Lukewarm Murder

INCOMPLETE: My entry for the Sherlock Feature Week Competition.


4. 4

    In films, waking up in a hospital is a relatively clinical experience. There’s a face hovering above you, like an angel waiting to cradle you in its arms to some feathery celestial bed. However, real life does not tend to follow the sanitary script of screen, and it was because of this that I found myself waking up to a ceiling with a flying pig wearing a top hat drawn on it in permanent market, and Simon-goddamn-Arkwright hovering above my nose like a bad smell.

    “Holy mother of fluffy flapping butterflies, Ransom. Took you long enough. I almost thought you’d been attacked by a corpse or summat.”

    I sneered weakly and attempted to struggle to a sitting position, only to wince in frustrated agony and slump back to the pillow. Simon snorted at my efforts, and I resisted the urge to sneer again. That particular expression I reserved for special occasions. “Yeah, well. Wasn’t exactly expecting the dead body to grab me. Guess I’m just that irresistible.”

    “In your dreams, Ransom. Anyway, thought you’d want to know the reason Miss Decomposition had the hots for you.” Simon cleared his throat theatrically. I rolled my eyes at the pig on the ceiling and suddenly began sympathising. Simon did sometimes make me wish I could don some snazzy headgear and fly away. “Idella Monroe’s husband was killed by her brother, Mason. Seedy reasons, I tell you. They found him standing over the husband’s body with a dripping knife, pushing dog biscuits down the poor bastard’s throat. Must have hit Idella hard. There was barely a trial. Equally seedy is the Dr Suresh thing. I mean man, I liked her. Dedicated. Anyway, apparently Idella used up almost all of her money getting Dr Suresh to inject her with some kind of a drug to make it look like she was dead, and then transport her to the morgue, where she knew you would turn up.” 

    Simon placed a folder back on the side-table carefully, nudging a paper cup out the way with its corner to make room. I caught his eye, biting the inside of my cheek thoughtfully. “Why come after me, though? And why not just come to my house? I mean, it was pretty damn obvious he’d done it. I was on the case, but I was completely right, like usual.”

    “And with all your typical modesty, as well.” I snorted at that. “The official diagnosis is something terribly long and horrendously difficult to pronounce, but basically she was a loony before the murder, and a vengeful loony afterwards. Far too cuckoo to think of the completely original plan of turning up at your front door. Case closed.” Simon slid his arm under my shoulder blades, helping me up to a sitting position. “You’ve gotta drink water, otherwise her special little brand of poison might damage your systems even more.”

    “What was it?”

    “God knows. Something horrible, but you’ll be fine as long as you drink your goddamn-water.” Simon pushed the cup into my hands, grinning slightly. I returned the smile, feeling truly content for the first time in a long time, save for the fact that I had recently been attacked by a corpse.

    It occurred to me then that maybe the pig on the ceiling wasn’t flying away. Perhaps it was simply soaring for the fun of it.

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