Everything has an order. Tea cosy nestled neatly on the pot, cups on the sideboard, the tray resting tilted to the wall behind them, spoons stacked in their drawers.
Everything has an order. From the cutlery to the animal kingdom, full of hierarchies playing out, ready and ripe to categorise.
She'd adored studying in her day, English Literature, with a mind to be a librarian. Days and nights in a ramshackle room on a near forgotten road, picking at pieces of a story to see who was the master of each fictional world. It was years before she decided the characters were trivialities, the story was the key.
It was years later still when she saw it was always the writer who set the scene just so. The reader saw what they wanted them to see - sometimes more in truth, you couldn't avoid that, interpretation skewing the concepts between the lines - but it would never matter as long as they saw the graceful architecture behind it. Designing the world, calculating the characters, putting them together in the right combination and setting it all in motion.
As she saw more of their own world she started to see it was no less a constructed reality. Characters came and went, the streets full of people, each unique, each a special snowflake and every single one one ready to melt when put under the right conditions.
Good stories need drama, excitement, and it's no less true of good marriages in her opinion. Their lives went by in black and white, as she watched on for years; tied the knot with a decent seeming fellow that her parents didn't approve of, failed to produce any children, got stuck at home with him working 9-5 in consultancy. He'd promised to show her the world and they'd got as far as Florida. Not a bad start, nice and sunny, but never far enough for her and never anything but blasted ice tea.
When she hit forty she decided to spice it up, live a little. She pushed the boundaries of this drab world, she orchestrated romantic holidays for them both and when she couldn't pry her husband from his job there were getaways with friends from the flats next door, book clubs where the most reading they did was ingredients of a margarita and knitting circles that tended to turn into impromptu poppet making of one of the other ladies ex's. Oh it was all fun, a nice bit of a natter with the girls and she liked time with her Bob, but it wasn't something to live for. The sun shone and she failed to feel its warmth.
That was when she decided to push the boat out, so to speak. She let her husband do all the heavy lifting; he did the seducing and he did the bondage. She sat and passed judgement. Robert Hudson tempted the fishes, the sharks to be exact; her husband deconstructed people in front of her, downsized them better in his free time than he did in his proper job, letting them fall to pieces chunk by gruelling chunk.
And she… she teased him, with whispers and sly chuckles on the side – don't you think it's off? Wouldn't it be better a little to the left - get more swing to it, more time with them - she hoisted him up, with her approving kisses, rigged his hands like a puppet master - his fingerprints grubby on the evidence, his money splashed about with the rentals, his name all over it - and she made the tea, of course. Torture was hard work, not something to be faced on an empty stomach.
Bob was a good husband in the end. More loyal than anyone else gave him credit for. Her involvement went with him to his grave. He could have implicated her and hadn't. There was simply no proof either but it had been important though, to be sure he never would. She hadn't had to do much, mind you, tempt a brilliant mind with a flight across the ocean, dangle a few odd clues and never ever say he beat her. Body language could be used excellently, a touch of a flinch or fearful widening of her eyes in response to a normal movement; she'd taken acting classes out of boredom, a lazy present for her birthday from her husband, and in actual fact it had been the most useful gift certificate anyone had ever given her.
What she had not counted on was Sherlock liking her. If he could see through her he didn't say, he didn't turn her over and she never could tell if he knew the truth. It remains a mystery to her now she knows he sees through everyone else. Is she special? Is he waiting to use it against her? The uncertainty makes her smile, adds colour to her cheeks. They got on in their own way, he stood beside her and they watched Robert “Fish Food” Hudson fry. Whatever Sherlock knows about her, he knows her best and she understands why he does what he does, let's him do as he pleases as long as he pays the rent, most of the time.
She doesn't kill because it's messy, and risky, and with her hip she hasn't the limberness for a struggle. She never got round to martial arts or self-defence, too late at her age, and poisons don't tickle her fancy, slow and insidious, lacking punch. Setting up that sort of scenario seems a little boring and dreary these days truth be told – Robert did it all to death as it were - but she adores seeing the characters clawing at the door of 221B, desperate for help in the first act. Mrs Hudson knows that she and Sherlock both see past the mundane humanity to the bigger picture, the climax of the story. Behind the devices there is death and desire, drama to interpret, the crux of the plot resting in one mind until suddenly a crescendo of clues and it is revealed, the blissful epiphany and a smile on his face that warms the cockles of her heart.
Yes, to everything there is an order to recognise or apply; beginning, middle, end. She loves the ending best, imagined in vivid multicolour, blood and guts and all. You tend to get that at 221B thankfully; rounded off with a proper cup of tea.