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Monday, November 30

The Adventure of the Whitechapel Murders

"The Adventure of the Whitechapel Murders"
Short fiction - Supernatural/Sci-fi
by Rod Drake

I remember it was bitterly cold that winter night, December 21, 1888, as we hid shivering in the Whitechapel area of London, Holmes and I, our trap baited and nothing to do but wait. I gripped the revolver in my pocket tightly, wondering if Saucy Jack, as he called himself, would indeed make his deadly appearance tonight.

Our prostitute target circles around the gas-lit side streets, alone and perfectly offered for Jack in her solitude. Holmes’ research, based on the previous 7 ghastly murders here, pointed to tonight and these streets as the location where Jack the Ripper would claim his next victim.

Holmes is quiet, unmoving in the cold, totally focused on the wandering girl, all of his senses acute and attention focused. He is scarcely ever wrong once he commits himself to a case, and Scotland Yard is depending on Holmes this time.

Something moves in the shadows behind the girl. There, it moved again, back in the alley. Holmes’ nostrils flare and his exhale of breath is visible, cloudlike in the chill evening, so I know he too has noticed it.

Then things happen all at once. The girl screams, disappears into the dark alley, and Holmes vaults past me on a dead run, blowing on the police whistle he holds at his mouth. I fumble for my revolver and trot after him, down the cracked cobblestone street and into the black alley.

Holmes has ignited a flare from his pocket, the thin white light illuminating a truly hideous monster in a gentleman’s suit and coat, snarling and slashing at Holmes with a knife in one twisted hand while the other holds the struggling girl aloft.

“Watson,” Holmes cries out, “use your pistol, shoot him.”

As I aim it with frozen, stiff fingers, the beast in human clothes tosses the girl at me as though she weighs nothing more than a rag doll, and the resulting impact knocks me to the ground, my revolver skidding across the cobblestones.

But the distraction has worked for Holmes, as he had planned. He quickly puts a blowgun to his lips and blows a dart into the monster before he can react.

The monster lunges awkwardly toward Holmes who fires a second dart, then beast sags backwards as the darts’ fluid courses through his freakish veins, and he collapses against the filthy wall, still clawing uselessly at Holmes as he passes out.

Inspector Lestrade and Scotland Yard officers arrive then, bearing torches, pulling the unconscious girl off of me, knocking her wig off in the process. “Coo, what’s this?” an officer exclaims.

The ‘girl’ is actually one of the Baker Street Irregulars, a young boy in disguise and fetching enough in the darkness.

“Are you alright Watson?” Holmes asks me, pulling me to my feet.

“Yes, I believe so. My God, what is happening to that creature?”

The monster is, melting it appears, changing shape from beast into . . . a small, pale man, fragile in comparison to the burly beast he was.

“Inspector, Watson, let me present to you Dr. Henry Jekyll. I believe the beast he was is named Edward Hyde, a transformation brought about through drugs. The evidence I gathered indicated they would be one and the same person, and our Whitechapel murderer. Jekyll cannot control Hyde, and Hyde is without restraint, morals or remorse.”

“Then those notes sent to the police,” Lestrade remarks, “were Jekyll—“

“Yes, Inspector,” Holmes interrupts, “Jekyll trying to leave clues so I would find and stop Hyde. Jekyll knew I was on the case.”

“And this?” Lestrade points to the blowgun still in Holmes’ hand.

“Our salvation. I consulted an expert, one Dr. Moreau, who is doing fascinating things with animal re-engineering, to prepare a solution that would change animal back to man. The dart was the best way to get the fluid into his system. And Watson provided the distraction to let me use it.”

“Well,” Lestrade comments,” this ends the Whitechapel murders. But Dr. Watson, I don’t think you should print this case; might cause a panic if people knew a man could change himself into a murdering monster.”

“Yes,” Holmes agrees, ”let’s keep this one of our secret cases.”

Rod Drake, like Elvis Costello, believes his aim is true. Check out Rod's other fiction in Six Sentences, The 6S Social Network, Powder Burn Flash, MicroHorror and AcmeShorts.

An Ode to Everything Outmoded, Including the NY Giants

"An Ode to Everything Outmoded, Including the NY Giants"
Flash Fiction
by Ozzie Nogg

Anne Droid was about to give birth.

Yanking her right iPhone from it’s socket (her left iPhone being dedicated to out-of-Beta Zone calls) Anne texted her partner, Rob Ott, with whom she enjoyed a LTR.

“OMFG. Get here ASAP. Baby coming. H2G.”

Rob texted back. “N/P. BRT.”

By the time Rob arrived home, the newbie’s head was crowning from Anne’s right ear (her left ear being dedicated to a wireless BlueTooth headset.) With a final push from Anne, the slippery bundle of joy dropped into Rob’s hands.

“Gr8 catch,” Anne texted. “THNX”.

And in that moment, Rob Ott turned wistful. Melancholy. His memory optimized, Rob traveled back, back to the good old days, those boys of summer days, when Great-Grandpa Mel knocked ball after ball over the center-field bleachers, out of the Polo Grounds, while kids and their folks relaxed in the moment, relaxed in the sunshine, spoke eye-ball-to-eye-ball of hopes and dreams and fears and love, still safe from broad spectrum apps and the limits of 140 characters or less.

In 2003, Ozzie Nogg's story, Blue Plate Special, appeared in MARGIN: Exploring Modern Magic Realism, and was later nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the E-2ink Award. Her book of personal stories, Joseph’s Bones, won First Place in the 2005 Writer’s Digest Press International Self-Published Book Awards. Ozzie's Flash Fiction has been published in Diddledog, FLASHSHOT and 50to1. Her poetry can be read on-line at Archeology Magazine.