As a young girl Erica had had a fondness for Trixie Belden novels, to the point where she wanted to change her name to 'Honey Wheeler', the all-American best friend of the teen sleuth. Now she had a Trixie-esque case of her own.
Returning from the police station, Erica decided she didn't want to be alone in her flat. Who could she call? She had a habit of going through friends like there was no tomorrow. Except there was. And if it was going to be anything like today, she was afraid.
She phoned Patrick, a journalist at a computer magazine she secretly referred to as Geek Weekly which was on the same floor as Cosmopolitan. She thought Patrick would be sensitive enough to help her come to terms with the day's events. After all, he was planning to write Australian Psycho, a localised version of Brett Easton Ellis' American slasher classic. And he had a slight crush on her, so she knew he would pay for dinner.
In the café, she told Patrick how she had opened the door to see the body of her Finnish friend, Flikka Laakksonen, sprawled on the deflated inflatable sofa. She had known Flikka, who worked in Helsinki as a stand-in actor, from her time in Finland on a Rotary exchange after high school. She'd spent a blissful year with Flikka and his family, Jarkko, Mikka and Timo Laakksonen living in the small town of Lappeenranta. Erica's memories of Flikka were still very much alive, riding on his snow mobile, eating reindeer burgers, taking saunas. Actually, she never like the saunas.
But Flikka was dead. Burned into her brain was the image of Flikka's body, one hand clutching a mobile phone and the other holding a half-eaten container of Petit Miam dairy dessert. There was no apparent cause of death.
"It's just so weird!" she said to Patrick. "Flikka didn't even tell me he was in town!" Patrick nodded sagely, thinking how lucky he was to be getting firsthand experience for Australian Psycho as well as a chance to comfort a vulnerable Erica in her hour of need.
"And even weirder," she said, "he was eating a Petit Miam, and everybody knows Flikka is, or was, lactose-intolerant!"
Patrick nodded again and edged closer. "What kind of a phone was it?" he asked.
"Umm .. I think it was an Ericsson."
"Well that's a 10 on the weirdometer! Everybody knows Finns only use Nokias which are made in Finland. Ericssons are from Sweden and Swedes are their rivals! I don't know about the goat's head though," he said. "Brett might have got a friend to do that. What a sick fuck!"
As they mused on the murder, Erica heard a familiar step. Tottering into the café on her trademark platform heels was Trudee MacAmore, editor of Cosmopolitan. Trudee saw Erica. Erica blanched.
"Erica! How are you darling?" Trudee hissed. "You look tired, darling. Actually it's terribly lucky I saw you. A package arrived for you at the office today. You'd better go and pick it up."
Erica sighed and eased herself out of the chair as Truddee tottered off. "I'd better go, Patrick. You get this one, and I'll pay next time, OK?"