Chapter Fifty-Four of "Things that go bump in the Night," a Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventure is now posted. www.johnpirillo.com
"Things that go bump in the Night,"
by John Pirillo
"Get a shot. Get a shot!" Exclaimed Conan as Dracula continued to fight up close with the monster.
The creature was on top of Dracula and had its stinger poised to strike him again. Dracula used a twist on the creature's right leg and it fell to the right, jerking Dracula with it.
"I can't!" Challenger said. "It's a silver bullet. If I hit Dracula instead it will kill him."
Dracula used the advantage to leap onto the creature's chest and rip at its other eyes.
"Challenger, that's a myth!" Holmes told him calmly. "Take the shot!"
"Oh. Right!" Challenger said, then fired.
Challenger squeezed the trigger on his elephant gun and it bucked on his shoulder, knocking him back, but the bullet it fired slammed home through Dracula's right shoulder and square into the forehead of the creature.
The creature wailed loudly, as if its life were the end of the world. Which it was for the creature, and then its stinger collapsed to the right and its arms to its chest and across Dracula, who lay still.
"You sure about the bullet?" Challenger said, horrified that he might have killed the Count.
"He's....sure." Croaked Dracula. "But...it hurts....like...bollocks...why there?"
Dracula rolled off the creature and staggered to his feet, revealing the hole in his chest, through which everyone could see the other side of the cave. "It'll take weeks for that to close up, you idiot!"
Challenger laughed. "What a baby!"
Dracula stumbled over towards Challenger, a hand clutched towards him. "You will obey my will and now shoot yourself!"
Watson snapped them out of it. "Will you two babies stop playing house with each other!"
Dracula and Challenger both turned on Watson.
"I am not a baby!" The Count said with a slight snivle, then a gasp when his shoulder pain exploded worse than before. He almost fell.
Challenger grabbed him to hold him up. "You risked your life for us, old boy."
"Who're you calling old, old man?" Dracula snarled, but he didn't try to get free.
Holmes looked to the passage ahead. "Now that that's settled, I believe we have an appointment with..."
A tall figure stepped out of the darkness a torch held in his right hand.
"Professor Moriarity!" Holmes finished.
"Professor Moriarity." Queen Mary of Scots finished.
Lady Shareen and Madame Curie both blanched for a moment. "But he's supposed to be dead!"
"Does anyone ever really die in our worlds, Lady Shareen?" Mary asked.
"Ever since James opened up his world to ours, nothing has been the same." Madame Curie commented.
"But he didn't open it up. Professor Moriarity did and he died!" Lady Shareen insisted.
"That's not the point!" Queen Mary almost shouted.
"What do you mean?" Lady Shareen demanded.
"The point is that he has been leading us on a wild goosechase for many months now and loving every moment of it as we trample over the real evidence and ignore it completely and utterly forever."
Madame Curie nodded. "Ever the mastermind!"
"Ever." Mary agreed.
"But what about Mister Dark?" Lady Shareen insisted. "What is his entanglement in all of this?"
"A child seeking its father's favors, no more, and as I said, by now probably realizing the gravity of the work he did and the loss he still faces."
"Which is?" Madame Curie asked, puzzled by the direction this was all heading.
"That his father does not now love him, nor ever has. Even though it was all a way of manipulating his child into the path of evil, it was never his intent to show Mister Dark an ounce of fatherly love. He is quite incapable of it."
"So now Mister Dark is responsible for the death of many innocent souls and what has he gained?" Lady Shareen mused.
"Actually, it was not he who killed them."
"But the expeditions..." Madame Curie interrutped.
"Were all manipulations by the Master himself to cast his son into the worst of circumstances, to take credit for his own evil doings. The man is mad and even though I harbor mercy towards most made men, this one I do not. His madness is one of choice, not accident."
"So now the truth is out." Professor Moriarity gloated from his perch high above.
Harry circled to the left slowly, his right hand fingering some magical dust. Watson kept his pistol from view, but readied it by cocking it for the shot he knew he must take.
Holmes seemed unmoved by the display of braggadocio that Moriarity was showing. "Very nice." He clapped his hands. "A remarkable act. You had us fooled every moment of the way."
"Yes, even the Great Detective has been fooled by my machinations and James, well, he is of no consquence any longer."
Watson glared at Moriarity. "What have you done with him?"
"Let's just say I've sent him on a little journey."
Watson raised his pistol to fire. Holmes stopped him. "You're wasting your bullet, Watson."
"I am not!"
Watson fired anyway.
Moriarity's shape shivered for a moment as the bullet passed through it, then reformed into a solid mass again.
"So the Great Holmes has figured this much out." Moriarity gloated.
"Much more so than this." He nodded.
Professor Langston appeared behind a large boulder where a tall man was speaking through a mechanical device. "I doubt that!" The man said.
Professor Langston withdrew a silver blade from his cane and stabbed Moriarity in the lower part of his back. "I would suggest you not move abruptly, I am somewhat unsteady with a sword and might just accidently impale you!"
Professor Moriarity raised his hands above his head and turned slowly to face Langston, who remained unwavering before him, his sword now to Moriarity's belly.
"This one time I give you the win, Holmes."
Holmes and the others stepped into view and surrounded Moriarity.
"Not just this time, Professor, but for all times. Watson, see to it."
Watson stepped forward. Moriarity saw the shot held in Watson's left hand as he moved in and blanched. "You wouldn't!"
Watson stabbed Moriarity in his neck and pushed the plunger home.
"Oh, I shall!" Watson said with a grim smile.
Moriarity staggered a bit, then looked at Holmes. "This isn't over. I killed you once. I shall do so again."
"Not on my watch!" Watson said, then drew his pistol as Moriarity collapsed to the ground. He lay there on his back, clutching at the pistol held in Watson's hand. "You wouldn't kill an unarmed man."
"You sir." Watson said with finality. "You sir, are not a man!"