The Great Mouse Detective and the Basil of Baker Street Mysteries belong to the Walt Disney Company and the late Eve Titus respectively. The original name of "Sherringford" for Basil's first name, Myerricroft Basil, Chief-Inspector Vole and Detective Inspector Clawes are the creations of Mlle. Irene Relda.
*This work of fanfiction is a response to the "Gender Bender" challenge issued by Cybra at on Basil's Public Reading Forum.
Summary: There are things in this world can not always have a logical explanation. After Ratigan's disappearance following his failure to take control over Mousedom life for Sherringford Basil had changed quite drastically, yet despite all its new found advantages the Great Mouse Detective must still fight in order to keep up a secret that once out could mean the end for Basil of Baker Street. Not an easy task considering the dubious murders that have suddenly sprung on the streets of London, Dr. Dawson's disappearance and a curse placed by a gil almost 200 years ago ...
Whispers in the Dark
Before I begin my tale, I must be sure you understand, dear reader, that this is not a fairytale, for even if it starts with a "once upon a time…" it is a tale most would not wish to remember. It is a story of hate and betrayal, of hurt and of broken hearts, and all because of something as simple as a mere misunderstanding. Sadly, this is a tale that for most it would have better stayed forgotten.
But alas, that has not come to be…
And thus I begin my tale:
Once upon a time, but not as long ago as it seems, in the heart of England's great London, on the lower levels of a bakery to be more precise, lived a certain girl and her grandfather, a old baker-mouse of 58. They were not a wealthy duo, but they could manage, and what was more important to them was that they were happy, or at least could afford to live in inglorious bliss. The old baker-mouse has already reached a certain age when nothing the world thought about him would bother him, while the girl was… well, she was just the "odd one of the den".
The girl was a strange creature to say the least. She was know to have these odd, big green eyes that could see inside one's soul, and bore such disregard for the natural laws of our world and such a horrifying interest for the dark and the dead that many would have accused her of witchcraft if not for the little detail that if one dared accuse her of anything, said person would somehow suffer inexplicable burns all over their body. Because of this slight detail, people chose to stay away from her and leave her be. If she was a witch, then there was no reason to anger her…
Or the creature that was watching over her.
Rumor goes that she was followed by the devil ever since her parents perished in a fire, a fire she had witnessed. The girl had claimed to have been the work of rats, yet nobody listened to her words… until the death rate had suddenly grown. It is a theory which most of the people who knew her seamed to embrace for she is often seen talking to herself, claiming to hear voices and come up with some of the most horrifying theories about death. And then there were her sketches… The girl could have made a fine artist, some said, if not for the fact that all her drawings appeared to be something seen through the eyes of Satan.
The people were scared of her.
Still, despite the stories, unnatural coincidences and a couple of dead bees found around her house, she was a silent childe, concerned only over the welfare of her grandfather. Nobody understood her or took time to know her, except an Irish professor that had recently moved in town.
One night however, this all changed.
"Grandfather? What are you doing? Is something wrong?" the girl had once asked her grandfather who, for the first time since she moved in with him after her parent's death, looked so beaten by weather and worry that even she could see that something had gone wrong. The older rodent simply looked at the youngest member of his little family before turning back to finish packing.
The girl could not understand what was happening. Income was regular and while she could admit that some of their customers preferred to "come back later" while she was in the house, she could not understand what was happening.
Unless, it was not her fault that they had to leave.
"Grandfather, you are making me worry. Please tell me what is wrong" the little girl had pleaded her grandfather, but he still refused to say a word. His silence was enough for her fears to surface.
A few nights ago, a cargo ship had returned from the continent and among the usual human crew members and crates of rare foods and grain, came a colony of very hostile looking rats. Most mice feared them because of their red eyes and quick temper, while some of the braver inhabitants of London dared to approach them … with disastrous results.
The rats were indeed hostile creatures, snapping at whom ever dared disturb them and even attacking the unfortunate souls that had the nerve to stand up to them. But it was not until the first dead mouse appeared on London Bridge that the panic emerged. Out of fear for their lives, mice started to leave their homes and move to the country were they hoped they could be safe from the rats.
She took a moment to think, and the words of a woman who just the other day canceled her order for raspberry pie came to hunt her back: it is only a matter of time before you will be leaving this town too.
It was clear then… they were moving out – probably to her mother's sister and her family in Sussex.
Slowly leaving the room in which her grandfather was working, she went to look around the kitchen, eyes falling on a couple of papers she nipped from the local magistrate when he was buying bread. Taking a coal from the heart, she began to sketch the outlines of a face.
Drawing had always calmed her.
Her heart ached at the thought of leaving the place she had known as 'home'. It hurt too much to know that she had to leave only because of some big old rats. It simply wasn't fair. Silently, she cursed the rats for all that they have done, both to her and to her parents.
Townspeople may think of her as a witch and treat her as an outcast, but she was no murderer.
She remembered the time with the bees. Those creatures never liked her, and she never liked them. It was simply bad for business. Plus, one of them tried to sting her. She remembered that she wished for it to die… and so did he…
That and more, little one…
The townspeople were more perceptive then they seemed. They have noticed that someone was with her, protecting her from the dark, whispering to her every step of the way. They would talk about it behind her back, muttering complaints concerning her eccentrics to her grandfather, but the old mouse – God bless his soul – never bid them any mind. Still, he could do little to protect her and could not always be there to stand up for her. He had always been with her and had always made her wishes come true – just like a dark guardian angel. The bees were proof enough for that. That day following the fire that had killed her parents, the insects had taken an odd liking to her. She simply had wanted them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't, until a whispery voice had told her to wish them death. She did… and they died.
Just like that.
The bees scared her, wanted to hurt her, to do her harm, and they were a threat for everyone around them. The bees deserved to die, and now so did the rats. They deserved to die. Maybe if she was to put more heart in her hate she could –
Yes… wish them death, my little one…
No, she couldn't. Not all rats were bad, just like not all mice were good. A good example was that rat that moved in from Ireland now a couple of months ago. This rat was good and kind and what more, he was an intellectual. When he had first introduced himself, he had said that he was a professor, yet to her, he was a miracle. His mind was an open one and more often than not she would seek out his company for a chat, or two. Over those months, she had taken a special liking to him and even if he did not approve, she found that she didn't mind. She liked the professor, very much so, and refused to believe that he would ever do anything to hurt her. He was proof that not every rat is evil, just like not every mouse is good.
You know that he will betray you in the end, do you not?
She refused to listen to his voice, which so clearly rang in her ears yet never seamed to reach those of another. She had faith in the professor, in his word and in his vow to protect her and her grandfather from harm. He had given them his word on that …
But he will not hold true to his word. He is a rat, after all, and no rat holds true to his word.
No… she refused to believe it. Not her professor, not him…
She looked at the face her hands had immortalized on paper without her knowing. It was smiling at him, as it always had, and with a small smile of her own she added a little sign in the bottom-right corner. She wanted to add a message as well, but first she had to learn how to write.
He promised her that he will teach her some day.
No rat keeps to his promises. He will betray you, you just wait little one. He will betray you and all you hold dear. The rat shall show his true colors soon, and I assure you, they are no different from the ones of the others…
She tried to cover her ears, but the whispers were still so clear. Yet she refused to believe. She trusted him, she had faith in him… she… she… loved him…
You shall see, little one, that I speak the truth. You shall see, oh… you shall see…and with that the voice faded away.
Suddenly, she heard movement in the other room. It sounded like someone had just opened the door, then something else – like crashing and then like… a meat cleaver slicing through meat.
And then, she heard her grandfather scream.
Before her brain could catch up with her body, she sprinted out of her hiding place and dashed back into the other room. What she saw then, broke her small heart into little pieces.
She tried to take in the sight before her, but she could not. The whispery voice had described to her such scenes before, yet to actually see it with her eyes… And the one who did this… was still there…
She heard the laugher, so much like his yet so unlike him… And then the one who killed her grandfather vanished in a blink of an eye. Yet she had seen him… he was there… he had done this… he had betrayed her…
And the voices were right, they had always been right.
Curse him, little one… curse him now! Make him suffer, make him feel pain! Come now little one, you have been betrayed! He betrayed you!
