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Still a bit groggy from the night before, but still nervous enough to keep him wide awake for his second (and supposedly, the last) interview for his newest position at Imagine Magazine, Myke D walked back into the office building with his head held high. This was something that he was looking forward to, but didn’t know what to expect from the big boss. Nobody could really tell Myke much about him, as they were all sworn to secrecy under penalty of death and dismemberment. They were just kidding about that…ummm…right? But Myke was doing his best to stay confident. His interview with Jeff seemed to go pretty well, right? How much more difficult could this one be?

He got up early, made sure that he looked his absolute best, and traveled towards Imagine Magazine’s main office counter, showing up fifteen minutes early to make a good impression. Punctuality was a must.

After checking in with a really cute boy intern, who was handling paperwork as well as wearing a headset to handle all of Comicality’s phone calls and emails as they came in…Myke got confirmation of his appointment. The boy was only about fifteen, and that was being generous. Dark brown hair that hung down into his eyes and red lips that seemed to brighten his blue eyes as he smiled at Myke from behind the plexiglass barrier. “Go ahead and take a seat, Mr. D. The big boss will be with you shortly. K?”

Myke nodded, and walked over to sit down to read an older issue of Imagine or two in the waiting room. It was then that he saw another interviewee waiting for his turn as well. But after just a few peeks at him, he recognized him as the same guy from the last interview. Myke was wondering whether or not he should say something ahead of time, but he really didn’t get the chance.

Another boy came walking out of the door, and announced, “Ok, I’m looking for Wilma Dikfit? Is there a Wilma Dikfit here?” The guy with the mask on started to snicker to himself, and the boy got annoyed, rolling his eyes. “Goddammit! Will you stop? Seriously! Just stop! You’re not getting the job!”

The other guy got all giddy and giggly, and he hopped up from his chair, throwing up both middle fingers as he exited the building with a smile.

The boy went down his list, and crossed out all of the names that seemed to be fraudulent. “Ugh…ok…Wilma Dikfit…Jenny Taylia…Phil Ayshio…Ben Doverbich…who is approving these interviews? Really?” Then he gave me a sideways look for a moment. I was almost certain that he was going to scratch me off the list as well, just because he was paranoid about it all now. “Myke D…huh? That’s your name?”

“Yes…” He said.

“Riiiiight…” He squinted his eyes briefly, but that’s when Myke saw Matt Scott walk out of the door with a big smile on his face.

He recognized Myke right away and said, “Hey, dude! You’re back! Kewl!” The other boy looked at him, and asked if he knew this ‘Myke’ character. “Oh sure! He came by for an interview yesterday. Jeff already gave him the golden ticket to talk to the big boss today. So I can vouch for him. He’s legit.”

“Alright.” The other boy said. “Well…Matt says you’re ok to go in. So Comicality will see you now.”

“Thank you.” Myke said, nervously getting up on his feet and smiling back at Matt as he offered to lead him to the boss’ office. “Any tips?” He asked.

“Tips?” Matt asked. “Oh! Nah. You’ll do fine. Comsie is a big old teddy bear at heart. Don’t let the swirling shadows fool you.”

“The swirling WHAT now…???”

“Whatever you do…don’t mention his eyes! K? Just…it’s not a good idea. He hates that. Take a few peeks, and then look away.” Matt said. “The last guy that went all crazy over his eyes got thrown out of a window. Right on top of his own car. He’s still in rehab, learning to walk again. Such a shame…” Then, just as he marched me down a particularly dark part of the hallway, Matt jumped as he saw a turkey frantically run across the hall in front of us. “GARY!!! How did you get out again! Dangit! I thought I told you to stay still!” The turkey gobbled angrily at him, and almost as if Matt could understand him, he said, “You already HAD breakfast!” The turkey gobbled even louder. “I’m not making you another sandwich! You go back into my office and wait for me to finish my work!” Gary flapped his wings and ran towards the two of them, making such a ruckus that Myke pressed his back up against the wall to protect himself. “Don’t you take that tone with me! You need a serious attitude adjustment, mister!” It gobbled even louder now. “Comsie said he’ll bring out the new “Billy Chase” when he’s good and ready!!! And what’s THAT got to do with anything anyways???” More gobbling. “Well, you go tell Comsie that yourself and see what happens! And watch your language! Geez…you’re so mean and vulgar these days! Can’t you see that I’m working here with a new recruit? You pick today to show off?” That turkey got all flustered and started flapping his wings until there were feathers flying all over the place, and Myke just decided to stay out of it. The less he got involved in this turkey tantrum, the better.

At that moment, a door opened at the end of the hall…and a dark mist began to fill the area. Shadows and whispers and darkness…and a pair of glowing golden eyes. Matt and Gary stopped arguing immediately. A dark figure stepped forward with a handful of papers and folders, and he looked down at the turkey…who had now suddenly gone silent. With a deep voice, the silhouette said, “Gary? Are you behaving yourself?” The turkey backed up a bit from him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a turkey ‘back up’ before. It was kind of weird to witness, firsthand. “I think you and Matt should take a moment to work things out in the public relations office. Ok? Is that fair?” The turkey hurried back into Matt’s office, and the figure seemed to smile and nod in Matt’s direction. “Afternoon, Matt. I trust you’re feeling well?”

Matt blushed sweetly and nodded. “Uh huh…” He said. “This is Myke D. He’s up for the Assistant Editor position. I think he’s awesome.”

“I’ll take your enthusiasm into consideration. Thank you, Matt.” He said, and Matt giggled as he ran back to his office to take care of Gary and keep control of things.

