Part 3

by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at

Inspector Beth Lestrade sighed as she stared at the walls of her living room, trying to forget.

Every year for the last three years around this time, she was flooded with memories of her parents. Every birthday party, every Christmas, and other events flowed through her mind. Especially her thirteenth. She quickly pushed it aside.

When Thomas had been there, the memories were held at bay. It had been easier to pretend it hadn't happened, that Mom and Dad were on an extended business trip. By herself, all she had were her memories. Usually she tried to be involved in a case, but this year, the city was unaccountably quiet.

She sighed again and pulled her legs up underneath her on the couch, as the memories took over....

Fourteen years ago

Beth grinned happily. Today she was finally going to be a teenager. She didn't know exactly what that meant but it sounded good.

The only downside to today was that Mom and Dad were out of town. They had to check on one of their outlet stores in another state. She knew they hadn't meant to be gone this long, but she still wished they were here. Still, Tom could be counted on to throw the best parties.

"Beth!" her brother called, "You better hurry up! The guests'll be here any minute!"

She smiled and finished combing her hair, then bounded down the stairs. She was wearing the white T-shirt and black denim jeans that Tom had given her last night.

"Wellllll now," Tom drawled, "have I met you before, ma'am?"

Beth giggled. "Don't be silly, Tom. It's me, Beth."

"What! Beth! My little sister?" Tom exclaimed, his eyes wide in mock surprise, "No way, huh-uh, you're much too pretty to be her!"

She was still giggling when her friends arrived. The party got off to a good start with a game of musical chairs where the chairs moved in the opposite direction of the people.

After cake and ice cream, Beth began opening her presents. When she was done, there was wrapping paper everywhere, and a paper-snowball fight ensued. It took a while for Tom to calm everyone down.

"Ahem," he announced, "You forgot to open two of your presents, sister dear." He was holding one of the gifts up, the other was the size of a steamer trunk, and sat beside him on the floor. He must have brought it in during the chaos of the paper-snowball fight.

He handed the smaller one to her. Everyone crowded around to see. She looked at the tag. It read: 'to my little angel; from mom.' Beth carefully opened it. Inside was her mom's diamond and emerald ring. It had been passed down to all first-born females in her mother's family for generations.

Beth quickly wiped away a stray tear, and put the ring on her right third finger. It fit perfectly. Then she turned to the larger gift.

Once the paper had been removed, she saw that it was a steamer trunk. Opening it she gave a cry of glee. Inside were the journals of Doctor John H. Watson, chronicler and best friend of Sherlock Holmes. Whenever her father was home she begged him to read her one of the accounts, as he wouldn't let her handle them. Now they were hers.

The phone rang at that moment, and Tom went to answer it. She was still talking excitedly about her gifts, when he came back, a stunned expression on his face.

"I...It's time for you all to go home now." The guests stood up muttered amongst themselves as they began filing out the door.

Beth frowned. "What's wrong?"

Tom looked at her, tears in his eyes. "An accident...the transport...Mom and Dad...." He couldn't continue.

She shook her head in disbelief and ran up to her room, the party and gifts forgotten.

The funeral was held one week later.


Lestrade was brought out of her memories by the chiming of the vidphone. Quickly wiping away the tears, she answered it.


"Ah, Lestrade," Holmes said, "I have need of your assistance. I will tell you about it when you get here." He paused. "Is something wrong?"

"No, I'll be right there."

On to Part 4!

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