I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I have absolutely no recollection of where the idea for this flash fiction came from, other than at one point in my life I was rather into jigsaws – there was something quite satisfying about seeing them take shape, all the pieces fitting together to form a unified whole or gestalt in a way that seldom happens in life. I still have an unattempted jigsaw somewhere about the house, a 1000 piece reproduction of Magritte’s painting Empire of Light. I’m saving it up for my twilight years, which at the current rate of ‘geriatrification’ should be some time in the middle of next April.
J is for JIGSAW
The pieces arrive in brown paper envelopes; wooden blocks cut in shapes and painted with images that interlock. There’s one addressed to each person who works in the office, thirty of them in all.
During lunch break they stand around a spare desk and slot together the parts of the puzzle. Slowly a picture is formed, a man hunched over the body of a woman.
The woman looks to be dead. There’s a silk scarf knotted round her throat, so tight that the skin appears to have broken and traces of blood show around the rim. Each of them looks at the picture and feels queasy, wonders who could possibly have sent such a terrible thing and why. Only one piece is missing, that showing the face of the killer.
David has the missing piece. David too is missing. Nobody’s seen David all morning.