It's just another moody Winter morning,and here I am,at a cafe,enjoying breakfast with my best friend,and room-mate,Léa.
It has become a routine for us to go to the same cafe for breakfast.Breakfast that consists of tea or coffee and cake.
Enjoying the silence of the morning,I got startled when my phone ringtone disturbed my ephemeral state of peace.
Looking at the caller,I am surprised to see it was Lestrade,a police detective.
me:I apologize,I have to answer this...
me:Good morning,Greg.How are you in this fine morning?Enjoying a coffee,I presume?
Greg:I hardly have time for rest,lately.I know you don't like being called like this,but I'd really use some help on a case.
me:The suicide cases?
me:You know those aren't actually suicides,right?Just some tricky smart way of making them appear as suicides,despite being murders?
Greg:I've heard that one before.
me:Oh really?Then why'd you need me?
Greg:I fear there might be another suicide soon,and I need all the help I can get.
me:*smirks*You really know how to charm a lady,don't you~?I will join you and offer my help as much as I can,okay?I'm pretty sure I'll be able to arrive at the scene of the crime,just in time for a surprise autopsy~.
Greg:Glad at least I can rely on you.
me:Aren't I such a reliable person~?
Greg:Yes,you are.Now,excuse me,I have some paperwork to do.Greet your friend for me too.
me:Okay,will do.Talk to you later~.
As I hang up,I sighed,then looked at the slightly grey sky,with a grin on my face.
Léa:Another fancy murder case,I presume?
me:Precisely.Oh,I can just feel the excitement going through my body as I examine it...finding out all its secrets...
Léa:*half-smile*Just like you,to get so worked up over something like that.Then again,your pretty genius brain of yours has been screaming for some excitement for a while.
Me:I know,I've been quite restless,recently.But now,I'm SO hyped!New murders!More dead people!That's just amazing!
Léa:*chuckles*Careful,those who hear you might think you're into some illicit activities.
me:*eyes widen* Better not.Anyways,let's enjoy the treats a bit more,before I have to prepare for the unknown.
Just as expected,the next suicide murder happened at the same night.
Lucky enough,I was still doing some errands around,so I managed to grab a cab and get to the scene of the crime quite fast.
There,as usual,I was greeted by Donovan,but I paid her no mind.She compensates for her lack of intellect with mean words addressed to those superior to her.
Donovan: Hello, freak.
me:Hey,d'you know where's Greg?
me:If you'd be able to use your brain for more than the basic mammal functions,maybe you'd know that I was,in fact,personally invited to take a look at the body
me:You know,to do just any good forensics doctor does.INVESTIGATE!
Donovan: Well, you know what I think, don't you?
me:How could I not.Although,I also know that you didn't make it home last night.
Donovan:*into radio*Freak #2's here. Bringing her in.
Me:Glad you prepared my entrance. Ah, Anderson...fancy...meeting you?
Anderson: It's a crime scene. I don't want it contaminated. Are we clear on that?
me:You don't have to tell me that,I'm a proper doctor.You should,however,consider telling yourself that,in the mirror.Might work some day.How's your wife?Still away?
Anderson:And who told you that?
me:Your deodorant.You must know,by now,for sure that I have a scent-fetish.Having incense sticks and scented candles literally everywhere at home.
Anderson: My deodorant?
me:*cocks head to the side*Yes,of course.It's for men.
Anderson: Well, of course it's for men! I'm wearing it!
me:So is Donovan.May I go in?
Anderson:Now look-whatever you're trying to imply ...
me: I'm not implying anything.It's just facts that I'm saying. I'm sure she came round for some chit-chat, and had a nice sleepover at yours...*smirks*and prayed a lot...going by the state of her knees.Maybe try some aloe vera cream?Or better pants.
Having seen their horrorstruck faces,I went in the building,ignoring the others,and got straight to the body.I put on the latex gloves and start investigating the body.
Greg: Her name's Jennifer Wilson according to her credit cards. We're running them now for contact details. Hasn't been here long. Some kids found her.
A woman's body is lying face down on the bare floorboards in the middle of the room. She is wearing a bright pink overcoat and high-heeled pink shoes. Her hands are flat on the floor either side of her head.
Scratched into the wooden floor,above her left hand,was the word "RACHE".
Yes,that has to be it.
And she is obviously left-handed.
Me:Try to make sense of what 'Rachel' might mean for her.
me:That's what she was trying to write on the floor,I believe.The reason,though,is unknown.Perhaps she was trying to lead us to a clue to find out the culprit.
Greg:I see...Oh,the others arrived.
me:*pales*O-Others...?Y-You never mentioned other people coming,Greg!Be reasonable,at least let them in AFTER I leave!
Greg:I'm sorry,we have limited time,so I can't afford that.
me:V-Very well...I can cope with that...
Greg:Just do what you usually do,they won't disturb you...much.
me:Hardly a reassurance.
The victim was in her thirties,working in an office or something professional.
I managed to find that she died of Asphyxiation,choked on her own vomit.No alcohol,so possibly drugs?
Also,I found out that the back of her coat and underneath her coat's collar, were wet,but her umbrella was dry.
Her jewelry was also kept impeccable clean,apart from her wedding and engagement ring.The outside of the wedding rings was dirty,while the inside was clean,so she must be taking off that one quite often.
That means she's been unhappily married for quite a decade or more,and is most likely pursuing more than one lover.
The only thing that I noticed amiss was the lack of a suitcase or luggage.Preferably pink.
I started pacing around the room,when the door was opened,making me jolt back to reality.
Sherlock:He's with me.His name is John.
Greg:Right...Sherlock,this is Raven Black,our forensics doctor.
me:Don't worry,I'm no Anderson.
He walked up to me,looked me up and down,analyzing me,then kissed my hand,turning to the body.
Sherlock:Pleased to meet you,Raven.Now,what have you got?
me:Nothing of significant importance.However,I have to ask you if you've been checking the weather forecasts lately...Or seen a pink suitcase.
Anderson:She's German. 'Rache': it's German for 'revenge'. She could be trying to tell us something ...
me:That you're incompetent and I don't get how they hired you!I swear,you inspire my inner serial killer...then again,if I wanted to kill myself,I'd climb up your ego and jump down to your IQ.Seriously,it must be lower than you shoe size.
I could see Greg and John hiding their amusement and Sherlock just glanced my way with a smirk,then showed me the weather forecast I've been asking for.
I told Greg what I've found out so far,then let Sherlock do his work.
Greg: So where is she from?
Sherlock: She's from out of town. Intended to stay in London for one night,before returning home to Cardiff.So far, so obvious.
me:Quite a bit.
John: Sorry – obvious?
Greg: What about the message, though?
Sher:Doctor Watson, what do you think?
John: Of the message?
Sher: Of the body.You're a medical man.
Greg: Wait, no, we have a whole team right outside.
Sher:They won't work with me.
Greg: I'm breaking every rule letting you in here.
Sher:Yes ... because you need me.
Greg: Yes, I do. God help me.
Sher: Doctor Watson.
Greg: Anderson, keep everyone out for a couple of minutes.
me:Ah...May I stay?
Sher:Yes,yes.Now,what have you found?
John: What am I doing here?
Sher:Helping me make a point.
John:I'm supposed to be helping you pay the rent.
Sher:Yeah, well, this is more fun.
John:Fun? There's a woman lying dead.
Sher:Perfectly sound analysis, but I was hoping you'd go deeper.
John:Yeah ... Asphyxiation, probably. Passed out, choked on her own vomit. Can't smell any alcohol on her. It could have been a seizure; possibly drugs.
Sher:You know what it was. You've read the papers.
John:What, she's one of the suicides? The fourth ...?
me:The idea of 'suicide' here is misinterpreted.
Greg: Sherlock – two minutes, I said. I need anything you've got.
Sher:Victim is in her late thirties. Professional person, going by her clothes; I'm guessing something in the media, going by the frankly alarming shade of pink. Traveled from Cardiff today, intending to stay in London for one night. It's obvious from the size of her suitcase.
Sher: Suitcase, yes. She's been married at least ten years, but not happily. She's had a string of lovers but none of them knew she was married.
Greg: Oh, for God's sake, if you're just making this up ...
Sher:Raven told you the same,hasn't she?Both of us couldn't possibly come up with the same story.Her wedding ring. Ten years old at least. The rest of her jewelry has been regularly cleaned, but not her wedding ring. State of her marriage right there. The inside of the ring is shinier than the outside – that means it's regularly removed. The only polishing it gets is when she works it off her finger. It's not for work; look at her nails. She doesn't work with her hands, so what or rather who does she remove her rings for? Clearly not one lover; she'd never sustain the fiction of being single over that amount of time, so more likely a string of them. Simple.
