First in a series of Halloween prompt fics I wrote from last year. I enjoyed them so much but I never found a reason to post them here. So I am going to do so now. I have written so little lately that I don't want people to think I've died...then again maybe I have and am writing from the great beyond...nonetheless I hope you enjoy this.

Bart


It Came Up The Stairs...

The elder lady crept into the room, she glanced about cautiously.

"No need to fear, it has not arrived home...yet," stated a voice from before the fire causing her to start.

She clutched at her chest. "Please, don't scare me like that, Mister Holmes, my nerves canna take much more."

Her renter's eyebrows furrowed in empathy. "I apologize, I'm afraid my nerves have been affected somewhat myself, causing me to become insentient. I ask your forgiveness."

The rain beat against the panes of glass like a primordial beast clawing for entrance, they both tensed. The wind whistled, it was the high-pitched wail of a homeless banshee.

"Frightful weather, this is," she murmured barely above a whisper.

He nodded gravely. "Not as frightful as some things in our association, though."

She agreed with a pensive jerk of her head.

The door at the bottom of the landing suddenly burst open, the slam of the door against the stop echoed up the stair well similar to the thunder rolling across the heavens just beyond the glass.

She let out a little cry of distress and Holmes doused his pipe, fearing the odour would rouse another roar from the beast.

There was a grumble and growl as it ascended dragging itself up the stairs with a limping series of slow sloshes.

"Steady, woman..." Holmes intoned, as his housekeeper looked ready to bolt for a warren in which to hide from the impending arrival of the creature.

It reached the landing, and made the turn into the parlour. It slammed it's drenched hat onto the rack with a pitter-pat of draining sluice, and turned to them it's eyes alight with a temper as foul as the weather outside.

"Have you two been conspiring against me, yet again?" it inquired with a raspy indrawn breathe, a wet rumble within its chest.

They both shook their heads suspiciously in unison.

Its eyes swept over them like a predator searching for sustenance, there appeared to be a yellow glint in its eye but that could have been a trick of the gas light that he had demanded be turned down so the glare would not hurt those watery orbs earlier this day.

"W-will you be t-taking dinner?" the lady inquired in a querulous voice, just a note shy of panic.

"Do I appear capable of a missed meal?" was the reply. "Did the apothecary send a messenger by?"

She nodded a little too rapidly, turning to Holmes to answer.

Holmes gave her a furious stare for throwing him out in front. "The medicine is in the lavatory, as requested."

It glared at them both some more, then drug it's way past grumbling to itself in a manner reserved for trolls and goblins who steal children.

They both started as the lavatory door slammed.

"I so detest influenza season! Why, oh why won't Doctor Watson admit he is sick and take the rest he needs?" Missus Hudson lamented with a wary glance.

Holmes sighed rubbing his stiff neck that the tension of the last few moments had managed to kink. "I'm afraid we will have to cancel his appointments for the rest of the day."

He held up a vial to the light. "The apothecary delivered more than his medicine."

She nodded. "For his own good," she remarked with resignation.

"And for our precarious sanity, I hold the dear man in the upmost esteem but too much more of this and I will be investigating a suspicious smothering with a pillow one day soon!" Holmes answered with a wince.

"I'll make the soup."

"I'll measure the knockout drops."

END


For those who've read my Doctor Watson Police Surgeon Series Book Four, they will remember that Mrs. Hudson did a very unexpected thing because Watson was so ill...this is a story inspired by that event.