An Annoying Fan Writer in New London

Part 5

by Joy*Starr

Here I come! Did I mention storms are cool? Anyway, can't let you guys have all the fun! D'you plan on joining, Maureen?

The basement of the medium-sized, two-floor house was completely dark, save for a computer screen in the far corner of the room. The soft whir of the computer could barely be heard over the constant tik-takking the keyboard made as the keys were pressed down again and again. A teenage girl sat in a black, tall-backed swivel chair, humming contentedly to herself. This fan-fiction was coming along nicely; much better than her old one. It was encouraging to see how much she had improved.

A sudden flash outside caught her attention. It was accompanied by a strange crackle from her computer’s speakers. A large thunderclap soon followed. How’d it get dark and gray so fast? she wondered in amazement. Then again, I do get rather absorbed in my work, she reflected. It’s great to be able to block out all the distractions, but I end up blocking out the rest of the world as well and losing track of time.

She yawned and stretched, glancing at her watch. 6:13, huh? Oy, I haven’t even eaten yet. She grinned to herself. I’d never get away with this late of a dinner if Mom and Dad weren’t out for the night. Better go make myself a sandwich... As she attempted to stand up, another flash of lightning lit the sky. The boom of thunder that followed was loud enough to startle her back into the chair. Her computer screen flickered weirdly.

A window that had been minimized opened suddenly: the Sherlock Holmes message board. The burst of electricity created by the lightning must have messed with the computer's commands, she mused. Then she realized that she hadn’t finished typing the message she had been planning to post. Might as well, long as the window’s open. Then I’ll dish up somethin’ to eat.

She added the remains of her message and hit the ‘post’ button. A message error came up. She smacked her forehead in disgust and hit the ‘back’ button on her browser toolbar. Why is it that I always forget to put my username in before I post? she wondered miserably. She clicked the name box and typed in ‘Joy*Starr’; then hit 'post' again. A new message came up, saying that her message had been posted. She closed the window; then exited the story she had been working on.

Again, lightning flickered, along with the computer screen. Joy*Starr started to worry. Maybe I should shut the computer down. But as she maneuvered the mouse towards the ‘shut down’ button, thunder boomed. Quicker than she thought possible, another bolt of lightning streaked through the sky. The computer screen flashed so brightly that Joy cried out and tried to block out the light with her hands. She felt frantically for the button that would shut the computer.

A jolt of electricity seized the hardware. Before she could jerk away, it ran up her arm and through her body, sending waves of pain coursing through her. Gasping for breath, she noticed her vision was starting to fade slowly into blackness. She couldn’t help but wonder what her parents would think if they came home and found her like this....

Joy*Starr came to with a groan, her body still throbbing painfully from her encounter with the electrical charge. She got to her feet -- not without a fair share of difficulty -- and automatically went to brush herself off. As she had not yet taken the time to actually observe her surroundings, it came as a bit of a shock to find herself brushing off sand and mud. "Huh? I didn’t think the basement was this messy...." She looked at the area of ground under her feet. If it would have been able to stretch that far, her jaw would’ve hit the sandy strip of land she now found herself on.

The strip ran alongside a massive river; it appeared to be filled with pollution. Suddenly she paled, putting a hand to her head. "There’ way. This cannot be happening! I...." She looked up to see if what she said could not be happening actually was. It was. Flying high overhead were hundreds Joy*Starr’s knees buckled. She pinched herself -- hard. Her eyes watered in response: this was real.

A pair of voices arguing startled her out of her state of shock. "Fenwick, you imbecile! With the amount of racket you’re making you could wake the dead from their sleep!" a voice with a British accent snapped.

The other one, with a heavy French accent, replied defensively, "Alors! ‘Ow was I supposed to know zat it would be so ‘eavy?! Eh?"

Joy*Starr swallowed. "If that’s who I think it is, I’m in big trouble."

A tall, muscular man with jet-black hair and a few white stripes in it stepped into view. A hideous, white-skinned man walked alongside him. It didn’t take them long to notice that someone was watching them. Frowning, the taller one said, "What do we have here?"

"Moriarty," Joy said to herself, her heart sinking down to her toes. "Where is Sherlock Holmes when you need him?"

On to Part 6!

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