Running, he could feel all the wind in his lungs escape him, his legs burning, and that gripping fear that gave him just enough adrenaline to continue the chase.
He looked upon the large house that was just in his view, a large white plantation surrounded by trees. He felt as though he could almost feel his mother's hands on his face, smell his father's alcohol, and taste the sweet brew their maid always prepared for them upon request.
Yes, he could feel that comfort, but just as he was about the break through the forest, it stretched a mile longer before him and his short legs barely had been able to make it to tree line before.
What he was running from, he hadn't the faintest clue, yet in the moment, it seemed to make sense to simply run from whatever it was.
Whatever it was, he knew very well, it was dangerous, rentless, and most of all, blood thirsty.
He wiped the blood trickling from his nose, and as he pulled it away, he could feel all his life seep from his body as the pounding of footsteps behind him quickened and the mysterious figure behind him lurched, wrapping its arms around him deftly.
This was it.
These were his final moments.
His eyes shot open, staring wide at the ceiling as his heart beat within his chest cavity.
He looked towards the origin of the noise to discover it was none other than his mobile. He slammed one shaky hand upon the infernal device, slipping it up to his ear with haste as he let out a soft sigh, his voice apparently had not caught up with his brain yet, and so, the greeting was relinquished to the inspector on the other line.
"Yes. Yes, I'm here. What is it?" Sherlock turned, squinting to ensure he was reading the time correctly on the clock. It was only eleven PM, had he really retired to bed that early? And had he really only been sleeping for an hour?
"Oh, did I wake you?"
"That's not the point. What is it that you needed?" Sherlock replied, shaking his head as though the other man were able to actually see his expressions through the phone.
"It's the third child kidnapping, we're thinking these are all definietly connected. We found the first child who was kidnapped this morning."
"Dead or alive?"
"Dead unfourtunately, but this what I think will really interest you. He was found dead of course, but apparently he was impaled on branches some feet up a tree, and there were no signs of struggle. Then, here's the kicker, his internal organs were individually removed, placed into plastic bags, and put back into position just as they were...still in the bags."
Sherlock squinted in the darkness, rubbing one eye sleepily as he stood and flicked a light switch on. He leaned on the wall and gave a soft sigh, "Where?"
"Tall Oaks is the name of the neighborhood. Humberland St. I don't honestly think you'd need an exact address, there are cars parked all over the place."
"I'll be there in twenty." Sherlock replied nonchalantly, jamming the 'end' button without awaiting a reply, and threw it onto his bed, quickly dressing right back into his clothes, putting aside his pyjamas with a silent sigh.
Pushing the phone into his pocket once more, he fled the bedroom and made it into the living room. John sat on the couch, a newspaper in his hand though his eyes were distracted by the bright flickering picture on the television.
John turned quickly in surprise to see the famous sleuth, eyes narrowed.
"Yeah?" John replied, but upon noticing the trench coat, gave a curious expression, "Thought you were working on your website?"
"I was. Now I'm not. Time to go, there's a new case."
John stood promptly, grabbing his own jumper as he followed the fleeing Sherlock out the door. He turned, his eyes catching the television screen, and ran forward, turning it off, before flying down the stairs and practically throwing himself into the taxi that Sherlock had already settled intp, phone in hand as his fingers dashed to text who he assumed to be Lestrade.
"What's this one about?"
"The kidnappings." Sherlock murmured as he stuffed the phone back into his pocket and viewed the passing city.
John raised his eyebrows, "Oh, right. How many have there been now? This makes it three then, right?"
"Right." Sherlock replied, blinking quickly.
The images from the previous nightmare still freshly burned into his brain as he released a soft sigh.
"Are you...alright?" John asked with a quirked eyebrow.
Sherlock turned to him as though shocked before facing the window again, "This is it." He deflected skillfully as he watched in relief, John look out his window to gawk at the sea of flashing lights. This was more famous than the Taxi Murders, which he thought had really been the center of attention for the news in the weeks following.
However, this was something he'd never seen before, thousands of men and women were surrounding a house, tying to burst through the wall of officers who locked arms forming a barricade against the people.
Sherlock stepped out from the cab, the cabbie giving him a fretful look as John raised his eyebrows and shrugged, sliding him a rather large tip for the burden.
And just as they pushed themselves through the crowd, millions of lights were blinding them. Snapping photos of the two detectives left and right. Sherlock cocked his collar up in order to conceal his face, just as John lowered his head as though embarassed. It wasn't as though they were celebrities, not yet anyway, however, whoever was working on this case in particular, were bound to be in tomorrows newspaper.
Probably the front-page headline even. The case had started off as the McEver Child Kidnapping, of course since the McEver's were a rich and prosporous family, the case ended up being popularized fast. Soon enough, another child perhaps an hour away from the McEver's household, was kidnapped.
And now, two hours away from the McEver's was the third child kidnapping, and the McEver child lying dead. Murdererd in cold blood.
Sherlock pushed himself through the barricade in his usual brash attitude, "Move, move, move. Some people are actually trying to solve this you know."
And John tagged closely behind, his eyes in slits and a deep frown already set onto his features, "Sorry, sorry." He murmured to each appalled face as Sherlock strut forward into the average looking home to be greeted by none other than Gregory Lestrade, a rather grave look on his face with his hands on his hips.