“Myke, is it?” Comicality asked. “Pleased to meet you. Right this way. Let’s talk.”

Myke felt himself shaking a bit, but followed the swirling shadows regardless. He was told to close the door when they walked in, and Com sat behind the desk while Myke took a seat in front of him. There were a few moments of silence while Comicality looked through his resume and paperwork. “Impressive. Very creative portfolio. I’m digging what I’m seeing here.” He said, making Myke feel a bit more relaxed. “So, tell me…why do you think that you would be a valuable part of Imagine Magazine?”

“I like it. A lot.” He said, keeping it short.

Comicality raised an eyebrow after a long pause in their conversation. “Ummm…feel free to elaborate on that.”

“Oh! Sorry. In my last interview, I didn’t get to talk all that much…”

“It’s ok. Talk. Tell me a story.” He said. “You…and Imagine Magazine…go.”

“Well, I mean,” Myke began with a nervous chuckle. “Me and Imagine, huh? I mean, besides the fact that the magazine is totally awesome, I just know that I would fit perfectly here. I mean, I’m pretty quick with computers, and I can definitely learn quickly. I’ve been following the magazine for a little while, now, and I also submitted some work with my application that you chose for the January cover.” Myke chuckled again, studying the shadows that seemed to be dancing in the corner. Deciding that it wasn’t his place to ask, Myke decided to just keep trying to sell himself to the man with the golden eyes. “I learn quickly, wait, I already said that. Umm, I dedicated myself to whatever I’m doing, and I won’t quit until I’m certain that I’ve got it done, correctly. With that being said though, I do like to have fun while I’m working, too. It’s the only way to stay sane when I’m not playing around with my own stuff.”

Comicality nodded in approval. “I can definitely agree with that. Having fun is a big part of our dynamic here, so I definitely like to hear that from a new hire.” He mumbled a few things to himself as he looked through Myke’s submissions and paperwork. “Ok. Gotchya. It appears that you’ve got the technical skills to pull this off. But what about your creativity? Creativity is a must here. Do you have any stories or creative fiction of your own to use as an example?”

“Well, as far as creativity goes, I have multiple stories that are currently in process across various sites,” Myke replied with a grin. “Artistic-wise, I could refer you to the January cover of Imagine, as well as my own website, where I have my own book covers on display. I have two stories that are in Imagine Magazine, and I was your featured author in issue #59.”

“Ahhh, I see. I remember you now. Ok.” Comicality said calmly. “Please forgive me if I seem a little absentminded from time to time. Nothing on the internet is stable anymore. People change their names, their email addresses, their websites…it would be near impossible to keep up with them if they were actually ‘stable’…much less if they were morphing and moving around every three weeks.” Comicality continued to look at some of Myke’s magazine cover ideas and story submissions, nodding his head slightly in approval. It was then that Myke happened to notice an open notebook on Comicality’s desk, and after seeing a few familiar names and details that he hadn’t seen in quite some time, but easily recognized, he suddenly got excited.

“Whoah! Is that…I mean…is this the newest chapter of…???”

Comicality suddenly slammed the book shut. “Don’t you mind that.” He said abruptly. Then he shifted gears, saying, “What is your work schedule like? In terms of being able to get the magazine issues out on time? EVERY time. EVERY month. Even with extreme last minute changes?”

“Working with my current job, I deal with last minute changes almost all of the time,” Myke replied in amusement. “It should be in the job description, I swear! My weekends are usually open, and they’re offset from other people’s weekends. It gives me a chance to make any changes that need to be handled when nobody else is available to do it.”

“Are you good under pressure? Because there will be pressure, believe me.”

Myke assured him, “I can do whatever you need. I’m good in high pressure, last minute, crunch time, situations.”

“That’s good to hear.” Comicality said. “Because we have last minute problems and outside obligations every single month, with every release. I can’t say that a single issue has been ‘easy’. So we need a real soldier to help us keep things running as smoothly as possible. You sound like you might be our guy.” Then he closed up my folder, and stood up from his desk, causing me to stand up as well and shake his hand. “I think you’d be a good addition to the team, Myke. I should warn you that I can be highly forgetful and might get new material to you just hours before launch. My brain is on a super tight schedule, and my ambitions always go beyond my ability…even when I’m challenging myself, but my muse kind of operates all on its own. It works best that way. If you can deal with that, then I’m happy to welcome you into the fold. Deal?”

“Wait?” Myke looked stunned for a moment. “Are you serious? I am up for the challenge, sir! I won’t let you down!”

“Alright. You’re a part of the new Imagine Team then. Honored to have you on board.” He said. “You can start right away. And you get a free weekend getaway at the ‘Comicality Boy Farm’ once a month. As well as all of the smoothies you can drink, and bonuses for every new reader you bring to the site. Ok?” Myke nodded with a smile, trying not to look to excited. “And watch out for that turkey. He bites! But he’s family. He’s not to be hurt. Same goes for Matt Scott, k? Ummm…both the family part…and the ‘biting’ part. So be careful. Our receptionist will show you out. I’ve got a conference call with the GFD: Blood Bank coming up, so I’ll make sure to give your story a mention. Cool?”

Smiling wide, Myke said, “COOL! Ok!” And with that, he was led outside of Comicality’s office, and Matt gave him a thumbs up as he was walking out of the building.

Ok. So that wasn’t nearly as scary as he thought it would be. But he got the job! Myke D is now an official part of the Imagine Magazine family. Where he goes from here is anybody’s guess. But for now…the sun is shining just a little bit brighter than it was before. And Myke liked that.

Thinking, “Look out world! Here I come!”

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