Part XVII The Giant Rat of Sumatra

November 19, 2015 at 8:22 pm (Detective story, Horror, Mystery, Mystery/horror, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Part XVII The Giant Rat of Sumatra

The Steinenfrank Circus had been closed down by Lincolnshire County authorities for knowingly bringing rodents into county boundaries.

And there was no way for them to deny it with the body of the Giant Rat of Sumatra on the premises.

It was evening and Dr. Faustus aka Hemlock the Magician was loading his belongings into his caravan wagon.

He was returning to Germany along with Vittoria Donna Gina.

Vittoria stood there in a lovely black evening dress and Sherlock Holmes kissed her elegantly black leather glove clad hand.

“England shall miss you, Miss Vittoria,” Holmes said as he gazed into her eyes.

“And you, Mr.Holmes, shall you miss me?” Her deep dark jet black eyes gazed into the detective’s soul.

“I shall indeed, Miss Vittoria,” Holmes spoke softly.

Vittoria grabbed the man from 221B Baker Street and kissed him passionately on the lips.

“Oh God, the game is more than afoot,” Holmes whispered after the kiss.

“I feel it to be so,” Vittoria sighed in ecstasy as she held Holmes in a passionate embrace.

“It’s time to be going, Miss Vittoria,” Faust’s voice showed more than a hint of anger and jealousy.

“Good-bye, Mr. Holmes,” Vittoria smiled at the deerstalker cap clad gentleman.

“Au revoir, ma cherie d’amour,” Holmes reluctantly let go of the enchanting Vittoria Donna Gina.

She lifted her dress to walk up the steps of the caravan trailer.

Holmes dropped his pipe on the ground so he could look up as his hands fiddled around on the ground to find the pipe.

“I did not know the world’s greatest detective was also the world’s greatest pervert,” Faust remarked dryly.

“As Abraham Lincoln shrewdly observed, a man without vices is inevitably also a man without virtues,” was Holmes’ reply.

Faust harrumphed.

“So will you now experiment with rats over in Germany?” Holmes inquired.

In his mind’s eye, Holmes pictured Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II on a giant glass slide under a giant microscope.

“I shall continue my work in Mendel’s new science of genetics,” was Faust’s reply, “I’m thinking of working with the Bavarian Forest’s rich supply of magic mushrooms to create new pharmaceuticals and perhaps someday in the field of human genetics I shall create an ├╝bermensch.”

“I imagine Nietzsche would approve,” Holmes lit his pipe.

. . .

Sherlock Holmes rode the train from Stamford to London with veterinarian Fred Clegg.

“So you have some business to attend to in London, Mr. Clegg?” Holmes asked the veterinarian as he gazed out at the English countryside.

“Some brief business, yes, Mr. Holmes,” Clegg gazed at the detective.

“And then back to your veterinary practice and livery stable business?” Holmes asked.

“Indeed, Mr. Holmes,” Clegg smiled.

“Ever consider any other plans in your future besides running a horse drawn omnibus service in the seaside resort of Morecambe?” Holmes asked.

“Well, I’ve sometimes thought of going out to Canada,” Clegg answered.

“Canada, eh?” Holmes felt a sudden craving for beer and back bacon.

“Yes, the Northwest Territories,” Clegg nodded, “possibly the Alberta Territory. They say there’s lots of good potential ranch land and farmland in and around the area of the Red Deer River Badlands.”

“That was the area where the geologist Tyrrell discovered 10 years ago bones belonging to one of those giant creatures we call dinosaurs?” Holmes asked.

“That was the area all right,” Clegg smiled.

“I wonder if any such creatures are around today,” Holmes mused aloud.

“Only in the House of Lords,” Clegg winked.

Holmes laughed.

“What about you, Mr. Holmes?” Clegg asked, “Returning to your old haunts in London?”.

“Eventually, Mr. Clegg,” Holmes looked pained as he talked, “I have some family business to attend to in Paris.”

“Oh really?” Clegg seemed surprised.

“Yes, it’s my twin sister Sherrielock Holmes,” Holmes frowned, “she’s done something of potential embarrassment to the family.”

“I didn’t even know you had a twin sister,” Clegg seemed genuinely shocked, “Dr. Watson has only mentioned an older brother Mycroft in his articles about you.”

“Dr. Watson doesn’t know about Sherrielock,” Holmes lit a pipe, “she’s the black sheep of the family.”

“Oh,” Clegg nodded sympathetically.

“I can only deduce what she does for a living,” Holmes looked out the window again, “in her room, she has all sorts of whips and riding crops and wooden paddles and sinister looking hairbrushes. In her closet, all sorts of leather corsets and black velvet skirts. And her clientele is mainly made up of members of the British Cabinet and the House of Lords.”

“And she’s now in Paris?” Fred Clegg asked.

“Yes, it’s come to my attention that she has appeared in several nude drawings and paintings done by that notorious Montmartre artist Toulouse-Lautrec,” Holmes’ face turned red, “such exposure the Holmes family doesn’t really need.”

“You have my sympathy, Mr. Holmes,” Fred Clegg extended his hand.

“Thank you, Clegg,” the detective shook the veterinarian’s hand.

“And will you be telling Dr. Watson of our adventure with the Giant Rat of Sumatra?” Clegg asked.

“No,” Holmes shook his head, “I don’t want every vampire hunter in the world pursuing the lovely Miss Vittoria Donna Gina. So if the matter of the Matilda Briggs and the Giant Rat of Sumatra should ever come up, I’ll just tell Dr. Watson that it’s a story for which the world is not yet prepared.”

-A Sherlock Holmes novella chapter
written by Christopher
Thursday November 12th
2015.

-THE END-

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Part XVI The Giant Rat of Sumatra

October 27, 2015 at 6:53 pm (Detective story, Horror, Mystery, Mystery/horror, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Part XVI The Giant Rat of Sumatra

“He died of acute constipation,” was veterinarian Fred Clegg’s conclusion when the Giant Rat of Sumatra was found dead in his cage the next morning.

“With those two tons of cheese he ate aboard the Matilda Briggs and all those cats around Stamford he ate to say nothing of the woman wearing the skinned cat fur coat that he ate, I’m not surprised,” was Holmes’ brilliant observation.

“May he rest in peace,” one of the circus dwarves crossed himself.

“He’ll never be able to make his premiere appearance on the circus stage,” Vittoria Donna Gina sighed sadly.

“That might be a good thing,” Holmes picked up the huge tail of the monster rodent, “this was probably a tail for which the world is not yet prepared.”

“I did not consider that the problem of constipation might do in my creation,” Faust lowered his Golden Masked head in shame.

“It probably didn’t occur to Victor Frankenstein either,” Fred Clegg quipped, “that a sudden bolt of irregularity might do in his creation created by a sudden bolt of lightning.”

“I suppose it’s back to the drawing board for you, Dr. Faustus,” Holmes commented.

“If only I had the ability to sketch like Leonardo Da Vinci,” Faust said sadly.

“I wouldn’t mind banging a woman who would make an excellent subject for a Pre-Raphaelite painting,” Holmes ejaculated suddenly- both verbally and otherwise.

Being in the presence of Vittoria Donna Gina was making Holmes feel a bit amorous.

“Well, I better round up the other dwarves and get this body out of here,” the dwarf commented.

” I wish I had a camera for this,” was Fred Clegg’s final commentary.

-A Sherlock Holmes novella chapter
written by Christopher
Sunday October 25th
2015.

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Part XV The Giant Rat of Sumatra

October 24, 2015 at 4:10 pm (Detective story, Horror, Mystery, Mystery/horror, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Part XV The Giant Rat of Sumatra

“Dr. Faustus, I presume?”.

The Man In The Golden Mask jumped away from the blackly draped covered cage at the sound of Sherlock Holmes’ voice.

“How did you know?” The Man In The Golden Mask whirled around.

“The bastard Rodrigo Salieri aka the serial killer and rapist Lord Belfor happened to mention your name in his diary,” Holmes replied.

“I’ll kill him,” Faust foamed through his mask.

“I’m afraid the vampire hunter Professor Abraham Van Helsing has already beaten you to it,” Holmes lit his pipe, “that stake the bastard Belfor received was a little too well done for his liking.”

“He turned Vittoria into a vampiress,” Faust stated sadly.

“I know,” Holmes commented quietly.

“I’ve been giving her vials of animal blood that I call medication to her so she won’t attack humans for blood,” said Faust.

“I know,” Holmes nodded, “for that I’m eternally grateful.”

“Eternally,” Faust repeated Holmes’ words with a great deal of melancholy and profound sadness.

Holmes could only guess what the word Eternally probably meant to a soul like Faust’s.

The detective spoke softly as he pointed to the blackly draped covered cage, “That I take it is the Giant Rat of Sumatra.”

“It is,” the Man In The Golden Mask nodded, “so Mr. Holmes you’ve deduced that what lies underneath that covering is a giant rat.”

“I knew that as soon as I heard two tons of cheese mysteriously disappeared aboard the ship Matilda Briggs,” Holmes re-lit his pipe, “and then when I saw the huge bite marks on the ship’s steam engine that had been painted to look like a block of cheese by an ardent admirer of Vincent Van Gogh.”

“I’m afraid Vittoria when she was out sleep walking on the ship let open the cage on a few occasions allowing him to escape,” Hemlock the Magician aka Faust the Alchemist explained, “and then now that we are on land, the stupid dwarves who are with the circus let him out of his cage on a few occasions.”

