Chapter 6: The Music BoxAfter what happened before John walked in to ask if we were hungry, I got my flat ready as fast as I could and moved what was mine from their flat to mine. Moments of weakness, they scare me, they've rarely happened to me before. Usually it's an animal that sparks it, I can't stand an animal to be harmed…
Anyway, that was a few months ago. I've tried my best to stay away from him, but that was seemingly impossible with each new victim. There's a clear pattern now. Each victim has met the previous, usually through some sort of transaction whether it be money or just trading things. So this person clearly stalks their victim… and it's likely the victim knows this and tells someone, who then become the next victim. A gory cycle, to which we have to put an end to.
Mycroft has been a thorn in my side during the months I've avoided Sherlock. Always asking information, lucky for me he never double checks this information so I can lie to him, although I'd be lying to myself if I say he hasn't been interesting company and his constant questions ease my boredom, even by a little to which I'm sure John is thankful for, as I have yet to blow anything up or mess around with paint.
Sherlock's been acting odd since my boycott against him, or at least that's what John has been informing me without my wanting of the subject. Let me explain how Sherlock's version of 'odd' had been concerning John in the beginning of the boycott; has a blush, smiles a lot more although it's a very subtle smile, he's been experimenting less, and playing the violin more and less harshly than what he usually does. The last one I was aware of, as I could hear it from my flat. However, for the last month that has changed drastically, he, apparently, is acting a lot colder than usual, eating less, thinking more and talking less. He's clearly figured out I'm avoiding him and not anyone else…
Distracted, I turn my head towards an old music box. I blink and stand up in alarm. That's not mine… I've hated music boxes, the ones I had as a child always played creepy music and gave me nightmares. I slowly make my way to the cracked, dull brown, dust sheeted box in curiosity… 'Curiosity killed the cat y'know…' 'But satisfaction brought it back.' I argue with myself as I pick up the well loved piece of musical decoration. The key has been replaced, too clean to be as old as the box, and it's been removed a lot, there are a lot of scuffs on the key and the hole where the key is placed. With a few turns of the key the tune of a creepy version of London Bridge Is Falling Down plays. Usually where a dancer or a girlish charm would be was a magpie, interesting choice of bird… I close the box as the song draws to an end and the magpie stops spinning. 'I'll get Mycroft to investigate thi-' My thoughts are cut off by rapid knocking at the door. “Who is it?” I ask, in hopes that it was John coming to ask if he could use my kitchen as Sherlock had used theirs for experiments again but I had no such luck.
“It's Sherlock.” 'Oh he doesn't sound happy…' 'Maybe that's because the girl he clearly fancies has been avoiding him for no reason!' 'I have a perfectly understandable reason as to why I've been avoiding him!' 'Ah yes, you're scared. Scared of rejection most likely.' Sherlock has a Mycroft in real life, I have one in my damn head. “(First)! Let me in! I just want to talk!” 'Well now he just sounds desperate' 'Shut up.'
“O-one moment!” I stutter out as I scramble to hide the box. It was if I was a child with something they shouldn't have and they didn't want to be caught with it in fear of being punished. Once the box was out of sight but certainly not out of mind, I straighten my clothes, put the door on latch and open the door. “Hello there Sherlock, it's been a while!” I exclaim, playing innocent but looking down, knowing my act would be over if I looked at him.
“It certainly has. Almost three months now if I'm not mistaken.” He replies, not amused by my play. “Why have you been avoiding me (First)?” I look up at him with fake confusion, a move I soon regret as I take in his appearance. Damp curls cling to his forehead, water dripping off of the curls that stick out against the rest, that damn purple shirt that clung to him due to his drying skin, his eyelashes with tiny droplets of water hanging from them, slightly parted pink slips, his scent stronger than ever, a strange yet wonderful mix of cigarettes, old books and something else that I could only describe as him. He, very obviously, recently got out of the shower and probably decided to talk to me during such, he was in a rush to do so, some of the buttons on his shirt are done incorrectly showing the rush he was in. “If I was the type to flirt I'd say 'Like what you see?' because it looks like you're checking me out.”
“Just deducing why you look a mess.” I say with a sarcastic smile.
