A Tall Tale of Great Minds

A tall tale from 2008. It’s not real.
It had been some weeks since his last case had concluded, and Holmes was oddly quiet. When not fixated on an unsolved riddle, he was prone to long periods of quiet contemplation. It was not for me to try to shake him out of this reflective state. I’ll admit I rather enjoyed those quiet times when I could lose myself in books while he journeyed to the depths of his magnificent mind.
So it was that we spent one peaceful evening in front of the fire, me with a glass of port at my elbow and a book in hand, and the great detective sitting across from me, lost in thought. An hour passed in silence, and I felt my mind beginning to drift. It was then, quite unprompted, that he spoke.
“Yes, my old friend,” he said softly, a calm knowing smile on his face. “It was a truly awful piece of fish.”
I shook my head, dumbfounded. “But…”

Holmes held up his hand to silence me, smiling and nodding. “I know, I know. Let me explain how I just read your thoughts.”

I sat open mouthed as he began to speak.
“First, I saw you flicking through the Shakespeare tragedies, and a look of awe and reverence crossed your face. It was clear that you had been reading Hamlet, and you were confused by the sheer brilliance of the words. Then I saw you turn to look at the fire, your mind still lingering on literature, you no doubt thought: ‘what if I burned all of the books I didn’t understand?’ 
“Then, from your glance at the chimney, I deduced you were pondering just how much smoke it would take to make the chimney explode. You then looked down at your shoes, clearly thinking how the word ‘explode’ sounds a bit like ‘toes’ and that if you only had one toe, which one would you want to keep. That was when you glanced at me, knowing how I once lost a bit of my toe when I was nine and my father came at me with a carving knife in a drunken rage, and that I told you that story while standing on London Bridge watching a boat with exactly 25 tourists sailing underneath us. 
“If you take four away from 25 and then divide it by 7 you get three, and it was three years ago I suggested we visit that restaurant in Oxford Street that reportedly serves the best roast beef in England. Your look at the grandfather clock only confirmed this point, and that was when I remembered that we didn’t actually go there in the end because it was shut and you were so hungry that I made you eat that bit of discarded cod I found in a dustbin.”
Holmes reclined slowly in his chair, and nodded softly once again. “Yes, my friend, it really was a truly awful piece of fish.”
I gulped. “Umm, actually….I was just thinking that I need a new watch.”
He didn’t say much after that. Though he did leap up at random points of the evening and slap me around the face and neck.

Interlude – Rudolpho

Rudolpho swung his cape around his shoulders and cackled insanely for a bit. He regarded himself in the mirror, and smirked so hard that his hat fell off.

The flintlock pistol jutted proudly from his waistband. The stilettos strapped to his thigh glinted in the candlelight. The vials of acid glowed in his velvet bandolier like grim emeralds. His expression promised unmentionable pain and misery to those who dared near him.

There was one final accoutrement to add to the ensemble, the last and most important weapon in his arsenal, the one item that would command everyone in his path. With a smug smile, Rudolpho clipped a big bunch of keys to his belt.
“Let’s see accounts try to stop me using their photocopier now.”

Originally penned in 2008

A Curious Thing

A child just walked past my desk. A female one. Walking quite contentedly in the direction of something, unhindered and unperturbed.

I peer over the top of my computer screen, not at all happy and but trying not to draw attention to myself lest it ask for milk. It disappears around the corner.

It was fairly tall. In fact it was adult sized. In fact, it might have been an adult. A woman, even. In the distance, I swear I hear the words “Bring the labels” being muttered.

I look around the rest of the office. No one has raised the alarm or met my worried gaze. Where is its owner? Why is it here?
It was heading in the direction of the extra desks we’ve set up in order to accommodate the extra staff we need to take all extra calls about being alive. Perhaps this possible infant is new. Perhaps it has been here 30 years and I’ve just not noticed. I must investigate.
I stand slowly, and clear my throat, not taking my eyes off the corner wall for a second.
“Who’s for a nice cup of tea?” I announce, and lift a tray slowly to eye level (I always keep a tray handy for such occasions). There’s no one else here, everyone else is at lunch, but it was important to at least ask.
I step out from my desk, and walk forward at a steady pace. I turn the corner, tray in hand, and head straight for the kitchen, my eyes seemingly fixed forward but in reality they are scanning the office for traces of this being.
No trace, no sign. All I see are grown ups, normal people who are working and are no cause for concern. The figure has vanished….perhaps it was a ghost?

Or it could be sitting over there, where that woman I’ve not seen before but looks perfectly normal is sitting.

Or a ghost?

I don’t know what’s going on.