The Small GameJohn was beaming. "Donovan said you're a freak."
"Damn!" Sherlock looked very put out. "I was being particularly civil to her."
"Exactly," said John. "Acting out of character. Completely unnerved her." Sherlock glared at him.
"Been quite a morning," John continued. "One witness asked where your hat was, another was a fan of my blog and that new DC assumed we were a couple."
Sherlock scoffed. "Don't look so smug. Before we left, I guessed your new password and Mrs Hudson reminded me she wasn't our housekeeper. When we got here, the officer standing guard said I looked taller in photographs and three deductions in, you automatically called me 'brilliant'."
Lestrade signalled to Sherlock and Sherlock glanced across at him. "Right," he said, "I'll go and talk to the suspect."
John looked at him. "You're not going to cheat, are you?"
Sherlock smiled. "I'll just be my normal self."
As the detective walked away, John knew it was all over. Anxiously, he watched as Sherlock questio
Sitting, WaitingAt some point in John Watson's adulthood, "he is sitting on the chair" had become "he is sat on the chair." Even Sherlock Holmes used the new form: a man who could spot and disparage a non-standard dialect at 20 paces. Language evolves. What had previously been considered to be a continuous state was now considered to be a fixed one.Sitting, Waiting1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
John shifted in his seat and looked across the waiting area at his companion. Sherlock was most definitely not in a fixed state. Feet tapping, fingers thrumming, eyes flicking from floor to wall to window. John set aside his elderly magazine.
"Are you OK?" he asked.
"Fine," Sherlock snapped.
John sighed. "It has to be done."
Sherlock stopped fidgeting. "It'll hurt."
John gazed steadily at his genius friend. "I can assure you the nice man isn't going to hurt you."
Sherlock actually paled.
"I'll come with you, OK?" said John.
Sherlock nodded, gratitude on his face.
Cautiously, Sherlock settled down into the adjustable
SardinesSherlock hurtled down the stairs, into Mrs Hudson's flat, rushed into the bedroom and joined John in the wardrobe. "Ah, good," said Sherlock. "You found Mrs Hudson."Sardines1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Their landlady peeped out from behind John's back.
"What the hell is going on?" she whispered urgently. "I was just doing the ironing and John grabbed " From upstairs came the sound of a very large someone attempting to break down a door.
"Client," said Sherlock. "Came to consult me about his wife's death, due to his mother-in-law's insistence. I pointed out it was obvious he was the murderer."
"Timing," muttered John. He was still holding his mobile. "I've called the police. Let's get Mrs Hudson out through the back and then we can "
The door upstairs gave way. Fifteen stone of client came crashing down the staircase. "Hold your positions," murmured Sherlock.
The miscreant entered the flat and charged through the rooms searching, swiftly reaching the bedroom. The inhabitants of the wardrobe listened as he checke
Blind Man's BuffJohn had a magnificent black eye.Blind Man's Buff1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"What happened?" demanded Sherlock, immediately alert as he entered the flat.
"Calm down," said John. "There was a power cut while you were away. I got a bit disorientated and walked into the door."
"Impossible," said Sherlock.
"Er, no," said John. "I definitely remember it happening."
"We've lived here for months," said his flatmate. "You should be able to find your way around in the dark."
John sighed. "If you suddenly can't see, it's very easy to become confused…"
The challenge in Sherlock's eyes was unmistakable.
They found a diving mask in Sherlock's dressing up box ("Disguise compendium!") and John covered it in duct tape.
"Right," said Sherlock. "I can't see anything."
"OK," said John, "you have to get to your room, collect a pair of socks and then come back here."
He spun Sherlock carefully and let him go. Sherlock staggered a little but impressively quickly located the kitchen, and then sure-footedly moved towards the far door.
IlluminationIt was a locked room murder. And Sherlock had managed to lock them all in. Happily, the body had already been removed but that still left John, Lestrade and a consulting detective trapped in a cellar.Illumination1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"OK," said Lestrade. "Someone will notice soon. Let's just make ourselves comfortable and wait."
John leaned back against the wall and Lestrade perched on the freezer. Sherlock wandered around, examining the cellar's contents. Tinned food, light bulbs. Siege supplies. The victim had known he was in danger.
Sherlock turned to discuss this with John, but John was staring at the high ceiling and muttering to himself.
