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JWP #30: Research Question (ACD-verse)

Author: methylviolet10b
Rating: PG
Universe: ACD
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes
Word Count: 267
Summary: Holmes receives, and makes, an unusual request. Written for JWP 30: A Good Question
Warnings: Extremely implausible tangential involvement in a real-world case. Random exposition. And absolutely no beta. This was written in a complete rush. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own them.

“Watson.”

I woke from a deep sleep to the sound of my name and Holmes’ hand on my shoulder. “What is it?” I asked groggily, squinting in the dim gas-light of the lamps Holmes had lit.

“I need a small sample of chloroform.”

At first I could only stare, certain I had misunderstood. A quick glance at the clock on the bedside table only confused me further. “Why exactly do you need chloroform at 2 a.m.?”

“I’ve received a wire from a colleague of mine in America. He has asked for my help in a chemical analysis of chloroform – specifically, whether it can be forensically proven to have been administered post-mortem instead of ante-mortem. It’s something of a time-sensitive matter. There’s a mass killer who might walk free without further evidence to hold him.”

My sleep-fogged brain focused on one detail. “All the way in America?”

“Oh, there are many others working other aspects of the case. A goodly number of Pinkertons are involved, and police in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Boston. I am just one thread in what will hopefully become a strong net to bring this monster to justice.”

“And they want your expertise, both chemical and criminal,” I said, mustering my wits at last.

“Well, yes,” Holmes admitted, and then frowned. “Besides, my correspondent could hardly help but think of me, given everything.”

The addition struck me as strange, but I dismissed it. It was late, I was tired, and there was chloroform to find. “I still have access to my old surgery. Give me five minutes to dress, and I’ll be on my way.”

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
donutsweeper
Jul. 31st, 2016 04:28 am (UTC)
Ooooh H H Holmes!!!!
methylviolet10b
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:15 am (UTC)
He's one of those people whose stories are stranger than fiction (and scary as all get out).

Thanks!
time_traverser
Jul. 31st, 2016 04:55 am (UTC)
My God. I was just using H.H. Holmes for a story, too. Albeit in a different fandom.
methylviolet10b
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:17 am (UTC)
Great minds and all that! :-) What fandom?

time_traverser
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:19 am (UTC)
Hetalia...it's an anime. Being posted on a different site...
gardnerhill
Jul. 31st, 2016 05:17 am (UTC)
Good story - and educational! H.H. Holmes - the only guy that made Norman Bates' establishment look like a 5-star hotel.
methylviolet10b
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:18 am (UTC)
Hahaha! Yeah, H. H. Holmes was one awful piece of work.

Thank you!
laurose8
Jul. 31st, 2016 05:39 am (UTC)
As well as good reading, this is a very canonical episode, and impressively professional, too.

Also, I'm impressed by your historical knowledge.
methylviolet10b
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:20 am (UTC)
Actually, it was one of those lucky bits of reading-up on one thing that led me to H. H. Holmes entirely by accident. I can't claim any particular historical knowledge on this one.

Thank you!
thewhitelily
Jul. 31st, 2016 09:31 am (UTC)
Hah! I thought of using H H Holmes for this prompt, too! Did all the research then decided on another dieection. :) Nice story, feels like it could have been true.
methylviolet10b
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:21 am (UTC)
H. H. Holmes is far more popular (and well-known) than I knew. :-) I'd love to see your take on him someday!

Thank you very much!
mazaher
Jul. 31st, 2016 07:04 pm (UTC)
I love it when a story connects to another via a link, and in this case... what a story.
methylviolet10b
Aug. 3rd, 2016 04:22 am (UTC)
I know, right?

Thank you!
caffienekitty
Aug. 3rd, 2016 07:10 am (UTC)
Ooo, nice one!
methylviolet10b
Aug. 8th, 2016 05:29 am (UTC)
Thank you!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )