The Rigby Narratives -4- The Hundred Percent Solution

The
Rigby Narratives

The Ultimate TG Experience

by McKenzie Rigby

as told to
Andy Hollis
and
Jaye Michael

Chapter Four -- The Hundred Percent Solution

 

"I say old chap, what seems to be the matter?"

"Eh, what's that Watson?" Sherlock Holmes, the Great
Detective, put down his violin and glanced inquisitively at his portly friend,
just returned from setting the kettle to boil for tea.

Watson would have asked Mrs. Hudson to prepare the tea, but
she had recently traveled to Binghamton after selling Holmes the building.
She had been getting on in years and had finally decided to live a more retiring
life with her oldest daughter Olivia. Watson had just buried his third wife
and ended his medical practice for what he swore before King and Country would
be the last time. Similarly, the Great Detective had not gone to field on
a case in more than two years, instead limiting his investigatory activities
to occasional consultations with Lestrade's replacement, one of that new breed
of detective convinced that there was little to be learned from the likes
of Holmes. They had all been getting a bit long in the tooth of late.

"You've fought a starved, half crazed wolfhound, you've
battled Moriarty beside the precipice at Rikenbach Falls and you've faced
down some of the most atrocious evil-doers of the century. Never once have
I seen you afraid,"

Dr. Watson gulped a breath of air and quickly continued, fearful
that if he did not, he might never have the courage to ask the question again.
"As your friend and as the chronicler of your investigations, I wonder,
of what are you afraid, Holmes?

"Watson, old friend, you know I routinely chide you about
how dashing and adventuresome you made me appear. Surely you know that nowadays
I would much prefer to remain here in our flat and concentrate on my investigations
of scientific criminology."

"You can't fool me, Holmes. I've seen you with that bloody
seven percent solution as soon as you begin to become bored. We both know
that when 'the game's afoot' you are a different man, much like that Stevens
chap's 'Jekyll and Hyde'."

"That's 'The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' by
Messer. Robert Louis Stevenson; quite a good tale of its kind, if a bit out
of date. I believe it was written more than thirty years ago," Holmes
noted as he settled back into his overstuffed, Chippendale armchair. "And
I do recognize your concerns regarding my use of cocaine for restorative purposes
between investigations."

"Then why do you continue using it? You know it is addictive.
You've seen the dens of iniquity where the chinamen, and those other poor
unfortunates they've sucked into their evil practices, lie indolently smoking
the seed of the poppy and you know that vile solution you inject into your
arm is an extract of that same horrid plant."

"Will it please you to hear that I've sworn off, that I
shall no longer inject myself with that 'vile concoction' as you've so often
called it?"

"Well…yes. Yes it would."

"Then buck up old chap. You're sage counsel has convinced
me. Never again shall I infuse this body or this brain with cocaine."

"Bravo old chap," Watson effused happily over the
sound of a whistling teakettle. "Good to hear it. About time. So let
me take the kettle off the heat and then you can tell me what you will do
to keep away the ennui between investigations?"

"Sit Watson. You've done it often enough. Just this once
allow me to bring the tea to you." As Holmes stood and strode purposefully,
if with a bit more assistance from his cane than he would have liked, out
of the sitting room, he continued, "I've been experimenting and I think
I've come up with a capital way to pass the time. It's the result of a series
of fortuitous events including my time with 'That Woman'…"

"You mean Ms. Adler?"

"Quite. As I was saying, it is the result of my interactions
with 'That Woman,' my considerations of the implications of Messer. Stevenson's
hypotheses as outlined by his character Dr. Jekyll and examination of the
properties of the various rare elements and vegetation your friends from India
continue to send you."

"I say Holmes, I'm at a complete loss as to where you're
going with this."

"That's all right my dear friend. Allow me to finish here
with the tea and I'll be right in."

Holmes completed the task with his usual efficiency of movement
and was back momentarily. Once seated again, he took a sip of tea and savored
the flavor. "Not as good as yours I'm afraid, but I do hope you will
enjoy."

Using both hands so the tremors of age would not induce spillage,
Watson too took a sip. "Nonsense Holmes, this is excellent tea although
it's not the usual is it?"

