Alpha and Omega
It was a rainy Tuesday, what other weather could one expect to find in London. With his briefcase held over his head Dr Hooper ran for cover against the heavenly assault. He barely made it into the hallway of the house. The old building from of the Victorian era had a gold plate at the front door which read:
Dr Charles Hooper
Dr Hooper shook off the rain like a wet dog and walked up the stairs; before he opened the door he took a deep breath. Every day he had his moment of silence before he went to work, this was necessary otherwise he would eventually go crazy like his patients one day. A barrier between his psyche and theirs. The air-lock of his inner mind if you will. With new-found strength he opened the door. He greeted the waiting patients with a well-trained fake smile. Then he picked up the files of the day from the front desk.
“Who we’ve got today?” he asked his secretary Stacy without sparing a ‘Good morning’ for her.
“The usual,” she whispered.
“Well, after the one at 11 o'clock I will take a little break,” he gently touched her shoulder. She just nodded slightly.
Now he turned to the waiting patients and called for a ‘Mrs Hudson’. An elderly lady stood up and walked across the room to him, her steps were small and misguided.
“Right this way,” he pointed down the hall.
As he opened the door to his room he noticed, that someone was already sitting in the chair.
“I'm sorry, who are you?” he asked.
“Close the door, would you?” the unknown person asked, he was definitely male, though and could he make out the trace of an accent there?
“Excuse me Mrs Hudson, would you please return to the waiting room, I'll just have to settle this.”
Mrs Hudson seemed quite upset, but contained her anger and walked back stiffly. He closed the door gently behind himself and turned to the mysterious patient.
“Do you mind explaining this?” He wanted to ask, but then remembered that patients with social anxiety were usually asked to wait in a separate room. Given his small establishment this usually meant his room. Stacy was supposed to tell him about cases like this in advance, but she had always been the forgetful type. He calmed his nerves and settled down on his old leather chair. His office was so overloaded with psychology related items it almost seemed laughable. Books that looked like they were still wrapped in foil, the psycholigst-couch, a bust of Sigmund Freud, Rorschach pictures, three of them in total and a ton of drawing equipment.
“Well, since you are already here. My name is Dr Hooper if you should not know.” He stood up and reached out to shake the man's hand. The man remained seated or rather slouched on his chair, but for a brief second he noticed a little twitch, as if the man was scared of the idea of touching him. He lifted his head so the doctor could see underneath the hood of his coat. The two of them crossed eyes for the first time. The man had a cold look and barely kept the eye contact with the Doctor. Thick black rings gave him a restless aura. The most surprising thing however was that the man did not smell at all. Given his look he should reek like a waste disposal site. Dirty clothing, worn out jeans, and he could also spot the messy greasy hair underneath his hood, hanging off to the sides. Noticing that he had been staring at him for far too long, Dr Hopper quickly replied:
“Your eyes, they are quite fascinating,” he said.
“Heterochromia,” the man said, the accent became more noticeable now. The man turned his head away.
“I know it's just very rare and then such a unique combination.”
“I take it as a compliment.” his voice was just as unimpressed as his posture.
“You certainly should.” Dr Hooper was trying to light up his mood a bit.
“Bet it is a good conversation starter with the ladies, huh?”
“If you think this is my reason for this visit you are very much mistaken.” the man had his gaze directed towards the floor, yet spoke as if he was looking at him directly.
“I'm sorry, old habit. Always trying to read something out of people, not a fine trait.”
The man rested his hands on his lap.
“Well, if you have already started, please, tell me what else you can read.”
Dr Hooper concentrated and looked at him, there was much to work with, but he knew these kinds of people, desperate for attention, they wanted to be told how special theywere.
First he needed to find out the reason for his visit. He needed something to start a conversation with him and soon found a suitable subject.
“What are those on your hands?”
“You mean these?” the man raised his hands and showed the back of them to the doctor.
The back of his hands were tattooed with Greek letters. On the left hand was Alpha and on the right Omega.
“Yes, tell me about them.”
The man raised his head and for some reason looked towards the sink.
“No, I fear our time is up.” he stood up.
He walked towards the sink and started washing his hands. Doctor Hooper sighed with disappointment, “another germaphobe. That makes the third this week.” He thought. But he didn’t want to let his guest catch on, so he stirred up as much fake interest as he could and asked: “Why are you washing your hands?”
“Oh, I am sure you’ll appreciate the effort.” The man didn’t look up and continued to furiously scrub his hands.
It was then that the doctor noted his smashed mirror. A single blow to the centre had cracked the entire surface. As he got up to turn his patient around and ask him about this deed he was stopped by an oddly fascinating sight. As the man raised his head from the sink, his head aligned with the centre of the mirror, framing his head with a broken halo. Dr Hooper was fascinated by this sight a moment too long, with a swift move the man spun around and plunged something deep into his chest.
“What...what did you...?” Dr Hooper was starting to lose control over his body. The man caught him, flinched as he touched the fabric of his shirt and softly sat him back into his chair.
“Good doctor, monster born from books you hardly comprehend, always poking around in other people’s heads. Let’s see what you hide in yours.” The doctor was drifting away, the voice of his last patient became distant and quiet as he lost consciousness and later his life.
It was 11 o'clock as Stacy returned from the kitchen with a cup of coffee. She took a deep breath and opened the door.
The next moment she screamed as loud as Hooper would have screamed if he had been able to. The scene inside his room was nightmarish. Stacy blacked out just at the sight of it.
The man could hear the scream from underneath the window and smiled. Everything had worked out just as planned, the girl was punctual. He pulled his hood up and walked down the street. On is way he removed the left contact-lense from his eye and threw it into the river as the crossed a bridge.
“Such a unique combination,” he parroted the doctor in a now clear London accent.
“They always go for the eyes, so predictable.”
He stopped at a bakery to have something to drink. As he entered he pulled his hood back and his wet and messy hair fell into his face, he shook himself a bit, then bought a cup of tea and sat down near the window.
He could see the police cars driving down the street and couldn't help but giggle a little, which got him some weird looks from the other customers.
When he was almost done his cell phone rang. He sighed; he hated these shackles of the modern age. He reached into his coat pocket and pulled the phone out.
“Sherlock Holmes.” he said.
“Yes, of course. I will be there shortly”.
He hung up and finished his tea.
The rain only got worse as Sherlock Holmes walked down the street to meet his new client.
“The game is afoot.” He whispered.