RSS

The French Connection…


Diary of Doctor J. Watson

Holmes
I’m writing this missive in the expectation that you will shortly return from whatever den of immorality you’re currently residing in and give me a little guidance on what sounds like an interesting case.

I called at Baker Street in the hope of a late breakfast and a tête-à-tête of the manly kind with your good self (and also to escape my dear wife’s carnal demands). However, all I found was a confused housekeeper and a noticeably absent detective. Mrs Hudson let me in and with her usual exuberance pressed her steaming muffins upon me along with a pot of Earl Grey. It seems she too is mystified by your non-appearance. Following a long explanation of exactly how much you have disrupted her routine with your ‘constant comings-in and goings-outs’, she revealed that a ‘saucy bint wiv a lopsided face’ called early yesterday morning and ‘whisked Mister ‘olmes away wiv neither a by-your-leave nor nothin’.

However, to the point of my visit: I received a letter by second post yesterday from a person named Passepartout (who I surmise is of the French variety), regaling me of his latest position as a manservant with that well-known philanthropist and inveterate shirtlifter, Phileas Phogg. It seems that Mister Phogg is to embark on a round-the-world trip as part of some ridiculous bet and Passepartout is concerned the trip may be in peril due to the machinations of one of Phogg’s associates.

I made a few inquiries at my club and discovered (via Bert the porter), that a certain person has been engaged to trail Phogg and sabotage his journey by whatever means necessary. It all sounded a bit far fetched to me, though Bert was adamant that whoever has employed the aforementioned saboteur is determined to win the bet.

On leaving my club I was in half a mind to put the whole thing down to rumour and innuendo, when I noticed a strange-looking chap watching me from the corner of the street. On realising I’d seen him, the fellow took off with some haste. Needless to say, I followed at close quarters and tracked him to a dingy boarding house of poor repute. Further probing of the landlady (and a few shillings to slacken her wanton mouth), I obtained a business card bearing the name The Hooded Claw. The card bore an address in East Londen, and while I have no desire to visit the place, it put me in mind of an old friend of ours, Bill Sikes.

In your absence I shall have a quiet word with friend Sikes and see if he can shed any light on the matter.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 2, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , , ,

Fright Train to Londen…


Diary of Doctor J. Watson

For one, long, deathly moment, the entire train fell silent, and in that moment, a hundred horrific thoughts flashed through my brain – what would Lecter do? What could he do? And more to the point, what did he want to do?

As our fellow passengers in the compartments on either side of us began chattering, I heard an odd clunk and felt a cold draught brush my face as if the carriage door had opened. I turned my head only to hear a horribly familiar sound: Th-th-th-th….

There was a piercing scream and I jumped up, ready to defend myself. Then the lights came on again.

I blinked. The carriage door was shut. Holmes and Mary hadn’t moved. In fact, Holmes had pulled out his Meerschaum as if this was the perfect time for a quiet smoke.

“Didn’t you hear that?” I yelped. “We have to do something.”

Sherlock waved a hand dismissively. “Oh, sit down, Johnny. And please try to control yourself in future – the other passengers’ll think there’s a bunch of pre-pubescent school girls in here.”

“Sorry,” I said. “But I thought I heard that awful Th-th-th noise Lecter makes.”

“You did,” said Holmes, lighting his pipe. “That was me. Rather good impression, eh?”

Mary laid a hand on my arm. “Doctor Lecter won’t come after us, John. He’d consider that rude.” Leaning forward, she slapped Holmes across the leg. “And you really should know better.”

Holmes winked at her. “Apologies, my dear.” He puffed away for a moment, then went on, “Mary’s right, though. Lecter’s only plan will be to escape. Let’s face it, if he’d really wanted to eat us, he’d be here now.”

A jolt followed by a low rumbling signalled that our train was moving again.

“There you are,” said Holmes peering out of the window into the darkness. “We’ll be back in front of our respective fireplaces before you know it.”

