It seems like I haven’t written in ages, but that’s because I haven’t really. With the holiday away, and various other commitments not to mention a tiny increase in gaming addiction to deal with, I found myself enjoying the break. Now the holiday is over, I’m nearly back to work and life can continue in exactly the same way as it did before. This return to form, or least return to activities has coincided with this weeks flash fiction challenge hosted on Terribleminds.com.
The challenge this week is to write a piece of flash fiction, which incorporates four of the following eight randomly generated words.
The four words I used for this piece of flash fiction are joke, funeral, laser, and cape.
This is the tale of the HR manager at an evil global corporation and the most important interview of his life. If you loved it show me the love, if you hated, show me… well, slightly less love I suppose.
Flash Fiction: Position Vacant
Martin peered over his glasses at the lad sitting at the other side of the desk from him. This had to be a joke. The lad couldn’t have been more than eighteen years old. The suit he wore looked like it was his dad’s, his hair was scruffy and uncombed and his fingernails could have been covered in jam for the sheer ferocity that he chewed on them.
It was Martin’s job to assess suitability of the candidates for a place within the company and from what he could see this young man did not fit the criteria.
It wasn’t really the candidate’s fault. Working for a multi-national corporation with plans for global domination is a very appealing prospect to anyone. Martin had worked for Mega-global-death Corp’ for over ten years and he prided himself on being very good at what he did. Although seeing your boss burnt alive for sending the wrong applicant for a position would encourage the best from anyone. Martin knew that one day he would make a mistake that would precipitate his own funeral, but generally he found that if he stayed focused and therefore alive he didn’t have to think about the painful death part.
‘So? Peter?’ Martin took his application form from the top of a large pile of paper.
‘Petey’ the boy replied shyly. ‘My friends call me Petey.’
‘Petey. Thanks for joining us.’ Without waiting for a response Martin launched into the speech he’d given so many times. ‘As I’m sure you are aware, Mega-global-death Corp is the largest evil multi-national corporation with plans for global domination in the world, and as such we have to ensure we hire the very best. What qualities make you an ideal person to join our little company?’
‘Well.’ Petey said scarcely looking up from his fidgeting hands ‘I am evil.’
‘You’re evil?’ Martin said with more disbelief than it was professional for him to show.
‘Yes.’ Pete responded still fidgeting.
‘I have to say you don’t look very evil.’
‘I’m… I’m not being evil now.’
‘No, no, of course not. OK well let’s put that to one side for a moment.’ Martin was intrigued by the lad either he was stupid or crazy but then again both of those qualities are highly sought after in other parts of the organisation ‘So, you’re evil what else have you got?’
‘I have a cape.’
‘Uh huh and what does this cape do?’
‘Well, it just sort of hangs there but it’s black and my mum did the stitching. I have it with me if you want to see it.’ Petey reached into a carrier bag and took out the black material.
Martin took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes, praying for the patience to get rid of this lad as quickly as possible. ‘Pete, Petey… if you were in my position, would you hire you?’
The lad looked up with such confusion‘ I wouldn’t need to be interviewed I’d have your job.’
‘No, no that’s not what I…’ Although the policy strictly states that any failed candidates have to be sent as test subjects (or more accurately, targets) for the giant laser facility, there was something so pathetic and pointless about this lad that just for a moment made him forget who he was. ‘I’m sorry, but you just don’t have what it takes to work for an evil organisation of this size. Maybe you should try something a little more low-key. There’s a grocers down my street who doesn’t particularly like dogs, maybe that’s more your level. I trust you can see yourself out.’
Petey looked up quickly with a grin that gave Martin an uneasy feeling in his stomach. ‘So I won’t be getting the job then?’
‘No, you won’t be getting the job. Thank you for your time.’
‘Then surely I should be sent to the giant laser facility?’
‘Yes I know but…’ then he stopped and looked at Petey, there was a confidence in his expression that hadn’t been there before ‘How do you know about… who are you?’
‘I’m Petey, I believe you know my father, Dr Maniac?’
‘Oh, yes. I do a spot of work for him occasionally. Filing, some administration work, and occasionally spot checks for incompetent employees.’
‘Oh my god, I mean. Sorry. I didn’t mean to…’ Martin took out his handkerchief and mopped up the rivulets of sweat dripping from his brow.
‘You should have sent me to the giant laser facility. Why didn’t you?’
‘I don’t know? Martin said staring at his desk.
‘You do know. Why did you not send me to the giant laser facility?’ Petey repeated, leaning back in his chair.
Martin had no excuses, no clever line or apology; all he had was the truth ‘I felt sorry for you’ he muttered.
‘You felt sorry for me.’ Petey repeated as if he already knew what Martin was going to say. ‘Martin? I must inform you that you have failed your spot check and annual review.’
‘What? No, you can’t.’ Martin leaped out of his chair and dropped to his knees at Petey’s feet. ‘Please, don’t. It was one mistake. It won’t happen again.’
‘So you want me to break the rules and show you compassion?’
Martin looked up with hopeless, tear-soaked eyes. ‘Please.’
Petey stood up and walked to the back of the office, looking out of the window in deep contemplation as Martin stayed on his knees. With one move Petey turned round, pointing a revolver straight at Martin’s head.
With a loud bang, the position of HR Manager became irrefutabley open.
‘Well, I said I was evil…’ Petey mused turning back round to look out of the window.