The Interview by Jason Darrell

Through the crack, a keen sliver of citrine light split the darkness before tumbling across the ancient flagstones. Shuffling deeper into the shadows out of its path, I heard a voice ask, "So, Renfield, is that all the applicants? Any take your fancy?" 

"No, master Vlad," was the somewhat sheepish reply, "N-no g-good." 

At that, their discussion became inaudible; desperate, I crept closer. 

Twenty, thirty seconds. Silence. 

I'd just resolved to retreat when the door whooshed open, sucking the air from the anteroom in which I'd stood, waiting (okay, hiding). 

A huge silhouette burst through amidst a white-yellow halo. "Renfield," it admonished, "I thought we shut the door?" 

Indecipherable apologies mumbled from behind the approaching shadow, which, upon seeing me, pantomimed, "My, what do we have here?" 

I squint one eye open: yes, Vlad (I assumed) was addressing me. Unable to stop myself, I broke wind. 

"Renfield," Vlad boomed, circling with a dramatic flourish, "show Fart McSqueaky into the office, won't you?" 

Renfield peered around the door, gesturing me in. 

"Sit," said Vlad. Unquestioningly, I did. 

"You want the job, mm?" he asked 

"I, I…" I stammered. 

"Good, good," Vlad said, a dismissive gesture preventing any argument "It's been a long day. At least, I think so. Well, I'm hungry, so it must have been." 

He circuited the desk, bent towards me; another unbashful squeaker escaped. His forefingers found my temples, whereupon I heard from inside my skull, "You really ought to address those bowels." 

Withdrawing his fingers, he told Renfield, "Yes! He'll do." 

Panicking, I went to rise, but Vlad said, "No, don't thank me. I'm off, mm, out. Renfield will take your particulars." 

In a puff of smoke, Vlad vanished. Renfield approached, smirking. 

"Please sir," I begged, "I only wanted to know where the toilet was…" 


Published in Issue #21

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