Sher: It's obvious, isn't it?
John: It's not obvious to me.
Sher:Dear God, what is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring.
me:Must be quite dark..
Sher:Her coat: it's slightly damp. She's been in heavy rain in the last few hours. No rain anywhere in London in that time. Under her coat collar is damp, too. She's turned it up against the wind. She's got an umbrella in her left-hand pocket but it's dry and unused: not just wind, strong wind – too strong to use her umbrella. We know from her suitcase that she was intending to stay overnight, so she must have come a decent distance but she can't have traveled more than two or three hours because her coat still hasn't dried. So, where has there been heavy rain and strong wind within the radius of that travel time?Cardiff.
Sher:D'you know you do that out loud?
John: Sorry. I'll shut up.
Sher: No, it's ... fine.
me:That was quite nice though...
Greg: Why d'you keep saying suitcase?
Sher:Yes, where is it? She must have had a phone or an organiser. Find out who Rachel is.Raven,you know about the suitcase,did you start investigating it?
me:I'm sorry,Sherlock,but I was looking for it as well...
Greg:How'd you know she had a suitcase?
Sher:Back of the right leg: tiny splash marks on the heel and calf, not present on the left. She was dragging a wheeled suitcase behind her with her right hand. Don't get that splash pattern any other way. Smallish case, going by the spread. Case that size, woman this clothes-conscious: could only be an overnight bag, so we know she was staying one night.Now, where is it? What have you done with it?
Greg:There wasn't a case.
me:Are you sure?
Sher: Say that again.
Greg:There wasn't a case. There was never any suitcase.
Immediately Sherlock straightens up and heads for the door, calling out to all the police officers in the house as he begins to hurry down the stairs...and I,after him...
Sher: Suitcase! Did anyone find a suitcase? Was there a suitcase in this house?
Greg:Sherlock, there was no case!
me:There has to be!It's murder,not suicide!
Sher:But they take the poison themselves; they chew, swallow the pills themselves. There are clear signs. Even you lot couldn't miss them.
Greg: Right, yeah, thanks!And ...?
Sher: It's murder, all of them. I don't know how, but they're not suicides, they're killings – serial killings.We've got ourselves a serial killer. I love those. There's always something to look forward to.
Greg:Why are you saying that?
Sher:Her case! Come on, where is her case? Did she eat it?
me:Maybe the killer took it?
Sher:So the killer must have driven her here,forgot the case was in the car.
John:She could have checked into a hotel, left her case there.
me:I don't think any respectable woman would leave the hotel room looking like a mess.
Greg:What is it, what?
Sher:*cheerful*Serial killers are always hard. You have to wait for them to make a mistake.
Greg:We can't just wait!
Sher:Oh, we're done waiting!Look at her, really look! Houston, we have a mistake. Raven,you're a genius!*kisses the top of my head*
Sher:Yes,don't you see?Lestrade,Get on to Cardiff: find out who Jennifer Wilson's family and friends were. Find Rachel!
Greg:Of course, yeah – but what mistake?!
me:*gasps*Oh!It makes sense now!
He hurries off again,and I after him.This is,by far,the most exciting case I've ever had in my life,and I'll not let this opportunity pass..
Together,we managed to find the pink suitcase
(not the easiest or cleanliest thing in the world to do...),then we went home.
Arriving in front of 221B Baker Street,I stare strangely at Sherlock.
me:I know I'm no genius,but how'd you know I live here?
Sher:*blinks*You live here?
me:Yes?If you didn't know,then why did we get here?
Sher:Because here is where I live as well.
me:Oh,that's neat!Then,you know Mrs.Hudson!Lovely lady.Managed to help her out with some drug problems.
Sher:You helped her smuggle drugs,didn't you?
me:Accurate deduction.How did you help her?
Sher:Her husband was about to be executed.
me:And you made sure that's exactly what happened,didn't you?
He welcomed me is his home,and we prepared tea,while having light discussions about the case.
Sher:I need John.
me:Do you have something in your mind?
Sher:Yes,obviously,I always know what to do.That's why I specifically need John.
me:Very well,I'm not going to argue with your flawless logic.Tea?
me:I won't refuse you.
Sher:Oh right,do forgive me.
me:Are you alright?
Sher:Just fine,just fine.
He then unbuttoned his shirt sleeves,put 3 nicotine patches on his arms.Then,he stretched out on the sofa with his head towards the window and resting on a cushion. With his jacket off and his shirt sleeves unbuttoned and pushed up his arms, he has his eyes closed and he is pressing the palm of his right hand firmly onto the underside of his left arm just below the elbow. After some seconds his eyes snap open wide and he stares fixedly up towards the ceiling, then he sighs out a noisy breath and relaxes.Sherlock repeatedly clenches and unclenches his left fist.
me:Let me guess.Nicotine patches help you think?
Sher:You catch on quickly,I like you.
me:Flattered.Then,don't mind if I do my thing as well.
Sher:By all means.
I took off my shoes and sat criss-crossed on an armchair,trying to sort out my thoughts and ideas,enjoying the peaceful atmosphere that settled in the room.
Not long after though,John came in the room,and looked shocked at us.More at Sherlock,actually.
John:What are you doing?
Sher:Nicotine patch. Helps me think.Impossible to sustain a smoking habit in London these days. Bad news for brain work.
John: It's good news for breathing.
Sher:Oh, breathing. Breathing's boring.
John: Is that three patches?
Sher:It's a three-patch problem.
John:Well?You asked me to come. I'm assuming it's important.
Sher: Oh, yeah, of course. Can I borrow your phone?
John: My phone?
Sher: Don't wanna use mine. Always a chance that the number will be recognised. It's on the website.
John: Raven's got a phone.Mrs Hudson's got a phone.
Sher:Raven is a public person and Mrs.Hudson is downstairs. I tried shouting but she didn't hear.
me:How did you-?
Sher:Unintentionally stumbled upon the forensics experiments on your blog.Very well made videos.
John:Sherlock!I was the other side of London.
Sher:There was no hurry.
me:Yeah,no pressure...None at all...
Without opening his eyes, Sherlock holds out his right hand with the palm up. John glowers at him for a moment, then steps forward and slaps the phone into his hand. Sherlock slowly lifts his arm and puts his hands together again, this time with the phone in between his palms. John turns and walks a few paces away before turning around again.
John:So what's this about – the case?
Sher: Her case.
Sher:Her suitcase, yes, obviously. The murderer took her suitcase. First big mistake.
John:Okay, he took her case. So?
Sher: It's no use, there's no other way. We'll have to risk it.On my desk there's a number. I want you to send a text.
John:You brought me here ... to send a text.
Sher:Text, yes. The number on my desk.
me:Some people really can't read the mood...
He continues to hold the phone out while John glowers at him, possibly wondering if he can get away with justifiable homicide. Eventually he stomps across the room and snatches the phone from Sherlock's hand.
John: Just met a friend of yours.
Sher:Ohh. Which one?
John:Your arch-enemy, according to him.Do people have arch-enemies?
Sher:Did he offer you money to spy on me?
Sher:Did you take it?
Sher:Pity. We could have split the fee. Think it through next time.
John:Who is he?
Sher:The most dangerous man you've ever met, and not my problem right now.On my desk, the number.
John:Jennifer Wilson. That was ... Hang on. Wasn't that the dead woman?
me:Yes it was.
SherYes. That's not important. Just enter the number. Are you doing it?
Sher:Have you done it?
John:Ye... hang on!
Sher:These words exactly: "What happened at Lauriston Gardens? I must have blacked out.Twenty-two Northumberland Street. Please come."
John: You blacked out?
Sher: What? No. No!Type and send it. Quickly.
Going into the kitchen, he picks up a small pink suitcase from a chair and brings it back into the living room. Walking over to the dining table, he lifts one of the dining chairs and flips it around, setting it down in front of one of the two armchairs,one on which I'm staying, near the fireplace. He puts the suitcase onto the dining chair and sits down in the armchair. John is still typing.
Sher:Have you sent it?
John:What's the address?
Sher:Twenty-two Northumberland Street. Hurry up!
John finishes the message, then looks round as I unzip the case and flip open the lid, revealing the contents. There are a few items of clothing and underwear – all in varying shades of pink – a washbag, and a paperback novel As John turns towards the case he staggers slightly in shock when he realises what he's looking at.
