Blood. Blood everywhere. On the walls, on the floors, on the ceiling, on me. I'm up to my ankles in it. It's warm and thick, freshly spilt, stagnant and tainted. No, not stagnant. It's rising.
A brief moment of panic follows as I realize there's no way out. There are no doors or windows in the room. The walls are made of concrete. I am going to die, smothered by the blood I was too late to keep from being spilt.
I climb onto the table as the blood flows more quickly. I know it will do me no good, but I have to give myself time to think. Looking around, the hotel room that would become my tomb is featureless other than the standard furniture. Table, chair, bed, television. Nothing to hold onto or to rip out to make a makeshift drain. And now I have no choice but to swim, treading blood like water.
It's thick. It makes swimming hard. It hurts in my arms and my legs as they fight to keep me afloat. But worse is the pressure on my chest. The liquid, so much thicker than water, compresses my chest and makes it difficult to breathe. All of this is in my mind when I notice the speed at which the blood is rising has increased. The ceiling grows nearer and I have to start thinking about what happens when I get to it. I don't know.
Is this really how I was meant to die? Drowning in a room full of blood? It feels wrong, but I can no longer crane my neck to grab the last hints of air. The blood has reached the ceiling.
It stings my eyes, still hot somehow, as I look for any hint of a way out. I will cope with the strangeness of the situation later (if there is a later). Right now, all that matters is survival. There has to be a way out. I got in, didn't I?
The desperation to breathe is mounting and I can feel my heart rate increase, palpitations beginning to start. My head hurts as my brain screams for oxygen. There is no way into this room. There is no way out of it. I will die.
Part of my mind wants me to think about how John will feel. At this point, it's irrelevant. There's nothing I can do to change it unless I can get out of here. I shove that to the back of my mind. The blood has restagnated now—one cannot compress water, which is, after all, the largest component of blood.
A few precious bubbles escape my lips as my body tries to inhale. I must not let it. My vision begins to speckle as the optic nerve starves. Still I have found no way out. Except…except now there's a door that wasn't there before. I pull on the handle. The higher pressure in the room is preventing the door from opening. I've found an escape and it isn't enough. It's never enough.
My lungs of their own volition take a deep breath of blood, only to reject it. So now I'm drowning. Coughing and re-inhaling before coughing again. Painful vicious cycle, and now my mind has ceased to function as it should. The pain of breathing the wrong state of matter overwhelms all else. Death is inevitable. This is it. My eyes begin to darken as I drift away from myself.
So much sensation has been lost, but not enough to fail to realize I'm moving. Rapidly. The door has opened and the blood and I are rushing out. But my body takes one last gasp of blood and I lose everything.
I wake up an indeterminate period of time later to find myself in hospital. John is sitting nearby.
"Oh, thank God you're fine! You don't remember Moriarty drugging you?"
"No." My stomach aches as if I've vomited. He drugged me?
"Yeah, he drugged you and threw you in the Thames."
So it was a dream, then. A drug and drowning-induced dream. That's only partly reassuring.