I woke up and found myself not in my room. “Oh no,” I thought as I remember what happened last night. “I must have fallen asleep, after I promised Grace I would stay up with her.” But as I looked around I couldn’t find Grace anywhere. “Where is Grace?”
“Oh look sleeping beauty has finally woken up.” I heard someone say and I turned to see Grace in the kitchen.
“Grace, I’m so sorry I fell asleep.” I said feeling terrible.
“No, John, its fine, Sherlock and I talked for a while, and then we went to the store and got some food.” Grace said.
“Wait you and Sherlock…” I stared at her.
“And, now we are making breakfast.” She smiled.
“Sherlock. Breakfast.” I said trying to hold back a laugh.
“Yes and your help would be appreciated.” Sherlock said walking into view. I laughed when I saw him, he was covered, head to toe, in flour. I started over towards the kitchen when Grace stepped in front of me.
“No!” She yelled pushing me back onto the couch. “Sherlock needs to know how to make this himself.” She said going back into the kitchen. “You boys can’t just go on eating take out for the rest of your lives.”
“I beg to…” Sherlock started but Grace quickly shoved him back into the kitchen.
“What are you making?” I called a smile on my face as I leaned back on the couch to relax.
“It’s a surprise!” She yelled back when suddenly there was a loud crash followed by Grace yelling, “Sherlock!”
After a good hour, Sherlock and Grace, who were both covered in flour, came out with the food. They had made muffins, scones, eggs and sausage. The eggs and sausages looked good, however the muffins looked a little flat and the scones were as hard as rocks.
“I made the muffins and the scones,” Sherlock smiled proudly. I looked over at Grace with a questioning look wondering if eating something that Sherlock had made was a good idea. In return, she gave me a look like, “you better eat them.” The muffins were not half bad, but the scones were terrible. It took all my power to choke it down.
“That was really good,” I coughed with a smile on my face as Grace picked up my plate. Suddenly my phone rang. I looked to see that it was a text message from Grace. “Gracie, did you just text me?” I asked and I watched as her face turned as white as the flour she was covered in. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“John, Moriarty took my phone.” She gasped.
As she said this I quickly opened the message. It read; “Hello Sherlock, John, and sweet Grace
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
.-. --- -... . .-. - .- / .--. .- ..-. .-.. .. -. /
“We are all mad here” :)
Love M XXXXXX”
“Is this another one of Moriarty’s puzzle, I see some Morse code.” I stated handing it to Sherlock.
After looking over it, he quickly handed the phone to Grace and then took out his own phone and typed something into it. “John can you decrypt the Morse code?” He asked not looking up from his phone.
“Ok,” I said as Grace handed me my phone back. I looked at the Morse code and quickly started to decode it. R, O, B, E…
“Alice in Wonderland!” Sherlock shouted breaking my concentration.
“What?” I asked looking up from the phone.
“‘We are mad here” it’s from Alice in Wonderland.”
“Why put a quote from Alice in Wonderland, and what are the numbers?” I asked.
“I have an idea,” He said, “Have you figured out the Morse code.”
“Almost,” I replied looking back at the phone. F, L, I, N, “Got it!”
“What does it say?” Grace asked.
“Not what, but who, it’s a name, Roberta Paflin.” I said.
“John, I need your laptop.” Sherlock said quickly as he grabbed my laptop.
“Where is yours.” I asked not even bothering to tell him about the password. I hadn’t changed it since the last time he had cracked it.
“In my room,” He said not looking up from the screen.
I sighed as I walked over to look over his shoulder. Although I was kind of distracted by Grace, who was doing the same thing I was, however she had her hand rested on Sherlock’s shoulder. However I quickly turned my attention back to Sherlock, he was looking up Roberta Paflin. “She’s an illustrator for…” I leaned in close so I could see. “Alice in Wonderland.”
“I knew it.” Sherlock said clicking on the images of the books that Roberta had illustrated. “It’s a book cipher; we just have to figure out which book.” He said pointing at the two different covers.
“It’s that one,” Grace chimed in pointing to the one with Alice falling down the rabbit hole.
“I get it; Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.” I said. “How are we going to find this specific book?”
“I’ll go find it.” Sherlock said quickly as he brushed off the flour then he grabbed his coat and scarf before he headed out. “I’ll be back soon!” He yelled and then the door shut.
Grace smiled as she wiped the flour off herself. She then headed into the kitchen and I followed her. Disaster didn’t even begin to describe the state of the kitchen. Flour covered the walls, and batter covered the floor. Scattered around the kitchen were pots and pans, and in the trash was what looked like a mountain of burnt muffins and scones. It looked like a war zone.
