TDS IV – Death and Interns
Saturday 17th October, 2018
I’ve recently come to appreciate how important patience is especially when someone is in an employ like myself. Managing people in general can be a truly grating experience on anyone’s soul. However, I realize it takes someone indomitable to manage a group of people with supernatural histories and powers. I say histories first as I have come to realize that the events which forge a person is almost as potent as the unique powers they may hold.
As much as I would like to say I came to this realization on my own, I must admit it is the recent collection of misfits, of which I’m struggling to mold into a team, that has enlightened me. For example, take yesterday.
“OMG! I can’t believe I have a job!” This string of nearly incoherent nonsense was from Levia. “And Kidra is totally my newest best friend?
“No, I’m not” grumbled Kidra as Levia hugged her tightly. Kidra looked like I disgruntled cat lifted off the ground by an enthusiastic toddler.
Levia then unceremoniously dropped the genie to the floor as she bounced towards me singing. “And I have a boss, who will let me fix things, and isn’t a short goblin lady, and doesn’t try to light me on fire, and…”
“Levia,” I interrupted before she could crush me with affection as well, “when you have a moment can you please replace the glass on this tablet and see if the touch function returns. We need it done by this afternoon if possible.”
Levia squealed as sat down with the device where she quickly began to hum to herself as she pulled various tools from a hidden compartment in her left shoulder. I had discovered early in the week that she was an excellent technician but required constant direction to keep her from threatening myself or the other staff with her deadly and affectionate form of social interaction.
“Thank god,” Kidra complained, “I don’t know what she is but she’s resistant to magic. I’ve tried to kill her like ten times this week and she just keeps coming.”
“Your powers are benevolent now Kid so you can’t kill her anyway, but please stop trying all the same” I sighed, “Staff is not as easy to replace as this month may seem to suggest.
“Hey!” she said jamming a finger into my sternum, “When that cute five-hundred-pound pixie tries to hug me to death everyday it’s not murder, it’s self defense!”
“Hey I’m only four hundred and twenty pounds.” Levia pouted as she worked.
“Of course not!” Renard said as he floated into the room, “You are the pinnacle of form and function!” He had been relentlessly pursuing Levia the entire week, though she would simply smile and wink in response.
“Renard, please finish reorganizing the accessories in the front.” I said, directing his energy to a more productive task. “And stay in corporeal form so you can help any customers that come in.”
Renard floated down to the floor as he became solid, then stomped off to the front in protest. He was never happy to be corporeal but at the same time he did enjoy flirting with the customers and they left happy so unless it became a problem I was willing to look the other way.
I turned to Kidra, “As for you, I’ll need you to finish that order of vermeil hollow points for the agency before we close tonight.”
“What about you?” Kidra whined, “You think you get to just sit back and chill while we do all the work?”
“Yeah!” Levia chimed in from her bench.
I raised an eyebrow at her in response, “So you want me to fix things while you do paperwork and interviews instead?”
Levia’s face contorted in confusion as she looked decided between blindly supporting Kidra, or fixing things. Finally, she turned back to the tablet and said, “Sorry never mind! Must have misheard you.”
“Traitor” muttered Kidra in response.
“How about you Kid?” I asked, “Up for doing taxes or making bullets?”
She glared at me for a full two minutes before rolling her eyes and heading towards the stairs. “You’re no fun at all you know that!” she pouted as she descended.
I took a seat at my desk and finished up some reports while I waited for the final interview set up for the week.
“Hey Jake! There’s a young man here to see you!” Renard yelled.
I stood from my desk and sent Renard and Levia downstairs while I conducted a quick interview.
“So Tobby, tell me about yourself?” I said as Tobby sat at one of the stools.
“Well I just graduated top of my class last year, I was captain of the basketball team. I was offered scholarships to multiple universities but I’m taking a year off to make up my mind and really discover who I am you know?” Tobby rambled off.
“I see, and why did you apply here then? I mean we are looking for a fifth employee but were hoping for someone full time.”
“I…” Tobby hesitated, “I, um, well my mom is friends with Ms. Sena and she kind of made me apply here. She said it was exactly what I needed, but can I be honest Mr. Jack?” I nodded, “I really don’t think working in a boring repair shop is going to help me much. I mean I have this friend Jerome who is going to work on a cruise ship as a janitor. He said he could probably get me on their too and that’s like a whole adventure thing you know?”
