Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Monday, May 10, 2010

Deleted Scene-- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

This is my first ever blogfest, the deleted scene sponsored by My Literary Jam and Toast. I hope you'll pop by and check out all the entries. My deleted scene is not from any particular of the Sherlock Holmes stories, but a scene of one that might have been written, shall we call it "The Story of the Sad Young Man" ?

Holmes stood by the window motionless, looking outside rather than at our visitor. I watched the young man as he sat awkwardly in his chair, apologizing for this unexpected visit.

My friend stared out the window, his aquiline profile stark and intelligent. "Tell us why you are here," he said. "You have my attention. What is your concern?"

The young man mangled the hat in his lap. "I'm getting married, you see, in just a week." He paused, and I congratulated him. Holmes remained quiet and aloof.

The man continued, "My mother and sister are reclusive, and quite unfortunately addicted to opium, a situation which has caused me untold grief and embarrassment. So much so that I can hardly stand to visit them in their abode."

"Where is this abode?" Holmes asked sharply.

"Near the wharf," the man said with apparent shame that his mother and sister would live so poorly. "They had better lodgings, but the opium..."

I nodded in sympathy, understanding the evils of this pervasive addiction.

"Wanting to invite them to my wedding, I stopped by and spoke to their servant, Douglas, a very kind and attentive man who has been with my mother ever since she began her decline. Douglas assured me that, although my mother was ill and unable to see me, that he would give her the message and make sure she attended the marriage ceremony. I wanted to speak to my sister, at least, but Douglas told me she had just gone out. He suggested I return at a later hour."

"Have you seen or spoken to either your mother or sister since then?" asked Holmes, now restlessly pacing the room.

"No, neither one since then. When I returned, Douglas said they were both quite ill. Not wanting to bother them, I retreated. That was last month, and I have had similar experiences every time I go to visit."

Holmes lit his pipe. "When did you last see your mother and sister?"

Our visitor looked down sheepishly. "Not since they moved to this unpleasant location. It's been quite difficult, as you can understand."

"Have you received letters from them?"

"Only a few. And sometimes a message from Douglas. He is quite concerned about their well-being. And since my mother wants nothing to do with me--"

Holmes interrupted to ask, "What kinds of messages?"

"Notes from Douglas that have put me off visiting, apologizing for my mother's refusal to see me. Or information about my sister-- She is in the country for her health. She is indisposed. She feels better but continues to suffer-- Sometimes the letters are in my mother's hand, sometimes my sister's, sometimes penned by Douglas himself."

"And when you do stop in to see them....?"

"Douglas invites me in, and then retreats to tell them of my visit. Sadly, they will never see me. They are indisposed, or in no mood for visitors, or some such excuse. I have left them quite alone for some time now, since neither seemed interested in my visits, and of course you understand how painful it is to see the degeneration of my family in this way."

Holmes puffed on his pipe for a moment, gazing at the young man. My friend knew only too well the problems of these elements. He kept his own secrets.

At last he spoke. "My dear young man, I insist that you go at once to the home of your mother, no matter how painful it is for you, and do not be put off by the man Douglas."

"But, but, I have tried before--"

Holmes hastily cut him off. "I beg of you! Go at once. The welfare of your mother and sister are at stake. Time is of the essence. Begone now. Watson and I will be meet you there shortly."

The man looked confused, but gathered his hat and cane, leaving with all promptness. Holmes then gestured to me. "Come, Watson, we shall make one stop on our way to the wharf."


  1. Ah! So what happened? Are they dead, is Douglas poisoning them to use what money they have? Tied up and being pimped out? What?

    You can't pull us in and leave us hanging!

    Very nicely done.

  2. Charity, right? I have the same questions. lol. What happened next? Did Douglas kill them and is making excuses so that the young man won't discover it? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

    You know, I bet you could do a Sherlock Holmes spinoff. It's in the public domain now, right? How cool would that be?

