There was a loud hammering at the door of the dingy lodgings.
“Mr Michael, Mr Michael,” cried the Landlady, Mrs Grobblewit. “Oh it’s no use constable, it’s been like this for two months now and the smell is sometthing awful. Actually, to be fair the smell was always something awful, but he owes me two months rent, and me once again in the family way.”
“Never fear, madam,” said a stout man’s voice. “We’ll have this sorted in no time. Constable, with me.”
There then followed some loud thumps and finally the door crashed in. Two police officers with enormous mustaches looked into the room, whilst a middle aged lady with ham hocks for arms looked in nervously from the door.
“Good God!” said the larger policeman. “He’s dead!”
He gestured to the man slumped in the battered arm chair.
“Dead drunk more like,” said the other peeler, picking up a bottle lying on the floor and sniffing at it.
The larger policeman sighed and gave the unconscious man a light slap on his face. He immediately sat up.
“What the… what is it… what’s happening?” he said, eyes darting around the room.
“It seems, Mr Michael, you have been asleep for a protracted period of time,” said the Policeman.
“My God, how long man? How much time did I lose?” said the disheveled looking writer. “Twenty four hours? Forty eight?”
Mrs Grobblewit walked into the room, her lips pursed.
“It has been over two months, Mr Michael,” she said.
“How can this have happened?” said Michael.” I had a… a visitor from the South West… he left a bottle… that’s all I recall.”
“Hmm,” said the smaller policeman, “I think we have all the evidence we need here.”
He turned to show the bottle to the others. It said, “Finest Medicinal Laudanum, Bottled in Porlock, Somerset. Good for All Ailments.”
We here at the Benthic Times can only prostrate ourselves in apologetic humility at the appalling delay in our story telling. We have contacted the primary creators of the story in order to get a fuller understanding. Miss Pichette muttered something incomprehensible about robots and Mr Michael told us the above preposterous story. I suspect the truth will never become clear and we hope you will accept our grovelling apology and continue to enjoy the story. We have extracted the most profound promises that an absence of this sort will never happen again. We are, in truth, uncertain if we truly believe that