Don't Give Up
A Shirley Holmes Fan Fiction / Lyrics Challenge Format
Original | June 19, 2001 | 2392 words
Revision | April 17, 2002 | 2401 words
There they were, locked in a dark, moist room. Shirley had searched every
inch of the room, but she didn't find any way to escape. Bart had given up
hope and had collapsed in a corner of the room. Shirley had no idea Bart's
activities were that dangerous and quite frankly the surprise wasn't nice.
If only she had known in time...
(A few hours earlier)
Shirley was on her way to Sussex Academy. It had rained and large pools
were covering most of the road she traveled on. Skillfully she evaded the
deep ones. Shirley didn't feel happy. It had been weeks since she had a
mystery on her hands. But even with scouting the paper and messageboards in
the shops she didn't find one single thing that attracted her attention. As
Sussex came into view, someone knocked her on the shoulder. Shirley swung
around to see who it was.
"Hi Shirley!" a familiar voice greeted with unlimited enthusiasm. This mood
surely wasn't contagious. Shirley was still in a dark mood. She didn't even
try to crack a smile.
"Oh....Hi Bart. What's up?" she said with an uninterested tone. Bart looked
at Shirley for a minute analyzing any detail in her expression.
"You haven't seen any mysteries lately, have you? You look like you're
ready to blow up." Bart said. Shirley didn't react in any way. Bart decided
to break the news to her.
"Eeeh......Shirley?" Bart stammered.
"Yeah....." Shirley replied still in a sober mood.
"Since you've got nothing to do... Maybe you can help me out." he
proceeded. Shirley looked up. She didn't really believe in all the
paranormal stuff Bart was into, but proving he was wrong would occupy her
mind for a while. It was better than just hanging around, waiting for a
mystery to sneak up on her. Her eyes started to twinkle with the glare only
Shirley could add to a look. Bart knew he had her full attention now. "The
Redington Paranormal Society asked me to check on a house at the north
side." He paused for a second for the effect. "It is said to be haunted."
He proceeded in a sinister voice. "And I have to prove the presence of the
entity. I just need an extra pair of hands." Shirley hesitated just one
more second before agreeing to come with him after school.
(Back in present time)
If only she had followed her instincts, they wouldn't be locked in here in
the first place. Her eyes had adjusted to the dark and she could make out
Bart's face. He was still on the floor in the corner of the room. He was
crying. Shirley looked around. In the corner opposite to Bart were a table
and some chairs. At the wall next to Bart was a workbench that probably
hadn't been used for years. The layer of dust accumulated on it was at
least a centimeter thick. Above Bart was a small window. It was just large
enough to put your arm through, but some bars prevented that. Shirley
looked at the stuff around her, trying to find a way out. As if hypnotized
she started thinking again.
At that very moment Bart was thinking too. * Why did I draw Shirley into
this? * Bart still sat on the ground in the corner of the room. He removed
the tears from his face. * It is my fault Shirley and I are in this mess. I
should have noticed something fishy is going. * He sobbed silently as he
remembered what happened.
(One hour earlier)
Shirley and Bart approached the old mansion. Even though it was a clear and
sunny day, the place gave them the creeps. Around the gate that was in
front of the garden path was a chain lock. The gate was all rusty, but
weirdly enough the lock was not rusty at all. Could be just a coincidence,
Shirley thought to herself. To close up the old estate, could just be
another useless decision of city counsel. It seemed exactly something they
would do. Shirley grabbed her lock picking set, something Bart forgot to
bring. She managed to open the lock in minutes. She went on by slowly
pushing open the creaky structure and stepping inside. Bart followed her
and closed the gate behind him. The plants in the garden hadn't been taken
care of for years. Almost every single plant had died. Only persistent
weeds kept on growing. From up close the house was even scarier. It seemed
like a house taken right out of a horror movie. Slowly they walked across
the path until they reached the door.
"So what are we going to do know?" Bart asked Shirley. She looked at him
with a frown.
"What about going in? It's not like the ghost is going to open if I knock."
Shirley blabbed. She knocked the door as she said it. Both she and Bart
were surprised to see the door opening. Bart was about to tell Shirley "I
told you ghosts exist." but Shirley gave him a look that made him swallow
his words. It was like she said "Don't even say a word!" Cautiously they
entered the mansion as the door closed behind them.
Inside the house it was a total mess. There was dust everywhere and several
pieces of wooden furniture were broken, turned over or both. Shirley
couldn't believe why even a ghost would want to live in this dump. Near the
ceiling hung a broken lightbulb. Luckily, they both brought their
flashlights. Shirley turned hers on and moved the rays of light along the
walls. She didn't notice anything unusual. The wall was just filled with
"So, what do we do know?" she asked Bart. Bart removed a small mechanical
device from his backpack and showed it to Shirley.
"We check every room in the house for paranormal activities with this." he
said. "You see, paranormal activity sends out a certain sort of radiation
which-" He was cut off by a noise. Shirley had heard it too. Something was
happening upstairs. Quickly they rushed towards the stairs and started to
climb them. Shirley was in front of Bart. He almost bumped into her when
she stopped, because something near her feet caught her attention.
"Bart? Ghosts are dead, right?" She raised the wire she found from the
floor. "Why would they need electricity?"
"Maybe they forgot to cut off the electricity..." Bart suggested. Shirley
"Do your wires run along the stairs at home?" the junior detective asked
him. Bart realized she got a point. They continued to climb the stairs.
They didn't notice the camera's that had been filming them ever since they
The door at the end of the hall was slightly ajar and Bart and Shirley took
a peek inside. They saw men dressed in black putting large rectangular
things in boxes before sealing them and stacking them in a corner of the
room. Shirley gestured Bart they had to go and warn the police. Silently
they hurried back downstairs.
