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Rated: 13+ · Chapter · Fantasy · #1283815
This is the tale of my wizarding job hunt. My resume is attached for your review.
Job hunting tip number 1: Optimism!



"That's what we're all about here.  Self-starting.  Motivation.  Teamwork.  It's all about the teamwork."  The talking skeleton paused in the hallway and its head did a 180-twist to look back at me. "Did you know there's no 'I' in team?"

"I never thought of it that way," I lied.  "A lot of truth to that, I suppose."

"There's no 'I' in team," the skeleton reassured me.  It resumed walking, so I resumed following.  And wondering how much further down I'd sink.  And wondering if I'd just said that out loud.

"Oh, it's not much further.  We'll sink about five storys further down and get to the main floor.  The main floor is where the magic happens."

The skeleton-- 'Chuck,' I think he said his name was-- led me further down the granite-walled, torchlit hallway, toward a granite-walled, torchlit intersection, which in turn let to a granite-walled, torchlit alcove.  The walls and the various bloodstains on the floor and muffled shrieks bouncing down the corridors gave the place a definite 'abandon all hope' motif, which is what they were going for, so it worked for them I guess. 

"While we're on the tour, please feel free to ask questions if you have any, alright?  I'd love to answer them for you."  Chuck the skeleton tapped at a few cracks in the wall and a glowing, blue-ish outline of an archway appeared, finally solidifying into a set of wooden, double-doors.  Behind them, an elevator.  We got on.  "In fact, I'll give myself a few questions, kind of like a pre-emptive question strike, if you will.  Then, if it raises any questions on your front, feel free to jump in at any time!  Okay, first question: why necromancy?  Well, that's simple.  As I was saying before: Cinergy.  And not too many people really appreciate..."  Blah, blah, blah.

I'd been forming a mental picture of what Chuck must've looked like before undeath set in: hair slicked back, plaid sports coat, maybe a pinky ring.  A tie between a used car salesman and a highschool assembly motivational speaker.  Just another part of the whole underwhelming experience of finding a job, which had been ongoing since graduation six months ago.  My expectations had started pretty high.  Then they plateaued.  Now, the five-story descent on Chuck the Skeleton's magical hidden elevator seemed strangely metaphorical. 

I had two things that kept whipping the job hunt onward; the first was the itch coming from the glyph tattooed on my back, which would inevitably get much worse.  The second was Jack Fontaine, and the fact that he's an asshole.  I was reminded of that when his smiling face was the first thing I saw down there.


There are a lot of reasons to love the number eighteen, like voting and smoking and female age groups.  I hated it.  The number left a taste like ash in my mouth because it was a constant reminder of Jack Fontaine's dipsey-doodle next to my spot in line: he and I both graduated eighteenth out of forty-five in our class-- a dead tie.  And while I worked to get there, Fontaine was one of those gifted people that give zero effort-- and his zero effort got us tied.

As Chuck and I stepped off the elevator and into the sublevel, Fontaine's smile continued.  "Ha-hey Chuck!  I thought I heard a rattling!" he jived.  "High five!"

"Wha-zaaap!" replied Chuck.  Judging from their high-five, they apparently went way back.  "Been forty-five minutes since we met you for the first time and gave you the dime tour, and already you're like one of the posse."  Apparently, they just met. Yes, Fontaine was one of those people no one liked.  As long as 'no one' meant 'everyone but me.'

"And then, there was Barker," Fontaine said, acknowledging my existence.  "Arrrwwwooo!!"

Chuck made the connection and lit up with as much amusement as a skinless, fleshless face can show, and then some.  "Ha!  The dog noise plays off his first name!"  Chuck laughed and swivveled his skull at me.  "Man, he's got your number."

The two exchanged further pleasantries before Fontaine got onto the elevator and ascended out of sight and out of mind.  Until Chuck insisted on prattling on and on about him as we walked toward the door with the familiar glyph etched onto the front.  "...I swear, that Fontaine.  Really proactive.  A straight shooter.  And did you see his pinky ring?  The guy's got class."

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