Paul Wallace

by Sarah Borroum

As much as he hated using his abilities to cheat others, Sherlock Holmes had little choice. To get out of the mental hospital, he’d need money. To get money, he’d have to trick people. To trick people, he’d have to see things they believed were invisible.

Amy, the youngest nurse in Sherlock’s wing of the hospital, lost their ten-dollar bet on the Rangers vs. Angels.

“You’re on, Paul,” she’d practically yelled. “No way are my Rangers getting their butts kicked by LA.”

Sherlock had proposed the bet after seeing the Rangers’ starting pitcher in warm-ups; he had a slightly bloated face. This was hard to detect through television, despite the high definition, but Sherlock saw the tell-tale sign that the team doctor was forcing fluids in an effort to flush an illness—probably a stomach virus. If one pitcher had it, especially during an extended road trip, they all had it.

Sure enough, LA teed off on every pitcher, ultimately beating the Rangers by five runs. When Sherlock collected his money, he silently promised to get it back to Amy—eventually.

That ten was enough to start, but Sherlock needed more. Between Tuesday and Thursday, he organized a few betting pools with the half-dozen groundskeepers. By Friday morning, Sherlock had three hundred dollars: plenty for some clothes, food, and a place to stay until he figured out what to do next.

Getting out of the hospital was easy enough. He found Carl, the head groundskeeper, and pulled a twenty out of his pocket.

“I need a little…” Sherlock lowered his voice. “Well, privacy.” He blushed.

Carl nodded. “Know what you mean, Mr. Wallace.” He pointed to the shed where the crew stored most of their hand tools. “I can give you ten minutes.”

“Bless you,” Sherlock replied. When Carl disappeared around the corner, Holmes went into the shed and found a pair of bolt cutters. After concealing them in the bushes beside the shed, he went back inside and spent the next several minutes on a stack of potting-soil bags, going over his escape plan.

The next morning, when Dr. Jenkins tried to find the man everyone in the hospital insisted was Paul Wallace, Holmes was long gone.