Room at the Top
Room From the Top
A novel by Maggi Carstairs and Bob Taylor
It was time to die. I have done everything I could have done, and now other people are dying. I have
killed enough. It seems like it was me who was doing the killing. Each death has agonized me to the
core of my heart. When I die, the rest, or what is left of the rest, will be able to go on living.
Seven deaths in as many as seven weeks
Each week he has seen me handle far more than I can handle.
I walk out to the edge of the balcony and peer down. The glass doors slide open, and I have to push
at the clasp, which has started to lock into place with salt and air. I wonder why as the windows are
never opened because of the air-conditioning, and no outside air would ever get inside to tarnish
With Marilyn gone it was different. Maybe some defiant breeze seeing her lying there dead, would
have crept indoors to gloat.
Concentrating hard, I opened the windows, and let them slide to the end.
I opened the screen doors and laughed.
What insects would be up this high. The only insects here would be the men and women in their
patently shining grey suits, walking with unpolished fake Armani, thinking the Administration would
see their cheap, upmarket elegance. I was always intrigued by the fresh faced arrogance of those
on the upward mobility track, with their attitude to what they felt were their lesser peers.
Owning the business meant that I was expected to appreciate their subsequent back scratching.
It had become more and more repellent since I had lost both Gretchen and Marilyn who had kept
the vultures from my presence.
I opened the doors to feel the slight wind on my face, and took one step forward onto the ledge.
I remembered that Thursday...
That was the day she'd first spotted them, or to be exact, thought she recognized his distinctive
brown head bobbing in the mill of the crowd. She had glanced at her costly jewelled watch just to
assure herself of the time and like an amateur pick-pocket or thief- followed him.
His direction was straight forward and he seemed oblivious of her shadowing his steps. But, to