I smell a rat: Part 2

(Hello to all the three people reading this. If any of you may be a follower of my random fictional scribblings (seriously guys get a job), you might remember a story which was the predecessor to this, that came ages back. I promised to you to provide the further parts in the minimum amount of time. Well, here I am, in the nick of time as usual. In case you haven’t read the first part, or have forgotten about it, here’s a link to it I smell a rat: Part 1. And I promise to provide all the millions of my readers out there quicker follow ups, more blogs and electricity in every household. And honestly guys, if you’re still reading this, go get a job or get laid or something. Well go on. Stop reading. All the three of you. Stop!) 

Fictown had been bleeding.

It was evident. Perhaps the most evident reality even it’s own residents had accepted. The previously jovial town had gradually succumbed to the misery of it’s own creation.

There were some rather miserable, ungodly individuals of the society, the pioneers of it’s very destruction. Individuals that had indulged themselves into smuggling of toxic hallucinogens into the town. A severely harmful drug called ‘cliché’ had made it’s way through a few dealers in the ghettos. A rather popular, more harmful drug called ‘half baked character writing’ had it’s way of streaming through the town’s characters, making them perform the most unexpected, beside-their-tendency tasks which befuddled the readers…residents, I meant residents, around them. Then there’s the deadliest of them all, ’emotionally manipulative’ now flowing through several of the distracted characters. It’s effects allows a character to perform the most hideous of writing crimes- plagiarism, repetitive storytelling, unsatisfying climaxes, but would still allow the readers..residents. Residents. (I’ve got to stop doing that.) Still allow the residents to accept these crimes, thereby even making them passive victims of the drug

Fictown was dying. Fiction, it’s very own set of Constitution, was dying.

There were some anti-dotes, ‘literary criticism’ and ‘stop ripping other authors off’ to name a few, though none of them were welcomed by the characters who enjoyed dwelling in their misery and who rather take pleasure in these vices. Perhaps somebody needs to show them better. Perhaps somebody needs to clean up the city. But for now, our only hope is an idiosyncratic detective wearing a deerstalker cap who prefers to drink soy-sauce as a choice of appetizer.

The Mayor, Mr Mayor, wasn’t the cleanest of folks in Fictown either. He was accused of crimes like ‘A Generic name’ and ‘No backstory’, but that is beside the point. When Holmes and I reached his office, his secretary was initially a bit reluctant to let us in.

Until Holmes went…”That’s a really pretty necklace! Does your husband know you’ve been cheating? Your ring is a little looser to your finger then it used to be, revealing the portion not sun darkened. Your hair at the back of your neck are much more curved then the ones in front of it. Nautica pour homme, not much of a feminine scent I must say. Then there’s your neckline…”

Typical Holmes.

As we entered the office of the mayor, Mr. Mayor, so exasperated was the narcissistic detective that even before the mayor went “Who let you in?” or ” Are you accusing me?” or “I’ll have you written off!”, Sherlock went full, well, ‘Sherlock’ on him.

“Save the speech blondie! There are lives of hundreds of kids at stake here. I do not have time for casual greetings”, said the detective. “We know you eradicated the town of the rats during the time of the plague and the kids have disappeared in the same fashion. So you either get straight to the point about your connect with the two events or perhaps you’d like the ‘L.I.B.R.A.R.Y’  to know about the ‘Book fund’ tax fraud you’ve committing for the last three years.’

“How did you-”

“Oh do I have to do this every time? The L.I.B.R.A.R.Y releases a fund of 5000 @ (literary currency)  every year for the development of characters and plot sceneries. The mayor has a stipend of 300 @ a year. The recent development of sceneries and character welfare, evidently, in the town, look nowhere close to that. The ‘Jane Austen’ monument recently constructed, although looks and feels Alabaster, which was probably the budget for it, but Plaster of Paris? Are you even serious that would work? Then, well, there’s the necklace, an exquisitely placed 8 karat diamond, under soft, white gold. Excellent choice! But to spend that much on a secretary? Have you not read about Bill Clinton?  Perhaps you do not read reality! Oh well, do you want me to go on about your recent vacation in ‘Neverland’?”

