Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Murder in the DIY store...

I've not done very much writing in the last couple of weeks. Not much creative writing, anyway. I've been at Shetland Noir, and since then I've been busy with a freelance project that falls into the editing category rather than the story writing category. Maybe the lack of lavish description and Byzantine plotting opportunities has been getting to me, because I've been having ideas in the strangest places.

Today we had to take the car to be serviced, which is one of the boringest jobs in the world, and unpleasant too, because you get the same car back at the end of it, plus a huge bill. The job was going to take a couple of hours, so my husband and I went into a nearby DIY store to while away some of the time.

The DIY store was not my idea. I know household jobs have to be done, but they don't fill me with a zealous passion to grout tiles or stick rawl plugs into walls. I don't know how any retail experience can be quite so horrifically dull as a DIY store. I mean, we are talking about a huge shop here, one it would take you several minutes to jog the length of, were you so inclined. There are shelves and shelves of things you can buy, and all of them are boring. The stuff is mostly beige or grey, for goodness' sake. The only thing likely to make your pulse quicken is the pricing. £380 for a toilet!

I'll admit I did complain quite a bit for the first few minutes. But then I started to think: I wonder if you could stage a murder story in here? (I think the chain of thought went something like: I'm dying of boredom > death > murder.) So I tuned out of the thrilling (not) conversation my husband was having with the shop assistant about tongue-and-groove flooring, and tried to think about murder instead.

I have to say that I think the Christmas grotto had definite murder scene potential. Imagine the pathos! How poignant to find a corpse amongst the glittering baubles, the white tinsel Christmas trees and the light-up penguins! Even better if there is Christmas muzak playing in the background - Santa Baby would probably cover the sounds of last gurgles and death rattles very nicely.

Aha, you may say, but isn't a DIY store a rather public place to commit a murder? You'd be caught on CCTV for sure, assuming one of those friendly assistants in their distinctive polo shirts didn't see you first. No problem, say I. See this rack of handy masks with dust filters? Pop one of those on and you've covered your face very nicely.

Now for the murder weapon. I lingered for a while by the power drills. They were all out on display, begging to be picked up and examined. On buttons were begging to be pushed. "What are you doing over there?" asked my husband. I put the drill down. "Er, seeing whether they were charged up or not. I guess not..." So that's one plotline thwarted. I guess it would have to be one of the other, blunter instruments. Which one? Use your imagination. If I can put a cheese grater into a crime story, you can think of a use for that stainless steel toilet roll & brush holder.

Finally: the victim. Well, that's an easy one. Whoever dragged you into the DIY store in the first place...

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