Shylock Bones is very different to your regular, run of the mill, detective. First and foremost, he has no idea that he died twenty-three years ago; nobody told him, so he didn’t ‘move on’. His very irascible ghost remained tethered to his body, which caused the great detective a number of problems as he could’t leave home.

Luckily for Shylock, his young protégé, Doctor Jan Flotsam, was somewhat of a genius and built him a steam-powered, robotic body around his bones, which allowed him to travel great distances, as long as someone topped up his boiler at regular intervals.

Secondly, Bones suffered from a condition, rare to all but the most diligent of detectives, that Flotsam liked to term ‘Mysteria’. When a case needs cracking and mystery is in the air, Bones will simply not let it go, just like a dog with a… well, you know!

He hadn’t realised he’d died, that is, until that Tuesday morning.

“Flotsam!” Bones’ voice rose to such a shrill whistle that the mirror he found himself in front of, cracked and splintered. He listened to the rapid tip-tap of Flotsam’s heels as she flew down the tiled passageway.

“You called,” she said, her voice a hoarse, breathless wheeze.

“Indeed I did! Flotsam, what is the meaning of… “ he gestured down at the bulky boiler that quite ruined the waistline he was sure he remembered, “this?”

“Oh, dear,” sighed Flotsam, “You finally noticed.”

“Noticed? Of course I’ve noticed. I have a boiler for a belly. I woke up whistling as steam escaped from the most unusual of places.” He grimaced, unsure of how much he should say. He was addressing a lady, even if it was only Flotsam – good, reliable Flotsam. “I am the great detective,” he said, “I was hardly likely not to notice.”

Flotsam raised a very quizzical eyebrow. “Well, it has taken you twenty-three years. We’re not quite sure what happened, though I’m afraid that I installed the boiler to keep you mobile.” 

Bones harrumphed. “Well!” said he, “I declare we have a mystery to solve. The game is afoot.”

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
10 months ago

I love this Carrie. Comedy, in my opinion, is the most difficult of genres. I remember reading that Jim Carrey refused to attend the Oscars because comedy was not recognised as a category, which is a travesty. Your story had me smiling and laughing in equal measure. Well done!

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
10 months ago

Mystery doesn’t have to be scary or otherwordly. I really loved your take and re-inventing of the tale of a great detective and his sidekick. Mystery can drip with humour and your story is just the demo for that. Fantastic, Carrie!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

Wow. It’s so different, Carrie. I love it. And I really admire your talent in writing, Carrie. You have created a very good mysterious story that is not scary. A double thumbs up to you. Fantastic job.

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Genya Johnson
Genya Johnson(@genya-johnson)
10 months ago

This was really funny. Loved the play on words and the names. A nice twist to the historic detective we know. It certainly made me laugh. Brilliant.

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
10 months ago

Congratulations Carrie on winning the public vote, this was a great story. Also on coming second with ‘Slither’. Well done!

Last edited 10 months ago by Linda Rock
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Marianna Pieterse
Marianna Pieterse(@marianna-pieterse)
10 months ago

Congratulations, Carrie! This was a fantastic story!

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
10 months ago

Carrie, this story is so funny! As a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes, I appreciated all the plays on words and clever names. I particularly like Doctor Jan Flotsam. You’ve captured the single-mindedness of the original Holmes (like a dog with a …) the wonderful ego (“I’m the great detective. I was hardly likely not to notice.”) and added your own unique comic flair. A well-deserved public voting win.

Thompson Emate
Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
10 months ago

Carrie, you’ve always been a writer of all forms. This story reminds me of some movies I watched while growing up. Movies I couldn’t make sense of. I also learnt a new word, ‘harrumphed’. Congratulations!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago

Congratulations on your win, Carrie.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
10 months ago
Reply to  Carrie OLeary

You’re most welcome, Carrie.

Greene M Wills
Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
10 months ago

I had already told you how much I loved your story. Now I just want to say congratulations! Well deserved!

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