Letting out a long sigh, I sat down and tried to relax. Holmes was right – I was too tense. The events of the last few days had really got under my skin. I needed to let it go. Taking a deep breath, I held it for a few seconds, then let it out. Then another breath, then…

I had focused my gaze on the empty seat opposite, studying a particular spot to aid my brief meditation. And that’s when it happened. My impression was that the Paisley-patterned material had somehow been caused to ripple, as if some small creature were burrowing around in the very structure of the seat itself. Then, incredibly, the whole thing stood up.

“Jesus H. Christ!”

I was glad that, for once, it wasn’t me making the exclamations. Holmes threw himself against the window, while Mary dived into the corner. For my own part, I simply sat there staring at Hannibal the Cannibal.

“The beauty of being a psychotic genius,” murmured Lecter, “is that one never underestimates oneself.” He unzipped his Paisley-patterned train-seat-suit disguise and stepped out of it, revealing himself to be naked apart from a well-bloodied butcher’s apron. “You’ll forgive me for my tardiness, but I had to slice up a couple of railwaymen before resuming operations with my favourite detectives.” And with that, he produced a large kitchen knife and turned to Mary. “Th-th-th-th…”

If I’d had time to think about it, the sensible thing to do would have been to pull out my trusty weapon and blow the mad bastard’s brains out, but with only seconds in which to react, all I could do was use the one tactic I knew I could rely on from my days at prep school – my right foot. Summoning up all my energy, I kicked out and upwards, making instant contact with the dangly bits between Doctor Lecter’s legs.

“Urrgh…” he muttered, doubling up in pain. The knife dropped from his hand allowing Holmes to kick it under the seat out of harm’s way. Mary followed up quickly with the old handbag-over-the-head routine, effectively gagging and blindfolding Lecter in one fell swoop.

Wasting no time, I tore what was left of the Paisley-patterned train-seat-suit into strips and used it to tie our prisoner up.

A few minutes later, with Lecter trussed like an unbasted turkey and still moaning on the floor, and Holmes sitting on top of him just to make sure, I sat down again.

“Quick thinking, Watson,” said Holmes appreciatively. “Even I was taken by surprise.”

“But,” said Mary, “how did you manage to kick him in the testicles when he told us himself that he doesn’t have any?”

“Ah,” said I. “Something I remembered from my time in Afghanistan. There was a chap I knew from the 4th Foot and Mouth who had his leg mangled in a frightful explosion. Poor bugger was in a terrible state, but even after we lopped off the damaged limb, he’d get the feeling the leg was still there, swore he could still feel the pain of the wound.”

Mary nodded slowly. “So you thought Lecter could still feel his…” she coughed. “His bits, even though he doesn’t have any?”

I nodded.

“Although,” said Holmes, giving me a sardonic smile, “you couldn’t have known it would work.”

I raised his sardonic smile and gave him a sly wink. “Between the two of us, Holmes, I think we know which one has the balls.” And with that I sat down and opened my copy of The Times.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 22, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , ,

Conversations on a Train…


From the Diary of Doctor Watson

It was late the following afternoon when we arrived at the little station at Netherly Stratton. Lambton had his man drop us off and we spent a pleasant half hour enjoying tea and scones from the little kiosk. The platform itself was otherwise free of home comforts and with the nights drawing in, it was already dark when our train pulled into the station.

Our journey back to Londen was, initially, uneventful. Doctor Lecter acquiesced to being locked in the wooden crate in the baggage car again. Public opinion is not likely to turn in his favour until my account of our latest adventure appears in The Strand Magazine. Even then, the marque of ‘cannibal’ will, I fear be hard to shake off.

Sitting opposite Holmes, my dear wife at my side, I considered the details of the last few days and occasionally glanced at my illustrious companion. He busied himself scribbling notes in the margin of his copy of Potter’s Toxins and Murderous Mixtures – his current choice of bedtime reading. As the locomotive rocked gently from side to side, I detected the beginnings of a smirk on Sherlock’s manly features, though he kept his piggy little eyes on the book.

I was tempted to question Holmes on a few points, but I knew very well how he’d delight in showing off his powers of deduction, so I chose to keep my thoughts to myself. Holmes, however, was not to be robbed of victory. A short while later, the great detective closed his book and laid it in his lap. “Well, Watson?”

“What’s that, Holmes?” said I, feigning indifference.

