My #fridayflash post of a couple of weeks ago lends itself (I think) to a series. I feel that the employees of the emploment exchange have much further to go, so, for the moment, I am going to keep posting chapters as part of #fridayflash. Hopefully, it will work and I’ll keep them coming! To read chapter one, click here.
The Mythical Creatures Employment Exchange
In which Fiona makes an interesting discovery.
Fiona smiled to herself as Ms Pinky left her office; it was such a pleasure to meet a friendly monster for a change; one who recognised the difference between objective terror and the more gratuitous variety favoured by many other recurring nightmare characters. In other words, a truly professional monster.
She placed Ms Pinky’s CV on the ‘possibles’ pile on her desk, which, in reality, was simply another pile of paper squeezed in between her collection of glass paperweights, empty cups from the coffee shop upstairs and signed photographs of grateful clients. The latest of these had just arrived in the post so Fiona gave the frame a quick dust with her sleeve and placed it in a prominent position; the distinctly ugly features of an ageing witch sneered at the camera and the message in green ink read “Thanks for the job, it’s great to be back in work, Yours, The (new) Witch of Wooky.”
Fiona had just begun rearranging her paper weights when Alice popped her head round the door.
‘Phone call for you Fiona, the Norwegian Employment Minister. Says it’s urgent.’
‘Wonder what he wants, oh, did you get rid of those zombies yet?’
‘There’s one still hanging around. I think he fancies me. I’m taking him up to Gino’s for a coffee, then it’s hasta la vista, zombie! Do you want anything?’
Fiona peered into the assembled cups hopefully.
‘Better get me a latte I suppose. What line’s the Minister on?’
‘Three and he sounds impatient. See you later.’
After ten minutes on the phone to Oslo, Fiona put the receiver down angrily.
‘Bastard bureaucrats,’ she muttered to herself, ‘all the bloody same.’
She walked across the corridor and knocked on Neil’s door,
‘Neil, you got a minute?’
‘For you Fiona, I have a lifetime.’
‘A sarcastic homosexual. How novel.’
Neil smiled at his boss.
‘Are there two m’s in ‘discrimination’ Fiona? I can’t remember.’
‘Very funny. Look, we have a problem. The Norwegians have uncovered an issue with The Kraken’s tax status and work permit and since we placed him they want us to sort it out.’
‘What’s it got to do with them?’
‘The Kraken has a multi-regional license for the North Sea. Apparently, it didn’t file all the necessary paperwork. They want it sorting out pronto; someone’s going to have to go and find it.’
‘So we need a field agent with a Triple C rating.’ Neil punched some keys on his laptop. ‘Let’s see, no, none available.’
‘Shit.’ Fiona tugged at her beaded necklace nervously. ‘It’s a really big contract for us. We can’t afford to lose it.’
‘I should be able to get a list of qualified people from the Rating’s Office.’
‘Could you? Thanks sweetie. By the way, did you find someone for Santa’s Little Helper?’
Neil shook his head.
‘All hopeless. The elves both had criminal records and the pixie is a registered drug addict. I’ve got five more coming in later.’
‘Good luck with that, and let me know when you have that list.’
Fiona went back to her desk and tried to concentrate on the poltergeist enquiry she had received in the post, but couldn’t take her mind off the problem with the Kraken. She couldn’t understand how the employment exchange had messed up its paperwork, but if word got out they might start losing clients; especially as this was such a high-profile contract.
A few minutes later, Neil came in, smirking from ear to ear.
‘That was quick,’ said Fiona, looking up.
‘Let’s just say I have an acquaintance at the Rating’s Office,’ said Neil, winking.
‘Spare me the details thank you Neil,’ said Fiona, ‘is there anyone we can use?’
‘According to this list, there are three other people with a license. Two of them currently work with the American government.’
‘And the third?’
‘Alice? Alice who?’
‘Our Alice,’ said Neil, handing over the list, ‘look, that’s her name isn’t it, Alice Finchley?’
Fiona looked at the list, then back at Neil.
‘I don’t understand. What on earth does Alice want with a Triple C rating?’
‘Ask her yourself,’ said Neil, ‘here she is.’
Alice breezed into the office and placed the latte in front of Fiona.
‘Can I throw out these empty cups for you?’
‘No, leave them,’ said Fiona, ‘they remind me how stressful my job is.’
‘Can you believe that zombie asked me out on a date?’ Alice shuddered. ‘Freak!’
‘Alice, we’ve a question for you,’ said Fiona.
‘Yes?’ said Alice warily. Fiona’s questions invariably involved something unpleasant or smelly.
‘Do you really have a Cephalopod Communication Certificate?’
‘The Triple C? Yes.’
‘Where on earth did you get that?’ asked Fiona.
‘Evening class,’ said Alice proudly.
‘Why?’ asked Neil.
‘I thought it might be interesting,’ said Alice, ‘cephalopods have a highly complex communication methodology.’
Fiona looked at her secretary with growing admiration.
‘You amaze me Alice. Is your certificate up to date?’
‘I think so. Why?’
‘Sit down. We need to have a chat.’
© flyingscribbler 2010