Sanguine Town: Westby Ravensdale - The Lady in Grey

Westby Ravensdale is an eccentric private investigator in Sanguine Town with an ability that sets him apart from all others. He is capable of analysing a situation and coming up with an answer in seconds, making the secret weapon of both the Police and the Hunters...no matter how much he may frustrate them. With his helpful companion, George Malcolm, Westby faces up to any and all fascinating cases, bringing his unique methods to play. --- "The Lady in Grey" is the first in a series of Westby Ravensdale stories. George Malcolm is introduced to the detective, and is thrown head first into a case involving a mysterious spectral lady. --- Confession: Inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Largely a placement of Sherlock into a Supernatural setting. --- Thanks to Christie_xx for the cover drawing.

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2. Mr. Ravensdale

The following morning, Samuel and I met as arranged outside the park. I arrived first, and stood on the path for close to fifteen minutes, choosing not to sit, despite the complaints of my leg. When he finally arrived, he motioned for me to come closer to the road, which I did. We waited a while for a cab to appear, and during this wait I asked Samuel what business my potential housemate would have at the Police Department, which served to be a question that triggered a hearty laugh from my old school friend.

“You are concerned, are you not? Do not be. He simply aids the Police in certain matters.

According to him, he has also aided the Hunters, although…” Samuel paused and hailed a cab, which drove up I front of us. “Although I am not entirely convinced.”

I laughed as we squeezed into the taxi, my walking stick clunking against the door as it closed, and then looked to Samuel. “So where are we to try first?” I asked.

Samuel tapped his chin, and then snapped his fingers. “Police Department, please,” he announced, tapping on the glass partition.

“Police station it is, mate,” the taxi driver said, putting the vehicle in gear and indicating out to the road. Once we were in motion, Samuel and I entered conversation in the back, my mind no longer burdened by the idea of my potential housemate being a criminal. Instead, our conversation centred on the state of Sanguine Town.

And what was that state? Good. Sanguine Town was at its best, despite the crime – both natural and supernatural.

It was a good half-hour drive, and I am sure I dropped into a light doze at one point, for Samuel commented, “Not been getting much sleep, have you?”

A comment to which I gave no response.

Upon arrival at the Police Department, Samuel asked the taxi driver to wait – thankfully, he agreed – and the two of us headed into the station.

As the centre point of law in Sanguine Town, the building was big – exceptionally so – and therefore, so was the interior. The ground floor was no less than twelve feet high, and upon entrance, there were five reception desks in a row facing us, four of which had queues. The last of them was closed.

To the back of these reception desks were glass windows that served much like walls. They were frosted at the bottom, but clear at the top, giving a restricted view into the offices behind.

I was prepared to join one of the queues, but Samuel grabbed my arm and led me to a staircase I had not seen, and we headed up.

“If he is here,” he explained, “he’ll be up here, in one of the laboratories.”

I nodded in understanding, and when we reached the top of the stairs I noticed that the second floor was much the same height as the first, and the half-frosted-half-clear windows – or walls – were present here, also (to this day I am unsure whether to call them walls or windows).

We walked along a short way, until we reached a lab that Samuel said his friend was likely to be in. He opened the door, and I saw, standing over a petri dish, a man who was, at most, in his early thirties. He wore a black blazer and white shirt – with no tie, I add – as well as a pair of black trousers and black, slip-on shoes. His blazer was buttoned up, leaving a white triangle between his neck and his waist.

His hair was short; with subtle curls throughout that would surely be prominent were his hair a little longer. His frown as he focused on his work made it look as if his hair was receding – which it was not – and his expression was stern, yet rather blank. He was neither smiling nor scowling, and his slender nose virtually pointed to a pile of paper.

He picked up a pair of tweezers and used them to move something in the dish, subtly looking in our direction.

“Ah, Samuel,” he said in a rather posh, if monotonous, voice. “I was just completing an experiment.” He straightened his back, and turned to face us. “Were you aware that vampire and werewolf DNA clash? They cancel each other out, and are destroyed.” He sighed. “If the reaction could be controlled, we would have a cure for either condition in our hands. However…” He picked up the dish and threw it at the wall with such speed I hardly believed it had happened. “It cannot be controlled. No prizes for me.” He regarded me, and smiled. “Ah. A potential housemate.”

“How can you guess that?” I asked.

“Guess? I did not guess. I deduced. Yesterday, I told dear Samuel I was looking for someone to share rent with, and today he brings you.” The man glanced at my walking stick. “A stick? Somehow I doubt you need that for…” His eyes shifted. “A knife wound. Nonetheless…” He moved across the room and picked at a black, knee-length coat from a chair, pulled it on and headed for the door. “Meet me at the house in the afternoon. We will discuss our peeves and hates there, discuss the rent, and then decide whether we shall live together.” He smirked. “And lose the stick. It’s psychosomatic.”

I was taken aback by this man, and managed to regain my voice before he shot out of the door. “Excuse me, but I don’t know your name or the address.”

The man smiled, and leaned back through the door. “The name’s Westby Ravensdale, and the address is 52b Parkside.” He winked and then disappeared.

“That’s Westby for you,” Samuel commented.

“How on Earth did he work out it was a knife wound?” I exclaimed, shocked.

Samuel grinned. “Westby’s a clever bloke. He can look at you, and work out everything you’ve done for a month.”

I looked to the door, and sighed. 52b Parkside. To think, I had been close to that address once that day, and presently I was about to head back in that direction. I looked to Samuel, who still sat smiling, and said, “Let’s go. We’ve got a fare running outside.”

Samuel shot to his feet. “My goodness, so we do! And you are short on money! My friend, let us go, quickly!”

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