Nikolas Nordegaärdenqvistenholm smiled, took off his cock ring, reached for a cigarette and lit it. It was 3:00 a.m. and he couldn’t sleep, but he still smiled as he inhaled. He was a 44-year-old journalist for FlipKollectiif, Norway’s most influential and least-read website, and he had a 10,000-word expose due the next day. He hadn’t written a word, but he still smiled. He sat on his IKEA Hemnes daybed — white with three drawers, purchased earlier that month for 2,421 kronor — and looked out over the lights of Oslo. He got up, put on coffee, and pulled out another cigarette, lighting it off the first one. He booted up his 17-inch MacBook with a quad core Intel core i7 processor and cringed at the sight of the half-eaten liverwurst, sardine and raccoon sandwich, next to the monitor, that had been stinking up the apartment on Fredensborgveien while he struggled over his first sentence, writing and deleting it 39 times so far. He went back into his master suite, sighed, and got back into bed, where he was greeted by the nude 69-year-old mother of his ex-wife, who was his latest lover.
The doorbell rang and Nordegaärdenqvistenholm woke. It was 7:13 a.m. He answered it and saw his neighbor, an 18-year-old college freshman named Løtte. She told him she was out of flour and asked if he might have some. He invited her in and they had coffee and a platter of caviar and roast pigeon.
“One other thing,” she said. “My father has disappeared.”
He led her to his bedroom as she took off her bathrobe.
Nordegaärdenqvistenholm woke up at 4:28 p.m. He checked his email and deleted one from Amazon telling him that the copy of “Twilight” had been shipped to his daughter, whose name he had since forgotten. He did remember, however, that there had been a woman, or maybe even two or four or 17 women, in his bed earlier that morning – hence the cock ring. None was still in the Fredensborgveien apartment, however.
He crept into the hallway, lit a cigarette, and knocked on Løtte’s door. He didn’t hear an answer for seven minutes, so he lit another cigarette and waited. After four hours had gone by and he had smoked 76 cigarettes, he pushed on the door and it opened. He peered into the main hallway, walked to the living room, put on coffee, and was astonished by what he saw.
Løtte was hanging upside down, nude, from the ceiling in a homemade bondage contraption that Nordegaärdenqvistenholm made a mental note to write down that he immediately recognized as being patterned after the one in which Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin had kept Dabney Coleman captive in the movie, “9 to 5.” Blood dripped from her slit throat into a black IKEA Fniss wastepaper basket that had been positioned perfectly below the corpse. He put a cigarette in the throat-slit and lit it before putting on more coffee to sit down and think.
His ex-mother-in-law, Soren, was nowhere to be found, but he remembered that she and Løtte and he and at last 15 other women had made love that morning. It was all starting to come together.
Nordegaärdenqvistenholm closed the door of the apartment and sat down in the hallway to gather his bearings. He lit a cigarette, went back to his apartment, and went to bed. He woke up 58 hours later and shaved. He put on coffee. It was now 7:13 p.m. He grabbed the pack of Marlboro Lights from his desk, put 12 cigarettes in his mouth at once, lit them all and took a huge drag. He put on more coffee but then realized that he had put on twice as much coffee as the coffee maker would hold, so he took out half of the coffee and simply put on the original amount of coffee. He then became confused. Had he just put on a second batch of coffee, or had he put on the first batch, too? Had he put on neither, or both? He opened the refrigerator and made a herring, salami and skunk feces sandwich, sat down in front of his laptop, and went to work.
It was going to be a long night on Fredensborgveien.
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