He raised an eyebrow. “Your questions, dear fellow.”

I half-turned to Mary with the intention of starting up a conversation and thus ignoring the expected jibes, but she too raised an eyebrow.

“What?” I said, with more than a little venom.

“Go on, Johnny,” said my wife. “You know you want to…”

I sighed. “You know, Holmes, it would be nice if for once, you could explain your observations at the time they occurred, instead of keeping your horrid little secrets to yourself.”

Holmes sniffed. “Hardly little secrets, John. Merely details which, I presume, have thus far eluded your observations.”

Mary coughed loudly and gave Holmes a hard stare.

“Very well,” he said. “First of all, as you know, the young man known as Veronica was responsible for the murders of the grocer’s boy, his own aunt and uncle, and of course his step mother, Lucy.”

“And would have killed his father too, if he’d had the chance,” I said.

“Quite,” said Holmes. “However, such deadly intentions did not simply pop into his head, did they?”

I shrugged. “Might have.”

He shook his head. “No, Watson, they were planted there – planted and nurtured, given encouragement, nourishment, love.”

“Oh God…” Mary’s hand grasped my arm. Her face had turned pale. “You mean…?”

“Once again, Mrs Watson, your intellect surpasses that of your husband.” Holmes nodded solemnly. “Yes, Veronica’s murderous journey was no accident of nature. The idea was deposited in his brain by his doctor – the psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter.”

“You’re fucking joking!” I exclaimed.

“I’m fucking not,” said he. “If only I’d realised it sooner. In fact, it was you yourself who sparked my suspicions. When you reminded Lecter he had tried to eat you, it occurred to me that once again we’d been had. The canny criminal played us like a string quartet – a cheap one at that.”

I let out a groan. “If you knew that, why the hell didn’t you say anything?”

“Had I told you, Watson, Lecter would’ve seen it in your eyes in an instant. You too, Mary. I couldn’t take the risk – Christ knows what he might have done.”

I jumped up and reached for the emergency cord. “Then we must stop the train right now. Alert the authorities. The media…the…”

“Yes, yes,” said Holmes, flapping his hand at me as if I were a truculent child. “It’s all in hand, Watson. While you and Mary were supervising the crate, I took the liberty of sending a telegram to our friend Lestrade. He and his men will be waiting at the station when we arrive. If all goes to plan the crate will be unloaded and Lecter will be none the wiser until he’s safely locked up in the Londen Asylum for the Really Rather Mad.

I let out a long breath and sat down. “That’s a relief.”

Holmes nodded, then added, “Unless he escapes, of course…”

A shiver went up my spine and I grasped Mary’s hand. A second later, the lights went out and the train screeched to a halt.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 13, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , , ,

The Rope Trick…


From the Diary of Doctor Watson

Holmes gave a stifled shriek, his hands flailing as he struggled against his tormentor. Summoning up a burst of energy, I leaped up the final few steps to grasp my companion’s legs, taking some of the strain off his neck.

As the great detective fell forward onto the landing, Lecter dropped the rope and picked up a second noose. Before I could even blink an eye, he’d popped it over my head and begun to tighten the knot. Scrambling up through the trapdoor, I slipped my fingers into the loop, in an effort to lessen my predicament, but the rope was already taut and I felt my face bulge in a particularly disagreeable way.

“Put him down, you fiend!” screamed Mary, clambering up into the room. But Lecter merely laughed at her.

“In another life, Mrs Watson, you and I might have become lovers.” His lip curled into a hideous pout, then he uttered his infamous call sign: “Th-th-th-th…” And with that, pushed her back down the steps. Turning to me, he whispered, “Dying tonight!”

The next thing I knew, Holmes and I were being hauled upright by our respective lariats, our legs kicking out like the proverbial hanged man, in a ghastly exhibition of collective anguish. As my last breath escaped my lips, I twisted round to see Holmes. His feet had left the ground and I could see his manly features caught in a horrifying death-like stare. Even so, in his final moments, my bosom friend managed to throw me one last sardonic smile.

