It was our 16th birthday, Enola and I, when it happened.
Our Mother, Eudoria Holmes disappeared.
She had left our home, Ferndell Hall, the night before.
It was a normal day, for my twin sister and I. We had just gotten up, and were dressing, at our manor, Ferndell Hall, having fun, messing around like usual. We didn’t notice anything strange, for one thing. Enola and I were just excited for our birthdays, and hoping mother would let us roam free around the house again, like every year.
Here’s one thing you should know. Enola and I aren’t like most girls in the late 19th century, well 1884, to be exact. We didn’t wear those “unmentionables”, corsets (awful things) , hip regulators, bust enhancers, and more stuff that “proper young ladies” should wear.
Another thing you should know. Mother, Enola, and I were inseparable. Whenever she had time, she would teach us everything she knew, even if it made me the most “unladylike”. We were playing tennis, archery, climbing trees, reading, oh, books! Mother would tell Enola and I to read every single book Ferndell hall had to offer. But either way, if she didn’t tell us, we did it on our own account. Mother also absolutely loved drawing, painting, and sketching. Flowers, especially. Now, Enola and I were already exceptional at drawing, though Enola was quite better than me, but I was better in sports, than her. Mother also absolutely loved puzzles. Ciphers, especially. We would always have a competition to see who decoded it fastest. But, she didn’t always tell us everything....
Enola and I heard noises, faint noises, as we tiptoed closer to the door, straining our ears to listen. Enola and I had lit one candle, and set off finding mother, but to our surprise, finding a secret meeting in progress, that mother obviously didn’t want us to know about. Anyways, we peered through the doorway, careful not to let them see our appearance. “All clear?” whispers shot through the tiny room, and we spied mother, in the mist of it all, and others, all women, holding papers. They said some other things that I couldn’t quite grasp, and as we crept closer, I could make out some small words. “entangle herb........Ellie Houseman.....” Who was Ellie Houseman? I thought. Too curious, Enola and I, we silently opened the door, but we must have been not careful enough, because the door made a tiny “creak” and we found ourselves face to face with the women in the room, all looking at us. They quickly folded their papers, and.. just silence. Enola’s face was red, and I was looking at the floor. Mother walked over, shoved us out, and closed the door. “click”, and that was the end.
Also, if you’re wondering who’s the older twin, it’s me of course. Well, older by 50 seconds, so we just consider ourselves the same age.
Now, our family.
Father died when Enola and I were very young. We didn’t really remember him. Our 2 brothers left home not long after. We don’t really remember them either.
Next, our last names. Holmes. Not very common, isn’t it? Especially the name Sherlock. That’s not very common either, right? Well, The Sherlock Holmes, famous detective, and always quick to think in stressful situations, is our older brother. Wow, amazing, right? NOT. Even you wouldn’t want a brother who never visits home, and is like gone from your life for a whole long time, a whole 10 years, before you can see him again. Trust me, you wouldn’t want Sherlock Holmes as your brother.
Oh, wait, I forgot to mention! We have another older brother. Mycroft. Both weird names, right? Not to mention, Enola and Evirra. (Though I would rather be called Eva)
Our whole family of weird names.
Another very important thing. Our names again. Think. Enola. Evirra. Still don’t know what I’m talking about? Think again. The word Enola. Backwards, which spells..... Alone! That’s weird right? Why would mother name her daughter Alone? But again, think about my name. Evirra. Backwards. Spells, Arrive. Arrive. huh. Arrive and Alone both spell Arrive Alone. Arrive Alone to where? I don’t know. But, Sherlock, and Mycroft spelled backwards is..... Kcolrehs, and Tforcym. Very weird. Now, Holmes. Spelled backwards is.... Semloh. Ha. I wonder why our names are that weird. I mean, alone and arrive. That’s just preposterous! I would hate if my name was actually Arrive. (especially if it was alone). Anyways, Enola and I were just finished dressing, and were descending down the stairs, giddy with excitement. I was wearing a long red dress, and Enola was wearing a light blue dress.
