by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
Inspector Beth Lestrade sighed as she stared at the walls of her
living room, trying to forget.
Every year for the last three years around this time, she was
flooded with memories of her parents. Every birthday party, every
Christmas, and other events flowed through her mind. Especially her
thirteenth. She quickly pushed it aside.
When Thomas had been there, the memories were held at bay. It
had been easier to pretend it hadn't happened, that Mom and Dad were on
an extended business trip. By herself, all she had were her memories.
Usually she tried to be involved in a case, but this year, the city was
She sighed again and pulled her legs up underneath her on the
couch, as the memories took over....
Fourteen years ago
Beth grinned happily. Today she was finally going to be a
teenager. She didn't know exactly what that meant but it sounded good.
The only downside to today was that Mom and Dad were out of town.
They had to check on one of their outlet stores in another state. She
knew they hadn't meant to be gone this long, but she still wished they
were here. Still, Tom could be counted on to throw the best parties.
"Beth!" her brother called, "You better hurry up! The guests'll
be here any minute!"
She smiled and finished combing her hair, then bounded down the
stairs. She was wearing the white T-shirt and black denim jeans that
Tom had given her last night.
"Wellllll now," Tom drawled, "have I met you before, ma'am?"
Beth giggled. "Don't be silly, Tom. It's me, Beth."
"What! Beth! My little sister?" Tom exclaimed, his eyes wide in
mock surprise, "No way, huh-uh, you're much too pretty to be her!"
She was still giggling when her friends arrived. The party got off
to a good start with a game of musical chairs where the chairs moved in
the opposite direction of the people.
After cake and ice cream, Beth began opening her presents. When
she was done, there was wrapping paper everywhere, and a paper-snowball
fight ensued. It took a while for Tom to calm everyone down.
"Ahem," he announced, "You forgot to open two of your presents,
sister dear." He was holding one of the gifts up, the other was the
size of a steamer trunk, and sat beside him on the floor. He must have
brought it in during the chaos of the paper-snowball fight.
He handed the smaller one to her. Everyone crowded around to see.
She looked at the tag. It read: 'to my little angel; from mom.' Beth
carefully opened it. Inside was her mom's diamond and emerald ring. It
had been passed down to all first-born females in her mother's family
Beth quickly wiped away a stray tear, and put the ring on her right
third finger. It fit perfectly. Then she turned to the larger gift.
Once the paper had been removed, she saw that it was a steamer
trunk. Opening it she gave a cry of glee. Inside were the journals of
Doctor John H. Watson, chronicler and best friend of Sherlock Holmes.
Whenever her father was home she begged him to read her one of the
accounts, as he wouldn't let her handle them. Now they were hers.
The phone rang at that moment, and Tom went to answer it. She was
still talking excitedly about her gifts, when he came back, a stunned
expression on his face.
"I...It's time for you all to go home now." The guests stood up
muttered amongst themselves as they began filing out the door.
Beth frowned. "What's wrong?"
Tom looked at her, tears in his eyes. "An accident...the
transport...Mom and Dad...." He couldn't continue.
She shook her head in disbelief and ran up to her room, the
party and gifts forgotten.
The funeral was held one week later.
Lestrade was brought out of her memories by the chiming of the
vidphone. Quickly wiping away the tears, she answered it.
"Ah, Lestrade," Holmes said, "I have need of your assistance. I
will tell you about it when you get here." He paused. "Is something
"No, I'll be right there."
On to Part 4!
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part 1, and
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