In that moment, something flashed before my eyes – my life! The whole gamut of our adventures from the ridiculous to the bizarre, plunged through my brain. Every second of our lives was there in all its heroic magnificence, and instantly I knew I could not allow this monster to take away everything Holmes and I had achieved. From somewhere deep within the bowels of my very soul, I summoned up a final burst of energy and a second later, out it came – a wonderfully loud and effervescent fart.

By some amazing quirk of fate, Lecter had at that precise moment heaved on the ropes and in doing so, leaned back so far that his face was only inches from my back-trouser department, allowing my ejection of hot air to explode right in his face.

“Blurgh!” he yelled, letting go the ropes.

It was all I needed. Falling to the ground in a heap next to Holmes, I tugged the noose free of my neck, gulping in lungfuls of air. Stumbling across to my companion, I released him and in the same movement, swung my right leg across the floor, kicking Lecter’s feet from under him. In yet another quirk of fate, Lecter tripped, fell backwards and tumbled soundlessly over the open parapet.

After helping Holmes to his feet, I crossed to the balcony. Below us on the lawn in a mangled heap, lay Hannibal Lecter.

“Ah, how the mighty have fallen,” croaked Holmes. “Literally, in this case.”

A noise behind prompted me to look round. Mary was helping Lord Lambton up the ladder into the tower.

For a few moments, the four of us stood looking at each other, silently congratulating ourselves on our continued existence. Then Mary pointed to the other occupants of the tower: four corpses lay side by side in the corner of the room.

I gazed at the bodies, my eyes sliding over each one in turn. There was Reginald, (Lord Lambton’s brother), then that poor man’s wife, Pricilla. Next to her lay Arnold the grocer’s boy and finally…

“Wait a minute,” I muttered, staring at the last body. “Who the fuck’s that?”

Lambton himself had stepped forward, pointing a shaking finger. “That isn’t Lucy…”

“Of course it isn’t,” said Holmes, nonchalantly. Taking out his Meerschaum pipe, he slid it into the side of his mouth in that very British way of his. “Can’t be, can it? She’s still in the bedroom where we observed her only a few short hours ago.”

I stared at him, then looked back at the corpse. “So…”

Holmes sauntered across to the balcony and leaned over. He sniffed, nodded to himself and looked at Mary. “Mrs Watson?”

Mary glanced at me, then a crease began to form between her wonky eyes. “Oh, I think I know.” To Holmes, she said, “So you were right all along.” She gave a little laugh. “Of course you were right, you clever bastard.”

Holmes grinned and pulled out his Swan Vestas. “Elementary, my dear.”

“Well, excuse me if I appear to be missing something, here,” I said, slightly put out. “A bit of explanation wouldn’t go amiss, if you don’t mind.” I glared at Holmes, glared at Mary and glared at Lambton. Then I remembered Lambton was as much in the dark as I was.

Mary patted my arm. “Remember darling? Didn’t you tell me Sherlock thought it was the boy?”

I cleared my throat noisily. “Perhaps.”

“Then, this…” she said, pointing at the unidentified corpse, “must be…”

It was my turn to frown. “Veronica?”

Holmes groaned. “Don’t be an arse, Watty. Tell him, Mary.”

I gave my wife my best I’m-fucking-annoyed look.

“Why don’t you examine the body, dear?”

I humphed, but stepped towards the corpse and peered down. “Well, it appears to be the body of a woman…face down…about average height, hands nondescript. The clothes are rather bloody and would seem to be of the sort of attire a well-to-do woman might wear…”

“And?” prompted Mary.

“And…” I rubbed my chin thoughtfully. “D’you know, if I didn’t know better I’d say that if we turned her over, there’ll be a quite plain-looking face, thinning hair and startlingly blue eyes.” I blinked. “But it can’t be.” I turned my gaze back to the other three corpses. As Lord Lambton had told us, the other victims had been posed as if they had dressed for dinner. This fourth body, however, was not. For a long moment I could almost hear the cogs falling into place inside my head. “Ah.”

“Hurrah,” said Holmes. “I think he’s got it.”

At that moment, the fourth body began to move. At first, it was just a twitch in the fingers of the left hand, then the arm pushed upwards. Turning sideways, the corpse sat up and looked at us.

“Argh!” I shouted. “I mean – oh.”

