Interview. Short Story.

Hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was pretty fun. Went to a friends place and watched some Orange is the New Black.

Also, had a visit from the door to door cupcake salesman. No, I didn’t know it was a thing either. And no, I didn’t buy any because the hell? It was definitely odd, they weren’t in any kind of actual, branded container (apparently they were home made, not something that was particularly reassuring to hear.) The man selling them seemed pretty cheery though. Probably all those drugged up cupcakes. He had four, I mean, surely you’d expect to sell more. It was all very, very strange.

Oh well, no roofie cupcakes for me I guess.

On with the show!

________________________________________________________________

The alarm started ringing, Brian rolled over and turned it off, he had been lying awake anyway. He got out of bed, feeling as though his stomach had a heavy, jittery weight at the bottom of it. He went straight to the shower, trying to keep himself calm. It would ease his nerves and freshen him up. He didn’t bother waiting for the water to heat up, the cold spray shocked him awake. He washed quickly but thoroughly, he needed to be clean. He got out of the shower and went to the mirror, he had shaven the night before and nothing had grown back yet. Good. He didn’t need a shave. He took out his toothbrush and started to clean his teeth. Once he was done he put the brush down and went back to his room, inside his suit was hung up carefully, so it wouldn’t get wrinkles. He dressed quickly, then he spent five minutes debating on a tie, did he really want to wear one? Was it too much? After the debate he slipped it on and decided it was better to be over dressed than underdressed. With that done he went down to the kitchen, his mother was already up and pottering about the place, his fathers paper was sitting on the table, neatly folded and waiting. Brian sat down and picked up a piece of toast that was sitting on the table, he took a small, delicate bite. He chewed methodically, not really wanting to eat.

“Is that all you’re having?”
“Yeah, don’t feel like much else.”
His mother looked at him for a second then shook her head. It had always been the same, whenever he didn’t eat much it seemed like a personal affront to her.
“Do you want coffee?”
“No thanks. I’ll grab some water in a second.”
Before he could object she placed a full glass of water in front of him.

“Sit down mum, I can do it myself, you should relax.”
“Nonsense.”
Brian put down the piece of toast, only half eaten, and took a gulp of water, trying not to spill any. His hands had begun to tremble. He stood, brushed the nonexistent crumbs from his suit and, after giving his mother a brief hug and kiss on the cheek, he left the house. The interview wasn’t for another hour but he wanted to be there with plenty of time to spare. It was his first interview since graduating college six months ago, and not for lack of trying. He had sent off hundreds of C.V’s, anywhere out of his line of business told him he was over qualified and anything in his line of business told him he wasn’t experienced enough. Not this place though, they had rang him and offered an interview. It was just slightly above an internship, but it was better than nothing. He was growing sick of sitting around the house, feeling like he was just useless and in the way. His parents didn’t mind, he knew that, but he felt bad. He wanted to move out, get his life started. He couldn’t do anything while still living at home, it was mortifying. How was he supposed to date someone? Bring them back home where his parents were? He couldn’t have friends over, it was awkward. He wanted to get his life started already. He had such dreams that he’d go to college, get an ok paying job, then he could move in with some friends and do what ever he wanted. But the dreams had shattered. There were no jobs, at least none that he could get, and his friends had already grouped off and moved into places. He was on his own, at least until he got a job. Tommy had said they had a spare room he could move into if he wanted, once he was making enough for rent. So that was his goal. The position he was interviewing for wasn’t permanent, it was only for a year, but they had told him that if he worked out well they’d look into hiring him full time. In a little over a year he could be working and living with friends.
He walked quickly to the bus, then, while he waited he held his lucky coin. It probably wouldn’t make a difference, not really, but it still felt nice to hold it, it was reassuring. The bus came quickly and Brian got on, wishing he hadn’t forgetting his IPod. In just over an hour it would all be over, he’d be on the way back home. He tried to focus on that, on how, in an hour, he would look back and remember how silly he was for being so nervous. It would obviously go well, he knew it, he was sure of it.

