“Shall I tell you a Fairy Tale, Hamish?”
“YOU know Fairy Tales, Father?”
“I know one at least, and it’s a story I think you need to hear. Would you like to hear it tonight?”
“Yes, please, Father!”
“All right. Well. Once Upon a Time, there lived a Consulting Detective - the only one in the world, in fact. His hair was curly and black as ebony, and some even said his skin was white as snow.”
“He sounds like you!”
“Mmm. This Consulting Detective considered himself married to his work, until one day, a handsome Army Doctor came into his life.”
“Indeed. However, what the Consulting Detective didn’t know was that he was being watched by the Evil King of the criminal underworld. Every day, the Evil King would look into the internet and ask, ‘Who is the greatest genius of them all?’ And every day, the answer came back, ‘YOU are, my King.’”
“Just like Snow White’s Evil Stepmother!”
“Yes. And, of course, one day, the answer was different. One day, the internet answered, ‘You are a great genius, my King, but, alas, there is one in the land who is far more clever than you.’ The King called his henchmen and said, ‘I want you to set traps for this man. And I want him to stop being clever. If he doesn’t, I want you to burn him. Burn the HEART out of him.’”
“And some time later, while the Consulting Detective was working on a particularly messy and difficult case, he received a strange visitor at his flat.
“It was the Evil King, asking if he could sit down and have some tea. ’I have something for you,’ the Evil King said. ‘Look.’ And there, stuck onto the end of a pocket knife was a large red apple. The Evil King had carved a design into it: I. O. U. ’I owe you,’ the Evil King said.
“Soon after the Consulting Detective held the apple, everything began to turn upside-down. He was helpless to do anything as his image, his work, even his ability to protect his friends crumbled around him.
“And then, very soon, he was falling…falling very fast from a very high place.”
“Did he die?”
“It certainly appeared so. And when the faithful Army Doctor saw what had happened, he stood beside the Consulting Detective’s grave and wept. As strong as he was, the pain of losing his friend made him break down and cry. But the Army Doctor didn’t know one very important thing: the Consulting Detective wasn’t really dead.
“No, Hamish. He was only waiting.”
“What was he waiting for, Father?”
“He was waiting for justice and love to break the spell.”