Sherlock advent drabbles :D
Today's word is: Autochthon
The place is large; a giant glass construction housing beds and beds of tropical plants. It's one of the main attractions at the house.
They're led through into the humid heat by the house's head curator. "No-one's seen him since Tuesday," he says, walking along, "although I shouldn't think..."
"When you lose something, it's always best to start from where you last saw it," says Sherlock blandly, looking around at the plants as they pass.
The curator frowns. "Yes," he says. "Yes, but a missing person is a bit different to losing a set of keys."
Sherlock says nothing.
John jumps in, just as a painful silence starts to blossom. "Of course not," he says. "Of course it's completely different."
The curator coughs. "Anyway," he says. "He was down by the Asian plants. Working late. He was last seen by one of the security guards at 7pm." The curator points. "It's just up ahead."
Sherlock stops so suddenly that John nearly bumps into him.
"Er... Is there a problem?" asks the curator, stopping and turning around.
Sherlock takes a few steps back the way they came and points at a bush just off the path. "This plant," he asks. "What type of plant is it?"
The curator shrugs. "I don't know," he says, scratching at his neck. "I normally work with the historical collections up at the house. Plants aren't really my specialit..." He jumps as Sherlock strides off the path and up to the bush. "Oh! No! You're not supposed to walk on the...!"
"This isn't right. Look." Sherlock shakes a drooping branch. "This isn't a tropical plant at all. It's wilting in the heat."
"Maybe..." starts John.
"No," says Sherlock. "I saw another plant just like it as we walked up the drive. This plant is native." He snorts and glances around. "So why is it here?"
"Like I said," starts the curator, "I'm not really in charge of..."
Sherlock crouches down and inspects the soil at his feet. "Recently been planted," he mutters, and before anyone has a chance to stop him, he scrabbles at the soil with his hands, tugging part of the bush up by its roots.
What's revealed, with a gruesome hint of more below, is the corner of a jacket.
Sherlock turns to look at the curator.
The curator blanches. "Oh." And John has to scramble to grab hold of him before he passes out.