Saturday, March 1, 2014

30 Minus 2 Days of Writing: And Then My Brain Exploded

Welcome to the last day of the challenge, and to Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty's last adventure. MikeWJ and I are so sorry we're late to post, but we didn't have a lot of time, especially since I'm on Finnish time and he's on whatever time his lazy ass decides to get into work and start blogging. As you probably guessed, we wrote this together, his parts in bold, mine in italics. You'll figure it out.

My Dear Dr. Watson,

I awaited Moriarty's arrival in Berlin if not breathlessly, then with great anticipation. But she is as elusive as a greased horse at a glue factory and she gave me the slip once again, leaving only the parts and pieces of the Eiffel Tower to ponder along with the somewhat disgruntled German construction crew assigned to reassemble it.

At least I found it, and can return it to its rightful owners, who will no doubt reward me with their highest honor, the Jerry Lewis Memorial Legion of Honor.

Later, I tracked Moriarty to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Europe's largest train station, where I found a Toblerone she'd left for me in a private car. I wasn't sure if it was poisoned or her way of slying asking me out on a date, but I ate it anyway and chased her into Switzerland with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and my revolver in the other just in case. Now I mean to engage her at Riechenbach Falls and end her criminal reign of terror once and for all.


The stone castle sits at the very top of Reichenbach Falls. A wall made up of huge windows face out over the cascading waters, and for the brave, a balcony extends out and over the ledge. Inside in the grand dining hall, I'm setting the long table for two. Only the finest china and silverware for Sherlock. Like any civilized sociopaths, we'll sit down for a nice dinner before I kill him.

The doorbell signals his arrival, and I greet him at the door. He’s brought me flowers, ever the gentleman. I’ll put them on his grave after we’re done here tonight. He’s wearing his signature jacket with the collar turned up, and I can see the bulge of a gun at his side. I invite him in, of course, and pretend not to notice the weapon. I’m wearing a couple myself, after all; a knife in a sheath around my thigh, and a revolver at my ankle. This demands I wear a dress with a slit up to my, well, you know what, but it’s worth it for the easy access.

A timer sounds in the kitchen as I show Sherlock to the dining hall.

Dinner is served.


Dinner with Moriarty is exactly as you might expect, Watson. Less a meal and more like a game of chess—pass the salt, rook to Queen 4; More gravy, please—Knight takes Bishop, and check. It is both delicious and invigorating—doubly so given the provocative evening gown she is wearing to conceal her deadly arsenal of weapons. If I was capable of feeling normal human emotions and had a heart, I might give it to her, though she would certainly roast it in blood-red wine and serve it thinly sliced on toasted points of bread slathered with my own bone marrow.

I am distracted, I admit, my dear Watson. She is devilishly attractive for a murderer and thief, and also makes a delightful Cream of Chanterelle soup. But cannot afford to lose focus, for we face a final battle that will take one of us to a premature grave. In this case, hers.


Dinner is wonderful, if I do say so myself, and Sherlock is the perfect gentleman. I ask him to pass the salt and he immediately sends it sliding across the slick surface of the table all the way down to my end, just a fraction too fast. Testing my reflexes, no doubt. Little does he know that before I caught the saltshaker in a steady hand, I had time to re-holster the revolver I’ve been aiming at him under the table.

More wine? I ask. Of course, he says, and wipes at a drop of red wine marring the perfect white of his shirt. A drop of red that seems to foreshadow his own demise, I muse, as I make my way down to his chair. I lean in with the bottle of wine, and while he's busy eyeing my cleavage, I pull the knife I hid in a sheath around my thigh, grab his hair and move to stand behind him, my knife against his exposed throat.


While Moriarty attempts to use her ample cleavage to divert my attention away from her pistol, I sneak a syringe from my jacket pocket. It is filled with an extract of kurari that I acquired while on a curious case of missing cargo in the Congo. One drop of it will immobilize her.

I thought Moriarty might be fooled by my attempt to poison her. It is, after all, a woman's way of killing. But she knocks the syringe from my hand, falling into a secondary trap I'd planned all along. Spinning away from the knife she holds perilously close to my flesh, I move behind her and put her into a strangle hold taught to me by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The scent of her perfume is strong in my nose, but I do not go easily on her because of her femininity and obvious charms. She is, after all, Moriarty, and more devious and cunning than any man. I can’t see anything because she has a lot of hair, but I hear her gasping for air as I squeeze her neck with the crook my arm, and I’m sure I have her at last.


