earl greystoke

Sometimes I forget that the Wold-Newton universe exists and then I remember that yes, someone actually did a gothic romance ‘woman running away from architecture’ cover of Doc Savage’s cousin Pat fleeing the home of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, which she inherited because of the family’s kinship with the Earl of Greystoke. 

(Doc Savage’s cousin Pat being Doc Savage’s cousin Pat, it’s less ‘dramatically fleeing’ and more a “Seriously? Fuck that place.” sidle.) 

Tarzan!lock

Once upon a time I threw together a quick sherlolly version of Tarzan and Jane. I’ve always meant to go back to it and flesh it out, so here’s the prologue and the bit I wrote before (but will need to seriously edit at some point). Enjoy!

Prologue: Twenty-Five Years Ago, The Year of Our Lord Eighteen-Hundred and Ninety

If Lady Edith Holmes had any idea of her delicate condition, she would never have boarded ship with her husband, the Earl of Greystoke. Instead she would have repaired to their country estates in the company of her younger sister, and enjoyed her eldest son Mycroft’s visits for school holidays while his Lordship attended to the business that awaited him in Africa.

Business, alas, that he would never live to carry out. The ship’s crew mutinied, and he and his wife were set ashore at an uninhabited, unexplored location with at least the most basic of supplies and their trunks - but no money, and other company but their own, plead though they might for the crew to at least spare the officers and allow them to join them in their exile. But no; the crew was adamant, and the officers were slaughtered to a man, not excepting the Ship’s Doctor, one Robert Hamish Watson, who left behind a wife and young son in London. Edith and James Holmes grieved the man’s death more than any of the others, he being the only truly kind officer the ship had carried. There being no other passengers, they watched in fearful solitude as the newly christened Botany Bay sailed away from them, leaving them to their fates.

Three months later found Lady Edith despairing over the fact that she was at least five months gone with her second child. She wept quite copiously upon realizing that fact, and what a burden it put upon her husband, not to mention the fact that this child would most likely never meet his elder brother or other relations. Lord Greystoke wisely allowed her to have her cry, simply holding her in his arms and stroking the dark brown curls that had escaped her practical braid. “Shh, love,” he whispered when the sobs no longer wracked her slender frame. “We’ll make do, as we always have. We’ve created a cosy nest for ourselves in the treetops, and there’s more than wood enough - and time - for me to fashion a cradle for the wee one.”

She looked up at him through teary eyes, and he gave her his softest, most loving smile, hoping to coax one from her as well. “Come, give us a kiss, my dearest, and let me know that you’ll weather this as wonderfully as you’ve weathered all our recent travails. And who knows? A passing ship may stop for water and save us before the babe is ready to meet the world.”

His wife nodded, although she knew in her heart of hearts that no such respite awaited them. No, she’d known since they’d set foot on the foreign sands of this small shoreline that they would spend the remainder of their days here.

Nearly a year later, as she and her husband lay dying from a savage attack by a ferocious pair of leopards, she prayed that their son, William Sherlock Scott Holmes, who was wailing in his cradle, would be found by someone in time to save his life - or else face a swift and merciful death. Then darkness overtook her, and she breathed no more.

Current Time: The Year of Our Lord, Nineteen-Hundred and Fifteen

He studied the strangers through the tangled jungle growth, watching as the male helped the two females - nursing females by the engorgement of their breasts although he saw no young hanging from either female’s back - from the strange vessel that carried them here. He presumed both She’s belong to the male, although he seemed to favor the one with the golden head-fur more than the one with the tree-barked colored fur. Good; he wasn’t sure why, but it was good. A less-favored She could be more easily wooed away from her male.

Sherlock shook his head at the thought; he wasn’t here to seek a mate, only to deduce what he could of the strangers who’d come from the Great Waters near his tribe’s traditional nesting grounds. They were similar in appearance to himself, true, but what of it? His mother had told him that the She who bore him and her mate had died shortly after his birth, and so he knew there were others like him in the Great Jungle. But to actually encounter them…ah, that was it; he wasn’t drawn to the dark-furred female as a potential mate, it was simply that she seemed the most likely of the three strangers to be left alone for him to study more closely.

Yes, Sherlock assured himself as he continued to watch while the male unloaded several strange items from their equally strange floating vessel. It had nothing to do with the sweet scent that came his way when the She wandered away from the other two, or the big brown eyes that looked so sadly at the wall of green that confronted her.

Sherlock was immune to such sentiments; he’d seen far too many of his brethren caught up in the mating frenzies that could turn brother against brother and lead to broken bones and bloodied throats while the She they fought for watched in fearful silence to see who would win.

No. It was simple curiosity and nothing more. But watching from a distance like this could only tell him so much. And so he watched, and waited, and when the time came and the She was temporarily out of site of her male and the other She…Sherlock silently emerged from his hiding place. Her eyes widened in shock; she opened her mouth, and Sherlock wrapped one hand over her lips, pulling her slight form against his and hauling her silently into the jungle.

“John? Where’s Molly got to?”

John Watson, late of Her Majesty’s navy and currently marooned with his wife Mary and her friend Molly after a nasty mutiny on his former ship, turned at Mary’s concerned question. “I think she said something about looking for fresh water, I’m sure she’s just around the bend.” He nodded at the area where the lush jungle growth intruded on the shore where they’d landed. At least the bloody mutineers had had enough respect for their former ship’s surgeon to allow him and the two women to take a lifeboat and make for the coast. It was a better chance than any of the other officers had received, that was for certain, he thought grimly.

“I’m sure you’re right, but John, can we please go after her? There are wild animals here, even if this part of the continent is as uninhabited as the explorers claimed,” Mary said fretfully, rubbing one hand across her stomach in a nervous gesture. John swallowed at the sight; what sort of a life would they have, the three of them, stranded here? What if no help arrived before Mary’s gently swelling stomach grew, or God forbid, if no one came until after the baby was born?

He pushed his worries aside, putting on a brave face for his wife, even though he knew how foolish it was to do so; Mary could read him so well she might have been a Psychic. “Yes, of course we’ll go after her,” he said, moving to her side, limping slightly and wincing as he booted feet sank into the sand. “The boat and supplies are secured against the tide, and there’s not much we can do until the morning.” He glanced up at the setting sun, judging how much daylight they had left to them. Not much, all the more reason to find Molly and hopefully the fresh water she’d gone looking for.