The Best Job for Mr. Jansen!

“Ma’am, why did you insist I come in so late?” He sat before her window, barely opening his mouth, hands in his lap.

The clerk looked over to him and pulled her professional smile to the right side of her face. “To tell you that you are approved for an interview and to get you application corrected. As for the lateness, we’re getting lots of applications and have to put in overtime; you’re the last one tonight.” As she returned her gaze to her screen, she added, “I would suggest you get a haircut and shave before Tuesday!”

He tried to grin a bit. ““Ma’am, I did fill out the form correctly, and I will be clean shaven and well dressed for Tuesday. Forgive the way I look now; this was just not a good time for me to be here.” He stifled a growl.

She found his form and perused it. “Mr. Wolf, sorry, Mr. Jansen, anyway, you stated your first name was Were? Are you foreign?”

He almost put his clawed hand on his forehead in distress. He slapped it back to his lap and said, “Uh, no, my name is Thomas. It should be Thomas Jansen; you were right after all.” He unconsciously peered deeply into her eyes and licked his lips.

The Tuesday morning interview went quite well. Tom, dressed like a professional, shook the Director’s hand as he was told he got one of the Forest Ranger jobs and that training would begin the coming Monday. A Forest Ranger! Nature! The beautiful wildflowers and waterfalls! The tasty hikers!

I’m the Ghost with the Most!

Avo entered the huge gathering and surveyed those present. ‘Hmmm’, he thought, ‘they need some agitation!’

He whirred up above the crowd and shouted, he bragged and flouted, “I am the ghost with the most!”

He followed with describing his various haunts, his many jaunts; he was the best, no jest!

The host of the meeting zoomed up, furious! “Why do you claim such fame; we’re all curious! Come on spook!” In a lower voice he belted out, “You stupid kook! Tell us the reasons for touting to be Sir Supreme for all the seasons.”

Avo took the form of a gaunt old ancient fellow in a flowing white toga. “I am a ghost from the Elder Days, I’ve learned all the languages and all the ways.” He peered into the avidly listening crowd. “I’ve haunted ships and gamblers’ chips, I’m the most knowing and the best at showing my outlines in hallways and as a child in public walkways.” He paused a few seconds before adding, “I’ve aided magicians with alchemy and helped students in more than one academy.”

He started flowing around the large room, his toga longer and then got more serious. “I’ve brought true loves together, I’ve warned ones at risk of vicious weather, I’ve prodded little children to better obey and I’ve taught teens not to be frivolous and stray.” He drifted to a tall cabinet and sat up straight. “I’ve urged drillers to think about solar lighting and spent time with the intolerant to stop their incessant fighting. Sometimes I wear a toga, sometimes a jacket and hood; whatever it takes to enlighten the baddies to do good!”

The host ghost looked cowed. He said, “Yes, you are the best.” Then he bowed.

The group below gathered up and screamed, “You’re the best we’ve ever dreamed!”

Avo smiled. He had much to teach those wafting ghouls, they couldn’t all be fools! Perhaps some could be useful tools?

Which Witch Can Cure My Itch?

Aldor pondered his mental itch with worry; he needed it scratched in a great hurry. “I want to do sly conjuring like any other warlock. But my brain feels like a store completely out of stock. I need a witch to assist with some spelling issues; right now, they’re giving me the bluest of blues!”

He assembled his crew and ordered each to find an appropriate witch or two. Soon they came back with witches by the pack. He had his Aide go sort them to find the best specimen.

“Let’s begin! Bring her in!” His smile bent to a frown as he thrust his fist out thumb down. “Blonde curls and a floral skirt that whirls?” Where’d they get these girls?

“Next and make it better!” What he saw was a girl in a pink sweater. “Ugh! Pitch that witch!” He sat back in his chair after smoothing his hair. “Bring another one on! If she’s not right, I’m gone!” They’d resent it, but he meant it!

He bent down to peer, whispering, “What have we here?” He stood tall with fists on hips. “Look, she’s doped or asleep!” He stared at his Aide, “Your errors are getting steep! Twitch that witch and go!”

He considered leaving all this, all this ‘no hits and miss, miss, miss’. He began to rise, then she caught his eyes. “Oh wait! That one!” Ahhh, her pointy hat, her stout wand, her black cat! “Come hither, darling,” he coaxed while admiring her black dress and cloak that shined like a starling. She strode close to him with a mystical look. She stopped at his feet and reached into her robe to pull out: The Scariest ABC Spelling Book. She laid it on his lap and raised her hand with a finger snap. She stated, “Aldor, it’s up to you to read it and also to heed it. I’m finished!” She waved her wand and poof, she vanished!

A Splinter in Time

A real job at last! No more Call Center crap; what losers there, on either side of the phone line with their yack, yack, whine, whine. My new boss Bernie didn’t just run a sanitation company, but a Cadillac Service specializing in garage, shed and basement cleanouts. He said the last outfit these guys employed were run out of town or something. Too bad for them, great for us coming into a new territory and all. ‘Basement cleaning could reveal bad infrastructure and other perils’ according to the training video. Got it.

Apparently, the client told Bernie to have the pallet of supplies sent to the basement because that’s where the note stuck on the heavy iron front gate said to go. Who leaves their basement door open? Anyway, I found the sorry-half-busted pallet with splinters all around it and got my mop and bucket. No hauling out trash bags as the place was empty except for the long pulpy drip lines on the walls and a big pile of sticks under the stairs. I’d just bundle the sticks up and put them on the pallet before I leave.yellow drips

The basement was more like a huge tub with a drain at one end. The cleaning challenge was what must be drips from rust because it was that deep brownish red. And good grief, the constant echo of buzzing flies! That’s what they get leaving that door open, I could’ve told them. I got the hose hooked up and filled my bucket. After checking out the darker end I walked back to see my own footprints. Crap! I’d have to hose my boots off good to keep from tracking up my car.

cleaning upI gloved up and tried the soapy stuff first. It hardly made a difference on the drips but sure made the floor slick. The bleachy stuff did better, and the strong odor overcame the rotten smell. I got a couple spots mopped off to gage the amount of effort I’d have to put into this job and turned to the bucket for a reload. There stood a pale guy in a black suit.

“Sir, I estimate four hours minimum to get this done. Did you recently have a flood to cause …”?

In a second, he stepped up and backhanded my head; I fell to the floor and felt a sharp pain in my left arm. Crap! He towered above me and leaned far over to bare the most awful fangs at me. Holy Crap from Kingdom Come!

reach 001

I grabbed for the biggest splinter I could reach while kicking at one of his shins. He landed on his butt and tried propping himself up with his hands. Ha! My rubber gloves didn’t slip on the soapy floor! I landed on him with a knee in his gut. I reared my arm back and saw his bloodshot eyes bulge as I drove the splinter into his heart.

I sat back and caught my breath. Would only a couple inches of such a skinny stake into his chest be enough? Should I go ahead and clean so I can get paid? I glanced over at the sound of slow steps on the stairs. I ran out the utility door cradling my arm. Those complaining callers seemed not so bad, comparatively.