…actually, it was the doorway to Cousin Mildred’s room
Confessions Of A Time Traveler
Holmes, Sweet Holmes
One of the big problems of jumping around time, space and alternate realities is that you very often meet people out of what some would call proper chronological order. No example points this out better than my long relationship with the Sherlock Holmes of Earth 199-D.
Earth 199-D, starting around 1830, is a more steampunk world than ours. The laws of physics are a bit looser to accommodate things like giant steam mecha and cities beneath the sea. There are no fantasy races or creatures, but there are lost civilizations, cryptids and odd powerful ancient relic. The whole world is just a lot more adventure filled.
Things on that earth are also much more egalitarian than they were (or are) on our Earth. Seeing women or people of color in positions of power is pretty common. And that leads us to Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective and his wife, Jenny Watson Holmes, Freelance Inventor.We’ll just let that sink in a bit.
So, to speed things up, Sherlock’s mother was Spanish, his older brother Mycroft is less fat and more entwined in the workings of the Empire, John Watson still writes up Sherlock & Jenny’s adventures (from his home in London), Jenny and Sherlock married young and they live on a cattle ranch east of Oakland, California, with their 5 children and Jenny’s mum.
Now, I first met the Holmes’ when I accidentally fell through a time portal into a warehouse in New York City in 1881. No sooner had I landed upon a very large and soft pile of wool blankets than a strong feminine hand clasped itself over my mouth and a Scottish tinged voice said “Please be quiet, Doc, or you’ll get Sherlock killed”.
Having become pretty used to weird shit happening to me over the years, I nodded and she let me go. Standing up, I saw a slightly taller than usual woman dressed in boots, trousers and a black cotton shirt. Her hair was red and cut in a bob. She was very pretty, but not beautiful. She had a bit of grease on her cheek.
Obviously, she knew me pretty well, because after a second, she hugged me and told me in a whisper how glad she was to see me again. After the hug, she brought me up to speed on things, sort of.
It seems that I had met Sherlock first when he was a boy, then again just before their wedding. The current time was 8 years after the wedding and Sherlock had let himself be taken prisoner by Professor Moriarty so he could find out about Moriarty’s latest plot. Now, she told me, was the time to rescue Holmes and give Moriarty his comeuppance.
A couple of minutes later, as the Napoleon of Crime raised his hand to shoot Holmes with a “freezing ray”, Jenny shot two of his henchmen with some sort of electrical tommy gun while I ran forward and body slammed Moriarty into a heavy wooden container. A couple of punches later and he was out cold and his other two henchmen had run off at full speed into the waiting arms of the police.
Jenny released her husband from his bonds and then HE gave me a big hug.Then he kicked the awakening Moriarty in the head. I was processing everything that had just happened when the two of them started laughing.
“Oh Doc”, Jenny said, “The look on your face is priceless!”
“You might want to close your mouth, old friend. There are flies about.” Having said that, Sherlock laughed in what was, to me at least, a totally unHolmesian manner.
After another minute, they composed themselves and we set about tying up Moriarty and his thugs. We then loaded them into an impressive looking steam touring car and carted them off to police headquarters where Sherlock explained that Moriarty had planned to rob the North American Diamond Exchange later that night and make off with ten million dollars in diamonds. The police commissioner thanked us all profusely and then we left for the Holmes’ hotel suite to clean up before going out to dinner.
Along the way, Sherlock explained to me that I would meet him again when he was 10 years old and away at school. I would talk with him and give him some insight on both girls and doing what you loved to do in life. Apparently, that set him off on his adult path.
The second time I would meet him was two days before he and Jenny’s wedding at age 18. He was a bit vague about that meeting “so as not to spoil the surprises”, but it seems I had told him about meeting him tonight, which is why Jenny and the big pile of wool blankets were ready for me.
Like I said, time travel is seldom really linear. Or, as the other guy said, it’s all wibbly wobbly.
The rest of the evening was filled with a sort of mostly one sided chatting between old friends if one of those friends had just met you. It was a bit strange, but a couple of bottles of champagne smoothed things out. They were and are two wonderful people.
As we walked out to the car, Jenny again hugged me and gave me a kiss on the cheek.
“It was so very good to see you again, Doc. Give our love to Grace and the critters.”
Then it was Sherlock’s turn to give me a hug and shake my hand.
“So long, my dear friend. I look forward to seeing you again sometime, hopefully much less surprised.”
And then a time portal opened under me and I fell into the swimming pool on the Bus. From another room I heard Sasha yell, “Softest landing I could think of on short notice, Daddy”.
I was home.