Previously on Sherlock Herms: The Making of a Master Detective…
“I am happy to answer your questions, Fergus. But I traveled here to learn about being a Master Detective from Sherlock Holmes, and you said you’d share your secrets with me.”
“With your time machine gone, we have all the time in the world.”
“I don’t think so. I’m worried, but not fweaked out. I think Mosey will return for me.”
“Is fweaked out similar to being balmy on the crumpet? You Time Travelers have strange words for everything! Do they still use the heliograph in your time? Has miasma been eliminated? Tell me they still make roly-poly in the future! I do so love roly-poly.”
Closing my eyes, I placed my chin on top of my paws. Charlie! Please hear me. I need you to rescue me. I don’t want to be stuck in 1894. I can’t eat their noms. I have a delicate tummy. And I don’t want to widdle in the flower bed, or learn a whole new language!”
As sleep threaded its way through my body, Fergus’s voice faded and the shade on the inside of my eyelids went from firey-orange to torpor-black.
I found myself in a dark place with no light…cuz it was dark. I felt a soft rug under my paws, and the space wasn’t hot or cold…just right. At first I didn’t smell anything, but then something familiar found its way into my nose and I breathed in deep.
“Charlie?” I whispurred. “Is that you?”
The smell grew stronger. I took comfort from its familiarity. Then I saw a tiny red light in the darkness, hurling toward me. And when it arrived it was still no bigger than a pin point laser, darting back and forth in an enticing way that made me want to spring from my crouch to catch it.
“Herman? Oh, Herman! I’m so relieved I’ve found you.”
“Mom? Mom! Is that you?”
“It’s me, Monkey Boy! I’ve been worried sick ever since Mosey returned without you.”
“I want to come home. Tell Mosey to come get me.”
The red dot settled on top of my left paw. “First, tell me how you got separated.”
“Mosey got into a fight with Fergus, this dog who lives with a guy named Doyle. Did you know Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character in a book? I’m still in shock. I—”
“Herman! Focus! This is important. Charlie tried to come, but you went back in time before he was born and he’s unable to reach you. It is my love for you that has made this communication possible. But I don’t know how long I have. I need to know what happened.”
“Sorry. Mosey and Fergus got into a fight, and then Mosey zoomed out the door and disappeared. Is he all right? When is he coming back for me?”
Mom’s red dot sighed. “When Mosey returned to your office, it sent every one of us into a panic over what happened to you. Jack and Opie tried to read the coordinates from Mosey’s control panel to find out where you’d been, but… They were erased.”
“Jack thinks it happened when Mosey left this century without you.”
“Well, you know where I am now, so send him to come get me.”
“I wish it was that simple.”
Mom’s tone sent shivers up and down my spine. “What’s wrong?”
“For now…Mosey isn’t able to return for you. Like I said, when he left, he broke your connection. You are not… You—You don’t exist in 2017 anymore.”
I just about choked on a hairball. “What the Friskies!!!”
Mom’s red dot shook, and I heard tears in her voice. “Jack and Opie are busy working to reconnect your connection to Mosey, but until they do… Until we figure out another way… You will remain in 1894.”
I felt cold. So cold. Like I was sitting on an iceberg in the middle of Russia’s Sea of Okhotsk. “I can’t come home?”
“Please be brave for me, Hermie.”
I wanted to sob into my paws, but I would be brave for my Mom’s sake. Even if it killed me—which it was.
“I love you, Monkey Boy. No matter how many years separate us, you will always be the best part of me. I’m so honored that you chose to spend your life with me.”
Tears poured down my whiskers. “No, I’m honored that you wanted me. I was lost and scared. But you rescued me. You gave me a Forever Home beyond my dreams. The best part of my whole life was sitting in your lap in the car, looking at the trucks zooming by. And going to Blogpaws. Flying in the airplane. Walking the red carpet. Meeting my pals in purrrson.”
“I am so proud of you, Herms. I couldn’t have written Finding Mya without you. Or any of my other books. Our other books. You are the most excellent mews a writer could ask for. Thank you for all the years you inspired me.”
We sobbed together for a long time, our hearts broken. “I’m scared, Mama,” I finally whispurred. “I know you want me to be brave, but… This feels like the end.”
Mom sobbed harder. I did too.
“I will love you forever, Herman. You are, and always will be, my mews and my Soulmate.” And then she was gone.
Our connection had broken.
I awoke beside Fergus on his bed. The room felt cold. Maybe I would never feel warm again. My heart throbbed with grief. If Jack and Opie couldn’t find a way to reconnect Mosey and me, and bring me home…
Numbed by fear, I stared into the dying fire.
The next morning Mrs. Gray served Fergus and me in the too bright room with windows overlooking the rear garden. The noms had strange names. Bangers and Mash. Bubble and Squeak. Black Pudding. Tattie Scones. As vile as it was, I already missed my Hills K/D Chicken and Vegetable Stew.
“I hope you are feelin’ better this morn,” said Mrs. Gray as she poured cooled tea into fancy, rose-painted china bowls. “I heard you fair bawlin’ and greetin’ like a wee bairn long into the night.”
I pushed a Banger into a Squeak, unable to nom anything without fear of it coming back up my throat. After Mrs. Gray left the room Fergus said, “I know you’ve got the morbs about what happened. I want to apologize again for getting into a collie shangle with your buggy.”
I stopped pretending I had an interest in the food on the plate. “You promised to teach me your secrets on how to detect like Sherlock Holmes.” Not that it really mattered anymore. If I couldn’t get back home, the Wonderpurr Detective Agency would close up shop.
“And I will,” Fergus reassured. “Right after I’ve devoured my Bags o’ Mystery.”
“Fergus! It’s bad enough that I’m possibly stuck in this century without my mom for the rest of my life, much less looking at noms that I have no idea what’s in them. Speak English! Half the time I don’t understand what you’re saying.”
Fergus pointed to the sausages on his plate. Bag’s o’ Mystery, because no man but the maker knows what is in them. The ‘bag’ refers to the gut which contain the chopped meat.”
“In my time that’s called Mystery Meat. Burger patties, chicken nuggets. Spam. Salisbury steaks, sausages. Hot dogs. Usually used in reference to food served in prisons or public school cafeterias.”
Fergus devoured his breakfast, and after licking the plate he invited me outside to water the bushes. The November winds were building steam, so we returned to his bed in front of the fireplace, replenished with aged logs that snapped, crackled and popped much like the breakfast cereal that wouldn’t make its public debut for another thirty-four years.
“Can you teach me to solve cases like Doyle wrote for Sherlock Holmes?” I asked. I didn’t know if I had the attention span, much less the desire to learn about the detective biz, but I was despurrrate to keep my mind busy on something other than the fact that I might never see my Mom or Dori ever again.
“A detective of Sherlock Holmes’ caliber continuously analyzes the details and looks for clues to possible solutions,” Fergus told me. “When Holmes goes about the business of searching for clues, he treats them like a puzzle with a missing piece, going to great lengths to find that missing piece so he can then move on to the next level of success.”
“Not at all. I can break it down into nine steps for you.” He opened his mouth right then in a wide yawn, and I knew I’d have to wait until after our breakfast nap to hear anything more.
Thanks pals for stopping by. See you next Friday.
If you like what you’re reading, here are more stories by Kimberley Koz and Herman, her mews: