By Michelle Drozdick
Once upon a time, I shared with you all a very special story I wrote at the age of seven. Because I’m a glutton for humiliation, I spent a bit more time than I’d like to admit sifting through marble composition notebooks from years gone by, hunting down more childhood epics. The following is a tale from early 1999, titled “Shorlock Homes” (I was a creative speller).
I’d like to preface this tale with a small explanation– at the age of eight, I was aware of the existence of
Sherlock Holmes Shorlock Homes, but not much more beyond that. In my infinite wisdom, I figured that he was a cowgirl sheriff, because… well, why not?
Without further adieu, I present to you, in its unedited glory, “Shorlock Homes”–
“Walking her horse through the desert, Shorlock Homes was carful, just in case if the robber, Jenson Leanes, jumped out and started a fight.
She was very brave. All of a sudden there was a loud, paniked sream. It was Jenson Leanes! Her horse went up on his hind legs and ran as fast as he could. She got out her gun and started shooting. (Jenson was so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so mean!)
“Well, well, well. If Jenson gets shot everyone in the west would be safe, right?” She shot her in the face.
But the west wasn’t safe yet. There was still Jakson Lenson. She traed to cacth her, but got hurt.
Like its predecessor, “Shorlock Homes” opens in media res. The titular cowgirl sheriff, Shorlock, is patrolling her domain when she is attacked by her arch-nemesis, Jenson Leanes.
The reader is initially presented with a classic tale of good and evil. Homes is our typical hero protagonist, described explicitly as being “very brave.” Leanes, meanwhile, can be assumed to be an antagonist, or at least morally ambiguous by the usage of descriptors such as “so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so, so mean.”
However, what initially appears to be a black and white tale with clear cut sides is very abruptly subverted when our protagonist retaliates by “[shooting] her in the face.” Shorlock Homes’s violent murder of Jenson Leanes may be justified (after all, Jenson did open fire first), but at the same time it is far from what the reader expects.
The ending is bittersweet; Homes may have protected the west from the villainous Leanes, but all is not well. There is still danger from the suddenly and abruptly introduced Jakson Lenson, who wounds Homes before she can be stopped. The two antagonists of the story share the same initials; it can certainly be argued that this represents a karmic circle of checks and balances. What is initially presented as a simple story of good triumphing over evil is in fact a much deeper, multi-layered exploration of morality, of karma, of fate.
In short, stop letting me analyze my childhood stories. Nothing good comes of this.
Michelle is a co-founder and editor of Babbling of the Irrational and an aspiring writer from NYC. You can interact with Michelle on Twitter, or at firstname.lastname@example.org