Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hackers: Finders Keepers

by Gregory Walton-Green

Katrina had gone out shopping for the day. For the last three months she had been meaning to buy a red cardigan for the winter, but since she’d been doing overtime at the office in hope of a promotion, and her weekend seemed to fill itself up with mundane chores and rushing around after the children, she hadn't got round to it. Finally, however, she set a date to visit the out-of-town shopping centre. She had dropped the kids off at their grandma’s house for the day; nothing was going to hold her back any longer.

Having arrived, Katrina browsed four or five shops, but was not successful in finding a cardigan she truly desired, and so, as it was almost two o'clock, she postponed her search for a few minutes to have lunch in one of the shopping-centre’s three cafés.

When she got to the front of the queue, she asked for a tomato and mozzarella panini and a double espresso. While she waited at her table for her panini to be heated and brought to her, she idly gazed across the empty expanse between the shops to the upper level of the shopping centre, going through in her mind the shops she had yet to visit.

Suddenly, at the top of the stairs, she spotted the perfect red cardigan – long enough to be useful without hanging limply, a vivid shade of red, but not too gaudy, and just the right size for her frame. But then, she realised the cardigan was not on a mannequin, but was already being worn by another woman.

Katrina contemplated talking to the woman to find out where she had bought it. She looked across the café to make sure she wouldn't miss her panini, and then, having judged that she would have enough time to reach the woman before the panini was fully toasted, she stood up. As soon as Katrina left her seat to talk to the woman in the red cardigan, the woman tumbled down the staircase, head over heels, crushing bone and ripping flesh.

Katrina stared, unable to draw her eyes away from the captivating red cardigan which fluttered and flowed around the woman, like an angel gracefully descending to the Earth, floating down to her. The woman hit the ground as the waiter brought over the panini.

“Here you are madam! Enjoy!”

Katrina sat back down and tucked into her panini, continuing to stare at the cardigan. Perhaps the woman was still alive; maybe she would let her take the cardigan... She jumped from her seat and ran across to the woman. There was screaming all around as the other shoppers noticed the fallen woman. Katrina made it to the woman. She was dead. And so Katrina carefully pulled the cardigan off her, put it in her handbag, and returned to the café to finish her meal.



  1. I am infinitely excited that you decide to revive this, Greg.

  2. I love the deadpan grotesquerie!


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