“Yes, I’m afraid that stupidity cost numerous lives of the cats of Stamford,” Holmes stated, “to say nothing of the life of a woman whose cheap skate traveling salesman boyfriend gave her a fur coat made from the skinned fur of cats.”

“For those deaths, I am truly sorry, Mr. Holmes,” Faust spoke with sincerity.

“May I see the Giant Rat of Sumatra?” Holmes asked the alchemist and astrologer turned stage magician.

“All right, Mr. Holmes, ” Faust took the black draped covering off the cage.

The rat was indeed gigantic in size.

And its colour was as black as the draped covering over its cage had been.

And as black as the midnight sky in winter – a midnight sky devoid of stars or moon.

Holmes gasped in amazement, “My God.”

“The natives of Sumatra certainly thought so,” Faust replied.

“Is such a creature native to the island?” Holmes asked.

“Rats are native to the island,” Faust explained, “but as for this particular rat, I created him in a laboratory I had on that island.”

“Really?” Holmes was astonished, “how did you accomplish that?”.

“Are you familiar with the work of the Augustinian monk and scientist Gregor Johann Mendel with regards to pea plants and the inheritance of biological features?” Faust asked.

“I am,” Holmes nodded.

“I have applied his ideas to other biological creatures,” Faust explained, “taking the sequences of gene pairs as Mendel called them and then tinkering with those sequences to create new and radical adaptations of those creatures and perhaps someday creating a whole new species in the world entirely.”

“Sort of using science and human ingenuity to speed up the processes of Darwinian evolution,” Holmes looked in the direction of the cage of Darwin the Sumatran orangutan who went bananas in a recent magic act of Hemlock the Magician.

“Exactly, Mr. Holmes,” Faust was smiling underneath his mask.

“And you have created a giant rat as a result,” Holmes mused, “now the world will definitely have to build a bigger and better mouse trap.”

-A Sherlock Holmes novella chapter
written by Christopher
Saturday October 17th 2015.

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Part XIV The Giant Rat of Sumatra

October 11, 2015 at 6:57 pm (Detective story, Horror, Mystery, Mystery/horror, The Supernatural, Vampire novel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Part XIV The Giant Rat of Sumatra

The dark haired dark bearded dark eyed man in the well-tailored suit with top hat and cane stood only feet away from Vittoria Donna Gina’s caravan trailer.

Holmes immediately recognized him.

He ran to grab the man when suddenly another man appeared on the scene.

The distinguished looking man with gray moustache, silvery gray hair and spectacles sporting a huge crucifix around his neck pulled what appeared to be a huge wooden stake from under his coat and shoved it into the vicinity of the dark bearded man’s heart.

To Holmes’ shock and amazement, the dark haired dark bearded dark eyed man crumbled to dust.

All that remained were his distinguished clothes, top hat and cane.

Holmes stood there totally transfixed by what he saw.

“Mr. Sherlock Holmes,” the gray moustached gentleman held out his hand.

Holmes then recognized the man.

“Dr. Abraham Van Helsing,” Holmes held out his hand.

Holmes recognized the famous Dutch physician and distinguished world authority on rare blood disorders.

“What was that I just witnessed?” Holmes inquired.

Dr. Van Helsing laughed, “Well seeing as how you’ve attacked me for my views in letters written to various scientific journals and have called me a damned medievalist for believing in dark ages superstitious nonsense, I don’t think you’d really believe me if I told you, Mr. Holmes.”

“I’ve never seen a man crumble to dust within seconds after a stake has been placed through his heart,” Holmes looked somewhat pale, “so maybe I’m now more open to possibilities that go beyond my sense of reason than I was before. Was that… a… a… a….?”

“A vampire, Mr. Holmes?” Van Helsing smiled, “can’t you even bring yourself to say the word?”.

“No, I guess not,” Holmes shook his head.

“He shall be disturbing the world no more,” Van Helsing looked down at the clothes that had once adorned the vampire.

“What was his name?” Holmes asked.

“He called himself Lord Belfor although he had no official legal title,” Van Helsing replied, “he owned a large estate outside London where he was married to a fat and wealthy mortal former brothel owner who had a half-dozen brats of her own that he adopted and thus bear his English name Belfor.”

“His English name?” Holmes lit his pipe, “But judging from his appearance when he was still alive and Undead, he appeared to be Italian in nationality.”

“He was,” Van Helsing nodded, “his real name was Rodrigo Salieri the bastard son of Antonio Salieri.”

“Antonio Salieri the Italian composer rumoured to have murdered Mozart?” Holmes asked.