The bastard tried to poison me. What a silly thing to do. It takes more than a needle to kill me, he should know better. And I guess he does, as he’s currently doing a fairly good job of killing me.

Sherlock is strong. Very strong. While I can hold my breath for four minutes without problem, his arm is putting pressure on my neck and I'm starting to feel dizzy. I can't allow him to get the upper hand like this, so using Sherlock's hold on me as leverage, I lift my feet up on the table in front of me and push back with everything I have. We fall backwards and Sherlock ends up on his back on the floor as I roll off of him and up on my feet, as gracefully as a cat.

I grab the heavy antique vase that stands on a nearby table, and I raise it high above my head. Sherlock's brains are going to look fabulous splattered all over the floor à la Rorschach.


The ceiling of the grand dining hall at Castle Reichenbach is beautifully adorned with a lush Rococo Baroque painting of the Last Supper, and I might have stayed on my back and studied the artwork longer if Moriarty hadn’t been about to bash my skull in with a large vase. Fortunately, my training in the art of Savate enables me to kick the porcelain weapon from her hands. It flies into the air, traveling in a tremendous arc and landing with a loud crash on the hard wooden floor.

But Moriarty is a savvy warrior, and she presses her attack with a knife without hesitating. (What is it with women and knifes, anyway? Remember The Mysterious Case of the Bobbitt Bobbing, Watson? It still gives me chills.) She would’ve slit my throat in a second, but I skillfully use the toe of my right boot to kick the base of the blade’s hilt. The knife shoots straight up toward the ceiling, where its razor-sharp steel tip lodges trembling in the heart of Judas. Moriarty and I look at the knife in amazement, bursting into uncontrollable laughter as I leap to my feet to continue the fight.


Judas looks great with my knife through his heart. He would look even better with someone else’s knife through his heart. His gain is my loss and now I have to resort to my last weapon. I pull the Smith & Wesson 642 PowerPort from my ankle holster just as Sherlock jumps to his feet with the effortlessness of a much younger man, but as I fire the revolver at him, he stumbles with the clumsiness of a not-quite-so young man and falls backwards over the upholstered chair behind him. The bullet misses him by a hair and I can’t help but let out a frustrated groan.

I only have four bullets left, and Sherlock is hiding behind the chair, no doubt writing one of his silly letters to his imaginary friend, Dr. Watson. I crouch down low and make my way around, only to find him gone. The crunch of priceless Ming vase under careless shoes alerts me to his whereabouts behind me. How he got there I have no idea, but I turn and fire at him again, one, two, three times. The huge window behind him shatters in a million pieces and he dives out onto the balcony.


Moriarty fires four shots at me in a murderous rage, but fortunately for me she shoots like a little girl and while she thoroughly ruins the beautiful overstuffed armchair I duck behind, I escape her volleys unscathed. Diving through a shattered window to the balcony overlooking the falls, I turn and withdraw my own firearm, aiming to put a deadly hole in the spot in her chest where I suspect her blackened heart beats in absolute darkness.

But before I know it that ball of enormous hair has engulfed me again, blinding me like an enraged squirrel, although in darker tones, curlier and smelling faintly of raspberry shampoo, which seems like an oddly girly choice for a cold-blooded criminal. We tussle wildly, matching blow-for-blow and lunge-for-lunge until we teeter on the precipice of doom.

"Die, you pedantic bastard!" she shouts, running at me with her full Finnish force. Even as I slip over the edge and into the black chasm below, I desperately long to point out that, technically, I'm not a bastard because my parents were happily married when I was born.


And in that surreal moment when twilight robs the world of its color and turns everything into shades of black, we’re dying. The fall lasts forever, but forever ends too soon.

Our fierce battle has ended in a draw.

Little does Sherlock know that dying was all part of my master plan.

This extremely hastily put together post was written for Nicky and Mike's 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing III, which is now FINALLY over. To see the other participants' posts, please visit We Work For Cheese. *