Writing Prompt #3, Short Story, Fiction

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson

A Study in Suicides, Part 2:

“Good morning, Dr. Valentine. We’re here to ask you a few questions about Shelly Briggs.” Lestrade said as we entered the psychiatrist’s office. I am Detective Lestrade, this is Detective Holmes and his assistant, Ms. Watson.

“Hello.” Dr. Valentine’s voice bellowed as he licked his lips subconsciously while looking me up and down. “Please, call me Brad,”

Sensing my discomfort Sherlock placed his large hand on the small of my back and cleared his throat to get the psychiatrist’s attention on him.

“What would you like to know about Ms. Briggs’? Is she in trouble?” Brad asked as he looked between Detective Lestrade and Sherlock.

“She’s dead.” Sherlock said bluntly. “The police have labeled it a suicide, but I have cause to believe she was murdered.”

“That’s terrible.” Brad stated, “She had anxiety and depression, and also suffered from PTSD that was brought on from the abuse she endured as a child. She was also in an abusive relationship, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she took her own life.”

“Who was her boyfriend?” Lestrade asked.

“Sorry, that’s confidential.”

“Alright, well what else can you tell us?’ Sherlock asked as he continued to keep his hand on the small of my back.

“She had fallen on some pretty hard times. She was laid off from her job. She was an electronic engineer at Baltimore Electronics on Richie Highway, and she also lost custody of her daughter, both due to extensive drug use.”

“What kind of drugs?” Sherlock asked.

“She was addicted to heroin. Look, as I mentioned before, I really wouldn’t be surprised if the poor girl committed suicide. Her life was a mess, she was a mess, and she kept telling me she had no way out. I had started scheduling our meetings for twice a week.”

“If you thought she was suicidal, why didn’t you put her in an institution where she could be monitored?” Lestrade asked.

“I suggested it numerous times, but she refused. I couldn’t force her.”

“Right, well here’s my card.” Lestrade replied. “If you think of anything else please give me a call.”

“Sure thing.” Brad replied. As we were walking out of the room Brad grabbed my elbow and jerked me towards him. “Have dinner with me.” He demanded.

“No.” I replied simply while looping my arm through Sherlock’s.

When Brad didn’t let go of my elbow, Sherlock towered over him and lowered his already deep voice an octave, “The lady said she’s not interested. I suggest you let go of her arm.” Sherlock growled.

“Or what?” Brad asked as he puffed out his chest trying to make himself look more intimidating than Sherlock.

“Believe me, you don’t want to find out.” With that Sherlock placed my arm back through his and we walked out of the office.

“Are you okay?” He asked me.

“I’m fine. Thank you.”

“Listen, that guys a creep, but I don’t think he’s our murderer.” Sherlock said to both myself and Lestrade. “He’s wrong about the heroin though.”

“How do you know?” Lestrade asked.

Sherlock rubbed the back of his neck, and this time I sensed his discomfort. I placed my hand on his shoulder to comfort him. He gave me a sad smile. “I use from time to time, but it’s been a long time since my last high. Anyway, I’ve been around it. I searched every inch of Shelly’s body, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that there were no marks from the needle anywhere on her body, nor were there any bruises or any sign of her heroin use”

“Oh.” was all that Lestrade could say.

Sherlock’s eyes bored into mine, begging me not to judge him.

I was disappointed, but I showed him no emotion. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I mean I have only known the guy for a couple of days now.

After questioning Shelly’s previous coworkers and boss we found that Shelly was living in a townhouse on Light Street with her boyfriend Charles. Here’s where it gets interesting though, the 4 previous suicides had also worked for Baltimore Electronics, and they were all women. Not all of them where engineers, some worked in finance & human resources as well. Sherlock and I looked at each other as we realized that all 5 of these suicides were connected.

Sherlock went to Charles’ home, he wasn’t there, so Sherlock broke in. He found nothing that led us to believe that he murdered Shelly or any of the other victims for that matter.

Sherlock and I spent the next week studying these 5 ladies and trying to see if they had any other connections other than Baltimore Electronics, we went back there and their coworkers mentioned that they had all dated abusive boyfriends, but when we pulled the autopsy reports no bruises were found on any of the victims bodies, just like Sherlock had noticed on Shelly’s body. Also, all 5 suicides were exactly the same, they were found on their beds with an empty pill bottle next to them, what’s also interesting is that all 5 victims had recently opened a joint savings account with their boyfriends and deposited a large sum of money. Sherlock and I did a little digging and with the exception of Charles, all of the boyfriends had also died. Sherlock was going out of his mind, he hated being confused. He was always one step ahead of the game and this time, we were both stumped.

It was now the 4th of July and I decided Sherlock and I needed a break.

“Come on Sherlock, you’re coming with me.” I said as I smoothed down my blue and white striped dress.

“Do I have to?”

