January 15, 2014: Deducing Smaug

Don’t know if it’s what you think or not, but take a look at it.  I had fun writing it, it’s something I’ve been wanting to write for a couple of weeks.  I didn’t write it to be “clever” or “funny” specifically, but everything I’ve read from the writers of Sherlock say that the deductions are the hardest part to write for that show.  I’m nowhere near their level of writing, but I wanted to challenge myself and write a deduction that comes out of Sherlock’s mouth, but also succeeds in freaking John out a little bit.  That being said, here are the following things I need to say before this starts: I apologize for any continuity errors or flaws in the characters.  As they aren’t mine, I was just playing with them, it won’t be perfect.  Spelling and grammar are, as always, a question.  I wrote this quickly and more than half of it was written with my eyes closed, because I was thinking.  (I did proof read, but still…)  Lastly and most importantly: I do NOT own these characters, I’m simply playing with them!  They belong to Arthur Conan-Doyle, Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss, Stephen Thompson, The BBC, and PBS!  Okay, I’m done.  Enjoy!

John tossed a picture down in front of his friend who was sitting, fingers steepled, seemingly staring into space.  “Here, you’re so clever, prove it!  Who’s this?”  John made his way to his chair and flopped onto it as his friend slowly moved out of a trance.

“What?  John, what is this?  Why am I wasting my time with this picture?”

John smirked at Sherlock’s puzzlement.  “You’re bored, I’m bored, we have no case.  Take a look at the picture and tell me who that is!”

Sherlock sighed, but picked up the photograph and began to study.  Words flashed across his mind.  Intelligent, razor, fire, North, past, fiction?, and scale.  Slowly, a wicked smile crept across his face.  John shuddered.  He sometimes hated the look his friend could get when he was onto the lead of a case or a break through deduction.  His mouth went so thin it was almost non-existent and being present during that look was quite unnerving.  “Easy,” Sherlock declared in his deep baritone, “Smaug the dragon, fire drake from the North.”

“Wait, what?” John was astounded at the level of detail Sherlock had found from the picture.  “How did you get that?”

Sherlock rolled his eyes, but steadied his patience.  He liked John, really he wasn’t always sure how the man put up with him, but he was grateful that he did.  For the quickness of his intelligence Sherlock sometimes amazed himself at how slow he was with certain things, like dealing with the people he truly cared about.  This wasn’t a case, nothing was at stake, he could afford to explain this to John.  “Come here,” Sherlock summoned.

Carefully, John got up and moved over to Sherlock’s desk.  He never trusted his friend when he was this patient.  “What do you see in this picture John?”  John paused, studying the photo he’d tossed at his friend.

“It’s a dragon, I can say that much.”  He paused before continuing.  Looking like a fool in front of Sherlock was something he always dreaded. “Um…the teeth.  They’re a bit like a crocodile’s, but the eye teeth are almost more canine.  The nostrils are slits, snake or serpent like, I’d say.  A few spikes around the eye and the eye itself is quite reptilian.  That’s mostly what I’ve got.”  He paused for breath, hardly daring to meet his friend’s eye.  “Alright,” he sighed, “what’d I miss?”

Sherlock smirked before he began to explain his deductions.  “The teeth are correct.  Crocodilian, but also with canine aspects to them.  You’re onto something with the eyes, John, definitely reptilian, but look at them, they have muscles around them to portray more emotions, human-like emotions, meaning the creature is fantastical.  The spikes around the eyes suggest danger.  Also, the eyes are orange, intimating fire.  Look in the background, you can see orange colored smoke.  More suggestion of fire.  Any creature that looks like that and is surrounded by fire is likely to be a dragon.  I’d say he’s a fire breathing dragon.  In most mythology dragons which breath fire are exclusively male.”  Sherlock paused for breath. “Actually, in mythology dragons are almost uniformly male.  Look at the dragon’s skin for more proof, clearly scaley.  In addition, look at the coloring of the scales and skin.  A creature from further South would have vibrant colors, such as birds from South America, India, or New Zeland, this dragon doesn’t.  This suggests he’s from the Northern part of wherever he’s from.  A fantastical, fire-breathing, male dragon, with dull skin, suggesting he’s from the Northern reaches of whatever land he’s from? Smaug the magnificent, fire drake from the Northern parts of Middle-Earth.  Not too far a leap, is it?”

John’s mouth fell open, yet again, at Sherlock’s deducing.  “That was…wow…that’s pretty amazing.”

“Remember John,” Sherlock gave his friend an unnerving look, “I am sometimes called the greatest of calamities by my brother, as well as a dragon slayer.  I should know a dragon when I see one, especially when it’s handed to me by a riddle-maker.”

John stumbled back from Sherlock, tripping over his own feet.  “I’m still amazed, Sherlock,” he said as he made his way back to the chair with the picture in his hand, “at how quickly you got this.”

“John,” Sherlock smirked, and as he did so, John could have sworn he saw a puff of smoke come out of Sherlock’s mouth, “when will you learn, I am Sherlock the Stupendous!” John, startled, looked up, but was releaved to see the puff of smoke coming from Sherlock’s mouth, was just from his cigarette.


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