Spring Heeled Jack- An Inspector Lockhart mystery

London, 1837: The begining of the Victorian era. A man stalks the streets, hailed as a hero by some, condemed as a villian by others. London, 2012: A young woman is attacked. Then another, slightly worse. It keeps going on untill a corpse appears in the Thames. Inspector Lockhart is slowly making connections. How could a boy from the 17th century, a superbeing from the 19th and a string of murders from the 21st be connected?

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1. "What changed Jack?"

 

Spring Heeled Jack

Chapter One

2nd of October, 1837 '

Whether Spring Heeled Jack was a man, a spirit, both, or something quite different we may never know'

'Hoaxing was rife during the Spring Heeled Jack Affair'

'Jack was a name often reserved for magicians in rural areas, if not an imp or elf, and sometimes for the devil himself'

'The initiates of Voodoo when possessed by their loa are capable of great agility and superhuman feats'

'It must have been a man, nothing else is possible, is it?'

 

In a dark alley way,  near Clapham Common  a group of five  thugs were waiting to attack an innocent girl. They planned to attack her and take her back to one of their dens. After “some fun” as the leader of the group Mack the Knife called it, they would kill her.  It’s always better to clean up after yourself. “She’s coming boss,” said one of the gang. He had only one eye and a scar across his face. He liked to be known as “Christopher One Eye the scar faced villain of Dreary Lane.” Most of his confederates just called him Scar Face.  At that moment, the young girl came around the street corner. “Let’s be havin’ yeah then!” shouted Mack the Knife. The gang ran forwards, ready to grab her. On seeing them, the girl’s eyes widened and she ran back round the corner.  She stumbled on one of the cobbles and fell. The gang descended on her. They dragged her to her feet.  One of them threw her over his shoulders. The girl screamed.  A figure leaped from one of the roof tops and jumped to the ground. He was dressed in a black cape. Beneath the cape was a waist coat. The figure’s face was red with horns on the top of its head.   The gang blinked with bleary eyes. Just for a moment, one of them covered his face with his hands. The figure advanced on the gang. “What the ‘ell is it?!” asked Scar Face. The figure suddenly moved at lightning speed towards Scar Face and punched him in the face before he could defend himself. Scar Face collapsed, his nose broken in several places. “Ahh!” he cried holding his nose. Mack the Knife scowled. “I don’t care if he is the devil; get ‘im lads!” Mack the knife and the rest of the gang dumped the girl in a heap. She was too dazed to run but managed to stagger up. The gang ran towards the figure. The figure dodged and weaved between them incredibly easily. Suddenly his punched Mack the Knife on the back of his neck. He reeled to the floor. The other three nodded and ran at the figure. The figure dodged them before wheeling round and expertly kicking two of them with his legs. The two were sent sprawling onto the ground. The last member of the gang looked at the figure. For a moment, he could have sworn the figure smiled at him.  The gang member looked at his fellow thugs lying in the mud.  He gulped and ran. The figure smiled and taking the shocked girl by the elbow, he guided her away from the scene. “W-w-ho are you?” she asked.  The figure bowed dramatically and then gave a lop sided grin. “Me? Oh. I’m Spring Heeled Jack.”

“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick”

 

2nd of October 2012

Detective Inspector Lockhart sighed. He hadn’t had an interesting case for over three months now.  He took a sip of his tea. It was cold. He sighed again and closed his eyes. “Lockhart?” He opened his eyes. Chief Inspector Miranda Dublex looked at him.  She seemed to be chewing on the inside of her cheek. “Yes mis- I mean yes ma’am?” Lockhart shook himself awake. Dublex would not be impressed. “I have a case for you Lockhart. It’s right up your street.” She dumped the files on his untidy desk and stomped off.  Lockhart opened the file. He read aloud. “Girl, mid twenties attacked by a “creature. Description of attacker, similar to the devil wore black cape and underneath it “old fashioned” clothes.” He rubbed his hands together. It did sound an interesting case. He got up from his desk and went to the door. Opening it, he stuck his head out. “Josh?” “Yes boss?” “Can you bring in this girl, Jane Flirty for me please? I need to interview her.” “Sure thing.” Lockhart raised an eyebrow before closing the door to his office.  He looked through the rest of the file. Flirty was, to put it a nice way not someone who could be trusted. She’d been done for drug taking and for being on the oldest game in the world. Could she really be telling the truth or had she just made the whole thing up?

“When the final song was sung, it seemed a shame to pluck the peach.”

 

“Did you see the devil that night?” Lockhart sat in the interview room facing Jane Flirty. Flirty, by name, Flirty by nature thought Lockhart. Jane Flirty could have been an attractive girl if it were not for all the tattoos and signs of self harm that she had on her arms.  Although she was one messed up person, Lockhart sensed she was telling the truth. He knew fear when he saw it. “Well either that or an ugly punter.” She laughed half-heartedly. “Who is threatening you Jane?” Constable Sarah Savage had agreed to do the interview with Lockhart. Lockhart trusted her and as she had dealt with Flirty before, he hoped that she would open up to her. “No one on this earth is threatening me. I know what I saw. The guy who attacked me was not human. His face was old and battered. He looked about a hundred but moved as though he was twenty. He grabbed me and battered me until a friend rang you lot. Then he ran.” Jane’s bottom lip trembled. Lockhart motioned to Sarah. “I think we have heard enough. You can take her home. If she is speaking the truth then we have a psychopath on our hands.”

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