Hannibal Lecter rubbed his head and looked down at himself. “Hmm, nice dress.”

It was a few minutes later, after Mary had brought up a tray of hot chocolate, that I was made aware of the details which still eluded me.

“You see, Watson, said Holmes, sitting on the balcony sipping his drink. “Doctor Lecter here didn’t believe my theory about young Veronica.”

“Until,” put in Lecter, “your good lady wife bonked me on the head. It must have knocked some sense into me. I sneaked away while you two were canoodling and found the boy up here putting on his Doctor Lecter mask. Apparently you can buy them in Woolworths for one and sixpence.” He glanced at Lambton. “I expect your son’s been impersonating me for some time?” Lambton nodded sadly.

I took a minute to digest this new information. “So Veronica disguised himself as you in order to kill the rest of us?”

“Not at first,” said Mary. “He used the legend of the Lambton Worm to kill the grocer’s boy – probably as an experiment, then decided to murder his relatives so he could inherit. But when we turned up he realised he’d have to kill us too.”

“And blaming Doctor Lecter would have been a perfect Plan B?” I said.

“Precisely,” said Holmes.

“Hang on,” I said, glaring at Lecter. “Only a little while ago you were trying to eat us.”

Lecter shook his head. “Not at all, Johnnie. I simply amused myself until you three worked out what was going on. Besides, the world is more interesting with you in it.” He gave me a salacious wink and I felt myself blush.

Holmes leaned over the parapet, taking care to hang onto the rail. “It seems poor Veronica won’t be inheriting anything.”

The rest of us joined him, looking down at the mangled corpse below.

“Out of interest, Lambton,” said Holmes, “what was your son’s real name?”

“That was his real name,” said the old man with a shake of the head. “We wanted a girl.”

Glancing at Mary, I saw her close her eyes for a moment. Reaching over, I took her hand and gave it a squeeze. From now on, I was going to be a better husband.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on June 8, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , ,

To the Tower…


From the Diary of Doctor Watson

Once more fully dressed, the three of us hurried up the stairs to the tower – Holmes out in front, with Mary and I close behind. Lord Lambton brought up the rear, though I harboured no illusions he’d be of the slightest use to us. Above, I could hear the clanging of the bell growing ever louder as we headed towards God knows what.

“What did Holmes mean about Bexhill-on-Sea?” gasped Mary as we struggled to keep up with the Great Detective.

“I’ll tell you later,” I muttered, hoping she would forget all about it. For the sake of my own sanity, I had endeavoured to push the details of the episode out of my own mind, though with little success. The official version of the story appeared under the headline ‘National Express Massacre’ in Detective Monthly, but Holmes insisted on divulging the sordid details to me one evening after a drinking bout at Filthy McSnardle’s Liquor Emporium.

“You’ve heard of the case, of course?” He’d said, lowering his voice. “Or at least, the official version?”

I avowed that I had, but clearly Holmes was acquainted with additional details. “Go on,” I said, eager to hear more.

My companion revealed that the story of the ‘busload of tourists,’ supposedly eaten by Doctor Lecter, had been deliberately manufactured by that scummy periodical The Daily Shite. Sherlock’s own investigations had uncovered another, more sinister tale, that showed Lecter in a quite different light.

“You see, Watson,” he said, “Lecter’s antics had come to the attention of an FBI agent – one Clarice Starling – who had been following him for several months. She had tailed him to a small village on the outskirts of Bexhill’s Old Town, where Lecter was holed up in the church. It seems another individual had also discovered the doctor’s whereabouts. Antonio De Bonio was a member of the Carabinieri and planned to blackmail Lecter over his involvement in a gold bullion heist.” He gave me a sidelong glance. “A robbery you and I know as ‘The Italian Job’.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Yes, but unfortunately for the Italian stallion, Lecter knew all about De Bonio’s plan and lured him to the bell tower of the church one night. Agent Starling appeared at the precise moment Lecter threw De Bonio off the parapet, allowing her to view the policeman’s demise in all its gory glory. Lecter had tied the poor chap by the ankles, slit open his gullet and pushed him over the edge. Quite literally…”

“Spilling his guts,” I added.

