Monday, May 21, 2007

How to Survive Downsizing by J. Michlitsch

This little gem is to be found in the June 2007 edition of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The story concerns Geoffrey Manning who has been fired from his job - downsized. The first hing he does with his box of belongings is, well, get drunk. Then, sitting on the curb, he notices a man carrying a woman into the woods across from him in the dead of night. Omnious. In the morning, there's a woman's shoe in his box of belongings.

Who was the woman? Who was the man? What has become of her? Geoff, having no luck with the want ads and nothing better to do, investigates. He find out some very interesting details about the couple and uses some unusual methods to get his information.

You might think that with Geoff being down on his luck, this could easily turn into a blackmail scheme, but it won't. Or you might fear that Geoff will simply misidentify the couple. That's not the route taken by the author either. In fact, I think the author's route was quite clever, and you do need to read to the end to figure it out. Well worth the reading.

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