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Story Notes:
I’m gearing up for (and actually making a little progress on!) some genuine JAM stories, and I feel like these are useful practice in getting people’s voices down. *Holly voice* I don’t know.

No doggos were hurt in the writing of this fic. As noted in the summary, however, there are non-graphic references to the death of an animal, so read with caution.

DISCLAIMER: What if we all get together and help each other and hire a new guy and then we use their name to post fanfic that doesn’t clearly state that all publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners, only the original characters and plot are the property of the author, and the author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise, and no copyright infringement is intended? But first we take out, like, a $100,000 liability insurance policy? I bet you guys like that idea, don't you?

We open on ANDY, walking into the office, in a huff. He mutters something to ERIN that might be good morning.

ERIN (concerned):
What’s wrong, Andy?

ANDY (annoyed):
My upstairs neighbors’ dog died.

ERIN (sympathetic):
Awww, Andy! I’m so sorry!

ANDY (clenching his teeth):
And they’re blaming ME.

ERIN (doesn’t quite know what to make of that):

PHYLLIS (spins around in her chair a little too eagerly):
Really? (covering) Why on Earth would they do that, Andy?

OTHERS in the bullpen look up at ANDY in interest. KEVIN and OSCAR push away from their desks to listen in.

They claim he was always upset by my singing. Apparently he’d “attempt to cover his ears with his paws” or “scratch the door begging to be let out” or “hide next to the vacuum” whenever I rehearsed. So last night, their dog fell off their balcony. And they think it had something to do with my practicing the Billy Joel medley I’m performing for Michael’s birthday. Like he couldn’t take it anymore and jumped or something.

JIM stares direct to camera as if to indicate “seems plausible if not likely.”

Like a cappella ever hurt anyone! Dogs LOVE my singing! They always howl like they’re trying to sing along!

ANDY makes a throaty shrieking noise to end his rant that leaves his co-workers staring and exchanging slightly worried looks.

Anyways, they felt the need to tell me about this at 5:00 AM! Not a great start to my morning. I need coffee.

ANDY throws down his bag at his desk and storms off towards the break room.

PHYLLIS (excited):
Does that count?

The following lines are overlapping:

STANLEY (bored):

JIM (scoffs):

OSCAR (rolling his eyes):
Obviously not.

PAM (frustrated):
Come on, Phyllis.

KEVIN (angry):
Are you kidding me?

ANGELA, DWIGHT and ERIN are very, very confused.

We cut to JIM doing a talking head in the conference room.

Ah, that. So a couple of years ago, Andy, for reasons that were no one’s fault, had… an incident. (cutaway to archival footage of Andy shouting and punching through the wall from “The Return.”) Not too long after, a bunch of us went for a Happy Hour drink at Poor Richard’s, and we got to talking about who in our office was likeliest to actually kill someone. We all agreed pretty quickly it was Dwight, so we moved on to who was second. This was in the darker days of Kevin’s gambling problem, he started setting odds, and before we knew it, the Dunder Mifflin Murder Pool was born! (beat) For reasons I don’t think I need to explain, not everyone is in the loop on this.

OSCAR (talking head):
I have Creed. Betting on Creed gets you less return than anyone, but really, the odds are stacked against this ever happening anyways, so why make it even harder? (pause) We also decided it counts if it turns out they’ve already killed someone, so… Creed’s the obvious choice.

KEVIN (talking head):
Angela. Definitely Angela.

OSCAR (continuation of his earlier talking head):
Plus, Kevin and I have a deal. If either of us is the victim of the person we picked, the other gets to collect. And if Angela kills anyone it’s 100% going to be Kevin, so. I feel pretty good about this. (realizes how that sounds) I mean, not good, but…

STANLEY (talking head):
Kelly. I’m going to have a hard enough time pretending to be sad when that little horndog gets what’s coming to him. Might as well make some money off it.

JIM (in talking head, frustrated):
I got the last pick. At first, I tried to pick Dwight, and Oscar’s all, ‘we said Dwight’s not on the table.’ So I say, but isn’t defying clearly agreed-on rules made for very good reasons because you’re so sure you’re right the essence of Dwight? Nobody went for it. (shakes his head) So I ended up with Ryan. And after I picked him, they ruled that negligent homicide from corporate wrongdoing doesn’t qualify, and wouldn’t let me change it. (huffs, shaking his head and looking away from the camera)

PAM (in talking head, looking very guilty):
(quietly) Toby. (She puts a hand over her eyes in embarrassment, then speaks louder.) I feel really bad! I like Toby! But if anyone’s gonna suddenly snap some day… I mean, eventually Michael’s gonna go too far, it’s just a matter of what Toby does when it happens.

