Good morning, my lovelies! Welcome to to another Teaser Tuesday featuring the authors of An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Today’s victim is the lovely Katie Magnusson. Her story Sherlock Holmes and the Hungry Ghost is a lot of fun. Please take a moment to meet her, then meet her ghost.
THE IMPROBABLE AUTHORS: KATIE MAGNUSSON
1. What drew you to submit to this particular anthology?
I love supernatural and paranormal pastiches, and here was an anthology asking specifically for paranormal Sherlock Holmes stories. It sounded like fun!
2. Tell us a little about your story.
The title is “Sherlock Holmes and the Hungry Ghost.” The term “hungry ghost” appears in Buddhism and Chinese ancestor worship, as spirits driven by intense needs. It’s also been used as a metaphor for the cravings of a drug addict. So this isn’t exactly a stereotypical ghost story. It’s very internally and mentally focused; I wanted to tap into that primal fear of losing one’s mind, the idea that ghosts are very real – they just don’t haunt houses.
3. Who’s your favorite Sherlock?
Jeremy Brett in the Granada TV series, hands down. Brett had a perfect mannerism about him, this great mix of the flair for theatrics and restrained reasoning machine that is so essential to the character. I remember flipping channels one day and coming across a rerun of “The Norwood Builder” episode on PBS.There’s this scene where Holmes is walking around the area where a huge fire was, and he sort of leaps up onto a low ledge to gaze down, and I thought, “He moves like a cat!” I was so fascinated by the performance, just this simple act of examination, I watched the rest of the episode and every single one afterwards.
4. What else (if anything) have you written?
This is the first story I’ve published, but there’s a series of short stories I’ve been working on for a few years. I’m currently trying to put them all together into a book. They’re cyberpunkish Sherlockiana — a doctor with a cybernetic leg meets a man who’s modelled himself around Sherlock Holmes. Adventures ensue.
5. Where can we find you online?
Send a tweet to @mrskatem, or watch me post random things on kaelma.tumblr.com. People who’re interested in my cyberpunk short stories should go to thediaryofdrwatts.com, or follow the Facebook page (facebook.com/TheDiaryofDrWatts)
THE IMPROBABLE TRUTH: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE HUNGRY GHOST
He opened his eyes, lying on the floor. He’d fallen asleep. His body had finally rebelled and forced upon him the rest he sorely needed, much to his amused chagrin. He stood slowly, stretching his long limbs, and beheld his correspondence scattered across the room. The jackknife that usually held it in place on the mantel was gone.
He turned, scanning the room. The knife was easy to spot, embedded in the opposite wall from the fireplace. He didn’t remember throwing it there.
“You’re going mad.”
“Who’s there?” He looked around and saw no one. He was alone.
“They’ll leave you -.”
“Where are you?”
“- just like everyone else.”
It was a woman’s voice, and it seemed to come from everywhere at once. She laughed as he searched, and a tingling feeling crept across his skin as if an insect were crawling down his spine.
His head felt as if his skull was being hollowed out with a red hot poker. His chest was tight. He couldn’t breathe. “Voices that aren’t there…” he wondered aloud. Could the damage to his mind be so great?
“No. I refuse to believe it,” he pressed his hands to his ears as the woman laughed again, taunting, though it did nothing to dull the sound. “I am sane! If I were not, then I would not recognize my decline! These experiences have nothing to do with the cocaine,” he stalked over to the knife in the wall, yanking it out and firmly sticking it back in its proper place in the mantel, “I refuse to believe it,” he said again, softer, slowly absorbing the significance of his statement. “If I am not mad, then what is going on?”
He applied his mind to the problem at hand with feverish fervor. It was almost a relief. Here was a problem he could ponder at last, but he didn’t like the only possible solution.
“No man could do these things. No member of humankind at all. It is physically impossible. If I am not mad, if this is not the cocaine, and it is not the result of mortal effort, then the solution must lie in the supernatural.”
He would have preferred insanity…