Category Archives: Sherlock Holmes

Outflow: Aftermath

john and sherlockSo last night, the last episode of series 3 of ‘Sherlock’ was shown on British television, and we have all survived to write fanfics another day.

Frankly, I am glad it is over.  I am fed up of it.  I am fed up of all the over-analysis and navel-gazing and second-guessing.  Its worse than teenage girls talking about their boyfriends!  I didn’t wait two years for uncontrolled squeeing and unalloyed adoration.  The whole series had massive problems as well as sublime moments, and I have reservations.

Reservations about the series and the way its going, and reservations about fanfiction.

Don’t get me wrong, fanfiction has been good to me.  It has taught me to write in ways I could never have explored otherwise.  It has given me the inspiration to write thousands of words and dozens of new works.  I have written every day, and I have loved every minute of it, even the bits when I was sweating blood over plot bunnies and getting aggressive reviews.  It has allowed me to deal with deep emotional trauma and reclaim my sexuality, something I never expected.  So, hooray for fanfiction!

But right now it feels a bit like a straightjacket.

I’ve got so used to writing with other people’s characters that I have lost the confidence to write my own.  And that is more than ‘a bit not good’.

Somewhere along the line, I have lost myself.  My own voice.  The only voices I can hear in my head these days are those of Cumberbatch and Freeman.  My own original characters have fallen silence, and I need to give them back their voices.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that I will never write fanfiction again.  I’m convinced that pretty much everything I have ever written has been a fanfic underneath.  And I had a surge of inspiration yesterday that finally undid the plot block I’ve been struggling over in my ‘Cuddleverse’ story, so hooray for that because it means I will be able to finish the damn thing!  And I so need to finish it!

But now my brain is finally coming back online after our Christmas Emergency, I am realising that I need to branch out in new ways.  That feels scary.  New stuff can be scary.  But if we don’t test our boundaries, how can we ever grow as artists?

Happy boundary testing,

EF

Friday Quickfic: Flashmob

Sometimes, the Muse is lazy, lolling about on her couch and refusing to do any work unless I prod her with a sharp stick. Occasionally, she jumps out on me in her Ninja gear and beats me over the head with an idea.  Today’s Quickfic is one of these.  It happened yesterday, after I had watched the teaser trailer for Sherlock Series 3.  Three hours from inception to completion, and very sore fingers from typing nearly 2000 words in such a short space of time.  But I enjoyed it.  It made me happy.  I hope it makes you happy too.

*****

Twitter Feed: #sherlocklives

#sapiosexual:  flashmob at following address Saturday 3pm prompt. Wait for taxi with white roses in window to find out the truth.

Text messages

From G Lestrade: So what about the match Saturday?

From JH Watson: Yeah, come over, Mary is making chilli.

From G Lestrade: Be there about 2.30 ok?

From JH Watson: Bring beer.  Loadsa beer.  You are going down, mate!


2.44pm

It started with a single girl.  Probably in her late teens, although it was hard to tell, because she was wearing a great deal of makeup, and her long curtain of hair was a very unlikely shade of claret.

‘John?’

‘Yeah, love?’

‘If you can drag yourself away from the telly for a sec, can you tell me why there is a Goth standing on the other side of the road, staring at our house?’

To read the rest on AO3, click here.

*****

Happy Creating,

EF

Friday QuickFic: Oh, What Would a Man Not Do for Love?

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in 'The Fifth Estate'

Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in ‘The Fifth Estate’

Today’s quickfic is a shortie I wrote ages back, when the first pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘The Fifth Estate’ appeared.  That white-blonde wig and those bleached eyebrows were deeply disturbing to me, but they coalesced along with a line spoken by James Frain as the Spanish Ambassador, Don Alvaro de Quadra in the dazzling film, Elizabeth:

‘Oh, what would a man not do for love?’

*****

Once upon a time, Sherlock Holmes fell deeply in love with a man called John Watson.  So deeply in love that he had to kill himself.

Oh, what would a man not do for love?

Sherlock did it.  Sherlock did it all.

He saved his lover, but at the cost of himself.

Eight months is a long time when you are mourning.  Two men grieving on opposite sides of a door, a wall, a world.

*****

Sherlock turned up again, eight months later, frightened, exhausted, emaciated and with a sniper hot on his tail.

