It has been a while since I’ve been here. Granted, living on a South American island for six weeks where the wifi is super-slow at best will necessitate a blogging hiatus. Recently, however I have decided to devote more time to my writing – both fiction and no-fiction – this includes putting my podcast on hiatus and turning subsequent interviews into journalistic, blog pieces.
Upon returning to Vancouver – which I did Saturday night – one of things I was most looking forward to, was the monthly Sherlock Vancouver get-together. Sherlock Vancouver is basically an academically inclined, literary fan-group, where we discussed different aspects of the canon; mainly focused on the BBC Show, but including other aspects as well. Often times it is just my friend Ashley (who started the group) and myself, sometimes there are others. Ashley and I met yesterday and one of her ideas was to do writing bursts.
It went as follows: Three five-minute bursts and two ten-minute ones. Three prompts were given: 1) Sherlock and John go to the Galapagos (where I had just returned from), 2) Sherlock has a food allergy, and 3) It’s midnight and Molly calls John. The other two were free-writes. I decided to connect all five into one story. I joked to Ashley that it was my first exercise in fan-fiction. With minimal prodding, she encouraged me to post it here. So here it goes
Sherlock Holmes – Endemic Aftertaste
“My dear Watson, how did I ever let you take me to this paradise?”
“Because there was a murder Sherlock”
“What, did one of the sea lions eat an Iguana?”
“I’m serious Sherlock. It happened in the 1920s”
“So you brought me here to solve a 90 year old murder mystery? And they call me a psychopath?”
“There was a pretty woman involved”
“There’s always a woman involved John”
I let out a sigh as Sherlock continued his mind-games. We were going to be in for a long week. If Sherlock didn’t get too distracted by the Latina women.
“You took me to the wrong island John”
“I took you nowhere Sherlock, the plane did”
Sherlock seemed genuinely pleased with my retort. He took a puff of his pipe as he wandered off to find the nearest hostel. We would depart for Floreana in the morning.
The barking of the dogs and howling of cats kept us both up half the night. Not quite as peaceful as we had imagined life to be on this South American Darwinian paradise.
We got the first boat to Floreana in the morning. Sherlock is not a water person, or a people-person for that matter. I reveled in his misery. After a few bumpy waves, we arrived. Sherlock made me tip the water taxi driver for the both of us.
We soon encountered another problem: neither of us spoke Spanish. Sherlock refused to hire a guide as that would distract us from the ultimate prize. Before we deliberated any further, we decided on some breakfast. Sherlock had food illness for the rest of the day. Evidently, he is allergic to shrimp. A full day and we had done diddly-squat.
Sherlock awoke in the middle of the night, seemingly recovered from his shrimp-related sickness, and ostensibly with a brilliant idea. I didn’t see him again for 12 hours.
“Come on” he said, when he had finally found his way back to our lodgings. “We’re going”. As vague as he could have possibly been, we set off… again.
“No shrimp”. Those were Sherlock’s words to the waiter as we sat down and ordered yet another meal. Clearly our server had no knowledge of English because when Sherlock’s plate of seafood came, there was a big pile of shrimp right in the middle.
He was silently furious. Then he got into one of his moods, quietly examining the food for the smallest pattern or intricate detail. He picked up a shrimp and put in his mouth.
“Someone’s trying to kill me” he said after swallowing the dreaded-creature.
“Are you sure it’s not you” I opined. Suddenly, with a speed and force greater than a dive-bombing pelican, Sherlock shot up and blitzed out of the restaurant.
“Can I get these to go?” I asked the dumb-founded waiter. “Puedo ese a ire?” I’m not sure he understood.
Sherlock arrived back at our suite a little while later. “Where’s the shrimp?” he asked. Before I could reply, he rummaged through the take-out bags. He laid the shrimp out on the floor, playing with different configurations and shapes. 30 minutes later he came up for air, declaring the case solved. We hailed a taxi to take us to the other side of the island, Sherlock getting more impatient with our driver every time we went over a speed bump. Clearly the shrimp was getting to him.
He jumped out of the truck five minutes from our destination. He disappeared into some cacti, re-emerging a few minutes later, having orally excreted all the shrimp from his body.
“Right then!” he exclaimed. “Let’s get on with it”. The entire Floreana Police Department – all two officers – were waiting for us when we arrived.
“Una problema” the officer was explaining. Someone had beaten us to the location. The evidence as now missing. It was getting close to midnight, we were thinking of calling it quits. Suddenly, my satellite phone rang. I was surprised I could even get reception out here. I looked at the number – it was Molly.
“Molly” I said. “Is everything all right?”
“It’s a trap John” she sounded in trouble. “Get Sherlock out of there”.
Sherlock had walked to the edge of a cliff. The cops had long gone, fed up with Sherlock’s antics and lack of Spanish. Then I saw him. He approached Sherlock slowly and tapped him on the shoulder. Sherlock hesitantly turned around, knowing full-well who he would find.
“Shrimp?” Moriarty offered.