John:That's ... that's the pink lady's case. That's Jennifer Wilson's case.
me:Of course.*mutters*I think someone loved a certain Harry Potter character too much...
Sher:Oh, perhaps I should mention: I didn't kill her.
John:I never said you did.
Sher:Why not? Given the text I just had you send and the fact that I have her case, it's a perfectly logical assumption.
John: Do people usually assume you're the murderer?
Sher:Now and then, yes.
me:You mean all the time,right?
Sher:You shouldn't be one to talk.
Sherlock puts his hands onto the arms of the armchair and lifts his feet up and under him so that he is perching on the seat with his backside braced against the back rest, then clasps his hands under his chin.
John limps across the room and drops heavily into the armchair on the other side of the fireplace.)
John:How did you get this?
me:Searched for it quite a lot.
Sher:The killer must have driven her to Lauriston Gardens. He could only keep her case by accident if it was in the car. Nobody could be seen with this case without drawing attention – particularly a man, which is statistically more likely – so obviously he'd feel compelled to get rid of it the moment he noticed he still had it. Wouldn't have taken him more than five minutes to realize his mistake. I checked every back street wide enough for a car five minutes from Lauriston Gardens and anywhere you could dispose of a bulky object without being observed.Took us less than an hour to find the right skip.
John:Pink. You got all that because you realized the case would be pink?
Sher:Well, it had to be pink, obviously.
John:Why didn't I think of that?
Sher:Because you're an idiot.
me:That was mean,Sherlock.
Sher: No, no, no, don't look like that. Practically everyone is.Now, look. Do you see what's missing?
John:From the case? How could I?
Sher:Her phone. Where's her mobile phone? There was no phone on the body, there's no phone in the case. We know she had one – that's her number there; you just texted it.
John:Maybe she left it at home.
Sher:She has a string of lovers and she's careful about it. She never leaves her phone at home.
me:Even without that detail,most people nowadays wouldn't leave their phone at home.And that makes us question ourselves,where is her phone now?She didn't have it in her possesion.
John:She could have lost it.
Sher:Yes, or ...?
John:The murderer ... You think the murderer has the phone?
Sher:Maybe she left it when she left her case. Maybe he took it from her for some reason. Either way, the balance of probability is the murderer has her phone.
John: Sorry, what are we doing? Did I just text a murderer?! What good will that do?
me:I don't get why you're freaking out.
As if on cue, his phone begins to ring. He picks it up and looks at the screen for the Caller I.D.
Sher:A few hours after his last victim, and now he receives a text that can only be from her. If somebody had just found that phone they'd ignore a text like that, but the murderer ... would panic.
me:He thinks she is alive and could give him to the police,huh?
Sherlock flips the lid of the suitcase closed and stands up, walking across the room to pick up his jacket. As John continues to stare down at his phone, he puts on his jacket and walks towards the door.I quickly get up as well,grabbing my coat.
John:Have you talked to the police?
me:They are pretty useless,you know?
John:Aren't you working for the police?
me:Don't put me in the same boat as those idiots!Besides...I need to make some good money,right?
John:Fair point...I think?
Sher:Four people are dead. There isn't time to talk to the police.
John:So why are you talking to me?
Sher:Mrs Hudson took my skull.
John:So I'm basically filling in for your skull?
Sher:Relax, you're doing fine... Well?
Sher:Well, you could just sit there and watch telly.
John:What, you want me to come with you?
Sher: I like company when I go out, and I think better when I talk aloud. The skull just attracts attention, so ...Problem?
John:Yeah, Sergeant Donovan.
me:Please don't speak her name...
Sher:What about her?
John:She said ... You get off on this. You enjoy it.
Sher:And I said "dangerous," and here you are.
Instantly he turns and walks out of the door. John sits there thoughtfully for a few seconds, then almost angrily leans onto his cane to push himself to his feet and head for the door.
me:John...Please don't listen to a lowlife like her.She enjoys bringing people down.
John:Don't worry,I noticed.
Not long afterwards, we catch up to Sherlock in the street and we continue down the road.
John:Where are we going?
Sher: Northumberland Street's a five-minute walk from here.
John:You think he's stupid enough to go there?
Sher: No – I think he's brilliant enough. I love the brilliant ones. They're always so desperate to get caught.
Sher:Appreciation! Applause! At long last the spotlight. That's the frailty of genius, John-it needs an audience.
me:And a lifetime in prison.
Sher:This is his hunting ground, right here in the heart of the city. Now that we know his victims were abducted, that changes everything. Because all of his victims disappeared from busy streets, crowded places, but nobody saw them go.Think! Who do we trust, even though we don't know them? Who passes unnoticed wherever they go? Who hunts in the middle of a crowd?
John: Dunno. Who?
me:Oh,I think I-
Sher:Haven't the faintest. Hungry?
me:Thanks for listening.
Lowering his hands, he leads us into a small restaurant. The waiter near the door clearly knows him and gestures to a reserved table at the front window.Taking his coat off, he sits down on the bench seat at the side of the table and immediately turns sideways so that he can see out of the window. As he takes the 'Reserved' sign off the table, John sits down on the other bench seat with his back to the window, and takes off his jacket.I sigh and sit next to John,and take out my phone,texting Léa and looking at nice landscape pictures on my phone.
Sher:Twenty-two Northumberland Street. Keep your eyes on it.
John:He isn't just gonna ring the doorbell, though, is he? He'd need to be mad.
Sher:He has killed four people.
John: ... Okay.
man: Sherlock!Anything on the menu, whatever you want, free.On the house, for you and for your dates.
Sher:Do you want to eat?
John:I'm not his date.
man:This man got me off a murder charge.
Sher:This is Angelo.
Sher:Three years ago I successfully proved to Lestrade at the time of a particularly vicious triple murder that Angelo was in a completely different part of town, house-breaking.
Angelo:He cleared my name.
Sher: I cleared it a bit. Anything happening opposite?
Angelo:Nothing. But for this man, I'd have gone to prison.
Sher:You did go to prison.
Angelo:I'll get a candle for the table. It's more romantic.
John:I'm not his date!
me:This is getting uncomfortable...
Sher:You may as well eat. We might have a long wait.
me:*gets up*I know what you're trying to do,and I'm not up for it.I'm not quite the athletic type.
John:And where are you going?
me:Just home.*shrugs*I have a nice bottle full of blue effervescent liquid that is waiting for me.
Sher:She's going to dye her hair.
John:Ohh,I see.Then um...have fun.
me:*looks away*Thank you.Good luck on your...blind chase.
me:Maybe sometimes the answer is in your faces...but it just drives away unnoticed.*winks*Later.
As I got home,I was met with the mesmerizing scent of coffee and burning incense,that was covering the room.
I went to the bathroom to apply to nice dark blue dye to my hair,then wash it clean.
Listening to the high-inducing Lana del Rey songs and relaxing on the couch in the living room,I hear commotion coming from downstairs.Sherlock and John must have retu-
Hmm...It's quite loud.
I should go and see what's going on.
I dress casually and go to their home,the door being opened.Knocking on the door nonchalantly,I clear my throat and go inside.
me:Anyone can explain to me why are you being so loud?
Greg:Apologies,Raven,but we are trying to solve the case here.
me:Oh really?In Sherlock's house?That's stupid,even for you,Greg.Your logic disappoints me.
Greg:He found the case.
me:Yes,I am aware of that.I HELPED him.
me:You may be the police,but you can't just break in!
Sher:Well, what do you call this then?
Greg: It's a drugs bust.
John: Seriously?! This guy, a junkie?! Have you met him?!
John:I'm pretty sure you could search this flat all day, you wouldn't find anything you could call recreational.
Sher:John, you probably want to shut up now.
John:Yeah, but come on ... No.
Me:Come on,it's not THAT weird.And it helps those with a higher IQ level concentrate and think more clear.You wouln't understand,Anderson.
Sher:What, An...Anderson, what are you doing here on a drugs bust?
Anderson:Oh, I volunteered.
Greg:They all did. They're not strictly speaking on the drugs squad, but they're very keen.
Donovan: Are these human eyes?
Sher:Put those back!
Donovan:They were in the microwave!
SherIt's an experiment.
Greg: Keep looking, guys.
me:Everyone,just SHUT UP!Stop what you're doing!Let's just solve this case and then you can kindly LEAVE.You're disturbing my peace and quiet.And my room-mate's AND Mrs.Hudson's.Shame on you,to call yourselves policemen.
Greg:Fine,let's work together. We've found Rachel.
Sher:Who is she?
Greg:Jennifer Wilson's only daughter.
