March 23, 1996
Dorine Douglas Copy Department Employee No. 014000301
Dear Colleague, We regret to inform you that your position here at Constant Consumer has been modified. Because of decreased advertising revenue and low workerproductivity, many positions currently held by fulltime staff members will be scaled down. Many of you will remain with the company as part-time at home employees. Status as a part-time employee will exempt you from many of the benefits you currently enjoy as a full-time staffer. A complete list of benefit readjustments and a relocation schedule is attached to this letter for your convenience. Sincerely, Constant Consumer
Still, despite the terrible news, Dorine is forced to work overnight to finish the month’s cover story. She is experiencing problems with her computer, so she asks Gary Michaels — the only person left in the office— for assistance. She leaves her desk briefly, and returns to find that Gary accidentally electrocuted himself. Dorine picks up the phone to call the police, but quickly hangs up. In a panic, she carts his limp, dead body into the trunk of her car, drives home, and stores it in her basement.
To cover her tracks, Dorine—under the guise of Gary—emails Kim to let her know everything is alright. But everything is not alright. The accident and the resulting coverup have brought some much-needed excitement into Dorine’s life. The ordinarily quiet and passive editor has now become addicted to the powerful thrill of exacting revenge upon her coworkers.
Re: Today’s schedule...
Dear Kim, You’re probably wondering where I am. Don’t worry. Needed a little break. Hold down the fort. Love, Gary
Since the cover story did not get finished, Dorine must work overtime again, this time accompanied by Kim and Virginia. While Kim leaves to get dinner, Dorine places a canister of butane in Virginiaâ€™s inhaler. She stands in the corner of the office, watching her work unfold.
Inhalation of butane can cause euphoria, drowsiness, narcosis, asphyxia, cardiac arrhythmia, temporary memory loss and frostbite, which can result in death from asphyxiation and ventricular fibrillation.
Dorine has begun her killing spree. She uses counterfeit emails to reassure the remaining group of office workers. Most members of the office are either oblivious or too self-concerned to notice Dorine’s connection to these random incidents. Kim, however, is vocally suspicious that the editor may not be as quiet and innocent as she seems. She tells Daniel, Norah — anyone who will listen — that Dorine is responsible for the disappearances of Virginia and Gary. They quickly dismiss Kim’s accusations without a second thought.
The next day, Norah is having computer troubles, and reaches out to Dorine for assistance. After all, she is a technology expert. Afterwards, they go out to get lunch together. In the empty parking lot, Dorine knocks Norah unconscious, places her body in the passenger’s seat, and drives home. That night, Daniel pays a visit to Dorine’s house. Norah has vanished and Dorine was the last person to see her. Unfortunately, Daniel’s fate is no different than that of Virginia, Gary, or his late girlfriend.
Norah’s computer freezes on her financial spreadsheet, and Dorine becomes aware of her money-making scheme.
Dorine simply cannot bear the thought of losing the office environment to which she has grown accustomed, so she replicates it at home. She takes the corpses of her colleagues down to the basement of her house, fixes them up, props them up like dolls on her couch, and watches TV with them. Dorine suspects that Kim may soon call the police, now that Daniel and Norah are gone. She decides to burn her house down completely, with all the bodies inside.
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Kim doesnâ€™t get to call the police, after all. This is her head.
Dorine drives off in a red convertible, in search of a brand new office job.