He waited to knock until he saw Mrs Hudson go out to her regular Bingo.  He knew John would be up in the flat, settling down to watch the afternoon match with a beer or two.  The Irregulars had warned him that sometimes Lestrade had taken to joining John, keeping him company.  The Inspector had been seen coming and going regularly.  Keeping an eye on him, they said.  But he was not there that day.

Sherlock was leaning on the door frame when John opened up.  The little doctor let out a cry of shock, and Sherlock slumped forward, no longer able to hold himself up.  He was faintly aware of the door closing as John’s arms folded around him, breaking his fall.  Then there was just the gloom of the familiar entrance hall, the hideous wallpaper (he had forgotten how much he hated that wallpaper), and John’s sweet smell.

*****

John sat with his back resting against the wall, and Sherlock’s head in his lap.  Sometimes his fingers slipped gently through Sherlock’s tragic hair – what had not been wrecked by the bleach had been finished off by hormones and straightening irons.  Sometimes he sighed and stared at the wall.  And in time, his palm came to rest on Sherlock’s distended belly.

‘How long?’ he whispered, as if he was afraid of the sound of his own voice, when it was really the answer he dreaded.

‘When we were last together.’  Sherlock tried to get up, but his body felt too heavy.  He had run too far and slept too little.  He had struggled too long alone.  He had no strength left in him now.

John’s hand circled a little.

And something underneath it moved.

‘He knows his daddy,’ Sherlock smiled.

Then John turned his sad eyes on him, wretched haunted eyes.

‘Did you know?  When you fell, did you-‘

‘If I had, I would never have jumped, I swear.  I would have tried to find some other way.’

John’s lip began to tremble.  ‘Just tell me why?’

And he did.

*****

The words were halting, sticking to his tongue.  He fought his way through the labyrinth, through the remorse and the guilt, through John’s tears too, when they finally came, when he realised his lover had no choice at the last.  The leaden weight finally lifted, the burden at last shared.  And then he closed his eyes and turned his face to John’s warm body, his home.

*****

Happy Creating,

EF

Friday QuickFic: Ravioli

Prosciutto and Mushroom Ravioli Recipe, click for source

Prosciutto and Mushroom Ravioli Recipe, click for source

“John is late home from a long stint at the clinic. He has picked up his favourite meal on the way home, at the Tesco metro round the corner.”

November is proving to be more of a struggle healthwise than I had expected. Laid up again with stomach problems, I am behind with all the things I wanted to achieve this month, not least of which are my blog posts.  In an effort to make it up to my darling readers, here is a little morsel that I hope you will enjoy.

Click here to read ‘Ravioli’ at A03.

Happy Creating,

EF

Monday Quick Fic: Wings

john and sherlockI was having a bit of a crisis last week, and the adorable agnesanutter was so kind and sweet and supportive.  I promised to write her something.  A Johnlock, which I had thought, in the midst of my meltdown, that I would never manage to write again.  I made this today.  Its a little along the lines of ‘Shark’, but longer and deeper. A little more angsty perhaps.

Dear Agnes, I hope you like it.

  ” They had been sharing the Baker Street flat for a month when Sherlock finally challenged him.  John was amazed it had taken him that long.

            ‘I never see you naked,’ he said, out of the blue.

            ‘Don’t pussy about, Sherlock.  Just say what you think, never mind about holding back and considering my feelings!’

            ‘Feelings have nothing to do with it.  Why do you keep yourself covered all the time?’”

Read the rest here.

Happy Creating,

EF

Friday Quick Fic: Dead Men Don’t Make Toast

This is an experiment.  I don’t think its a poem, but its not prose either.  Its Post Reichenbach – Sherlock’s dogged determination to break down John’s resistance.  This fic will not be published elsewhere.  Please comment, I want to know what to do with this to polish it more.  Thanks

Dead Men Don’t Make Toast

I.

‘You’re dead!’  John shouted and slammed the front door.

Sherlock picked the lock.

II.

Sherlock made tea.

‘You’re dead,’ John snapped.

The tea sat there, and grew cold.

Sherlock made another one.

That grew cold too.

III.

John curled up under the covers.

Foetal.

Sherlock pulled the duvet up around John’s shoulder.

‘Go away, you’re dead,’ John muttered.

IV.

Sherlock made toast.

John said, ‘Dead men don’t make toast.’

Sherlock had to agree.

V.

They were running out of milk.

What with all the cold tea, and everything.

Sherlock went out and bought more.

And some other bits they needed.

John said, ‘Dead men don’t go food shopping.’

VI.

Sherlock made tea.

