The Interview – a short story and a first for me

A few days ago I came home after a rough and long day at work, and got randomly inspired by a short twitter conversation.

A few minutes later I was throwing words at my computer, forming sentences, until I had a very rough and bad short story. A bit later I’d found two wordy friends for feedback, and boy was some of it crushing. I first took care of grammarly stuff, then ironed out some of the “actual” writing, which in parts was pretty bad.

I ended up with this:

 

The Interview

The neon lights hummed and flickered.
In the past hour no-one had passed the corridor outside the conference room deep within the building.
It would have felt creepy to Samia if she had room in her head for much else besides how desperately she needed that job.
She had been horrified at the prospect of screwing something up. At the start of the interview Jim, the balding, slightly beer-bellied man conducting it had offered her a cookie. Gripping the armrests so tight her knuckles turned white, she declined.

Samia had a reputation for spilling food into her cleavage. Her bra collected more finger food than a starving wedding crasher.
Even without chocolate chip cookies tumbling down between her boobs a job interview was more than challenging for a pudgy girl makingher way towards financial independence.

About twenty minutes in, Jim had asked about her strengths and weaknesses. Opening her mouth to answer, she heard a very faint muffled scream like from the opening scene of a teeny slasher movie.

‘Is there anything wrong?’ Jim asked. Samia stared at him, open-mouthed. She blushed and asked: ‘Sorry, but can you hear that?’

Jim cocked his head, puzzled, and listened. As the screaming grew louder it became clear the origin was in Samia’s purse. “Your cell phone?’ he said, a frown of disapproval showing up on his face.

‘I thought … I turned it off. That’s not even my … ringtone.’ Samia started rummaging in her her purse.

She pulled her screaming cell phone out from between tissues and make-up, the words UNKNOWN CALLER showing up on its display.

A nearly unnoticeable smile flashed across Jim’s face as he motioned the wide-eyed Samia to answer the call.

Thumbing the green button she moved the device up to her ear. The screaming ringtone stopped. ‘Hello?’ Samia said, her voice shaking.

Jim frowned as he watched all color drain out of Samia’s face within an instant. The phone slid out of her hand. As it hit the conference room’s carpet, the loudspeaker activated.  Whoever was on the other end of the call was screaming.

Before either of them could say a word, the screaming stopped. The lights around them died, leaving the phone as the room’s only source of light. After a few seconds the phone’s display briefly flickered, turned off and plunged them into utter darkness.

 

So that’s it. The first time I wrote a story from scratch unless you count that thing we had to write in 4th grade. ;-)