We were silent for a moment, then I asked, “But why the story of the busload of tourists?”

“Ah,” said Holmes, stuffing his Meerschaum with hard shag. “My brother Mycroft, who as you know represents the British Government, had the whole thing hushed up due to an unfortunate genealogical fact which came out in the initial investigation.”

“Which was…?”

“De Bonio was the rightful heir to the British throne.”

“But Holmes,” I gasped, “an Italian on the British throne is unthinkable. Why, that’s almost as bad as a bloody German married to the Old Queen.”

“Indeed, Watson. Lecter, it seems, had done us a right royal favour. So Mycroft and his pals put pressure on The Daily Shite to publish a story that would draw attention away from the regrettable incident in the church.” He struck a Swan Vesta and puffed away for a moment. “Doctor Chilton at the asylum used to say Lecter is, and always will be, a monster.” He sniffed. “I’d like to think I’ve proved him wrong on that count.”

I had mulled over this for some weeks afterwards, particularly Sherlock’s impression of having somehow got one over on the medical world. But now, as we hurtled up the stairs to the bell tower, it occurred to me that if Hannibal the Cannibal really was a reformed character, his recent behaviour was a bit of a slap in the face.

As we reached the top landing, I paused for a moment watching Holmes scale the final ladder into the bell tower. Dash it all, I said to myself, Lecter couldn’t possibly repeat his Bexhill performance, as he had only dead bodies at his disposal. So what on earth was he planning to do with them?

As Holmes poked his head through the hatch that led into the bell tower itself, a horrible thought flew into my head. “Holmes!” I cried. “Don’t –”

But the noose had already dropped around his neck and above him I saw Lecter’s grinning visage cackling furiously. He began to haul on the rope…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 6, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , , ,

Cannibal Rising…


From the Diary of Doctor Watson

As I stared into the mad eyes of Doctor Lecter, my thoughts were only of my dear wife – that I would never again be able to rest my gaze on her beautiful, if misaligned features. I was filled with bitter resentment. If only I had treated her a little better, praised her exertions, looked upon her kindly, appreciated her meagre efforts in the kitchen, then perhaps –

A dull thwack came to my ears and I blinked. Lecter had disappeared. I turned my head and saw his crumpled form on the ground, a large dent in his forehead.

“That’s better, said Mary, leaning over me.

“Oh. My. God,” I gasped.” My sweet and lovely darling – how on earth…?”

“Don’t thank me, Johnny,” she said, putting down the broom shank. “Thank your own snorting slumbers.”

“Sorry, what?” I said, as she undid my bonds.

“Forgive me darling, but your performance in the marital bed has simply grown too raucous lately.”

“Well, I must say, dearest, that’s a bit below the conjugal belt.”

“No, not that!” She giggled mischievously. “I mean your snoring. I wasn’t going to tell you as I didn’t wish to hurt your poor feelings, but the last few weeks I’ve been using Doctor Feinstein’s marital aids.” She opened the palm of her hand and I stared at two small rubber grommets.

I must have looked puzzled, for she continued. “Ear plugs – they’re the only way I can get any sleep.”

I frowned. “Still don’t see how that explains your miraculous escape.”

“It’s obvious, darling. When I realised we were to view the dead bodies, I wished to appear staunch and supportive at your side, and knew I couldn’t do that if I detected the merest whiff of a decaying corpse, so I stuffed the ear plugs up my nose. When Lecter tried to chloroform me, I simply pretended to be overcome. Then it was an easy matter to utilise Mr Houdini’s open-hand technique so I had enough wiggle-room to undo the straps around my hands.”

“Houdini?”

“Yes, there was an interesting article about him in Female Emancipation Monthly.” She gave me a reproachful look. “You should read more, darling.”

I had to admit to being a little overawed at my wife’s ingenuity. Jumping up, I hugged her closely, my hands ranging over her soft warm body. “You clever little thing,” I gushed.

Mary slapped my hands away. “Don’t fucking patronise me, Johnny, I simply utilised my feminine intellect. Now, help me with Sherlock.”

We spent the next few minutes untying my companion and reviving him and Lord Lambton with another of Mary’s emergency items – smelling salts. Holmes sat up on the table, rubbing his eyes.

