Chapter Forty-Five of "Things that go bump in the Night," a Sherlock Holmes Baker Street Adventue is now posted. www.johnpirillo.com
"Things that go bump in the Night"
by John Pirillo
Chapter Forty-Five The opening into the massive peak was larger than anyone had thought from the before the arch, or just after. After recovering their senses they had proceeded to climb the remainder of the slope to the opening.
Lord Graystone had still not returned, but there was nothing they could do about that, but trust that his jungle instincts were more powerful than the Cremarg's vicious nature.
"Just look at this place." Conan said in awe as he stood at the lip of the opening, his eyes surveying the lip high overhead and the edges to the right and left that stretched for hundreds of yards in those directions.
Small rock and stones littered the ground and made is treacherous to walk. Conan had already stumbled once and would have slid all the way back down, if not for the quickness of Larry Talbot, who had no trouble threading the treacherous path at all. He had lost his shoes a long time ago, allowing his feet to become clawed wolf feet, even as his hands had become wolfish in nature, if not completely. His face, normally a happy American Joe smiling one, was very toned down and serious as his huge eyes, the pupils dilated to the size of pinpricks, took in the dark opening.
He sniffed the air. "Someone has been here not even ten minutes ago."
"Can you follow them." Holmes asked.
"Yes. But you might want to be careful."
"Why is that?" Challenger asked.
"The spoor is quite confusing. It appears to be human, but it is mixed with some very strange smells I can't quite place. Almost as if the human was a blend of animals and reptiles."
"Another monster!" Watson croaked in disgust.
Holmes handed him his canteen and Watson chugged some water down, then smiled at Holmes. "Thanks. So now what?"
"We follow." Holmes said simply.
Larry took the lead with Challenger directly behind him, Harry following in the rear with Conan and Watson and Holmes in the middle. Professor Langston stayed slightly to the right of the detective partners, his body flickering slightly.
"You alright, Langston?" Holmes inquired.
"I'm fine. When I get scared or nervous I tend to become somewhat jittery."
"As in fading in and out rapidly?" Holmes prompted.
"Yes. It's a side effect of my invisibility formula I haven't ironed out quite yet. It's as if my whole body was wanting to do one thing, while my mind another."
"I wonder whatever happened to the Count?" Watson mused as they entered the vast cavernous opening.
Holmes said nothing.
Larry paused several yards ahead and pointed. They rushed forward and looked. It was a huge pile of feces, almost ten feet tall.
Watson almost gagged. "The monster must be larger than a Tyranosaurus Rex."
Harry dropped some magical powders at the edge of the feces and it formed a vague monstrous form with glaring eyes. Four of them staring at them.
"Now that's encouraging." Conan remarked, shivering silently inside of himself. What hell have we walked into now? He thought.
Larry smiled, as if he had heard Conan's thoughts, and began quickly walking deeper into the cavern.
"I don't know about the rest of you gentlemen, but I'm for a little light, since I don't have the eyes of a bat." Watson declared, pulling out a Tesla lamp from his backpack and activating it. The blueish light cast huge shadows on the walls as they entered.
"Actually, bats see with their ears." Challenger informed Watson.
"Whatever." Watson groused at him. "Leave me to my delusions."
Challenger slapped him on the back. "Never."
Watson sighed the sigh of the perpetual martyr and followed Holmes, who quickly hid an amused look from his lips as he tracked Larry into the depths of the cavern.
Queen Mary of Scots sighed deeply, then sat back behind her desk. She clasped her delicate hands about each other, twirling her royal ring gently as she gazed at the two expectant faces before her. "There's so much more to the story than what I've told you. I just don't know where to begin to continue."
Madame Curie placed a soothing hand over Mary's right hand and smiled into her face. "How about when you found the ring?"
Mary smiled. "Don't look the kiss and tell part, hey?"
Lady Shareen laughed. "We love it to death, but we both realize you're just putting off what you really want to tellus."
"I suppose so." Mary said with a nod. She closed her eyes and fell back into the mists of the past once more.
After our brief flirtation through the blades Challenger struck the rest of the way into the cave without further incident. Well, almost.
Challenger strode carefully over the fallen warriors and people who had dared to defy the death traps laid out for them. As he did he could see where each had fallen to a trap and as he did, his great mind began to visualize a pattern to the deaths and the traps that had created them. He was almost to the stone idol with the Great Sword struck into its depths, when his mind screamed at him. "Duck!"
He dropped to the floor not a moment too soon. As two huge blades the size of small boulders swished through the space where his waist and head had once been. He felt the lower blade take off some of the thick locks on the back of his head, then the ringing of their metal and chipping of stone and sparking of flames as they struck the opposite wall.
He rolled over and made a groaning sound.
Mary screamed in alarm, fearing for his life.
Finally, he sat up and felt the back of his head. It was all there, but his skull was neatly shaven in the back.
"Are you hurt?"
Challenger looks back at her. "Only my pride, and that most assuredly makes me quite happy to be saying. With that he snapped back to his feet again and this time strode to the foot of the Great Sword, admiring its beauty. "Excalibur!"
He started to touch it.
Mary screamed at him. "Death to whom touches it if not pure of heart!"
He immediately withdrew his hand.
He looked back at her. "Not that I'm impure, never hurts to be cautious. These ancients had a wierd sense of right and wrong."
She smiled. "I love you, you lying old goat."
"Who're you calling old?" He challenged her
Larry held up a hairy hand and the rest of the party held back. He lifted his furry face and sniffed the air. "We're close. Be very quiet now. And put out the light." He warned Watson.
Watson gave him a scowl. "Easy for you to say with those wolf eyes."
Larry growled, baring his sharp teeth at Watson.
"Alright, be that way." Watson grumbled and switched off the light.
"But don't say I didn't warn you." Watson added.
Then something flicked past Watson, almost knocking him down. "What the..."
He started to turn his light back on and a hairy paw stopped him. Larry's voice was near his ear. "Do not move. Not an inch. Do not speak again if your value our lives."