Her Quiddity for a Few Quid

Another illustration provided by Christiana Spens for a short film based on the first chapter of my work-in-progress, Loren Ipsum.


“An old dear who had been strangled in broad daylight with her Hermès scarf near the Champs-Elysées. The motive of the crime remained a complete mystery prompting prominent columnists to brush up on their Gide, eager as they were to frame this putative acte gratuit with lashings of Lafcadio. There was no CCTV footage. No witnesses. None of the woman’s expensive jewellery had been stolen. The wads of banknotes she was wont to carry about in her handbag? All there too and all too there. Not only was their non-theft ostentatious, even downright provocative, but rumour had it that a couple of extra bundles had been bunged in for good measure — that is, presumably, as compensation for the murder. A tip of sorts. Her quiddity for a few quid, or the equivalent in euros. Stranger still, forensics had found breadcrumbs lodged, hither and thither, in the biddy’s extravagantly-lacquered bouffant. They believed the victim was beaten about the head with a baguette tradition bien cuite. Whether this had occurred before, after or, less plausibly, during the strangling, remained a moot point at this stage. One school of thought argued that the criminal had planned to kill their easy prey with this incredible — and indeed edible — weapon, before consuming it, thus cunningly disposing of exhibit number one. In the event, however, the crusty bread had proved insufficiently crusty, hence the scarf. The only real clue, and a rather cryptic one at that, was a note pinned to the corpse’s coat, which read NOTHING IS LOST in English and in all-caps Helvetica Neue. A death sentence.”

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