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Elementary Fanfic: A Fly-By-Night Operation (JWP 2015 #15) - CaffieneKittySpace
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Elementary Fanfic: A Fly-By-Night Operation (JWP 2015 #15)
Title: A Fly-by-Night Operation
Fandom: Elementary
Alternate Postings: AO3
Rating/Content: PG13, idioms
Warnings: Implied animal mistreatment, non-graphic.
Word Count: 590
Disclaimer: Not my characters or my world.
Notes: Written for watsons_woes July Writing Prompt #15: That Old Saying. I may have gone a little overboard on the idioms.

Summary: Sherlock and Joan view a possible goose-related crime scene.

A Fly-by-Night Operation

Sherlock and Joan arrived at the improvised coop buried deep in an abandoned industrial back lot in Queens. The rickety structure stood next to a fire-pit surrounded by trash; an enormous dented stock pot with a lid, broken chairs and shipping pallets, a soiled mattress and assorted other detritus.

"Looks like we were sent on a wild goose chase," Detective Bell said by way of a greeting.

Sherlock rolled his eyes. "That would in fact be the fifth time Watson and myself have heard some variation on that idiom today. In the past half-hour, in fact."

"Hey, not many crimes involving an actual-facts goose turn up in New York City." Marcus smirked. "Opportunity knocks? Man, you gotta open that door."

"Yes, and likely get maced for your trouble." Sherlock ignored Marcus in favor of examining the coop.

Detective Bell continued smirking as Joan pulled some printouts from a folder.

"The rare goose reported missing from the zoo was taking orders for eggs online up until yesterday: an unfertilized egg, up to a thousand dollars per egg; fertilized, several thousand dollars each." She handed the printouts over.

"For a goose egg?" Detective Bell boggled.

"A rare goose egg," Sherlock said, exiting the coop. "A golden opportunity for bird breeders and exotic gourmets."

Detective Bell pointed out a churned up patch of dirt near the coop, some spots of blood spatter going up the wall. "Looks like they might have killed the goose that laid the golden eggs."

Bending to pick up a feather from the edge of the muddy patch, Sherlock shot Bell a disdainful look.

Bell grinned and shrugged innocently.

"They probably have," Sherlock said, examining the feather, "thinking it will make their deception harder to prove."

"Deception?" asked Joan.

Sherlock handed her the feather. "Dye. The goose whose eggs they were selling was an ordinary white goose, found on any farm. They dyed the feathers to match the rare lost bird and went into business." His phone queeped and he glanced at it. "Ah. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."


"Your counterfeit goose pimp ringleader is actually Beryl Garnet, daughter of James and Henrietta Garnet who ran a string of puppy farms selling counterfeit poodles upstate."

Bell's face twisted in confusion. "How do you counterfeit a-"

Sherlock waved a hand. "Irrelevant to the case. She's started up the family business again. Rare bird missing, the black market will be clamoring for it. Pick up a goose from the family farm, add some reasonably skilled daubs of dye, set up an auction with photos of the bird and presto." He picked up another feather and twirled it between his fingers. "Caveat emptor."

"But the buyers will realize they were duped once the eggs hatch," Joan pointed out.

"The buyers who bought fertilized eggs will realize, yes, but will be unlikely to report it to the police, having illegally bought eggs from a goose they thought was stolen. The gourmets have likely eaten the evidence already and are none the wiser. In either case, killing the fake goose was not required." Sherlock glanced toward the fire-pit and the junk piled around it. "But they may have taken drastic measures to destroy the evidence anyway."

Joan looked in dawning dismay at the large dented stock pot with the lid clamped on top, sitting on the ground next to the cold fire-pit.

"Do you mean they...?"

Sherlock strode over to the pot. He unclamped the lid and lifted it, but slammed it down again immediately as the pot erupted with squawking and dyed feathers.

"No, Watson," Sherlock said, struggling to keep the lid between himself and the understandably irate bird, "their goose is most definitely not cooked."

(that's it.)

Note: Beryl is a blue gemstone and garnet is often associated with carbuncles so... There was a goose and a Sherlock; I had to make a reference somehow, somewhere.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
gardnerhill From: gardnerhill Date: July 17th, 2015 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, this wins the Best Use of Prompt award.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: July 18th, 2015 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Aw, thanks!
2 comments or Leave a comment