"Sorry about the media, but there's nothing much we can do at the moment." He sighed, giving a shrug as he lead them through the antique furnished living room and out the back door. "The body of Elliot McEver is just in that trench. Mr. and Mrs. Paul are in their dining room, but I suggest showing your utmost sympathy, which I know may not amount much for you Sherlock, so I suggest maybe questioning them in the morning when the initial grief is over."
"Mornings no good. Tomorrow morning I suspect another body to be found, and their 'grief' will only be worse when they realize their son is next." Sherlock replied as he looked the trench up and down, moving forward, off the deck, and into the grass. Beside the trench, he crouched down, the body bloated and moist ontop of the water.
Lights were positioned as close to the body as possible in order to shed some light. Sherlock moved forward slightly, sticking his head out as far as he could to peer into the dark eyes of the child who seemed to be frozen, wide with fear.
Just as Lestrade had described to him, the body was split open, the child naked, but inside were small plastic bags with his organs contained within.
"John." Sherlock called, his eyebrows downward in deep thought as he subconciously reached out to touch the plastic baggy, checking the label for a brand name. There was none.
"Yes?" John replied, crouching beside him before giving the body a glance, "Oh, Jesus." He turned momentarily befre giving a sigh and then composed himself to stare back at the child. "You couldn't have warned me? I wasn't expecting a naked child with his organs wrapped in plastic."
"Not wrapped, bagged, John. Tell me, are these all in their correct places?"
John looked it over again, grabbing one of the light and holding it towards the body as close as possible, squinting as he studied it.
"It appears that way, yes. The murderer must have some sort of medical experience."
"Or, a handy medical book." Lestrade commented flippantly, lips pressed together.
"No, the organs, they're clean cuts, no mistakes. This wasn't done in a brash manner, it was done in a way that shows absolute expertise." Sherlock replied, as he pulled away, clearing his throat.
"However, he didn't die of...that. He died of blood loss from being repeatedly slammed against tree branches seven feet above his height. Isn't that right?"
"We'll, we didn't have the exact measurments, we-"
"Now you do. There are no signs of struggle. So we know that this boy was somehow lured to his kidnapper. It was a man he would trust, a police officer, a doctor, a fire fighter. However, a doctor or a fire fighter sneaking into your house would seem too suspicious, this boy was not stupid he was given the best schooling and education available. It would have most likely been an officer."
"You're suggesting an officer-"
"No, Lestrade, I'm suggesting a man was dressed in the uniform, not that he was actually an officer. A child of eight would not ask to see his badge, much less when informed there's been a break in, in his house."
John folded his arms as he stood, "A break in?"
"Absolutely. What else would make the child feel compelled and rushed to follow his every command, yet not too endangered to scream out for their mother or father?"
Lestrade turned towards the house quickly, wavering his hand towards him, "Come on. Everyone."
Sherlock continued, his mind already dashing to get each and every word out his mouth as fast and as timely as possible, "The officer assured his parent's were safe, then snuck him out the front door, into his car, brought him into the forest, killed him, and kept his body to perform this 'surgery' on him. Judging by the state of decomposition, I'd say he was kept preserved quite well. Perhaps he has ties to a medical facility where he snuck him, stuck him into a morgue. I would say he was a surgeon, with ties to a police department. Forensic Pathologist? But no, he bought some sort of costume. Something simple and fake, however, in the dark and in the state of emergency, what would an eight year old child really do? Now, the question is the motive. Why kill the boy? He didn't hold him for ransom. Why dump him in this back yard? To forewarn the parents of their childs fate? Not likely. He put it there to warn us of their childs fate if we didn't catch him. He wants to be sought out."
Lestrade blinked, "Alright then..Did everyone get all that?"
There were a few nods around him where other officers had gathered upon Lestrade's command. "Alright, now that all sounds great, problem is, that this time there was evidence of struggle."
Sherlock squinted at him, his eyes dating back to the house as he rushed across the dew lathered grass, and into the house, disregarding the doormat which John dutifully wiped his feet upon, before the moved into the dining room throough an arched doorway.
A couple, of perhaps thirty years sat in oak chairs, holding each other with tear streaked red faces cuddled beside each other. They looked up at the entrance the man made and Sherlock let out a breath of air.
"Hello. Are there more questions or-?" The husband begun, swallowing down the lump in his throat that had formed over the half-hour of silence.
"I'm..I'm an officer, why? Will that help with finding my son?"
Sherlock gave a triumphant smile, "It just might, unless one of you work in the hospital?"
They shook their heads slowly in confusion, "I'm sorry, but why the hell are you smiling, exactly? My son was just kidnapped from me."
"Your son. That's right. They've all been boys too." Sherlock mentally noted, "Alright, that's all. Thanks."
And with a quick investgation of the house, he returned to the outdoors, noticing the media had mostly packed their bags to call it a night. Few reporters remained, but those that did badgered him with the usual questions of who was a suspect, how he deducted the suspects and so on.
Sherlock didn't answer a single question, walking by placidly, head ducked low and and John in tow as he entered a called taxi and made his way back to 122B Baker Street where he would resign himself, for the night, to his lap top, researching dedicately his facts into coming up with a suspect.
He smirked as he sat before his laptop. This was going to be too easy, he'd need to research into a new case by morning.
However, he was absolutely, one-hundred percent, for once, wrong.