Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
xMeganful would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Cryptic Hearts

By xMeganful



London was shrouded by mist and rain the day that the message occurred, miserably drizzling down the window that Sherlock Holmes stood before, a violin grasped within his hands as he turned and twisted around the room with the melody. Barely a fortnight had passed since the ceremony between Dr. John Watson and Mary Morstan, the couple settling quietly into married life in their suburban home. Boredom clouding his mind, John had returned to the infamous man's flat.

"Just pick something, Sherlock!" sitting opposite the Consulting Detective, watching him from the familiar comfort that his chair brought, he sighed. John grasped his phone in his hand, scrolling through the many pages of requests that the two men had been asked to investigate. Setting down the violin, Sherlock groaned in frustration.

"They're all boring, John! Not anywhere good enough for my time..." he muttered, sitting improperly on the plush sofa on the eastern side of the room, his limbs splayed carelessly over the furniture. His dark hair was tousled and unkempt, his clothes reflecting the same disconcern for his appearance.

John pressed a finger to his temples, attempting to rub away the migraine that was beginning to arise, "You haven't even read them yet, for Christ sake." the brunette stilled in silent protest, his eyes fixated on the ceiling. "Please, Sherlock, just pick one. I need something to think about other than decor; it could another bloody Bluebell for all I care."

After a moment, Sherlock quitted the sofa for the table chair, forcing his laptop from sleep mode as he began to scroll through his website 'The Science of Deduction'. Hovering over his shoulder, the other man pointed to the screen.

"What about that one?" the message was from a young girl in Dartford, an image enclosed with it.

Dear Mr Sherlock Holmes,

Typically, I would not concern someone such as you with such menial matters, but I fear that something terrible is afoot.

Yesterday, I discovered an email that had been anonymously sent to me. Please find the attached screenshot.

I believe it to be a code or cipher of some sort, though I can't make any sense of it. Your help would be greatly appriciated, Mr Holmes.

Many thanks,

Charlotte Taylor.

Instantly, Sherlock's mind was buzzing with intrigue and delight. Opening the attached image, he found a screenshot of an email, as the girl had said. A line of seemingly random block letters was the only obvious message present.


Though Sherlock Holmes knew better than to believe that this was random; coincidences ceased to exist in his racing mind.

John cleared his throat and piped up, "What do you think it means?"

"It's code. Give me a moment." replied Sherlock, his eyes transfixed on the screen as the email moved and altered within his skull, each letter become extensively analyzed as reality subsided.





Many minutes had passed when his mind resurfaced, John having regained his seat after he had become immersed in his thoughts. Sherlock hummed with a grin touching his lips, "A skip code in a shift cipher. How moderately smart."

"What?" spoke his friend, who watched the detective with interest.

He pushed himself from his laptop, paced the floors and began to explain the features of the cryptic message, "The letters were a shift code. The alphabet is moved a certain number of places left or right, so all I had to do was move them back to their original place. The shift code then revealed to be a skip code, which, when placed in the right order, reads-"

"Stop trying to be smart." John leaned over the laptop, the words printed in an email to the girl. He read the email were Sherlock explained to her that this was a prank conveyed by her classmates, who had previously taunted the girl over social media for becoming skilled in her studies. "So that's it? Case closed?"

"Afraid so, John." both men regained their positions in their chairs, endless boredom plaguing their minds. "That was barely a two..." muttered he, who sat with ignorance, unknowing that the mystery had only just begun to unravel.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

mjtelesca: The plot keeps the reader interested, and you want to help the main characters in their conflicts. A very interesting ending that makes the reader think and talk about it. Minor punctuation and grammatical mistakes but does not impede the overall story. Any fan of action/adventure will enjoy t...

Steven Davant Mull: This is the second installment of the Compact trilogy. Following in the mold of "Battle of WIlls", "The Diamond" grips you on the first line and doesn't let go. The fast-paced, romantic, and exciting journey of the semi-ghost, Jeff Preston, and the plucky nurse, Lorie Manning continues as they f...

Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...

Maryam Rehman: The story was overall amazingly penned down. I loved how the story transitioned from the lavish city of London to the war torn Aleppo. Even though the story had some loopholes in some places, it made me contemplate failing in chemistry, because I was up all night glued to my mobile screen rather ...

Kastril Nomenclature: What a fascinating work: a photo that seems to reveal a strange figure in the window of an old hotel leads to a mystery about a missing page of Queen Victoria's diary! This is a mystery in the best sense, with small clues leading to bigger ones, all of them building one upon the other to the quie...

Katie Matthias: I've finished the first three chapters of "Ladies Close Your Eyes" and was so engrossed, I had to write a review immediately. As a fan of both thrillers and descriptive imagery, I was completely immersed in the world the author created. The details are so vivid, you can picture the plot perfect...

CornflowerBlues: I'm liking everything about this story so far: the brazen detective, the way he gave in to temptation, the temptation (<3!!), and the unexpectedly complex backdrop of his job and the case he's working. The story is well written, and despite its erotica tag, has an intriguing detective story and a...

Felisa Yoder Osburn: I really enjoyed the story. Civil War stories are some of my favorites and the intertwining of the past with current times was wonderful. I look forward to reading the next stories.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."