Friday, April 3, 2015

Microstory 30: The Job

I had been looking for a job for months, about to run out of unemployment money, when an interesting ad catches my eye in the newspaper that says only, Cool job. I call the phone number listed. An automated voice directs me to an industrial zone. I wander around for a while before settling on a parking garage. Only a handful of cars are scattered throughout, but none of them appear to be in working order. I do notice a semi truck parked neatly in a corner. My instincts compel me to open the side door to the trailer. It smells awful, but still I feel the need to move on. I walk to the back and through the wall of the garage. Using my phone’s screen as a flashlight, I see many doors, but choose the one that feels right. It’s locked, but I see a glimmer on the ground. It’s the key. It opens up to a room with a flickering fluorescent light. I knock on the door on the other side but no one comes. On a lark, I take out a punch card for a sandwich shop rewards program and swipe it through the card reader. The door opens. The next door has a keypad. I punch in my birthdate followed by my social security number. Next to the fourth door is a screen. What looks to be nothing but a random scribble appears on it. For some reason, I associate the image with my right hand thumb and my left hand ring finger. I place them on the screen and wait for it to complete the scan. The fifth room contains dozens of eye scanners. I let my instincts continue driving me, choosing one that seems random to me. It turns out to be the right one. I lean gently towards the microphone in the sixth room and say my name, followed by the code word Madea. The door opens. I find the secret compartments in the seventh, eighth, and ninth sections; providing my spit, skin scrape, and blood sample respectively. I pull the giant helmet from the ceiling in Section Ten and engage the machine. A woman opens the door and leads me into Section Eleven. “How did it go?”

“It didn’t work,” I reply. “No matter what, we cannot erase my memories completely. I always find my way back to the base.”

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