“The same,” Van Helsing nodded, “Rodrigo Salieri was even a more mediocre musician than his father. He was also a greater moral reprobate than his father for Rodriogo was both a rapist and serial killer of young women.”

“Before or after he was a vampire?” Holmes inquired.

“Both,” Van Helsing replied.

“Any idea what year he became a vampire?” Holmes blew smoke rings into the air.

“Well, according to one of his diaries which I managed to find,” Van Helsing answered, “in 1830 when he was 30 years old.”

“Did he say how it happened?” Holmes was intrigued.

“According to the diary entry, he called on the demon Mephistopheles to grant him immortality. Mephistopheles, according to the diary, appeared to him and said he would grant him a form of immortality – a vampiric existence. But the young bastard Salieri would have to avoid Crosses and Crucifixes and consecrated Communion hosts as well as wooden stakes through the heart. And unlike mad dogs and Englishmen, he could not go out walking in the noonday sun. Or any other time of day when the sun was present.”

“And it was the demon Mephistopheles who turned him into a vampire?” Holmes was incredulous.

“Mephistopheles introduced him to the ancient Babylonian vampiress Lilith who bit him on the neck,” Van Helsing replied.

An owl was heard hooting in the distance as the moon burst through a dark cloud.

Some frogs croaked in the distance on the other side of the river Welland.

“Demons and ancient Babylonian vampiresses,” Holmes shook his head, “it makes me wish I was back in my London lab working with chemicals- substances I can understand.”

“Chemicals eh?” Van Helsing smiled, “Like the Renaissance alchemist Dr. Johann Georg Faust.”

“Another one of the exploits of Mephistopheles,” Holmes mused.

“According to an entry in the bastard Salieri’s diary,” Van Helsing noted, “Faust was granted a form of immortality other than a vampiric one. And Faust did not actually die like legend says or Christopher Marlowe or Goethe mention in their respective tales.”

“No,” Holmes had to smile, “What happened to him?”.

“Well according to historical records, Dr. Johann Georg Faust was supposed to have died in an explosion caused by an alchemical experiment he was performing at the Hotel zum Lowen in Staufen im Breisgau. The explosion was said to have occurred around the year 1540, ” Van Helsing explained, “but according to Salieri’s diary, Faust’s face was only disfigured in the explosion. Salieri claims Faust took to wearing a mask and Faust is still alive today wandering the earth as a masked man.”

“Reminds me of stories I’ve heard of a freedom fighter in Spanish ruled California or a lone Ranger riding the plains of Texas on a silver horse,” Holmes laughed.

“According to Salieri,” Van Helsing went on, “the mask Faust wears is an unusual one. He has two masks. One a golden mask of Greek dramatic tragedy. The other a golden mask of Greek dramatic comedy.”

“Really?” The normally calm and serene looking Holmes turned ashen white.

“And Salieri claims that Faust is currently working as a stage magician,” Van Helsing went on.

Holmes started choking on his pipe.

“I just wish I knew if Salieri has bitten anyone in Stamford and turned them into a member of the UnDead,” Van Helsing scratched his chin.

“And presumably you’d drive a stake through that individual’s heart,” Holmes glanced nervously in the direction of Vittoria Donna Gina’s caravan trailer.

“It’s my sworn duty, Mr. Holmes,” Van Helsing bowed to the consulting detective.

“Well I’ve been thoroughly watching this bastard Salieri aka the obnoxious serial killer and rapist Lord Belfor,” Holmes said, “because there were fears among circus performers here that he was going to steal one of the animals. And I can assure you that he had no time here to turn anyone into the UnDead.”

“Then it appears my work here is finished, Mr. Holmes,” Van Helsing shook the detective’s hand, “it was a pleasure to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Van Helsing,” Holmes shook the vampire hunter’s hand.

As Van Helsing walked off into the night, Holmes could only guess what the bastard Salieri aka serial killer and rapist Lord Belfor had turned Vitttoria Donna Gina into when he used to sneak into her caravan trailer as she was touring Germany with Hemlock the Magician.

The Man With The Golden Mask- sometimes of tragedy and sometimes of comedy- had told Holmes that this stranger (Salieri Belfor) had stolen something from Vittoria Donna Gina.

Holmes now knew what that was.

And now Holmes knew why Vittoria only went out at night and not during the day.

And what that medication (as Hemlock called it) that looked like red iodine in a bottle- what that medication actually was that Hemlock gave her.

It was Vittoria Donna Gina’s sustenance that prevented her from attacking the blood of innocents.

To be continued.

-A Sherlock Holmes novella chapter
written by Christopher
Friday September 25th
2015.

This blog post contains the links to my previous chapters in The Giant Rat of Sumatra (that I wrote back in 2010):

https://draculvanhelsing.wordpress.com/2015/09/16/the-giant-rat-of-sumatra/

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