned, pulled down his scarf and muttered his customers name with mumbled acknowledgement before returning his gaze quickly towards his beloved animals. Jenkins was about to dismount and open access to his transport when he heard Mr Holmes perform this procedure himself. He turned and watched as Holmes gained access and then paused, turned back towards his dying camp fire and took in one last glance. Jenkins waited and after some time performed a tried and tested cough, “When your ready Mr Holmes.” came his announcement. For several seconds his customer simply stood there, like a statue that had no care for time nor men. Holmes suddenly shuddered with awareness, he turned around and hastily ventured inside the carriage and cleared his throat, “Very good Jenkins.” Soon the carriage was long gone as it rattled its way into the distance. The air soon turned and the sky became white with a promise of snow that would soon fall and blanket the lands below. The camp that Holmes had made began to crumble as the temperature quickly dropped. A fox who had spent time hidden amongst the birches finally ventured forth towards the left overs. It was still afraid even after man had left but she nervously gained confidence, grabbed the spoils and then fled over the footprints left by the now long gone traveller Some of these footprints were old and suggested a heavy person who had walked with a high heel in their shoe.

Holmes was sat upright with eyes closed, he had wrapped himself up in a dull blue woollen cover. His body rocked and swayed with the carriage as travelled over uneven terrain. His mind was studying the strange dreams he had dreamt in the night. He knew that the bedroom visit by Jack referred to someone else, someone connected with this affair. Holmes took these images as a warning, to be alert at 221b. Next he took into account the angry man who had spoke without sound and quickly associated this person with the visit to his bedroom. This led Holmes to suspect that an attempt on his life was imminent. Measures would have to be taken as soon as he was fit and able again. The other memories from his recent visit to his dream-scrape were still obscure and alluded him. All Holmes could put this down to was the fact that time was playing a part in these other images. Time that hasn't occurred yet. He soon lost interest with these studies, checked his watch and decided he had at least another hour to spare before he arrived home. He adjusted himself and soon settled into a relaxing sleep.

Holmes awoke to familiar sounds that signalled his arrival back within the heart of London. The late afternoon air was clouded with smog. The sounds of life surrounded him with laughter, arguments, whistling and busy traffic. This potent mix of chaos actually felt welcoming after his silent retreat and all that it had contained. His mood lifted and so did his appetite with thoughts of a hot bath, fresh tea and one of Mrs Hudsons home made pies soaked deep in rich, onion gravy. But before any of these creature comforts could be satisfied, he had one last thing to do. The carriage stopped at least half a mile from 221b with its passenger departing with excited relief into the cool open air. A few words were exchanged between him and the driver before he headed off and joined the busy community. He certainly looked out of place in his chimney sweep clothing. In fact, he looked identical to that poor fellow that had been observed the previous morning by the elusive Count Luxford. Holmes soon made it back to 221b but he noticed a suspicious black carriage across on the other side of the road. Holmes glanced over at its dark windows with a pleasing smile before taking a bow. His latest performance had indeed been an impressive success which had fooled the audience ahead of him.

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Mark One
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acute

"If such a man was on the loose, his Police force would soon apprehend him"

lmao!

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Mark One

Policemen cant fly though...well I suppose an airship was possible :)

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