from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
(From the Diary of Dr Watson)
Now that I’m safely back home and nestling my head in the bosoms of my dear wife, I shall take this opportunity to consider the events of the last few days. My previous diary entry reveals how we found ourselves trapped in the school, desperately waiting for someone, anyone, to come to our aid. Holmes, as usual, had professed little faith in my abilities and consequently I took matters into my own hands…
Tippy, myself and Miss Machine, took stock of our situation and my companions decided, with some gentle persuasion on my part, that our best option was to dig a tunnel. We aimed to begin this task at the south wall of the cellar under the playground (above which our deadly feathered fiends were still squawking loudly), and dig our way out onto the steep bank of the river, a mere half a mile yonder. Gathering the now (thankfully) docile children, we armed ourselves with a variety of spoons and began the task of hacking away at the (again, thankfully), soft clay we found after removing a portion of the cellar wall.
In less than six hours, we had tunnelled almost three feet and just as I was beginning to think our work would never end, the roof of our lowly tunnel collapsed.
When the dust had cleared, I peered upwards and saw to my joy a glimmer of moonlight (for night had now fallen). Listening out for the slightest sound, I immediately noticed the lack of squawking – the birds had gone! I determined to forgo our tunnelling venture and spirit away, under cover of darkness, myself, the girls and the children, up through this narrow passage, across the playing field to the river and safety.
I had, however, given in too readily to the idea that the birds had deserted their posts, for no sooner had I engineered to have all of us out onto the grass, than a loud squawk echoed across the land. In seconds, the savage creatures were upon us, clawing and shrieking like clawy, shrieky things. I recall thinking that I should have listened to Holmes, when a sudden brightness caught my eye.
Across the playing field, dozens of lights were hurtling towards us, their sharp beams slicing through the darkness like shite off a hot shovel. The sudden interruption startled our attackers and the creatures rose up as one, leaving us momentarily free. At that point, someone grabbed my arm and I turned to stare into the soft, squidgy face of my old school chum Jessica Fletcher.
“Come, Johnny, come,” she yelled and turned to run back through the crowd of individuals who I now know as the local Light Aircraft Fanciers Society, their heads somewhat curiously adorned with propeller hats, and each of them waving a large torch.
Surrounded by our saviours, we were hurried across the grass to a waiting motor launch, where a certain Captain Jacqueline Sparrow had hot buttered scones and tea ready and waiting.
With all the children aboard, I sat down heavily next to Jessica and turned to smile at her. “Jessie, Jessie, Jessie,” said I, gazing into those beautiful blood-shot eyes. “How can I ever thank you?”
Jessica gave me one of her famous winks and muttered, “Oh, don’t you worry, Johnny, I’ve got plans for you…” And with that she slid her hand down my trousers.
I won’t go into all the shenanigans that followed once we were snuggled up in the safety of the ‘The Frigg and Whippet’ in Cabot’s Cove – suffice to say Jessica rounded things off rather masterfully, revealing the culprit behind the apparent madness of the bird population. Performing one of her famous unmasking ceremonies, Jessica gathered us all together and asked our friendly local school teacher, Miss Florence Machine, to step forward. With a sudden upward swing, Jessica smashed a four-pound hammer into the poor woman’s face.
I see now that it was perhaps rather remiss of me to scream quite so shrilly, but in my defence, I was truly shocked by what I saw. As Florence’s’ face literally slid off and crashed to the floor, the mess of cogs and chains inside her head left no doubt as to who, or should I say, what, she really was.
I imagine the idea of naming her ‘Miss Machine’ was one of Moriarty’s sick jokes, for it is he (I am convinced) who is the real mastermind behind this madness, and he, also, who created the thousands of mechanical birds who (thankfully, yet again) have now all been destroyed.
As a footnote to this episode, a northern film director has asked if he might utilise the remains of the previously mentioned mechanical creatures, as he has a plan to make a ‘moving picture’ detailing our adventures. Dear Tippy, too, has been approached with a view to portraying herself in what sounds like a pretty unrealistic plot. I mean, mechanical birds are one thing, but no-one would ever believe a plot centered around the idea that several thousand starlings could turn against the human race.
I will forward a copy of this episode to Holmes, though he will no doubt reply with his usual, “Tish, tish, Watson, you really have no imagination!”