A/N. A collection of fics based on prompts from Hades' December challenge. Thank you, Hades :-)

Best wishes to all in such extraordinary times.

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Prompt 1... From Michael JG Meathook: Investigating a fake holiday.

A 221B.


Watson checked the evidence,

Then checked it once again;

Ruled out impossibilities,

The options left were plain.

His suitcase...that was missing from

The top shelf, in the hall.

A book on birds, a knapsack, flask?

Yes, Holmes had packed them all.

A dog-eared Bradshaws open wide,

Conveniently displayed,

With helpful underlining

Of the route, the plans he'd made.

The infamous deerstalker

Now no longer on the stand,

Immortalised, to Holmes dismay,

In pictures in The Strand.

His stout, well-polished walking boots?

Yes, they were absent too.

And...photographs, the Norfolk coast,

Unmissable...a clue!

Plus fours, tweed jacket, notebook...

Pipe, tobacco, all had gone.

Clear pointers to a holiday;

The list went on, and on...



Watson sighed,

One hand on brow,

And stood in silent thought.

Conclusions reached too rapidly

Can often lead to nought.

He'd glimpsed his friend's expression,

Hidden quickly...fear dismissed;

And the note, discarded swiftly

And the clenched then unclenched fist.

As he'd left for ward and clinic,

Just that morning, bid farewell,

A nagging, vague suspicion

Put down roots, began to swell.

Dear Holmes, his blithe announcement

Of a yearning for the coast,

A short, impromptu visit,

Had convinced him.



A second battered suitcase,

And so little time to pack.

Whatever trouble Holmes was in…

His Boswell had his back.