Sher:Her daughter? Why would she write her daughter's name? Why?
Anderson:Never mind that. We found the case.According to someone, the murderer has the case, and we found it in the hands of our favourite psychopath.
Sher:I'm not a psychopath, Anderson. I'm a high-functioning sociopath. Do your research.
me:Anderson,please shut up,you're making my neurons commit seppuku.
Sher: You need to bring Rachel in. You need to question her. I need to question her.
Sher:Excellent!How, when and why? Is there a connection? There has to be.
Greg:Well, I doubt it, since she's been dead for fourteen years. Technically she was never alive. Rachel was Jennifer Wilson's stillborn daughter, fourteen years ago.
Sher:No, that's ... that's not right. How ... Why would she do that? Why?
Anderson: Why would she think of her daughter in her last moments?(!) Yup – sociopath; I'm seeing it now.
me:No,why'd she think of her dead daughter that never existed,but why even name her?THAT makes no sense.
Sher:She didn't think about her daughter. She scratched her name on the floor with her fingernails. She was dying. It took effort. It would have hurt.
John: You said that the victims all took the poison themselves, that he makes them take it. Well, maybe he ... I don't know, talks to them? Maybe he used the death of her daughter somehow.
Sher:Yeah, but that was ages ago. Why would she still be upset?
me:Makes no sense,she'd get over it,dammit!
Sher:If you were dying ... if you'd been murdered: in your very last few seconds what would you say?
John:"Please, God, let me live."
Sher:Oh, use your imagination!
John: I don't have to.
Sher:Yeah, but if you were clever, really clever ... Jennifer Wilson running all those lovers: she was clever.
She's trying to tell us something.
Mrs.Hudson: Isn't the doorbell working? Your taxi's here, Sherlock.
me:Taxi...?Oh my god!
Sher: I didn't order a taxi. Go away.
Having heard that,I sprint out,and see a taxi driver outside,waiting.
me:You're not here because Sherlock called,right?
Driver:I was,indeed,waiting for Mr.'olmes to appear,but you seem to have solved the case faster than Sherlock himself.
me:Not really,I have no idea about most of what happened.It was just a lucky guess after Sherlock questioned himself,and some key words made me have an uncertain answer.But when Mrs.Hudson came and told us that Sherlock's taxi arrived,and he denied ever calling for one,it got suspicious,so I had to confirm my own theory...which seems to be correct.
driver:Very well,Miss Black,very well.Let me take you for a ride.
me:So you can kill me too?
driver: I don't wanna kill you,Miss Black. I'm gonna talk to yer ... and then you're gonna kill yourself.
me:Sounds like a dream come true.*gets in the car*How did you find Sherlock?
driver: Oh, I recognised 'im, soon as I saw him chasing my cab. Sherlock 'olmes! I was warned about you too,miss Black.. I've been on your website, too. Brilliant stuff! Loved it!
me:Thanks.Who warned you about me?
driver: Just someone out there who's noticed you.
me: Who?Who would notice me?I'm nobody.
driver: You're too modest,miss Black.
me: I'm really not.I'm a narcissist.
driver:You've got yourself a fan.
me:Tell me more about this particular individual.
driver:That's all you're gonna know ... in this lifetime.
Soon enough,he stopped the car,and I could feel anxiety surging through my body.Am I going to die like this?Quite pathetic...No,I can't die like this.Not now.I have so much more to do with my life,that I can't possibly afford to carelessly lose it like this.
me: Where are we?
driver:Roland-Kerr Further Education College.
driver: It's open; cleaners are in. One thing about being a cabbie: you always know a nice quiet spot for a murder. I'm surprised more of us don't branch out.
me: And you just walk your victims in? How?Manipulation?
The cabbie raises a pistol and points it at me,not saying anything,making me twhich my eye in annoyance.
driver: Don't worry. It gets better.
me:Just what did you tell them,to kill themselves?
driver:*lowers gun* Don't need this with you, 'cause you'll follow me.
He leads me to a large classroom,and we sit at a table,opposite to each other.
driver: Well, what do you think?
driver: It's up to you. You're the one who's gonna die 'ere.
me:Not so sure about that.
driver: That's what they all say.
me:They weren't me.
driver:Shall we talk?
He takes out 2 small glass bottles with screw tops and puts them onto the table in front of him. There is a single large capsule inside each of them.One had a blue tint,while the other was more greenish.
driver: You weren't expecting that, were yer?Ooh, you're going to love this.
me: Love what?
driver: Raven Black! Look at you! 'Ere in the flesh.
me:Bit disappointed that it's me and not that unresponsive idiot,right?
driver:Don't worry,dear.That fan of yours thinks you'd be the perfect bait for him.And that website of yours...he told me about it.
me:Not sure why my fan would think I'd be a great bait for Sherlock,provided that we barely met today.
drive: You are brilliant.You are no Holmes detective,but your forensics is top.And your website,"Nefarious Fascination"Now that is proper thinking. Between you and me sitting 'ere, why can't people think?Don't it make you mad? Why can't people just think?The incompetence?
me:So what,you find yourself a proper genius?
driver: Don't look it, do I? Funny little man drivin' a cab. But you'll know better in a minute. Chances are it'll be the last thing you ever know.
me: Okay, two bottles.I've seen this in movies before.One of them is going to kill one of us,you take the other,to make me more excited and actually play this game of yours,and I have to choose the one I think is going to save me,correct?And you're supposed to know which is the good one.
driver:Precisely.Very well,miss Black.
me: Why should I?I can just leave the place and call the police.
driver:I won't cheat. It's your choice. I'll take whatever pill you don't.Don't you want to see how great your instinct is?Or your deduction power?
me:So this is what you did to the rest of them: you gave them a choice.
driver:And now I'm givin' you one.You take your time. Get yourself together. I want your best game.
me: It's not a game. It's a gamble.
driver: I've played four times. I'm alive. It's not chance, it's chess. It's a game of chess, with one move, and one survivor. And this ... this ... is the move.
me:I've never been one to gamble,especially not for my life,for I know I'm considerably unlucky.Hence why this fan took interest in me as well.
driver:But what do you think?Did I just give you the good bottle or the bad bottle? You can choose either one.You ready yet?Ready to play?
me: Play what? It's a fifty-fifty chance.Just a gamble.I don't like this one bit.
driver: You're not playin' the numbers, you're playin' me. Did I just give you the good pill or the bad pill? Is it a bluff? Or a double-bluff? Or a triple-bluff?
driver: Four people in a row? It's not just chance.
driver: It's genius. I know 'ow people think. I know 'ow people think I think. I can see it all, like a map inside my 'ead.
me: Everyone's so stupid – even you.
driver:Or maybe God just loves me.
me:Don't use that rubbish with me.Either way, you're wasted as a cabbie.You risked your life four times just to kill strangers. Why?
driver:Time to play.
me:Oh, I am playing. This is my turn,so let me psychoanalyze you a bit.There's shaving foam behind your left ear,just so you know.So you live alone.Your wife left you.You had a picture of your children in the car.You don't really see them,though.You're hurt.Hm...what else...your clothes are clean,but quite old. What's that about?Unless...you're about to die?Fatal disease?You're a the walking dead.
driver:So are you.
me: You don't have much longer, though,and that's why you decided to act now,right?
driver: Aneurysm.*taps the side of his head*Right in 'ere.Any breath could be my last.That's the most fun you can 'ave on an aneurysm.
me:Don't lie to me,you didn't kill four people because you're bitter. Bitterness is a paralytic. Love is a much more vicious motivator.Love is weakness.And the only people you love are your children.But how and why?
driver: Ohh. You are good, ain't you?When I die, they won't get much, my kids. Not a lot of money in driving cabs.
me:Or serial killing.
driver:You'd be surprised.
driver: I 'ave a sponsor.
me:A wha-...this fan,you mentioned?
driver: For every life I take, money goes to my kids. The more I kill, the better off they'll be. You see? It's nicer than you think.You're not the only one to enjoy a good murder. There's others out there just like you, except you're just a girl ... and they're so much more than that.
driver: There's a name no-one says, an' I'm not gonna say it either. Now, enough chatter.Time to choose.
me: What if I don't choose either? I could just walk out of here.Or call the cops.
driver:*takes the gun* You can take your fifty-fifty chance, or I can shoot you in the head. Funnily enough, no-one's ever gone for that option.
me:*eyes narrow* I'll have the gun.
drive:Are you sure?
driver:You don't wanna phone a friend?
me:I bet they're on their way here already.
