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November 4, 2011

The interviewer, a nondescript man in his…fifties? Early sixties?—Nestor really couldn’t tell—never bothered to even glance at the resume.

“So. You’re hired.”

“I am?”


The glee with which Mr. Nondescript exclaimed the affirmation seemed bizarrely over the top and at the same time the subtext seemed to more be along the lines of you are going to be eaten alive. Nestor found that rather discouraging. Perhaps this was just some form of Minnesota nice he had yet to encounter.

“And what is it, exactly, I’ll be doing?”

“We can’t tell you. You seem a little sweaty.”

“Yeah, when I got out of my car in the parking lot, a piece of the roof overhang fell and missed me by a mere foot, foot-and-a-half—”


Nondescript was smiling again, if you could call it that. The facial gesture seemed more appropriate on a carnivorous dinosaur of some kind. Definitely a show of teeth, but friendly was not the first word Nestor would use to describe it.

“Um… ‘ah’?”

“Part of your training. You passed the first test.”

“Okay…And what is the training for?”

“Can’t tell you.”

“Oh, I see. National security and all that. Well… Uh… Can you at least tell me in general terms… Counter-intel… Or espionage? Undercover work… Um…”

“Really can’t say.”

“But there will be more tests?”

“Could be.”

“And they will also be in the area of, uh, not getting crushed or whatever?”

Nondescript just shrugged.

“Okay. Secretive nature. I get that. What about pay?”

“Can’t disclose that either.”

“I can’t be told how much it pays?”


“401K? Retirement benefits?”

Nondescript was about to give a pat answer, but stopped himself. He paused for a moment and glanced sideways as if changing his mind.

“Why the f*** not?!?”

He seemed to have something caught in his throat. He turned sideways and coughed…at least he acted like it was a cough. It sounded more like a laugh.

“Any other benefits I should know about?”

“Probably not.”

“Will I learn to dodge bullets?”

This time Nondescript didn’t even bother hiding it. He was practically in tears over that one, and doubled over trying to suppress laughter. He failed miserably. He couldn’t even speak until a few moments later when he ran out of air between guffaws.

“Ohhhhh…. I really don’t know. Think you can?”


From → NKINTRA, Short Story

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