Ideal Holmes

by Alex Watts

These three Sherlocks walk into a bar.  A classic Holmes, a modern Holmes and an…other.  The classic Holmes, wearing a deerstalker said ‘I deduce from my surroundings that we are no longer in a crime or adventure format.’

The modern Holmes was shaking his phone petulantly. ‘We’re in a joke, aren’t we?  I can never get signal in jokes.’

The other leant on his cane and popped another pill.  “What am I even doing in here with you?  This is a pub – we have bars in America.”

The classic Holmes let out a harsh, barking laugh. “You’re one of us.”

“Like hell I am.  Idiot.  I’m a doctor.  You’re British detectives.”

The modern Holmes spun round. “No.  Actually.  You make brilliant deductions about people based on their appearance?”

“Yes.”

“Address?”

“221b, Baker Street.”

The classic Holmes piped up. “Your best friend – Watson?”

“Ha. No.”

The other two Holmeses were crestfallen.

Wilson.

They beamed.

“In fact, look around.  They’re all us.”

The pub was full.  Crowded in fact.  There was an entire lineage detectives, propping up the bar, fighting over the cigarette machine.  Sherlocks who had been cryogenically frozen, beamed into space, sent back in time.  Holmeses fighting the Nazis, aliens, and eldritch horrors.

And what’s more, the descendants.  Every detached, genius detective since 1886.  Policemen with a taste for Wagner and ale; diminutive Belgians with a recognisably unshakeable faith in their little grey cells; action heroes, with lodgings in Baker Street; supremely logical monks; ancient aliens with a familiar habit of dying and coming back; talented amateurs and weary old pros.  All very clever and slightly broken.  Every one of them.

The modern Sherlock turned to the Classic. “Bit of sleight of hand.  This isn’t a joke.  That’s just an excuse to get us all together.  It’s more a reunion.  A tribute.  All your grandchildren.  We wanted to say…thanks.  None of us would be here without you.“

He turned to the room. “I give you Sherlock Holmes.”

They raised their glasses.  “Sherlock Holmes” chorused the detectives.