A fire started to burn inside of her. She could feel the flames come alive around of her, could feel her anger making it grow. Her eyes that not less then a moment ago held so much sorrow were filled with such hate that one would think she truly had the devil inside of her.
She could not believe it… This was… No… That was – that once was…
…Why had he done that?
Because he was only using you for his own sick enjoyment, of course. He betrayed you, just like I said he would. He doesn't care for you as I do. Only I care about you, little one. I am the only thing you can trust.
Where was he? Where was the traitor that promised her that he would protect them?
Where was that traitor? Where was he? WHERE WAS HE?!
That's it, little one… Hate him, curse him… wish him the cruelest of deaths…
The room suddenly became hot, so very hot… The roar of hungry flames echoed all around yet all the little mouse's eyes could see was what that rat left of her grandfather – a mouse that had done nothing to him. A mouse he, after he had given her his word, in such a barbaric way –
Curse him, my sweet! Wish him the most horrible fate you can ever think of!
She failed to notice the rat that came into the room.
Curse him! Now my dear! Surrender your soul to me, little one and let me destroy him! Let me make him suffer!!!
Why? Why had he betrayed them? Why had he betrayed her?
Let me out girl! Let me lose! Let me take lives, let me torture and let me kill! Come, girl! Entertain me!
She felt a presence behind of her. Turning around, she glared at her visitor.
You must understand dear reader that the documents that held vital information concerning the names, dates and locations have long since burned, misplaced or have vanished without a trace. Still, there still lies a story that is told from time to time around London, about a group of mice that gathered on one night of September the 2nd on the bank of the Themes River and watched with dread and sorrow as homes they once called their own were burned to the ground. Tale has it that among them, there were no rats at all, and that in the next following days bodies of the larger rodents have been found among the rumbles, all of them burned alive. It is said that among their bodies they had found that of an old mouse and of her granddaughter, both burned beyond recognition.
There is another legend that talked about a rat – one single rat, looked at the burning city, tears leaking from his eyes. Little did they know, that said legend, is not a legend at all.
Years after the event has taken place and London had been re-built, the same rat that was seen on the river bank on that 2nd of September oh so many years ago came back to a new London, safer and more modern then the one before, yet instead of fancy buildings and busy streets his eyes saw only flames and the heart-broken eyes of a young mouse. Then there was that voice, the voice that kept hunting him for years on end, words that kept repeating themselves over and over again, words that he heard long after the day he first died.
"Curse you, rat… Curse you and all your kind… You twist the truth with lies and use one's heart for your own sick pleasure… Curse you, rat! Curse you all to hell! Your brothers now shall meet their doom, burned by the flames that they made me fear so. But not you, no, not you; you shall not find death nor peace here."
The rat took out a little gold watch from the inner pocket of his traveling coat. It was very late. All that traveling and research had taken up a lot of his time, but one could not say that he did not know how to make the most of the un-normally long life he had been cursed with. But even so, all his life, had been a wasted life, and he knew it well.
Placing his watch back in his pocket, he took time to retrieve another object: a piece of old, yellow paper. He looked at it long and hard, just before looking back at the city.
They were all the same – the mice, that is. They were all such simpletons, such brainless creatures … and when he found one that seamed to have a mind of her own, she had proven him that she was just as them. Muttering a curse under his breath, he slipped the paper back into his pocket and with steady legs approached the city.
"I shall now give you 100 deaths and 100 lives, to atone for your folly deeds, and if by the time you shall meet your last death you shall not find forgiveness from my eyes and love from a caring heart and share that love in return, then may you never find a place to hide or rest on this good earth, and no place to go to after your bodies will drop dead and turn to ash!"
"100 deaths" the voice had said. He was quite certain that he was not so far away from that number, which meant that was little to no hope for him. Might as well go out with a bang, he thought, and made a silent vow that he was to have his revenge upon the society that destroyed the one mouse he had ever found worthy of his interest.
Yes, he was to destroy their perfect world and build a new one in its place with the voice as his only companion …
… that constant whisper in the dark.
Might as well admit it - I have without doubt lost my mind for writing this ... But no more about my questionable sanity! Just hope that this will be one fic I will finish.
The prologue is set, but what of the story itself? Stay toned for answers and more questions as we proceed to chapter 1!
Reviews always welcome and greatly appreciated!