Practice Write: “She had nothing but an orange to defend herself.”

Prompt by Essi Park: “She had nothing but an orange to defend herself.”

Notes: The one in which I shamelessly write fanfiction (and fail at deductive crime writing).

Watson had one foot firmly planted on the ground above him and the other wedged underneath the gnarled roots of the tree. The roots had grown oddly, fantastically one might even say, in manner seeming to shoot skyward and then tunnel back into the ground ashamed. And like a giant owl’s wings, the flaky bark and appendages had nestled upon each other to form what Watson could only describe as a miniature cave.

Watson was the one who took care of the footwork involved in such cases. This was one of the perks of being the idiot friend of a genius. He often ended up trapped between rocks and hard places, but that doesn’t mean straddling ground above him and anchoring himself with only his big toe on the ground below wasn’t uncomfortable.  That being said, if the body of a dead girl wasn’t sprawled right there against the hollow of the tree, he would at least be able to have two feet on the same level with each other. Better to think straight with. Watson snorted at the thought.

And Sherlock said my jokes weren’t funny. 

It was exactly then, at the very zenith of his snort-shrug, that he caught sight of the case’s most vital clue.


“Five orange pips! Pips, Sherlock! We’ve seen this before!”

Sherlock is now in the pit with Watson perched across the expanse. He had insisted that retrieval of the pips be delayed so as not to infringe upon the integrity of the actual evidence.

“Impossible. The Openshaw case was closed. Is closed. I have tied up all loose ends and made certain there were none other”

“But, it’s the exact same. A nasty run in with a cult of bigots,” Watson started numbering them off on his hand. “A mysterious letter. Orange pips, and five of them as well!” He held up four fingers. Suddenly, Watson’s eyes flickered with insight.

“Murder! This was not a theft it was murder!”

“You know I would hate for a tale of murder to go to waste,” and Sherlock couldn’t help but look a bit disappointed at the thought, ” but this was not murder. No, you cannot call this murder.”

The feeling was not unusual or new. Watson sat back against the roots and crossed his arms.

“Alright. You’re so smart, let’s hear it then.”

“Watson you see but you do not observe, Amanda Smalls was not murdered,  but mauled to death by a pack of wild monkeys! You see, they were after the fruit she had unknowingly taken from their nest, and after the banana down near the river, and the cantaloupe right past the tree, Amanda Smalls had no ammo left. So, she crawled into the hole to hide, and when they found her nonetheless, well… ”

“She had nothing but an orange to defend herself,” Watson said knowingly.



notes: I just realized that roots do not have bark? Or so I believe. having taken Biology II last year I really should be more knowledgeable about the natural world…

notes: so many adverbs. So many.

notes: third edit! Much better.

notes: solid narrative (at least for me) but prose needs a bit of work


4 thoughts on “Practice Write: “She had nothing but an orange to defend herself.”

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