Sherlock Holmes paced up and down in his flat. He was bored. So unbelievably bored. And the bullet holes in the wall showed for it. He needed something to do. He needed a case. Nothing had come up recently as everyone in London was on edge for the bombings abroad. It seemed like no one wanted to attack or kill anyone in this country while there were attacks and killings in other countries.
Sherlock looked out of the dirty window, once again reminding himself to get someone to clean it. Then again, this entire block of flats needed to be knocked down and rebuilt. It was poorly designed and constructed in the mid-1980s because London needed more places for young people to live. It looked terrible and certainly wasn't somewhere that a more wealthy person would live. The block had the low budget look- all concrete, steel and cheap glass windows. It may not look attractive, but the rent was low and one of the very few places that he could afford.
The phone rang. It's harsh tone echoed round the flat, and Sherlock winced at the pain in his ears.
'Yes?' Sherlock spat down the line.
'And good morning to you too.' Sherlock sighed in frustration. It was Williams. A police detective with a big nose and a bigger ego.
'What do you want?'
'Well, somebody does need to take a chill pill this morning don't they?' Williams told Sherlock, mocking as always.
'Just say what you want. The sooner you say it, the sooner I can hang up and the sooner I'll be happy.'
'Alright, alright!' Williams said, a hint of fear in his voice. 'I have a case for you.'
Sherlock grinned triumphantly, restraining himself from leaping for joy. 'Now why didn't you say that in the first place? I like you a lot more now. Give me details.'
'Okay... Uh, you know what? Why don't you come to the station? Get all the details and everything, it's a long and complicated case.' Williams told Sherlock.
'Yes okay. Be down in ten.'
Sherlock slammed the phone back on it's docking station, spinning round the room. He was actually happy. Happiness was an emotion for normal people. Well, in some circumstances, he could also feel happiness. This was one of these circumstances. Now, Sherlock was so happy about getting this case because he hated being bored. It meant that his brain would crumble and dissolve, losing all his precious information and even losing his mind palace. A case that the police couldn't handle was something that kept Sherlock entertained. He was a consulting detective. The only one in the world. Mainly because he invented the job himself.
Sherlock sprung out the door, and fell onto the pavement in his haste. He picked himself up and waved his arm at an oncoming taxi. The taxi pulled over, he threw the door open and jumped into the back seat, chucking the address at the taxi driver. Sherlock barely managed to hold in an excited wriggle as the taxi pushed through the crowds towards the police station.
'Right, so this woman,' The captain pointed to a picture of a fairly attractive woman sat on the desk in front of Sherlock, 'went missing three years ago. She disappeared on the eighteenth of September 1994. We know that her body, alive or dead, was never recovered. No trace was ever found of her. After searching for her for seven months, the police had to give up and put her file away as a cold case. Yesterday, a woman, looking kind of like this one, was spotted at the train station. The witness told us that she was just getting off a train that had come from Cornwall and had a small suitcase with her. Just a suitcase. As this woman has been spotted, we pulled out her case again and the security camera from the platform has shown us that she does look remarkably similar to the missing woman.'
'What is her name?' Sherlock asked, studying the pictures spread across the desk.
'She was christened as Elizabeth Pevensie, but she may have changed her name when she went missing.' The captain told Sherlock.
'No, she won't have done that.'
'Why not?' Williams asked.
Sherlock didn't answer and continued to analyse the images. He found the one that he was looking for- a close up of her suitcase. He pulled out his looking glass and studied the label tied to the handle.
'Elizabeth Pevensie, London.' Sherlock muttered.
'What's that? Have you found something?' Captain Gregson asked.
'Her suitcase label still says Elizabeth Pevensie on it and shows her location as London.' Sherlock said, not looking up from the photograph. 'This means that always intended to return here and always intended on returning to her former life.'
Sherlock stood up. 'I have enough for now.'
