The Craigslist group ad seemed enticing. SHERLOCK SEEKING WATSON AND FRIENDS. I was a recent graduate from UCLA with a degree in literature. I was finding it difficult to find a job I was waitressing at the Toscano’s in Santa Monica. I hated waitressing. I felt like my life was in suspension. Like I wasn’t even living yet. I was waiting for my life to tick into motion.
I loved Sherlock Holmes. In fact, I loved all mystery novels and many mystery authors. Joining a group could be fun. It might inspire me to write a book or a blog, or start a podcast. I don’t know. It was worth exploring. I emailed the ad and then was sent an address and a date and time for the first meeting. I noted the house was on 219 Bakker Street. So very close to Holmes’ real address on Baker Street. The house was in the Valley and happened to land on my day off.
It was an average house. I ranged the doorbell and a tall, reedy man in tweed answered. He had a violin in his left hand. He introduced himself as Archibald Silver.
“Actually, just call me Sherlock,” he said.
I stepped into his home and was quite astonished. Everything was old. Antiques everywhere. It was upholstered, the wallpaper was red with faux velvet stripes, and there were old Turkish carpets on the hardwood floors. It looked very much like a place Sherlock Holmes would live in.
Sitting on a tufted couch was a man with a square jaw and a friendly face.
He stood. “I’m Watson.”
“So what am I?” I asked.
“You could be whoever you like but you must adhere to a dress code and your name and role must align with Sherlock’s time. Please sit.”
“Tea?” asked Watson.
“Yes, please,” I said. I drank the delicious tea and began to feel drowsy. My consciousness slipped in and out and that’s when Sherlock and Watson began removing my clothes. The rape that ensued was a blur. I remember thinking that you really can’t trust any Craigslist ads. Not long ago they removed the personals but the sex freaks had trickled into other parts of the website. I think I cried. I was more annoyed the Sherlock group was a hoax. I was so waiting for inspiration. Instead, I took Plan B, a shower and called in sick to work. I debated reporting the incident but I was too afraid the police would laugh at me or not take me seriously since my memories were so vague. I couldn’t pick up a single mystery novel after that night. I focused on sci-fi and starting writing some really pissed off sci-fi stories. A few got published. My life got set in motion. Thank you, Sherlock and Watson, and fuck you.