So… Is It Good?

A blog featuring the various writings of E. H. Lau.

After-School Detectives – Love Haiku

Posted by cyberpfalcon on October 26, 2012

After-School Detectives Logo“I’m James, and that’s Sheryl. So, how can we help you?” I said to the girl who had approached us as Sheryl finished writing down our club name, After-School Detectives, on the clubroom request form.

“I’m Virginia, from Ms. Greene’s class. And… well…” Virginia looked left and right nervously, as if trying to make sure no one was listening to us. Then, flustered, she took out a letter. “I found this in my locker.”

Sheryl grabbed the letter and tried to take it from Virginia. However, the embarrassed Virginia was having a hard time letting go of it. There was a tug of war for a few moments before Virginia finally released her grip on the letter.

Smiling victorious, Sheryl opened the letter and proceeded to read it… out loud, “Dear Virginia, I-”

Virginia’s face redden and I grabbed the letter from Sheryl.

“Hey!” Sheryl yelled at me.

“Can’t you see that this is private?” I scolded Sheryl and gestured to Virginia’s now-scarlet face.

“Oh, right… Sorry.” Sheryl apologized sheepishly.

Sheryl and I read the letter in silence, and here’s what it said:

 

Dear Virginia,
I wrote this for you.

Your blonde hair glistens.
Your blue eyes are like the stars.
You are beautiful.

From your secret admirer

 

“Ooo,” Sheryl said, “You have a secret admirer. Seems to be some sort of love poem.”

Virginia blushed.

“A haiku, to be exact,” I said.

Sheryl gave me a puzzled look, “A what?”

“A haiku, you know, like what we’re doing for that assignment in English class?”

Sheryl didn’t say anything, but both her eyebrows raised up in an alarmed fashion.

I sighed and said, “You forgot, didn’t you?”

“… Yes.” Sheryl looked at me desperately, “When is it due?”

“Tomorrow.”

Sheryl’s face brightened up again, “Oh, I have time then.”

“Okay then…” I turned back to Virginia, “So, what do you want us to do?”

Sheryl piped in, “Find this guy and tell him to not send you any more creepy poems?”

“What? No!” said Virginia, “I’d like you to find him so that I can meet him.”

We both looked at Virginia’s red face.

“Don’t tell me,” said Sheryl, “That you’ve fallen in love with this guy just because of this haiku.”

Virginia placed both her hands on her cheeks and started imagining, “He must be a sensitive and handsome man. An artist. I have to meet him!”

Sheryl and I exchanged looks. Then Sheryl folded up the letter, and enthusiastically agreed, “Sure! The After-School Detectives are on it!”

And that’s how we ended up conducting a stake out on Virginia’s locker after-school.

***

“Alright, let’s do this!” Sheryl yelled.

We were behind a wall that allowed us to peek out and take a look at Virginia’s locker without being seen easily.

“Then maybe you should quiet down,” I said to Sheryl.

“Oh, right,” she said in a hushed tone.

“Alright, you keep an eye on Virginia’s locker, and I’ll keep a lookout for anyone coming down this hallway,” I said.

“Okay,” Sheryl poked her head out a bit, while I leaned back on a locker, looking down the hallway that we were in.

About ten minutes later, Sheryl tapped me on the shoulder, “Look James, someone is heading towards Virginia’s locker.”

I poked my head out as well and saw a boy heading towards the locker. He stopped in the area and turned so that his back faced us.

“That’s got to be him!” said Sheryl.

“Wait!” I yelled.

But it was too late, Sheryl jumped up and yelled, “Stop right there!”

“W- What?” The boy turned around in surprise as the locker opened – the locker next to Virginia’s.

There was a silence in the air as Sheryl realized what just happened. A moment later, she recomposed herself and muttered, “Never mind, I thought you were someone else.”

“O- Okay.” The boy went back to his business.

“Why didn’t you stop me?!” Sheryl scolded me in an annoyed, hushed voice.

“I tried.” I said.

“… Right, sorry.”

We resumed our positions again. After fifteen minutes or so, Sheryl poked me in the shoulder again and whispered excitedly, “There’s someone else heading towards the target!”

We watched as another boy headed towards the area. He stopped in front of Virginia’s locker and took out a letter.

“Ah ha! Gotcha!” Sheryl stepped out and pointed a finger at the boy, “Stop right there!”

“Huh?” The boy turned around while his hand was slipping the letter into the locker – the one above Virginia’s.

There was a pause as Sheryl realized what had happened.

“Ah!” she yelled in frustration. “Never mind! Go back to what you were doing!”

“Okay…” The boy said, puzzled. Nonetheless, he finished slipping the letter into the locker above Virginia’s and left.

We resumed our positions again, but nothing happened for over an hour, at which point, we went home for the day.

***

“So, did you finish your haiku?” I asked Sheryl the next day, as we headed into English class.

“Yeah, it was easy,” she said, “I’m really proud of it!”

“Oh? Can I see it?”

“You’ll hear it when Ms. White asks me to read mine,” Sheryl said, giving me an excited smile.

And indeed, I did get to hear it since Ms. White, our English teacher, was asking everyone in the class to read their haiku. Sheryl was fourth in line, and here’s her haiku:

 

Mysteries abound,
The world is full of puzzles.
I will solve them all!

 

I had to read mine too, of course, but I am slightly embarrassed by my haiku, so I won’t delve into it. Say what you will about Sheryl’s haiku, but at least it’s sincere, unlike mine, which I wrote just to pass the assignment.

We spent the next half an hour or so listening to more haiku. Some were good, and some were bad.

Then, Brett, a classmate, got up to read his haiku:

 

Your blonde hair glistens.
Your blue eyes are like the stars.
You are beautiful.

