Roger Albarn died alone at approximately 3:07 AM in a trailer that wasn’t even his, hunched over a shotgun and clad in a pair of black briefs. A self-inflicted 20-gauge blast traveled through the roof of his mouth and exploded the top of his head, killing him instantly and ruining the trailer owner’s carefully appointed rear wall. Said owner, a distant cousin, paid the cleanup company with Roger Albarn’s Mastercard, maxing it out. The bank responded by freezing Albarn’s total assets ($16.02 minus an unrelated overage charge) well before it was informed of its client’s death.
Roger Albarn died quickly, sadly, lonely. Above all, he died messily.
This last part was foremost in David Roe’s mind as he tried, vainly, to suture together the splayed back of Roger Albarn’s empty head. Three major flaps of scalp just would not fit together, straining the sutures. Roe watched one flap stretch and ultimately tear, flapping for the fourth time against the relatively undamaged side of what was once Albarn’s receding hairline. It gave a sad little splat and rested there, flakes of dead skin fogging the air around it.
David Roe broke for lunch.
Halfway through his sandwich, a maze of salami and swiss that showered his apron with every bite, he looked up to see Anna darkening his day with her sunny disposition. She smiled, leaning in over the breakroom table.
“Working hard on Albarn, I see.” The lilt in her tone suggested this statement was funny.
“You may as well bury him in a baseball cap.”
Anna prodded his forehead with one green-tipped finger. He flinched away, but his glower didn’t seem to bother her. “I don’t think Mrs. Albarn would appreciate that,” she said.
Roe’s eyebrows left their usual unhappy knot and momentarily quirked. “He was married?”
“Sort of. Wife lives in Reno, but she’s coming in for the funeral.”
Roe shrugged and looked back into his sandwich. “Tell her he was a Cubs fan.”