Chapter 3: The Poison Known as Truth
The silence filled with expectation after Sherlock’s last statement still echoed in the room. He allowed it to persist for a moment longer, indulging in his superior position, then it was back to work again. Sherlock’s eyes switched rapidly between the members of the police and he finally rested his gaze on Laurence.
“Bring the secretary in, would you.” He made sure his tone wasn’t too demanding.
“Are you sure? Maybe we should interrogate her outside, away from-“
“No, this will do nicely. Bring her in.”
Laurence struggled with himself. A part of him was well aware of what Sherlock was trying to do. Reaction and proximity were powerful methods against lies, but there have also been cases that made the witnesses shut down completely. Finally, Laurence’s curiosity won over his concerns and he gestured for one of his men to bring Ms Green in.
The girl was wrapped in a blanket, but still shaking like it was the coldest winter’s night. Her gaze was pinned to the floor, one look at the doctor had apparently left its mark. As she entered the room she pressed herself up against the bookshelf, bringing as much room as possible between her and her transformed employer.
“Ms Green, is it not?” Sherlock started, his eyes fixed on her, but in constant motion.
“Tell me, what leverage did the doctor have that made you assist in his death?” There it was again, the silence that pervaded the room. Shock, eyes opening, gazes turning towards the girl and back to Sherlock, who leaned against the sink, arms crossed in front of him. His expression was calm and collected. Ms Green’s mouth was slightly open, she wasn’t offended by this accusation she was shocked. This girl wasn’t a talented actress.
“I…I don’t know what you are talking about. Please can we talk in another room, I don’t want to look at it.” Her voice trembled and she wrapped the blanket even tighter.
“Drop the charade, I don’t have time for this. Look at him right now.” Sherlock’s tone grew louder and more demanding. Laurence could not help himself but intervene.
“Enough Mr Holmes. This young lady is clearly traumatized. If what you say is true and she is an accomplice we will find out,” he made sure to look at her as he said this, but her eyes were still turned towards the floor, “we’ll take her in for questioning, but for now leave her be.”
“Protocol-rubbish, we could solve this right here, no need for excessive questioning,” Sherlock’s voice kept rising, but Laurence’s expression made him understand that there was no point in insisting. “Or you could interrogate her, I suppose.” His head sank and he held it with his hand like he was starting to have a migraine. The upholding of standard procedures had always annoyed him.
Ms Green was still glued to the bookshelf, but visibly relieved to have escaped questioning. The two officers that were in the room walked out and she followed closely behind. At that moment Sherlock’s eyes regained their focus. He jumped for the door and with a swift move slammed the door shut and turned the lock. The only people left now were Laurence, Sherlock and Ms Green.
“Or we can just do it right now.” He said, his voice slightly vibrating with anger. Sherlock grabbed the woman by the shoulders and forced her to turn towards Dr Hooper. He flinched as he touched her, yet mustered up all his strength not to recoil from the feeling of touching another person. She turned her head away trying her best not to look at the man.
Stacy pressed her eyes shut as hard as she could, but this Mr Holmes was still holder her by the shoulders. He was surprisingly strong given his looks. She dared to open her eyes a little and saw Mr Laurence with his hand already at his gun, but out of the corner of her eye she could see that Mr Holmes had raised his hand and signalled him to wait. She wrestled with herself, but the temptation was just too much, she had to see it again. Slowly she turned her head towards the centre of the room where it lay on the desk. As she moved she could feel the grip around her shoulders loosen up, until she was free to move again, no point in playing anymore. Her mouth had started twitching, but now it was already forming a smile as she saw the body of this monstrosity. Not killed, but mutilated. She had lost control, the sensation swept over her, her joy was a natural reaction. His oh so precious mind removed from his disgusting body. She tried her best not to show her delight at this sight, but all effort was in vain. As she looked towards the inspector she saw his puzzled expression. Stacy caught herself again, turned around and pushed Mr Holmes away from her. She couldn’t tell why, not because she was trying to hide her involvement, since that would have been impossible at this point. Something about Mr Holmes unsettled her.
Sherlock was pushed back, but had an expression of satisfaction on his face as he looked at her and then at Laurence. Only at this point did the loud banging on the door fade back into his reality. After he had grabbed the girl he completely blocked it from his mind. Sherlock unlocked the door and the police rushed in. Forcing him up against the shelf and Sherlock let it happen. Laurence called them off immediately and instead ordered to take Ms Green in. The men were confused and looked at each other, but Laurence raised his voice to do as he said and so they complied.
Laurence sank down on a chair in the waiting room that had now been cleared of people. His face was still filled with confusion. Sherlock stood next to him, doing his best to hide his victorious smile.
“How did you figure this out?” Laurence asked.
“Come on, the contents of his drawer, the sound-proof room. Not to mention that she continued to call him an ‘it’. A man like Hooper that built such an elaborate fake identity would be hard to get to, whoever killed him needed someone on the inside. It is his safest place where he would be most vulnerable. The king does not wear an armour on his throne, does he?”
Laurence looked up, Sherlock was gazing in the distance. He pulled himself up to talk to Sherlock directly.
“If what you say is true and admittedly so far that seems to be the case. What convinced you that she was not the killer?”
“Easy, have you seen her trying to hide her distaste for the man? She could never pull off the innocent witness with that much blood on her hands. Besides, she lacks the strength and imagination. If she would have killed him it would not have taken such a form.” Sherlock vaguely pointed in the direction of the deceased doctor.
Laurence nodded slightly and checked his watch for the time. It was almost 12 o’clock. The events of the morning had sped up the flow of time for him considerably. Sherlock could see that he needed time to all of this sink in.
“We’ll call you once we got the autopsy report. Do you want to be present when we question Ms Green?”
“Yes, but on the other side, if you wouldn’t mind. I don’t think she is too fond of me, don’t you think so as well?”
“Mr Holmes, very few people are fond of you.” They both smiled a formal smile and then left the room for the stairs.
Out on the street they said their goodbyes. Laurence made way for his car with fast steps as the rain had not stopped but rather increased since the last time Sherlock had been outside.
Sherlock was satisfied with the result. All had worked out, picking this one had been the right choice after all. He needed to get to the next bus stop, since he still had a job beside all of his detective work. Just then his phone received a text message from a blocked number.
A king’s armour becomes useless when his lies have been poisoned by the truth.
Sherlock stared at the text message he had been waiting for since he got there. He pocketed his cell phone, pulled up his hood and walked towards the bus stop.
“Now the interesting part begins.”