It’s a good time to be a Sherlock Holmes fan what with the recent release of the Netflix film Enola Holmes this month.
Now if you’re looking for a similar Sherlock Holmes story, but one with a Filipino twist, look no further than The Ophthalmologist’s Case. The short story is one of the eleven horror stories written by author Wincy Aquino Ong for his Amazon Kindle e-book Tales For A Rainy Season.
The story finds Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson in 1888 during the height of the Jack the Ripper murders. Late one morning a client comes knocking on their door in 221B Baker Street—the future national hero of the Philippines himself, Doctor Jose Rizal.
“The idea of the story came to me when I read an article by Ambeth Ocampo. The article explored a theory that Jose Rizal could actually be Jack the Ripper himself,” the 38-year-old author said. “After reading it, I rushed to my laptop and started typing up what eventually would become the centerpiece story of my horror collection.”
A lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan and Filipino history buff, Ong carefully studied how the fictional detective and the polymath from Calamba could possibly cross paths in history.
“My research took me to the strangest corners of the Internet, from street maps and editorial cartoons of the Jack the Ripper murders to academic papers on Jose Rizal’s boarding room in London and his many peculiar hobbies, one of which was playing with a yoyo.”
Pastiche stories of Sherlock Holmes are not entirely new, of course, as literature, radio, cinema, and video games have found the detective meeting various historical and fictional characters such as Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud, Dracula, Batman, and Doctor Who amongst many others.
So in this tale, do we expect a team-up between Sherlock Holmes and Rizal?
“Certainly not! This is more of a chess match between two really smart people,” Ong says. “When I thought about their psyches, what’s common about them is that they were both arrogant personalities. The two of them would definitely not make a good team. But do read the story, as there as twists upon twists as you’ll see the two geniuses outsmarting each other at every turn.”
Wincy Aquino Ong is a writer, musician, filmmaker, and podcaster. No stranger to the thriller genre, he is the writer and director behind the 2011 Cinemalaya horror film San Lazaro and 2014’s Overtime under GMA Films. He also plays and writes songs for the bands Narda, Us-2 Evil-0, and Patience Dear Juggernaut, and he hosts Telebabad Tapes, a podcast with his wife, Cj de Silva.
If you’re looking for a fun and spooky Halloween read during these stormy days, read Tales for a Rainy Season, now available for download at the Amazon Kindle Store and Kindle Unlimited. The e-book includes eleven short stories that have everything from a merman found during Typhoon Ondoy to a fantaserye actress who goes missing in the Devil’s Mountain in Laguna. The book will soon be available in print form.
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