I hauled the body over my shoulder in a fireman’s lift, hindered by the fact that it was encased in slippery plastic. It was just shy of ten and I was confident I wouldn’t bump into any lurking neighbours.
That confidence burst like a balloon as I opened my front door and a young man with golden dreads and a nose ring strode onto the landing.
“Well hi there gorgeous,” he said, with an Aussie accent you could cut with a knife and still have enough to balance the drinks on.
“Let me help you with that,” the fool continued, yanking the body from me. He was tall and fit but even so it cost him no little effort. Just for a second the Cheshire cat smile faltered until machismo reasserted itself and he began to make his way stiffly down the stairs.
“What have you got in here?” he gasped, reaching the second floor. “A body, by any chance? Maybe an old boyfriend refusing to take the hint?” He winked and laughed at his own joke.
“It’s actually a nosy neighbour incapable of minding his own business. I keep my exes in jars in the living room like normal people. Together forever as Rick Astley used to sing.”
He stopped short just as the gaffer tape came loose and a shrivelled finger poked out like a mummified worm. A dark liquid dribbled down his chunky knit pullover and he began to vomit, dropping the body into the stairwell with a sickening crunch. I knew the song was bad, but this was throwing the body out with the bathwater….