NOTICE: No names or places or anything have been changed to protect anyone, anywhere, anytime, for any reason. Just so you know 😛
It was sometime late in December when Myke D. walked into the Imagine Magazine offices, dressed to win himself a new job. The previous week, Myke had seen a newspaper article announcing a new opening within the popular publication looking for motivated people with some creative experience and an imagination of their own. The receptionist was pleasant and took his information before leading him to a waiting room, which was large enough for about 15 people to comfortably be seated, but housed only one person at the moment, whose face was obscured by a mask. He seemed a bit excitable as he jumped nervously as soon as Myke entered and then continued to stare at him wide-eyed as he followed his every move. There was soft music playing over the wall-mounted speakers, which Myke would have found relaxing if it weren’t for the strange man who was now just openly staring at him, which was becoming un-nerving very quickly. Of course, he chose to sit as far away from the strange guy as he could.
About ten minutes had passed when the door closest to the other man opened. Stepping through the open door was man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt, jeans and a ratty pair of Chuck Taylors who was walking while he was reading from a manilla folder. “Peter Hiney?” The man said as he looked up from the folder. “Is there a Peter Hi… wait a minute… you again? I’m not telling you again, get out of here and don’t come back!” The man said as the strange guy started laughing uncontrollably and ran from the room and out the front door. “Unbelievable,” The man said closing the folder and noticing Myke, “Are you interviewing for the Assistant Editor’s position?”
“Yes,” Myke replied as he stood up, “I sent in…”
“That’s great, follow me,” The man cut him off with a wave as he turned and exited the way he had entered, leaving the door opened.
Not knowing what to make of the reception, Myke shrugged his shoulders and rushed to catch up. He followed the man down a long hallway, passing many closed doors along the way before a turkey ran out of one of the opened doors, being chased by a blond kid who stopped quick as soon as he realized there was someone in the hall.
“Oh Hi!” The boy said as he fumbled to put his mask back on. “You apply for the job?”
“I did,” Myke responded before squinting his eyes and tilting his head, “Wait, aren’t you Matt?”
“Yup,” The boy crossed his arms and leaned on the door frame, “and the feathered IDIOT that I was chasing is Gary. I got stuck watching him cause my brother had a doctor’s appointment, AND HE CAN STAY IN THE HALL FOR ALL I CARE!” Matt shouted at the bird who was pushing his way into another office.
“Sweet, I didn’t think you were really real. Well a real person, you know, like really real.” Myke said with a laugh as the boy simply nodded his head.
“Awesome, you’ll do.” He laughed when Myke responded with a confused expression just as the man came back down the hall.
“Was wondering what happened to you,” The man said with a sigh, “I see you met Matt.”
“Yeah, he surprised me.” Myke laughed.
“He thought I was fake too.” Matt giggled. “You better follow Jeff, I’ll catch you later,” Matt said as he turned to go back into his office, “I like this one Jeff, don’t scare him off.”
“Whatever,” The man shrugged, “Try to keep up this time.” He got out with a weak laugh.
Down the hall, Myke was lead into a large office that smelled strongly of coffee and was littered with candy wrappers. The room was lit by two work lights and had a cluttered desk at it’s center with a computer, next to a laptop, with a tablet next to that, 4 or 5 notepads, stacks and stacks of folders filled with papers, and post-it notes stuck all over the place. “Have a seat,” the man said as he dropped the folder he was carrying in the trash and tried to clear a spot on the desk, then flipping through a few folders.
Myke sat down and looked around the room, especially at the walls, noticing glossy printed versions of every cover of the magazine that looked very familiar from the website. Mixed in were pictures of people and places that must have been friends or maybe even other people from the community that Imagine came from and what appeared to be a few joke covers that he had never seen before.
“So, you must be Myke then, Myke D?” The man asked, regaining Myke’s attention.
“Yes, that’s me. You actua….”
“I’m Jeff, the lead editor here at Imagine Magazine. How did you find us?” The man cut him off.
“You host me on your….”
“That’s great. We’ve been looking for someone to help with the editing and a few other jobs at the magazine. What kind of experience do you have in web hosting and design?”
“Oh well I have some exper….” Myke managed to get out.
“Great!” Jeff cut him off once again, “Are you familiar with the communities that Imagine Magazine serves?”
“Yeah, I’m hosted on your si…”
“Awesome, so you could receive emails and post work without too much supervision?” Jeff asked as he picked up his mouse and shook it.
“Well, I’m sure if you…”
“Amazing! Have you done any graphics work? I could really use some help with site graphics.” He said before tossing his mouse in the trash bucket and pulled another out of a drawer in the desk, tapping and shaking it as well.
“No.” Myke simply answered, finally avoiding being cut off for once.
“Great, you can help me with the covers.” Jeff numbly replied as he started banging the computer’s monitor. “So you’ve worked with Affinity Photo?”
“Um… No. I can…”
“Absolutely, and if you have any work of your own I believe the Boss would be happy to feature you as an author.” Jeff said smiling as he picked up an open package of peanut butter cups that still had one left in it.
“Yeah Jeff, I have a story already hos…” He attempted to answer quickly.
“You’re great for the job. When can you start?” Jeff asked with his mouth full.
“Wait? What?” Myke asked as Jeff grabbed an armload of heavy folders off the desk and stood.
“I’ll email you the details, is your address on your resume?” Jeff asked as he circled the desk and began to fumble with the doorknob.
“Yeah, and you already have it from your si…”
“Great! Welcome aboard. Help yourself to some coffee and give Matt your contact information before you leave so Comicality himself can interview you and get to know you. Gotta make it official.” He got out as he rushed out of the room.
“He hired you, right?” Matt asked from the open doorway.
“I think so, yeah.” Myke replied finally standing and shaking his head in disbelief, “I’ve never met him in person. Is that normal?”
“Yup, welcome to the team. Your office is next to mine, I’ll show you where.” Matt said as he started to turn, but quickly turned back, “You aren’t allergic to turkeys, turtles, cats, or vampires, are you?”
“Wha-what?” Myke laughed, “I write a story about vampires actually.”
“I’ve read it, you post it in the magazine. Duh!” Matt giggled as he shook his head, “The REAL test is gonna be getting by the ‘big boss’, though. So be prepared for that!”
“Oh great…” Myke mumbled as he began to follow the boy to his new office.
And so it was on that day that Myke D. got picked to be the new Assistant Editor of Imagine Magazine. As far as we know, he still doesn’t know what to make of the whole process the staff goes through every month trying to keep up with Comicality and Jeff still hasn’t realized that the Myke D. he just chose for the job, and the Myke D. who is a hosted author on his own website as well as in the magazine itself are one and the same. Maybe one of these days, Myke will be able to get a whole sentence out. Stay Tuned… He still needs to meet the man himself. Is he up for it?