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John Carpenter's

You See, But You Do Not Observe

by John H. Watson

 

From the personal diary of John Hamish Watson, MD.

Those who knew me (I use the term knew due to the fact that I shall be long dead before this document is revealed to anyone) also knew that I was the personal biographer of a Mr. Sherlock Holmes, a very honorable gentleman with a genius intellect and a master of the art of deductive reasoning. And those who knew Holmes himself knew him as a consulting detective, and basically an assistant to Scotland Yard whenever a crime seemed so perplex that they themselves could not even come to any real conclusion. But in the first week of the winter of 1887, the proposition that a group of scientists presented before him has anguished my recollection more than Merridew of a separate abominable memory and the inquest of the Ripper ever have.
        Like the giant rat of Sumatra that Holmes and I encountered on the ship the Matilda Briggs and the revolting adventure of the Red Leech, Holmes felt that the world would never completely be prepared for the result of the revelations of either. But Holmes specifically commanded me to never chronicle the investigation of the metallic sphere that rested in a mire outside of London and what chaos would follow for Holmes, myself, and a group of scientists within a building resting on the outskirts of London would be a true nightmare for both Holmes and I.
        I remember how the Norwegian man came to our lodgings at 221b Baker Street, how he asked if Holmes would like to be present at the confidential unraveling of an extraterrestrial species, how Holmes, although not a man who dabbled in the possibility of a species alien to ours, and how he agreed to go with them to the crash site.
        I had fallen slightly ill with stomach flu, and therefore I did not go with Holmes to the excavation site, but I eagerly awaited his return to tell me of what he had seen there. When he re-arrived at our lodgings, his face was that of true agony, scratched and bloodied, his body tense and drenched in sweat. His eyes had to have seen something terrifyingly dreadful, as they darted back and forth, seeing nothing in the room, yet sensing great danger coming from something.
        “Holmes!” I cried. “Whatever is the matter? What happened to you?”
        He took one look at me and bolted for the gas lamp that rested on the desk beside the daybed. He raised the lamp as if he was prepared to launch it towards me.
        “HAS ANYBODY BEEN IN THIS ROOM BEFORE I ARRIVED!?” he shouted.
        “Holmes, what has happened!? You look like you have just seen Satan himself!” I retaliated.
        “It seems I have come close,” he walked closer to me, raising the lamp even higher in the air. He nodded his head towards my medical bag that rested on the daybed. “Open the medical bag and remove one of the surgical scalpels,” he threatened.
        I was horrified. Was Holmes so insane, that he would threaten to ignite me? Still, I walked towards the bag and did as he commanded, removing one of the scalpels. He then nodded towards the dinning table, to the empty bowl that rested on the base.”
        “Now pick the bowl up from the dinning table. Do as I say, or I shall turn your flesh and blood to smoke and ash.”

I did as he said. But before picking up the bowl, I hesitated. “Why Holmes,” I begged, “why are you doing this? Has the cocaine finally destroyed your psyche? Have you put aside the years of friendship, loyalty, trust---“
        “Trust is something I no longer have for anybody. I cannot trust anyone anymore.” He raised the lamp. “Now pick up the bowl, damn you! And hold out the scalpel!”
        I raised the plate for him to see, still frightened terribly.
        “Now prick your thumb with the scalpel. Let the blood drip into the bowl.”
        I thought him to be completely insane. But I still did so. I flinched as I pressed the blade against my thumb and made a slit. I felt the warm blood trickle from the gash as I allowed it to pour into the bowl. The wound was still bleeding as I held the bowl out to him.
        “Now toss the blood into the fireplace.”
        “What are you trying to prove, Holmes? Why this madness?” I asked, with a tear in my eye.
        “Your humanity, Watson. Now throw it into the flames.”
        My HUMANITY? Does he think I am some sort of creature, a monster like something out of a penny dreadful?
        I walked to the fireplace, nearly knocking over the coal scuttle that contained Holmes’ cigars, and threw the basin of gore into the flames. A loud sizzling sound emerged from the flames. When I turned from the flames, I saw that Holmes has placed down the lamp. He was now sitting down in the armchair that sat beside the fireplace, and he was now doing something more shocking than any action he had just done.
        He was crying.

