A study in scarlet

A d’Verse prosery prompt

Watson, you don’t still maintain that the Duchess is innocent? Haven’t we been inspecting the same evidence together? Her hospitality must have been a ruse from the very start.

Come, let us examine this entry with discernment. Surely you must see it? Our culprit is clearly sinistral!

Further, what do you make of this ink, Old Chap? When were these words penned? Watson, haven’t you been reading what I have?

Just written!

I now believe… indeed, I am quite certain these lines were composed by the killer!

Yes, take another whiff… the odor is pungent, sharp, almost… painful, isn’t it? Surely a man of your profession would recognize it.

She has been toying with us, Old Chap, but we shall expose her! Miserly nobles don’t simply vanish, leaving behind their vast estates with nary a final will and testament!

Suppose he’d discovered her infidelity?


It’s prosery time at d’Verse. The rules are simple:

  1. Use an assigned line in the body of your prose. You may change the punctuation and capitalization, but you are not allowed to insert any words within the line itself. You can add words at the beginning and/or at the end of the line; but the line itself must remain intact.
  2. Your prose can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction. YOU CAN NOT WRITE A POEM for this prompt. AND, your prose should be no longer than 144 words, sans title. It does not have to be exactly 144 words. But it can be no longer than 144 words.

The assigned line was:

Reading what I have just written, I now believe…

52 thoughts on “A study in scarlet”

  1. Reading what I have just written, I now believe… the act of believing; that sanity is “onesided” and my words ring true in the hearts and minds of humanity, if I am not a man myself, as I read my own words- Filled with the inspiration of discovery and deducing the influences as they arrive into my gaze, reading what I have just written, I now believe… in myself; reading what I have just written, I now believe… in you.

    While Fartfist does not completely understand this d’verse concept or its rules; He is inspired and still wants to participate and support this wonderful mind, across the world, and reading what I have just written, I now believe… in all of us.

    Thank you for the post my good friend, you father is honored today! I thank him in turn for being responsible!

  2. Re-reading and feeling embarrassed…humility, such a fine and yet unwanted companion!
    I see what you have done there and you have done well, thank you!

  3. I really like the title.

    Oops the odour of the ink is a dead giveaway?
    So the inspector knows the scent of the duchess’s ink?
    I like the name Watson for the investigating officer, though slow on the uptake.
    Great prosery, i would never have gone in that direction with…. “Reading what I have just written, I now believe…”

        1. Physical and of those very close to me. On Friday the dear sister of my beloved friend died.

        2. I’m very sorry to hear that.

          In traditional Judaism, when somebody dies, we say: ‘Baruch Dayan HaEmet’, which means:

          Blessed is the True Judge.

        3. Thank you ben. I appreciate your caring and condolences, it feels stern and proper.

  4. A study in Scarlet?

    Or

    The case of the vanishing Duke?

    Whichever – that’s really well written! And the evidence is elementary my dear Holmes 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Deb.

      TBH, this is NOT the sort of thing I would ever write on my own – but it’s good to challenge ourselves, I suppose 🤷

  5. Very creative use of your prompt, Ben! Your title and first word drew me in, being a Sherlock Holmes and detective fan. Of course, I always enjoy reading what you write. 😀

    1. Michele,

      I think we should establish a mutual admiration society – because I greatly enjoy your reflections and writings too 🙂

      -David

      1. It shows your inquisitive and innovative mind. Keep it up David. I’m proud of you!!

  6. Clever use of the prompt with the changed punctuation! I had to use Sherlock’s magnifying glass to find the full line! Thanks for posting to the prompt!

  7. You really got the tone of Sherlock down here! And you hooked me with so few words. I know I’d have struggled with the limit of 144 words! Great job, and excellent use of punctuation to make the line your own!

    1. It actually began with the punctuation, Baldecus… I deliberately wanted to make the line my own, and the Sherlock Holmes story took shape around it 🧐

      All best,
      David

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