PHYLLIS (in talking head, sternly):
I was very much against the call that accidental deaths didn’t count. Jim could easily really hurt Dwight. Meredith drives drunk more than she drives sober. Michael is… stupid. (quick cutaways as she says these lines to Jim braking the car and causing Dwight to slam his face into the seat in front of him in “Traveling Salesmen;” Meredith sneaking a nip from her flask outside her van; and Michael’s attempts to ‘help’ Stanley during his heart attack in “Stress Relief.”) (sighs) Anyhow, I went with Andy, which still feels like a pretty safe choice. We never said it had to be a person, by the way! That was just implied!

KELLY (in talking head):
Phyllis. She seems happy now, but have you heard some of the crap that comes out of her mouth? Exactly why I argued for the “old murders count” rule.

DARRYL (in talking head):
This pool had been going on for years before I found out about it. Years. And Michael was still available! (throws up his hands in astonished confusion) (quick cut as to suggest the documentary crew has edited out them asking a question) Yeah, I know accidental deaths don’t count. You met that guy?

RYAN (in talking head, confidently):
I took Oscar. It’s always the ones you least expect. (beat) I thought about Stanley, but it’s hard to imagine him putting in the effort.

MEREDITH (in talking head, excited):
So here’s the plan: get Jim smashed on rum and cokes. Get him in bed. Take pictures. Send them to Pam anonymously. Loudly mention in the break room how easy it is to ‘accidentally’ slip common household poisons into someone’s food. Profit. The odds with her are incredible, too. (pause) And even if she doesn’t go for it, I still (word bleeped out) Jim.

CREED (in talking head):
I’ve got Miriam. I was going to pick me, but someone got there first. Would’ve been the easiest $20 I ever made.

We run through the episode before finishing with a tag.

KEVIN (in talking head):

PHYLLIS (in talking head):

OSCAR (in talking head):
Kevin, just because I think Angela’s kind of holding on by a thread. (pauses, thinks) Nah, probably Michael.

JIM (in talking head, shocked):
No one’s said Dwight???

STANLEY (in talking head):
Of course Michael. Be impossible to tell who did it, too. Like “The Murder on The Orient Express.”

KELLY (in talking head, eyebrows raised):

PAM (in talking head, initially excited):
I bet you Jim says Dwight! (smile falls a bit) But yeah, Michael. (pauses, thinks) Or maybe Angela.

DARRYL (in talking head):
Toby’s the most likely to be a murder victim, because Michael’s most likely to actually commit murder. If it’s not him? Michael. And if he goes missing, it might’ve been me. No one picked me in the pool. I feel good about that. (slightly sinister look to camera)

CREED (in talking head, confidently):

RYAN (in talking head, trying not to smile):

MEREDITH (in talking head):
Obviously Michael.

ANDY (in talking head):
Angela. Not that I’ve thought about it or anything! No sirree. Anger management works wonders! Although there would be a lot of options for body disposal with someone that small. (pause) What?

ANGELA (in talking head):
I would be very upset if Pam were murdered. Very upset. (solemnly) But the Lord passes judgment on indecency how he pleases.

MICHAEL (in talking head):
Toby. By me. (laughs hysterically) No, no. (wiping away tears of laughter). No. It would be Toby, though. By his ex-wife. Or his daughter. Or really anyone who ever met him, ever. He sucks.

TOBY (in talking head, as animated as Toby gets):
Do you really expect me to answer that? On camera? Wait, are other people answering???

ERIN (in talking head, shocked and appalled):
That’s so mean! Why would you even ask me that? (pause) Dwight.

DWIGHT (in talking head, rattled off in a bored tone – he’s clearly given this some thought):
Jim, followed by Andy, Toby, Ryan, Kelly, Meredith, Kevin, Creed, Phyllis, Oscar, Stanley, Erin, Darryl, Pam, Michael and Angela. (suddenly alarmed) Why, what have you heard?


NETWORK NOTES: REJECTED. Guys. Too dark. WAY too dark. Also, you understand we’re trying to paint Ed Helms as a romantic lead this season, right? That means we shouldn’t be reminding anyone of the time he punched a hole in a wall. Or suggesting he’s considered how to get rid of Angela’s body. Or implying that he’s responsible for the death of a puppy. Feels like that last one really should have gone without saying.

FORWARD TO LEGAL: Is it within our rights to send a shrink over there and check in, see if everyone’s okay?

Chapter End Notes:
END NOTES: Please leave your non-Dwight picks for “Dunder Mifflinite Likeliest to Commit Murder” and your non-Michael picks for “Dunder Mifflinite Likeliest to Be A Homicide Victim” in your reviews. It occurs to me that they might have to redraft in later seasons, between people leaving and someone really wanting to cover either Gabe or Robert California.

darjeelingandcoke is the author of 21 other stories.

This story is part of the series, Rejected Cold Opens. The previous story in the series is Dunder Mifflin is Jumpin', Jumpin'. The next story in the series is The Receptionist Reflex.

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