I’m in an anthology scheduled to come out at the end of the month. A volume of Sherlock Holmes tales set in alternate universes. I’ve included an excerpt of my story “The Case of the Tainted Blood” below. You can learn of the release through my Website or sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest news (and a FREE short story!)
The epidemic arrived from the Continent in 1889, and a year later, our world shifted on its axis, plunging survivors into a nocturnal, feral existence. Had it not been for a peculiar turn of events one spring evening in 1891, that world might have consumed both Holmes and myself.
We were both involved in the change from the beginning, although we didn’t recognize it at first. As a medical doctor, I was called in to treat a number of extreme anemia cases, which all led to general organ failure and death. While I responded to medical emergencies, Holmes assisted in the investigation of a series of quite gruesome murders involving ripped throats, but a complete lack of blood in the victim or the surrounding scene.
And no one was immune from infection or attack.
I sent Mary to the country early on to avoid the illness’s rapid spread. Two weeks after seeing her off, I received a chatty letter from her, giving no hint of illness, and a telegram an hour later informing me of her death from rapid-onset anemia. At the time, I considered my inability to protect her my greatest failure.
Of course, events soon overwhelmed the medical and law enforcement communities, and many fell victim to the infection themselves. When Inspector Lestrade called on us a few weeks after Mary’s demise and provided a full explanation of the disease, we were forced to make a decision—survival or death. A year later, I wondered if we had made the appropriate choice.
The name dredged up images of an all-consuming and soul-less thirst, but the true transformation was to society itself. At the beginning of the epidemic, an ample supply of humans existed. Over time, however, the scales tipped and alternative sources developed as the human population faded from this earth.