Forever Young, Part One Prose in The Casebook of Adolphus Raven | World Anvil

Forever Young, Part One

Chapter One


"I apologise Mr Raven... my wife is... not well," Edgar Haverstock as he handed, with a slightly shaking hand, a glass of brandy to Adolphus.

"Understandable given the circumstances Mr Haverstock," Adolphus said watching the other man sit down wearily.

They were in the study of Haverstock's rather grand St John's Wood townhouse, an enviroment Adolphus would find himself in only during situations where his skills were in dire need.

Mrs Haverstock, Arabella, had been taken back to her bedroom after breaking down and sedated. For her own good of course. And even though Edgar Haverstock seemed calm and composed, Adolphus could see the man was at his breaking point.

"I don't know how you can help where the police could not, Mr Raven," Edgar said sipping from his brandy glass. "In all honesty I have no idea what you do. I only contacted you under the advisement of my good friend Inspector Bancroft. He told me... he told me this case called for someone of your skills."

Adolphus sipped his brandy. It was a damn good one. Far above the quality he usually imbided. "I have worked with the Inspector on a few occasions now yes. And if he believes my skills are required to help you in this matter... well he's probably right." He put the brandy down on the table beside him and leaned forward, the flickering light from the fireplace casting a most sinister aspect upon his face. "Now please Mr Haverstock, can you give me a full account of what transpired the night your son went missing?"

Haverstock downed the remainder of his brandy and for a long moment stared into the fire. "Mrs Jones put William to bed at seven as she always does-"

"I take it Mrs Jones is the nanny?" Adolphus interupted.

"Yes... fine woman. Dependable. William adores her."

Doubtful, Adolphus thought. Having met a number of nannies to the children of the well-to-do, there was a good chance Mrs Jones was a tyrannical old witch who made life miserable for her young charge. "Please continue," he said.

"I was passing his room around eight o'clock and I heard him talking and giggling to someone. There was another voice talking back to him but I couldn't hear the words... I tried to open the door to his bedroom but I couldn't. It was locked somehow... I knocked and demanded William the door but he ignored me."

He stopped, looking like a man on the brink of breaking down. "Please Mr Haverstock, I need to know everything that happened," Adolphus said with some force. Time was of the essence and he needed to know everything.

"I was banging the door with my fists and Arabella came along and then I began to barge the door with my shoulder. The door gave way and we went into the room to see William... William... our son... on the window sill with this... this... thing... it turned to me and leered with these cat like eyes and... and... then..." Haverstock trailed off.

Adolphus was silent for a moment. "What happened?"

Haverstock turned to Adolphus, his eyes wide and wet with tears. "It flew, Mr Raven! It flew away with my son!"


* * *


A short while later Adolphus was stood outside the Haverstock townhouse, looking up at the bedroom window of the missing boy. According to his father the window was locked at all times and Adolphus believed him.

"So something that can do magic and likes children?" he said musingly. He knew a few less than respectable types who could scale the wall to reach the third storey. Those same types could also easily unlock a locked window.

But none of them, as far as he knew, had cat eyes and could fly.

Adolphus had a great deal of experience when it came to the strange and unusual. He knew of the secret powers who worked the government like a marionette. He knew of the various things hidden in, around and beneath London. And he knew that this world was part of something far bigger.

But that is not to say he knew everything.

He was the specalist who got called when the Police or the government encountered something that could be best called supernatural, a vague term admittedly. And more, his family had been in the business for some time. But even he on occasion would have need to refer to others with more knowledge. And the case of the missing Haverstock and his night time visitor was one of those occasions.

Feeling the eyes of concerned (nosey) neighbours upon him, even at this late hour, Adolphus set off.


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