Oh Sherlock! Don’t you just love his antics! Especially when you aren’t on the other side of the sword. ONLY when you’re not on the other side of the sword.

Like all the other victims who had had their moral high-ground perished at the hands of the maniacal detective, the mayor had an expression that was somewhere between “How dare he talk to me like that?” and “I just shat my pants a little bit.” After a few minutes of awkward silence which the Mayor spent contemplating over his entire life in a flashback, Holmes spent helping himself with the Bourbon whisky kept at the mayor’s mini bar and I spent being thoroughly amused by the awkwardness of scenario, guilt, fear and shame dawned upon the Mayor.

“Yes, I admit. Something had to be done. And it had to be done quick. The city was dying of plague. Those stinking rodents were all over the town. He seemed like the only choice at that time. We were helpless.”

“He being?”, I asked.

“This man”, said the mayor. “He…uh.. He came over to the office once. Irish lad.  Wore a green hat with a feather attached to it and a long green cape that dusted the floor along with it wherever it went. Carried a pipe in his hand. Said he could drive the rats away with it . We laughed him off at first. Thought of it as some voodoo crap. But the man looked real darn serious about it.”

“Did he give you a name?”, I asked.

“They called him The Pied Piper. That’s all we know. Didn’t belong to the town. We thought “Well, what harm could it do?” and asked him to give it a shot anyways. He said the fee would be  500 @. We said it was bollocks. But he stood firm. Not a @ less. Said something like “If you’re good at something never do it for free” or some crap. Wonder where he learnt that from?”

“And you agreed?”

“Well what else could we do? Just the other day, and old couple couple who lived down the street complained a rat gnawed off their son ‘The Gingerbread man’. Characters were getting sick day by day. That egghead Humpty Dumpty sneezed so hard, the buffoon fell over the wall and cracked his focking skull open. So we agreed. Never really believed him anyway. Until the next day, the nasty little bugger comes all early in the morning, play his pipe as he went about the town and what do you know? Million of stinking squeakers come running out their bills all at once, following the man as if they had been-”

“Hypnotized!”, snapped Holmes.

“Yes, hypnotized. The piper took them with him some place out of the town and they followed him like a conductor in a marching band. And we’ve never heard from those rodents yet.”

“And he came for his reward to you and what do you do?”, said Holmes. “You refuse to keep your word.”

“Well the budget’s been tight.”

“Evidently” said Holmes as he stuck the tip of his umbrella over the Mayor’s belly.

“Evidently. He said “I’ll have my revenge!” “You’ll pay for this!” “Fictown will pay for this!” But we laughed him off. Sent him away. We underestimated him. And now our children! Oh dear god! Our children! Our very own children!”, said the Mayor as he broke into tears.

“Do you have any idea where the man might be now?’, I asked handing a handkerchief from my pocket to the mayor.

“No!”, he blew into the napkin. “No he doesn’t live in the town. We sent the King’s men to search the nearby locales. There is no sign of him.”

“Didn’t anybody notice him while he took the rats out of the town?”, I asked.

“No he was pretty discreet about it. Took the sewers. But the pipe’s open up in hundred’s of locations. There’s no way of finding where he could’ve exited.”

“Well I guess that’ll be it ” said Holmes as took a swig of the bourbon straight from the bottle.

“Are you going to go to the press with this? You seem new in town. Who are you people anyways?”, asked the Mayor.

“Oh please allow me to introduce us! My name is Sherlock Holmes and this here is my friend and colleague Dr. John Watson” Homes shook the Mayor’s hand, looked into his eyes and whispered. “And I’m your worst nightmare.”

He went out of the door, carrying the bottle of Bourbon with him.

“Not missing Baker Street are you now Doctor?”, he asked as I followed him out of the door.

“How do you propose we proceed further now?”

“Well the Mayor said the rats were taken out through the underground sewer pipes. We need to question somebody who has spent his entire life living in the pipes. Somebody who knows all it’s entrances and its exits at the back of his hand. Somebody who has had his hands dirty in the underworld below for he wanted to save somebody he loved dearly.”

“You do not propose we go and meet the Italian, do you?”

“Yes, dear Watson”, said Holmes. “We’re going to have a little chat with Mario.”