"He doesn't need to because his colleague is a conductor of light He doesn't bother because he thinks the sun shines out of his own..."
Sherlock looked at him sharply and followed his friend's gaze upwards.
And then the light went out.
With Sherlock standing on a box of baked beans, and Lestrade close at hand in case he slipped, the burnt-out bulb was soon swapped for a
I-SpyThe train had been en route to Edinburgh for 87 minutes and they hadn't spoken to each other for the past 85.I-Spy1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I spy with my little eye "
"Forget it," said John. "I am not playing this game with you."
" something beginning with 'b'," concluded Sherlock. His expression perfectly resembled hurt.
"Is it 'annoying bastard'?" said John calmly. "No, you can't use yourself, can you?" He glared at the man sitting opposite. "You won't even let me It's only going to be five days!"
"The case came up at short notice," said Sherlock with dignity.
John briefly wished he'd brought his gun. "Your laptop was at home and Mrs Hudson assured me she'd confiscated your phone!"
He was becoming quite loud. "People are staring," said Sherlock. The elegant woman next to John seemed rather amused, watching the show while absent-mindedly twisting her wedding ring. (Only recently married; unused to the jewellery's novel sensation.) John glanced across at her and back to
Sock IndexSherlock owned 24 pairs of socks. Currently he was in possession of 15.Sock Index10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Where do they go?” Sherlock fumed.
“It’s baffling,” said John, not looking up from his laptop. “Pity we don’t have a detective in the building.”
“I’m going to go and look down the back of the chest of drawers,” said Sherlock.
“Sounds fun,” said John absently.
By the time Sherlock came back, John had got his own laundry out of the dryer and was pairing his socks. Sherlock watched idly: argyle, navy. Black. Oh dear God.
“Those are my socks!”
John examined the pair he was holding. “Oh, yeah. They must have got mixed in with mine.”
Sherlock stalked forwards to the pile of socks and John backed up warily. Sherlock’s expression suggested he’d just caught John in bed with his mother.
“These are mine too. And these.” Sherlock glared. “You’ve worn them.” He hurled the
Hide and SeekSherlock was "playing" his violin.Hide and Seek1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
John's flatmate was a gifted musician but this was the playing inspired by lethargy. Notes plucked at random, or the same notes produced continuously by the scraping of the bow. The pizzicato was pleasant enough but the rhythm of the bowing closely matched the throbbing in John's brain.
The violin had to go.
John hid the instrument in the laundry basket. Sherlock retrieved it without comment.
John secreted the violin behind the hoover. Sherlock looked at his empty case. Looked at John. And smiling, declared he had a sudden urge to do the vacuuming.
John wrapped the instrument in brown paper, addressed it to Australia and left it in Mrs Hudson's flat. When he got back with the shopping, Sherlock was standing in the middle of the sitting room holding the violin. "The post came," he smirked.
John put down the bags.
"You really ought to stop this," said Sherlock.
"Is that right?" grinned John.
"You dislike the noise," said Sherlock, "but you have respect
Leave A MessageSherlock was galloping through his deductions when Lestrade’s phone rang.Leave A Message10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Hold on,” said Lestrade, and then paused. “That’s odd.”
He showed the display to John.
“Number withheld: please pass phone to Sherlock Holmes,” John read out.
“Don’t answer it!" shouted Sherlock.
John stared at him. “Is this something to do with Mycroft?”
Sherlock turned abruptly and strode away.
At the lab they bumped into Molly. Almost immediately her mobile rang.
“Um..?” she said gazing at the screen.
“Message for Sherlock Holmes?” asked John.
“Turn your phone off now,” said Sherlock.
There had been a determined dash through miles of London backstreets but the suspect had managed to get away.
“Damn,” said Sherlock. “We’ll have to-”
John’s phone rang.
“It’s that weird message again,” he said. He glanced up at Sherlock. “It must be
Sherlock's FatherJohn found the photograph by accident. Idly searching online for Sherlock’s name, up it popped: a couple in their sixties, the woman unmistakably Sherlock’s mother.Sherlock's Father10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
John read the caption. “Your father’s a baronet?” he asked before he thought to catch himself.
Sherlock paused at his own laptop. “A knight.”
He came and looked over John’s shoulder. “That was taken some time ago. He still wasn’t talking to me then.”
