Take 1 – Jim – the journo
“Bloody paper cut”, said Jim Squiggly. Bloody paper cut indeed thought Ange -his PA darkly, flicking him a glance across the room.
That was probably the first time this week he’d actually picked up a piece of paper and done anything vaguely resembling work.
If she heard him do his little “mate, mate, mate” routine with the good ol’ boys down in the features room one more time, she’d stab herself to death with a stapler. “Mate, mate,maaaaaate” – he sounded like a demented sheep.
So when he strutted across the room, making another call on his mobile for “a quick latte maaaaaate” she barely registered.
She did notice, however, when he collapsed shortly after and died. Work forgotten, an ambulance arrived and they took him away.
Take 2 – Robbie – the cop
The police turned up 3 days later to talk to his colleagues to try to establish cause of death.
“A heart attack, wasn’t it?”
“Doesn’t seem to be.”
Forget something in the water, maybe more like something in one of those the lattes… Ange mused.
“He spent most of his time out of the office – didn’t tell people about it – where he went, who he saw…,” said the editor. “ All we got was the copy, sometimes late, sometimes not at all.”
What was he working on ?
Some fluff piece. Nothing life-changing for God’s sake. You know, and here, exasperated, the editor gestured “inverted commas” in the air – “lifestyle stuff, latest shopping secrets, breaking fashion designers, that sort of thing”.
Right. Well his stomach contents reveal coffee scrolls, coffee, milk froth and digitalis. We don’t think the caffeine is the problem.
Robbie left the building and flicked her badge back into her handbag.
Hardly worth taking notes really. Completely clueless, the lot of them.
A loose affiliation of disinterested folk turning up for the pay packet.
A neat synopsis of corporate life really.
Take 3 – Connie – the widow
It had been alright being a world cup widow, thought his wife. She wasn’t sure she was ready for the real thing.He hadn’t even been checking every shopping receipt lately.
It was all “South Africa this and France that”. She’d managed to rack up two Morrisseys, an Akira and some of those Terry Biviano tower heels without so much as a frown – not a bad stash for 2 hours shopping”.
Now, she sat on the sofa, smoothing her silk skirt repeatedly, fiddling with her rings.
“At 7am, he left at 7am – every morning, without fail. He was very dedicated to his job…”
So nothing different on Tuesday ? Business as usual ?
Any health problems we should know about ?
No. I mean, yes, he had IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome. He got bloated. He had trouble digesting things.
That all ?
“…that I can think of….” She trailed off.
So no heart problems, no diabetes, nada.
None at all. He was in good condition for a guy pushing 60.
Take 5 – Vlados, the cleaner
Yeah, well at least they won’t blame this on the cleaners, thought Vlados.
Cleaners were always the first people to get picked on.
Anything goes wrong, blame the cleaners, anything missing, blame the cleaners…
He caught a glimpse of his fresh, Koh Samui tan in the lift mirror
The guy was a certified prick but he didn’t deserve to die…he reflected.
Nasty stain on the carpet though. No bowel control in death. And the amount of dribble – god it was revolting.
He’s had to use everything he had in his cleaning kit to remove the stains.
And that was after repeatedly dry retching at the stench.
And now the cops were dirty on him because he had tainted the “crime scene”.
If someone had told him it was a crime scene at the time he would have left it alone. God knows he could have done without the hassle.
Take 6 – Alexander the designer
Alexander was miffed. Trust Jim to stuff it up and die. The amount of money he had shoved into that greedy bugger to get him to promote his new fashion line. Christ!
Jim had delivered a luke warm reception to his show last time on the basis that he couldn’t “feel the love” and now he wouldn’t get coverage at all.
The opening was coming up and he could no longer rely on the PR that Jim had promised. Kylie was going to be in the audience. And that buyer from Browns.
He glanced at the mirror on the wall of the café and flicked his quiff impatiently. His hands shook.
The designs were going to have to sell themselves on merit.
God almighty, he was stuffed.
Take 6 – Ange – the PA
Ange looked nonplussed. “What, you want me to do it ? Why me ?
What about Banu or Duan ?”
They don’t have capacity and you do. It’s tonight. DJ’s are sponsoring. Clean yourself up and try to look like you know what you are doing.
“I really don’t think this is a good idea.”
“Stop bitching and get moving”
Now, his wife was in the front row. God knows where she got the money. Ange squeezed into the reserved seat behind. Was that an Akira ?
For a girl who had just lost her husband, she looked remarkably happy and relaxed. What was the story there ?
The models sauntered out. God, what were they wearing ? This was fashion ?
What the hell am I going to write ?
Take 7 – Connie – the widow
She certainly wasn’t buying anything here. She may have inherited well with Jim’s untimely departure but that was no reason to waste it.
The spare cash that Jim used to bring home on a regular basis was certainly no longer a given.
She didn’t expect any more special favours from the local fashion designers either.
Never mind. She had what she needed and that was enough. And the cops could hurl allegations around as much as they liked. Nothing would stick.
Ange nursed her latte. Manna from heaven.
The goodie bag at the show had soothed her wearied brow. Alex had fumbled the pass but she still caught it before anything dropped out.
$10,000 in cash. Call it a down payment, he had smirked.
Lucky she had been holding Jim’s mobile phone on Tuesday when the call came in. Enough time to arrange a catch up to chat about Jim’s untimely departure.
Enough time to remove the mobile phone, and wipe the keys of digitalis before disposing of it into the Yarra.
That paper cut had sped up his reaction. The poison had gone straight into the blood stream. Not ideal to have him collapse a metre away but the IBS could have stuffed the whole thing up.
This was far neater.
And she’d finally got the job that Jim had promised was coming to her.
Not a bad day’s work really.
You’ve got your dead guy, the designer, the wife, the cleaner and the cop. What do you reckon happened ?