Revenge of the Mummy
(A Sherlock Holmes/Doctor Watson Adventure)
by John Pirillo
A Bobby walked the sidewalk in front of Baker Street 221B whistling the latest tune favorited by the public that year. Something about a sailor and a woman meeting at midnight. He paused a moment when he saw movement near the ally, but when nothing else moved again, he looked up to the window above, and saw the silhouette of Sherlock Holmes in the curtains, gesturing with a long hand.
He smiled, knowing full well who it was and thanking his God that such a smart man lived to thwart the dark-hearted villains that plagued London.
Inside the sitting room Watson warmed his hands against the hearth screen, allowing its warm glow to suffuse his body with a calming presence. He still felt chilled by what he had learned at the museum. "It's just incredible, Holmes. What manner of mummy could come alive after thousands of years and then climb to the ceiling and enter a vent without leaving a mark?"
Holmes, who was pacing near the window, paused a moment, then continued pacing. He held his pipe in his right hand and used it almost like a means of pulling him forward, until he turned to repeat the movement in the opposite direction. "I'm not sure."
"Well, the samples should make everything clear for us." Watson said cheerily.
"Professor Grayson should have them back to us first thing tomorrow morning."
"It was kind of him to interrupt his late class to speak with us."
"It's the kind of man he is, Watson. Driven by the thirst for truth and...justice."
Watson nodded. "Hard to believe he's also the Invisible Man."
"Many things are hard to believe, dear Watson, yet remain so anyway."
Holmes sat down in his favorite chair, crossed his right leg over the left and took a draw of hsi pipe. He blew out small gray circles and watched them expand, then fade away. He repeated that again, then stopped. "Perhaps we're looking at this all the wrong way."
"Whatever do you mean?"
"Perhaps, what we're looking for is impossible to believe and that's why we can't see the truth of it."
"That makes no sense at all, Holmes."
"Ah." Holmes said with a smile. "It makes all the sense in the world."
"Goodnight, Watson." He said and exited into his room.
Watson stood up, startled by the abruptness. "Since when do you go to bed before me."
"Since tonight. Plan on getting up early." Holmes said from behind his door.
Watson shook his head. "Never a moment of peace." He muttered, then settled back into his chair, pulling up the comforter on his lap to warm more of his body. "Puzzles and puzzles. Mysteries and mysteries. When will it ever end?"
He yawned and listened to the pop and crackle of the burning wood several moments, then his eyes drifted shut and he fell asleep.
Missus Van Der Veere was the toast of London. She was always invited to the most posh parties and would show up with diamonds on every finger, her wrist, her arm, her neck, her hair, her bosom. Anywhere, quite frankly, they could be shown off to the maximum benefit of her wealthy position. Never one to believe that hiding one's wealth was a sign of generosity to those less than well off, or as a sign of arrogance to those equally as wealthy, she was brash, bold and...beautiful. For a woman of sixty that is.
Most women never made it to her years because of one thing or another, but usually child birth which was still one of the largest causes of premature death in women during those times, even as advanced and advancing as they were, yet, modern science, and especially the art of delivering a safe baby and mother had not yet fully been arrived at yet.
Surely there were many hucksters and fake doctors who claimed such, and made themselves fortunes on the loss of such women, but there was no easy way out for a woman who lived children, yet had to face the very real prospect of an early death.
So Missus Van Der Veere thought nothing of climbing out of her Tesla Limousine which this night was driven by a famous stage actor, Sir Alex Guiness, a relative of the brother Alec, who had not made much of himself in this life, even after having gone to Americas to be in the movies, where he had failed miserably.
No, Alex, was tall, stately, every inch a gentleman and quite well aware of the fact that his fame rested in the slender hands of Missus Van Der Veere, or Milly, as he called her quietly during those times when he would be reward in other ways than that of fame and fortune. Not one to shy away from womanly pleasures, he found it to just be another avenue of exploration for his acting ablities, and was quite capable of giving her everything he had and then some.
"Alex, dear." She said she got out, waiting for him to close the door. "Would you be so kind as to fetch me a dozen roses for the after show. I want to make sure that that new actress from the Californias..."
"Miss Monroe shall have at least a dozen roses to match her beautiful blonde hair."
Missus Van Der Veere gave him an annoyed look. "Alex, all women's hair are brown as far as I am concerned. If the talented actress wishes to join the millions of us who cherish our bottles of hair dye, then whom am I to complain."
"Consider me warned and I do apologize, Madam."
