The Case of the Singular Suitor

Part 1

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)

A thick fog blanketed the city of New London, giving the already cold and dank night a sinister feel. It was a night that only thieves and madmen would venture out into.

Inside the relative safety of his apartments a young man contemplated the foggy night. He wasn't what one could call handsome, but neither could he be called plain. He was extraordinarily tall, with reddish blond hair, piercing blue eyes and a hawk-like nose. However, the most striking feature of this man was not his physical aspect, but the fierce intelligence and will burning in his eyes and emanating from them. Had he been grossly fat with hideous scars covering his face, a person would still be drawn towards him. He was dressed in the style of a gentleman from the Victorian age, though this was the twenty-second century. In fact nearly everything in the rooms was old-fashioned. Of course, there was the modern touch of a vidphone and a computer.

His chiseled lips curved into a grim smile as he regarded the fog, as though a morbid thought had occurred to him. Seconds later, his reverie was interrupted by the sound of the outer door opening. He turned to greet the man who walked in shortly after. This man appeared to be slightly older than the young man. Though he was dressed in the same style and had a human-looking face, it was obvious that this man definitely was a product of modern times, because he was a robot.

"Ah, Watson," the young man said, "I see you were unable to complete your errand, due to the fog." His lips again curved into a smile, although this was born of actual amusement.

Watson did not react, as though, he were used to such teasing. He simply replied, "If this fog does not let up, you will not be able to eat for a while, as we are out of food and I could not get any more."

The younger man grinned. "And what makes you think there is no food, Watson?" he asked, a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Watson frowned and went into the kitchen. When he came out, he had a look of complete bafflement on his face. "But Holmes!" he exclaimed, "How...." He broke off as Holmes began to chuckle. Watson realized that his friend had succeeded in teasing him.

"Hmph," he said, "I suppose you are going to explain?"

"Well, when I was out earlier, I purchased some groceries and hid them. I then asked you to go and buy some, since we were noticeably lacking in the food department. I merely wanted to see if you could maneuver through the fog. If you could, well, we would have extra; if not, well, there would be no trouble. You will forgive me, won't you, old man? I am utterly bored."

Watson instantly forgave his friend, whose intellect, he knew, needed constant stimulus. "Yes, well," he began, only to be interrupted by the sudden appearance of Inspector Lestrade.

Normally this would have caused no major comment, as she would often stop by to consult Holmes, but these were not normal circumstances. Instead of her usual white uniform, she was dressed in civilian clothes, and while this was no cause for worry, the huge gash on her leg and the bruises on her face were.

On to Part 2!

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