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Tag Archives: Mary Shelley

Vying for the Arms of Mary…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

(Hand-delivered by urchins)
Watson – I sincerely hope you have recovered from the vast quantities of wine you were forced to consume last night, due to the brain-numbingly tedious hours of drivel we were bombarded with, issuing from the apertures of our companions, in a seemingly constant flow of ineffable ordure, much as Hercules must have faced when tasked with the unenviable job of cleaning the Augean stables.

I admit even I was taken aback by the huge disparity in the Public Reputation of the Acclaimed Romantic Poets, and the actuality of their output, given that what we witnessed was an average offering. I am beginning to believe the ugly rumours of their employing what is aptly (in this case) termed Ghost Writers (not to be confused with Dickens’ latest Sideshow currently hawking round the countryside – “Ghost Rider”, with that well-known Thesp. Nicholas McCage).

By the way, as Mary and I were threading our way through the Shambles which was the Market in this wearisome, parochial backwater, who did we have the absolute misfortune to bump in to (as he strode self-importantly around the place, booming in a seeming parody of that other well-known show-off, Brian d’Blessed),none other than that unholy bore Branagh, scouting for ideas for some wretched scribble he and Dickens have been working on. And wouldn’t you know – although I warned her not to breathe a word about her Idea from the ridiculous Ghost-Story-Competition – she blabbed until she was blue in the face.

What will be the outcome of That, I asked myself, while eyeing up some tasty-looking Emmenthal, lying on a bed of freshly-picked Gentians, and securing for myself a real humdinger of a chunk of the best Swiss Shag.

Anyhow, Watson, I trust we will find you somewhat refreshed when we return, and keep your fingers crossed that we have managed to shake Branagh off, as he was hinting broadly that he wouldn’t mind seeing you again, to reminisce about The Old Days. I cared not for the sleazy gleam in his eye as he pronounced the sentence.

Your friend, much wearied in all manner of ways,

SH.

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Posted by on December 9, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Monsters Incorporated…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:
Villa Diodati, Geneva
(from the Diary of Dr Watson)

The events of the last few days are even now a blur in my poor, addled brain. I awoke this morning thinking the whole thing may have been a dream, but the hastily scribbled notes from that awful night were still clutched in my wretched hand, as if some greater power would not allow me to let them go.

I hurried downstairs and found the house empty, only a barely-legible note from Holmes saying he and Mary had gone off to the market. However, reading between the lines, I deduced that my companion is keen to drill her on that dreadful tale of hers, banging those monstrous thoughts from her sweet brain.

Back in my bedroom with a much-needed pot of strong coffee, I read over my notes. My almost indecipherable scrawl shows I was clearly drunk with wine and fear, since it breaks off at what I assume was a crucial point in the evening. However, since I cannot at present recall anything further, I shall record my notes here. Perhaps at some future point, I will regain something of these lost nights….

9.00pm
Shelly, Byron and the young Mary are sitting by the window this evening as the storm thrashes the countryside, rain drumming against the windows like buckshot on a tin drum. Holmes and I amuse ourselves with a game of gin rummy, while keeping half an ear on our friends’ discussion. The three of them have for the last few hours, busied themselves writing so-called ghost stories, but it is only now that their discussion is becoming interesting. My companion whispers that I should take notes, so I will annotate their dialogue from this point onwards:

SHELLEY: I say Byron, this was a tremendous idea of yours for us to spend this frightful evening writing ghost stories.

BYRON: Ah, dear Shelley, I am full to the neck with good ideas. Have you finished your mystical masterpiece yet?

MARY: Yes darling, tell us what you’ve written so far.

SHELLEY: Oh I think it’s pretty well finished. D’you want to hear it?

MARY/BYRON:   Of course!

SHELLEY: Well, it starts off with this huge big monster. And he decided to go down to the village pub and eat all the pies. And do you   know? That’s exactly what happens. The end.

BYRON: My word. Percy, you are truly the brightest star in Christendom. Have another drink…

MARY: What happened next?

SHELLEY: What’s that, my love?

MARY: What happened next?

SHELLEY: That’s it. Finito.

BYRON: Madame, what a talent your lover has. We should hoist him somewhere high and make him do naughty things for money.

SHELLEY: What?

BYRON: Sorry, did I say that out loud?

MARY: Lord Byron, let us hear your masterpiece.

BYRON: Very well. Twas on a clear night and the stars were a-twinkling in the sky…

SHELLEY: What astonishing language, don’t you think, my love?

MARY: Indeed. [At this point I detected that Mary was becoming a little irritable]

BYRON: And from the heavens a great cloud of poo fell onto the earth and everyone thereon was poo’d upon.

SHELLEY: Great thundering thundery things. Byron, you are indeed a talent to behold on a wet and windy night.

BYRON: Come along Mary, let us hear your tale.

SHELLEY: Yes, share your teensy weensy little story with us, darling.

MARY: Well, I’ve called it a gothic science fiction novel. The story is initially told by a man called Robert Walton who, in his letters, quotes the narrative of the hero of the book, Victor Frankenstein, who, in turn, quotes the monster’s first-person narrative. In addition, there are several minor characters…

BYRON: Sorry, what? I didn’t understand a word of that – are you writing in some archaic language? A bluu bluu bluu lah de dah de diddly…

SHELLEY: Old Byron’s right, my love. Can’t you just tell us what it’s about?

MARY: It’s about a woman who murders her lover and her lover’s friend with a big knife during a stormy night when the three of them are holding a competition to write a ghost story.

BYRON: [Here, Byron paused for several long minutes] Right. Perhaps you’d better…

SHELLEY: Yes, my dear, please continue…sounds amazing, doesn’t it Byron?

BYRON: Extraordinary…I think we should have it published…

MARY: The event on which this fiction is founded has been supposed, by Dr. Darwin, and some of the physiological writers of Germany, as not of impossible occurrence. I shall not be supposed as according the remotest degree of serious faith to such an imagination; yet, in assuming it as the basis of a work of fancy, I have not considered…

To be continued
Watson

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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Ode to a Genevan Urn…

from Dr J Watson to Sherlock Holmes Esq:

Villa Diodati, Geneva
(from the Diary of Dr Watson)

Our arrival at the villa was celebrated in true Byronesque style with a Mexican Mariachi band, who lauded us with a curious rendition of Old Mother Mine, while Lord Byron plied us with the local plonk and showed off his club foot (to much applause form the locals).

Having left us to unpack, Byron, Percy and Mary, promptly went off to the village. Holmes and myself, flagging somewhat from the journey, spent an hour or so lazing around on the terrace enjoying the scenery. After an hour or so, the weather turned colder, so we hastened up to our rooms, where I sat by the window, glad of the opportunity to relax.

Apparently, there’s a storm on the way, and the ‘Romantics’ as Shell and By are now calling themselves, are planning some sort of writing exercise as a means of diversion. Holmes, needless to say, is not amused and is, as usual, chomping at the bit for a mystery. I will do my utmost to endear him to our companions, since it would not make our stay terribly agreeable if the old fart goes into one of his ‘huffs’.

As I write this, I can hear the poets returning, so I shall check on my companion and make my way down for dinner.

To be continued

Watson

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in Detective Fiction

 

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