The Undead Detective

by Rhys Barter

Professor Moriarty skidded to a halt inches from the precipice, and looked down at the violent rapids below.

He cursed under his breath. He should have known that the route he had taken would be a dead-end, but, blinded by panic, desperate to escape the indiscriminate bloodshed unfolding back at his hotel, he hadn’t paid attention to his surroundings.

Now he found himself stranded atop the Reichenbach Falls, commanding a clear view of the chaos unfolding below.

They were everywhere, the recently undead, flocking like raptors, tearing the living limb from limb.

He began to wonder what had happened to his friends: Sherlock, Stamford, and the groom himself, John Watson. They had travelled to Switzerland for Watson’s stag weekend, prior to his marriage to Mary.

In the distance a fire was enveloping the town of Meiringen. Then something exploded.

Moriarty recalled the final news report they had seen before the power cut. An archaeologist named Dr Culverton-Smith had uncovered a deadly poison in Sumatra that had, within minutes of exposure, reduced him to a febrile, bloodthirsty, mess.

The zombie plague had spread faster than anyone predicted.

Moriarty’s woolgathering was interrupted by a discordant rasp, and he spun around to find himself face to face with his former friend, the great Sherlock Holmes.

“Sherlock, are you alright?” Moriarty asked, but he knew that his friend was beyond help.

Sherlock was dressed in his familiar smoking jacket and deerstalker hat, although both were now caked in blood. He was also still wearing his Persian slippers, indicating that he must have been turned inside the hotel.

He limped and lurched towards Moriarty, gabbling glossolalia, drooling like a wild animal.

Moriarty backed away, towards the precipice, but within seconds Sherlock Holmes was upon him.

Moriarty knew that no matter how hard he fought, he couldn’t win. In life Sherlock had been adept at baritsu, the Japanese style of wrestling. In death he seemed no less efficient.

Eventually Sherlock landed a bite on Moriarty’s neck. The professor winced in pain. He knew what was coming. It was only a matter of minutes before he became one of them.

“I’m sorry Sherlock,” he said, gripping the zombie by the shoulders, “But this is no way to live.”

Then he threw himself and his friend off the edge of the Reichenbach Falls, to their watery grave below.