“I needed to talk to you before you rush off to work, you've been using a very well planned routine to avoid me, it took a while to learn due to um…” He coughs. “Distractions that have occurred throughout the months you've spent your time avoiding me. But I couldn't help but notice, even without you physically being there, you still managed to help us keep up with rent. I spotted the unmarked envelopes of money. You're playing my brother for a fool and it's working, clever, wish John did that. Speaking of John, you've been keeping up to date on how I am.” An almost mischievous spark in his eyes can be seen. 'What exactly is he thinking?'
“Not willingly, John tends to… waffle on… when it comes to friendly conversation.” I shrug. He looks down as if he's disappointed. “So, you've been acting odd apparently.”
“Apparently...” 'Well this is awkward.' We stay in silence for a couple of minutes before he clears his throat. “I should be going… this was- It was pleasant talking to you again.” And with that, he left. I close the door and walk back to where I placed the music box but froze shortly after. 'I-It's gone… how is it gone?!' My thoughts were interrupted by my phone vibrating, indicating I had a text.
Murderer stuck again, get to the Yard ASAP, don't tell Sherlock. - GL
Will do sir - (YI)
In a rush I collect my bag, throw on my jacket and my simple khaki green military style cap I got as a present from Harry, John's sister. As I stepped out of the building another text arrives.
Like my little gift? - JM 'Who is this guy?'
Who are you? How did you get my number? And how did you get into my flat?! - (YI)
All in good time, lil flame. - JM 'Oh good, he's aware of the fire incident…'
And with that, the texting stops. 'Lets just get to the Yard before Greg hunts us down. Again.' 'Agreed.' As I walk I remember the last time I was late for work, it was because a neighbour was having trouble starting their car so I decided to help, 10 minutes later Greg shows up to collect me just to see me half way under a car and covered in muck. Turns out Greg panicked and decided to find me in case Sherlock got us into any trouble so he was very relieved to know I was just helping a neighbour with his crappy car. When I finally arrive at the Yard Greg runs over, grabs my arm and drags me to the crime scene, an abandoned factory.
After he finally stops pulling me along he goes on this lecture on to remain calm before entering. I walk over to the body as I'd usually do but this time… I froze (for what seems to be the hundredth time) halfway. The body was of a baker I visited last week, I was getting come cupcakes for Mycroft as he was due to see me that day. I look to the side of the body to see You're next Miss (Last). 'So this is why he told me to remain calm… I'm next… explains why he told me not to tell Sherlock. But why leave a message to let me know I'm next… why change their routine to do something that could get them caught? Unless… that's what they want… the style of the stabbings is different… planned… but what do they hope to achieve?'
During my distracted ramblings I look to the corner of the room. 'The music box… JM. He must've been here.' I walk over to the box which sat on old, rotting wooden crates which the smell of damn wood emitted from, but another smell arose. 'Granted there was a dead body nearby but it wouldn't be that strong it would overtake a smell that's right under my nose unless there's another source…' I look behind the rotten crates to see another body. I look at the music box to see a small piece of paper being held down by one of the legs of the box. I slide the paper out from under the leg and I study it. The paper was new and crisp despite the fact it was pressed down by the box leg, it was a small piece of paper, A5 in size and folded in half like a card, the outside was blank apart from a singing… magpie. I quickly open it to see a message that had been typed out to avoid recognition of the handwriting but I knew who it was. JM. He was an interesting pawn but he was going to far, lil flame. He was going to kill you but I've barely got to see what you can do, after all, we've barely got to play! Don't block my number now lil flame~ I'll text you soon but I'd love it if you'd call~ 'He's insane! Fine, want me to call you? I'll call.' I walk over to Greg, tell him about the second body and leave with the note folded in my hand so no one knows I've taken it before taking out my phone and dialling JM who I will now call 'Mr Magpie'.
It wasn't long before he answered. “You called~!” An Irish voice sung out childishly.
“Of course I did, curiosity killed the cat-”
“But satisfaction brought it back. I love that saying, don't you?” I sigh. “Oh don't sound so glum, we'll play soon enough, I assure you.” 'He's going to get on my nerves.'
“What's with the music box?”
“A small gift from me, I thought you'd like it but don't tell anyone or there'll be severe consequences.” 'Why do I have a feeling he's not joking?'
“I won't tell anyone, it would be boring if I did, they'd ruin the game that's to come.” I reply, telling him what he probably wants to hear, which worked as I planned as he practically squeals happily like a pig in a blanket in my ear.
“I'm so glad you feel the same way! Talk to you soon lil flame~!” He purrs out before hanging up. Lets just hope the game isn't too deadly...