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Rated: 13+ · Draft · Fanfiction · #2275019
Astrid applies for a job recommended by her friend.
The sandals pinched, but Ruffnut insisted Astrid wear the entire outfit. Ruffnut had shoved Astrid outside with the command, “Go talk to Hiccup now. My brother says he’s there.”



The lettering on the door read “Berk Summer Theatre.” This was the place Ruffnut claimed was hiring, run by someone named Hiccup.

The office was a narrow rectangle, painted half in industrial gray and half in primer. The card table had a chair in either side, and the table held a phone, a pencil jar, and an appointment planner. A poster hung in the untouched wall: This Is Your Destiny.

Well, that’s depressing.

The door behind the desk had a note taped to it. Knock and/or shout for assistance.

Astrid rapped on the door, and after a few moments, began thumping. “Hey. Hey, I’m here for a job. My friend told me to find Hiccup. Is anyone there?” She took a deep breath. “I’m looking for Hiccup!”

“I’m Hiccup.”

Coming through the door behind Astrid was a guy her own age, wearing a vintage Ghostbusters t-shirt and skinny jeans. Tuffnut had described him as a dorky fishbone who needed a haircut. Ruffnut advised her to check out his shoulders.

They were both right.

“Once I put this down, I can help you.” He set a soft-sided cooler on the floor and straightened. He looked her over, flushed for a second, and pointed to a chair. She sat, and Hiccup plucked a pencil out of the jar.

“Let me get some information. What’s your name?” He asked, still not looking at her.

‘Astrid Hofferson.”

He wrote it in the planner. “Have you been here before?”

“No, I haven’t. A friend recommended I try this place.” Hiccup wrote “word of mouth” on the planner. “I’m looking for a job.”

“Gotcha. Today we have Thor, Apollo, Odin, Ares, and Mars available. Tomorrow I’ll have a better selection, if you want to pick one today.” He pulled a packet out from beneath the phone. “Booking your deity in advance gives you the opportunity to pick from our menu.” He handed Astrid the packet. “Gods and goddesses are on the first page.”

“I’m up here, you know.” He raised his eyes. “I am,” she enunciated, “searching for employment. I need work, and heard this place has an opening. I don’t want a god, I want a job.”

“You are? You do? Um, I’m sorry about the mixup. Yes, I’m hiring; we’re short on staff, and there’s a lot of work. Come back here and and we can talk.”

He opened the door, and she saw the room.

It was chaos. It looked like—well, Astrid didn’t know what it looked like. A rocking horse was draped in belts and scarves. Clown shoes and rainbow afros poked out of a box labeled Cat Toys. The whirr of the fan blades was the only normal thing Astrid could identify.

She spotted a wig on the floor. The hair was golden and roughly three feet long. Astrid picked it up, and asked Hiccup, “What do you want me to do with Rapunzel?”

Hiccup caught sight of Astrid. “Oh, her name’s Sif. You can put her,” he scanned the room, “there.” Astrid hung the wig on the skeleton behind her.

“Thanks. Now you’ve seen the place, what do you think?”

“I don’t have words to describe this place.” If she did, gaudy and nauseating would be in the list, right about horrifying.

“Come on, Astrid. How about the unholy marriage of a hardware store and a craft supplier? Or more like a bunch of thrift stores committed mass suicide?” Hiccup grinned at her. “Go on, I can take it.”

“All of it, plus garage sale leftovers.” Astrid pointed to a papier-mâché leopard missing half a leg and its nose. “So, are you going to interview me?”

She followed him to a workbench. “The papasan chair is the good one. Allow me to clear a space for us.” Hiccup moved some drafting tools to a second workbench, handling them as if they were precious. Maybe to him, they were.

Definitely a dork.

He pulled sodas out of the cooler, and took one for himself. “Berk Summer Theatre is street performance. The performers play roles as gods, goddesses, legends, and famous people. We portray Greek, Roman, and Norse gods, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc, Roman soldiers, Amazons, Viking raiders—the menu has a full list.”

“Do people pay for that? Walking around dressed like, I don’t know, Venus, is a little niche.”

“We have an existing contract with Berk for five to ten players a week. The players walk around downtown, talking to people and trying to drive foot traffic to shops and restaurants. They answer questions, tell people about Berk’s summer events, recommend activities, stuff like that. We tell them about outdoor concerts, summer festivals, and where to find good air-conditioning.”

“I bet that’s popular.”

“It is. We ask people to fill out a little card if we helped them or they enjoyed our company, “ he said. “Gotta justify the job.”

“How long are the shifts?”

“One or two hours. We also have customers hire us. A gym hired Thor to stand outside, look muscular, and talk to everyone he could. Our Thor is a chatty guy who’s into physical fitness, and preaches because he cares. It’s unscripted, and people try out the gym. He’s there about once a week.”

“Venus—Roman goddess of beauty—passes out coupons for hair stylists or beauty products.”

“Harried costume maker, prop designer, and manager of madness. I spend most of my time here, when I’m not picking up fast food.” He pulled three sandwiches out of the cooler. “Take one.”

She chose the chicken salad. It was good, with the right amount of celery, and a touch of paprika in the mayonnaise. “What’s the pay for this?”

“The job pays minimum wage, but you can work for up to twenty-five hours a week. Most of the people who work here are our age, and you can hang out here between gigs. Besides that,” he added, “you’re perfect.” Astrid saw him redden. “For the job, I mean. For the job.”

“Oh? Why is that?” Hiccup’s awkwardness was cute, maybe even endearing.

“You’ve got great hair. You’re blond, and people find that attractive. Plus, long hair works for anytime period, and,” Hiccup gestured to her, looking away, “you’re comfortable with sleeveless clothing and form-fitting stuff.”

Astrid looked down at her skort. Oh, gods, it clung to her. She was going to kill Ruffnut.

“Not that I’m asking you to wear tight things, I’m not, it’s just easier for wardrobe purposes. I mean, you don’t need any help looking good, well, great.” Hiccup ran his hand down his face. “I’m gonna shut up now.”

He was full on blushing, poor guy. “Would it help if I wore something tighter next time? If it’s for wardrobe purposes. I’m sure Ruffnut has something in spandex I can borrow.”

“Ruff Thorston? Tuffnut’s sister? Yeah, she’d have spandex. She bought me these jeans, and said black was my color. Then she made Tuffnut report whether I wore them. I finally did, and you showed up. I usually avoid dressing,” Hiccup gestured to the skinny jeans, “like this.”

He crinkled his nose, and Astrid began laughing, then howling. She caught her breath after a minute. “Ruff threw these clothes at me, told me to put them on, and kicked me out to apply here. You only got tight jeans. I’m the one wearing ‘sleeveless and form-fitting.’”

He was drinking when she said that, and he sprayed soda out his nose. It set her to laughing again, and Hiccup joined her until they were wheezing.

“Want to help me plot revenge on my friend?” Astrid risked a bite of chicken salad, afraid she’d erupt again. Nope, no laughter.

“I can do that. So,” Hiccup said, a little more serious, “are you taking the job? You did say you’d come back.”

Getting paid minimum wage wasn’t much, but the job sounded cool. Astrid liked Hiccup; he was funny and awkward and he did fill out the jeans really well.

“I’ll take the job.”



§ § §



Astrid opened the door reading “Berk Summer Theatre.” Ruffnut claimed this place was hiring, and to talk to someone named Hiccup.

The office was a narrow rectangle, painted half in industrial gray and half in primer. The card table held a phone, a pencil jar, and an appointment planner. Taped to the table was a note reading Please Ring For Service. Astrid rang the desk bell and waited for a minute, before hitting it again. “Hey. I’m here for the job. My friend told me to find Hiccup.” She moved to the closed door behind the table and started pounding. “Is anyone in there? I’m looking for Hiccup!”

“I’m Hiccup.”

Coming through the door behind Astrid was a guy her own age, wearing black jeans and a vintage Ghostbusters t-shirt. Ruffnut said he had green eyes and nice shoulders. Tuffnut had described him as a freckled fishbone with messy hair.

This was Hiccup, all right.

“Once I put this down, I can help you.” He dropped a soft-sided cooler on the floor and grabbed the planner, before plucking a mechanical pencil from the jar. “Let me get some information. What’s your name?”

‘Astrid Hofferson.”

He wrote it in the planner. “Have you been here before?”

“No, I haven’t. A friend recommended I try this place.” Hiccup wrote “word of mouth” on the planner. “I’m looking for a job.”

“Gotcha. Today we have Thor, Apollo, Odin, Ares, and Mars available. Tomorrow I’ll have a better selection, if you want to pick one today.” He pulled a packet out from beneath the phone. “Booking your deity in advance gives you the opportunity to pick from our menu.” He handed Astrid the packet. “Gods and goddesses are on the first page.”

Astrid cut off his spiel. “I am,” she enunciated, “searching for employment. I need work, and heard this place has an opening. I don’t want a god, I want a job.”

“You are? You do? I’m sorry about the mixup. Yes, I’m hiring. We’ve been cursed with success, and don’t have enough staff. Come with me and and we can talk.” He turned the knob and said, “Watch your step, it’s cluttered.”

The door opened onto chaos. A rocking horse was draped in belts and scarves. Clown shoes and rainbow afros poked out of a box labeled Cat Toys. One table was buried under bedspreads, tin snips, glue guns, and fake fur.

A ingest the anarchy, Astrid spotted a wig on the floor. The hair was golden and roughly three feet long. Astrid picked it up. “Hey, Hiccup? What do you want me to do with Rapunzel?”

Hiccup looked back. “Actually, her name’s Sif. You can put her,” he scanned the room, “on that.” He indicated a plastic skeleton, and Astrid hung it up.

“Thanks. Now you’ve seen the place, what do you think?”

“I can’t begin to describe this. There are no words for this room.”

“Well, anarchy fits. How about the unholy marriage of a hardware store and a craft supplier? Or more like a bunch of thrift stores committed suicide?” Hiccup grinned at her. “Go on, I can take it.”

“All of it, plus garage sale leftovers and estate sale rubbish.” She picked her way through the morass. “Is this part of the interview?”

“No, I wanted to see your reaction.
She followed him to a workbench. “The papasan chair is the good one. Allow me to clear a space for us.” Hiccup moved some drafting tools to a second workbench, handling them as if they were precious. Maybe to him, they were.

Definitely a dork.

He pulled sodas out of the cooler, and took one for himself. “Berk Summer Theatre is street performance. The performers play roles as gods, goddesses, legends, and famous people. We portray Greek, Roman, and Norse gods, Robin Hood, Joan of Arc, Roman soldiers, Amazons, Viking raiders—the menu has a full list.”

“Do people pay for that? Walking around dressed like, I don’t know, Venus, is a little niche.”

“We have an existing contract with Berk for five to ten players a week. The players walk around downtown, talking to people and trying to drive foot traffic to shops and restaurants. They answer questions, tell people about Berk’s summer events, recommend activities, stuff like that. We tell them about outdoor concerts, summer festivals, and where to find good air-conditioning.”

“I bet that’s popular.”

“It is. We ask people to fill out a little card if we helped them or they enjoyed our company, “ he said. “Gotta justify the job.”

“How long are the shifts?”

“One or two hours. We also have customers hire us. A gym hired Thor to stand outside, look muscular, and talk to everyone he could. Our Thor is a chatty guy who’s into physical fitness, and preaches because he cares. It’s unscripted, and people try out the gym. He’s there about once a week.”

“Venus—Roman goddess of beauty—passes out coupons for hair stylists or beauty products.”

“Harried costume maker, prop designer, and manager of madness. I spend most of my time here, when I’m not picking up fast food.” He pulled three sandwiches out of the cooler. “Take one.”

She chose the chicken salad. It was good, with the right amount of celery, and a touch of paprika in the mayonnaise. “What’s the pay for this?”

“The job pays minimum wage, but you can work for up to twenty-five hours a week. Most of the people who work here are our age, and you can hang out here between gigs. Besides that,” he added, “you’re perfect.” Astrid saw him redden. “For the job, I mean. For the job.”

“Oh? Why is that?” Hiccup’s awkwardness was cute, maybe even endearing.

“You’ve got great hair. You’re blond, and people find that attractive. Plus, long hair works for anytime period, and,” Hiccup gestured to her, looking away, “you’re comfortable with sleeveless clothing and form-fitting stuff.”

Astrid looked down at her skort. Oh, gods, it clung to her. She was going to kill Ruffnut.

“Not that I’m asking you to wear tight things, I’m not, it’s just easier for wardrobe purposes. I mean, you don’t need any help looking good, well, great.” Hiccup ran his hand down his face. “I’m gonna shut up now.”

He was full on blushing, poor guy. “Would it help if I wore something tighter next time? If it’s for wardrobe purposes. I’m sure Ruffnut has something in spandex I can borrow.”

“Ruff Thorston? Tuffnut’s sister? Yeah, she’d have spandex. She bought me these jeans, and said black was my color. Then she made Tuffnut report whether I wore them. I finally did, and you showed up. I usually avoid dressing,” Hiccup gestured to the skinny jeans, “like this.”

He crinkled his nose, and Astrid began laughing, then howling. She caught her breath after a minute. “Ruff threw these clothes at me, told me to put them on, and kicked me out to apply here. You only got tight jeans. I’m the one wearing ‘sleeveless and form-fitting.’”

He was drinking when she said that, and he sprayed soda out his nose. It set her to laughing again, and Hiccup joined her until they were wheezing.

“Want to help me plot revenge on my friend?” Astrid risked a bite of chicken salad, afraid she’d erupt again. Nope, no laughter.

“I can do that. So,” Hiccup said, a little more serious, “are you taking the job? You did say you’d come back.”

Getting paid minimum wage wasn’t much, but the job sounded cool. Astrid liked Hiccup; he was funny and awkward and he did fill out the jeans really well.

“I’ll take the job.”



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