Editor’s Note: We regret to inform you that The Evening Look’s Holmes Hall correspondent O. Justice has found Jesus and now lends his extensive investigative talents to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. L. Squirrel has temporarily taken up the quest to discover the elusive Holmes Hall in his stead. This is the story of how we lost Justice. We eagerly await his return.
Read the first installment of the Holmes Hall series here.
Dark, wet, and dreary. The perfect weather. With my trenchcoat collar popped and a black bowler hat atop my head, I retain complete anonymity. I am one with the night, only visible by the smoky light of my vintage Woodrow Wilson pipe, custom-engraved with “Black Lives Matter”. I can stealthily drift across the campus of this mysterious institution, rivaling Sisyphus in my devotion to duty. The drizzling rain makes it easier to escape from the clutching grasps of the diabolical swine who roam these forsaken lands. They seek to muzzle me, to cover my mouth and suppress my speech by force. But I will not be silenced. As a wise man once stated, they merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. And men of the darkness do not wear masks.
The weather reminds me of a similar night many moons ago. The night when I became a pariah. But I was not searching for the place that currently occupies my every waking moment. I was searching for a person. I was searching for the foundational scholar of this column and the quest it entails — Justice himself. He had been missing for almost sixteen hours. He left at dawn that morning, stumbling half-naked off the second-floor balcony of our offices and proclaiming a breakthrough in the case. It was the second-to-last time I would ever see my friend.
I knew something was terribly wrong when the clock struck eleven. He never missed an opportunity to lay back in the moldy reclining chair stolen from his grandmother’s estate sale, throw back some gin & tonic, and accuse Jimmy Kimmel of war crimes. His absence from this nightly ritual was a grim sign indeed. I set off immediately, searching for the obvious signs: a trail of discarded mini bottles of Fireball or the scent of cocaine cut with Annie’s white cheddar mac n’ cheese powder. I picked up a trail that took me in circles around a large, circular brick building, finally concluding by the statue of a man dribbling a basketball in shorts that revealed a disconcertingly large bulge. Perplexed, I wondered if it was indicative of a larger health issue. Fearing that all was lost, my attention was suddenly drawn to the gray-roofed quadrilateral complex to my east.
The building was surrounded by flashing lights, blinding me with their suddenness in my pitch-black surroundings. I had seen nothing like that since a forgotten day in Budapest many years ago. I walked up to the building, sneaking past the driverless cars to take a look inside. Peering through the foggy glass, I saw Justice for the last time. He was magnificent, riding a Zamboni in circles around the ice as he tossed popcorn at imaginary spectators, a Taiwanese flag draped from his shoulders. A field of broken glass littered the rink and a gigantic container of industrial lubricant lay sideways, spilling its contents into the west net. It was an ethereal sight, but it disappeared before I could truly comprehend its brilliance. A cadre of armed men swooped down from the rafters, tackling Justice to the ice. I turned away, unable to watch the scene unfolding before me. Justice may be blind, but I can see clearly now. The rain is gone. I can see all the obstacles in my way. They told us that Justice was put into rehab. They told us he was doing well; he discovered the Bible from some missionaries and was moving to Utah. But I know the truth.
You may have gotten my friend. Converted him to your coffee-less hullabaloo, filling another page in your binders full of men. But know this, o’ faithless guardians of Holmes Hall. I am coming. I will not cease. I am homeless, untethered to this mortal realm. And so I fear not the reaper as I throw glass at stone houses. And I will tear down the gates that guard this modern-day Forbidden City, unleashing its many gifts upon the world. I just have to find it first.
– L. Squirrel