Good evening, loyal and amazing readers of this website!
I wanted to try something a little different (again) for this week’s short story. I’ve dabbled and I’ve drabbled in previous weeks with a variety of subjects and viewpoints. This week I wanted to try telling a story in first person, and to cover another element of the horror world.
And so I give you… An Interview.
“So what interested you in the position?”
I look at the man sat across from me, his legs crossed, his arms casually placed across the clipboard and notepad which he holds on his lap. A pen dangles casually between his index and middle fingers. His accent, an odd mixture of British English and American dialect, marks him as a relative newcomer to these shores.
I clear my throat, look him directly in the eyes and answer truthfully.
“I’ve always wanted to do something that would benefit others. This seemed like a good way to offer my services.”
The man nods. “I see. Tell me about your blood group. Have you had any serious illnesses of late?”
I shake my head. The question doesn’t strike me as odd. “I’m A positive, and no – no serious illnesses at all. I’ve had the occasional cold and so on, but nothing recently.”
The man nods his head again, writing something carefully on his notepad. I’m not sure how to gauge his reactions to my answers. Is he impressed? Disappointed? His face gives away almost nothing. The occasional raised eyebrow, a slight shuffle in his chair.
“Any friends or family?” The question has a
I shake my head. “None to speak of.”
“And you have come here of your own free will?”
I nod. “Yes, it was my own decision to come here today.”
The man looks thoughtful. I look around as he continues making notes. The room we sit in has a clinical feel to it. There is the smell of disinfectant in the air, as if it has recently been deep cleaned. The furniture has a strange, tacky feel to it. Whatever they use to clean this place, it leaves an acrid smell behind it, heavy in iron and disinfectant.
I note that there are no mirrors, which makes sense in hindsight. It’s a shame though, an extra one or two placed on the wall opposite the door would make this tiny room seem far larger. I doubt very much that this room is used all that often, a side chamber away from the main hustle and bustle of the grand hall a short distance away. That room had been filled with guests and residents alike on my arrival. An odd looking group to say the least, all of them wearing outfits from across the ages. I had assumed that tonight was a fancy dress ball. That would explain the costumes, the vast number of people who continued to arrive even as I was ushered into this room.
I turn my gaze back to the man. He has a regal air about him, his hair slicked back over his scalp. His clothing reminds me of the paintings that hang in the art galleries back in my home nation, of 18th century lords and ladies in their manor houses. It’s like I’ve stepped back in time for this interview. If I forget that I was delivered here by automobile, that my own outfit, a simple suit and tie combination, are very much of the here and now.
The man jots a few more things on his clipboard before pausing and reading back through his notes. Was that a nod? It was barely perceptible, a slight dip of his head for half a second, if that. He looks at me. I feel something sinister bury its way deep into my soul. I shiver, and I know it’s not because I’m cold. The fire burning brightly in the fireplace tells me otherwise.
“Thank you, Mr Henderson. That concludes the interview.” I breathe out slowly.
“I’m pleased to inform you that you have passed the test.” Another, deeper breath of relief. I smile, only realising at that point how desperately scared I am of what will come next. Is it like this for everyone who enters this room? I debate running for the door, just for a moment. I realise very quickly that this would be a foolhardy move on my part. Besides, I did come here of my own free will. I asked for this.
Slowly the man stands, and I feel myself compelled to stand with him. In unison we get to our feet. He is surprisingly tall, at least a foot taller than me. He stares at me and I find myself unable to move. There’s something about his eyes that make my breath catch in my throat. I can’t move at all now.
He glides over to me, as if his feet aren’t touching the ground. Maybe they aren’t, I’m so paralysed by fear that I can’t look at the ground. Then he is stood next to me. I feel my eyes are deceiving me. The man’s outline seems to fade in and out, as if he has become a wraith made of smoke. Within the hazy image that is the man’s face, I see his teeth begin to extend. It is a formidable sight to behold. The teeth extend three inches from his jaw. The terror inside me increases. What have I done?
I blink and the horror in front of me vanishes. I sense something behind me. I still cannot turn my head to look.
A spectral hand is placed on my shoulder. A numbness overtakes my senses. The tension I felt before has now gone, washed away with a single touch.
A voice whispers in my ear. It is in a language that I do not understand. I cannot interpret the words, but I know their meaning. I am safe here.
I feel a gentle pressure against my jugular. There should be pain, but all I feel is that slight pressure on my neck, as if the area has been anaesthetised. I feel my blood oozing out through the two puncture wounds, being gratefully imbibed by the creature stood behind me. It is a deeply odd sensation, one that I never dreamed of experiencing.
My life force begins to slowly ebb away to nothing. Soon I will be just like the man who interviewed me. Immortal, ever-living. A small amount of blood will be left in me, enough to allow the transition. Then I will join my brethren in saving this world. Humanity has proven itself a blight on the world and its resources.
The undead began as an abnormality, a rare offshoot of the human race. Nature’s cure for the human blight. Their numbers gradually increased over the centuries, new members being inducted into the order gradually over many decades. The order’s role, to help shape the civilised world, had taken an unexpected turn at the dawn of the industrial revolution. New members would be needed to help combat this, and if rumours are to be believed, a global conflict is imminent that will require additional support. It is a turning point in the life of this planet.
Now I will become one of those privileged few. I hope that, eventually, I prove myself a worthy choice.