An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most recognizable characters in Western literature. Conan Doyle’s inimitable detective has been the subject of literally thousands of books, movies, television shows, plays and even songs. With the rise of the BBC series and the release of most copyrights, the beloved character has found a new life among modern audiences.
In An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 14 authors of horror and mystery have come together to create a unique anthology that sets Holmes on some of his most terrifying adventures. A pair of sisters willing to sacrifice young girls to an ancient demon for a taste of success, a sinister device that can manipulate time itself, and a madman that can raise corpses from the dead are just a few among the grisly tales that can be found within these pages.
Curl up with a warm cuppa and leave all the lights on. This is not your grandfather’s Sherlock Holmes.
EXCERPT From "The Canaries of Clee Hill Mines," by Robert Perret
Holmes placed a hand on my arm and we came to a stop. I could see him close his eyes and slow his breathing. Lacking his Eastern training in meditation I did my best to make as little noise as possible. I saw Holmes jerk his head to one side ever so slightly and then a moment later I felt the gentlest of winds stir the hairs on my right hand. I looked down at that hand and was surprised to see the pistol it was holding shaking erratically. Even my fingers had gooseflesh and it was then I realized with a shock that I was terrified so far beyond reason that my mind appeared to have disassociated with my body. Holmes began smoothly stalking down the passage from which the wind had blown. I looked down and saw my feet clumsily stomp along one after the other. As we progressed down the tunnel I heard a clicking sound like crickets in the distance. I think my mind read it as an indication that we were exiting the mine to return to the surface, for I found myself strangely soothed. However as we progressed the clicking became chattering and scraping and squealing and my terror returned. We saw an opening to a larger chamber ahead and the inhuman sounds now echoed all around us. In the lamplight I saw a strange constant movement ahead.
“The royal chamber,” observed Holmes. When I failed to give a sensible response he continued.
“I’ve taken to studying bees as of late. Admirable creatures. Truly superior. But I digress. We have followed a proverbial worker bee back to the royal chamber. I suspect we will not be welcomed.”
As we crossed the threshold all noise and activity stopped. In the silence we could hear the sound of water dripping from overhead into an underground reservoir. Around us, on every possible surface of the cavern, like bats, were hundreds of the uncanny Feeders. They regarded us with their milky, dead eyes. Holmes continued in and pointed his lantern around, taking in the ceiling, the walls, the floor and then moving to the lake. He gasped.
To my own amazement I found myself hurrying to his side. In the water, floating vertically in translucent vein-shot sacs were a dozen bodies. Umbilical cords seemed to trail down into the darkness. The way they moved in unison showed that there were all attached to one large abomination down beneath the inky, subterranean depths. Still, the Feeders regarded us passively. I took my lantern to the edge of the water and attempted to inspect the sacs more closely.
The thing below seemed then to turn around, for all of the sacs bobbed along in a circle. The first few appeared to contain juvenile Feeders. The next few my mind refuses to recall except in the abstract. They were of poor souls, presumably the lost miners, mid-transformation between man and Feeder. The strange mutilations of their human bodies was horrifying to see.
An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is available at:
A.C. Thompson is the editing alter-ego of novelist Alexandra Christian. Lexxx is a native South Carolinian who lives with an epileptic wiener dog and a pet ghost hunter. She has published several novels, novellas and short stories with Ellora’s Cave, Purple Sword Publications, and Mocha Memoirs Press. Her long-term aspirations are to one day be a best-selling authoress and part-time pinup girl. Questions, comments and complaints are most welcome at her website: http://lexxxchristian.