       Hours passed, every one Holmes spent smoking his pipe, until he finally spoke. My face was red with vexation. “I am sorry, my friend,” he said, the trail of tears still visible on his cheeks. “But I had to know.” I sat in the armchair opposite of Holmes. “You had to know WHAT, YOU RAVING BASTARD,” I screamed, “IF BLOOD COULD BOIL!? IF HUMAN FLESH COULD BE SOMEHOW COOKED!? WHY! WHY WOULD YOU TRY TO KILL ME!?”
        Holmes sighed. “What the scientists found in that crash site on the outskirts of London was definitely an alien species. But we had no idea what it was fully capable of.”
I finally came to calmness, yet still remained in confusion. “What do you mean? What happened to the other scientists? For the sake of God, what happened to you?” I asked.
        “What we found,” Holmes began, “was analyzed in a laboratory owned by a Dr. Lars Dahlberg, who specialized in the study of extraterrestrial beings. He left the creature, which was presumed dead by the rest of the men, including me, alone in the laboratory with a canine. When we came back to the room mere hours later, we found the dog being digested by this… thing. The entire laboratory resembled an ocean of blood, the dog whining and begging for help. We watched as tentacles and mire engulfed the poor creature, and the creature finally swallowed it whole. I saw a lit lamp sitting on a wooden table, and I picked it up and launched it at the monstrosity. It screamed and trotted on the table until it finally became still under the engulfing flames. Two men ran over to it with filled basins of water and snuffed out the flames. As the other men mopped up the bile spewed across the room, Dr. Dahlberg examined the expired creature. He found the dog’s corpse floating in it’s stomach. I assisted in transferring the mangled dog to a separate examination table. He took a sample of blood from it’s neck and placed it under a microscope. He must have seen something that seemed brilliant to him, seeing that he slowly backed away from the microscope. He allowed me to look into the microscope, and what I saw was cell assimilation. Both the doctor and I concluded, along with telling everyone else of our thesis, the thing we had found at the crash site was trying to assimilate the dog. One of the men was ignorant to this, so we informed him that it meant he was trying to kill the dog then become an imitation of that same dog. I, being a man of deductive reasoning and logic, was flabbergasted. I thought to myself, can logic really exist when eliminating the impossible is no longer an option? It was then and there that a tentacle shot out of the dog’s back and killed Dr. Dahlberg. I was almost killed myself before I burned using another lamp. So when I revealed what had happened, the possibility that seeing as how it could easily imitate a dog, it could easily imitate a human being struck me.”
        “So that is the reason you tried to burn me? You thought I could have been one of those things?” I asked.
        “Unfortunately, yes. As for the throwing of blood into the fireplace, we were convinced that we had to administer some sort of test, seeing as how most of us were alone in different areas of Dahlberg’s exceptionally large house. It was only when a one of the men, a man by the name of MacRogers can bolting through the door of the lounge where we were staying and said that another scientist, Dr. Jonathan Carping, who was helping MacRogers clean up the leftovers of the dog, was being swallowed by the dog. Carrying a canister of kerosene, we made our way to the laboratory and discovered one of the windows was broken. We bolted outside and found Carping kneeling on the ground. His hands resembled sea anemone, only covered in blood. We poured the kerosene around him as he screamed a piercing, monstrous scream that shook me to the core. Norring, one of the scientists, threw a lit handkerchief into the circle of kerosene, igniting the flames that engulfed the Carping imitation. His head fell off of his smoldering body, grew legs and tried to escape. Masterson, a man with excellent marksmanship, blasted it away with a shotgun as it tried to get away. He picked it up by the leg and tossed it into the fire. I came to the conclusion that if it’s head was a separate organism, every part of it was a whole. When a man bleeds, it’s only tissue. But blood from a thing, if say, put up to a flame, would try to survive. We tested this on all of us by slashing our thumbs and pouring the blood into separate basins. We then placed them over a bonfire we created with the corpses of the original thing. Almost everyone passed, including I. Masterson’s blood screamed and lathered as it burned in the fire. It was then that his face split open, the tendons and cartilage forming dagger-like teeth. He leapt over the bonfire and landed directly in front of MacRogers and picked him up with gory hands, and that was when a tentacle slithered out of his open face and went straight down MacRogers’ throat. We had to push the both of them into the fire while it tried to assimilate MacRogers. From a distance, we lobbed a stick of dynamite into the fire, blowing the corpses to smithereens.”
        I continued to listen to Holmes, but in my mind, I was still confronting myself with the question how. How could something, so evil, so ungodly, so insane exist in this world? But then again, I already knew that the thing Holmes had encountered was from a separate world. Perhaps even a separate universe. For all we know, perhaps even a separate galaxy.
        “We all went back inside and found that the dog had disappeared. We searched everywhere for it, until we finally found it hunched into a ceiling corner in the library. It leapt down from the ceiling and killed everybody. I took the time of the massacre to ignite a large stick of dynamite we had saved from the bonfire to lob at the creature. I bolted out of the door and locked it behind me. When I stopped running, I saw that the rest of the manor had gone up in flames, presumably from the blast. I was slightly convinced that I had killed it. But even as I talk to you, I am still not completely convinced.”
        Holmes looked up from the floor that he had been staring at throughout the entire horrific tale. I had been in Afghanistan, and even I was shocked to know what Satan had created in Hell to unleash upon the Earth.
        “No, it has to be dead,” Holmes said. “It’s simple logic.”
        I could bear it no longer. I pulled my revolver, the same one I had been tempted to use against him earlier, and raised it in his direction. Holmes looked startled, yet not completely surprised. He pulled a pocket knife from his coat and slashed his own thumb. The blood dripped fro seconds, then he flicked his hand towards the fire. The sizzle came. I placed my revolver back into my pocket.
        “I do not bear animosity towards you for pulling your revolver on me. Seeing as how I am the only one who made out of that hellish house, you must have suspected that I could have been infected and kept that out of my story. But of course, if I had kept the possibility of it out, it might have even made you more suspicious, the way I was suspicious of you earlier. I would have done the same.” He stood up from the chair and walked over to the window overlooking the street. “I have told you my experience with the shape-shifting extraterrestrial. Doing so means that I can trust that you will never chronicle, nor write down anything I have said to you in the past hours. Like the rat, it is a story the world is not prepared for, but unlike the rat, the can never be allowed to know.”
        “But what were its intentions, Holmes? Why would it ever come here in the first place?” I asked.
Holmes didn’t turn from the window.
        “Invasion,” he said morosely.
        I left the rooms saying nothing to Holmes. All I know is that whenever I encounter him in the future, my trust in my friend’s intellect and actions are great, but my trust in the man himself will be little.
        I walked along Baker Street everyday for two weeks. I had been staying alone in the Northumberland Hotel, much to the dismay of my wife. Everyday I would pass by our lodgings. I only saw Holmes standing in the window once. I waved to him, but he did not notice me.
        He seemed to be looking intently across the rooftops, as if searching for some elusive truth. And standing there watching him I knew that his eyes, glittering dark and sorrowful, saw nothing of this world.

Holmes will never know this document even exists. When I am finished with it, I will confine it to the deposit box at Cox and Co. Bank at Charing Cross.
It will never see the light of day.

John H. Watson, December 28th, 1888

 


 


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