Hand of Fate (and Foot of Balrom)
From the Journal of Dr John Watson…
Over the many years in which I have had the privilege to observe and chronicle the many cases in which my friend Sherlock Holmes has taken an interest, there have been many cases in which my rationale has been confounded, but never that of Holmes. It has been his greatest pleasure to confront the seemingly impossible and reduce it to the mere improbable; indeed, never when I have known him has he taken a case which has not had some strange or fantastical element. Where other men attribute such cases to otherworldly powers, Holmes has proven time and again that everything that happens abides by the laws of Science. Until now.
How we came to be here is unclear. One moment we were walking through Regent’s Park, returning from a case I cannot mention as politic pressures prohibit me, the next I was coming round from a faint on the bank of a river. I was alone at first, but soon found Holmes wading knee deep in the river further upstream, looking agitated. He was speaking rapidly under his breath, his quick gaze jumping all over the landscape.
When he saw me, he waded up to me
“Watson! It’s all wrong!” said he, his eyes flicking to and fro from my face to the landscape around, hands gesturing wildly and splashing me with drops of river water.
“Compose yourself, Holmes!” I chastised him, alarmed to see him so frenetic. “There is a rational explanation for the situation we find ourselves in.”
“Rational, rational!” stuttered he, “Look at the sky, Watson, the trees, the sun, the insects, the water…nothing is right! This cannot be our world, but it must be, but it cannot be…” he stuttered to a halt, staring at me. “It is Moriarty! He has driven me to madness with poisonous fumes!”
“Moriarty? Holmes, he fell to his death at the Reichenbach Falls.”
“Falls, falling, fell…” wittered he, “Watson, you may be right!” Immediately he began wading downstream at great speed, speaking quickly under his breath. I followed upon the bank, beseeching him to come out the water, but he ignored my entreaties.
Since then, we have come across more horrors than I care to recall, and upon seeing each one, Holmes has sunk deeper and deeper into his insane monolgue. From what I have seen, and what Holmes’ continual rantings have revealed to me, we have somehow come to be in a different world, or perhaps a different time in our own world, where the laws of science do not hold firm and the power of ‘magic’ is commonplace. How we got here is a mystery…a mystery I must solve alone if I am ever to recover my dear friend Sherlock.