How
by damon ford

Originally written July 2000 for a Shirley Holmes Lyric Challenge,
using the lyrics of the song 'How' by Lisa Loeb

Disclaimer : One of the few times I venture out from behind the SHC website to actually write.
Feedback most welcome
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"Shirley, you can't be serious ? Bart, an alien ?"

"Bo, this is no time for your James Bond impersonations."

"I agree with Shirley" pop culture queen Alicia Gianelli chimed in. "I mean, you're a funny guy and all that, well, except when you're with Stink, and it *was* funny that one time that we were at the .......".

Her voice trailed off as Bo Sawchuck, long time associate and confidant of the great great grand-niece of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, glared at her. Shirley, equally unimpressed with being distracted from her train of thought, also shot Alicia a look of disdain. "Can we get back to the real issue here. ?"

"Which is ....... what exactly ? Alicia countered.

"The fact that Bart is an alien." Shirley restated.

"Oh, come on Shirley" Alicia taunted. "Have you been eating those ......". She thought for a moment and recited "peanut butter and blue cheese sandwiches again". Ever since Alicia had discovered Shirley's questionable culinary preferences while working at the local net cafe, the Quazar, it had been a source of amusement to her and she rarely let an opportunity slide to tease her friend.

"No, Alicia", Shirley snapped, frustrated by the other girl's attitude to the issue at hand.

"Well, it sure sounds like something's messing with your head Shirley. I mean, come on. Bart ??? What makes you so sure ?"

"I have my ways Alicia" Shirley said cryptically. "I have my ways."

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"Hi Mrs Holmes" Bart James announced as he entered the Holmes' kitchen.

"Bart, how nice to see you" Peggy Holmes, Shirley's grandmother greeted him as she turned from the stove, a tray of muffins filling the room with that sensuous aroma that only freshly cooked dough can. "Can I interest you in a muffin. I was just going to take this tray up to Shirley, Bo and Alicia."

Actually, Mrs Holmes, I need to talk to you about something. Can we go somewhere ....." he looked around furtively "private ?".

Peggy Holmes studied the boy's facial expression, and realised the time was now.

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"Do you want us to come with you Shirley ?" Bo queried. Having digested Shirley's explanation of Bart's extra-curricular activities, he was not comfortable with the thought of his best friend facing Bart alone.

"No Bo, stay here with Alicia, and lock the door when I leave. We don't know what he's after, and my instructions were for me only to establish contact on his arrival."

Alicia glanced across at Bo, a look of confusion on her face. "Ooookaaayyy, whatever you say Shirley, but I still don't get it. I mean, Bart ????"

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Shirley Holmes left her friends in the attic and made her way to the kitchen. If things were going according to plan, her Gran should be hearing Bart's 'theory' of the state of the world right at this moment. As she passed through the hallway, she stopped to glance at the portrait of her great great uncle on the wall, a satisfied smile on her face.

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"I have to say that's quite a theory Bart. Like another muffin ?" Mrs Holmes offered, to the twitching figure across from her.

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From the hallway, Shirley Holmes, hearing the cue word 'muffin' entered the room. "Bart !" she greeted innocently "it's so nice to see you - what brings you here ?"

"You know very well Shirley - the time is now."

"Bart, Bart Bart" she mothered "I didn't come this far for you to make this hard for me. The plans are well advanced and what must happen will happen."

"The Society have been watching you Shirley. You can't get away with this."

"Oh Bart, but we already have." Shirley smiled, glancing over towards her Gran.

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"Holmes."

Shirley turned at the sound of her nemesis' voice, and spoke in a measured tone "Molly."

"Surely, Holmes," Molly stated as she gracefully entered the Holmes library "You must have realised your plan was flawed. The Society has known about you for years. We've been studying your kind, although we admit some puzzlement still. There are things that remain ...... beyond our earthly technologies. Like How. How you survive in this atmosphere on Earth given your biology. You certainly integrate well among humans, but you must have realised a hybrid, even one so adept as yourself would be discovered eventually."

"It was a challenge Hardy, one which I have had too few of lately. What can I say, your 'Society' amuses me."

"We're an amusement are we ? Well, your 'friends' didn't think so - they were tracked and captured with ease, but even though you knew this, you still believed you were better than they, that you could outsmart......" She raised an arm and motioned towards Bart while casually walking behind Peggy and resting her head affectionately on her shoulder "..... us".

Shirley followed Molly with her eyes, stunned, but composed. "I must say, that was most unexpected. I really didn't pick that at all. Hmmm......" Shirley stepped back and took something from her pocket, looking intently at it for several seconds and refocussed. "Hmmm...... "

Peggy smiled at her grand-daughter. "You know what this means don't you."

Shirley recognised the gravity of the situation. "I do" she replied. "I'm missing the last page. I've just blown the whole scene haven't I."

"Cut !"

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"Hey Parker, wait up". Bart James called out to his fellow science lover as they walked across the Sussex lawn the following afternoon, classes over for another day. "You know, that was one weird script we started filming last weekend at Shirley's house. How do you come up with these ideas ? "And Molly ........ I never thought I'd see her there. And ......."

Parker turned to his friend. "It was ....... a most enlightening weekend Bart."

Bart stopped walking. "Yeah, but you didn't answer my question. How ?"

Parker shrugged non-committedly. What can I say - I have my ways". He looked his friend in the eye and nodded quietly "I have my ways".

Leaving a bemused Bart to ponder this remark, Parker continued across the lawn, a playful smile on his lips. "And oh so much to report."

THE END