My Dear Watson, I’m the Villain
Twisted from Sherlock Holmes
I swear, Sherlock Holmes is superhuman. There were more days than I can count that I’ve caught him awake, fully clothed, and ready to start the day in the dead of night. It was too early for breakfast when the door opened, and a clearly bewildered woman, who I recognized to be the baker down the street, rushed into the room.
“He’s at it again with the prostitutes!” cried Mrs. Brown.
“May I ask who you are talking about, Mrs. —”
“Jack the Ripper, of course!” said she, which made Sherlock’s eyebrows raise at the name.
Jack the Ripper was a name that always brought a bit of hysteria along with it. One would always think twice before uttering the name, since it was quite a sensitive subject at the time. I always believed it was the press that blew it out of proportion, so I tried ignoring it. Sherlock, however, had taken an interest in the name as soon as the news began to buzz about the uncatchable killer. So I knew he was getting excited.
“The victim?” asked Sherlock politely.
“She’s a foreign whore, goes by the name Elizabeth.”
“Very well, Mrs. Brown. I will investigate the murder, but I expect some dinner rolls to be on the table when I get back,” said Sherlock with a wink.
“Word travels fast,” said Lestrade as we greeted him at the crime scene.
With a nod, Sherlock quickly dismissed him and went straight to the body. Elizabeth was a middle-aged woman with curly, dark brown hair. Her face would have been recognizable to anyone who knew her, but there were multiple, deep cuts in her belly and a slash at her neck. Inspecting the corpse, Sherlock noticed a lack of blood surrounding the body.
“We believe she was killed somewhere else and then brought here to divert us,” said Lestrade.
“Thank you for trying, Inspector. I appreciate it,” said Sherlock. “But no. She died here; otherwise there would be traces of blood leading elsewhere. She smells of alcohol, so she was very drunk and unaware of her surroundings moments before her death. Although her neck is almost decapitated, there are bruises around the neck. I suppose she died first due to strangulation. The cuts in her neck and abdomen were made after her death, attributing to the lack of blood. Now, the killer. He’s an interesting character. I believe he’s left-handed because as you can see, the cuts go from left to right. One more thing, the killer and victim had no previous relation to each other. He made the cuts for sport. I reckon he’ll be at it again. But until then … we’ll have to wait and see. Have the coroner further investigate the cause of death.”
This would sound like a sufficient analysis to any other person, but to me, he was passive. He had no lead. After leaving the scene, I decided to confront him about it. But he merely remarked that I made an interesting observation and should continue to think like that.
The next morning, I read in the paper about the murder of a prostitute who had her neck severed and abdomen lacerated in the early hours of the morning. But the picture of the body sent chills down my spine. It was not Elizabeth. Her face was slashed and a bloody mess. This time, her neck was cut all the way across and the cuts were deeper and with more intention. The victim was found only several streets down from where Elizabeth’s murder took place. How could this happen in one night?
Elementary, Watson, Sherlock would say. Ripper knows the streets of London. Prostitutes aren’t that hard to find at night. Both murders would have taken minutes to complete.
“Sherlock, what is the probability that both murders were committed by the same person?” I asked.
“90 percent, 9 percent for an accomplice, 1 percent an unrelated killer,” said Sherlock.
Lestrade arrived several hours later to ask about the new murder, but Sherlock only linked it to Jack the Ripper and suggested that the watchmen be on the lookout on streets in the area, especially near lodging houses. He also advised special attention in the next week or the end of the month, since that was the apparent pattern of his past murders. Lestrade would follow Sherlock’s advice to a tee since the London police could not find a lead to the Jack the Ripper case. He was desperate for any sign in the right direction.
Over the next week, I refused to sleep. My suspicions of Holmes kept me awake throughout the night but he did little more than smoke and play the violin. But the night Sherlock played his sweet lullaby, I couldn’t help but rest my eyes. I even let him spread a blanket over my body. It wasn’t until the click of the front door closing that I realized I had dozed off.
I jumped out of the couch with my eyes bloodshot and I bolted out the door bringing nothing but a gun. Sherlock wasn’t in sight, but a kind night worker said he saw a tall man walking toward Whitechapel Road. It must be him. I searched in and out of lodging houses, pretending to be a customer, until a woman approached me.
“Are you looking for a good time, lad? You should see Mary Jane, but she’s seeing someone now. You’ll have to wait,” she said.
“This is an emergency. What room?”
“Well, if you insist. She’s on the second floor, sixth room to the right.”
My footsteps became heavy as I approached the room. With a gun in my hand and my heart pounding against my chest, I opened the door quietly. I was first met with the harsh, metallic scent of blood. Even after being exposed to war, I still get the urge to gag. The scene was unreal. Lying on a blood-soaked cot were entrails sprawled over open flesh. The face was hacked at so violently that all of the victim’s facial features were completely unrecognizable. The eyes, nose, mouth—all gone. Sherlock stood with his back turned toward me, wiping his bloody hands with a handkerchief.
“Watson, is that you?” Sherlock asked, turning around to face me. He sounded so calm, like the Sherlock I’ve always known. But I can’t look at him like that anymore. He’s a murderer.
“P-put your hands up, Sherlock! We’re going to the police,” I shouted. But to my surprise, Sherlock pulled out a pistol of his own.
“John, drop the gun. I have more intent to kill you than you do me. You’ll be dead before you even decide to pull the trigger.” On his command, I dropped the gun. Idiot! Why would I do that? But Sherlock also placed the gun on the ground. He wanted us to be equals.
“No. This can’t be happening.”
“Oh, Watson. You can see for yourself. I’m standing here with blood on my hands, next to a knife that I own, and a freshly murdered woman. C’mon, put the pieces together. Justice before friendship.”
I stood there, dumbstruck. How could the man who I admired so deeply turn into my worst nightmare? How could the world’s greatest crime solver be responsible for something so unforgivable?
“If I can find the flaw in every crime, then I should know how to devise the perfect crime. Wouldn’t you agree?” he responded, as if he could read my mind. “But the only flaw I could not cover up was you. It’s difficult to mask human nature. No, I take that back. I was overgeneralizing myself with normal people. I wanted you to find me.”
“WHY WOULD YOU DO SUCH A THING?!” I scream, unable to contain my rage.
“I was getting bored. I needed a new challenge; it was time for me to be the villain. I wanted this case to test the blinding effects of trust. I even gave clues, and the only one to detect that was you. I commend you for that. But dealing with murder after murder without anyone having a clue to who’s done it was exhausting. This one’s my last,” he said, gesturing toward the body. “Jack the Ripper was fun while it lasted.”
The stench, the stress, and the fatigue were too much for me. I was growing faint and was starting to loll in and out consciousness. I couldn’t stay. I had to escape from him while I still had the chance.
“Good-bye, Dr. Watson. You were the best companion I could have asked for. I’m sorry I couldn’t be the same for you.”
“You’re a monster.”
I turned and left, unable to look into his eyes. I never saw Sherlock Holmes again.