Sherlock’s family life was a minefield. “How long..?” asked John hesitantly.
“Eight years,” said Sherlock. “Growing up I was… difficult. He resented me taking up his time. Felt I was keeping him from important work. Eventually he told me I was dead to him.”
He waved away John’s concern.
“It’s nothing,” said Sherlock. He went and sat back down at his laptop. “We get on well enough now.”
A few days later John came home to find Sher
Decaffeinated“I need a cigarette!”Decaffeinated10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Sherlock,” said John, “you’re my friend. I’ll always support you. But please: give it a rest.”
Sherlock swung round. “Tea,” he said, pointing to the mug in John’s hand.
“Good idea,” said John. “I’ll just go and-“
“No,” said Sherlock. “Tea. You need it. You’re just as much an addict as I am.”
“Caffeine isn’t going to give me emphysema,” said John.
Sherlock wasn’t listening. “You want to be supportive?” he said. “I’ve given up nicotine; you should give up tea.”
John was appalled.
“For a month,” clarified Sherlock. “Do it and I never mention cigarettes again.”
John hesitated. He glanced longingly at his half-finished cuppa, but then answered resolutely:
“OK. I’ll show you what self-control looks like.”
Going cold turkey is hard. Tantrums and
Belittle JohnJohn had a date.Belittle John1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"I'd advise against that jumper," said Sherlock.
John turned from the mirror. "You know nothing about clothes. You never wear anything apart from your detective 'uniform'."
"I have a great deal of knowledge on the subject," said Sherlock. "It's important to understand why people choose to dress the way they do." He languidly considered John's outfit. "In this instance, for example, one might deduce you were short-sighted and colour-blind…"
"I'm going," said John and he left to meet Michelle, who loved the jumper. Unfortunately, John then spent the evening complaining about Sherlock.
Michelle declined a second date.
John stomped into the flat.
"Pleasant evening?" asked Sherlock from the kitchen.
John stomped into the kitchen.
"I'm a trained surgeon and soldier!"
Sherlock looked up from his experiment, mildly puzzled.
"You disparage my intellect!" yelled John. "You disparage my appearance!"
He glared at Sherlock. "Is it absolutely necessary always to belittle me?"
A Bit Put OutJohn had known worse pain. He had been shot after all.A Bit Put Out9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
As he shuffled out from the kitchen, Mrs Hudson winced in sympathy.
“Put his back out typing,” said Sherlock, not looking up. John glared at him.
“I was sitting awkwardly, Mrs Hudson,” he explained. “Should be OK in a couple of days.”
John attempted to place himself into his chair a few times, then gave up, knelt down, and finally lay down.
Sherlock stepped over his prone body and went into the kitchen himself.
“It’s probably psychosomatic,” he called back. “Your body rebelling against your blog.”
John moaned piteously.
“Would you like a herbal soother?” whispered Mrs Hudson.
John was still on the floor. Sherlock was thinking about a case.
“What am I missing?” he demanded. “The witness says she saw the table through the kitchen window. But that table’s too low.”
John rubbed his hand over the carpet. “Perhaps the table w
Trailing BehindJohn hadn’t been able to drop off at all in the caravan. Sherlock, conversely, was sleeping like a baby. Up every two hours and making a hell of a racket.Trailing Behind1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Sherlock,” said John. “There is no nicotine in this vehicle. Go to bed.”
Sherlock glared and sipped his fifth cup of coffee.
At least the case was over. Tomorrow they would be back in London.
John checked the connection between the caravan and car and got into the driver’s seat.
“Shall I drive..?” asked Sherlock.
Ah, apologising for last night, thought John.
“We don’t want to end up crashing into the embankment if your shoulder locks,” said Sherlock.
John started the car.
For an hour he listened to Sherlock complaining. Despite having just solved a case, Sherlock was already craving more stimulation.
At the next service station John pulled over.
“I’ve had enough. Go and buy some cigarettes.”
Sherlock stared. “Really?”