  3. Are you sure you're not half British? You have that quaint little voice--you write Holmes beautifully!!

  4. Hey! That's not fair! You can't leave me hanging! :(

  5. Nice!! This was really well written and very fun to read! Thanks for posting!

  6. Charity, Mary and AA, Well, it IS just a scene....
    not an entire story lol!

    Mary, it comes from reading all his stories over the past month. Whenever I didn't feel like picking up another book, I'd go to this one.

    B. Miller, thanks! And I appreciate you stopping by!

  7. Sadly, I've never read any Sherlock Homes but your scene and dialogue was how I'd imagined it would be had I read it. lol. Good Stuff!

  8. CQG, it's well worth the effort if you ever get the chance. I highly recommend it. And Doyle's scenes are not as transparent as this one!

  9. I love Sherlock Holmes! What a great idea for the blogfest. That was a lot of fun :)

  10. I seriously love this! But then I'm a big fan of Holmes myself (not because of the movie, although I did think that was way cool)

    Excellent work Karen!! I'm all curious now :)

  11. I do believe that you have acquired the Queen's English and used it in a spiffing way to enthrall us with your tale, madam,

    Now, you have to tell us what happened ??
    Excellent, I really enjoyed this.

  12. Thank you so much for taking part! This had me asking all sorts of questions too. Mainly, what happens? You set this up so well that I'm dying to know ;~)

    I think Doyle would be proud because in my eyes this was brilliant! I can never seem to write detective mysteries :S

  13. Ooh, I like this, Karen! I love the tone - wvery Holmes-like! You leave a lot of questions I want answered!

  14. Um, I meant 'very' not 'wvery'. I'm having a bad typo day!

  15. Great! I loved it. This piece was so authentic. I felt as if I were reading a Sherlock Holmes story. Well done, writer-lady. Thanks for the exceptional post. By the way, Elana Johnson, Dan Wells, and others are presenting at a workshop in Orem this Saturday. There are still some seats left. Let me know if you're interested. :)
    P.S. Please share another excerpt of The Story of the Sad Young Man. I'd love to read it.

  16. Hi

    Awww brilliant!!!! The Butler Did It!!!

    Or not?? Methinks there's a red herring somewhere...

    What a great read, thanks. When's part 2???

    Take care

  17. Well has Douglas bumped them off? A deleted scene? Why, it is a great hook.

  18. Wow! This is awesome. And I just saw the movie so of course I'm watching Robert Downey, Jr. in my mind. Thanks for posting!

  19. I think they're dead.

    E. Elle, I see Robert Downey Jr. too!

    All of these followers on the other side of the pond and now you've learned to write British!

  20. I have NOT seen the movie and I don't think I want to. I love the books so much, and also the PBS Sherlock series, and I'm not wanting to see Robert Downey Jr. in my Sherlock scenes! Er-- my one Sherlock scene that is.

  21. Roxy,

    Thanks for the invite but this Saturday is my daughter's wedding. I hope you have fun at the conference and learn lots!

  22. Great scene, although I agree with my fellow commenters...

    rest of the story, pretty please??? You write too well to just stop there!!

  23. Ok. You can feel free to finish this anytime and let me read it. Great stuff here. :)

  24. Great writing. I could actually see Holmes pacing as he does and the serious expression on his face when he tells the man to go. Will you write more?


  25. I love Sherlock Holmes!! Great stuff!!

  26. Great job - I loved this!! Oh, and I'm another who needs more!

  27. Now I'm getting an idea to maybe work up a few of these to epublish :) Thanks for all the positive reinforcement Everyone!

  28. I haven't read Sherlock Holmes for years, but you have reminded me of the fun scenes, and dialogue. Really great job!

  29. I used to read Sherlock Holmes as a kid. Now I want to go to the library and pick up a S.H. book.

    Stephen Tremp

  30. Very nice. I liked the story and wonder what happens next. I haven't read any of the books but the movie wasn't too bad to me. Jude Law made a rather strange Watson but still worked out okay, but I'm not that into Sherlock Holmes to begin with so I may have a lower bar of standards for it.

  31. I say, you certainly have the Brit angle. Good old Sherlock. Great read, thanks for sharing. :)