Sherlock Holmes Drabbles

A Fractional Consultation

A series of arsons throughout the city had all London aghast. Inspector Hopkins of the Yard believed they held a common thread and he came to our Baker Street rooms one evening to consult with Holmes.

Hopkins withdrew from his jacket pocket a sheet of folded paper and passed it to Holmes. “This was found at the site of the latest outrage,” said he.

Holmes read the missive quickly then handed it to me.

Imagine a world without fractions, it read.

“Is it not obvious, Hopkins? Fraction’s Imports, along the Thames. The next target.”

“Bravo!” I exclaimed.

“Simplicity itself, Watson.”

Written for Holmes100‘s “River Thames” prompt

After Reichenbach

I had been not long returned from Switzerland when, one afternoon after making my rounds, my travels brought me by Holmes’ old lodgings in Baker Street.

Mrs. Hudson, our former landlady, greeted me warmly and we spoke for some time.

“I began to tidy up his things,” said she, “until a telegram arrived from his brother.”

I had not spoken with Mycroft since Holmes’ death.

“Might I show you this?” She handed me a box, clearly aged. Inside was a school jacket of burgundy.

“A preparatory school, most likely.”

Stitched onto the breast was the school’s crest.

Hogwarts, it read.

Written for Holmes100‘s “Waistcoat” prompt

On the Origins of Trifling Knowledge

I had long admired Holmes’ ability to distinguish the varieties of cigarette ash by sight, but it was not until the affair of Lord Bassington’s manservant that I questioned the origins of Holmes’ knowledge.

“Personal experience,” said he.  “What may seem as trivial knowledge began, absent noble reasons, in my university days with the search of a tobacco that I would enjoy regularly.  My scientific inclinations soon provided me — quite unintentionally! — with a wealth of datum on the colors and consistencies of ash. Naturally, a monograph followed, the definitive work on the subject — until revised, of course.”

Written for Holmes100‘s “Ash” prompt

Reflections on a Case

Occupied as I was with my medical practice, I saw little of Sherlock Holmes in the spring of 1890, though the papers were filled with tales of his exploits, particularly in the case of Lady Violet Churchill.

“A dark affair,” said Holmes to me one evening.

“Robbery, was it not?”

“Blackmail, Watson! The lady had taken a lover while her husband served in the Army.”

“The stolen jewels?”

“A payment to her lover for his silence.” He drew upon his pipe. “But he was greedy, and when he was denied he turned violent. Secrets may prove deadly, my dear Watson.”

Written for Holmes100‘s “Deadly Secret” prompt.

Scientific Study

“Precise experimentation,” said Holmes one morning, and then: “You wondered how I came by my ritual seven percent solution of cocaine.”

“Holmes!” I exclaimed, for his surmise was correct.

“I note, Watson, that you are reading this month’s Lancet, which advises a tincture of ten percent, and then your gaze falls upon the desk where I keep my needle, suggesting a connection between the two. Six percent proves insufficient to break my ennui, while eight percent causes the mind to race. Seven percent stimulates the mind, without deleterious effects.”

“You make your deductions sound commonplace.”

“‘Twas nothing, my dear fellow.”

Written for Holmes100‘s “7 Percent” prompt

The Daleks

“When this damnable business is done, Watson, I shall be glad of it,” said Holmes.

“The state visit?”

“Naturally.”  London’s papers were filled that spring with news of the impending state visit by the Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

“I should think this a time for celebration, Holmes, not exasperation.”

“Were it not for my brother, I would be inclined to agree.”

“Mycroft?  Whatever has he done?”

“He has me chasing after a band of Serbian anarchists, Watson.”

“They mean to disrupt the visit?”

“Indeed, and I shall not rest until they are caught.  They call themselves the ‘Daleks.’”

Written for Holmes100‘s Doctor Who Titles prompt

Theatricality

I long believed that Holmes loved as much the theatrics of his profession as the deductions themselves, and the Irving affair confirmed my suppositions.

A German anarchist had made threats upon the life of noted thespian Henry Irving and Holmes, rather than simply collar the fiend, chose to draw him out with an elaborate disguise — becoming Irving himself!

“For three nights I trod the stage, Watson, awaiting the anarchist to show himself.  The Times praised Irving’s — my — performance. ‘Rare nuance,’ they wrote. ‘The definitive performance of this generation.’

“What the stage lost when I chose my profession was justice’s gain.”

Written for Holmes100‘s “Disguise” prompt