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Christina often complained that the work environment at Pedderton Investment Advisors was too mundane and uneventful and provided no feed for her writing activity. Though technically she was the secretary of the Innovation department, she nurtured a secret desire to produce a novel but always found herself short of interesting things to write about.
All of that changed when Shaun Mayor arrived at Pedderton as the Director of Innovation and boy, did he stir the pot! Brash, dynamic and aggressive, Shaun was in charge of investing in disruptive technologies but he managed to completely disrupt the staid culture at Pedderton. Shouts from his office became commonplace and junior analysts were often seen rushing out of his chamber in tears. Old timers found themselves “graduating” i.e. being fired from their jobs for not performing to his satisfaction. Christina started making copious notes of incidents in her diary and was surprised to find the pages fill up in quick momentum. Rumors of Shaun’s extracurricular activities also wormed their way into the office conversation – strip clubs, dubious Middle Eastern companions, wild parties. Team members would huddle in twos and threes by the coffee machine to natter about the latest canards and their general insecurities. They started craving for the good old days and wistfully reminisced about the time when days merged into each other without much friction.
Slowly the angst against Shaun started building up and in three months since his arrival, it reached such a level, that the team members were grossly reluctant to even celebrate his birthday. One by one, they unenthusiastically got off their chairs and congregated in the conference room that had been decorated with balloons and bunting. They grudgingly clapped as Shaun blew the candles on the cake and cut the first piece. Just then the power supply went off. Not just in the conference room but for the entire floor. The team members fired up their mobile phones and spoke in hushed tones to half-lit faces. The doors to the room swung in and out and soon, the party that no one wanted to attend came to an abrupt end. The team members shuffled back to their desks. In five minutes, the power was back on and approximately ten minutes after that, Alex came staggering out of the men’s room, the color drained from his face like he had encountered a ghost. “Someone slit Shaun’s throat”, he managed to mumble out. The team members stared at him in utter disbelief. Christina stopped typing, Sarah let out a loud gasp and cry, Tom dropped the sheaf of papers that he was holding, and Martin shot off towards the men’s room to verify. He emerged moments later trembling like a water pipe on the verge of bursting. “Shaun’s dead”, he announced before collapsing to the floor. “That may not necessarily be bad”, Tom whispered to Sarah as he rushed to help Martin to his feet. Christina observed these dramatic happenings with her mouth open and then slowly shutting it, she considered what had just occurred – an unpleasant boss, a power cut, zero feed to the installed cameras, murder of the boss, multiple disgruntled employees as suspects, ingredients to a perfect whodunnit – and reached out for her notebook. She could barely conceal her glee as she started working her pen furiously on the pages, delighted to have finally landed material that she could spin into gold.
Two months after Shaun’s murder, the cops were still struggling to identify the culprit. In the face of the multiple suspects with motives and the total lack of the evidence due to the power cut, the authorities finally closed the case after labeling it as unresolved. However in Christina’s fictionalized version, a Hercule Poirot styled detective managed to unearth a string of clues that led to the arrest of the character based on Alex. Pleased with her creative efforts, Christina sent off her manuscript to a literary agent and dreamt of a book publication and an option for a movie. But in her darker moments, she imagined terrifying encounters with Shaun who demanded answers from her and justice for himself and she worried that a merry outcome from her story would be too much wishful thinking.