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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