When they had reached the room with the paintings and the broken furniture
again, it happened. A dark figure with a hood blocked their path. The
figure raised a gun. Then a voice sounded. A voice both Shirley and Bart
could recognize from thousands if necessary. With a gun pointed at them,
the monologue the figure spoke made the situation a bit more tense.
"I can't believe the great Shirley Holmes lowered her level to hunting down
aliens and ghosts." Molly Hardy scorned. "I'm sorry, but I can't let you
go. I'm sure you two will eventually find out what my plan is and I can't
have you spoil it, now can I?" the young sociopath smiled, as she removed
the safety catch from the gun. "And since I'm in control, you're going to
do exactly as I say. Otherwise, you die!" She grinned with an evil
expression on her face. "Drop your stuff - all of it - and move to the
cellar door over there......STOP!" Molly moved towards Shirley's bag and
looked at it in approval. "Now, just give me your lock picking set, unless
you want to try the hard way." Reluctantly Shirley removed the stuff from
her pocket and handed it to Molly. After that they were ushered into the
cellar. Molly turned the key in the lock and walked away.
(Back in present)
Finally Shirley had figured out what Molly's plan was. The old paintings
they'd seen seemed familiar and now she remembered why. She had cut an
article out of the paper a few weeks before that said some extremely
valuable, but relatively unknown paintings were stolen from several private
collections all over Canada. Molly must've been behind it. She paid some of
her goons to do the stealing so she could sell them. The money she made of
it could finance her shady Internet business. Shirley was pretty sure it
was as she thought, but she was hardly in a position to tell anyone. She
looked around the room to find Bart still crying silently in the corner.
She sat down beside him and put an arm around him in an attempt to comfort
him. Although he calmed a little bit Bart continued sobbing.
"It's all my fault! I dragged you into this, just because I want to be
known for my paranormal research." he said silently.
"Stop it, Bart! Don't torment yourself. It's not your fault. You're gonna
get what you're after, you're gonna get your fame." Shirley pleaded. Bart
looked up to her through his tears. "Well, we've got to get out of here
first, of course." she said, stating the obvious. Shirley stood up again
and surveyed the room. There was no way they would be able to escape
through the tiny window, so they had to use the door. Shirley would have
given anything for her lock picking set at that moment. She looked through
the keyhole and saw the key that was inserted from the other side. At the
bottom of the door was a small space. That would have been a great escape
route if they were some sort of bug. The only other things Shirley found in
the room were some newspapers, a bit of string and some small piece of
wood. Suddenly she remembered the TV show "MacGyver". The guy was a genius.
If it was really necessary he could make a weapon out of a shoelace and
some paperclips. The thing that interested her was how he managed to escape
a room that was locked from the outside. He shoved the map he was trying to
steal under the door and pushed the key out with his Swiss army knife.
Shirley decided to try the concept herself. She pushed a newspaper under
the door. Then she took a hairpin out of her hair and pushed the key out of
the lock. Boy, was she happy she took Alicia's advice and decided to wear
hairpins that morning. After several minutes she finally heard the sound of
the key falling onto the paper. Cautiously she pulled the paper back in and
took the key. She turned to Bart.
"Hey Bart, I've got our ticket out of here!" Bart looked at Shirley in
disbelief when she showed him the key.
"When …? How...?" he uttered. Shirley cut him off.
"No time for that. I'll explain it later. I want to get out of here first."
Bart got up as Shirley turned the key in the lock. Slowly she opened the
creaky door. Her eyes grew when she saw the dusty room again. The paintings
were gone. Instead she heard a sound that penetrated her to the bone. It
was a bleeping sound that had regular intervals. Just like a bomb. She
followed the sound until she reached a chair in the middle of the room.
Very carefully she moved to the floor and looked under the chair. She saw a
monitor that held some disturbing information. As fast as she could she
moved away from the chair and sped back across the room towards Bart, then
towards the door pulling Bart along.
"Come on, hurry! There is a bomb over there. If we don't get away, we'll be
toast in 1 minute." Shirley yelled. Bart's eyes grew in horror as he
realized Molly didn't want to leave any witnesses. From that moment
everything that happened seemed to be in slow motion. Together they knocked
down the door and ran as far away from the house as possible. Shirley
pushed Bart to the ground just as a huge explosion came from behind that,
almost throwing them several yards ahead. When the smoke and dust lifted
Shirley and Bart left. They didn't want to explain their presence in a
house with a bomb to the emergency services.
(That night at Shirley's)
After the phone had rung twice Shirley took the receiver and placed it at
her ear. She looked at the screen that was placed near the phone and
"Hi Bart!" she greeted the young investigator of the paranormal.
"Caller ID, right?" Bart asked.
"Yeah." Shirley smiled. "So, why are you calling?"
"I'd like to thank you for saving my butt today." Bart responded.
"Don't mention it. I'm just not someone who gives up easily. And you're not
either. If there are ghosts and aliens out there, you'll find them." she
reassured him. She threw the idea that those things could exist out of her
mind immediately after she spoke the words.
"Thanks! Bye." Bart hung up his phone. Shirley did the same and went over
to her desk where her journal lay. She took the pen that was next to it and
started to write.
"Today I learned that giving up isn't always an option. Sometimes friends
depend on you, or even trust you with their lives. I won't give up, I'll
keep looking for you mom...The explosion in the house wiped out all
evidence the paintings were there, if there was left any evidence. No one
except Bart and me can tie her to the theft of those paintings, but if we
want to tell anyone we need proof. Again Molly has won a battle, but as
they say one battle doesn't make a war. I intend to win the war and expose
her activities. Some day."