"You may park the car, fetch the flowers and..."
She gave him a subtle wink.
"I shall make sure our usual place of assignation fits all your expectations."
"Very good of you, Alex. I expect you to go quite far in London Theater."
"Thank you, Madam. I look forward to seeing you there."
"Oh, you shall." She said as she faced the long line of reporters who were waiting to photograph her as she walked on the plush carpet meant for the rich and powerful. As she began walking up the carpet, light bulbs flashing, you looked back and said. "One day, we both shall."
He nodded, then climbed back into the limousine and gunned the electric motor, allowing the back wheels to gain a bit more traction in the snow outside, causing some skittering of the wheels, scattering a spray of snow up the carpet and into the back of Missus Van Der Veere's shiny and quite expensive gown.
The photographers had a heyday catching that one.
Alex saw what he had accidentally done in his rear view and made a fast. "So much for that career."
As he drove around the corner into the alley shortcut he usually took to fetch flowers for her at the end of the performances, he saw something large loom before him. He jammed on the brakes, fearing he was about to strike a homeless person, or an itinerant of some kind.
The limo struck the looming object and a terrible screech struck the night with such awful terror and pain that he felt for sure he had just murdered a woman.
He leapt from the car, and headed towards the side where he had seen the body fly, fearing to see a mass of broken bones, torn clothing and blood. He hated the sight of blood, which is one reason why he always did such fine performances where he had to spill it. He had no problem with showing his disgust for murder and especially blood, because the sight of it caused him to become instantly nauseous. Something he had cultivated, unfortunately from his younger days, when he was but a youth.
Missus Van Der Veere did her best to not show her indignation or shame as she marched up the carpet to the foyer of the theater, but when she heard a man's scream blasting over the laughter of the Photographers, she was horrorified. She heard it one last time and her face turned a horrid shade of gray. "Alex! My God!" She uttered, her voice cracking with fear.
There was a horrible moment of silence as the crowd realized the scream was not part of the opening ceremonies, nor of the actors entering the theater.
Some of them turned around. As they did, they dropped back, crying out in horror.
Alex stumbled forward towards the carpet, his hands outstretched like a zombie's. His entire face was half eaten away and half his right side. How he had managed to get that far no one could ever know. Later in the newspapers it would be reported, and wrongly so, that he had used what little life he had left to make sure that his mistress was safe from harm, but in reality he just wanted to see one last time what he would never see again.
Alex fell at her feet and then his body began to dissolve as if a strong acid were eating it up. The smoke and fumes scattered the crowd even more. But what was worse was Missus Van Der Veere. For it was the first time she realized and the last that this man was gone forever and that she had truly loved him, despite her airs of annoyance and arrogance towards him.
She flung herself down beside him, uncaring of any harm that might come to her, again demonstrating that she was not in her right mind, but that love had blinded her. For when she dared to touch what was left of his face, her hand lit up like a piece of paper and caught on fire.
The crowd all screamed in terror and even as a Medical Wagon and a Bobby Wagon were pulling up, the people panicked and fled in every direction as Missus Van Der Veere screamed in mortal agony and loss for herself and the man she had come to love.
Her scream was the last thing she remembered before she descended into the blissful safety of utter blackness.
Samuel almost shouted himself awake on the balcony of his Vegas condo. "What!" He exclaimed as he realized he had fallen asleep on his favorite lounge.
"About time you got that sorry ass of yours up and at it." Jimbo hollered from inside.
Sam, confused and stunned for several moments, stood up and stretched, and then he realized he was still dressed like he had been inside Mount Shasta.
Jimbo stepped out with a plate of fries the size of a mountain and a huge bottle of ketchup, two forks and loads of paper napkins. He set them down on the table next to the lounge chair, then pulled two bottles of Root beer from his side pockets and set them on the table. He popped one, took a huge gulp, belched, then sat down and began heaving fries into his hungry mouth, dumping liberal amounts of ketchup on the fries as he eate.
"Eat up!" Jimbo mumbled through fries and Root Beer.
Samuel sat down on the opposite side, and glanced at the sky. "This is impossible."
"Fries are the most possible thing on the planet."
"Not the fries. The sky?"
Jimbo looked up and almost choked. "Hey!"
There were two suns in the sky.
"Don't say it!" Samuel warned him.
Jimbo looked at his fries, then the two suns, then at his fries again. "Oh hell, a man's gotta eat!"
He tore into the fries again.
"Where are we?" Samuel asked outloud.