 

Sheryl and I looked at each other as soon as we heard the haiku.

“That’s the same haiku!” Sheryl whispered, since we were still in class. “Brett must be the one who put that letter in Virginia’s locker!”

***

“Hey Brett! Hold on.” I said, getting Brett’s attention when we were outside of the classroom after English class had ended.

“What’s up, James?”

“We know you slipped that love letter into Virginia’s locker,” I said quietly.

Brett was taken aback. “What? How did you find out?”

“… You just read the exact same haiku in class.”

“Right…” Brett regained his composure. “Well, what do you two want? Does she know? Are you going to blackmail me now?”

“What?” Sheryl said in surprise, “No, Virginia asked us to find out who you were so that she could meet you.”

“Really?” Brett smiled excitedly.

“Yeah,” I answered, “She’ll be in our classroom at lunch to get an update, you two can meet then.”

***

Sheryl and I watched as Brett and Virginia walked away, happily chatting.

“Well, that was easy,” said Sheryl.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“I was hoping for something more exciting…”

I smirked a little. “We’re just kids in an after-school club, how exciting can it get?”

“Hm…, well, maybe the next case will be about a gang of lunch money thieves. Or maybe about a food scandal at the cafeteria. Or ooooh, maybe even one about aliens! Yeah, that would be cool!”

I smiled as Sheryl continued chattering away, excited to see what the next case will bring us.

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This story is part of the After-School Detectives series.
The logo was created by solidgaunt, please visit his amazing gallery!

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6 Responses to “After-School Detectives – Love Haiku”

  1. I love the new version! I like how Sheryl is oblivious and James is the voice of reason. I laughed out loud when he told her about their homework, she asked when it was due, and then she was like “Oh, there’s still time!” instead of being diligent about it. Great characterization!

    I would like to see the candy obsession, her insistence on calling him Watson and the insistence on being called Holmes come back — those were great running gags. It would be especially funny if she tried to do it with authority figures, like her teachers — and if say a substitute teacher really did it because they didn’t know any better, that would be hilarious!

    Then I would edit the first story to make the Watson character the same James, nicknamed Watson, because then it just works for me and I like both stories. (Of course, my original recommendation about studying police procedure and cutting down on graphic murder details for the sake of comedy still apply there). That way you tie together both stories and we deepen our connection and understanding of Sheryl as a character. She’s great!

    I rewrote my WFG review and gave it four stars.

    • Thanks a lot for the kind review and the kind words!

      I wanted to get three or four more stories up there before I contacted you again, you know, to give you something to read first, but I guess the cat’s out of the bag now, haha.

      The candy obsession and Sheryl’s insistence on being called Holmes will definitely come back, but I’m not sure if I want to turn the Watson nickname into a gag, since that was the “deal” that James had with Sheryl, and I’d like to think that this Sheryl keeps her promises.

      I’m kind of on the fence about whether or not I want to link the two series together or even set them in the same continuity right now.
      On one hand, it’d be great to have that continuity there, and see how one Sheryl grows into the other. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to be restricted when writing After-School Detectives because I have to keep it in continuity with what might get written for Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency.
      Also, I have a few ideas about how to continue the Sheryl Holmes’ 221B Baker Detective Agency in a way that dials the humour down instead and focuses on more colourful cases instead of pairing her up with the police all the time. I was thinking about using the adult Sheryl as a sort of catalyst, where she’s the enthusiastic detective that has cases brought to her and she meets the strange and colourful characters related to the case. So she’d be more of a supporting protagonist and the “main” protagonists would be her clients and the people that she meets on the cases. May I know your thoughts on this idea?

      So for now, I think I’ll treat them as separate continuities.

      Oh, I saw that you were discussing how Web Fiction Guide wasn’t growing that much as a community on the forums, and I was thinking that you might be interested in Protagonize. It’s one of those sites that you can post your story on and have other users take a look and such. You can even collaborate on stories with other users easily (there are stories that are set as a “Collab” and anyone can post the following chapter, and stories are allowed to have branching chapters as well).
      The site is at http://www.protagonize.com/ and my own profile on that site can be found here (in case you want to look at a profile and see what you can do on the site).
      I think that it’s a great site, it’s pretty user-friendly, and there are plenty of ways to discuss things with people on the site.

      And of course, thank you again for the great idea.

      • Thanks — I’ll take a look at Protagonize as soon as I get a chance, it sounds interesting.

        My comments are just my opinion, based on what I react to positively in your stories and what seems to me to need work — so weigh them accordingly. But the “Call me Holmes” “Uh, no” bit is a great running gag, especially because it doesn’t bother Sheryl at all. Likewise, the “Come on, Watson” “That’s not my name” exasperation is funny. You’re the author, which makes you the god of Sheryl’s reality — so if you want the Watson joke you just take the deal out. If you want the deal, leave it in — but you’re sacrificing something that would be funny ongoing for a one time display of promise-keeping that could be shown a lot of different ways.

        As for separate continuities, I personally would concentrate all your colourful and funny ideas on the child Sheryl story, where all of it is well-suited. I wouldn’t go back to the old one until you’re sure what you want from it, because the kid stuff is so hilarious and has more room for colourful humour and zany adventure.

      • As always, thank you for your thoughts and comments. I think I have an idea for that Watson thing: Sheryl won’t call James “Watson” again, but a lot of other people will, all because of the announcement that Sheryl made in the first story.

        I definitely agree with you about separating the kid Sheryl stuff and the adult Sheryl stuff. It’d be best if I made some long term plans for the adult Sheryl stuff first.

  2. Um the Muse said

    Sherlock Holmes is great
    But Sheryl is funnier
    At least as a kid

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