Two for TeaJohn loved tea. Just the thought of it made him feel warm inside. Sometimes it even felt as though tea were a part of him. But then, he was a teapot.Two for Tea1 year ago in Humor More Like This
No. He had to face it. He was an ex-teapot. It was six months since the last time he'd been used to make tea. Six months since he'd ended up in this charity shop. He'd started off in the window, then been moved back to the table, then onto a low shelf, then a top shelf and now he was residing on what could only be called the 'junk shelf': sharing space with a haggard baby doll, some statement jewellery and a couple of battered paperbacks. He couldn't help but feel bitter. Yes, he had been through the wars but he knew he was still capable of providing good service. Of fulfilling the role for which he had been created.
It was nearly closing time. The shop had been empty but one last customer had slipped in. She had a few shopping bags with her: her last call before home, John guessed. He hadn't seen her before but the male volunteer
HouseworkJohn was a doctor and Sherlock was a scientist, so they understood the need for cleanliness. However, they were both bachelors, so they didn’t understand the need to clean the flat.Housework8 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“I’m not your housekeeper,” said Mrs Hudson. “And I expect my property to be kept in a reasonable state.”
“Right, you like chemicals,” said John. He handed Sherlock the oven cleaner and pushed him firmly in the direction of the kitchen. Then he plugged in the vacuum cleaner and set to work.
John made his way methodically across the floor, ending up at the couch.
He pushed the brush underneath, and there was a worrying clink as something disappeared up the hose. As the whine of the motor climbed to a higher pitch, smoke began billowing out of the vacuum cleaner’s body.
Flames appeared just as Sherlock did.
John rugby tackled him back into the kitchen and they ended up in a scrum under the table.
From the sitting room came a loud bang!
NomenclatureJohn collected Sherlock’s post on the way up to 221B. Three letters: addressed to ‘Shurlock Holmes’, ‘Shylock Homes’ and, most impressively of all, ‘Charlotte Hyams’.Nomenclature9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Sherlock was lying on the couch thinking, so John left the mail on the coffee table.
“Why ‘Sherlock’?” he asked as he settled down into his armchair.
Sherlock didn’t reply.
“I’ve never come across anyone else with Sherlock as a given name. Did your mother see you for the first time and just think ‘that baby looks like a Sherlock’?”
“My full name is an anagram.”
“Really?” asked John, but Sherlock had returned to his thoughts.
It had been a frustrating three hours.
“The best I can do is: He’ll shock mores,” said John.
“You know, ‘mores’, as in ‘conventions of society’.”
“Thank you, John,
CorpsingSherlock was planning the perfect murder.Corpsing7 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Need any help?” asked John.
“Probably best if you don’t get involved,” said Sherlock. “Don’t want anyone saying you’ve got an unfair advantage.”
“I’m astounded you agreed to this,” said John, sitting down. “Organising a murder mystery party for Mrs Hudson’s birthday. In our flat.”
Sherlock shrugged. “That’s what she wants.” He kept his gaze firmly on his laptop. “And she said if I did, she wouldn’t charge me for having to get the drains unblocked.”
“So, you going to be able to behave?” he asked. “Resist telling sweet, elderly ladies they’re idiots who shouldn’t be in charge of an investigation?”
“I,” said Sherlock, “will be portraying the victim.”
“No shortage of suspects, then,” said John.
“I’m stumped,” laughed Mrs
60 For 60: The Adventure of the Three GarridebsGood Copy: It may help to read this one out loud. (It may help…)60 For 60: The Adventure of the Three Garridebs7 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
An Englishman, an American and a gentleman of French extraction walk into a 60 word story…
“How did you escape?” wondered Holmes aloud, closing in on Watson’s assailant.
“My dear sir,” retorted Evans, “it may surprise you…”
“Nothing surprises me,” said Holmes.
Watson burst in. “Holmes, wait, this isn’t Killer: it’s his virtuous twin brother!”
“Oh,” said Holmes. “‘Good’ Evans.”
Wild West: “If our Wild West friend tries to live up to his nickname, we must be ready for him.”
A Wild West AU.
Doc Watson and Kid Holmes: notorious throughout the West.
Well, two against one didn’t seem fair. Evans drew without warning, instinctively aiming for the better marksman.
A hit. Watson clutched at his leg.
But just a graze, goddamn it. Evans swivelled t
Hey Diddle DiddleLestrade was rapidly coming to the boil. But then, he was a kettle.Hey Diddle Diddle1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Look, Sherlock,” he said to the tall teapot, “any information about the missing spoon, you have to tell me. It’s part of a very expensive set!”
