Monday, 21 July 2008

The Case of the Twelve Gold Crosses: PRELUDE


The cold, dank fog hangs like a shroud over the cold streets of Victorian London, its narrow alleys eerily lit by flickering gaslights. The gloomy bricks of the dull houses echo with the hopes and dreams of the dead generations and pools of dank water lie in the filth-drenched gutters. In the corner of one such gloomy side-street stands a blue police box from another time. Inside, the Doctor is handing psychic paper to Ben and Kyle:
“… so I’ll be back in a weeks time, same place to pick you up. Should give you long enough to soak up the delights of Victorian London” the Doctor comments.
Ben smiles,“Thanks Doctor. I really need this break and meeting Sherlock Holmes is like a dream come true for me. We’ll use the psychic paper to pretend to be from the police.”
Kyle looks uncertain:“I’d still rather ‘ave gone to somewhere hot with beaches and stuff like.”
Ben frowns:“Oh come on Kyle, that sounds like you’d rather just go on holiday to Spain or something. This will be a real cultural break for you, a chance to see London as it was in the nineteenth century and to meet the finest English detective ever.”

They leave the TARDIS and walk through the dank, fog-drenched streets. Kyle stares at the shadowy buildings, dimly lit:
“This is really cold and damp innit. We could always run back to the TARDIS *sound of the TARDIS leaving* , or not *frowns*”
Ben grins:“Look Kyle, I’m sure that you’ll enjoy this more than you think. I know Anselm wishes he could have come with me , however he felt obliged to stay for his cousin’s wedding.”
As they walk through the dim side streets, they pass by a noisy tavern with women drunk on gin dancing on tables while rough men in battered hats with Victorian sideburns armwrestle each other. As they move on a woman approaches:
“Ere would you to gentlemen be wanting a girl to warm you up?”
The haggard looking woman lifts up her skirt to show her ‘wares’. Ben moves along quickly.
“That, Kyle, was one of the many prostitutes of this era. She probably has a low-paid job such as matchmaking and is topping up her income to pay the rent. It was from this social group that most of Jack the Ripper’s victims came from. This is living social history Kyle!”

Eventually they emerge onto a wider street with carriages passing by.
“And this is Baker Street! Come Kyle, this is the house we want.”
Ben rings the ornate Victorian doorbell and waits as the door slowly opens. A middle aged ‘motherly’ woman stands before them:
“Ah, you must be Mrs Hudson. We’ve come to see Sherlock Holmes” Ben says, “we’re from the police” *shows her the psychic paper.*
“Oh come in gentlemen, you’ll catch your deaths in the cold. I’ll just show you upstairs.”
Mrs Hudson leads them upstairs by candlelight and the sound of a violin being played badly echoes round the house. She bangs on a door:
“Mr Holmes, Mr Holmes, two gentlemen to see you.”
“Show them in then Mrs Hudson.”
The door opens and Ben sees a tall man with dark hair and a long chin in a dressing gown: the legendary Sherlock Holmes………….

.……………. To be continued

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