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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From the Memoirs of Doctor George Malcolm, formerly of Sanguine Town University

In 2015 I completed my doctorate of Chemistry and Biology at Sanguine Town University, and then made the choice to go into teaching. The training took a couple of years, and then it took three more years of training to qualify for teaching at the University.

2020, and I took up my position in the faculty of Sanguine Town University with good pay, which I spent freely on a house and countless possessions of no actual worth until, eventually, my pay was cut due to budget difficulties, and I found myself slowly losing my possessions.

I held onto my job, but was forced to move into a hotel with the few possessions I had left, and the only hotel I could find that gave me easy access to the University was at the edge of the Pleasure District, with countless lights from the streets below shining through my window, making sleep a thing of the past.

Things weren’t easy, and I found life in my hotel room to be most displeasing. Work was a form of respite; despite the amount of grading I had to do. I always found time at work to catch some sleep. Nonetheless, I desired a new place to live, where I could sleep at night, when I was meant to.

My wages meant there were a number of places I could afford, but in my opinion many of them were too small for my interests. Reading prominent amongst these interests, as was music – I consider myself well versed in the playing of the cello – and of course, I had an interest in the sciences of Chemistry and Biology.

Therefore, I looked into the idea of joint residency. With no such luck, unfortunately.

That was until, one day, I took a stroll through the Sanguine Town Main Park – one night after the full moon – just to clear my mind. During my stroll, to my displeasure, I was mugged and stabbed by a young man – desperate, I think.

My time in hospital was thankfully short, but I was off work for a month, and lost my pay for that month. I found it hard to keep up with my payments at the hotel, and found myself undernourished and ill.

In order to better my health, I decided to go for a walk through the site of the attack, hoping for something that would lighten my spirits. The constant sunlight of the Sanguine Town day brightened me up and warmed my bones, but the true highlight of the day was when I ran into an old friend.

I hadn’t seen him since I was studying at University, and although we hadn’t been incredibly close, we greeted one another with tremendous enthusiasm, and found our way to a bench in the park, where we engaged in idle chatter.

My friend, Samuel Wright, pointed to my walking stick and raised an eyebrow. “What have you been doing with yourself, George?” he asked.

I smiled to him and patted my right leg. “Damn mugger. Jumped me, stabbed me, and stole my watch.”

“Jumped you? My goodness that must have been horrifying!” Samuel exclaimed. He cleared his throat and regained his composure. “So, what are you doing nowadays?”

“I’m teaching up at the University now. Chemistry and Biology, of course. Unfortunately, my salary only really gives me a hotel room. I’ve been thinking of sharing a property with someone else, but so far I haven’t found anyone…or anywhere,” I replied resignedly, leaning back on the bench, a sigh emanating from my lips.

“How very interesting,” he muttered beside me, before clearing his throat and announcing, “You are the second person to mention such an ordeal to me. Not the hotel part, no, but the search for a housemate.”

“Who was the first?”

“An odd gentleman I have known for little more than a few months, but we get along, and he is interested in living with someone. He asked me, first, but I informed him that I am perfectly comfortable where I live,” Samuel explained. “He said it might prove difficult for him to find someone, as he has some rather fascinating habits.”

I found myself intrigued, and pressed for more information. What habits? What kind of man was he? What did he do for a living?

The answers to these questions, Samuel informed me, would have to wait until I met the man, but the idea of sharing a house with a friend of a friend – whether I had met him or not – seemed sensible.

“I should very much be interested in considering this,” I commented.

“Just don’t go making any decisions until you meet him,” Samuel said. “You may find that he is not the kind of housemate you would desire.”

“I beg your pardon, but why ever not? Does he have certain merits that could be considered questionable or unappealing?”

Samuel laughed, but I could tell I had offended him slightly. He did not allow me to apologise, however, and instead said, “Not at all. You know as well as I do, though, that people clash over the smallest of things.”

I conceded the point, and stood up, wobbling slightly on my leg. “Very well. Now, I must be going. I have been out much longer than intended. Where shall we meet tomorrow?”

“Meet me at the park gates. We shall catch a taxi and find him.”

“Find him?” I inquired.

“Yes. He will be in one of two places. The hospital, or the Police Department.”

I nodded, and left, not voicing my unintended thought that this man was a wrongdoer, and as I called for a cab and jumped in, I suddenly realised.

I was yet to discover this man’s name.

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