“Yes. It will do you good to get your mind off of this case for a bit. Come on, it will be fun!”

“I really don’t see what’s so fun about celebrating the day we committed treason and separated from England.”

“Please?” I gave him the best sad look I could muster.

“Fine. I’ll go,” he sighed, “Just let me change.”

Sherlock and I arrived at Ashley’s party and much to my surprise she walked right up to Sherlock and gave him a hug. He stiffened at first and then he relaxed and hugged her back. “Thank you so much for the adorable baby blanket and the all expenses paid date night. Come, I’ll introduce you to my husband.”

I looked at Sherlock with wide eyes, I had no idea he had sent her a gift to try and make up for ruining the surprise. He smiled at me and winked as we walked away.

I noticed Amanda walking up to me, and I greeted her with a hug. “How are things going with Sherlock?” She asked.

“Well, we’re having a hard time putting the pieces together on these supposed suicides.”

“I wasn’t talking about the case.”

“Oh, well we have grown closer in the last week, but I refer to our friendship as bipolar.”

Amanda chuckled. “How so?”

“You’ve met him. One minute he’s complimenting my deduction skills and telling me I’m smarter than the average person, and in the next he’s telling me I need to be more observant and calling me an idiot. I swear I’m living with Jeckyll and Hyde! Speaking of which, I just found out he got Ashley a gift for ruining her surprise.”

“Yeah, I figured as much. He sent me one too.”

“Really? I had no idea.”

“Yeah, he got me a bouquet of tulips and some lemon truffles, along with a note that said I’ve never been very good with words, so I’ll leave you with this quote: To thine own self be true,and it must follow, as the night the day, though canst not then be false to any man.”

My eyes wandered to where Sherlock was standing as Amanda had told me what he had written to her. I realized that the famous detective would never cease to amaze me as I watched him interact with Ashley’s husband. I was so focused on the two men that I hadn’t noticed Ashley walk up to us.

“I could listen to them all day.” Ashley broke my concentration.

“Hmm?” I asked.

“Our men, mine with his Australian accent, and yours with his British one. I could listen to them talk for hours.”

“Except Sherlock is not my man.”

“Sure he isn’t.” Ashley giggled. “He’s was complaining that he didn’t want to come tonight. He said he hates holidays, crowds, and fireworks, but it made you happy, and perhaps you were right, you both needed a break.”

“It’s not like that. Sherlock and I are both married to our work, we work well together, but it’s nothing more than a friendship.”

“A bipolar friendship.” Amanda chimed in.

Sherlock came and sat next to me as we waited for the fireworks to begin. Ashley lived in a townhouse right behind the harbor, and her rooftop was the perfect place to watch the fireworks as they reflected in the water. We sat in silence as we watched the gorgeous colors blow up the night sky.

“That wasn’t a terrible experience, and as always, I don’t detest your company.” Sherlock said as we arrived back at 221 Baker Street.

Not sure how to respond to that, I smiled at him and wished him goodnight.

The next morning Sherlock came barging through my office door shouting my name. I rushed out, afraid that something bad had happened.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Charles’ body was found this morning, but this time there was a note.” Sherlock said far too excitedly as he shoved the note into my hands. It read:

To whomever finds this:

I killed those women. I had no choice, oh God, I had to. I stole the identities of 4 a;ready deceased men, and I got 4 women to fall in love with me and I killed them. I screwed up with Shelly, I fell in love with her. I revealed my true self to her, and when things got too deep I had to end both her life and my own. I’m sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Holmes.

-Charles

“Well, now you have your murderer.”

“I certainly do!” Sherlock exclaimed as he pulled me out of the office, running as fast as he could.

“Wait, where are we going, why are you running?”

“Hush.”

An hour later Sherlock and I watched as the police drove him away.

“How did you figure it out?” I asked.

“First of all, the last line in the note, sorry to disappoint you, Mr. Holmes. Clearly, it was someone who didn’t like me. Secondly, the handwriting. I saw the same handwriting in his appointment book that was on his desk. Mistake number two. Then I put two and two together. Dr. Valentine was working in collaboration with Charlie to collect the money from the savings accounts. Making the murders look like suicides, but Charlie did screw up and reveal his true identity to Shelly, and Dr. Valentine did not want it to come out that he was in anyway connected to Charles, so he killed Charlie and tried to cover it up by making it look like a suicide.”

“Very impressive Mr. Holmes.”

Sherlock gave me his crooked smirk, popped the color of his button down shirt, and took my hand “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

Note:  I do not own Sherlock Holmes, all Sherlock related content is based off the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I claim all other content as my own personal work. Any & all rights belong solely to Kristian L. Cosner Weigman

 

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3 Responses to Writing Prompt #3, Short Story, Fiction

  1. Laura Beth says:

    I love all of these, Kristian! You’re so talented!!

    Liked by 1 person

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