 

When he stepped off the bus he was fifteen minutes early, plenty of time to get there. He started to walk, wondering if he should stop somewhere and get a coffee, perhaps it would be bad to be too early. He should have brought a book or something to read in the waiting room, it would have made him look calm. Too late now. He’d skip getting coffee, what if it made him late? He didn’t want to saunter in with a coffee cup in his hand while the interviewer was waiting for him. Brian stopped outside the large glass building, he took a deep breath, then he opened the door and stepped inside. The reception area was bright and airy, two women sat at the reception desk, neither looked up from what they were doing, Brian nervously stepped forward, one glanced up at him and smiled, Brian walked towards her,
“How can I help you?”
“Hi, I’m Brian Watkins, I have an interview at ten with Mr. Samson?”
The receptionist typed something into her computer,
“Ok, I have you here, if you just take that lift up to the fifth floor, someone will meet you and bring you where you need to be.”
“Ok, thank you so much.”
“Good luck!”

Feeling slightly better, Brian went straight to the lifts.

 

The doors slide open and a man was waiting for him, “Brian?”
“Yes”
He stuck out his hand, “Hi, I’m Steven, Mr. Samson’s assistant, if you’ll just follow me.”
Steven started walking. He led them to a small office, inside which there was a desk, computer and a couch. Steven gestured at the couch,

“If you just take a seat there, you shouldn’t be waiting too long.”

Brian sat,

“Do you want anything, tea, water, coffee?”
“I’m fine, thank you.”
Steven sat down at the desk and started to work, apparently ignoring Brian entirely.
Brian took a deep breath, he would be fine. He sat back into the couch, trying to relax, appear nonchalant. It would go well, of course it would. He still had his lucky coin, sitting in his pocket.
Brian jumped as a buzzer went off, a voice came on over the intercom system, “Send him in.”
“You can go in now.”
Steven hadn’t look from the screen, Brian stood and awkwardly went to the door, wondering if he should knock or not. Tapping gently, he walked into the room.

The office was bigger than he had expected, with large, bright windows. Mr. Samson stood from behind his desk and walked towards Brian, he was a man in his fifties, white hair with small portions still clinging to its natural brown,
“Brian, hi, welcome,” He gripped Brian’s hand and pumped it up and down, once, twice and a third time. Brian smiled, but before he had time to speak, Mr. Samson disappeared. Brian stood, staring, arm still stretched out, at the empty space in front of him. He looked around the room, did he pass out for a second or something? What the hell had happened. He looked around again, should he…get someone? This wasn’t normal, what the hell had happened? Outside he could still hear Steven typing. Brian looked at his watch, he wasn’t missing any time. He moved forward tentatively, until he could see behind the desk, but that too was empty. It had to be some kind of prank or something, maybe it was for the telly? He stepped back from the desk, then went to the door, he opened it slightly, Steven was still typing away, no one was looking at the door, or waiting to burst in.
“Uh, excuse me?”
Steven looked up from the screen, “He uh, he just…disappeared?” He could feel colour building on his cheeks, he felt like an idiot, there was something he was missing, there had to be.

Steven frowned for a second, “Wait, it’s Tuesday isn’t it?”
“Um, yes?”
“Damn. Sorry. Just wait a second, he’ll be back.”
Brian jumped as a voice called out behind him,

“Sorry about that! Now, let’s get started shall we?”
Brian closed to door over gently and turned to see Mr. Samson standing there, just as he had been when he disappeared.
“I…”
“It happens sometimes, don’t worry about it. Now, where were we? Ah yes, nice to meet you, if you’ll just take a seat here we can get started.”
Still feeling dazed, Brian sat down on the seat that was indicated, unthinkingly his hand slid into his pocket and started to grip his lucky coin.

 

“So, first things first, tell me why you want to work here?”

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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