Justin Connors sat at his desk in his office, on the 37th floor at 8pm Tuesday night. He was very still, eyes open staring at the picture on the opposite wall. Justin was in his business attire – a checked blue and white business shirt, with black tailored pants. The shirt was dark enough to hide the faint dark blue ink stain in his pocket but not dark enough to hide the bloodstain that was pooling around his stomach.
On first glance walking past his office he looked like he was simply daydreaming. Only on closer inspection did it become apparent that he was in fact, dead. His desk covered this vital fact for the night and most of Wednesday morning. It was until of Justin’s co-workers needed his signature was it known that there was a dead person in the building. The scream of Julie Roberts could be heard two floors down in Human Resources.
The police didn’t arrive for two hours – a call centre worker got tired of their repeated calls to 000. “He isn’t going to get any more dead is he?” the operator finally conceded his frustrations to them.
When they finally arrived, they cordoned off Justin’s office and took samples and photographs of everything. It was almost like a 1000 page report was going to be made to conclude that he was dead. He was finally loaded up onto a gurney and escorted from the building. Like an employee who had been fired, Justin got the same treatment.
Employees stood around the office, red-eyed, wet-cheeked and quiet. It was odd to be in the presence of a dead person in such a strange place. People who died did so in their homes, in cars, nursing homes – anywhere but work.
Only after the police had asked everyone the same questions and seemed satisfied at how little they could find out, were people allowed to leave. The building was empty in just over 5 minutes, leaving nervous security guards and a few police to roam the corridors.
The office smelt of death and it needed more than the opening of a window to let the stench escape. No-one went to work on Thursday – it might have been the forensic police canvassing the building that made people feel nervous and unwelcome. No-one likes working with death anyway.
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