“How did you even make breakfast?” I asked lifting my feet up to find them covered in batter.
“Don’t ask me?” She smiled when we heard the door open and shut.
“Well, he’s back quick.” I smiled but as I turned to Grace I found that she wasn’t smiling. Instead she had a terrified look on her face.
“John,” Grace said grabbing a knife, “That’s not Sherlock.”
I quickly grabbed her hand and pulled her to the wall grabbing a knife as well. Slowly I brought my finger up to my lip as I held my breath. Everything was silent for a moment, and I feared that you could hear my heart pounding in my chest. I gripped the knife in my hand tighter as two big me turned the corner walking into the kitchen. In a flash, Grace was up and stabbing one of the men in the shoulder. As he screamed in pain, I quickly charged the other guy. I sliced the knife at the man but he dodged it. I kept slashing away every time the man dodging my stabs. Soon everything blurred, when suddenly I heard Grace scream.
“John!” I heard Grace scream. I turned to see her standing with a bloody knife on her neck and a man holding her. Suddenly I was knocked flat on my back.
“Drop the knife!” The man who was holding Grace said. I quickly did as he said and as soon as I dropped the knife, two men came and grabbed my arms. Another man had come into the room without me noticing, he was heavier set than the other two and had black hair that was greased back. Slowly he made his way towards Grace.
“Why, Moriarty was right, you are a pretty thing.” The man said caressing Grace’s cheek.
“Don’t touch her!” I spat trying to break free. I could feel the rage building up inside me. As I struggled, my eyes never left Grace’s. To my surprise, she didn’t look scared as she started back at me. Her eyes were filled more with worry.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” The man said and he snapped his fingers. The man holding Grace then pressed the knife deeper into her neck causing her to whimper.
“I’m stopping,” I quickly said, standing perfectly still, desperate to have him free Grace.
“Who has the handcuffs?” He asked.
The man who Grace had stabbed came up and pulled out some handcuffs.
“Nail ‘em up.” The man who I assumed to be the leader said and the man followed his orders. In the doorway to the kitchen, he took out, what looked like a railroad spike and nailed it to the beam. Then the man holding Grace lifted her up and chained her hands with the handcuffs.
“No,” I thought realizing who it was. “Max?” I said as I saw him take out a knife.
“Oh, you know me.” He said flattered. “You must be familiar with my work.” He smiled showing his yellow and crocked teeth.
“No!” I screamed as he brought the knife towards Grace’s stomach. He sliced her shirt open and I prayed he wasn’t going to do what I thought. Again, he brought the knife to her stomach as he said. “Moriarty says I’m not allowed to harm you.” Another man came up the stairs. He was carrying a brand and I realized what he was going to do.
“No!” I screamed and I felt the hot sting of tears in my eyes. “Please don’t.”
“However, he did want to leave his mark.” Max smiled grabbing Grace’s chin as he turned to look at the fire place. “The fire place is a nice touch, and so convenient.”
“Don’t you dare!” I yelled as he put the brand in the fire.
“Are you threatening me?” Max asked turning towards his men and nodded causing the man on my right to punch me in the stomach. “You are in no place to be threatening me.” He sneered turning the brand in the fire. He kept it there for a moment until it turned red before he brought it out.
“Please,” Grace whimpered as he brought the brand closer.
“Please don’t,” I begged my eyes darting between Grace and Max. I prayed that Sherlock would just come sweeping in to save the day like always, but he didn’t.
Max smiled as he brought the brand down on her skin just below the collarbone. My heart broke as Grace screamed out in pain, tears streaming down her face.
“I’m going to kill you! Kill you!” I screamed trying to break away. However, the grip on my arms just kept getting tighter.
“Alright well, my work here is done boys lets go.” Max said and the men started to drag me with them.
“No!” Grace screamed chocking on her tears.
“Oh don’t worry we won’t kill him… yet.” Max laughed as he smacked her across the face. “And this is where I say goodbye.” He placed his hand right on the brand and pressed hard. Grace’s screams caused a tear to run down my face. “Goodbye my dear,” Max grabbed Grace’s face and kissed her hard. “Oh wait I almost forgot.” He said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper which he then proceeded to put into the front of Grace’s bra. Then he hit Grace in the head with the brand. I watched as her head slumped forward. “Well Doctor Watson, shall we go.” He said then he hit me in the head with the brand.