I'm a middle aged, amateur fiction writer with a passion for sci-fi, thrillers, and comedy. Critiques and comments welcome, but be nice!
Brian’s forehead wrinkled as he scoured the job listings in the classified section of the local newspaper. He’d been out of work for about three months. Brian had never really been a hard worker, he scraped by where he could, but he never really found his ‘thing’. Which is why he found himself where he was now. Rent was due, his fridge was empty and Karen, his girlfriend of 4 years left him last week.
He was surprised she stuck around as long as she did, she was an outgoing, bouncy person, and gorgeous with it. Brian, was not. They say opposites attract and that was certainly the case with Brian and Karen. He wasn’t a bad looking man, but Karen was a solid 9 on the looks scale, Brian was pushing a hard 6.5. He couldn’t keep his hair under control, his beard grew quicker than grass, and clothes never seemed to fit him right. Shirts were always too tight and pants always too baggy.
“You need to shop at better places!” Karen always used to tell him. “Spend a bit more money and get clothes that fit you properly.”
She had bought him clothes, he’d worn them, but he never felt comfortable, her style just wasn’t his style. What the hell did she ever see in him anyway? And what was his style anyway? Baggy T-Shirt, cargo shorts, baseball cap and chin stubble?
He continued to look at the listings. Dishwasher, hmm maybe? Door to door salesman? No, too much walking and talking to strangers. If there was on thing Brian didn’t like more than walking, it was striking up conversation with people he didn’t know. Small talk was definitely not one of his strong suits. Sheet metal worker, no. Project technician at the local college, no, not qualified for that one…Wait, what was this one?
Part-Time Site Inspector
No experience necessary
Are you looking for an interesting, fulfilling part-time job, with great benefits, good pay and short hours, easy work and no training? Then do we have the job for you! Join our team of on-location site inspectors. No need for a vehicle for travel and all expenses paid.
Apply now online.
Wow! Sounded perfect. He took the paper over to his laptop and punched in the web address. The screen turned white and he was greeted with a white text box and a flashing cursor, with a ‘submit’ button after it, and that was all.
‘Weird,’ thought Brian. So he hit the refresh arrow to load the page up thinking something was wrong and the page hadn’t loaded properly. Same again, text box and button. Brian frowned and pulled his phone out of his pocket and typed in the URL again into the web browser on his phone. Same again, white screen, text box and submit button. There was no indication of who the company was, or what he was meant to type into the box, or what he was even doing here.
He shrugged and typed into the box. “I’d like to apply for the vacancy of Site Inspector.” He hesitated before hit pushed the submit button with his finger. This was strange, he thought, and then pressed it.
Instantly his phone rang, and made him jump.
“Unknown Number” showed on the screen. Brian let the phone ring three times as he glared at it.
“What the F…” Brian started to say.
Then it stopped. A message flipped up on his screen “Missed call, from an unknown number.” Brian went to his recent calls, to see if they left a voicemail. Nothing. “Must have just been a coincidence, wrong number or something.” He said aloud to no one in particular. Maybe the website wasn’t up yet for the job application, and it just wasn’t ready, or had gone wrong. “Happens all the time,” he thought. “Maybe I should have been a web programmer…” Brian picked up the paper and started browsing the listings again, and then his phone rang again.
He punched the answer button and lifted the phone to his ear.
“Hello? Brian speaking.”
“Hello Mr. Matthews! Thanks for contacting us.” A voice said from the other side of the phone.
“Errr, you phoned me, who is this and how did you get my number?”
“I’m doing the interview here Mr. Mathews.”
“Oh right, sorry.” Brian said bewildered.
“When can you start?” Said the voice back to him.
“Ermmm, well right away, but I’d like to know a bit more about the job first.”
“Oh of course! But being able to start right away is amazing, we have an inspection for you to do right now in-fact. Can you come see us? I’d like you to meet our CEO, I think she’ll like you just fine and as far as I’m concerned, the job is yours!”
“Oh errrr, okay, great. Where do you want me to go to to meet you?” Said Brian.
“We will send a car.”
Brian started to say something else, he was very confused, what the hell was this? What was going on? How did they get his number and how did they know his name?
Outside a car horn honked in two short bursts. Brian pulled back his curtain and peered out. A black London taxi cab had pulled up outside and the driver was sitting in the driver's seat waving at him.
© 2021 Steve Ettridge