The Power of Broccoli
Dressed to Kill

Agatha had her victim trapped now in the corner of the room.

“Mr. Seacombe is very annoyed with you,” she told the woman. “Running off with his firm’s money like that.”

She got even closer. “I’m afraid it’s time you learnt your…”

Agatha stopped suddenly. The woman was looking at her but didn’t appear to be listening to her. Agatha frowned.

“I’m sorry—am I boring you?”

“Hmm..?” The victim’s attention abruptly came back to Agatha’s face. “Oh, sorry! I was just admiring your outfit. You don’t often see a one-piece catsuit nowadays. It’s gorgeous. Is that real leather?”

Agatha sighed. “Oh, right. I see.” She clenched her fists. “It’s always the same. A male assassin turns up and it’s all: ‘Gosh, what an interesting weapon’ and ‘Aargh! Aargh! Please don’t kill me!’ A female turns up and all you lot can think about is her appearance.”

The woman looked stricken. “I apologise—I really didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that it suits you so perfectly. It’s so well-tailored. So snug. So tight…”

“I believe the expression is ‘my eyes are up here’,” said Agatha.

“Sorry! Sorry!” But the woman’s gaze was already beginning to wander again.

Oh, God, thought Agatha. Time to bring this farce to a close. She reached into her hip pocket for the garrotting wire.

Or rather she tried to reach into her pocket. The outfit really was very snug. She struggled for a minute to work her fingers down far enough to grab the wire but eventually had to admit defeat.

“It’s no good,” she announced. “I’m going to have to take the whole thing off.”

The woman gave an involuntary squeak at that but Agatha elected to ignore the idiot. She unzipped the suit and started to work it off her shoulders.

“Oh,” said the woman.

“What now?” said Agatha.

“No, it’s just… That’s a very sensible foundation garment,” said the woman.

“Oh, I’m so sorry to disappoint you,” said Agatha, attempting to wrestle her arms free. “I do apologise for thinking about comfort and proper support when I chose it.” 

“I’m just surprised you didn’t extend that to what you put on top,” said the woman. “I mean, I wouldn’t have thought that suit gave you enough flexibility in your arms and legs.”

“It’s fine,” said Agatha, finally managing to wrench her arms out of the sleeves. 

She worked the top down past her waist, and began easing the whole thing down her legs. And she had just succeeded in getting the wretched thing past her knees when the victim made a run for it. Agatha lunged, hopped, hobbled and finally toppled over facedown—her ankles still shackled by the bloody catsuit.

As she lay there on the floor breathing heavily and listening to her victim running to freedom, Agatha vowed that this was one outfit that was going straight to the charity shop. She was sticking with comfort from here on in.


Epilogue

Agatha had the man trapped on the roof. There was no escape, nowhere he could run to and…

“OK,” said Agatha, watching the man look her up and down. “Spit it out—something wrong with my outfit?”

“Oh, no, no,” said the man. “I’m just a bit surprised that’s all. I never expected to see an assassin wearing a kaftan.”

flyingpoisson:

Little Watson solving cases for Uncle Greg (with a bit of help from Sherlock, Victor and Mary, but they will never admit to it.)

flyingpoisson:

Little Watson solving cases for Uncle Greg (with a bit of help from Sherlock, Victor and Mary, but they will never admit to it.)

afanofdeduction:

John: let’s ask for directions… Sherlock: no.

afanofdeduction:

John: let’s ask for directions…
Sherlock: no.

lifeisverybeautiful:

Luxembourg-City. by BAPAX on Flickr.
becausebirds:

ravenguild08:

not her birds.
central park, nyc

This just in: Area parrots find a nice place to perch.

becausebirds:

ravenguild08:

not her birds.

central park, nyc

This just in: Area parrots find a nice place to perch.

Ten unusual synonyms for “chew”

oupacademic:

Do you manducate? Do you chavel? The chances are the answer is yes to both these questions; they are both synonyms for chew. We’ve come up with 10 unusual words that you can use in place of “chew” next time you’re chomping on your lunch.

GIF via giphy.com.

Beastly

The hide was cramped and Hinchcliffe was tired. “I think I might go home,” he said to Anglesey. “It doesn’t look like we’re going to see them today.”

Anglesey glanced at him and then went back to staring through his binoculars. “Just be patient a little longer. They do usually—”

He clutched at his companion’s arm. “Look! There they are!” Anglesey passed the binoculars to Hinchcliffe, who pointed them towards the horizon.

He laughed with surprise and delight. “I see them! I see them!” Ever closer and closer they galloped—the most enormous herd of adverbs Hinchcliffe had ever seen.

He handed the binoculars back to Anglesey. They weren’t necessary any more—it was already starting to be possible to identify the individual words by eye. A happily and playfully were frolicking together; a grumpily was attempting to bite a member of the herd that had got too close; a ubiquitously was— well, whatever it was doing, it was doing it all over the place.

“Mostly adverbs of manner in this herd,” said Anglesey, watching a carelessly carefully.

“Wow,” said Hinchcliffe. “I never thought I’d see so many in one go.”

“Yes, it’s sad. We used to have a huge adverb population—so huge that a cull was needed. But it went too far and now you hardly see them anywhere.” Anglesey turned to Hinchcliffe. “Would you like to go outside and get a better view?”

“Can we?” Hinchcliffe was taken aback. “Won’t we spook them?”

Anglesey shook his head. “They’ve learnt to be cautious around the young, but they’re relaxed with older people. They know we feel more positive towards them.” 

He opened the hide door, and he and Hinchcliffe edged slowly towards the adverbs. About ten yards away from the herd they stopped.

“Oh, they’re gorgeous,” whispered Hinchcliffe. “How can anyone not like them?” 

“They do add beauty and emotion to the language, it has to be said,” Anglesey whispered back. 

There was a nearby rock and Anglesey settled himself down to watch the adverbs. Hinchcliffe glanced around and found a tussock to sit on.

He quickly sprang up again though. “Aargh!” 

All the adverbs spun round to see where the noise had come from.

Anglesey frowned. “You’re going to frighten them.”

“But I’ve sat on an adjective!” Hinchcliffe pulled it away from the seat of his trousers. “It’s a prickly!”

He began shaking his hand rapidly. “And now it’s caught in my fingers! Oh, God—it hurts! It hurts!”

At the back of the herd a fearfully whimpered and shoved against its companions in an attempt to move to a safer position. The adverbs in front of it had no choice but to move forwards, the effect swiftly rippling outwards until at last those at the front of the herd were forced into running in order to escape the pressure.

Suddenly there was an adverb stampede heading straight for the two men.

Anglesey had the quicker reaction and managed to throw himself out of the way, but Hinchcliffe had been distracted and didn’t quite make it. Anglesey could only watch in horror as Hinchcliffe fell to the ground and completely disappeared under a torrent of adverbs.



Once the herd had passed and were no longer in sight, Anglesey scrambled over to his fallen companion.

“Oh, thank God!” Anglesey could see immediately that Hinchcliffe was still alive, though somewhat battered and bruised. He patted the injured man’s hand. “Lie still. I’ll call for an ambulance and we’ll soon get you to hospital.”

Hinchcliffe smiled weakly up at Anglesey. “You know what…”

“What?” Anglesey tried to return the smile.

“Sometimes,” said Hinchcliffe, “having fewer adverbs is a good idea.”

You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.
James Baldwin (via victoriousvocabulary)