Albert appeared, perched on the railing in front of him. Marilyn appeared next and stood next to him. She waved.
Jimbo almost spit his fries out. "I can see them again!"
Albert gave Jimbo a sad smile. "Sorry, Jim. Time to go."
"Time to go. We just got..."
The balcony and everything vanished.
White light which had surrounded and engulfed them vanished, and they were now on the balcony again, minus the fries, with only one sun in the sky.
Nanny screamed inside.
Jimbo ran inside, with Samuel hot on his heels.
Nanny stood in front of a gigantic crystal that had her image in it and some kind of strange creature that was looking back at her.
Albert and Marilyn appeared again.
Jimbo looked at him. "Sorry again?"
Another explosion of light and this time they found themselves laying in freezing snow just outside the entrance to Mount Shasta's hollow interior.
Jimbo rolled over, spitting out snow. "I want my...."
A flurry of fries spilled out of the air and buried half his body.
"...Fries." He finished.
He sat up, noticed Samuel and Nanny also laying face down. He shoved the fries off and helped them to sit up.
Samuel gave Jimbo a weary look. "Time to go home, buddy."
"Just look at this mess, Sammie. Those darn angels can't even get a man's meal..."
A huge plate of fries materialized on the ground with three stools, a small table, bottle of ketchup, napkins and Root Beer bottles.
...Right!" Jimbo finished.
"I don't care. I'm not touching them. No more yank-ems!" Jimbo protested.
Samuel sat down and tasted a fry. "They're still hot!"
Nanny sighed, then got up and joined him. "Please remind me never to go anywhere with you two again. Ever. Ever. Ever!"
Then as her stomach gurgled loudly, she joined Samuel in eating fries.
Jimbo sighed, then gave up. He dropped onto a stool, poured a ton of ketchup on the plate and looked at his friends. "Can't beat 'em. Join 'em. That's what I always say."
Chapter Seventy-Two Samuel and Jimbo stood at the entrance to the diner of the forest ranger lodge restaurant, the Narrow Sparrow watching Nanny talking excitedly to an older woman of about forty-five. The older woman looked back at them and smiled, then returned her attention to Nanny, who wouldn't let go of her hands as she talked.
"Guess this whole trip turned out to not be such a waste of time after all."
"Time to go back to the heat again."
Jimbo didn't nod.
Samuel looked at him.
"I gotta go back to Texas. Sis sent me a text message about that Haunted Outhouse again."
"What! But that family of spirits was sent into the Light."
"Evidently another family moved in, and they're threatening to shut down every toilet for the next ten square miles around it."
Samuel shook his head. "I guess sometimes..."
"Crap happens." Jimbo laughed.
Samuel looked at his friend. "Need help?"
"Nah. I think I got this one handled."
Nanny and the older woman came out. They joined them.
The older woman was almost a carbon copy of Nanny, just with gray hairs and wrinkles. Her mouth crinkled in a smile at Samuel. "Your friend asked if we could join him in Texas for a few days."
Jimbo gave Samuel a shy look.
Samuel looked at Nanny.
Nanny shrugged. "Mom's psychic too."
Nanny's Mom waved at Al and Marilyn who were standing next to Samuel, enjoying his expression.
They waved back.
"She's going to help that new family mosey along and I thought it'd be nice to show my fiancee our spread while she was there."
Samuel's face lit up. "You're getting married?"
Nanny lightly punched Samuel on his arm and grinned. "Not letting this cowboy loose on his ownsome. No way! Besides..."
You looked embarrassed about her next words.
Jimbo picked it up. "She wants to help us."
Samuel's face lit up. "Wow! That's great. We'll be like the guys in Ghostbusters."
"Except with a girl." Nanny laughed.
"One thing I still don't understand though, Sammie." Jimbo said. "When we ended up in those two weird places, what was going on?"
Nanny's Mom's eyes widened as she picked up the answer from her own angels, who stood behind her. Samuel couldn't see them. He wasn't supposed to.
"Al told me last night. Evidently our world is not the only one. There are an infinite number of them just like ours, only people on them made different decisions and the outcome changed everything around them."
"That maybe, but I think I prefer my fries staying on the plate I served them on." Jimbo growled angrily, then he barked with laughter. "Just listen to me, as if that would ever happen again."
He stopped laughing when a seven foot tall bunny walked past, then waved.
"Hi Harvey!" Nanny said and it waved back.
Jimbo looked at her, then at Samuel. "I'm not going to ask. Not going there. Let's go home!"