I took the gun and pulled the trigger,showing that it was a fake,just as I thought.
me:I'm not the best at weapons,but I noticed a change in your behaviour when you mentioned the gun.It had to be fake.*gets up*Boring.
Driver:Just before you go, did you figure it out ...which one's the good bottle?
me:Should I have?
driver:Which one would you 'ave picked, just so I know whether I could have beaten you?Come on. Play the game.
Skeptically,I took the little bottle that had the blue capsule in it,and looked at it,anxiously.
driver: Oh. Interesting.So what d'you think?Shall we?Can you beat me?: Are you clever enough to bet your life?Or should you wait for Sherlock Holmes to defeat me?I bet you get bored, don't you? I know you do.So clever. But what's the point of being clever if you can't prove it?All those ordinary cases must have gotten so boring...you're still addicted.. But this ... this is what you're really addicted to, innit? You'd do anything ... anything at all... to stop being bored.You're not bored now, are you?
I was breathing heavily,having the capsule close to my face,so close to seeing if I was indeed correct in my assumption...
But just then, gunshot rings out ,making me yelp and cover my face,and a bullet impacts Jeff's chest close to his heart, continuing through his body and smashing into the door behind him.
As he falls to the floor,I look at the smash in the window,but see no culprit.
The cabbie breathes heavily and coughs.
Gosh,I don't care that you're dying,I MUST know if I was right!
me: Was I right?!
Having said that,looking around frantically,I also heard a door smash,and I see Sherlock,looking at me,concerned.
Sher:Raven,what happened here?That's the killer!
me:Yes,Holmes,I AM aware of that!*looks down*Now tell me, I was, wasn't I? Did I get it right?...Answer me already,you wretch...TELL ME!....Fine,tell me this-your sponsor,this fan you mentioned.Who was it? I want a name.
me:TELL ME! You're dying, but there's still time to hurt you. Give me a name,or I'll make your last seconds alive the most painful ones you've ever experienced!
me:*crouches down* I demand a name!Now!The NAME!
Sher:Moriarty?And who is Moriarty?
me:The one who pulled his strings...
Sher:Hm...what did he make you do?
me:Just a game...A game that I'll never know the answer to-...Actually...I'll just take those pills and run a test...I know I'm right..
Sher:Lestrade is waiting outside.Fill me in with what happened here.How did you know it was the cabbie?You didn't stay for the taxi chasing.
me:It was you,actually,who made me realize.
Sher:Oh really?How so?
me:First,when you took us to the restaurant,you mentioned the way he'd kidnap victims.I even gave you a hint,remember?
me:And after that,when Mrs.Hudson told us about the cab you supposedly ordered.It was obvious,but you were too focus on solving the case,so I took that opportunity.
Sher:Of course...yes...Should have known...
me:*smirks*This Moriarty is going to give a knew meaning to our dull lives.He's a great puppeteer.
Sher:Does seem so.
Outside the college,a paramedic put an orange blanket around my shoulders as Greg walks over. Sherlock gestures to the blanket.
me:So, the shooter...Any idea?
Greg: Cleared off before we got 'ere. But a guy like that would have had enemies, I suppose. One of them could have been following him but ... *shrugs* ... got nothing to go on.
me:I think it's fine.
Sher:No,no,I wouldn't say that.The bullet they just dug out of the wall's from a hand gun. Kill shot over that distance from that kind of a weapon – that's a crack shot you're looking for, but not just a marksman; a fighter.
me:Umm...Sherlock...I think that you should-
Sher: His hands couldn't have shaken at all, so clearly he's acclimatised to violence. He didn't fire until I was in immediate danger, though, so strong moral principle.
me:Sherlock!Can you shut up?*shows blanket*I'm CLEARLY in shock!
Sher:*mutters* You're looking for a man probably with a history of military service ...and nerves of steel ...Ohh....Actually, do you know what? Ignore me.
Sher:Ignore all of that.Raven is obviously in shock,can't you be more sensitive?
He then puts his arm around my shoulder and leads me towards John.
John:Um, Sergeant Donovan's just been explaining everything, the two pills. Been a dreadful business, hasn't it? Dreadful.
me:Thank you,John.You saved me.
John:Yes. Yes, must have been, through that window.
Sher Well, you'd know.Need to get the powder burns out of your fingers. I don't suppose you'd serve time for this, but let's avoid the court case.Are you all right?Both of you.
me:You never feel more alive than when you're close to death.
John:Yes, of course I'm all right.
Sher: Well, you have just killed a man.
John:Yes, I ...That's true, isn't it?But he wasn't a very nice man.
Sher:No. No, he wasn't really, was he?
John: And frankly a bloody awful cabbie.That's true.
me: He was a bad cabbie. Should have seen the route he took us to get here!
John: Stop! Stop, we can't giggle, it's a crime scene! Stop it!
Sher:*smirks*You're the one who shot him. Don't blame me.
John: Keep your voice down!
me:Shush!Don't be silly.
John:You were gonna take that damned pill, weren't you?
me: Course I wasn't. Biding my time. Knew you'd turn up.I mean,you were already on the right track,so I just...took my bloody time...and...yeah...
John:*chuckles* No you didn't. It's how you get your kicks, isn't it? You risk your life to prove you're clever.
Me: Why would I do that?I don't have to prove anyone that I'm clever,right?Léa tells me that every day.
John:You're an idiot.Both of you would risk your lives for something so pathetic as ego.
me:*giggles*You're not too far off.
Sher: End of Baker Street, there's a good Chinese stays open 'til two. You can always tell a good Chinese by examining the bottom third of the door handle.
John:Sherlock. That's him. That's the man I was talking to you about.
Sher: I know exactly who that is.
me:Then,who is he?
man:So, another case cracked. How very public spirited ... though that's never really your motivation, is it?
Sher: What are you doing here?
man: As ever, I'm concerned about you.
Sher: Yes, I've been hearing about your 'concern'.
man: Always so aggressive. Did it never occur to you that you and I belong on the same side?
Sher: Oddly enough, no!
me:Relatives?Siblings?This seems like some sibling rivalry.
man: We have more in common than you like to believe. This petty feud between us is simply childish. People will suffer ... and you know how it always upset Mummy.
Sher: I upset her? Me? It wasn't me that upset her, Mycroft.
John: No, no, wait. Mummy? Who's Mummy?
Sher: Mother – our mother. This is my brother, Mycroft.
Sher: Putting on weight again?
Mycroft: Losing it, in fact.
John:He's your brother?!
Sher:Of course he's my brother.
John:So he's not ...
John:I dunno – criminal mastermind?
Sher: Close enough.
me:*laughs*This is oddly adorable,if you ask me.
Mycroft:Glad to know this amuses you,miss Black,but for goodness' sake,Sherlock. I occupy a minor position in the British government.
Sher: He is the British government, when he's not too busy being the British Secret Service or the CIA on a freelance basis.Good evening, Mycroft. Try not to start a war before I get home. You know what it does for the traffic.
Sherlock then starts walking towards the Chinese restaurant,avoiding any further annoyance from his sibling.
me:It was a pleasure meeting you,Mycroft.
John:So, when-when you say you're concerned about him, you actually are concerned?
Mycroft:Yes, of course.
John: I mean, it actually is a childish feud?
me:It's Sherlock you're talking about.His ego is his downfall.
Mycroft:He's always been so resentful. You can imagine the Christmas dinners.
John:Yeah ... no. God, no!
John: I-I'd better, um ...Let's go,Raven.
John:Okay, good night.
Mycroft:Good night, Doctors.
Exchanging these last words,we run back to Sherlock's side.
Sher: Mmm! I can always predict the fortune cookies.
John: No you can't.
Sher:Almost can. You did get shot, though.
Sher: In Afghanistan. There was an actual wound.
John:Oh, yeah. Shoulder.
Sher:Shoulder! I thought so.
John:No you didn't.
Sher:The left one.
Sher: I never guess.
John: What are you so happy about?
Sher:*grins*I've absolutely no idea.
me:Guess we'll find out soon enough.
Ending our first case together,we went to eat to the Chinese restaurant,and might I say,despite our differences,their company is more enjoyable than expected.
I'm definitely looking forward to more cases together~!
Chapter 2: Ephemeral Aurora
"Hello! I just wanted to say that I'm a huge fan of your work and uh...I searched you up on the internet and found out you have a very fascinating Forensics blog! I am left speechless by your fantasy work here and by the genius experiments you show and explain through detailed videos and pictures! If you would allow me, it would be my highest honour to share a hot beverage with you, as a way of thanking you for your effort and dedication.
