Autopsy of a Boss
By Jane Hyphen
We don’t know how he died, he was slumped over the scanner, no real sign of injury but a drip, like a blood road, stark red against his pale skin had run down from the corner of his mouth. His light blue eyes stared about twenty centimeters ahead at nothing at all, rather like a sea bass lying on a bed of ice in Waitrose.
I can’t remember whose idea it was to cut him up but we all agreed that it was a good one. Angela cleared all the stuff off his desk and we carried him in the style of legs and wings to see the kings across the office, he was a lump, heavier than any of us, he was like heavy water, corrupted, powerful and dense.
‘One, two, three….’ said Martin and we swung him up slightly so that he was above the surface of the desk then we plopped him down. His arm became trapped under his body and we tugged at the sleeve of his Blue Harbour sweater, plump purple fingers emerged like swollen mysterious sea critters.
Just then the phone rang, we looked at each other and ignored it. Mike said it might be an idea to lock the door and we all agreed, communicating in excited whispers. We had various sharp objects in the office which we kept for accessing the contents of obstinate parcels and packages. Magda, our long-standing temp keenly grabbed a Stanley knife, she pushed out the blade, wiping the end of it with her sleeve. ‘May I?’ she said.
We nodded, ‘Yes,’ Angela said with impatient eyes. ‘Do it.’
Martin let out a little gasp. ‘What if the fire alarm goes off?’
‘Grow up Martin!’ Sue said, shaking her head in disgust. ‘Such a pathetic man,’ she mouthed to me.
Magda concentrated hard, she made an incision between the boss’s eyebrows then jig-jaggered the knife all the way along, one side then the other. She peeled back his scalp all the way to the back, trimming the edge and hurling it across the room into the bin. Something she had done many times before with the annoying slices of beef tomato in her regular Mozzarella baguette.
‘I’ll crack the head,’ said Angela, her voice deep and resonant enough to filter out any doubts in the group.
She removed her right stiletto and picked up a large Jade egg which sat on the boss’s desk and had done for sixteen years. Skilfully she placed the point of the heel at a weak point where the bones of the skull join together and then she bashed the heavy egg against her shoe and the skull fell away in shards exposing the brain.
There was a curious smell now, rather like tripe and onions. Mike clasped his hands together, ‘Try not to make too much of a mess ladies,’ he said.
I turned away to stifle a heaving fit, then grabbed hold of a padded envelope and held it across my nose and mouth.
Sue went off to print off a map, returning promptly with a pissed off expression on her face. ‘I thought this would be more fun than it actually is,’ she said shaking her head. It was a map of the brain, a cerebral guide illustrating which bit controls each function.
‘Look,’ whispered Magda, ‘This part of the brain controls problem solving and it’s all smooth like a pickled egg...as is the part which governs teamwork and cooperation.’
‘Oh yes,’ we all said nodding.
‘That’s just what we suspected,’ said Angela.
Sue snatched the map back from Magda. ‘And look here,’ she said, poking the top of the brain with a sharp pencil. ‘This is the ego and it’s so deeply wrinkled that it’s distorted like one of those fighting dogs, you know the Shar-pei, all wrinkled and deformed...to defend itself so that it doesn't get hurt.'
Martin looked puzzled. ‘I’m not sure I like this,’ he said, ‘Let’s put it back before it’s too late.’
‘It’s been too late for a long time,’ said Angela.
‘Too late is overdue,’ I piped in. ‘That man’s ego, his temper, his vanity, his downright gall, he’s thrown us all under the bus at one time or another and his risk taking has cost us pay rises..and the rest.’
‘Piss taker!’ Sue snapped.
‘He always said he had more balls than the rest of us put together,’ Martin laughed but we glared at him, it wasn’t that funny.
Magda cocked her head. ‘Well let’s see,’ she said unzipping his trousers.
‘What?’ said Martin.
‘Let’s see if he has the gigantic balls you speak of.’ Magda tugged down his Farrahs and then his faded paisley boxer shorts in a series of short sharp pulls. The man’s white, flascidious buttocks ricocheted off the surface of the desk.
‘I don’t like this,’ said Martin. ‘I’m going to the water cooler.’
‘No.’ Angela grabbed his shirt above the shoulder and pulled him back. ‘You’re going nowhere, we’re all in this together.
Magda bit her lip gently as she sliced into the purple testiculation in front of her, she squeezed the empty sack, pop pop...one then the other. She grabbed one and threw it at the whiteboard, it bounced off with a light clipping sound. ‘See!’ she said, ‘They’re just ping pong balls, he had no balls after all, just what we all suspected.’
‘So...what do we do now Angela, aye aye? What on earth are we to do now?’
‘Calm down Martin. Go and do a Suduko.'
Sue smiled. ‘Anyone got any ping pong bats?’
‘For now,’ said Angela looking very serious. ‘We will lock him in the stationery cupboard, I’ll think of something tonight, I’ll google it using the wifi at my mother’s old folks’ home then I’ll sleep on it….and by the time he starts smelling I will have a spectacularly formed, watertight plan.’