"Very observant Watson. No, it's not. It's a special blend
I've only discovered of late. What do you think of it?"

"Well," Watson took another prodigious sip and considered
his words before answering. "I taste traces of some of the indigenous
spices of the East, India to be specific…"

"Quite correct old man, although I believe there are also
traces of items that can only be found in the Orient. What else?"

"It has a slight bitter taste although I cannot determine
exactly what since it is all but hidden by the sugar. Not bad mind you, but
still present."

Holmes merely nodded and smiled, encouraging his friend to continue,
and the good doctor made an elaborate pretense of sniffing the steamy air
above his cup.

"I…I can't quite seem to recall…the aroma is
familiar, but my nose has gotten on in years along with the rest of me.

It's…it's…it's laudanum. You put some of that bloody
poison in my tea!" he shouted angrily and started to rise, however, the
laudanum had done its job and he quickly slid back into his chair, too lethargic
to make a second attempt.

"Why Holmes? Why?"

Morpheus was rapidly overtaking the good doctor so the Great
Detective was quick to provide the explanation although he felt certain he
would need to do so again. "Yes Watson, there is laudanum in the tea,
but only enough to mask the other compounds and to reduce the pain to come.
If it will help you to know, I too have taken the same formula and it is much
more than mere laudanum-laced tea. If my research is correct-and I am quite
certain it is-it shall wash away the pain of old age, a condition from which
we both suffer.

"Eh, a fountain of youth? Balderdash. Holmes, you know
there's no such thing."

"Quite correct old friend. There is no such thing as a
fountain of youth, but the concoction you've just imbibed-that we've just
imbibed-will act in the same manner as that fabled spring. By morning we shall
both appear to be in our twenties instead of our seventies."

"But…but why didn't you just tell me old chap? I feel
confident that I would have willingly imbibed such an elixir had you shared
this explanation and your research with me."

"Because there is a unique…flaw…to my discovery,
much as that fellow Stevenson suggested in his book…"

"You mean I-we-shall become ravening beasts?"

"No; definitely not a ravening beast, old friend. The flaw
is much more subtle than that. It shall produce a change of perspective, but
not from man to beast, not from higher to baser emotions, but from male to
female."

Watson fainted.

-=-=-=-=-

 

Interlude Four

 

McKenzie stopped to rub an aching neck and shake his arm to
stop it from tingling. This one had been more difficult than most to write.
The medical research, the character development, the linguistic characteristics
had taken time and it was late. Janice's demands that he check out the causes
and treatments for his obesity and his angina had been the stimulus for the
story. Janice would probably be even angrier than usual if she knew she'd
spurred him to write even more of that 'TG junk' she so despised. Served her
right for making him go to a doctor and hear himself get told he needed to
take better care of himself. It was one thing to have chest pain and tingling
in his arms. It was quite another to have someone label it, even tentatively,
and tell him how to run his life.

A quick glance at the clock and McKenzie realized he'd have
to fly and get ready for work or he'd be late. Good segue. Enough thinking
about things that he couldn't change.

"Bad Igor. Why didn't you remind me to stop for work?"
He chided as he playfully rubbed the dog's head. Igor just licked his hand
and wagged his tail hopefully. Mac could almost swear the little fur ball
was talking to him with its sad eyes, saying, "Maybe next time McKenzie,
you'll remember to include a dog in the story?" Truth be told, McKenzie
was more worried about what to tell Janice to explain why he had failed to
make the doctor's appointment to which she had all but tried to drag him.

He was about to shut down the computer when the words of that
message asking him to finish some of his stories popped into his thoughts.
Staying his hand, instead he opened another file and labeled it chapter two.
McKenzie stared at the blank screen for a few seconds and then wrote some
phrases to remind him of what the next chapter should cover.

Smiling, he quickly left for work, rushing to make certain he
was not late and docked pay. In his hurry, he left the computer on. On the
still glowing computer screen were the following notes:

go find Lestrade

give him the elixir too

all three move to America

get connected to a reclusive American millionaire named Charlie

 

CONTINUED IN CHAPTER FIVE
[Faster Than a Speeding Tall Building]

 

More [The Rigby Narratives]



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