For this one I’ve borrowed a prompt from ‘A Writer’s Path‘. This one is a short story rather than flash fiction. I saw the prompt and I was so amused by the idea I had to play with it too the fullest.
Write a scene with a recruiting company for pirates
Interview one: David Jones
Mary bumped the handful of papers she held against her desk to neaten the pile. Swiping the first CV off the top, she slotted the rest into her inbox. Over-viewing the file, she buzzed her secretary to send ‘David Jones’ in. As the door to her tiny office swung inwards she stood up as though on autopilot. Treading around the desk to greet the clean-cut figure who stood in her doorway, she begun her assessment. “Come in. I hope we haven’t kept you waiting too long,” She said, clasping his hand in a firm shake. He was muscular; athletic with an air of confidence. “I’m Mary Wallis,” She continued, meeting his eye. Good strong features, with a gaze to match. So far so good. “I’m David Jones. Thank you for seeing me on short notice, Ms Wallis,” He replied. Mary smiled; the confidence was not an act. “Let’s have a seat,” She instructed, motioning him to the uncomfortable office chair on the opposite side of her desk. She sat down and crooked one leg over the other. “Your last job was in management. Tell me, what does the realm of piracy have to offer an educated, well-employed individual such as yourself?” She asked, cutting straight to the crux of the matter. David feign thought; it was quite clear to Mary that he already had an answer and was looking to impress. “Management pays the bills but, how should I say this? It lacks excitement,” he responded with a casual wave of his hand. Mary pursed her lips. There were worse reasons, she surmised. “How are your fighting skills? Have you handled a sword before, David?” She continued with her dissection. “I have qualifications in various martial arts, including skilled usage in a wide range of weaponry,” David replied with that same irritating hand movement. Mary nodded with a smile that was no longer quite reaching her eyes. “Please don’t be offended by my following question, as I am required to ask it. Do you have a criminal record?” Mary leant forward, elbows on the desk, and hands clasped in front of her. David had the look of snake whose tail had been caught. “No. Never had anything worse then a parking ticket; which I paid.” Mary nodded and leaned back, crossing her arms across her chest; she noticed the irritating hand movement hadn’t been made this time. “Let’s change tract for a bit. What’s the most dangerous situation you’ve been in?” David shifted in his chair; it was as though he was sitting on tacks.
“A while back there was a stalker worrying the women in the street in which I lived. The police were struggling to pin him down so I took it upon myself to take him down.” David answered after a perturbed silence. Mary narrowed her eye’s at him. A vigilante? That was a plus in this situation. So why the obvious lie about his criminal record? “That’s quite honourable of you, David. What was the outcome?” She asked.
“I handed him over to the police,” David stated, eye suddenly focusing on the far right wall. Mary noted the omission. Clearly David had gone a little overboard with his ‘justice’ before the stalker went into police custody. The thought that followed coloured her assessment of his reason for leaving management for piracy: he’d been brought up on assault charges. Mary reached into her office draw and pulled out shot glasses, “Shall we play a game of 21 questions?” She queried as she set a large bottle of Captain Morgan’s rum on the table. David looked confused in more ways than one; he could only nod assent as she poured shots. 5 questions later David was down for the count. They hadn’t even gotten to singing sea shanties.
Interview 2: Ray Smith
Ray was in the door as soon as the security guards had dragged David away. “What happened to- Can’t hold his booze?” He asked, as soon as the rum came into view. Mary begun to assess the new interviewee. Ray was quite direct, with a confident air that was less pompous then the man she had just had removed before he yakked on the carpet. “Clearly not, though I thought those muscles would absorb more then five shots,” She responded eyeing Ray’s wiry frame. He looked ready to scamper at the drop of a hat. “Yet you look as though you haven’t even started drinking. Fancy drinking with someone who will present more of a challenge?” Ray said in manner that was clearly flirtatious. If it weren’t for the shifty nature of his eyes, she might be attracted. “Why not? I’m Mary Wallis,” She replied motioning to the vacant chair. “Ray Smith,” he said, sitting down with the grace of a drunk elephant. She pulled a clean glass from her draw and poured him a shot. “What brings a builder to a recruitment centre for pirates?” Mary asked as Ray picked up his shot. Ray took a sip then raised his eyebrow at her empty glass. “Not drinking?”
“You’re 5 behind. Don’t want to go giving you an unfair advantage, now do I?” Ray nodded wisely and then downed his shot, slapping the glass down for a refill. “Fair enough. Thought I’d try my hand at something more lucrative,” he responded, downing the second shot. Mary mimicked the fashion in which Ray had raised his eyebrow earlier. “My impression was that it was fairly well-paid industry,” She stated.
“It is. When you got the work. Rainy day, you lose billable hours. Pissy client, you lose billable hours. Tick off your prat of a foreman, you lose billable hours,” Ray downed another shot. Both Mary’s brows hit the roof. This was promising. “Why not just switch vocations then?” She queried with a cock of her head. Ray downed his fourth shot.
“I tried that. Got myself a degree and everything,” he said, peering into the glass as though there may have been a drop he’d missed. Mary poured him another refill. “Impressive, however I sense a big but coming,” She said, holding his gaze. “You’re a perceptive woman,” He said, downing another, “Here’s the But. No one will hire you without decent references.” This time Mary refilled both shot glasses, and tapped his glass as they downed them simultaneously. “What’s the hitch?” She queried, already suspecting the answer. Ray rubbed his chin sheepishly. “I’ve always been a bit too quick with my fists. Got myself more than a few marks on my record. Misdemeanours for the most part, but most employers are hesitant to hire a lawyer with no real experience and a colourful history,” He responded as the pair downed another shot. Mary had made her decision, but there were formalities to go through still. She stood and leant across the desk, “Tell me, have you ever handled a sword?” Ray smirked, eye’s appraising the contents of her bra. “I know not to hold it by the edged end,” He replied in manner that suggested he had been on the verge of a very smutty, unoriginal retort. Mary grinned, wheeled her chair around to Ray’s side of the desk and poured more shots. “Know any decent drinking songs?” She asked, their knees now touching. Six ribald songs later Ray was begging her to let him off the hook. “You ‘ould ‘rink a whale ou’ of wa’er,” he complained. Mary took Ray by the hand and dragged him out of the seat. “Come with me,” she murmured, leading Ray from the office; past her uninterested secretary. “Where we goin’?” Ray asked. Mary simply winked and from Ray’s suddenly excited expression she knew he would follow her anywhere.
He did not even seem bother that they where heading to the building’s basement. Ray was, infact, pressing himself closer with each step. “To ‘ell ‘he ‘Truth,” Ray slurred in her ear, “I have a ‘egree ‘u’ iz no in ‘aw.” Mary shot an unsurprised look at Ray, who she was now having to shoulder to keep a forward momentum. “Oh? What is it in, then?” She murmured, subtly digging for the truth. Mary inconspicuously opened a reinforced door with her free side, pressing closer to him in unfeigned interest. Ray dipped his face close, cupped hand over her ear and whispered, “Bullshi’.” Mary gifted him with a wide grin before summarily shoving him into a cell. She heard Ray hit the ground with a grunt and a slurred flurry of curses as she slammed the door shut and locked him in. Five minutes later she was on the phone to Captain Gray. “Come pick up your new first mate; he’s sleeping it off in the tank.”