‘You’re dead, go away,’ said John.

But he drank the tea.

VII.

Sherlock warmed the pizza in the oven.

It was pepperoni, John’s favourite.

‘Dead men don’t make pizza,’ John said, as he chewed resentfully.

VIII.

That night was cold.

John shivered under the duvet.

Sherlock kicked off his shoes and climbed in.

Wrapped John in his long arms and his tweed overcoat.

John said, ‘I hate you.  Go away, you’re dead.’

IX.

In the morning, Sherlock made toast.

John said, ’You make a lot of toast for a dead man.’

X.

John made tea.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Enjoy your weekend – I’m off on my writers retreat!  See you Monday xxx

EF

Friday Quick Fic

51989793_SHark_224346cBecause I’m still feeling unable to do much, I came up with a new feature, the Friday Quick Fic.  The idea is to share a short fanfic with you which has not been through my usual polishing process.  Just something off the top of my head which I think you might like.

Today’s Quick Fic is a ‘BBC Sherlock’ fanfic, something I knocked off this morning, between naps, and is inspired by my husband, who has a ‘shark bite’ of his own.

Shark

John first noticed it when Spring came, and Sherlock started swanning around the house in his sheet.  A ragged scallop of raised keloid tissue that scooped around Sherlock’s right elbow.

‘Shark bite,’ Sherlock said, with surprising nonchalance.

John examined it.  The scarring was deep, and he could even see the indentations of those cruel razor teeth.

‘Holiday in South Africa when I was in my teens.  I was swimming, and the next thing I knew this shark had my arm in its mouth.  I punched it on the nose, and it let go.’  He shrugged, as if it were an everyday occurrence, and then regaled John with details of the beast’s species, hunting habits and vulnerabilities – namely the aforesaid sensitive nose.

John found out the truth a few months later, during one of Mycroft’s little episodes of abduction.  The subject of Sherlock’s sojourn in South Africa came up, and Mycroft laughed.

‘Oh, God, he’s been telling that stupid shark story again!  Sherlock’s never been to South Africa!’

John scowled, but put his head on one side, curious about the truth.

‘It was one summer when he was about twelve.  He was told not to go playing in one of the woods on the estate because of the forestry going on there.  Felling trees and so on – it was dangerous.  But being Sherlock, he went anyway.  Typically, he didn’t get crushed by a falling tree.  He fell off his bike, and got his arm tangled up in some barbed wire in a hedge instead.  Cut it to ribbons, terrible mess.

‘Father was absolutely furious, wouldn’t even look at him because he had disobeyed, insisted it was just a graze and Sherlock was making a ridiculous fuss over nothing.  Wouldn’t take him to have it stitched either, and Mummy couldn’t drive, so she just had to bandage it up as best she could.  Of course, it healed badly, and left that dreadful scar.

‘When he went back to school after the vac, the other boys saw it and wanted to know how he got it.  So he made up that silly story about the shark.  It got him quite a lot of attention to begin with, but of course, being Sherlock, he overplayed his hand, and got too full of himself, and that was the end of his brief acclaim.’

Afterwards, John thought for a long time.  He thought about the barbed wire.  He thought about the spotted marks around the fat ribbon of raised, whitened flesh that looked like the marks from sharks teeth.  He was a doctor, and he knew about scarring and healing, and what kind of depth of wound would leave a mess like that.  He thought about the boys at the school.  And then he thought about the kind of father who, out of pique, would neglect the proper attention that a wound like that would require.

John never mentioned Sherlock’s fantasy visit to South Africa again to anyone.  But he always referred to Sherlock’s scar as a shark bite.  Because in his opinion, that was exactly what it was.

Happy weekend to you all,

EF

New Fanfic Story: An Anatomy of Intimacy

john and sherlockI am struggling to avoid my brain leaking out of my right eyeball just now because of a migraine, but I felt I needed to post today to say ‘Hi!’, and so I thought I would draw your attention to a new story I have put up!

It’s called ‘An Anatomy of Intimacy’, and is a companion piece to my earlier work, ‘Personal Geography’.

I’ve been playing about with a little toy project, just a bit of fun to keep my brain working.  This involves writing short pieces exploring the reality of John and Sherlock’s life together in an established relationship.  The idea is to create a few little windows into life behind closed doors at 221B.  These aren’t supposed to be regular things, or part of an ongoing story, just an occasional morsel of something intended to illustrate the profound connection between them.

I hope you like them.

Happy reading,

EF