He headed towards the door and started to leave. His hand had barely touched the door handle when Gregson spoke up.
'Wait.' Sherlock froze. 'What do you mean that she intended to return?'
'I mean,' Sherlock turned back to the captain, 'That she never disappeared. She never went missing. You just weren't looking.'
The sound of the door closing behind him was the only sound that was heard for a while after Sherlock's proclamation.
Once upon a time, the designers of London architecture decided that it would be a good idea too build a row of flats at the bottom of the Thames. The architecture team drew up some plans and plastered them all over the place, threw them into meetings and broadcast the plans over the TV and radio. Every resident in London was excited for this new project. It would be like living in an aquarium with all the murky water of the Thames above you. A specialist team was formed called 'Water Control' to come and hold back the river water while they constructed the building. They set up two temporary dams either side of the area where the building work was going to take place. A diagonal tube was placed in the walls of the river, leading from the river bed to the street surface above. This would be the first underground road so that people could drive their cars down to the underwater house. The builders worked on the flats for almost a year before they were completed. The great test came along when the Water Control team released the water to flow over the buildings. Hundreds of people crowded on the river banks to watch the process. Luckily for the builders, the flats held up and they were ready to receive people. Two years later, only half the flats had been filled and the other half were slowly beginning to flood with water. The people moved out, barriers were placed at the entrance and it was left to decay.
Sherlock, of course, had tried to investigate, but every time he tried to go in there when he was younger, someone spotted him and carted him home to his mother.
'Hmm...' Sherlock mumbled to himself.
He had been deep in thought for the last thirteen hours since receiving the information about the potentially missing woman. There was something about the way that she had cautiously stepped off the train and looked around with fear in her eyes before moving away. There was something about the way that she had made herself go missing. Sherlock had so far concluded that she must have been threatened in 1994, so she made herself go missing and ran to Cornwall. The fearful expression suggested that she was still wary of the people/person that had threatened her and had returned to London for safety. Although, it didn't explain where she would have gone in London. This city was a huge place and there were countless places that she could hide.
Sherlock stood up and stretched. He was tired and hungry, but didn't have time to eat or sleep. Elizabeth was most likely in danger and he needed to find her before someone else finds her.
He ran his hand along the metal railing that ran along the side of the river. Sherlock leant over the railing and stared into the depths of the murky water. From here, you couldn't even get a glimpse of the flats at the bottom of the river. It would be a perfect place to disappear for a while. Sherlock's feet began to carry him in the direction of the entrance. He stopped suddenly. A perfect place to disappear for a while. His mind raced to Elizabeth Pevensie, fleeing London for three years, then returning from the direction of Cornwall, looking for somewhere to hide. These flats would be a perfect place to hide if you're hiding from someone who isn't originally from London. The flats were covered up by the government in order to cover up their billion pound mistake, and hardly anyone remembers them. Sherlock made up his mind in a split-second decision and leapt neatly over the barrier blocking the entrance. He ran like he had never run before, even though he knew that he would get there hours before the police even considered looking here.
'Elizabeth!' Sherlock called, peering into every window and door that he passed.
He faltered as he glanced to a flat on the left side. It was completely filled with water. Bits of furniture and ceiling plaster were floating around in the water. He guessed that the ceiling of this one was weak and had collapsed from the weight of the river above. Sherlock looked up through the window on the ceiling, just at the same moment as a huge ship passed through the river.
'Elizabeth!' He repeated, taking up his jogging again.
'Help.' A faint voice called from flat number twenty-three.
Flat number twenty-three. Of course, that would make sense for her to hide in that one because that was her age.
Sherlock sprinted towards number twenty-three and pushed the door open. A woman was curled up on the sofa, tears were slowly trickling down her cheeks and she was sniffling softly.
'Elizabeth Pevensie?' Sherlock asked her.
'That's me.' The woman said, watching Sherlock with bloodshot eyes.