P.S. : I work in I.T. in the same building as you. I found out yesterday thanks to Molly Hooper.~ Jim M."
Oh dear me, I cannot believe someone actually showed their appreciation about my work! Ahh, no way!!
I quickly reply with an affirmative message and suggest the nice, vintage cafe pretty close to our work place, to which he agreed and we decided to meet up the next day before work.
Lea: My, my, what got you in such a great mood? You're not even up usually so early in the morning, what's with you?
me: I'm going to meet up with a work colleague who apparently is a big fan of my blog.
Lea: The Forensics one or the writing one?
Lea: Lucky you~. Well, enjoy the only early morning you'll ever accept to have.
me: Aren't you the sweetest?
Lea: Of course I am. Which is why I will remind you again not to forget your PSP.
me: Right, thanks! I'll put it in my bag. Laters!
Walking casually down to the cafe, listening to music as the wind was blowing through my sapphire hair and as soon as I open the wooden door I get hit by the pleasant scent of coffee.
The drawback of this meeting was that I had about no idea who Jim could be, seeing that he gave me no description of himself, but the only deduction I could make when I stepped in the cafe, while trying not to let the weird sense of anxiety overcome me, was that he was the brunet in a slightly messy light blue shirt with rolled sleeves, fidgeting, playing with his fingers on the table and constantly looking around, staying at a small, two-person table in the back corner of the cafe.
I glide to his table trying to fake confidence while gripping my phone tightly and I timidly squeak a soft "Jim?", to which he gets startled and looks up with confused fawn eyes at me, stuttering my name in response.
I could only shyly grin at him as he sat up and kissed my hand before we sit across each other and browse the menu, choosing our hot beverage.
Jim: I uh... I apologise for being this awkward. I'm not the most social person. Guess that's why I sticked with working in I.T. in an office.
me: I mean, same here with Forensics. But I think hacking is much more fun than cutting up dead people for a living, huh?
Jim: I wouldn't know. You...You are a hacker?
me: *looks away* Had to find a hobby while studying Medicine, y'know? I love computers and video games so that was the sound choice.
Jim: That sounds fascinating! Have you ever done anything fun with it?
me: *smirks* How do you think I can afford to have so many holidays abroad~?
Jim: Ohhh, you're good~! Say, I'm doing this programming project and I'm designing it as a game based on hacking. When I'm done with it, would you be interested in being a beta tester for it?
me: I'd be honoured! Thanks for trusting me so much when we've only just met!
Jim: *chuckles* I can only assume anyone who is Molly's friend is a great person, like her.
me: You're dating her, aren't you?
Jim: What gave it away?
me: I think it's the glint in your eyes or the way you talked about her. The tone, I mean. It softened slightly.
Jim: Really? I didn't realise that?
me: Also, your pupils dilated a tad.
Jim: Sherlock must be lucky to work with you. You're really good at this.
Jim: Molly said this Sherlock is some kind of detective... Or something. Having you with him means that you always solve your cases, right?
me: *laughs* Ahh, no, no, it's not really like that. We met recently through Greg and we only solved a case together.
Jim: Going by John's blog, I think you did the real job back then, if it makes any difference.
me: I appreciate it, but I didn't really do anything important, I think.
Jim: You're so modest. How can you do that?
me: I'm really not modest, actually, but thanks. By the way- *phone rings* Oh, really sorry, I have to take it-
Jim: Go ahead.
me: What is it, Sherlock?
Sher: We have a date tonight.
me: I...Beg your pardon?
Sher: Chinese circus. I'll pick you up at 7.
me: What?! When did I agree with thi-
Sher: You didn't. *hangs up*
me: Goodness gracious, I want to strangle this guy.
me: *grins* Sound deduction, detective M. You'd be good at this too. Next thing you know, we'll take you on our cases too!
Jim: *laughs* That was funny, but it's not my thing. I prefer working in the shadows, really.
me: Oh, yes, of course. M the notorious hacker of London strikes up again!
Jim: Hey, I actually like that name!
me: You like playing the villain, don't you? The Nefarious, Illicit Hacker M! What are you going to do on your pursuit of evilness? Hack the money out of the Swiss Bank?
Jim: *smiles* I don't think I have the skills necessary for that one. Can't I start small?
me: Oh, come on, its so easy to hack the Swiss Bank.
Jim: *shocked* The holidays...?
me: *winks* It's going to be your job to deduce whether I've been lying the whole day or not.
Jim: You've been deceiving me?
me: *shrugs* Maybe? Maybe not? You seem pretty smart.
Jim: How am I supposed to guess?
me: *smirks* Think, dear. It's a very sexy quality in a person. And while we're at it, my shift starts in 15, so we should go soon.
Jim: Oh, damn, you're right! I had such a great time chatting, I lost track of time.
me: It was great meeting you, Jim. And really, I can't thank you enough for the great feedback that you gave me. I'm really happy about that. Gave me the motivation to continue with both.
Jim: It was my pleasure. You deserved that.
Splitting and paying the bill, we left to work where we said our goodbyes.
The problem was now...What the hell was Sherlock talking about?
A Chinese circus? It screams like a case to me. But why would he call it a date? Oh, maybe John has a date and he needs a reason to intrude their privacy? Ah, so lame.
That's so like Sherlock.
Messing up my hair a bit, I put on my cloak before leaving the house, fiddling on my phone and leaving the building, only to see the curly haired man with brilliant eyes and mind waiting just outside the block, in front of a cab.
Sherlock: Just in time, I appreciate punctuality.
Me: Where are we going?
Sherlock: To the Circus.
Me: Ergh... Am I missing something?
Sherlock: Most of the case.
Me: *nods* I realised it was a case. Is this the only way I can help?
Sherlock: You speak Chinese?
Sherlock: Then I don't think so-... What do you think is a book that virtually everyone would have at home?
Me: Is that a riddle?
Sherlock: I need your opinion.
Me: Uhm...Let's see. Lord of the rings? Harry Potter?
Sherlock: A serious answer now?
Me: *smiles* Got me. Back home, everyone had 2 books in their home. The Bible, and a Dictionary. Don't ask why or how, but it was a rule for everyone.
Sherlock: Why would everyone had a Bible?
Me: *shrugs* I don't know. Overly religious country.
Sherlock: Ah, yes, you're the foreigner.
Me: Glad you remember.
Sherlock: It seems we've arrived. Shall we?
Me: This should be fun.
I hooked my hand to his arm and went inside, spotting John and his date about to get their tickets, only for Sherlock to step in and ask for two more.
Man: And what’s the name?
John: Erh, Holmes.
Man: Actually, I have three in that name.
John: No, I don’t think so. We only booked two.
Sherlock: And then I phoned back and got one for myself and my date as well. Hi, I’m Sherlock and this is Raven.
Me: Hey there.
Sarah: Er, hi... Sorry, I'll be right back.
Me: Do you want me to-
Sarah: Thank you, but no.
Me: Okay. *nods* Okay...Sherlock, am I really that unpleasant?
Sherlock: What? No, why?
Me: *shrugs* Just wondering. Anyways, why are we here?
Sherlock: We are here on a date, of course.
John: No, you're not here on a date, stop using Raven as an excuse to ruin my real date just for an investigation!
Sherlock: It was the perfect opportunity.
John: You couldn’t let me have just one night off?
Sherlock: Yellow Dragon Circus, in London for one day. It fits. The Tong sent an assassin to England ...
John: ... Dressed as a tightrope walker. Come on, Sherlock, behave!
Me: I'd like to see that one happening.
Sherlock: We’re looking for a killer who can climb, who can shin up a rope. Where else would you find that level of dexterity? Exit visas are scarce in China. They need a pretty good reason to get out of that country. Now, all I need to do is have a quick look round the place ...
John: Fine. You do that; I’m gonna take Sarah for a pint.
Sherlock: I need your help.
John: You have Raven! She's more than capable of helping you in your blind chase!
Sherlock: Yes, she is, but I need you as well.
John: I do have a couple of other things on my mind this evening!
Sherlock: Like what?
John: You are kidding.
Sherlock: What’s so important?
John: Sherlock, I’m right in the middle of a date. D’you want me to chase some killer while I’m trying to ...
Me: He's a man, Sherlock. Don't be...So curious.
John: ... I’m trying to get off with Sarah!
Me: Shush, she's coming-
Sherlock: Let's just go, Raven. At least your brain isn't overflooding with ridiculous chemicals.
Me: Lucky me, huh?
Sherlock dragged me closer to the circle as he was carefully analysing every inch of the place trying to find clues to...Something.
