Shadows of the Mind

An insight into the mind of Sherlock Holmes. Post-Reinchenbach but pre-series 3. Not quite sure where it is going yet. :) Rated yellow for reference to childhood abuse and misuse of drugs.


4. Four

The lanky teenager prowled across the grass, silent, pale, ghost-like. As usual, he was deep in concentration, buried in the book he was avidly reading. Something to do with bio-chemistry, and its uses in criminology. He didn't look up; didn't need to. He already had a map of the entire school and the surrounding territory in his head. He neatly sidestepped a tree, it's branches towering over him, and carried on walking. After a couple of steps, the curly haired boy halted suddenly.

He looked up, glanced around thoughtfully, then, as if in a trance, turned around and walked back towards the oak. Silkily, his movements smooth and coordinated, he slid down the trunk, coming to rest in a sitting position at the base of the tree. As soon as his body made contact with the warm grass, his eyes were back on the spidery ink that covered the page. He gave a small sigh of contentment, and a sly smile. Perfect.

Anyone who did not know Sherlock Holmes would have thought his entire concentration lay on the leather bound book, a contrast to the pale hands that held it. Far from it. The youth had been bestowed with intelligence beyond his years, and the unusual but useful skills of observation and deduction. Unfortunately, his cold exterior, scathing tongue and general disdain towards the existence of 'ordinary, boring' people, gained him few friends, and a whole river of enemies.

Right now, he was taking in the data from the book, whilst still aware of his surroundings. From the chatter of his fellow students in the background, he could say how many there were in the group, their gender (which wasn't difficult - he attended an all male boarding school), what mood they were in and why, even what kind of shoes they were wearing.

It was with this attentiveness that Holmes sensed rather than heard the gaggle of boys approaching him. Every nerve in his body flared up, hyper-aware of his vulnerable position out in the open. He knew what was coming. And sure enough, what happened next was not a pleasant encounter. 

At this point in the memory, Sherlock's vision became blurry with ice-cold drops of torment. Shaky sobs wracked his body, painful, shameful. At least, it would have been if his body hadn't become numb to feelings of shame and embarrassment. Each time his teenage body was hurt, he cringed in sympathy. 

Then, without warning, all was dark, pitch black, as if some higher power had shut off the power. Just as abruptly, pictures flooded the walls, the same, but subtly different.
Sherlock recognised the setting, and it made him flinch away from the clammy hands of dread that held him. The house their parents sent Mycroft, and then Sherlock as well, when he was old enough, when the couple went away. His Uncle's house. Now, their Uncle was not a very nice man. He had been part of a drug cartel that had been disbanded, and had made many dodgy acquaintances. His rule of tyranny over the Holmes brothers started when Sherlock was only five years of age and Mycroft twelve. In the absence of their parents, young Mycroft took it upon himself to take care of his younger brother. But a twelve year old was little match for the iron fist of the older man. 

The scene which now unfolded was not one that stood out in the field of excruciating memories. He was fifteen now, and alone, Mycroft having fled this wretched existence when he was old enough, leaving Sherlock with the promise of his return. 

Sherlock once more flinched, with every bruise or scratch his abused body took. He couldn't watch, but he couldn't look away either. His hands fisted by his sides as he struggled with his conscience. He was so wrapped up in misery and pain that he hardly heard the voice from somewhere above him. A warm, soothing voice shown as bright shafts of light burning into the shadows that held him, make them writhe and retreat. He was left alone again. Without the malevolent presence of the shadows, he had no energy to hold himself upright. He slumped back down, prostrate on the tiles once again. The voice continued talking, although he could not make out words, just a general hum of comfort. It chased away the memories, leaving the prison as dark, and desolate as always. 

However, something felt different. Sherlock, lying helpless, could sense that something had changed. The atmosphere of the cell felt just a little less frigid, just a little more comforting rather than crushing. Or was it just his imagination playing tricks with him?

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