in the way of literary heroes, i really only have two: Horatio Hornblower, and Sherlock Holmes. i chose Holmes because his story is a little bit less defined– it has no ending. plus, it is assumed that not all his tales are told, which makes it easier to add to. and i didn’t write myself into a mystery, because, quite frankly, i suck at writing mysteries. =P (awesome soundtrack here)
“Mr. Holmes! Mr. Sherlock Holmes!” I cried desperately, trying to catch the man’s attention.
I raced down the beach, my feet flying over the soft, white sand as I ran after him on his daily morning walk. He paused as I caught up to him, a warm smile forming on his thin face.
“Good morning, Miss Campbell,” he said in good-natured greeting.
I fell in step with him and replied breathlessly, “Good morning, Mr. Holmes.”
As we continued on in silence, I took in the salty air, the ocean crashing against the shore, and the crying gulls. The restless wind tossed my hair just as it tossed the waves nearby; I pulled my jacket tighter around me to block the chill which I knew would dissipate as soon as the sky cleared.
My thoughts wandered over the past week that the renowned Sherlock Holmes had been with us; even though I remained outwardly calm, I still jumped with joy inwardly as I had wanted to do when he first arrived on our doorstep with his friend and colleague, Dr. Watson. How many times had I read Dr. Watson’s accounts of his friend’s daring adventures, quick calculations, and inhuman intelligence? I’m not sure, but I do know that every magazine and newspaper I owned that contained tales of Sherlock Holmes was worn and falling apart. And now my hero stood before my very eyes: not an apparition, not a fictional character, but a real human being who had come to stay in my family’s beachside inn. Apparently, Dr. Watson occasionally insisted on Holmes taking a vacation from the stress of city life, but I could not believe that our homely place had been selected as their destination.
Since his arrival, I had taken every moment I could to learn from him and his ways—as much as I dared without worrying that I bothered him, although I’m sure that I still did. I found myself greatly disappointed in my inability to effectively learn his methods of deduction despite my former perusal of his reasoning used in the stories.
I had also persuaded him to give me lessons in boxing; I believe he was pleasantly surprised to find that despite my small size, I made a willing—and able, if I may say so—student who eagerly picked up the art of self-defense.
And then there were the fascinating discussions which I eavesdropped on—ahem, accidently overheard. A myriad of guests at our inn could often be found in the dining hall, guests whom Holmes would converse with on sundry topics. Sometimes the discussions became quite heated; some of them I wanted desperately to join in on; others went right over my head.
I wasn’t sure how long Holmes and the doctor planned to stay; and I didn’t want to ask. I wanted to savor every moment and pretend that this time would never end—an almost magical time that every fan dreams of but rarely receives. To meet one’s hero. Once it passed I would never feel that I could know for certain: did it really happen—or was it just another dream?