John: You said circus. This is not a circus. Look at the size of this crowd. Sherlock, this is... Art.
Sherlock: This is not their day job.
John: No, sorry, I forgot. They’re not a circus; they’re a gang of international smugglers.
Me: I'm getting a tad uncomfortable at this atmospheric pressure. And what's with the smugglers?
Sherlock: All in due time, Raven. Have patience.
John: Damn it, Sherlock, you brought her here against her will but you won't even tell her why you're here.
Sherlock: The fact that she's getting bad vibes from this place gives me a huge approval that I'm in the right place.
John: She's not your damn crime detector!
Sherlock: Of course not, John! How rude of you to imply something like that! Can't you see you're hurting her?
John: Oh, for God's sake, Sherlock...
Me: It's starting, guys, enough with this irrelevant chit chat. Never seen this IRL but it looked pretty cool on Youtube.
Sherlock: Classic Chinese escapology act.
Sarah: Oh? What's that?
Sherlock: The crossbow’s on a delicate string. The warrior has to escape his bonds before it fires.
Me: You know, like all magic acts nowadays.
Sherlock: She splits the sandbag; the sand pours out; gradually the weight lowers into the bowl.
Me: Aaand here you have it. A second before the release of the arrow, he got out. Congrats.
Sherlock: How very cynical of you.
Me: Are you surprised?
Sherlock: No, not really. Stay with John and Jean and make sure they're alright.
Me: ...Damn it, Sherlock, that's not how dates should go.
Sherlock: I'll make it up to you.
Me: You better.
Sarah Thank God he's okay.
John: My God!
Woman: Ladies and gentlemen, from the distant moonlight shores of the Yangtze River, we present for your pleasure the deadly Chinese bird-spider.
As she walks away, a masked acrobat descends from the ceiling, rolling through the air as the broad red band wrapped around his waist unravels. The audience applauds and he stops a couple of feet above the ground, holding his body parallel to the floor.
John: Did you see that, Sarah?
Sarah: Yes, it was awesome!
Me: Uhm, John...?
While John and Sarah were too busy staring in awe at the performers, Sherlock suddenly gets propelled backwards through the curtains, straight over the edge of the stage and onto the floor a few feet below, crashing onto his back, struggling to get upright again like a turtle, but is too winded and can’t move much as the warrior comes flying out of the curtains and onto the floor in front of him.
Seeing that, I run to his side trying to get him up, while John is, running towards the warrior as he raises a knife and prepares to plunge it downwards.
John charges straight into him, pushing him back against the edge of the stage but the warrior lashes out with one foot, sending John stumbling across the room.
Seeing that he's still dizzy, I went to get the arrow before the weird enemy guy could try to harm Sherlock and hit him in the head twice, leaving him unconscious, making Sherlock sit up and lean forward to the warrior’s right foot, pulling off his shoe to reveal a tattoo on his heel.
As Sherlock scrambles to his feet John grabs Sarah’s hand and starts to pull her towards the exit.
Me: Are you okay, Sherlock?
Sherlock: Of course I am.
John: Come on, Sarah.
Sherlock: Come on! Let's go!
After the whole incident, we went to report everything that happened today then went home for a drink, but everything was extremely awkward, so I took out my phone and started fidgeting between the same 3 apps and texting Lea, my room mate.
John: They’ll be back in China by tomorrow.
Me: Doubt it.
Sherlock: No, they won’t leave without what they came for. We need to find their hide-out; the rendezvous. Somewhere in this message it must tell us.
Sarah: Well, I think perhaps I should leave you to it.
John No, no, you don’t have to go...Does she? You can stay.
Sherlock: Yes, it would be better to study if you left now.
Me: Jeez, Sherlock, feel the atmosphere, don't be rude. Don't listen to him, Sarah.
John: He’s kidding. Please stay if you’d like.
Sarah: Is it just me, or is anyone else starving?
Sherlock: Ooh, God...
Me: *nudges him* Don't be rude.
Sarah: So this is what you do, you and John. You solve puzzles for a living.
Sherlock: Consulting detective.
Sarah: Oh. And you, Raven?
Me: I'm a forensics doctor for the police. Part time hacker and blog runner.
Sherlock: It's disappointing that you have to work for those incompetents.
Me: So is Molly, but you said nothing to her about that.
Sherlock: Molly has stopped her professional growth long ago. You didn't.
Me: I need money to continue my growth.
Sherlock: Sure you don't know Chinese?
Me: Only Japanese, if we're talking about Asian languages.
Sherlock: What a pity.
Me: It's very useful when awesome games are only released in Japanese.
Sherlock: *looking weirdly* Right.
Me: If you dare judge-
Sherlock: I dare not.
Sarah: What are these squiggles?
Sherlock: They’re numbers. An ancient Chinese dialect.
Sarah: Oh, right! Yeah, well, of course I should have known that. So these numbers – it’s a cipher.
Sarah: And each pair of numbers is a word.
Sherlock: How did you know that?
Me: I thought it was pretty obvious, wasn't it?
Sarah: Exactly! Two words have already been translated, here.
Sherlock: John, look at this. Soo Lin at the museum – She started to translate the code for us. We didn’t see it! “NINE,” “MILL.” Nine million quid. For what? We need to know the end of this sentence.
John: Where are you going?
Sherlock: To the museum; to the restoration room. Oh, we must have been staring right at it!
John: At-at what?
Sherlock: The book, John. The book – The key to cracking the cipher! Soo Lin used it to do this! Whilst we were running around the gallery, she started to translate the code. It must be on her desk. Raven, God, you are a genius, again.
Me: So it really was a Dictionary?
Saying that, he kissed the top of my head then hurried out of the door, leaving me staring shocked after him, not quite comprehending what just happened.
After I snapped out of it, I told John and Sarah that I'll be going out and took out the phone, calling Sherlock, but he wouldn't answer until I called the 3rd time.
Sherlock: Yes, what is it, I'm busy?
Me: Yeah, sorry your Highness, but I was wondering...Why did you ask me to go with you?
Sherlock: Why does that matter now?
Me: It matters very much.
Sherlock: What's with you all today? It's as John said, you can sense the atmosphere. You sensed the bad vibes, and while I don't believe in those things, it proved true.
Me: It did, didn't it?
Sherlock: Where are you getting at?
Me: Sherlock... I think something is wrong over here...
Sherlock: What do you mean?
Chinese man: Do you have it?
Me: Do I have what?
Sherlock: Do I...What?
Chinese man: Do you have the treasure?
Me: Treasure? What treasure? Uh...Sherlock, there's a Chinese guy asking for a Treasure, what do I do? Fast!
But before I could do anything, the man attacked me, making my phone fall from my hand and holding me in a choke hold as I struggled and struggled to breathe, but to no avail.
Sooner than later, I could feel my mind slipping away at a rapid pace and darkness soon veiled over my whole consciousness.
When I came to, I was bound on a chair next to John and Sarah, the giant arrow from earlier pointed towards us and our attackers in front of us.
Me: John...? What happened? Why are you guys here? Did those Chinese men break into your house and-
John: Yeah, they did.
Me: Damn it...Where is Sherlock?
John: *shakes head* I don't know but he better be here to save us soon, or else-
Me: Or else I'm gonna make sure he regrets his future breaths.
John: Yeah. Me too.
Woman: Silence! ... “A book is like a magic garden carried in your pocket.” .Chinese proverb, Mr Holmes.
John: I ... I’m not Sherlock Holmes.
Woman: Forgive me if I do not take your word for it. Debit card, name of S. Holmes.
John: Yes; that’s not actually mine. He lent that to me.
Woman: A cheque for five thousand pounds made out in the name of Mr Sherlock Holmes.
John: Yeah, he gave me that to look after.
Me: Oh, John...
Woman: Tickets from the theatre, collected by you, name of Holmes.
John: Yes, okay ...I realise what this looks like, but I’m not him.
Woman: We heard it from your own mouth.
Woman: “I am Sherlock Holmes and I always work alone ...”
John: Did I really say that? I s’ppose there’s no use me trying to persuade you I was doing an impression.
Me: *sighs* We're fucked.
Before he can finish the sentence, the woman raises a small pistol and points it at his head, making John cringe away from it, blowing out a panicked breath and in turn, making the woman grin.
Woman: I am Shan.
Me: Nice to meet you, I'm Raven, Sherlock's fiancee.
John: Wha - Wh....Wait - You’re ... you’re Shan.
Shan: Three times we tried to kill you and your companion, Mr Holmes. What does it tell you when an assassin cannot shoot straight?