Sherlock hesitated but then he saw the steam coming out of Lestrade’s spout.
“It was the cat and fiddle figurine that inadvertently gave the game away,” Sherlock began. “He and the cow creamer have shifted slightly to the left, away from the Spode dish. To allow access to a hiding place perhaps.”
He looked directly at Lestrade. “And there was the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
Lestrade appeared puzzled.
“Mrs Hudson’s bulldog didn’t bark! There was no intruder. The spoon disappeared voluntarily...”
“Ah,” said Lestrade.
Mrs Hudson filled Sherlock with boiling water and carried him over to the table, where he was reunited with his cupboard-mate, John. Joh
Three SlicesSebastian Moran had been a colonel, a hunter and a professional gambler. Becoming the right-hand man of a Moriarty teapot wasn’t the strangest thing to ever happen to him.Three Slices8 months ago in Humor More Like This
And assisting in its archenemy’s demise wasn’t the strangest thing he’d ever done.
As ordered, he’d casually mentioned to his girlfriend Ronnie how interesting Holmes teapots were.
She’d discussed it with Mrs Turner, who’d asked Mrs Hudson if the WI could borrow Sherlock for mid-morning tea.
“Why don’t I just ‘accidentally’ knock it off the table?” Moran had said.
But the Moriarty had wanted to play first.
After it was all over, Moran had gone to retrieve his CO.
“You’re too late,” Mrs Hudson had said tearfully, showing him the pieces of the Moriarty on the floor.
He’d controlled his temper. What was the point of risking prison over a batty old woman? The Holmes teapot was the one he wanted revenge against and that
60 For 60: The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb“Heavens!” I ejaculated, as I read my morning paper. “Victor Hatherley has been arrested for insulting the Queen!”60 For 60: The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb10 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Holmes paused over his breakfast.
“Inspired by the loss of his thumb,” I read, “Hatherley invented a hydraulic hand. While demonstrating it to Her Majesty, it jammed and locked in a… lewd gesture.”
My friend laughed so hard he inhaled his kedgeree.
Five LumpsJohn was a little blue teapot, short but stout of heart. Sherlock was a tall teapot, elegant and milky white.Five Lumps8 months ago in Humor More Like This
Molly was tiny, and full of sweetness. She was a sugar bowl.
The three of them were on the kitchen table at 221 Baker Street, surrounded by the remains of Mrs Hudson’s breakfast. Only Molly had played an active role in that. Mrs Hudson was lending the two teapots out to the Women’s Institute for a get-together later that morning, and they were already partially wrapped up. John smiled at how excited Sherlock was. He was clearly hoping that a new case would present itself once they were out and about.
“Where’s Mike?” John asked Molly.
“Mrs Hudson’s just giving him a rinse,” she said.
John glanced over at where his milk jug friend was being swirled under the tap by their owner. He liked Mike and Molly - not as exciting as Sherlock perhaps, but they were both intelligent company and thoroughly good sorts.
Like John, they were secondh
BumpsThe text message alert woke John up. Wonder of wonders: his sister had remembered. At the last minute, apparently. She told him she'd send a cheque in the next couple of days.Bumps1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
When he got downstairs, Sherlock was waiting in their living room. "Perfect timing," smiled Sherlock. "I rang Lestrade; he's got a case for us." John managed to grab some toast and they were away.
Lestrade handed John a cup of coffee as Sherlock examined the crime scene. "Has he forgotten then?" he asked. John grinned and shrugged. A necklace had been stolen from a museum. Nobody hurt, no serious damage: just a fascinating puzzle for his friend to solve.
Sherlock had them chasing after leads all day. Literally, at one point. After they had detained the suspect they stood and got their breath back, laughing as John counted his bruises.
It was late when they returned home and Sherlock was immediately distracted by his emails. John collected his one piece of post and headed up to his room.
The envelope contain
60 For 60: The Adventure of the Beryl CoronetAs well as possessing his brain-attic, Holmes had use of the physical attic at Baker Street. It was here he kept the outfits of his other personas.60 For 60: The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet9 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
“Would you fetch my mask?” asked Holmes.
Entering the uppermost chamber, I noted he stored his own clothes amongst the disguises.
I suddenly wondered how well I would ever truly know my friend.