I'm not particularly certain why, but as I woke up this morning, I found the most curious word to be dancing about the edge of my thoughts. Maybe I've already been somehow caught up in the spirit of the holidays; it's December 1st, after all. (I can now mark that the season of cheer and goodwill has officially begun! Sherlock will hate to be reminded of it, as I'm sure he's already forgotten about the holidays altogether, but I'm not about to let that dampen my mood.) Then again, maybe it's got nothing to do with it at all, and it's just one of those bizarre cases of extreme coincidence. Although, I'd like to believe it's the former. Whatever the reason, for I certainly can't remember dreaming anything about it, I woke up with one word, just one, curious word on my mind:
Suffice to say, I haven't got a clue what the word means. After all, it was Sherlock that said it. Still, you might actually be surprised, but living with Sherlock, I've picked up on quite a lot of the words he uses, specifically the ones he decides to repeat more frequently. Pretty proud of myself, actually. No, but the funny thing about this one was that I really didn't pay much mind to it at all, at the time. It was quite a few months ago, back when I wrote about the case of the security guard and the fake painting set to go on display at the Hickman Gallery. (The Great Game, for anyone out there that's just coming across this blog.) In comparison, it seems a really insignificant thing to recall, but Sherlock's out and about somewhere or other and I've got the peace and quiet to write what's on my mind. Been a while since I've written anything, so I figured I may as well get it out of my head.
There was a third party involved at the time of the case. Not going to name any names, for the sake of privacy, but here's how it happened. I know I said before that it was one of those 'you had to be there' moments, but for the sake of the holidays, and maybe just a bit of good humour, I think it's worth the time to elaborate just a bit more on the circumstances. Sherlock had already examined the body of the poor bloke Scotland Yard had pulled from the Thames, and in explaining how he knew the man was a security guard, he also managed to come to the conclusion that the man had been killed for discovering that some re-emerging famous painting was actually a fake. I still don't know quite how he managed it so quickly. We'd hardly been at the scene a matter of minutes, but Sherlock was really in top form, and before I'd realized it, the word "Fantastic" had slipped my lips. Sherlock had merely shrugged his shoulders, rolling off my comment with a slight tilt of his head and a single word, "Meretricious." It didn't strike me until after our third party suddenly chimed in, as though perhaps he'd felt left out of the whole scene, "And a happy new year!" that I realized how remarkably like "Merry Christmas" "Meretricious" actually sounded. I remember sparing him a glance, because honestly, we all know Sherlock can speak a whole different language, but for a second I wondered if our friend had been out in the cold just a little too long. It was early. Very early. Maybe he'd just missed out on his morning coffee?
Well, things had been far too busy at the time, and I'd actually forgotten all about that instance until I woke up with that word in my head this morning. I've gone and looked it up since, and here's what I've found:
1. Apparently attractive but having in reality no value or integrity.
2. Plausible but false or insincere; specious.
From this I can only gather that what Sherlock was referring to when he said that word was the false painting itself. Knowing Sherlock, I seriously doubt that he could have intended the somewhat less savoury definition that accompanies the word. Then again, it is Sherlock, so...you know what, nope. This is a family blog. Kids might be reading this. We're not going there. We're just not.
So, now I've got another word added to my vocabulary that I'll probably never use in real life. Only someone like Sherlock could manage to pull something that bizarre out of thin air. And there you have it. Mystery solved. Time to sit back with a nice cuppa and enjoy the time I have left before Sherlock- Oh, speak of the man himself. Seriously, why do I bother? He's back now, and insisting there's something wrong with this new case. Looks like it's not going to be such a quiet morning after all. (It's really a miracle I managed to write this much before something or other came up.) Oh, well. Here's to the holiday season, and hoping I make it through this next case in one piece!
Detective Inspector Lestrade set down his second cup of coffee with a slightly impatient huff as he pulled his mobile from his pocket. One new message. He leaned back, sliding away from his desk to read what could possibly be so important as to interrupt him from his work. Did no one realize just how early he'd gotten up this morning, or just exactly how much of a workload he had sitting in front of him today?
The text was, surprisingly, from John. The subject was a word he was certain must be of another language, and the message consisted of only four short words: No hard feelings, mate!
"Meretricious?" he mumbled to himself aloud, just as Sergeant Donovan was walking into his office with a thick file in hand.
"And a happy new year!" she replied, failing miserably at stifling her smile and retreating from the room just as soon as Lestrade's expression changed from one of utter confusion to one of morbid understanding.
He tapped out a reply as quickly as he could manage, settling himself back into his chair with a groan as he heard shorts bursts of laughter following Donovan out into the halls.
Please tell me you didn't write a blog about that!
First of all, I must give a tremendous thanks to my editor, Beta, and friend, Summer of Sherlock. Without her devoted editorial skills I doubt I would ever have had the confidence to post this. She stuck by me and helped work out even the smallest of details until this became something I was truly satisfied with. Two parts that I feel need to be pointed out and credited to her specifically are the first paragraph, which we practically co-wrote as a second draft of the first, in the most amusing way, and the final line, the text on Lestrade's phone, which was a re-wording on her part of my original line. I had written something similar, but different enough that it would have been an inference, and possibly require expanding the story in a frankly tedious fashion that might have killed the mood (I hope!) this piece was able to bring all of you, my dear readers.
For anyone that's come across this, and read this far, I truly hope you enjoyed my first attempt at a Sherlock Fanfic! This was a moment I had always felt was under-appreciated, and wanted to expand upon. I hope I have done it even some small measure of justice!
Thank you all for reading!