Seven O’clock. The time John went missing. There were mud stained footprints on the rug, fairly fresh meaning he must have left this morning just after … I can’t remember... that’s never happened before. Well once...well twice, but other than that I cannot recall a time when I have forgotten an incident with Moriarty. The name makes me sick and recoil, his invasion of my mind, strapped into a straight jacket with insane, maniacal laughter. At me. I remember one thing… four words.
“Did you miss me?”
He was alive... or was he? I can’t remember. Something definitely happened. But if it did I wouldn’t be surprise if we were made to forget. But even so, not knowing is driving me insane. John has no recollection and has no intention of remembering… John…
I spoke to Mary. She had no clue where he’s gone. I turned the apartment upside down looking for a note, a clue, something. Nothing. And then came the file.
It came this afternoon at exactly two o’clock, slipped under my door. I didn’t bother opening the door because I knew it wasn’t John; it was a woman, clicking footsteps from worn-down heels. John doesn’t wear heels.
At least not on a Tuesday.
The file contained a piece of paper, similar to that of the paper on the pad by our telephone. I had, however turned the apartment inside out, so finding the pad was a little more trouble than I had anticipated. But, upon finding it, I could confirm that the paper had come from that pad; the careless tear at the top of the paper matching that of the remaining ripped paper left inside the pad. Sloppy. Using a pencil, I sketched over the indentations and found two letters. MH. So the first place I looked was Maida Hill. Aka Maida Vale. Aka the most boring place I have ever encountered. After Hackney. John loved the place because of the history. Named from the famous battle of Maida, in Calabria, fought between the French and British in 1806. He’d read up on it to try and impress Mary at the beginning of their ‘relationship’. He even took her there to prove his knowledge. Of course I had to go with him. Who else could point out the flaws in his research?
I went to the cleaners that we had visited because John thought it to be of some historical significance – which it wasn’t – and I spoke to the old Indian man who ran it.
Name: Didn’t ask
Mannerisms and features: Nervous twitch, scar on upper left cheek, previously broken collarbone from a fight which he lost. Not particularly bothersome, fairly reliable. Awful taste in music.
So I was wrong. That happens sometimes. So I returned home. And that brings me to now. Staring at the front door. As another file slips under it. I pick it up, slowly. This time contemplating opening the door, but I don’t. This time inside the file there is a photo showing the murder of Carl Penton, owner of Penton Industries. In the photo he is sprawled out in the street with a bullet wound in his head, very much dead. I scan the photo; it has been cut out of a paper – I read it yesterday so the incident is not new to me but there must be a reason why I have it here in my hands. And then I see it. But it can’t be. I take out my magnifying glass which has been locked in a draw for many a year, and place it over the photo and look in the corner of the image, to a figure caught in the shadows, turning a corner... It is. But it can’t be.
It doesn’t make sense.
It’s just not logical.
There is no possible way this could have happened.
The figure is John. And he’s holding a gun.
Oh John... what have you done?