I’d always wanted to call something dark and foreboding, and the door I had just knocked on certainly provided me the opportunity. Had there been someone else around I would have said it aloud and perhaps received the nod and raised eyebrow of an impressed companion.
My job hunt had sent to some strange places but this was without doubt the strangest.
To begin with, the door stood on its own in the middle of a car park. No walls attached, no ceiling connected. I could in fact walk around the door with ease. However, my instructions were to knock on its heavy oak and so that’s what I did.
I’m not one to question things. I don’t really see the point. I had been told to knock on a door and it may lead to me getting a job. That’s all I needed to know. It could be as dark and foreboding as it wanted, I was still going to knock on it.
I had been waiting a few minutes now, but I had been told this would happen as well.
I didn’t let the fact that I could clearly see nothing lay behind the door deter me, I had
paid a $3 bus fare to get here and I was going to stick it out.
My perseverance paid off a mere nineteen minutes later. The door flung open and somehow invited me into an entirely new, not at-all-a car park area. I paused for a moment given the door showed nothing but blackness and seemed to be emanating impossibly cold air for such a warm day.
A moment later however a finger emerged from the dark and beckoned me to come through the door.
Sure, the finger, and indeed the entire hand was just bone, the hand of a skeleton in fact, but I was not going to start questioning this now. It was just starting to get interesting.
I walked through the door to be immersed in the nothingness and search for what I assumed was a living skeleton. Perhaps it was a normal human with a horrific injury but I had my doubts. Considering the door I had just walked through I felt that a living skeleton wasn’t exactly beyond belief.
A voice cut through the air. ‘Please, sit.’
I had no idea where I was or what was surrounding me but again I chose not to question. I bent my knees and lowered my backside into an unseen but comfortable chair. I sunk in as far as it would allow and relaxed, happy to not have to sit professionally in the all-encompassing darkness.
The lights came on.
Just as I was in the process of removing my shoes for maximum comfort.
I decided it would be best to leave the remaining one on rather than kick it off now that I could be seen. Surely a job interview in one shoe had more chance of success than an interview with no shoes.
Sitting across from me was Death.
I had only seen him in horror movies or light-hearted romps starring a long eye-lashed actor, but it was definitely Death. He sat behind a large desk strewn with paper, keepsakes and several glasses of milk. He saw me looking at the latter and said simply, ‘Bones,’ while pointing to himself. I nodded to show I understood. Potential employers like it when you understand things.
‘So, has the job been explained to you?’
‘Not at all I’m afraid,’ I replied, not afraid at all.
‘Bloody Jim! Always sends me people without filling them in properly. I’m very sorry, I’ll have a word to him,’ Death muttered with some frustration. I nod again. I was really nailing the understanding nodding.
Death seemed impressed. ‘Basically, I need an intern to do all the boring stuff that I hate.’
‘I’m happy to do anything,’ I reply, still making sure to avoid questions.
‘It’s pretty simple stuff really. Filing, taxes, high fiving my friends, office maintenance, sweeping, killing the old grannies, a bit of sewing when I rip my cloak, that sort of thing.’
I very much wanted an elaboration on at least one of those jobs. Death seemed to see this on my face before I had to ask.
‘The sweeping? I know, it’s mundane. Don’t worry about that, I’ll sort something else out.’
‘Well….’ I began
‘Oh of course, the old grannies. People get weird about that. I was raised by my grandmother so I have a bit of a soft spot for the old ducks. All you need to do is dress up like me, do a bit of scythe work, get the lightening happening and touch them with one of my fingers. I've got some extras lying around you can use. I can’t do it, just makes me feel a bit nostalgic.’
‘Good good, well that’s sorted then. Happy to start right away?’
I had questions but again I decided not to ask them. I had just been offered a job. Sure, it involved the rubbing out of old ladies but it also involved some needlework so how bad could it be?
‘Oh I almost forgot the payment. How does immortality sound?’
I nod again. It doesn’t sound financially rewarding but I’m sure it has its benefits.
‘Right, excellent! I’ll get that paperwork organised today. In fact, why don’t you do that? First order of business, grant yourself eternal life. Brilliant. Welcome aboard!’ Death holds out his hand for me to shake. I question this for a second but decide not to vocalise it.
‘Oh dear, sorry!’ Death says as he looks down at me. Not that I could hear him thanks to my new, more deceased state. ‘You’re the third this week. This really is an attention to detail job anyway, I need someone a bit more questioning of everything….’