“Watson – what on earth?”

“No time to explain, Holmesy, we have to tie up Lecter before -”

As we all turned to look at the unconscious doctor, the colour drained from our collective faces.

“He’s gone!” cried Mary.

Holmes jumped up and grabbed Lambton by the lapels. “Quick – where are the other bodies?”

The old man trembled and shrugged helplessly. “They were down here – but Lecter sent me a telegram yesterday telling me to move them up to the bell tower.”

“What the hell for?” said I.

Lambton shook his head, his lower lip quivering. “He made me do it. Said if I didn’t he’d eat my son – Veronica.”

“Quickly Watson, and Mrs Watson,” said Holmes. “The game’s afoot.” And with that he hurried towards the cellar steps.

The three of us watched as he reached the steps, paused and looked down at himself. He turned around. “Perhaps we ought to get dressed first?”

Mary raised a hand to her mouth and I saw the glint in her eyes as she averted her gaze from Sherlock’s limp appendage.

As Holmes and I pulled on our clothes, a sickening cry echoed from somewhere above us, followed by the slow clang, clang, clang of a bell.

“Oh my God,” muttered Holmes. “He’s in the tower – it’s Bexhill-on-Sea all over again…”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , ,

Racked and Pinioned…


From the Personal notes of Doctor Hannibal Lecter

Despite my assurance to Mrs Watson that she’d be no match for me, I nevertheless took the precaution of whipping out my emergency-knock-out kit, and before she’d moved another inch, I’d applied a swab of chloroform to her nose. Clasped in my warm embrace, I held her close while she jiggled about like a child’s puppet. The thrashing of her buttocks against my strong serge trousers was amusing, though my lack of testicles (and their related characteristics), ensured that I remained true to my purpose.

“Now look here, Lecter,” muttered Lambton. “This sort of behaviour simply isn’t cricket.”

Dropping my charge to the ground, I took a step towards His Lordship and issued a sharp right hook. He fell to the floor like one of those sacks of tuberous crops that make up the dreary diets of the working classes.

The next few minutes were taken up manoeuvring the limp bodies of Holmes and Watson onto the trestle tables. After stripping them of their outer garments, I allowed myself the pleasure of gazing upon their naked forms (ruminating on the particular ‘cuts’ I might utilise), before securing their arms and legs.

All this had been executed with my usual swiftness and professional etiquette. It was particularly satisfying to note that at no point during the procedure had my pulse risen above 82. It was time to turn my attention back to the female of the species.

Being a gentleman (of sorts), I chose to leave her fully clothed. Quite what I shall do with this cross-eyed Mary, I have yet to decide. I may wish to strip her of everything later, including her skin, but I am presently undecided on how she should meet her death.

As my ‘clients’ would be asleep for a while longer, I took the opportunity to pop upstairs to the kitchen where I entertained the cook, the housekeeper and the parlour maid in a jolly game of run-away-before-I-kill-you. They all enjoyed it immensely, though sadly, I was unable to persuade any of them to remain on the premises. I am in no doubt they will hurry to the village and inform the authorities, but this should still give me a good forty minutes to complete my ‘tasting’ session with the good doctor and his detective friend before the cavalry arrive.

Back in the cellar, I wound up the gramophone and selected a suitable recording to accompany my endeavours. Just as the music started, I heard a moan from one of the tables.

“Ah, you’re awake. How lovely.”

Watson struggled against his bonds for a moment, then turned to glare at me.

“You fiend!”

“That’s Doctor Fiend, if you don’t mind.” I waved a hand at the gramophone. “Music while we work?”

The doctor frowned. “Is that the Goldberg Variations?”

I nodded. “Indeed. I always like to have a little Bach in my bite.”

“Is that meant to be funny?”

“Yes, though I naturally would not expect you to be amused.” I went to the knife rack and selected a suitable chopper.

“Do one thing for me,” he whined, as I approached the table. “Make it quick.”

I smiled. “Sorry, I’ll have to pass on that one. I like to eat slowly, you see.” I heard him gulp as I leaned over him. “Ready when you are, Doctor Watson…”

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in Detective Fiction

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: