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The invisible Dance

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"What plans do you have for this afternoon, brother?"

Louis placed the teacup in front of his brother carefully, and looked at him patiently waiting for his approval.

William had come home from work.

Although he loved his job as a university professor, the hard workday left him exhausted. What he wanted most at that very moment was to relax drinking the magnificent English tea that his beloved brother prepared. He took the cup delicately and brought it to his lips. He closed his eyes trying to taste that sweet essence to the extreme. After a few seconds of silence, he looked at his brother with a smile.

“Spectacular as always, Louis. Thanks." He would never fail to find adorable how his brother blushed slightly. “I plan to play the piano a bit this afternoon.”

"The piano! Your beloved piano, brother!” Louis said wistfully. "You haven't played it in a long time. I remember how you used to decorate this house with your beautiful melodies. It was a real pleasure to feel your notes from any corner. I understand that since we are more active with our work in the shadows, you don't have time to think about musical delights. Louis fell silent, analyzing the effect his words had on his brother. He relaxed when William smiled again.

"Right, Louis. But you also have to pamper the soul, right? That's what I'll do. Also, today I feel a special motivation; I don't know how to explain it. Could it be that art is knocking at the door?”

After a pleasant chat, William retired to his study. Although they had a piano in the main room for occasional dinners, he had asked one exclusively for him.

He sat down on the stool and undressed the instrument. He looked at it tenderly and ran his fingers over their surface.

“It's been a long time since my fingers caressed you, huh? Have you missed me?"

For some reason, William said those words out loud in a tone he didn't expect. He was ashamed of it and quickly took his hand off the piano, as if he had been burned in the fire. He took a deep breath and tried to forget this strange event. He warmed his hands a little and placed them on the instrument. Slowly, gently, the notes began to sound. He first gave a few dry taps to check that everything was correct. He went over the notes in his head: do, re, mi, fa,…

“I am glad to know that, although time has passed, you continue as always.”

William began to play Chopin's op.9 No.2 (Nocturne), the last tune he had learned and which was also very popular at the time. It was a real joy to realize that he had not lost skill, no matter how much time had passed. His fingers moved gracefully from one note to another. He knew exactly where they had to position them, so he closed his eyes and allowed himself to feel those notes fully.

His thoughts danced: the taste of Louis's tea and the talk they'd had a few hours ago made him feel grateful to live with him. But not only with him, right? His other comrades were also accompanying him in this hard task full of blood and death. His family and his friends loved him as William….and as The Lord of Crime. And of course, he didn't think he was worthy of that affection. The notes began to sound faster, though Chopin's brittle melody was still recognizable. The pianist surrendered completely to the subconscious, where, in a harsh darkness, the only sound now was the following words:

The Lord of Crime, the Lord of Crime, the Lord of Crime.

The Lord of Crime was him; he was the Lord of Blood. But someone had to stop him for his plan to succeed. And who was to finish off the Lord of Blood?

William opened his eyes, between terrified and hopeful, although his hands did not stop. All darkness had disappeared from his mind and the face of London's greatest detective had appeared: Sherlock Holmes. He and only he had to defeat his alter ego; that had been clear from his date in Durham.

"Sherlock Holmes…" William snapped at the name and rage shot through him as he saw that it had escaped from his lips. And it was that, when the detective covered his mind, it was very difficult for him to retain his name. He had an overwhelming need to say it.

Sherlock Holmes... Sherlock Holmes. Is he putting the loose ends of the cases together right now? Has he realized that it's all the work of the Lord of Crime?"

Chopin disappeared to welcome a deeper and more deadly melody. William's hands roamed the piano up and down with immeasurable passion. The fact of thinking that his enemy was at that very moment racking his brains to solve his crimes aroused feelings in him that he wanted to reject as impure. But William was unable to reason: the ecstasy had begun and his hands could not stop moving, his body could not stop feeling.

Each press was a beat, each key a current through his body, each note a moan. The frenzy of the melody was maddening. The ladder of notes was the simile of Jacob's ladder, but this time there were no trumpeter angels to encourage the climber on his way to God, no. The demons (the own musical creation of his) dragged William into a maelstrom, a spiral of rapture that pushed him down into the deepest of hells. That masterpiece, unique and unrepeatable, was the epitome of eroticism. William's hands were both stiff and relaxed, moving constantly.

“Is he thinking of the Crime Lord? Is he thinking of me?"

William can't help but throw his head back and open his mouth. The thunderous melodic sequence masked the artist's gasps, but if someone entered the room it would be impossible to hide the blush on his cheeks.

“Tell me, Sherlock, are you finding it easy, or do you want me to make it harder for you? You have no idea what my full potential is, how far I can go to drive you crazy…”

The man, aware of being in full ecstasy, tried to close his legs tightly to preserve some of his dignity, but it was in vain. His strength was failing him and his body was unresponsive. His hands danced alone a bacchanal and macabre dance, his eyes were blank due to the trance. He couldn't stop smiling at the thought of the detective's frustration, a cathartic frustration because he knew perfectly well that this game of cat and mouse excited the detective just as much.

After all, they were both equals.

William heard his cries of relief over the music, but he couldn't stop. Rather, he didn't want to stop. He felt that his body was about to let go completely; he prevented the outburst that precedes the holy calm. His fingers, which now seemed like a thousand, had created an atmosphere of twisted lust typical of a demon like him. But for once, he didn't mind feeling diabolical: impudence had seldom been able to defeat him, but when he was in front of it, its immense power made it very difficult to resist. Determined, he opened his eyes and looked at the ceiling, panting:

"Sherlock... SHERLOCK."

It was a sharp scream that contrasted  with the gloomy notes that were finally beginning to calm down...

The last key of the piano was pressed again and again, as if by a mechanical movement that little by little was disappearing. William closed his mouth and swallowed hard. Of course, he wasn't at all proud of what had just happened. The figure of the detective had not left his mind during the entire event, and that drowned him in a sea of doubts and unknowns... which he did not want to face at the moment.

Tired and still under sweet hypnosis, he touched the intimate zone of his body to verify that, indeed, his biological functions had corresponded to his thoughts. He laughed to himself: there was something affectionate, something warm in all this impudence, but he couldn't explain why. What he did know is that he would never forget how the music, his body, and Sherlock Holmes danced an invisible dance together that afternoon.

And it is that, similarly, in another place in London, the detective Sherlock Holmes carefully deposited his violin on the table and buried his face in the pillow of his bed, trying to calm the altered state of consciousness that he had just reached with his instrument while he, unable to stop, was thinking about the Lord of Crime.