I held back a chuckle and simply shrugged, “Yeah I hear you, this is probably not the job for you. You’d just be my assistant anyway, which I never really wanted so I’ll say you just didn’t feel like a good fit. That way Ms. Sena and your mom should let you go on your little boat ride.”
“Umm? Thanks?” Tobby said looking at me in confusion.
“Oh, it’s my pleasure, really.” I smiled as I shook his hand. “But before you go could you do me a favour and take this file downstairs for me?”
I handed him a manila envelop with a blank sheet of paper inside. He looked at me like I was insane. “I guess, but why?”
I shrugged, “Let’s just say it’s a test, if you still want to leave after that then by all means, you know where the door is.” I turned back to my desk and started working again.
Tobby, I knew, had been sent specifically because his family worked directly with paranormal relations. He really didn’t have a choice to work here or not, his parents had already arranged it with the owner. Luckily, I had dealt with this twice before in the last couple years. I learned that if you told them they had no choice they would fight you none stop until they were fired. This time I wanted to try something different.
As I worked I heard a scream from Tobby, Renard talking, Kidra yelling, Levia squealing in delight, and then finally silence. It took about ten minutes but when Tobby came back upstairs his dark face had paled significantly. He was mumbling to himself as he reached the top of the stairs.
“Well thanks for stopping by, have fun on your boat…” I began before Tobby raced across the room.
“That one guy is a freaking ghost!” He yelled as he shook my shoulders, I nodded. He stared off into space as he continued, “That one girl took apart her arm, there were green muscles, what the hell does that mean? And that other lady shot lightning and turned the ghost guy into a banana! What the heck kind of place is this?”
“It’s a shop where we deal in solving problems from a broken watch to a technology that mankind won’t invent for another four or five millennia.” I said nonchalantly. “Anyway,” I said as I gently pried his hands from my shoulders, “you remember where the door is I’m sure.”
This seemed to snap Tobby out of his shock as he quickly said, “Wait! I mean, couldn’t I try working here just to, you know, see how I like it.”
I grinned, “I don’t know, I mean you didn’t seem that thrilled about working in a boring repair shop.”
“Yeah, I know I said that, but… But….” Tobby panicked.
I was going to let him flounder a bit more but decided to show mercy, “Relax, you already have the job, I was just showing you what is was all about before you made your own decision.”
“Thank you, Mr. JakeA!” Tobby said as he shook my hand, “I swear you won’t regret this!”
We discussed pay and hours briefly and then I gave him a list of odd jobs to start with while I finished some work downstairs with Kidra.
We had just closed up shop and I was just getting ready to send everyone home for the day when I heard Levia scream from upstairs. We raced upstairs to find her and Renard staring at the corner. When I looked to see what they were looking at, I saw Tobby standing there cloaked in black with a full scythe in one hand. The shadows bending around him, making it difficult to focus on our newest intern.
“Um, Mr. Jake?” Tobby’s voice boomed with unintended malevolence.
“Did you touch the knife?” I asked.
“Seriously?” Kidra said, “I think that part is obvious, this little snoop just became a damned reaper!”
“I’m a what?” he said.
“You’re a reaper” I sighed, “Don’t worry, it’s only temporary, I’ve spent the week researching that knife and the effects only last until you’ve reaped a thousand souls.”
“I have to kill a thousand people?” Tobby whimpered.
“Ideally no, under normal circumstances yes but working here there is always opportunities to free trapped souls and the like.” I said casually.
“How are you so calm about all this!” shouted Renard.
“Our first intern got cursed, turned into a mummy until she could gather the pieces of some pharaoh’s headdress and return them to his tomb.” I said dismissively. “For now, you should all go home and rest up. I have a feeling next week is going to be a bit crazy.”
“Are you crazy?” Kidra yelled, “How could it possibly get crazier than all this crap?”
I shut the main lights off and lead them out the door, “Because next week is Halloween.”
Stay tuned Next weekend for the epic conclusion to this five-part series. Let me know on Facebook if you would like to hear more of the Damned Shop!