But, the house was quiet. Eerie silence. As we continued, our footsteps seemed hollow. “Um... mother?” Enola calls, and I hear echo’s traveling from walls, as if playing a game of telephone. I shifted in my dress, calling “mother... are u there?” No answer. We tiptoed towards the dining area, to find our well, “servants” you can say, holding a package, and looking at us. “Good morning, Mrs.Lane” I politely said. “Good morning, you two. How are you?” “we’re fine, but do you happen to know where mother is?” Enola cut in. “um, no, in fact... I thought u knew” Mrs.Lane sounded flustered, but unsure. “umm, alright?” I squeak as we head towards the table, where a peculiar looking package lay. “what’s that?” I ask. “well, your mother wanted to give it to you, so I figured....” but I already was ripping the wrapping, and the ribbon, Enola by my side. “what is it?” she asks, peering over my shoulder. I shrug, and lift up a peculiar looking glossy brown box. It feels heavy in my hand, as I lift it up towards the light, and get a closer look at it. “it’s a box” Enola stats, sounding defeated. “well, it feels heavy, so there’s ought to be more stuff inside” I spot a latch, and click, it pops open, to reveal multiple layers. It then spreads apart to reveal more stuff. Mrs.Lane comes over as I lifted a bunch of drawing stencils and papers. Also, a cipher wheel, and..... a book of flowers? “can I see?” Enola grabs the papers from me, and starts leafing through them. She sets them down, a few seconds later. “Um, Mrs.Lane...... why didn’t mother give all these to us herself?” “ah, well..... Madame Holmes told me she’d be gone, for some time, so she figured that I should give it to you.... oh, look! She made those herself!” Mrs.Lane carefully points to a bunch of pictures of flowers, and I wonder, why flowers? Why not animals, or trees?
But then I think, well, mother loved painting. I remember, flowers, most of the time. She had just painted a picture of chrysanthemums, I vaguely remember. “just asking.... when was the last time you saw mother?” I asked. “oh, well.... about yesterday, if my old mind is not mistaken” Mrs.Lane stammers. I turn to Enola. We’re thinking the same thing. We need Sherlock and Mycroft here. Now.
30 minutes later....
“where’s my bike?” I grumble. “ouch. Oof. Right here” Ebola bumps her elbow as we pick through the garage, looking for our bikes, going to collect Mycroft and Sherlock, our older brothers. “ugh. Why couldn’t they just come here, instead of we go meet them” I groan. “let’s just get this over with.” Ebola and I finally push our bikes out and start riding towards the train station. When we get there, it’s really noisy. Trains are making so much noise, and steam is coming out. People are bustling in and out, there’s celebration, as one family member reunites, crying, as they rejoice. It’s great nobody notices 2 16 year old girls, just standing there. “what do we do?” I hiss. “well, if I knew, I would’vie told you already!” “OK,OK. No need to me dramatic” I roll my eyes. “let’s just get to the train that’s supposedly going to carry our older brothers.... oh, that one!” I point towards a train coming our way, steam and chugging wheels. Enola and I step aside for it to pass, then stand near the doorway. “you sure it was a good idea for us to tell them to come here?” I ask Enola. “yes. Positively sure. Sherlock is the smartest detective out there. He has all the answers” Enola says confidently, as passengers step out. Soon later, we spot 2 men. One as a tall hat, and a mustache, and the other looks exactly like Sherlock. We step closer to them, and wait. “u think they recognize us?” I whisper. “they haven’t seen us for quite a long time” “um... maybe?” Ebola and I step in front of them, ready for them to call our names. We wait as they walk towards us, and........... walk past us. “uh” I wheel around. “Mr.Holmes....... and uh.... Mr.Holmes!” I call. They stop in their tracks, and walk towards us.... rather curiously. “yes....?” Sherlock asks. um.... I look to Enola and she slowly says, “you asked us to meet you here.....?” There is a pause as the two men exchange glances until Sherlock finally recognizes me and my sister. “Enola... Evirra?” he asks. I roll my eyes. Who else would it be? Either way, they should be happy to see us, not mad like Mycroft right now. “Where’s the carriage?” “um... what carriage?” I ask. “the one I sent for” he growls. Mum.... I turn to Ebola. “You might have mistaken us for another house” I say. “ugh. Anyways, look at the state of you! Where are your hat, and gloves?!” Mycroft says. “um.. well... I do have a hat, but it’s just too itchy, and I don’t have gloves, respectively sir” I say. “we have no need for those things, anyways” my twin cut in. Mycroft is practically steaming as he whispers something to Sherlock, who in turn yells to someone to “get the carriage” “QUICKLY!” Mycroft barks. I stifle a laugh, but soon, we are on the road, and going back to our home, Ferndell hall with our brothers, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes.