After ten days the goat's head was beginning to smell, and whether they were from the garbage, Brett's bottom, or a rotting goat's head sitting on the coffee table, Erica, for one, did not like smells.
There was also the small problem of figuring out what to do with the corpse of Flikka, her Finnish exchange pal from a couple of years back. He was currently taking up space in her freezer, space that could have been profitably used for storing her vintage collection of Maybelline makeup, or perhaps the goat's head.
"Fuck that thing smells," exclaimed Erica, applying Impulse to her upper lip. "And to think that I've been reduced to these free samples from last month's Dolly." She gave the Impulse sachet a distasteful look and threw it in the garbage.
After her sacking from Cosmo Erica was living in reduced circumstances. No spur of the moment sprees at Emporio Armani, at least not until she had managed to find a new job, and that was proving more difficult than she anticipated.
Instead, throwing a glance at the goat's head and bidding goodbye to Flikka, she left the house, slamming the door on the way out.
Erica had grown quite fond of Flikka over the last week, even more than she had been during her exchange in Finland back in 1990. But that didn't mean that something couldn't be done, and Erica had a plan.
Walking up King street, Erica tossed her head and wiggled her arse the way she always had. She'd made plenty of friends this way, and this friendship was going to take an extra big effort, so she practiced. In fact another friendship was at stake here too, her friendship with Flikka, which she was confident would intensify if she could pull this plan off.
"I can't help feeling a bit pissed off at Flikka," she thought, " all that space in my freezer . . . If this works out, he'll have lots of new friends and I'll be able to see him whenever I want." She hadn't talked to Flikka about this, but she was sure he'd be happy.
Pushing the door open made a bell ring; it was one of those old school touches that had made Erica move to Newtown in the first place.
"Can I help you miss?" said Bob the Butcher.
Along with the bell, Bob had a couple of other quirks that endeared him to the bohos who inhabited King street. Apart from selling meat, that is. Outside the door was a chalkboard on which Bob wrote a new piece of homespun wisdom each day. Erica had long since stopped reading them, she thought they were bullshit, but today her eye had caught the slogan and she couldn't quite shake the feeling that it was going to be OK.
"Uhh, what?" said Erica.
"Can I help you Miss?" Bob repeated. He was infinitely patient, as only one who has spent a lifetime dismembering cow carcasses can be.
"Umm, can I have six sausages please?"
Bob turned, put the sausages in a paper sack, and placed them on the counter. "Will that be all?"
Erica muttered a quick yes, put $5 on the counter and turned to leave. "There's an extra sausage in there," said Bob. "You look like you need feeding up."
She pushed out onto the street.
"Erica!" a voice called across the street.
Almost getting knocked over by a bus, Patrick, her friend from Geek Weekly, bolted across the road.
"Better and better," thought Erica.