Me: Are they even trying? Or was his intellect just so much over the top, as it usually is, that it blew away your minds?
Shan: Careful. This pistol doesn't have blank bullets now.
Shan: If we wanted to kill you, Mr Holmes, we would have done it by now. We just wanted to make you inquisitive. Do you have it?
John: Do I have what?
Shan: The treasure.
John: I don’t know what you’re talking about.
Me: The treasure? John, that's what the man who attacked me asked as well. What did you guys do without telling me?!
Shan: I would prefer to make certain. Everything in the West has its price...And the price for her life...Information.
Me: Why, because I'm fiancee, you think he's gonna ruin his case? Oh, you don't know him like I do.
Shan: And this woman with you? Who is she?
Me: Oh, Sarah? She is John's girlfriend, why ask?
Shan: After you, Mrs. Holmes, if your fiancee doesn't tell us where the treasure is, that one is going to die next, facing the same execution.
Me: Oh, the joy...
The painful feeling of a terrifying panic attack was starting to surge through my veins at an alarmingly fast pace as they made the crossbow's arrow directly in front of me.
I could suddenly see my life flashing before my eyes, and mixed feelings of hopeless, an incoherent praying and the sorrowful lyrics of the Italian Resistance Song were coming through my brain, as soon as Shan cut the bag open, making the sand fall faster and faster, each grain making my death come, quicker.
Shan: Where’s the hairpin?
Shen: The Empress pin valued at nine million sterling. We already had a buyer in the West; and then one of our people was greedy. He took it, brought it back to London and you, Mr Holmes, have been searching.
Me: The treasure, John...
John: Please. Please, listen to me. I’m not ... I’m not Sherlock Holmes. You have to believe me. I haven’t found whatever it is you’re looking for.
Shan: I need a volunteer from the audience!
John: No, please. Please.
Me: I volunteer as a tribute. Make me your newest Miss Everdeen, madame Trinket.
Shan: Ah, thank you, lady. Yes, you’ll do very nicely.
Me: I will, won't I? Anyone works, as long as it's gonna make Sherlock talk, right?
Shan: That is correct. Ladies and gentlemen. From the distant moonlit shores of NW1, we present for your pleasure Sherlock Holmes’ pretty companion in a death-defying act.
As Shan tried to plead for everyone's lives, trying to make the woman understand he wasn't actually Sherlock, she only ignored his words and put a black origami on my lap.
Me: Won't you teach me how to do origami? I've always wanted to learn how to make paper roses.
Shan: Maybe in another lifetime. You’ve seen the act before. How dull for you. You know how it ends.
John: I’m not Sherlock Holmes!
Shan: I don’t believe you.
Me: Honestly, woman, if he were Sherlock Holmes, than I would be Lady of Winterfell! Does it look to you like I am?
Shan: Enough with this nonesense! I refuse to believe either of your words!
Sherlock: You should, you know.
Me: Took you long enough!
Sherlock: Sherlock Holmes is nothing at all like him.
Shan raises her pistol, cocks it and aims it towards him. He immediately dodges to the side of the tunnel, disappearing into the shadows, making one of Shan’s thugs starts to hurry towards the end of the tunnel.
Me: Be careful...But hurry up already! This is not how I die!
Sherlock: How would you describe me, Raven? Resourceful? Dynamic? Enigmatic?
Me: *chuckles* A very late idiot. Or maybe a wizard, much like Gandalf.
Sherlock: That’s a semi-automatic. If you fire it, the bullet will travel at over a thousand metres per second.
Me: You're a gang leader, but you don't know even that? If you miss, the bullet would just bounce around until it hits someone. That someone could be even you. Would you take that risk?! Honestly, who the hell would hire someone like you?!
Shan: Mr. Moriarty won't be given such insult!
Me: Oh, so Moriarty again~? I bet he has a crush on me by now, or else he wouldn't set off to kill me. Twice. Well, it was Sherlock he was after, but I seem to end up on the spotlight more often than him.
Sherlock bursts out of the darkness and runs to the nearby burning dustbin, kicking it over, then sooner than I could comprehend, Sherlock reappears just behind me, starting to untie my bonds. However, the other man runs over to him and loops a long red scarf around his throat a couple of times before he could react as I called out for him.
Sherlock cries out and stands up, tugging at the part of the scarf around his neck as the attacker pulls it tight.
Me: Damn it, Sherlock... I don't know what you're doing back there, but don't let me die, please. I promise to buy you a new scarf...Oh...Uhm...Nevermind, I guess I have no way to live now...Gorgeous...Tsk...
Smiling in hopelessness, I hang my head down and close my eyes, singing the lyrics to the Italian song in my head, making each and every fade away, until the sound of the arrow getting shot couldn't be drowned out.
I counted the seconds since the shooting, but instead of pain, I only heard the grunting of a male behind me.
The next thing I know, two warm hands are on my face, lifting my head up.
It was Sherlock.
Sherlock: It's all right now, Raven. You can open your eyes. They're gone.
Me: I think...I had my dose of adrenaline...For the next lifetime as well.
Sherlock: *amused breath* No, you didn't.
Me: *smiles weakly* Yeah...I didn't...Help me out of here, I think I got some serious rope burns. People will start to think I'm some kinky freak, as if Donovan wasn't enough of a bother.
Sherlock: People are always a bother, it's no surprise. Can you stand up?
Me: Can I? Possibly, I still have my legs intact. But will I? Possibly not, I'm still shaking like a leaf, I don't wanna fall on the ground or something...Like you did.
Sherlock: *nods* Then let's do it this way-
Before I could ask what he meant, I felt myself getting picked up and looking at him confused, he only gave a half-smile.
Sherlock: I ditched our date, I had to make it up to you somehow.
Me: Riiiight. Well then, I know a way you can make it up to me.
Me: Promise me the next date isn't going to be this way. And maybe let's go for a hot chocolate.
Sherlock: Sounds like a fair deal.
Me: I feel bad for John though. He won't get another shot with Sarah.
Sherlock: Bold choice of words after what just happened.
Me: ...Oh. Dear Goddess Sekhmet, look what you make me do! Make terrible puns and sing the Italian Resistance Song just before I supposedly die! Very original!
Sherlock: *chuckles* It could be much worse.
Me: I guess you're right. But even so, I wonder when is Moriarty going to show his face to us. I'm so curious.
Sherlock: You almost got killed twice on my behalf, Raven. Be careful.
Me: Apparently, you're not the only interesting person around, dear Sherly. I seem to have charms of my own, too.
Sherlock: Perhaps you do.
Me: You're not denying it~.
Sherlock: Sound deduction.
Me: So...What are we going to do now...? If John and Sarah got targeted...I'm scared for Lea. I don't want Moriarty targeting her or using her as a bait.
Sherlock: He wouldn't.
Me: Wouldn't he? Why wouldn't he?
Sherlock: Because it's me he's after.
Me: That didn't stop me from getting caught in this mess...Twice. But I am me, Sherlock. I did it myself. I stayed around you and tried to solve your cases, or just help as much as I could. But Sarah? She just wanted to have a nice date with John, and here we were, almost executed by some ancient crossbow. Don't tell me innocent people won't get involved. Lea, Mrs. Hudson...Maybe even Molly, Jim or Greg-
Sherlock: Oh, right. I won't let that happen. Moriarty wants me, and I am playing the game.
Me: *smirks* So am I.
Leaning my head on his shoulder, I close my eyes and mutter the Italian song that I love so much, till we got home, thanked Sherlock for the carrying me, then went to take a hot shower, drink some hot chocolate and relax with an RPG horror game on my PS Vita, I hear my phone buzz a few times and the sound of a text message echoed in my overly silent room.
Looking at it shocked since I never get texts outside of social media, I pause my game and look at the messages.
One was from a private number, while the other was from Jim.
"I hope you enjoyed our little game of Fan-Tan. Next time, let's make it less dangerous, and more fun. After all, I wouldn't want the little black bird to bring her own death before we get to meet and play The Game - M "
"Hello, Raven! Sorry for disturbing at this hour, but I needed some advice. I don't really have many friends, so if it's okay with you, can we meet up for a warm drink and walk through the park? Heard the weather's going to be lovely tomorrow at noon. - Jim from I.T. "
I took a screenshot of the lockscreen where both messages could be seen, and replied quickly to Jim with an affirmative answer, before I took out my laptop and started my hacking magic, trying to trace the mystery message from Moriarty.
Oh, Mr. Moriarty, I am more than eager to play this little game of Tag with you~.