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Combustion & Solidification

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In spite of serious mathematical difficulties some firm ground has been gained in understanding underlying mechanisms of the chaotic behaviour.”--M. L Frankel, “On a Free Boundary Problem Associated with Combustion and Solidification”


“What the fuck?” John is saying, “What the fucking fuck, bloody hell; fuck. What have you done?”

Sherlock: burning, burning, not like flu or the hard chase, but like he’s actually been set on fire.

[Heatstroke: not likely. Cocaine OD: not likely (anymore)].

“What the fuck did you do?”

“Atropine,” Sherlock mutters, in his arms, against his arm, singeing off the medial aspect of his right forearm.

“Experiment …accidental."(Sorry).

His breath barks against John’s cheek.


It’s like the desert in here. (The fire and ice of the Maiwand, and incoming.)

He puts Sherlock on ice—and so he’s wedged, blinking, between John’s neck and shoulder, when the rains come.


Six hours gone, and Sherlock finds John dead, in a graveyard.

Or that’s what the sleet in his lashes and his quiet carotids say, in a murmur of abject terror--until John twitches, blinks under the lateral aspect of Sherlock’s left palm and says,

“I think they drugged me; I’m OK.”

He struggles up and watches Sherlock spin amongst the stones.

“It’s alright,” John says.  Catches him by the wrist and takes the gun.

There’s evidence, and there‘s incontrovertible evidence.

There’s life, and then there‘s proof of it.

They crouch between the graves and wait for the Met. 

They wait there for the sirens, and for the day to break.