How We Write – Holmes At The Ready

The prompt for this story was to take a literary character and put them into a new situation. Orion immediately thought of Sherlock Holmes. He’s one of her favorite characters, whether on TV or in the movies.

When Orion sat down to write this story, she saw an ad for a speed dating event at her favorite local hangout. So, she put all those things in a blender and out popped this little story.

It’s quite nice to see someone get the better of Holmes for a change.

When Orion asked Kyros to help polish this story for the blog, he didn’t think Orion had made the female character enough of a match for Holmes, so he put his particular spin on her words to make her a better foil for Holmes.


Sherlock Holmes entered Tipsy’s Coffee Palace, lips in a wry twist as a bouncy teenager leaned forward, giving him a clear view of her ample cleavage. “Please sign in here.”

He wrote HOLMES in square black letters and slapped the nametag on. The atmosphere pressed in on him, equal parts tension and hormones, with a dollop of fear.

A man with an obvious toupee announced, “Welcome to Tipsy’s seventeenth speed-dating night! Ladies, please take your assigned seats. Gentlemen, please draw a number. That’s the table you’ll be starting at this evening.”

Sherlock drew the number six from the man’s hat, thinking, That man’s been emcee all seventeen times and still hasn’t had a single date. He sniffed the air. Probably because of his horrid breath.

Holmes looked to his left and found a fidgeting younger man. He took in the worn cuffs of the boy’s sleeves, noting the wisps of short dark hairs clinging to the material. Works as a barber, he diagnosed. Terrible hygiene too, he thought, noticing several cavities and a missing tooth in the boy’s mouth.

A middle-aged man bumped against him as he took the seat to Holmes right. Looking him over, Holmes easily put together the clues, the short black hairs all over his jacket. He lives alone except for his cat. The backwards baseball cap with red stains along the brim. He eats hot dogs with ketchup at sporting events. Holmes zeroed in on the tan lines on the man’s ring finger. It had only just started changing tone to match the rest of the man’s tanned skin. Aha, he hasn’t had a date since his wife divorced him.

Holmes looked across the small table at a dainty flower of a woman. China complexion, long black hair, full red lips, white satin dress.

“Hello, I’m Amy,” she breathed.

“Holmes,” he said. “Still looking for Prince Charming? Waiting for him to rescue you and sweep you off your feet?”


“Elementary. The white dress, perfect makeup. Cosmetic surgery on the lips. Couture dress. Nice fit, by the way.”


He nodded to her, rose and moved to the next table.

The woman’s fashionable blond hair framed a lovely complexion and a heart-shaped face. Her hands were flawless, clearly having spent many an hour inside a salon.

“Diana, but you can call me Di,” she said, smiling at him. But the smile never quite reached her eyes.

“Holmes,” he replied, tilting his head to one side. “Why are you here?” he asked, noticing her furtive glances at the very butch woman on the other side of the room. “You obviously don’t like men and you have a female partner already. Someone very masculine, with poor social skills.”

Di glared at him, lips curling. “You leave my partner out of this!” she hissed. “She wants to have a man for some…fun. And you are definitely not her type.”

“Imagine how relieved I am,” he said dryly.


She sat there like she owned the place. Her eyes sparkled with intelligence and an interest in everything around her.

He opened his mouth, but she forestalled him.

“I’m Helena.” She cocked her head, black hair cascading about her bare white shoulders like a caress. The low-cut red dress hugged her body like a lover. “Come to these things often?”

“I….” he began.

“Ah, so you’re new to this scene. Never married, I suspect. A keen intelligence. A roommate, perhaps? Another man who likes puzzles as much as you do. Ex-military, though you aren’t.”

He raised one eyebrow at her, mentally stepping back to see where he had given away the things the woman had detailed.

Ah, John’s blog. Of course. Holmes rolled his eyes. “Anyone who’s read my companion’s blog could have figured out those facts, ma’am. If you want to impress me, tell me something that isn’t readily available to anyone with an internet connection.

The woman leaned back, eyes raking over him. “You broke your left arm when you were in your early teens. Probably from falling out of a tree.”

Holmes nodded. “It was actually the hayloft. Mycroft pushed me when I beat him at a game of chess.”

“I see.” The woman laid a slender, well-manicured finger along the side of her face. “Hmmm. And I believe…yes, you recently visited a circus where you pretended to be a clown.”

He swallowed, frown lines appearing on his forehead.

“Now, how did you deduce that?”

She drew her hand down the side of my face, then tapping my collar bone. “You missed a spot when you cleaned the white-face off.”

He took her long-fingered, capable hand, curling her fingers, and raising them to his lips.

“I am so pleased to meet you. You’re my contact, I presume?”

“Of course.” Her tiny smile was full of mischief, mystery, and magic. “Shall we meet at the door afterwards?” she murmured.

“Oh, yes. Yes, we shall.”


He moved on, noticing absolutely nothing about the next three women.

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