I wrote this around the same time I wrote my other Sherlock Holmes stories, but was unable to post it at the time due to being grounded from this site for reasons I will not discuss even if you ask me (I'm sure many of you have been in the same or similar situation). Anywho, I wrote it, couldn't post it, and then sort of forgot about it until now. So, here it is. Enough of me rambling. Enjoy the story.
The Pipe, the Dressing Gown, and the Rug
I knew it would happen someday. It was quite inevitable really. Especially since Sherlock Holmes had a tendency to fall asleep in his armchair with his pipe still lit, but I'm getting ahead of myself. I really must learn not to tell stories backward.
It was a rainy spring day in March. Holmes and myself were shut up indoors. I was busying myself with catching up on some reading while Holmes lay curled moodily in his armchair, wearing his dressing gown, which I do not think he had changed out of for days, and smoking his pipe. I had given up trying to engage him in conversation after his only replies had been short and grumpy when he gave a reply at all. A bored Holmes is not particularly social or cheerful as I have found out. Because of this, silence had settled in the room save for the sound of raindrops on the window and other quiet background noises.
Engaged as I was in my novel, it was a minute or two before the smell of something burning penetrated my senses. At first, I though that Holmes had merely relit his pipe, but upon looking up, I found that I was quite mistaken. Holmes, apparently, had dozed off in his armchair. His pipe had dropped from his fingers onto the chair and set his dressing gown on fire. I gave an exclamation of surprise and horror, leaping to my feet. Holmes woke with a start.
"Watson, whatever is the matter?" he asked, taking in my expression. I barely spared him a glance as I looked about for water.
"You're on fire!"
"On fire?" I heard a rather un-Holmes-like yelp as he too leapt to his feet, obviously having noticed his dressing gown. My frantic gaze fell at last upon the teapot. Picking it up, I dumped the lukewarm tea on Holmes, effectively putting out the smoldering fire.
For a moment, we stood looking at each other, I with the teapot in my hand and my friend with its contents all over his dressing gown. Holmes sniffed suddenly.
"Um, Watson," he began. "Do you smell something burning?" It was at that point we both realized that when Holmes had leapt from his chair, the pipe had fallen to the floor and set the rug on fire. The mad rush began again as both of us yelped, for lack of a better word, and began frantically stomping out both the rug and the still smoldering tobacco. At last, the danger averted, we once more stood looking at each other. Almost simultaneously, we burst into laughter.
"Look, Holmes," I said between gasps, "next time you decide to take a nap for heaven's sake put out your pipe!"
Holmes looked at me, gray eyes twinkling with amusement. "I shall try to remember that. And now, if you'll excuse me, I believe I need a change of clothes."
So, how'd you like it? The idea was actually given to me by KCS when that person reviewed my story Baker Street Lullaby and mentioned that it was surprising that Holmes hadn't set something on fire (read that other story and see if you can see why that comment was made). Now, he's set something on fire (other than the curtains). Reviews are loved:)