The Woman


Irene sat in the Diogenes club, disguised as man, watching the smoke rise from her cigarette. She was trying hard to look disinterested and aloof when she was positively screaming on the inside. Nell had been taken and she had no clue as to where or why. As far as Irene knew, no one even knew she and Godfry were alive, save for Nell, nor why Nell had moved to France from London. Irene came home two days ago after a stroll down the Seine to find her house torn apart, Cassanova, her foul mouth parrot, out of his cagewith Lucifer the black cat chasing him about, and the picture safely in its hidden compartment. Nell was not in her usual place in the garden, nor was she anywhere to be found with no note left as to her whereabouts. Irene had to turn to the only person she knew who could help, and he was currently at the club having lunch with his brother, Mycroft.

She told Godfry where she was going, he wasn’t overly pleased with Irene spending time with Mr. Holmes, but Godfry knew Holmes was the only one who could help Irene find Nell. It wasn’t like the parson’s daughter from Shropshire to just disappear without telling anyone of her whereabouts, and both Godfry and Irene loved Nell dearly.

Sherlock finally finished with his lunch with Mycroft and Irene got up to approach him. He noticed her, and looked her over as though something about her reminded him of someone, then, with his usual disinterested stare, looked away and walked out of the room. Irene caught up with him just inside the door. She grabbed his arm and mumbled something about needing to speak with him in private. Sherlock stared into Irene’s blue eyes and she saw recognition; he knew who she was.

“We take tea at 5. 221B baker street, I believe you know the address,” Sherlock nodded ever so slightly and walked off.

Irene roamed about her former city. She loved the winding streets and haze that hung over London. There was so much to see and do, and Irene felt a pang of grief that her time here had been so short. Part of Irene’s heart was still in London, she did love Paris, but London had been her first true home.

She wandered about London and found herself at 221B Baker street a little early. She knew Mr. Holmes would be watching her from the window, so there was no point in pretending she didn’t arrive before the appointed time. Irene promptly sauntered up to the door and rang. A nice looking, elderly lady opened the door and led her up to the rooms of Mr. Homles.

She felt apprehensive going into his rooms. It was like spying on a rival and walking on hallowed ground all at the same time. She showed no outward signs of this hesitation, however, she didn’t want Homles to know he held so much power over her.

She stood as he appraised her with her head held high and met his penetrating gaze.

“You would have passed for a man, had you not had such delicate eyes and a trace of your perfume leftover. Please, sit, Mrs. Norton,” for a moment he almost stumbled and used her maiden name of Adler.

Irene took a seat on the other side of the room from Mr. Homles. They sat staring at each other for a few moments, neither wanting to be the first to talk. Sherlock didn’t want to admit he had no idea why The Women was in his room. Irene wanted to make him guess, surely the master detective could figure out why she should come calling for his help.

“How is France?” Sherlock Holmes finally asked.

“It’s lovely, thank you” replied Irene. She didn’t come back from the dead and travel in disguise for small talk, Nell was in danger. “I need your help; my dearest friend has gone missing.”

Sherlock’s eyes lit with delight, “Tell me all you know, starting at the beginning.”



This prompt was to write a story about my favorite fictional character. Mine is Irene Adler. She came to life in a series by Carole Nelson Douglas. The first book in the series is Goodnight, Mr. Holmes and is worth a read for anyone who loves Conan Doyle‘s work or a good strong female lead.

I find myself hesitant to post this because I don’t want to do my character injustice. It’s like writing about someone you admire, you’re not quite sure how to put into words the wonderfulness that is that person and nothing ever seems enough. But, here goes nothing I suppose.

Here is what Sweet Abandon has written on her favorite literary couple!


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