Sherlock Holmes didn't know how he got talking with the woman, or how he even got to be curled up on the double bed in the master bedroom with her. He whispered her name over and over again, each time, it became more and more broken. Until the last whisper of her name was more like a moan of pain. She took up the whispering of his name as she pushed his coat of his shoulders, unwrapped his scarf, and slowly undid each piece of his clothing until he was sat shivering on the bed. She pulled off her own clothing, watching him intently the whole time.
'You've never done this before have you?' Elizabeth whispered in his ear.
Sherlock shook his head, continuing to watch her remove her clothes. When she was done, he lowered himself onto his back beside her, his arm pressed up against hers. Elizabeth slowly lifted herself up and straddled his stomach. She ran her finger slowly down the side of his face, and he tilted it back to look at the view of the murky river water above them. Sherlock Holmes did not know what happened next and shoved the memory to the back of his mind palace, vowing never to bring it out again.
'Sherlock!' A voice broke into his thoughts as he stared at the water.
Sherlock turned to see Captain Gregson making his way over to where Sherlock was leant against the railings.
'Where have you been? I've been looking for you all over the place.' Gregson looked at him in concern, clearly seeing something in his face, but not pressing for answers. 'Never mind about that now. Have you got anything on Elizabeth Pevensie?'
Sherlock's eyes briefly flicked in the direction of the underwater flats, thinking about the past few hours that he had spent with the very girl that Gregson is talking about. He closed his eyes for a moment, gently guiding the memories back to where they belonged, and cursing himself for thinking about it.
'No, no I haven't.' Sherlock told the Captain.
Gregson frowned at him a little, but again, didn't press him for answers. 'Okay, well, let us know if you get anything.'
The Captain turned round and strolled back to the rest of the police crew, briefly telling them something before the crew scattered and headed back to the vehicles. He glanced back at Sherlock who had focused his attention back on the Thames. The Captain shook his head and got into the remaining police car.
Nine months later
'Elizabeth?' Sherlock called into the apartment that Elizabeth had made herself at home in.
Only silence answered him. He went deeper into the apartment, heading in the direction of the master bedroom. He had only got halfway down the corridor when a noise made him freeze on the spot. It was a faint whimper. It sounded a bit like a baby whimpering in pain. Sherlock called Elizabeth's name again, but received silence again. He made his way to the bedroom and gently pushed the door open. It creaked on its hinges, and the floor boards groaned beneath his weight. A body was spread-eagled across the bed. It was incredibly still, and from this angle, Sherlock couldn't be sure who it was. He dashed to the bed side, but smacked his hand to his mouth when he saw the blank, open eyes of Elizabeth. Sherlock slowly moved his hands after the shock had passed and gently pressed a finger to her neck. There was no pulse, although her still chest and cold skin told him that there was no hope that she was alive.
Sherlock continued to stare at the body, completely uncertain of what to do. He pulled out his phone, but just stared at the key pad. He should phone the police or Gregson, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. He bowed his head towards the lifeless form, and a couple of tears leaked out from under his closed eyelids. That was when he noticed the baby.
I know that I am going to die soon, I will probably be dead by the time that you read this. I am ever so sorry that I didn't call you and give you warning. Every time I picked up the phone, I couldn't do it. So I left you this. This is my note.
I can't explain how I knew that I was dying, I just had that feeling in my stomach, my heart was in pain and I knew that it was stuttering it's last beats. I am so sorry to leave you like this and I want to thank you for finding me.
The baby. The baby is mine, ours. I want you to christen her Cameo, and she can have your surname. Cameo Holmes. I want you to look after her and treasure her. I knew when I first met you that you weren't really one for children but this is yours and please care for her. She can be your reminder of me and please tell her about me when you feel like the time is right.
Keep investigating and give my love to Cameo.
I love you Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock clutched the tear stained piece of paper in his hand, watching the baby and vowing that he would tell Cameo everything one day.