Tuesday, April 11, 2017

IttyBittyFictionScraps: In which people think

(The conversation continued, leading me to observe that I tend to do all-dialogue, or no-dialogue. This one is no-dialogue.)

Jane peered into the bakery case as she sipped her coffee. Buttercream. Candied violets. Crunchy sugar. Marzipan. Meringues. The cup was half gone by the time she finally ordered. A plate of a few things, please. A mini cupcake. And one of those little layered things. (And the counter girl showed no amusement or disapproval when she ordered it in exactly those words.) And a slice of yellow layer cake with pale chocolate buttercream.

She sat at the table by the window, the one with the cracked marble top. She finished her sugary lunch, then took out her notebook. Now. Get to work.

Who to kill?

And how?

Losing the museum director would throw the operation nicely into chaos, but he was management, and management was always distinctly replaceable. A temporary fill-in would be hired, and he might be, well, competent. That wouldn’t do.

So the key was to find those with irreplaceable skills. That might not even require killing anyone. She preferred that, in a mild way, just as she preferred to eat a salad once in a while. The climate control system, for example, was limping along, tended by a head janitor whose primary purpose was to serve as its nanny. Arrange for that man to retire, and the system would break down within weeks, requiring an evacuation of the more delicate bits of art.

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