The Absurd Cypher (Quick Sherlock Fan Fiction)


The Kitchener Post is having some website issues, which is preventing them from uploading content from their most recent issue, but I am in it. I wrote a column which quoted Terry Prachett’s “Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice”. How much of a geek am I?

Posting is again slow here, so from that you can guess that I’m gainfully employed. My writing work at the apartment brokerage has ramped up again, and should be demanding a fair chunk of my attention over the next week. However, I have taken breaks, and have managed to watch the second season of Sherlock, enjoying A Scandal in Belgravia and The Hounds of Baskerville.

After watching The Hounds of Baskerville, a small fan fiction scene popped into my head, and I decided to write it down. Here it is below, very close to a first draft. Enjoy!

The Absurd Cypher

“Password, John!”

Watson blinked. “Sorry, what?”

“Your password, John.” Holmes snapped his fingers. “How can I be clearer? I’m sitting in front of your laptop, trying to log into your Gmail account. Whose password would I be asking for if not yours?”

“You want the password to my Gmail account?” Watson echoed. “My private Gmail account?”

“Come on, John!” Holmes snapped. “The hacker is attacking your accounts, not mine. So I need access to your e-mail.”

Watson glowered. “Well, why don’t you just guess what my password is? Everybody else seems to be doing so, these days.”

Holmes smacked the desk. “John, I don’t have time for this! If my brother were here, he would say that the fate of the England rests on this. I don’t have his flair for the overdramatic, but it is safe to say that there are lives depending on this information, and we are wasting precious seconds. So if you would please stop sulking and tell me what your password is.”

“All right.” Watson coughed and looked away. “It’s… bananapants.”

Holmes froze. He leaned back and looked up at Watson, eyebrows up.

“Bananapants, just what it sounds like,” Watson continued. “Lower case. All one word.”

Holmes’ eyebrows edged higher.

“Well, how long would it have taken you to figure that out?” asked Watson.

“Quite a while,” Holmes replied. He nodded. “Impressive, John.”

Watson shrugged. “Well, I had to do something. After you figured out that general’s password was ‘maggie’ after one minute looking around his office?”

“So, you picked something that was completely random — absurd, even,” said Holmes. “So I would have nothing on which to grab a clue. Brilliant, John. Brilliant.”

“Well.” Watson smiled. “Thanks. I’m… glad you think so.”

Holmes turned back to the laptop and typed in the password. “Of course, I’ve now guessed what your next three passwords will be.”

“No you haven’t!”

“Yes I have!”

“Prove it!”


Watson paused. “Lucky guess.”


“Okay, now you’re just showing off.”


“I hate you.”

“I know.”

Further Reading

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